The Jews Who Were Never in Bondage

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Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?John 8:31-33

Hold on a second. There were Jews in Jesus's time that are Abraham's seed, but were never held in bondage to any man? Well, logically speaking that means: Not all 'Jews' are from the stock of Israel. But who else could they be?

Contents

We already know that all descendants of Jacob were held in bondage to men, for Jeremiah prophesied, Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones.Jeremiah 50:17 So Assyria(Israel - 2nd Kings 17:6.) and Babylon(Judah - 2nd Kings 24:1-3) enslaved the totality of the stock of Israel, along with Egypt.(Exodus 2:23.) No learned person from the stock of Israel can make the claim that they were never in bondage to any man. So who are these Jews that Jesus is talking to?

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.John 8:34 I wish to address this verse. Jesus is speaking of freedom symbolically. He had just said, And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.John 8:32 These Jews responded with in a physical manner, never in bondage to any man. Jesus clarified himself by telling them that he was talking spiritually, of sin. That does not mean that the Jews' claim is wrong, they wouldn't have said what they said if they didn't believe it. The Jews, when they uttered their claim, were speaking physically, and we must examine their claim physically, regardless of the fact that Jesus was speaking spiritually.

Jesus goes on to say, I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.John 8:37-38 So Jesus has confirmed the fact that these Jews, who have never been enslaved, are in fact of the stock of Abraham. Looking at Abraham's family tree we see several descendants. Therefore, whoever these Jews are, we know that they are of Abraham, but not of Israel.

We see more hints as to their nature: They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.John 8:39 Did you notice? Jesus said that they were of Abraham's seed, but they are not children of Abraham. This is similar to us. We are children of whoever's will we do. That is why we must do the will of God to enter into the kingdom.(Matthew 7:21.) This is why Jesus said, And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.Matthew 23:9 These Jews, by calling Abraham their father, left no space for God.

Zacchaeus was a man who others called sinner.(Luke 19:5.) But when Jesus came to him, Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.Luke 19:8-10 Zacchaeus, who resided in Jericho, a city of the former territory of Benjamin of the Kingdom of Judah, was a son of Abrahman. So we can see that there are children of Abraham that are not Jews that are also the sons of Abraham.

Coming back to our Jews, Jesus said, But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.John 8:40-43 As we just covered, these Jews cannot both be children of Abraham and God.

So what does that make them? Well, Jesus tells us, Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.John 8:44 Well, we already knew these Jews were liars, as you can only have one father, however much the homosexuals may scream.

So, we are looking for (1) the genetic children of Abraham, (2) who have never been in bondage to any man, (3) who do the works of the devil.

Is Jesus a Jew? Back to Top ↑

Regardless, we know for a fact that Jesus is a child of Israel, of Judah(Matthew 1:2, Luke 3:33.) through Joseph.(Matthew 1:16, Luke 3:23.) Yet, not all Jews were children of Israel during Jesus's time.

But how do we reconcile that Jesus is called both a Jew and a Samaritan? And why doesn't Jesus ever deny being either a Samaritan or a Jew? Well, if we understand a Samaritan as being from Samaria, and a Jew as being from Judah, then we have our answer in Jesus's conversation with Pilate. Jesus says, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.John 18:36 There we have it: Jesus is not a Jew, in fact, he is not of anything of this world. He is of the kingdom of God. And furthermore, Pilate knew this, as Jesus told him this.

Thus, when Pilate wrote Jesus of Nazareth,[a place in Galilee] the King of the Jews, he was being sarcastic. Jesus never said he was the king of the Jews, and Pilate knew that. That is why Pilate found no fault in Jesus.(John 18:38.) Pilate also knew that it was the Jews that said Jesus was to be a king.(Mark 15:12.) And thus, we see that the Jews were upset at what Pilate wrote,(John 19:21.) because it exposed their hypocrisy. Truly, Jesus was right about some of the Jews when he said, He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.John 8:44b

So we find that Jesus was not of any nation on Earth.

The Murderous Family Tree of Abraham Back to Top ↑

So, we are looking for:

  • (1) the genetic children of Abraham,
  • (2) who have never been in bondage to any man,
  • (3) who do the works of the devil.

