The word “Jew” (in Hebrew, “Yehudi”) is derived from the name Judah, which was the name of one of Jacob’s twelve sons. Judah was the ancestor of one of the tribes of Israel, which was named after him. Likewise, the word Judaism literally means “Judah-ism,” that is, the religion of the Yehudim.
In common speech, the word “Jew” is used to refer to all of the physical and spiritual descendants of Jacob/Israel, as well as to the patriarchs Abraham and Isaac and their wives, and the word “Judaism” is used to refer to their beliefs. Technically, this usage is inaccurate, just as it is technically inaccurate to use the word “Indian” to refer to the original inhabitants of the Americas.
A Jew is any person whose mother was a Jew or any person who has gone through the formal process of conversion to Judaism.
It is important to note that being a Jew has nothing to do with what you believe or what you do. A person born to non-Jewish parents who has not undergone the formal process of conversion but who believes everything that Orthodox Jews believe and observes every law and custom of Judaism is still a non-Jew, even in the eyes of the most liberal movements of Judaism, and a person born to a Jewish mother who is an atheist and never practices the Jewish religion is still a Jew, even in the eyes of the ultra-Orthodox. In this sense, Judaism is more like a nationality than like other religions, and being Jewish is like a citizenship.
Orthodoxy requires acceptance of the yoke of Torah (observance of Jewish law as Orthodoxy understands it), while other movements would not teach the same laws that Orthodoxy does and might not require observance. The Conservative movement requires circumcision and immersion in a mikvah, which is not always required in Reform conversions.
The Torah does not specifically state anywhere that matrilineal descent should be used; however, there are several passages in the Torah where it is understood that the child of a Jewish woman and a non-Jewish man is a Jew, and several other passages where it is understood that the child of a non-Jewish woman and a Jewish man is not a Jew.
In Deuteronomy 7:1-5, in expressing the prohibition against intermarriage, G-d says “he [i.e., the non-Jewish male spouse] will cause your child to turn away from Me and they will worship the gods of others.” No such concern is expressed about the child of a non-Jewish female spouse. From this, we infer that the child of a non-Jewish male spouse is Jewish (and can therefore be turned away from Judaism), but the child of a non-Jewish female spouse is not Jewish (and therefore turning away is not an issue).
It is written: The Jews attached a sacred importance to the rank of “first-born” and “first-begotten” as applied to the Messiah ( Romans 8:29 ; Colossians 1:18 ; Hebrews 1:4-6 ).
As first-born he has an inheritance superior to his brethren, and is the alone true priest. The first-born son had allotted to him also a double portion of the paternal inheritance ( Deuteronomy 21:15-17 ). The first-born inherited the judicial authority of his father, whatever it might be ( 2 Chronicles 21:3 ).
Abraham had eight sons:
Ishmael, Isaac, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, Shuah
Ishmael was Abraham’s firstborn from Hagar (Egyptian), Sarah’s maidservant.
Isaac is his second born from Sarah.
Isaac receives the birthright promises, Ishmael does not.
10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. 11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son. 12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed. 14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba. 15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.
9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;
Isaac and Rebekah have twin boys: Esau and Jacob.
Esau was born first and Jacob was born second.
Jacob receives the birthright promises, Esau does not.
29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die:
So, Jacob (Israel – “one who wrestles with God”) will not give his brother, who is about to die of hunger, a bowl of soup, instead he asks for his brother’s birthright for the bowl of soup.
A birthright given by God for a bowl of soup – seems honest to me???
Who is making these stories up, Richard Nixon?
Genesis 27 (KJV) And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I. 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death: 3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; 4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die. 5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may eat, and bless thee before the Lord before my death. 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. 9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury meat for thy father, such as he loveth: 10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, and that he may bless thee before his death. 11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man: 12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. 13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. 14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his father loved. 15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son: 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck: 17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son? 19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. 20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the Lord thy God brought it to me. 21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. 22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him. 24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. 25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank. 26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. 27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed: 28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: 29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee. 30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 And he also had made savoury meat, and brought it unto his father, and said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son’s venison, that thy soul may bless me. 32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy firstborn Esau. 33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who? where is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, and he shall be blessed.
