Genesis 15 has NOTHING to do with black slaves in America!

Let me start this off by saying as clearly as I possibly can that I HATE racism and bigotry and am just as much against the Black Hebrew Israelite movement as I am against any notion of White Israelism. Why are both ideas absurd? Because regardless of whatever degree of melanin the ancient sons of Jacob originally had, today it is well beyond completely irrelevant.

In roughly 720 BC, the Assyrians came and took the northern 10 Tribes of Israel away into captivity and thoroughly dispersed them into all of the known world at the time (in ships and otherwise). About 60 years prior, the prophet Amos said:

Amos 9:9
For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.

Thus, the northern 10 tribes of Israel were thoroughly dispersed into ALL nations and they’ve remained among ALL nations for over 2,730 years (CLICK HERE for more concerning the issue of the 2,730 years). Furthermore, the prophecy Jacob gave over Ephraim also proves a significant point worthy of careful consideration:

Genesis 48:

14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.

18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

Joseph had a coat of many colors for a reason. His son Ephraim received a prophetic blessing from Joseph’s father, which would explain it. From Jacob/Israel came Joseph, who brought forth Ephraim, who was to become a multitude of nations, which would naturally come to represent a multitude of skin colors. Why? Because as we saw in Amos’ prophecy, which came much later, the Northern Kingdom – the 10 tribes of Israel (also known as Ephraim) – would become thoroughly mixed into people groups of “all nations.”

So, for those who want to define Israel by skin color, they need to understand that for nearly three thousand years, Israel has been thoroughly blended with people of all of shapes, sizes and colors. Therefore, to ever think “true Israel” could only be identified by skin color (white, black or otherwise) is patently absurd!

Beyond that, Romans 11, Ephesians 2 and Galatians 3 all refute any notion of identifying “true Israel” by shades of skin tone.

Romans 11:

13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Simplifying the above, I give you the following:

The book of Hosea clearly defines who/what the “Gentiles” are. And the Gentiles of Romans chapters 7 – 11 are clearly based on the context of Hosea, which Paul quotes directly. He then describes a “wild olive tree” and a “cultivated olive tree.” The wild being the Gentiles (people out of covenant with YHWH) and the cultivated being the Israel that is in covenant with YHWH. Those who are in the cultivated olive tree who reject Yeshua, they are broken out of it. Those who are not in the cultivated olive tree who accept Christ (regardless of ancestry) are grafted into the cultivated olive tree (which is Israel). Once again, the color of one’s skin is completely irrelevant! It is not a sign for being identified as (true) Israel! Rather faith in Yeshua is!

In Ephesians 2, Paul writes:

Ephesians 2:

11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Here Paul says we Gentiles were once “aliens from the commonwealth” of who? Israel! BUT in Christ we are no longer aliens to the commonwealth, but rather we have been brought into Israel and thus can now share in the covenants of promise that YHWH made with no one else. Yet again, this has absolutely nothing to do with skin color. Anyone who is in Christ is brought into the commonwealth, covenants and promises and thus are identified as Israel.

Now let me pause a moment and say this is NOT “Replacement Theology” I’m talking about here.

I’m talking about Grafting Theology and citizenship (through what you might consider to be legal immigration).

And Galatians 3 talks about joining the family blessings of Abraham through faith in Christ:

Galatians 3:
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

This is a form of adoption. So whether we are talking about grafting, granting of citizenship or adoption, it is clear that faith in Christ brings us into Israel – and you guessed it… none of that has anything whatsoever to do with skin color. In short, there are only two types of people: those in covenant with YHWH and those out of covenant with Him. The only people Scripture describes as being in covenant with Him are called Israel. Hence why we have to be grafted/adopted/immigrated into Israel. I’ve discussed this in much more detail in many of the other blogs on this site, so now let’s address…

The Black Hebrew Israelite Movement

Those peddling the “400 years of slavery” prophecy of Genesis 15 as being a reference to the years spanning from 1619 AD to today are completely clueless. They are pushing an exceptionally ignorant lie based on flawed interpretations of Scripture, which have been taken completely out of context, in order to justify preconceived ideas found nowhere in the Bible, so they can push forth an agenda that is anything but Godly. Those doing so are typically RACISTS having wet dreams about the destruction of (white) America, hoping to finally receive justice for the so-called “400 years of slavery” they believe they’ve endured in this country. Somehow they missed the memo that true slavery actually ended over 150 years ago after this crazy little activity called the Civil War took place. At any rate… the following is the sort of comment I see fairly regularly being posted nowadays on Facebook and YouTube…

I’ve had many interactions with people like this over the years, but recently, there seems to be a massive increase in their belief that Americans (especially white people) are going to finally get what they allegedly deserve when the true Exodus of Scripture – in their minds defined as a MODERN fulfillment of the prophecy to Abraham in Genesis 15 – finally comes about to usher in the End Times. As if America was even remotely on the minds of YHWH, Abraham and Moses at the time of Genesis 15. Yes, there are more radical versions of this movement out there than others, but they all still share the same basic mindset, all based on faulty understandings of Scripture.

