When is a person a true Israelite?


The first reaction of most scholars are that the word person is not fitting here. Actually it is. Did you know that the Bible does not say that genetic Jews are Israel and they only?

What about Ruth? She was a Moabite and she became the link with David and with Jesus.

Rahab is also included in the link of the genealogy of Jesus.

So when Nehemiah 13:24-25 and Ezra 9:1-2 are frustrated with the intermarriage situations, it is not a genetic issue but a spiritual matter. They were worshipping and clinging to foreign gods and their habits. They did not want to give it up. They resisted conversion, resisted God and could not fully become Israel because faith in God is required to be called Israel. And that faith could not be secular, agnostic, atheistic, but had to be a living witnessing and demonstrating faith. It would be clear to everyone that the person is faithful to God and want to follow the Torah and principles of God in lifestyle, cooking, eating habits, church going practices, day of worship. Abstentia from activities on Sabbath as required by God. That is what Ruth had and she was an Israelite. It is a case of bad choices.

Coming back from 70 years of exile because of these practices and deviations, Nehemiah and Ezra was focused not to repeat the same mistakes in their eagerness to reform the country and its people from sins.

Thus, the unfaithful obstinate women had to leave and go. Also their children in such an event. And that is what they did.

Does that mean a modern faithful member must divorce the spouse because of non-belief? Paul had the answer in 1 Corinthians 7:10-17. Do not send them away. There may come a time when they will be converted. In the case of Nehemiah and Ezra the women were calculative and resolute to influence also their children in the deviant ways. This could not be allowed.

Paul says in Galatians 6:15-16 that the Israel of God is the one who believes. It always has been. Thus, the DNA analyzing classifications of modern times is a false way to determine an Israelite. It was and is and always remains a spiritual relationship to God the Creator and worship to Him only.


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