So, the birthright blessed by God is supposedly gained for soup; and then his Mom gets in on the scam by dressing him up in a hairy animal skin to cheat his blind father.
Wow, this is a real honest family. And Esau is called the “wild one”, why? Unless that is how the rewrite is supposed to go.
26 And Laban said, It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn.
So, Jacob marries two sisters: Leah (the older) and Rachel (the younger).
From Leah, Rachel, and their two maidservants (Bilhah and Zilpah),
Jacob has 12 sons (and one daughter Dinah):
(These sons are listed in order from oldest to youngest)
1. Reuben – Leah (mother)
2. Simeon – Leah (mother)
3. Levi – Leah (mother)
4. Judah – Leah (mother)
5. Dan – Rachel’s handmaid Bilhah (mother)
6. Naphtali – Rachel’s handmaid Bilhah (mother)
7. Gad – Leah’s handmaid Zilpah (mother)
8. Asher – Leah’s handmaid Zilpah (mother)
9. Issachar – Leah (mother)
10. Zebulun – Leah (mother)
11. Joseph – Rachel (mother)
12. Benjamin – Rachel (mother)
Genesis 29 (KJV) Then Jacob went on his journey, and came into the land of the people of the east. 2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, there were three flocks of sheep lying by it; for out of that well they watered the flocks: and a great stone was upon the well’s mouth. 3 And thither were all the flocks gathered: and they rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again upon the well’s mouth in his place. 4 And Jacob said unto them, My brethren, whence be ye? And they said, Of Haran are we. 5 And he said unto them, Know ye Laban the son of Nahor? And they said, We know him. 6 And he said unto them, Is he well? And they said, He is well: and, behold, Rachel his daughter cometh with the sheep.
NOTE: Haran was in Assyria (modern day southern Turkey).
So, all four mothers of the 12 tribes are Assyrian.
Reuben was Jacob’s firstborn from Leah
Joseph is his eleventh born from Rachel
Joseph receives the birthright promises, Reuben does not.
Reuben was the first-born of the patriarchs, and so the priesthood of the tribes belonged to him. That honour was transferred from Reuben to Levi.
Manasseh was Joseph’s firstborn from Asenath (Egyptian)
Ephraim is his second born from Asenath
Ephraim receives the birthright promises, Manasseh does not.
Genesis 48 (KJV) 8 And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who are these? 9 And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them. 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. 11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed. 12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near unto him. 14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, 16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. 17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. 19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. 20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.
David had four sons: Amnon, Absalom, Adonijah and Solomon
After the death of his elder brothers Amnon and Absalom,
Adonijah was passed over and Solomon became king
Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.
The wives are described as foreign princesses, including Pharaoh’s daughter and women of Moab, Ammon, Sidon and of the Hittites. The only wife mentioned by name is Naamah the Ammonite, mother of Solomon’s successor, Rehoboam.
Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines.
They bore him 28 sons and 60 daughters. His wives included Mahalath, the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and Abihail, the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse. His sons with Abihail were Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. After Abihail he married his cousin Maacah, daughter of Absalom, David’s son. His sons with Maacah were Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. The names of his other wives, sons and all his daughters are not given.
Rehoboam reigned for 17 years. He was succeeded by his son Abijah.
The Israelite tribes except for Judah and Benjamin (called the ten northern tribes)
refused to accept Rehoboam, the son and successor of Solomon, as their king.
The rebellion against Rehoboam arose after he refused to lighten the burden
of taxation and services that his father had imposed on his subjects.
Jeroboam was proclaimed king over all Israel at Shechem.
The northern kingdom continued to be called the Kingdom of Israel or Israel,
while the southern kingdom was called the kingdom of Judah.
Judah took the birthright from Israel