- Christogenea Saturdays
TruthVid's 100 Proofs that the Israelites were White, Part 11
Here we cover proofs 32 and 33 of TruthVid's 100 Proofs that the Israelites were White. William Finck’s prepared notes are found below.
(32) Josephus's books - What we can learn from Josephus's multiple books
Flavius Josephus wrote four books which can with all certainty be attributed to him. According to one of those books, which is a short autobiography, he was from a priestly family of the tribe of Levi, and in his younger years he spent about three years as an Essene. Ultimately, however, Josephus became a Pharisee, but that alone does not make him an evil man. The parties of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes were political as much as they were religious, and if a man wanted to have any influence or any role in the political life of Judaea at that time, then being an Essene was a dead end, and the only other reasonable choice for a pious man was to join the Pharisees. However while the Essenes were excluded from the political scene in Judaea, Josephus did attest that of each of the sects in Judaea, they were the only ones who were all “Jews [or Judahites] by birth”, as he write in Wars Book 2. There he wrote describing the Judaean sects and said “119… the third sect, which pretends to a severer discipline, are called Essenes. These last are Jews [Judaeans or Judahites] by birth, and seem to have a greater affection for one another than the other sects have.”
Having informed us that of the religious sects in Judaea only the Essenes were Judaeans by birth, it is evident that Josephus was also informing us that the other sects were accepting converts of the other nations, namely the Idumaeans. So Josephus, being a Pharisee, it is evident that his religious learning and interpretations of ancient history and Scripture must have been in conformance with the teachings of his party. It is clear in the New Testament records that these parties were distinguished by various religious beliefs. For that reason, I do not give much credibility to Josephus’ interpretations of Genesis or other early accounts found in Scripture, as they would naturally reflect the leaven of the Pharisees which Christ Himself had condemned. However in spite of that, I believe Josephus himself was an honest man and earnestly sought to tell the truth about his nation, in spite of his biases, and in spite of things concerning which he was either naive or ignorant.
For example, Josephus accepted the mass conversion of the Edomites to Judaism without question, and spoke admirably about members of the family of Herod in spite of their sins, and in spite of his own professed knowledge that Herod was a full-blooded Edomite, as he informs us several times in his writings. We see this same phenomenon played out in the West today, where those who are engaged in the political life of the various nations of the West do not speak badly of immigration and the integration and assimilation of diverse races into the natural populations of their respective nations. More importantly, Josephus described in detail the fact that the Edomites were indeed assimilated, the process of how that happened, and those descriptions corroborate the similar testimony of Paul of Tarsus in New Testament, while Josephus’ version is in turn corroborated by Strabo of Cappadocia. Strabo attested on two occasions in the 16th book of his Geography that Judaeans and Idumaeans lived mingled together in Judaea, sharing in the same laws and customs.
This composition of Judaea in the time of the Herods is the most significant lesson in Josephus, because it reveals the true identity of today’s Jews in a historical narrative, with which the writers of the New Testament agree. So while Josephus had his faults, his works are nevertheless invaluable to us today, and especially if we want to understand the circumstances in Judaea at the time of Christ and the apostles. Once one realizes that a large segment of the population of Judaea at that time were actually Edomites, and not Israelites, all of the reasons for the words of Christ describing the division of the people become perfectly clear, and so do the words of Paul, who in Romans chapter 9 had described those very same circumstances at length, but in a different manner than Josephus.
While we do not value Josephus for his interpretations of Genesis or the prophets, because they are tainted with the leaven of the Pharisees, we certainly do appreciate him once he gets into the history of the few centuries leading up to his own time, from which he drew from older reliable sources, and where he may also be corroborated in part by the books of the Maccabees and in other parts by the Greek and Roman historians.
There is an explanation of this history with all of the appropriate citations provided in our commentary on Paul’s epistle to the Romans, beginning in Part 12 in Romans chapter 9, titled Jacob and Esau.