These are the candidates. While we're here, let us also note the people that the Bible never says anything about:

  • From Abraham and Keturah:
    • Zimran (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Jokshan (Notable for begetting others, but nothing else.)
    • Medan (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Midian
    • Ishbak (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Shuah (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
  • From Jokshan:
    • Sheba
    • Dedan
  • From Abraham and Hagar:
    • Ishmael
  • From Ishmael:
    • Nebajoth (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Kedar
    • Abdeel (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Mibsam (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Mishma (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Dumah (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Massa (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Hadar (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Tema (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Kedemah (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Nephish (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
    • Jetur (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
  • From Abraham and Sarah:
    • Isaac
  • From Isaac and Rebekah:
    • Esau
    • Jacob (2 and 3 do not apply)

These are a lot of people to track. However, since we're looking for people who do the work of the devil and that have never been in bondage, we almost certainly can discount all the people that the Bible barely speaks of. These people may have died out, or at least from what we know of them, we do not know if they have been in bondage or have done the works of the devil.

Midian, son of Abraham and Keturah Back to Top ↑

Midian, child of Abraham and Keturah, settled into "the east country."(Genesis 25:6.) Scholars think this area was around the gulf of Aqaba. Moses fled to Midian from the wrath of Pharaoh, where he met his wife Zipporah. His father-in-law Jethro, a priest of Midian,(Exodus 2:16) retained knowledge of the God of Abraham. Jethro himself helped Moses.(Exodus 18.)

While the children of Israel traveled through the wilderness, Moses brother-in-law Hobab helped guide them despite Hobab's initial hesitation.(Number 10:29-32.)

However, the relations with the Midianites soured when they joined with the Moabites(who were of Lot, not of Abraham) and hired Balaam to curse Israel.(Numbers 22.) This eventually led to Israel sinning, and for the Lord to command Moses to war again the Midianties.(Numbers 25:17-19.)

The Midianites would periodically raid Israel,(Judges 6:3.) until God sent Gideon to defeat the Midianites. This ultimately resulted with Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.Judges 8:28

Ultimately, Midian was not necessarily doing the works of Satan from the beginning, it was only when mixed with another stock not from Abraham that they turned to evil. Regardless, Midian was subdued. While this may not mean "enslaved," it seems very unlikely for a child of Midian to say, We were never in bondage to any man.

Sheba, son of Jokshan, son of Abraham and Keturah Back to Top ↑

It is hard to know much about Sheba, because he was likely named after Sheba, the son of Cush, the son of Ham, the son of Noah. This Sheba has no relation to Abraham, but also went around establishing places and things.

Additionally, there are also places called Beer-sheba, but they aren't from Sheba, son of Abraham. Beer-sheba was in fact named that by Abraham himself.(Genesis 21:29-31.) Later, this place would be colloquially termed, "Sheba."(Joshua 19:2.)

There are also other people named Sheba as well, such as Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjamite.(2nd Samuel 20:1.)

Yet, we know that either Sheba, the son of Noah, or Sheba, the son of Abraham, made a kingdom great enough for their queen to woo Solomon.(1st Kings 10:1-13.) However, because Job records some companies of Sheba,(Job 6:19) it seems more likely that the country of Sheba was from Sheba, son of Noah, rather than from Sheba, the son of Abraham.

Thus, it is likely the Sheba, son of Jokshan, son of Abraham and Keturah, passed away into obscurity.

Dedan, son of Jokshan, son of Abraham and Keturah Back to Top ↑

Not too much is known of Dedan, only that they survived for at least quite some time. We also know that Dedan were merchants(Ezekial 27:15.) and that the Lord also said, ...and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword.Ezekiel 25:13b

So, we do not know if Dedan were ever enslaved, or if their line ended.

Ishmael, son of Abraham and Hagar Back to Top ↑

The Ishmaelites were mostly considered together, despite the extensive lineage that we are given in the Old Testament. Regardless, we don't know very much of them. However, there is a Psalm that names them with other evil family. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah.Psalms 83:5-8

What's the solution? Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.Psalms 83:9-10

Well, these are a group of people that Israel doesn't very much like. They may be "children of the devil," or not. While it looks bad to be in bad company, that doesn't make you guilty of a crime. Additionally, we do not know if the Ishmaelites were ever enslaved or not.

