Physical Type of Early Hebrews in the Holy Land
THE NORDIC HEBREWS
Until fairly recent years a true assessment of the racial origin of the Hebrews has been almost impossible, owing to the long-prevailing obsession that the present-day Jewish people accurately reproduce the racial characteristics of ancient Hebrew forbears.
Now that abundant proof has been found to show that the Jews of to-day contain elements of many races and are, in the main, not true Hebrews at all, the racial origin of these ancient people becomes an open question, and it may usefully be enquired 'Who were the Hebrews?' without displaying what would once have been considered an abysmal ignorance of self-evident facts.
The Habiru first became prominent, in the Middle Euphrates area, in the centuries prior to 2000 B.C. By the time of Abraham they had pushed colonies northwards and westwards, through Persia, Palestine and Egypt. Some of these pioneers moved further westwards, through North Africa and Spain, reaching even as far as Britain. To those who remained behind, the land of Palestine was known as Amurru (the land to the West) and its occupants, whether Canaanite or Hebrew, were Amorites (westerners).
Thus, in addition to the other nations of Canaan, there were in Palestine 'Amorites' who were descended from Ham - the Amorites of the Bible - and also Hebrew descendants of Shem - the Amurru - who, together with the Israelites who followed them, became the Amorites described as such by modern ethnologists.
It can be shown conclusively that these Hebrew-Amorites were of the racial type now known as Nordic. In the words of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, these dwellers in Palestine were 'a race much more like the northern Europeans' than the type which has popularly been termed 'Semitic'.
SEMITE RACE - A MISNOMER
Great confusion of thought has arisen through the indiscriminate misuse of the term Semitic. It is popularly considered that there is, and always has been, a Semite race. The Arabs and the modern Jews (and therefore the ancient Hebrews) have been awarded this racial classification by authorities who should have shown more care. As mentioned by Gunther, in his Racial Elements of European History (p. 74), and by other authorities, there is no such thing as a Semitic race; there are only Semitic-speaking peoples, showing varying racial compositions. There is a Semitic language-group, but that is a very different matter. It should be noted that some authorities have used the name Semite to describe people whom they admit were of Hamitic descent. It cannot be too strongly emphasised that - in its correct usage - the term Semitic denotes linguistic and not racial attributes. The true understanding of the movements and development of the Hebrew peoples has been completely clouded by its persistent misuse.
As this name has often been used rather loosely by modern authorities, it is very necessary to have a correct appreciation of its full meaning. The word Amorite is used first in the Bible in Genesis ten, where it is stated that Canaan, son of Ham, begat Sidon and Heth. Then follows a list of tribes who sprang from Canaan: Jebusites, Amorites, Girgasites, Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. It is probable that these names were not patronymics, but were geographical terms. Thus, the Jebusites mentioned in Genesis ten were those descendants of Canaan who had settled in the city of Jebus (Jerusalem). Similarly, the Arkites resided in Arca, the Hamathites in Hamath, and the Zemarites in the place to this day called Sumra. The term Hivite would also be geographical.
Thus the Biblical term Amorite was applied to those descendants of Canaan who resided in a portion of the territory known to the people of the Euphrates basin as Amurru (Mar-Tu, the land to the West) many centuries before the Israelites entered the Promised Land.
But the term Amurru was not used consistently, for a Hebrew resident of Palestine might be called either a Canaanite or an Amorite by a dweller in ancient Babylonia (vide Cambridge Ancient History, Vol 1, 1929, p. 230), for usage varied with time.
But the 'Amorites' so called by modern archaeologists were something far greater than the comparatively small number of the Hamitic people using that name, mentioned in Scripture as sharing Palestine with numerous other tribes. According to modern research, an 'Amorite' race originated in the area of the Middle Euphrates. About the time of Abraham (c.1900 B.C.) they had gained control of the whole of Babylonia and had pushed out pioneering colonies over Palestine and even as far as Egypt. Many authorities consider that the Hyksos who controlled Egypt for a period were of this dominant race. It is clear that descendants of Canaan and Amoritic Hebrews had dwelt together in Palestine for centuries.
Prof. R. B. Dixon, in his Racial History of Man (1923), p. 172, mentions that in the period 2500 B.C. - 1500 B.C. the population of Palestine consisted primarily of 'Mediterranean' and 'Caspian' peoples.