The accounts of the forced Edomite conversions to Judaism are found in Antiquities of the Judaeans, Book 13. But Antiquities was not Josephus’ first book. Rather, his first book was Wars of the Judaeans. According to his own preface, Josephus wrote Wars to the “Upper Barbarians” because he wanted them to have an accurate account of the plight of Judaea in its uprising against the Romans, while he had found other accounts of those wars offered by Greeks and Romans to have been inaccurate. Among these Upper Barbarians he counted the Parthians, Babylonians, “remotest Arabians” and Adiabeni. Adiabene was an ancient kingdom bordering on Parthia to the east, and Armenia to the north and west, and it was apparently inhabited by Saka and Assyrians, as it occupied what was formerly part of northwest ancient Assyria. A queen from Adiabene converted to Judaism and built a palace for herself in Jerusalem in the first century AD.
This history is in modern times confounded and Josephus is interpreted as writing only to Jews who were scattered in these places, however that is not true and the interpretation takes Josephus’ own words out of context. What Josephus had said was “6 I thought it, therefore, an absurd thing to see the truth falsified in affairs of such great consequence, and to take no notice of it; but to allow those Greeks and Romans that were not in the wars to be ignorant of these things, and to read either flatteries or fictions, while the Parthians, and the Babylonians, and the remotest Arabians, and those of our nation beyond the Euphrates, with the Adiabeni, by my means, knew accurately both how the war begun, what miseries it brought upon us, and after what manner it ended.”
Later, in Antiquities Book 11, Josephus is writing regarding a letter received by Ezra the scribe from the Persian king Xerxes, and he in turn sent a copy to the Israelites in captivity, and Josephus wrote in part: “131 When Ezra had received this letter, he was very joyful, and began to worship God, and confessed that he had been the cause of the king's great favour to him, and that for the same reason he gave all the thanks to God. So he read the letter at Babylon to those Jews [Judahites] that were there; but he kept the letter itself, 132 and sent a copy of it to all those of his own nation that were in Media; and when these Jews [Judahites] had understood what piety the king had toward God, and what kindness he had for Ezra, they were all greatly pleased; nay, many of them took their effects with them, 133 and came to Babylon, as very desirous of going down to Jerusalem; but then the entire body of the people of Israel remained in that country; therefore there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers.”
Of course, there were never an immense multitude of Jews beyond the Euphrates at any time in history. But there were an immense multitude of Saka or Scythians, the descendants of the ancient tribes of Israel which had been taken into Assyrian captivity. One portion of these were the Parthians. Others were the Adiabeni and the remotest occupants of Arabia and Babylonia. Still others were the Alans, whom Josephus also described as Scythians, and he included the wars which they had in his seventh book of Wars of the Judaeans. The Alans were just one tribe of the Scythians dwelling in the other side of the Euphrates. A district of Parthia from which the Parthians had emerged was called Hyrcania, and Hyrcanus was also a name popular among the high priests of the period of the Maccabees. In Ezra chapter 8, upon realizing that the Levites in Judaea had already corrupted themselves, Ezra sent for priests from Casiphia, which is Caspiana on the Caspian Sea near Hyrcania, and the name Hyrcanus was used by some of the Hasmonaeans, or Maccabees. During that same period, various of the Maccabees had appealed to the Parthians for help against the Romans. The Magi of the time of the birth of Christ must also have been from that same region, and the Greek historians explain that Magi were a priesthood found among the Medes. As we have already stated here, it is very plausible that they were originally Levites.
