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Jews and Arabs are cousins

"Jewish and Middle Eastern non-Jewish populations share a common pool of Y-chromosome biallelic haplotypes." So states the title of an article published by a team of researchers in the Publications of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2000. (On the internet it may be found at:

The article describes genetic research and analysis (at a level of sophistication and scientific exactitude impossible until recently) conducted upon cross sections of men in various Jewish communities (both in Israel and elsewhere) and other non-Jewish Middle Eastern communities. Bypassing all the mathematical data and statistical tables published in the article, we may simply note several of the conclusions:

So... despite their intense hatreds for one another, and their religious differences and rivalries, the Jews and the Arabs are demonstrated to be, genetically-speaking, "cousins"!

Just who are the progenitors of the modern-day Arabs? The answer of Genesis is obvious: Terah was the father of Abraham (Gen 11:26), and the grandfather of Lot (Gen 11:27) -- who accompanied his uncle Abraham to the Land of Promise. From Abraham were descended Ishmael (Gen 16:15), and the sons of Keturah (Gen 25:1-4), and -- through Isaac -- Esau (Gen 25:25), the father of the Edomites (Gen 36:9). From Lot were descended Moab and Ammon (Gen 19:37,38). (Most of the nations of Psa 83, as a matter of fact, are of this lineage.)

But what of the other peoples of the Land of Palestine, the nations mentioned in Gen 15:18-21, who were there when Abraham and Lot first set foot upon the Land -- the Amorites and Canaanites and Jebusites and so forth? And what about the Philistines, who arrived in the Land a bit later, but made such an impact upon Israel? Where have these peoples gone? Have they completely disappeared? The simple answer is: they are the Arabs also!

What evidently has happened is that, since the beginning, the (Arab) descendants of Abraham and Lot have intermarried with the Canaanitish peoples (something Isaac and Jacob and the nation of Israel were strictly forbidden to do: Gen 24:3; 28:6,7; Deu 7:1-3; etc) so as to create, over time, a mixed or mongrel people. There are in fact Bible examples of just this sort of mingling of "seed":

"While he [Ishmael] was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt" (Gen 21:21).
"He [Esau] married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite [cp Exo 23:23; Jos 1:4], and also Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite. They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebekah" (Gen 26:34,35).
Other instances of the Hebrew word "ereb" -- signifying "mixed" or "mingled" -- related to peoples are:

  1. 1Ki 10:15: "all the Arabian kings".
  2. Jer 25:20,24: "the foreign (or 'mingled': AV) peoples... the Philistines... all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the foreign (mingled) peoples... in the desert".
  3. Jer 50:37: "all the foreigners (or 'mingled people': AV) that are in the midst of her [Babylon]..."
  4. Eze 30:5: "Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all Arabia (or 'the mingled people': AV)".
  5. Neh 13:1,3: "Ammonite and Moabite...all who were of foreign descent (or 'the mixed multitude': AV)".
So the "mixed peoples" of the Middle East are the "Arabs" -- with blood ties to the original Canaanitish peoples (the ten nations of Gen 15) as well as the corrupted descendants of Abraham (the majority of the nations enumerated in Psa 83).

It stands to reason, therefore, that -- whereas the Jews are still a distinct ethnic group, as the genetic study suggests -- the other Middle East natives are truly an altogether "mixed" bag, being at the same time the descendants of the Biblical Ishmaelites, Moabites, Ammonites, and Edomites, as well as the Biblical Canaanites, Philistines, Amorites, etc, etc!

It may be impossible today to find a single people who can be conclusively linked with the Edomites, for example [see Appendix], or with the Philistines, or with any other of the ancient Middle Eastern national enemies of Israel. But these ancient bloodlines did not just disappear, and these nations did not simple "evaporate"; instead, they were blended, and blended again, until there emerged a truly "mixed" (or "Arab") peoples across the whole of the Land of Promise -- the "melting pot" descendants of all the tribes and nations of Gen 15 and Psa 83.

So, when the Bible presents us with evidently "Last Days" prophecies that refer to the nations of Genesis (such as Ammon or Moab or Edom or Philistia), we may not be able to identify any single modern nation in the Middle East as the exclusive and pure descendants of that particular ancient nation. But nevertheless we may assume that either: (1) the prophecy refers particularly to the portion of the whole Arab "mixed" race that occupies the same territory as the ancient nation, or (2) the prophecy refers to the whole of the Arab "world", because the blood of ancient Edomites or Moabites or whoever flows in all their veins, or (3) both!

Both these groups of peoples (the primarily "Hamite" peoples of Gen 15, and the primarily "Semitic" peoples of Psa 83) have demonstrated, historically, intense hatred for the Jews -- fulfilling the Old Testament "types": Ishmael versus Isaac, and Esau versus Jacob, and Canaanite and Philistine versus Israelite. Now, with the admixture of a unifying religion -- Islam -- these Arabs... whether they live in Jordan, or Lebanon, or Syria, or Saudi Arabia, or the West Bank, or Gaza... all view the Jews as great "infidels", who have no real claim to the Land of Palestine.

And the stage is set for the final act in a 4,000-year-old drama: the climactic struggle between Jew and Arab, between the modern "Goliath" and the modern "David", as it were, on the mountains of Israel.

Appendix: Edomites and Nabataeans

It has sometimes been suggested that Old Testament prophecies about Edom, for example, cannot be fulfilled by any modern nation or nations -- because there are simply no surviving descendants of the ancient Edomites today. But a scholarly study suggests very much the opposite. J.R. Bartlett, writing in the Palestine Exploration Quarterly 111 (1979), ("From Edomites to Nabataeans: A Study in Continuity"), does not believe that the Edomites became extinct, as some assert. Rather, he offers considerable evidence -- archaeological, cultural, and linguistic, as well as historical -- to the effect that the ancient Edomites, being overrun and dominated by the Nabataeans (the descendants of the Biblical Nebaioth: Gen 25:13), simply survived by intermarrying with their conquerors to produce a new people: a mixture of Nabataean and Edomite which survives to this day in the Bedouin Arabs.

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