Friday, January 4, 2008

Were Biblical people black?

I don't know where people got the story of Miriam accusing Moses of doing wrong by marrying a black girl (Tzipporah). Unless our books are different, according to the story in my book, Miriam was upset that Moses -in an attempt to stay focused and in tuned to God's incoming messages- abstained from being with his wife. Miriam, feeling bad for Tzipporah and thinking, Moses was doing her wrong, was protesting Moses for not being with his black wife MORE!

Anyway, it was none of her business, and as a result she got leprosy (a skin disease which turns the skin partially white. Its said to come as a result of lashon hara -evil speech.)

Somehow the story got twisted into Miriam protest Moses for being with black Tzipporah.

Although there are some color things I do wonder about. such as:

Why was the wicked Laban -the one who tricked Jacob into marrying Leah- why was he called Laban? which means white? Was he the one white dude??

There were others who were called "cush" which means black. The only one I remember at the moment is from Psalm, a certain benjaminite.

At any rate, my position is that I think they were mostly a brownish color with some darker and others ligher, but the bulk being brownish. I also think some people with an agenda (whites wanting to justify slavery, or black wanting to discredit whites) try to make these people a definite color. I don't even think color was an issue way back then.

Anyway, just stuff on my mind.


Tania said...

Oh yes my friend I totally agree! they were defintely people of a brown persuasion. People and their agendas, how sad. I'm tellin' ya, if you are not ready to investigate things for yourself and beleive everything you are told then you are sunk! the truth is out there for those of us willing to put in the time to look and find it out.

I read a book about Zipporah with just that slant, the author made her out to be such an outcast and so sad to be black and not beautiful enough so that she couldn't understand why Moses fell in love with her. Ridiculous! that book made me mad. The truth is out there ya'll!

Randi523 said...

I agree that race wasn't a big deal back then.
From an African American history course I took, the people of that time had to be Black, or darker, race. From the shape of their (our) noses-more wide to pull in the warmer air (as opposed to Caucasians-more narrow to decrease the amount of cold air pulled in), their (our) hair texture, and so on.

Liz said...

My mom and I were just talking about this yesterday. We were talking about how with this story less attention gets put on the need to avoid "evil speech" than on the skin color of the folks involved and how that is a sign that our society is still so consumed by racism.

CW said...

The verses ref Moses were always explained to me in regards to race...I will have to read it again...Thanx for bringing this up!


Miriam said...

lol and you notice nobody but nobody talks about Moses hands getting white as a result of leprosy. that's too 'controversial' lol

Kylopod said...

There's a mishna (Negaim 2:1) that says the skin of the Israelites was like some shade in between black and white, like that of a boxwood tree. (Of course, no one is literally black or white, but I assume it means in between the coloring of Europeans and Africans.) Come to think of it, that's the mishna your husband showed me. And since then I've been intensely curious to know what boxwood looks like.

Miriam said...

Kylopod! So sweet to see you here! Thanks for stopping by.

Judah Maccabee ll said...

The Mishna 2:1 were comments recorded from the mouth of Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha (90-135 ACE). The color of boxwood is honey brown to dark brown (the color of most African Americans). A Roman historian named Tacitus (1st century ACE) said that many assert that the Judeans were an Ethiopian/Athiop (dark/burnt skin) race. The Israelites were originally a dark complexion, but there were albinos among the Israelites. If the Israelites would mix with the surrounding nations their skin color wouldn't change much because the surrounding nation were most likely the same color as they were, I know for a fact the Babylonians were. From the 4th century BCE on, the Greeks and the Romans had occupied Judea and mixed with some Israelite women, but that would disqualify the children as Israelites because the lineage goes through the father, but some Israelite men had taken Greek and Roman women. Those Israelite men couldn't care too much about their heritage because they wouldn't mix seed with Gentiles. Even the Israelites of Spain and Portugal during the middle ages were described as being somewhat black.