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The Race to be Israel

There are various groups today claiming to be true Israel and that the people of the present secular state of Israel are all fakes. Many also believe the Bible establishes one race or another as superior to the rest. This study will examine those claims.


First, we need to define race. It generally refers to the distinct language or physical attributes of a people group, though in times past (and in some cultures yet today) it was more specific than it is now. For example, each clan or nation was considered a race, even if the people of different races were much the same in appearance. Today it’s strictly by skin color and a few main features such as the eyes, ears, or lips. Biologically and Biblically, though, these attributes are only variations of a kind, not different kinds. All people have melanin, which comes in two basic varieties: red/yellow or black/brown. All other variations are a matter of how much of that variety a person has; see this article and this chart.

The closest thing to the modern concept of racism in the Bible would be the distinction of the genetic line of Jacob/Israel from the rest of the world. God commanded them to keep separate, but never to feel superior, which is what racism really is. But critics love to cherry-pick, and for this one the favorite prooftext is Jer. 13:23. The contextual point is the difficulty of wayward Israel to mend its ways, but the parallel between the leopard and the Ethiopian isn’t condemning either of them for what they were born as. The Ethiopian has no more reason to be ashamed or considered inferior than the leopard. Since the leopard’s spots aren’t a sign of shame, then why should a person’s skin color be a sign of shame?

In case anyone argues that the Bible always portrays white as ideal, remember Num. 12:10, where Miriam’s skin turned white as snow, meaning leprous, as punishment for challenging Moses’ authority to lead Israel alone. As for Song of Solomon 1:5-6, it says right there that it refers to being tanned by having to work outside. So skin color in this case indicates poor or lowly status, not inferiority of being. Now consider these New Testament passages: Acts 10:28,34-35, 17:26, Rom. 2:11, 10:12-13, Gal. 3:28, Col. 3:11, and James 2:4,9.

As for those who claim to be the real Israelites, they would have to prove either genetic descendence from the twelve tribes of Israel, or from proselytes. And it’s because of those proselytes that no one can rightfully exclude any genetic group, whether Europeans or Africans or anyone else. Take a look at this article.

The Bible distinguishes true from fake Israel by having the faith of Abraham (Gal. 3:7,29, Rom. 2:28-29), but spiritual Israel means descendants of the twelve tribes who become Christians (Rom. 9:1-11); scripture never refers to the Body of Christ as such, since the two are separate entities as explained in other studies here. So no ethnic group can claim exclusive rights to being true Israel; not whites, blacks, reds, yellows, or any shade in between. On the other hand, the Bible makes it very clear that God promised land to the nation of Israel that he did not promise to the Body of Christ.

But who would even want to be Israel right now? They’re ripe for seven more years of God’s wrath after they sign a treaty with the Antichrist, per the 70 Weeks prophecy of Dan. 9:24-27. The second half of that is described in passages such as Zechariah 14:2 and Rev. 12:6,14, and only those living in Judea who flee when they see the Abomination of Desolation will be spared, which according to Zech. 13:8-9 will be about one-third.


The Bible does not condone claims of genetic superiority, and anyone claiming the promises to the nation of Israel must also accept its curses. Some try to make skin color an issue for Jesus as well, but his genetics were important only for proving his being the promised Seed or Messiah and his being born of a virgin (Gen. 3:15, Gal. 3:16). Anyone pushing the modern concept of race to the forefront has no idea what the Bible teaches about either Jews or Christians, or the incarnate Christ. To use race as a weapon or claim of superiority is real racism, and the Bible does not condone or support it.

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