Sorry, but YHWH’s prophecy in Genesis 15 was perfectly fulfilled in the Exodus described in the first five books of the Bible, right on time as confirmed by Moses himself (Exodus 12:40). The New Testament later confirms this with the testimonies of Stephen (Acts 7:6) and Paul (Galatians 3:17). But let’s go ahead and dive in…

Genesis 15:
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

So, the Black Hebrew Israelites believe this applies to them and that the four hundred years began with the African slave trade to America in 1619. Four hundred years later of course takes us to 2019. Hence all the hoopla as of late. And yeah, they love to cling to the part that says, “that nation… will I judge” as they dream of the destruction of (white) America at the hands of YHWH. Well, I’m going to prove that the four hundred years of Genesis 15 has nothing whatsoever to do with America or African slaves. And sorry. But no. The Black Hebrew Israelites are not going to get a free pass to make off with the “evil American white man’s” riches either.

No. All of Genesis 15 was fulfilled thousands of years ago as Moses himself testified. In Exodus 12 as the Hebrews were making their promised exit from their captivity, we read:

Exodus 12:

33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.

34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:
36 And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

37 And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.
38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.

39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.

40 Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.

Much of the gold, silver and other things of value that the Israelites took with them from the Egyptians would later be used to construct the Tabernacle in the wilderness, for worship of YHWH. So, I hate to disappoint anyone, but it’s NOT going to be lining the pockets of angry black people in the 21st Century!

So in Exodus 12, we see a perfect fulfillment of the prophecy of Genesis 15:13 and 14. But what about the issue of the Amorites in verse 16? Black Hebrew Israelites never talk about this part of the prophecy. Where are all the cedar tree sized giants who were the Amorites and what happened to them? Ohhhhhh yeah…. they were wiped out after the Exodus of Moses!!!

Amos 2:9 Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.

The massive giants of Canaan, among whom the Amorites were the largest, were wiped out by the Angel of the Lord and by the children of Israel during the events covered in the Torah four generations after the prophecy was given to Abraham, precisely as YHWH said. Sorry. Definitely not a good fit for anything going on here in America in 2020… hundreds of generations after the time of Abraham!

Let’s dive deeper into the real timing of the fulfillment of Genesis 15. The prophecy was given to Abraham, but it clearly states the countdown will start with his seed, which didn’t show up until later. Hence the difference between the 400 and 430 years often described in Scripture. Every reasonable Bible scholar in history knows this. Only racist Black Hebrew Israelites are in conflict with such a well established understanding of Scripture dating all the way back to the time of Moses. Ancient and modern commentary confirms this over and over again.

Stephen’s testimony in Acts 7 alone obliterates this BOGUS theology, which has only emerged in recent years. Indeed, everyone in the Bible understood the 400 year prophecy to Abraham in Genesis 15 to have been fulfilled in the Exodus of Moses’ day. Even Josephus records this understanding in Antiquities of the Jews, Book II, Chapter 9:

1. NOW it happened that the Egyptians grew delicate and lazy, as to pains-taking, and gave themselves up to other pleasures, and in particular to the love of gain. They also became very ill-affected towards the Hebrews, as touched with envy at their prosperity; for when they saw how the nation of the Israelites flourished, and were become eminent already in plenty of wealth, which they had acquired by their virtue and natural love of labor, they thought their increase was to their own detriment. And having, in length of time, forgotten the benefits they had received from Joseph, particularly the crown being now come into another family, they became very abusive to the Israelites, and contrived many ways of afflicting them; for they enjoined them to cut a great number of channels for the river, and to build walls for their cities and ramparts, that they might restrain the river, and hinder its waters from stagnating, upon its running over its own banks: they set them also to build pyramids, and by all this wore them out; and forced them to learn all sorts of mechanical arts, and to accustom themselves to hard labor. And four hundred years did they spend under these afflictions; for they strove one against the other which should get the mastery, the Egyptians desiring to destroy the Israelites by these labors, and the Israelites desiring to hold out to the end under them.

Confirming this again in Chapter 15:2

They left Egypt in the month Xanthicus, on the fifteenth day of the lunar month; four hundred and thirty years after our forefather Abraham came into Canaan, but two hundred and fifteen years only after Jacob removed into Egypt. It was the eightieth year of the age of Moses, and of that of Aaron three more. They also carried out the bones of Joseph with them, as he had charged his sons to do.

