Why Israelites and Jews are Not the Same Thing

Many people believe based on a cursory reading of the Bible that the term "Israelites" and "Jews" are synonymous.  We fell into this category until recently.  A closer examination of the Bible reveals that these two groups are NOT the same.  This article will provide evidence to explain why.

First and foremost let's begin by checking out what the Bible has to say on the subject. The first stop should be the Book of Revelations 2:9:

“I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." [Rev. 2:9, Bible, NKJV]

Then we look at Revelations 3:9.

"Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you."

[Rev. 3:9, Bible, NKJV]

Now in my opinion, an alarm should be going off in any readers head. To put it more bluntly it appears that there is some sort of identity crisis happening amongst those who call themselves "Jews".

Next we go to John 8:30-59.

As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

The Truth Shall Make You Free

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.  And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.  Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Abraham’s Seed and Satan’s

“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.  But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father.”

Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.  Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.  You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.  Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Before Abraham Was, I AM

Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God.  Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Here we find Jesus speaking to some "Jews", again we see these are not what they seem to be.  The majority of people still equate the term "Jew" with "Israelite". These verses show that that can not be the case. These "Jews" claim they were never in bondage, hence they cannot be Israelites, for it is well known that the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt.  They were  more than likely Edomites, [Josephus] who wrote about the history of the "Jews" claimed that Edom was in Jewry, at that time.  I am sorry that I can't give you a cite at this time as I don't have that book with me.

The next stop, should be somewhat familiar to you,  seeing as how you wrote about it in your book.  Head for the book of Esther and check out Esther 8:17.

"And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them." 

[Esther 8:17, Bible, NKJV]

Now, I ask you how does one go about changing ones 'race'. I do hope you get my meaning here.

I don't know if you are aware of it or not, but there are two branches of so-called Jewry today. One of them is the Sephardic branch, more or less than 500,000 is approximate pop..The other branch is known as the Ashkenaz, numbering in the range of 10-20 million, I would venture a guess. Anyway the name Ashkenaz could be familiar to you, go to Genesis 10:3

The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah."  

[Genesis 10:3, Bible, NKJV]

. . .and or 1 Chronicles 1:6.

"The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Diphath, and Togarmah."

[1 Chron. 1:6, Bible, NKJV]

Here we find that Ashkenaz is the son of Gomer, and brother to Togarmah. You may want to check out Isaiah to find out more or what God has to say about them.

One more stop, so to speak, check out Genesis 36:12

"Now Timna was the concubine of Eliphaz, Esau’s son, and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. These were the sons of Adah, Esau’s wife."

[Gen. 36:12, Bible, NKJV]

Here we find the descendants of Esau (Edom).  Pay particular attention to Amelek, and head for Exodus 17:16.

for he said, “Because the LORD has sworn: the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” 

[Exodus 17:16, Bible, NKJV]

Here we find that the Lord is going to have war with these people from generation to generation. Sound or feel familiar.

There are several books you may want to investigate as well, one is - Arthur Koestler's, The Thirteenth Tribe , New York, Random House,1976. The other is a booklet titled Facts are Facts, written by Benjamin Freedman. I don't know where you can obtain a copy of Koestler's book. The other is online at ( www.biblebelievers.org), also they have an address I believe where you may obtain a hard copy. "Facts are Facts" is a must read.  Also, you may want to check out www.missiontoisrael.org