Every now and then I get emails from people thinking they are doing me a favour by “introducing” me to the so-called evidence that most, if not all, modern-day Jews are actually descended from medieval Khazars and not, as is commonly thought, from Abraham and the people of Israel in the Bible. This theory belongs with others held by folks who wear tinfoil hats but was given a big boost by the pseudo-historical work of Arthur Koestler in his book The Thirteenth Tribe. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit looking into the claims of these people, that modern Jews have no right to their ancestral lands because they aren’t actually descendants of Israel. Now, I’m glad to share, a recent genetic study adds to earlier genetic research proving that the Khazar-Jew nonsense is just that: nonsense.
The study, published June 3, 2010 in the American Journal of Human Genetics, compared 237 Jewish people from seven regions of the world with 418 non-Jewish people from the same regions and demonstrated that the Jewish people are genetically linked to a common Jewish ancestry concentrated in Persia-Babylon around 2500 years ago (about the same time King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered the southern kingdom of Judah and its capitol, Jerusalem, exiling the population to Babylon). [I first read about this in a summary article published here.]
In short, thanks to modern science, one of the key arguments used by anti-semites in their propaganda of hatred is debunked. Reasonable people can put the Khazar-Jewish garbage out of their minds and be strengthened in their confidence in the Bible. Because in the Bible, Moses predicted both a dispersion of Jewish people around the world and an eventual regathering of their descendants to the land of Israel. The final stages of the dispersion happened under the rule of the Roman Empire. This is consistent with the new genetic study which found that an influx of DNA from non-Jewish converts entered the genetic makeup of European Jewry around that time and that the closest modern “cousins” of European Jews are, drum-roll, Italians. The regathering of Jews to Israel is happening in the present day and has been since the late 19th century.
“And I will scatter you among the nations, and I will unsheathe the sword after you, and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste” (Lev 26:33 ESV).
“And the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other” (Deu 28:64 ESV).
“…then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will take you. And the LORD your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers”
(Deu 30:3-5 ESV).
What is God doing—gathering together an ancient nation into the young State of Israel—in the midst of persecution and slander? He is setting the stage for a rebirth of souls far more wondrous than the rebirth of a nation.
“And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live” (Deu 30:6 ESV).