It will be recalled that the Ammonites and Moabites, who dwelt to the east of the Jordan, derived frorn Hebrew parents who moved in from the Euphrates area at the sarne time as Abraham.
It has been securely established that large sections of a highly civilised race moved westwards and northwards from Babylonia about 2000 B.C. (Serial No. 4 [222.11]). Some authorities call these migrating people Habiru or Hebrews, other authorities name them Amorites; whilst some writers have used the term Unman-Manda, although this name is usually associated with people of the same race who became prominent in Medo-Persia at a much later date. The language of the Amurru was 'an earlier stage of the Hebrew language'. The Ras Shamra Tablets show that people using archaic Hebrew had lived in southern Palestine as early as 2100 B.C. (Serial No. 50 [ 222.1 ]).
There is thus good ground for believing:
(a) That the Amorites of the Bible were of Hamitic descent (i.e., they were Canaanites).
(b) That they were thus named because they lived in the territory of Amurru and not because of any racial affinity with the people known to modern ethnologists as 'amorites'.
(c) That the 'Amorites' so called by modern authorities (using the word in a strictly ethnological sense) were first found in the Tigris-Euphrates basin and gradually moved westwards at, or about, the time of Abraham.
(d) That these 'amorites' were, in fact, none other than a branch of the Hebrew or kindred peoples who had migrated from their homeland to what Babylonians generally then called 'the land to the West'.
THE HEBREWS WERE NORDICS
The sub-joined evidence shows that the people whom some authorities call Hebrews and others Amorites were of that section of the human race now known as Nordic.
The Sumerians, who lived over five thousand years ago in Mesopotamia are almost identical in skull and face form with living Englishmen.
says that the 'Amorites' of Palestine were tall, handsome people, with white skins, blue eyes and reddish hair, having all the characteristics of the white race. He quotes support from Sir Flinders Petrie to the effect that they were fair-haired 'long-headed' people. Professor Sayce states that captives taken by Shishak of Egypt, at the time of Rehoboam, from Israelite cities, are depicted on the walls of the temple of Karnak. They are 'Amoritic' as opposed to the so-called 'Jewish' type.
This authority also traces these 'Amorites' via North Africa, Spain and Western France as far as the British Isles. He says that their 'cromlechs', which can be seen in Palestine, particularly on the east side of the Jordan, mark their westerly migration. The skulls found in these cromlechs are dolichocephalic (longheaded).
'Egyptian illustrations of the New Kingdom show the Palestine Amorites to have been a race much more like the northern Europeans than the Semites; long-headed, with blue eyes, straight nose and thin lips...'
It is now becoming accepted that the Amoritic-Hebrew migrations reached as far northwest as the British Isles possibly before the Israelites entered Palestine after their Exodus from Egypt.
WHAT OF THE ISRAELITES?
It has been clearly demonstrated that the physical type now erroneously termed 'Jewish' is definitely non-Hebraic (Serial Nos. 26, 28, 40, 56 [572.933]). Who, then, were the Israelites racially?
It is quite obvious that, if the Hebrews were Nordics, so also were the Israelites, for the latter derived from the former. The world in general has been so obsessed by the idea that the Jews of to-day represent the true Hebrew type that the error dies hard. It is only in recent years that modern research has established beyond doubt the fact that the so-called 'Jewish' type is something very different from the ancient Hebrew.
Professor Sayce, Sir Gardner Wilkinson and other authorities have shown from the Egyptian sculptures that the people now referred to as 'Amorites' were typical of the inhabitants of the cities of Israel at the very time when the Israelites had been a united nation, at the highest peak of their power and prosperity under David and Solomon. Obviously these captives must have been mainly Israelites, though possibly there were non-Israelite Hebrews among them. Professor Sayce himself remarks that the so-called 'Jewish' (Hittite) physiognomy is conspicuous by its absence in this period.
The captives depicted by the ancient Egyptians on the temple walls of Karnak were Nordics. They were captured in Israelite cities (1 Kings: 14 and 2 Chron. 12). Some authorities call them Amorites: other authorities call the same people Hebrews. The Bible says they were Israelites. All three descriptions are correct. But the Bible term is the most definitive. They were Israelite Hebrews.