Now, concerning Stephen’s understanding of this event in his Acts 7 testimony, the Matthew Poole’s Commentary states:

This very space of four hundred years is also mentioned, Genesis 15:13; which is thus computed: from the birth of Isaac (the promised seed) to the birth of Jacob, sixty years; from Jacob’s birth to his going into Egypt, one hundred and thirty years; from thence to their deliverance out of Egypt, two hundred and ten years; this period is accounted, Exodus 12:40,41, to be four hundred and thirty years; which also St. Paul reckons by, Galatians 3:17; but then thirty years is added unto the account, being the space of time between the first promise made unto Abraham of this seed, and the birth of Isaac, in whom the promise was to be fulfilled; St. Stephen here reckoning only from the birth of Isaac.

Also concerning Acts 7, Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states:

And God spake on this wise,…. The Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions read, “and God spake to him”, and so does one of Beza’s copies; and the Ethiopic version reads it both ways, God “said thus to Abraham”, as in Genesis 15:13.That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; or “be a stranger in a land not theirs”; first in the land of Canaan, and then in Egypt, which were possessed by other persons, the natives of them: and that they should bring them into bondage; that is, the inhabitants of the lands, and particularly Egypt, should bring the seed of Abraham into bondage, as they did; and very hard bondage it was, at least some part of it: and entreat them evil four hundred years; which must be reckoned not from the time of their going down into Egypt, which to their coming up out of it were but two hundred and ten years, but from the birth of Isaac: which was as soon as Abraham had the promised seed, and may be reckoned after this manner; from the birth of Isaac to the birth of Jacob, sixty years, Genesis 25:26 and from thence to the coming of Jacob into Egypt, one hundred and thirty years, Genesis 47:9 and from thence to the coming of the children of Israel out of Egypt, two hundred and ten years; which in all make up four hundred years; for the sojourning and evil entreating of Abraham’s seed are not to be confined to the land of Egypt, but belong to other lands, where they were within this time, though that land is more especially intended; and so the Septuagint version renders the text in Exodus 12:40. “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, which they (and some copies add, and their fathers) sojourned in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, were four hundred and thirty years”: and this text is differently read in the Talmuds, in one of them thus (f); “and the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt”, , “and in all the lands, were four hundred and thirty years“; and in the other of them thus (g), “and the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt”, , “and in the rest of the lands, were four hundred years“; upon which latter the gloss has these words;

“from the time that the decree of the captivity was made between them to the birth of Isaac, were thirty years; and from the birth of Isaac, until the Israelites went out of Egypt, were four hundred years; take out of them the sixty of Isaac, and the one hundred and thirty that Jacob had lived when he went down into Egypt, and there remain two hundred and ten; and so is the decree, that “thy seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs”, Genesis 15:13 and it is not said in Egypt, but in a land not theirs; and when Isaac was born, Abraham was a sojourner in the land of the Philistines; and from thence, till they went out of Egypt, it will be found that Isaac and his seed who were the seed of Abraham, were strangers: and the thirty years before that are not numbered in the decree;”

Gill goes on to elaborate on this in his commentary of Paul’s Galatians 3 reference:

Genesis 15:9 and which was “four hundred and thirty years before” the law was given, which are thus computed by the learned Pareus; from the confirmation of the covenant, and taking Hagar for his wife, to the birth of Isaac, 15 years; from the birth of Isaac, to the birth of Jacob, 60 years, Genesis 25:26, from the birth of Jacob, to his going down into Egypt, 130 years, Genesis 47:9, from his going down to Egypt, to his death, 17 years, Genesis 47:28 from the death of Jacob, to the death of Joseph in Egypt, 53 years, Genesis 50:26 from the death of Joseph, to the birth of Moses, 75 years; from the birth of Moses, to the going out of the children of Israel from Egypt, and the giving of the law, 80 years, in all 430 years.

The Jews reckoned the four hundred years spoken of to Abraham, Genesis 15:13 and mentioned by Stephen, Acts 7:6 from the birth of Isaac; but they reckon the four hundred and thirty years, the number given by Moses, Exodus 12:40 and by the apostle here, to begin from the confirming the covenant between the pieces, though somewhat differently counted; says one of their chronologers (f), we reckon the 430 years from the 70th year of Abraham, from whence to the birth of Isaac were 30 years, and from thence to the going out of Egypt, 400 years; and another (g) of them says,

“they are to be reckoned from the time that the bondage was decreed, in the standing between the pieces; and there were 210 years of them from thence to the going down to Egypt, and these are the particulars; the 105 years which remained to Abraham, and the 105 years Isaac lived after the death of Abraham, and there were 10 years from the death of Isaac, to the going down to Egypt, and it remains that there were 210 years they stayed in Egypt:”

Another (h) of their writers says,

“that from the time that the decree of the captivity of Egypt was fixed between the pieces, to the birth of Isaac, were 30 years; and from the birth of Isaac to the going down of the children of Israel into Egypt, 400 years; take out from them the 60 years of Isaac, and the 130 years that Jacob had lived when he went into Egypt, and there remain 210.”