As such, it is possible that some of the Jews in Judah at the time of Jesus were Ishmaelites, but I personally find it difficult to believe. There just isn't enough information to take a justifiable stance on the matter.

Kedar, son of Ishmael, son of Abraham and Hagar Back to Top ↑

We don't know much about Kedar, except that they have some very notable tents.(Psalms 120:5, Song of Solomon, 1:5) However, Isaiah records, For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year, according to the years of an hireling, and all the glory of Kedar shall fail: And the residue of the number of archers, the mighty men of the children of Kedar, shall be diminished: for the Lord God of Israel hath spoken it.Isaiah 21:16-17

Later, Isaiah records, Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands.Isaiah 42:11-12

Jeremiah records, ...thus saith the Lord; Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east.Jermiah 49:28b But nothing more is said.

Thus, we don't know if Dedan were ever enslaved, or if they were children of the devil.

Esau, son of Isaac, son of Abraham Back to Top ↑

Esau was the unruly brother of Jacob who cared so little for his birthright that he sold it to Jacob for a pot of stew,(Genesis 25:29-34.) and renamed himself to Edom.(Genesis 25:30.)

Let me repeat that. Esau sold his heritage. For stew. Jacob has his own birthright and now also obtained Esau's birthright. Esau no longer had a birthright. Esau had the genetic lineage of Abraham, but he could no longer be called a son of Isaac, and therefore Abraham, for he sold his birthright.

That is the same claim that Jesus made. Jesus called those Jews in John 8 the seed of Abraham, and then denied that they were children of Abraham. We didn't even think to look for this marker, and yet we've found it!

We also find that Edom(Recall: Esau renamed himself to Edom in Genesis 25:30) hates Israel. There is so much negative about Edom(Jeremiah 49:7-39, Ezekiel 25:12-14, Joel 3:19, Amos 1:11-15, Obediah all of it.) that I believe we can find fulfillment that Edom's father is "the devil," as Jesus started.

Furthermore, we know for a fact that Edom is still alive, having been rebuilt. And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.Malachai 1:3-4

But, was Edom ever enslaved? Balaam, a false prophet, said, And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.Numbers 24:18 Mount Seir, by the way, is Edom's mountain. See Genesis 36:8. Well, did this ever come true? We cannot trust the words of a false prophet alone.

Well, yes. King David held them in bondage: And he put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom put he garrisons, and all they of Edom became David's servants. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went.2nd Samuel 8:14 See also 1st Chronicles 18:13 This bondage was severe enough that the Edomites would later revolt against it.(2nd Chronicles 21:8.)

So perhaps the Jews that Jesus was talking to in John 8:31-33 were not Edomites.

Our List of Candidates, Reviewed Back to Top ↑

  • From Abraham and Keturah:
    • Midian (Subdued to Israel. Judges 8:28.)
  • From Jokshan:
    • Sheba (We likely know nothing of this Sheba.)
    • Dedan (We actually know very little of Dedan.)
  • From Abraham and Hagar:
    • Ishmael (Potentially, but unlikely, some of the "Jews" at the time of Jesus.)
  • From Ishmael:
    • Kedar (We actually know very little of Kedar.)
  • From Abraham and Sarah:
    • Isaac (They were enslaved. They cannot be the "Jews" that Jesus was talking to in John 8:31-33.)
  • From Isaac and Rebekah:
    • Esau (They were enslaved. They cannot be the "Jews" that Jesus was talking to in John 8:31-33.)

So Who Are These Jews in Question? Back to Top ↑

Simple. They were Esau. "But you just said that they were enslaved!" Correct, they were. However, they are also most certainly the children of the devil and liars. Jesus agreed that they were Abraham's seed, but never said anything about their Earthly bondage. However, he said they were liars, just as their father was a liar.

How then do we know if these Jews lied about being in bondage or not? We cannot trust what they said, which is why we relied on Jesus, not these Jews, to tell us that these Jews were in fact of the seed of Abraham. It is only Jesus who speaks the truth,(John 14:6.) all others mix their truth with lies. That is why we can believe Jesus, but still doubt these Jews.

