By Babu G. Ranganathan
It's important to understand that "Jew" is not a race but a religion. Anyone of any race can be a Jew. Yes, God did begin with a specific family, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but God did not limit being a Jew to that family. For example, Ruth and Rahab of the Old Testament, both Gentiles, became Jews. Ruth was a Moabite and Rahab was a Canaanite and both were in the human ancestry of Christ.
During ancient times, a Roman historian, Tactitus, recorded that the Jews were black and looked Ethiopian. No doubt, this was because Jews had mixed with black Egyptians in Egypt during hundreds of years of slavery.
Contrary to popular belief, European Jews are not descended from the original Jews of Jesus' day. Talk to any Jewish Rabbi. European Jews are descended from Gentiles of Europe who converted to Judaism during the Middle Ages. European Jews are of Ashkenazi descent and are known as Ashkenazi Jews.
In the New Testament Christians, Jew and Gentile believers in Christ, are referred to spiritually as Jews. The Apostle Paul, in the New Testament, refers to the Christian church as the "Israel of God."
According to the Bible the ancient Egyptians were descended from Ham through the line of Mizraim. Ham had four sons: Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan (Genesis 10:6). The name "Mizraim" is the original name given for Egypt in the Hebrew Old Testament. Many Bibles will have a footnote next to the name "Mizraim" explaining that it means "Egypt." The name "Egypt" itself actually comes to us from the Greeks who gave the Land that name (i.e. "Aegyptos" from the Greek). The name "Ham" means "black," or "burnt." Thus, Ham, who was one of the three sons of Noah, was black. The Bible, in the Old Testament, repeatedly refers to Egypt as the "Land of Ham" (i.e., Psalms 105:23, 27; 106:22). The ancient Egyptians in their writings used their word for "black" to describe themselves. Ham was named "black one" by his father Noah from birth. In other words, black skin was not a curse because Ham was born black, long before Noah placed any curse. In fact, contrary to popular belief there was never a "curse of Ham" because it wasn't Ham who was cursed. The curse for Ham's sin against Noah fell on Ham's son Canaan and not on Ham himself. Canaan was one of the four sons of Ham. Ham had other sons who were not cursed. Noah foresaw that Canaan would follow in the immoral steps and behavior of his father Ham and, as a consequence, Noah declared Canaan to be cursed. The curse was ultimately fulfilled in the total destruction of the Canaanites (Phoenicians) as a nation by the Roman Empire.
Today Egypt is referred to as an Arab nation, but this is only because the Arabs conquered Egypt centuries ago and imposed upon the original people their Arab language, culture and Muslim religion. Many in Egypt today are really the descendants of Arab, Persian, Greek, and other non-African peoples that entered and conquered Egypt over the centuries. Cleopatra who ruled Egypt, for example, was of Greek descent. The original Egyptians, however, who had built ancient Egyptian civilization (i.e. Pyramids, etc.) long before any Europeans and Asians conquered Egypt were of black descent, and this is still mostly true of the bulk of Egypt's rural population, especially in the south where historically Egyptian civilization originated. Even in urban areas and cities, many Egyptians have substantial black ancestry mixed with European or Arab. Long before the Arabs invaded and conquered Egypt the famous and ancient Greek historian Herodotus (who is known as the Father of History) visited Egypt and wrote concerning the Egyptians: "They have burnt skin, flat noses, thick lips, and wooly hair" (Herodotus, Book II, p. 100, translated by George Rawlinson, New York: Tudor, 1928). It's been discovered that the embalming process straightened and, in some cases, changed the color of hair found among the entombed pharaohs.
Just as there were primitive and advanced white societies in Europe, there also existed primitive and advanced black societies in Africa. And, just as white nations had fought and went to war with each other for supremacy (i.e. England and France), so, too, did black nations (i.e. Egypt and Cush). Egypt and its southern fellow black neighbor Cush (Ethiopia) frequently competed and went to war with each other. This is why we read in Scripture that the Jews, who were slaves in Egypt, looked down on Moses for marrying a Cushite woman.
Since the Bible teaches that all humanity descended from Noah and his family then Noah and his family must have carried the genes for producing all the "races" or varieties of humans. Genetically, it was possible for Noah and his family to carry the genes for producing different races just as it is genetically possible today for a white couple having black hair to carry the genes for producing children with different color hair. The principle is the same. Although you and I today may not possess genes for producing different races of people, Noah and his family did possess such genes.
Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that black skin is a curse from God. Black skin protects from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light from the Sun. In fact, all human skin color is really brown. The pigment that gives skin its color is melanin and melanin is brown. Whites have the least amount of melanin in their skin and that's why they appear to be "white." Only albinos (those born with no melanin because of a genetic defect and mutation) are pure white and are in most danger from the harmful effects of the Sun's rays. Instead of black skin being a curse it is a healthful blessing for those living in year round hot climates.
To have a deeper understanding of what the Christian Scriptures actually teach concerning prophecy, please read the author's Internet article, "Second Coming of Christ Misunderstood" (7the edition).
*The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has his bachelor's degree with concentrations in theology and biology and has been recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East" for his writings on religion and science.