Josephus reckons (i) these years from Abraham’s coming into the land of Canaan, to the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and makes them 430, agreeably to Exodus 12:40 and to the apostle here, and to the Talmud; See Gill on Acts 7:6.

Concerning Paul’s Galatians confirmation, the Benson Commentary writes:

It must be observed, that the four hundred and thirty years here spoken of are not to be computed from the time when the covenant was confirmed, but from the time when it was first made, as mentioned Genesis 12:3, when Abraham was yet in Ur of the Chaldees, and was seventy-five years old. From that time to the birth of Isaac, which happened when Abraham was one hundred years old, are twenty-five years, Genesis 21:5. To the birth of Jacob were sixty years, Isaac being sixty years old when Jacob was born, Genesis 25:26. From Jacob’s birth to his going into Egypt were one hundred and thirty years, as he says to Pharaoh, Genesis 47:9; and according to the LXX. the Israelites sojourned in Egypt two hundred and fifteen years; for thus they translate Exodus 12:40 : Now the sojourning of the children of Israel in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, was four hundred and thirty years, the number mentioned by the apostle.

Taking the above into consideration, I think it is important to point out that no one was a “slave” in Egypt for either 400 or 430 years. All of these commentators (including Moses, Stephen and Paul) understood Genesis 15 to mean that the Israelites would both sojourn in lands that were not their own and become slaves – and that both activities would take place within a period of 430 years.

As confirmation of this, I present Exodus 12:40 from the Septuagint:

Exodus 12:
4o And the sojourning of the children of Israel, while they sojourned in the land of Egypt and the land of Chanaan, four hundred and thirty years.
41 And it came to pass after the four hundred and thirty years, all the forces of the Lord came forth out of the land of Egypt by night. 

Here we see Moses – the same guy who wrote Genesis 15 – clearly understood that the period of 430 years included Abraham’s descendants time in both Canaan and Egypt and that within this time period they would be enslaved. So it was never meant to convey any notion of anyone being enslaved for 400 (or 430) years in the first place! Rather that within this specified time period they would dwell in lands not their own and also, at some point, suffer as slaves. On this, the writers of Scripture and countless ancient and modern commentators agree.

There is much, much, much more that can be said, but I think I’ve made a strong enough case to prove my point already. In short… several Scriptures, countless ancient and current commentaries as well as the historical facts simply do not in any way support this Black Hebrew Israelite 1619 – 2019 AD nonsense. Which is precisely why 2019 came and went with no fulfillment of their bogus prophecy. And now 2020 is about to end too. Their prophecy failed, because their understanding of these Scriptures is severely flawed.

What about Deuteronomy 28?

First of all, as I’ve already proven above, I contend the curses described in Leviticus 26 and in Deuteronomy 28 have absolutely no connection whatsoever to the 400/430 year prophecy of Genesis 15, which had already been fulfilled. But let’s look at Deuteronomy 28 anyway (specifically verse 68) because it’s what Black Hebrew Israelites love to cling to in order to say this is talking about them having been sold into slavery, taken from their homes in Africa to arrive in America on ships.

Deuteronomy 28:68 And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.

Uhmmmm… first, it should go without saying that America is NOT Egypt. Second, notice it says again. This implies a prior time of slavery in Egypt. Third, it says though they shall be sold… but… wait for it… wait for it… NO ONE WILL BUY THEM!! American slaves were indeed bought. So nothing about Deuteronomy 28 even remotely fits the Black Hebrew Israelite narrative. Frankly, I’m astounded I actually have to point this out.

OK. Fine. So when did the Israelites become captured, get placed in ships and find themselves bound for Egyptian slavery once again then? Personally, I believe it was certainly fulfilled in the 720 BC Assyrian diaspora, but it may also have another reasonable fulfillment in 70 AD too:

Regardless, Deuteronomy 28 is no better a fit for black people in America than Genesis 15 was.

Neither YHWH nor Moses were talking about ANYTHING that has happened here in America! To think and continue to believe otherwise in the face of such overwhelming Biblical and historical evidence to the contrary is to prove one may just be on the brink of utter insanity.

This is not the time to be creating more racially divisive doctrines and ideologies. Again, Joseph had a “coat of many colors” for a reason. YHWH’s family is rich in diversity. Red and yellow, black and white, they are all precious in His sight and Yeshua/Jesus loves all the little children of the world. All of them. We are ONE family in Christ. Racism and bigotry have no place in the heart of YHWH, so if we claim to be His people, it should not be in ours either.

  • Rob Skiba

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