A Reminder Back to Top ↑

I want to be very clear here. All we have shown is that some Jews in Judah were Edomites. "Jew" simply means an inhabitant of Judah, the same way that "American" means an inhabitant of the United States of America. There is no information of ethnicity stored, as any given American could be Hispanic, African, Asian, or Caucasian. The same must have been true in Jesus's day for "Jews" as well.

Some Jews must have been children of Israel. Thus, when Jesus said to the Samaritan women who believed him to be a Jew, Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.John 4:22 he could have been speaking about the Jews that were of the seed of Israel. After all, some Jews did believe Jesus.(John 8:31.) So not all Jews were Edomites.

In addition to Esau and Jacob, there could have been children from other bloodlines of Abraham in Judah as well. Ishmaelites, Midianites, and so forth. These would have been "Jews" as well.

The Fate of These Jews Back to Top ↑

God said approximately 400 years before Jesus came, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.Malachai 1:3-4

God promised that Edom will rebuild. And God promised that he would throw down Edom.

If these Jews that Jesus was talking to in John 8:31-33 were Edomites, and were just as religious as their conversation seems to imply, then these Jews would have stayed in Israel after denying Jesus's words. They would have kept to their religion, one which Jesus would surely denounce as they were the children of the devil. Earlier on in John 8, we read that Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees. The "Jews" that lied about being in bondage were the Pharisees.

Let us clarify things now. All people that lived in Judah were Jews. Some Jews were ethnically Edomites.(In addition to our reasoning already given, contemporary literature, such as Antiques by Josephus as well as modern Jewish literature confirms this to be true.) Some Jews were religiously Pharisees.

Could it be that the Edomites predominately established themselves into the religious school of the Pharisees? Jesus said very straightly, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.Luke 12:1, see also Matthew 16:6, 11-12

Interestingly, Jesus also said, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.Mark 8:15b History tells us very plainly that Herod was an Edomite. It is one of those facts that are simply indisputable, attested by the literature of the time. Here, Jesus condemns both the Pharisees and Herod in the same breath.

We would be remiss if we didn't note that the self-proclaimed apostle Paul also claimed to be a Pharisee after converting to Christianity. He even took pride in it, saying, Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee.Philippians 3:4-5

Paul has some claims via the flesh to the seed of Israel, claiming he is a Benjaminite, and yet he claims that he is ultimately a Pharisee according to the law. Why wouldn't he recant? And if Paul is a Pharisee, shouldn't we listen to Jesus and beware of Paul?

So, what happened to the Pharisees and all the Jews that stayed after Jesus left? The grand majority of them died at the siege of Jerusalem in 70AD. With the destruction of Herod's Temple, the other major sects of Judaism, the Sadducees and Zealots, failed to continue. The rest of the Pharisees continued on and mutated their religion from Phariseeism into Rabbinical Judaism, just as the modern day Rabbis claim themselves.

What about "Jews" in the Old Testament? Back to Top ↑

First, let us answer, "What is a "Jew" in the Old Testament?

Historically, the "Jews" in the Old Testament where the people who lived in the land of Judah. This was primarily the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Every reference to "Jew" or "Jews" in the Old Testament works with this definition. In-depth research of this is left to the reader.

Mordecai was a prominent "Jew" in Esther. He was from the tribe of Benjamin.(Esther 2:5.) This gives the idea that "Jew" means someone that is an Israelite, but that's not the only interpretation. The tribe of Benjamin dwelt in Judah, and so Mordecai was a "Jew" because he dwelt in the land of Judah. Where "Jews" is used in Esther, it refers to the people who were forcibly removed from Judah.

In 2nd Kings, where it appears, "Jew" means "people in the land of Judah." For instance, And all the people of Judah took Azariah, which was sixteen years old, and made him king instead of his father Amaziah. He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.2nd Kings 14:21-22 So Elath is a city in Judah, and therefore inhabited by Judeans. Later, we see, At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.2nd Kings 16:6 So because Elath was in Judah, Jews dwelt in Elath, and therefore were called "Jews."

We can continue onto Erza, Nehemiah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah in the same way. Suffice it to say that "Jew" means "from the land of Judah."

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