Any attempt to establish a universally accepted statement as to the presence of blacks in the Old Testament would be futile for several reasons. Firstly, current definitions of a black or Negro person may differ greatly dependent on the context of their usage, and therefore any study aimed to show the presence of blacks in the bible would be limited to the definition used by either the author or the reader of such a study. Also, the concept of race defined on a basis of skin color alone has been the relatively young creation of the Euro-centric western world, post 17th century. Due to this fact, it is sometimes difficult to determine clearly the race of various peoples or persons in the Bible; the people of biblical times do not share the same concept of race that we carry today. In fact the Hebrew peoples themselves seem not to be of a pure racial breed of any color, but rather the genealogy of the Hebrew people, as will be shown later, seems to be scattered with interracial marriages and people of most all races including the Negro race.
Therefore, it is not my attempt with this essay to present an exhaustive or authoritative account of all the black peoples and persons in the Old Testament. Rather it was my hope to begin to explore the significance people of the Negro race hold in these ancient texts, to find out the role that these people held in the rise and fall of the Hebrew nation, and the part that was played by Negroes in the working out of God’s will for his people.
The account that I will provide is based most largely on similar studies presented by African-American biblical scholars Cain Hope Felder and Charles B. Copher. However, I have not taken the words of these men without a...
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... The Negro was a part of the story not only as a friend at times or foe at others, slave one generation and master the next, but the black races also often played the part of brother and sister, father and mother, son and daughter. The story of the Hebrew is not the story of a strictly Caucasian race that lived despising his distant Negro neighbors. Rather the story of the Hebrew is the story of a mixed race of people, not concerned with a color defined race, but unified under a common God through good times and bad, whether slave or free.
Felder, Cain Hope. Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation. Fortress Press: Minneapolis, MN. 1991
The Holy Bible: New International Version. Broadman & Holman Publishers: Nashville, TN. 1986
New Bible Dictionary: Third Edition. Inter-Varsity Press:Leicester, England. 1996
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