Who Are the Semites?

The word “Semite” does not appear in the Bible, but most people associate Semites with Jews.  When someone is biased against Jews, we call them “anti-Semitic”.  But is this a gross misappropriation?

“Semite” comes from the Greek work Sem and the Hebrew word Shem and refers to Noah’s son Shem and his descendants.  Any direct descendant of Shem, then, is a Semite.

Notice the change that has taken place in history:

SHEMIT’IC a. Pertaining to Shem, the son of Noah.  The Shemitic languages are the Chaldees, Syriac, Arabic, Hebrew, Samaritan, Ethiopic and Old Phenician.  ~Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary

Sem’ite, Shem’ite, a. and n. [LL. Sem: Gr. Sem, Shem]
I. a.  Of or belonging to Shem or his descendants.
II. n. A descendant of Shem: one of the Semitic race.

Sem-it’ic. a. Relating to Shem or his reputed descendants; pertaining to the Hebrew race or any of those kindred to it, as the Arabians, the ancient Phenicians, and the Assyrians; also written Shemitic, Shemittish.

Semitic Languages: an important group or family of languages distinguished by triliteral verbal roots and vowel inflection.

Sem’i-tism, Shem’i-tism. n. A Semitic idiom or word; the adoption of what is peculiarly Semitic.

~Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary (1949)

Sem-it (sem’it, se’mit). n. [Mod. L. Semita <LL. Sem, Shem: Gr. Sem: Heb. Shem]. a member of any of the peoples whose language is Semitic, including the Hebrews, Arabs, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Babylonians, etc., now, specifically, a Jew: also Shemite.

Se-mit-ic (se-mit’ik). adj. 1. of, characteristic of, or like a Semite or the Semites.  2. designating or of a major group of languages of southwestern Asia and norther Africa, related to the Hamitic languages and divided into East Semitic (Akkadian). North West Semitic (Phoenician, Punic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Modern Hebrew, etc.) and South West Semitic (Arabic, Ethiopic, Amharic): abbreviated Sem.

Se-mit-ics (se-mit’iks). n.pl. [construed as sing.]. the study of Semitic culture, languages, literature, etc.

Sem-i-tism (sem’e-tiz’m, se’me-tiz’m). n. 1. a Semitic word or idiom.  2. characteristics of the Semites; especially, the ideas, cultural qualities, etc. originating with the Jews.

~Webster’s New World Dictionary (1966)

Shem is the father of all of the children of Eber ~ Shem is the father of the Hebrews through Eber {who was the first Hebrew} ~ all Hebrews are Semites.

Shem was the progenitor of the Semitic people:  the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the early Chaldeans, the Babylonians, the Hebrews, the Arabs, and the Israelites.  Saying “Semite” is to say nothing of the Jews at the exclusion of other Semitic peoples.

Do Jews have a blood link to the Semites or Israel?  Or have they hijacked the Judean identity?

Former Jew and Jewish researcher Benjamin Freedman suggests the latter in his book Facts are Facts.  He quotes from historical sources that say Jews came from the Turkish-Mongol people of the Khazar Kingdom of the second to tenth centuries.  While it takes Freedman 12-pages to get to his point, he is nonetheless a beautiful and succinct, hard-hitting, and gutsy writer.

At the bottom of page 18 you will find the inception of the word “Jew”.

In the middle of page 23 you will find the misrepresentation of the word “Jew” and the “secondary meaning” (which has trumped the original meaning) of the word “Jew” is explained on the bottom of page 24.

Freedman explains that the “self-styled Jews” are not of the ten lost tribes starting in the middle of page 50, and traces them to the Khazar Kingdom on page 52.  From these “self-styled Jews” own writing, they acknowledge they are incorrectly being associated with Judeans of the House of Judah.

I can’t help but think of Revelation 2:9.

I didn’t write this stuff… I’m just a messenger!

In The Thirteenth Tribe – the Khazar Empire and its Heritage, Jewish scholar Arthur Koestler shows that in the eighth century the Khazars converted to their national religion of Judaism, which was based on the Babylonian Talmud.  He says, “The Khazar origin of the numerically and socially dominant element in the Jewish population of Hungary during the Middle Ages is thus relatively well documented.”

Of further note, the Jewish news-site, Haaretz, published the article, “Study Finds Close Genetic Connection Between Jews, Kurds” in their Breaking News section in 2001 that says, “The people closest to the Jews from a genetic point of view may be the Kurds, according to results of a new study at the Hebrew University.”

What does all this matter?  What are the implications?  Stay tuned.


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