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Jews Dwelling in the Tents of Shem

Sep 15, 2009

I wrote last week how God lost the House of Israel ("Gomer" of Hosea) among the sons of Japheth also named Gomer (Gen. 10:2). This was an ingenious plan, foreshadowed by Noah's blessing on Japheth in Gen. 9:27, where Japheth was ultimately to "dwell in the tents of Shem."

Of course, when these people came to live together in the territory now known as Turkey and Armenia, they were nearly all unbelievers. In fact, this is why God had cast Israel out of the land of Canaan in the first place. And certainly, the descendants of the other Gomer, not having the Scriptures, knew little or nothing about the true character of God.

True unity is not physical, but spiritual. True unity in a biblical sense comes only when men agree that Jesus Christ is King and that His laws determine the standard of right and wrong in our relationship between God and men.

And so this true biblical unity (intended by Noah's prophecy) did not occur when Gomer-Israel and Gomer-Japheth were united in ancient times. It would only occur when both of them (along with all others) would be gathered under one Head, Jesus Christ (Hosea 1:11). This is yet in the process of taking place but is not completed at this date.

Meanwhile, other descendants of Gomer-Japheth decided to convert to Judaism around 740 A.D. This was the same Judaism that had rejected Jesus as the Messiah-King in the first century. Which Gomerites converted to Judaism? They were listed in Gen. 10:3,

"And the sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah."

Eventually, those Gomerites who converted to Judaism came to be known by the name Ashkenaz and form one of the two main branches of Judaism, the Ashkenazi branch of Eastern Europe and Russia. But historical evidence also specifically lists Togarmah as the primary tribe converted to Judaism.

The other branch of Judaism is the Sephardim, which traces its lineage more directly to Palestine at the time Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. These have their own distinct history, including the forcible conversion of Edom (or Idumea) in 126 B.C. The Sephards thus include both Edom as well as those of Judah who rejected Jesus Christ.

But let us focus for the moment on the Ashkenazi branch. When they adopted Judaism, not by force but by evangelism, they were known as Chazars, or Khazars. The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, 1903 edition, tells us this about them:

"CHAZARS: A people of Turkish origin, whose life and history are interwoven with the very beginnings of the history of the Jews of Russia."

Later, the same article tells us the story of their conversion:

"It was probably about that time that the chaghan of the Chazars and his grandees, together with a large number of his heathen people embraced the Jewish religion. According to A. Harkavy ('Meassef Niddahim,' i.), the conversion took place in 620; according to others, in 740. King Joseph in his letter to Hasdai ibn Shaprut (about 960), gives the following account of the conversion:

"Some centuries ago King Bulan reigned over the Chazars. To him God appeared in a dream and promised him might and glory. Encouraged by this dream, Bulan went by the road of Darian to the country of Azdebil, where he gained great victories [over the Arabs]. The Byzantine emperor and the calif of the Ishmaelites sent to him envoys with presents, and sages to convert him to their respective religions. Bulan invited also wise men of Israel, and proceeded to examine them all. As each of the champions believed his religion to be the best, Bulan separately questioned the Mohammedans and the Christians as to which of the other two religions they considered the better. When both gave preference to that of the Jews, that king perceived that it must be the true religion. He therefore adopted it.

"This account of the conversion was considered to be of a legendary nature. Harkavy, however (in 'Bilbasov' and 'Yevreiskaya Biblioteka'), proved from the Arabic and Slavonian sources that the religious disputation at the Chazarian court is a historical fact."

So says the Jewish Encyclopedia. When Jewish author, Arthur Koestler, wrote about this in his book,The Thirteenth Tribe, it says on the cover blurb,

"This book traces the history of the ancient Khazar Empire, a major but almost forgotten power in Eastern Europe, which in the Dark Ages became converted to Judaism. Khazaria was finally wiped out by the forces of Genghis Khan, but evidence indicates that the Khazars themselves migrated to Poland and formed the cradle of Western Jewry."

The Jewish Encylopedia (above) mentioned the letter that Khazar King Joseph wrote to Hasdai ibn Shaprut around 960 A.D. Shaprut was a Jewish doctor and prominent in the palace in Cordova, Spain during the time when Islam ruled that nation. Shaprut had heard of a Jewish kingdom in southern Russia, so he sent a letter by Arab messenger to make inquiries. King Joseph wrote back, as Arthur Koestler tells us:

"Joseph then proceeds to provide a genealogy of his people. Though a fierce Jewish nationalist, proud of wielding the 'Sceptre of Judah,' he cannot, and does not, claim for them Semitic descent; he traces their ancestry not to Shem, but to Noah's third son, Japheth; or more precisely to Japheth's grandson, Togarma, the ancestor of all Turkish tribes. 'We have found in the family registers of our fathers,' Joseph asserts boldly, 'that Togarma had ten sons . . . We are the sons of Khazar, the seventh." (p. 72)

So the Ashkenazi branch, which constitutes at least 80 percent of world Jewry today, and which is in the majority in the Israeli state itself, is from a Turkish tribe of Khazars and are not even Semitic (of Shem). They are converts to Judaism, as the Jewish records show. Whether or not these converts have a historic claim to Palestine is questioned by many.

Further, Togarmah is mentioned as one of the main enemies in Ezekiel 38:6 who come to "the land of Israel" to conquer and plunder the land. They are the allies of "Gog" and "Magog," who are often identified with Russia and the Russian people. In fact, according to King Joseph, they are Russian Jews of Khazar origin, not the Rus who are known today as Russians.

A century after King Joseph's letter was written, a book was written called Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, by Christian of Stavelot. He wrote about the Khazars, saying,

"At the present time we know of no nation in the world where Christians do not live. For in the lands of Gog and Magog, who are a Hunnish race and call themselves Gazari [i.e., Khazars] there is one tribe, a very belligerent one--Alexander enclosed them and they escaped--and all of them profess the Jewish faith. The Bulgars, however, who are of the same race, are now becoming Christians."

It was known, then, in 864 A.D. that the land north of the Black Sea was called "Gog and Magog," that these people were "Gazari" that professed the Jewish faith. The Rus eventually conquered them, and these Ashkenazim were scattered into Poland and other places where true Gomer-Israelites were located. Hence, they too came to "dwell in the tents of Shem."

I find it ironic that Jews would have to move to Europe to dwell in the tents of Shem.

This is the first part of a series titled "Jews Dwelling in the Tents of Shem." To view all parts, click the link below.

Jews Dwelling in the Tents of Shem

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Category: Teachings
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones