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:
- The Passage
- Is Jesus a Jew?
- The Murderous Family Tree of Abraham
- Midian, son of Abraham and Keturah
- Sheba, son of Jokshan, son of Abraham and Keturah
- Dedan, son of Jokshan, son of Abraham and Keturah
- Ishmael, son of Abraham and Hagar
- Kedar, son of Ishmael, son of Abraham and Hagar
- Esau, son of Isaac, son of Abraham
- Our List of Candidates, Reviewed
- So Who Are These Jews in Question?
- A Reminder
- What About "Jews" in the Old Testament?
We already know that all descendants of Jacob were held in bondage to men, for Jeremiah prophesied,
Jesus goes on to say,
We see more hints as to their nature:
Zacchaeus was a man who others called sinner.(Luke 19:5.) But when Jesus came to him,
Coming back to our Jews, Jesus said,
So what does that make them? Well, Jesus tells us,
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,
Thus, when Pilate wrote
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.)
- Ishbak (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
- Shuah (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
- From Jokshan:
- From Abraham and Hagar:
- From Ishmael:
- Nebajoth (Very little mentioned besides birth.)
- 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:
- From Isaac and Rebekah:
- 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
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,
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,
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.
What's the solution?
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,
Later, Isaiah records,
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.
But, was Edom ever enslaved? Balaam, a false prophet, said,
Well, yes. King David held them in bondage:
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,
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,
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,
Interestingly, Jesus also said,
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,
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,
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."