Was Jesus Black?

Q. In the last several years, I’ve received many comments where people tell me that Jesus is black and that the Tribe of Judah is Black. I’ve tried doing my own research on this but can’t seem to find a sound Biblical site that can give me an answer on this. I want to say that it doesn’t make any difference to me what color Jesus is, but so many are saying that Jesus was black and the Jews in Israel are not the true Jews. Is there any truth to this?

A. The claim that Jesus was black originated in the Black Hebrew or Black Israelite movement. Here’s what the Bible says. Genesis 10 tells us that Noah’s 3 sons were responsible for the 70 nations that developed after the Great Flood.

A Bible with good study notes will show you that Japeth was the father of the Caucasian people who settled Europe and Asia. Most of Ham’s descendants went into Africa. One of Ham’s sons was named Mizraim. His people settled in Egypt. Another was Cush, which is the Hebrew word for black. Cush was the father of the black people. Shem was the patriarch of the Jewish and Arab people who settled the Middle East.

Genesis 11 follows the line of Shem to Abram (God changed his name to Abraham) the first man to be called a Hebrew (Genesis 14:13). The genealogy of Jesus listed in Matt. 1:1-17 picks up with Abraham and continues through Judah, head the tribe by his name, all the way to Jesus. From this we can see that Abraham, Judah, and Jesus were descended from Shem, and not from the African people fathered by Cush.

Many of today’s residents of Israel are descendants of European Jews who settled in Israel after World War 2. There are large contingents of Russian and Ethiopian Jews in Israel as well. But there are also many who can trace their lineage all the way back to the original 12 tribes of Israel.

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