In Antiquities Book 12, it is made apparent by Josephus that the Greek kings of Syria, the Seleucids, are meddling in the affairs of the high priests of Jerusalem, and even removed from office a certain priest and replaced him with another. Part of the reason for the troubles with the priests was a desire among some of them to Hellenize, to adopt the Greek mode of living, while others insisted on remaining in their own traditions. So Josephus describes priests named Jesus and Onias who had changed their names to Jason and Menelaus, and how they and others of their party had “240… retired to Antiochus, and informed him that they were desirous to leave the laws of their country, and the Jewish [Judaean] way of living according to them, and to follow the king's laws, and the Greek way of living. 241 Therefore they desired his permission to build them a gymnasium at Jerusalem. And when he had given them permission, they also hid the circumcision of their genitals, that even when they were naked they might appear to be Greeks. Accordingly, they abandoned all the customs that belonged to their own country, and imitated the practices of the other nations.” Of course, the Greeks were White and often blond, so the Judaeans certainly could not appear to be Greeks by hiding their circumcision unless they were also White and often blond. The synagogue art of the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, some of it created five hundred years after these events which are described by Josephus, certainly shows that they were.
Another proof that Greeks and Judaeans were of the same race is found in Antiquities Books 12 and 13. In Book 12 Josephus records a letter sent in the early 2nd century by “226 ‘Areus, king of the Lacedemonians, to Onias, sends greetings. We have met with a certain writing, whereby we have discovered that both the Jews [Judaeans] and the Lacedemonians are of the same family, and are derived from the kindred of Abraham. It is but just, therefore, that you, who are our brethren, should send to us about any of your concerns as you please. 227 We will also do the same thing, and esteem your concerns as our own, and will look upon our concerns as in common with yours. Demotoles, who brings you this letter, will bring your answer back to us. This letter is four square; and the seal is an eagle, with a dragon in his claws.’” There is a record of that same letter in chapter 12 of 1 Maccabees, and although it is preserved somewhat more concisely it still conveys the same general meaning.
The high priest Onias, because of the circumstances of the war with the Greek kings of Syria, could not answer that letter immediately, but the answer of his successors is recorded in Antiquities Book 13, and continued correspondence between the Judaeans and Spartans in 1 Maccabees chapter 14. So Josephus records the answer to the Lacedemonians given in a letter sent to Sparta by a later high priest, named Jonathan, where it says in part: “166… ‘Jonathan, the high priest of the Jewish [Judaean] nation, and the senate, and body of the people of the Jews [Judaeans], to the ephors, and senate, and people of the Lacedemonians, send greeting. If you be well, and both your public and private affairs be agreeable to your mind, it is according to our wishes. We are well also. 167 When in former times a letter was brought to Onias, who was then our high priest, from Areus, who at that time was your king, by Demoteles, concerning the kindred that was between us and you, a copy of which is here appended, we both joyfully received the letter, and were well pleased with Demoteles and Areus, although we did not need such a demonstration, because we were satisfied about it from the sacred writings, 168 yet did not we think fit first to begin the claim of this relation to you, lest we should seem too early in taking to ourselves the glory which is now given us by you. It is a long time since this relation of ours to you has been renewed; and when we, upon holy and festival days, offer sacrifices to God, we pray to him for your preservation and victory. 169 As to ourselves, although we have had many wars that have compassed us around, by reason of the covetousness of our neighbours, yet did not we determine to be troublesome either to you or to others that were related to us; but since we have now overcome our enemies, and have occasion to send Numenius, the son of Antiochus, and Antipater, the son of Jason, who are both honourable men, belonging to our elders, to the Romans, we gave them this letter to you also, that they might renew that friendship which is between us. 170 You will, therefore, do well yourselves to write to us, and send us an account of what you stand in need of from us, since we are in all things disposed to act according to your desires.’ So the Lacedemonians received the ambassadors kindly, and made a decree for friendship and mutual assistance, and sent it to them.”
Some years later this Jonathan the high priest who sent this letter had died, and we read in 1 Maccabees chapter 14: “16 Now when it was heard at Rome, and as far as Sparta, that Jonathan was dead, they were very sorry. 17 But as soon as they heard that his brother Simon was made high priest in his stead, and ruled the country, and the cities therein: 18 They wrote unto him in tables of brass, to renew the friendship and league which they had made with Judas and Jonathan his brethren: 19 Which writings were read before the congregation at Jerusalem. 20 And this is the copy of the letters that the Lacedemonians sent; The rulers of the Lacedemonians, with the city, unto Simon the high priest, and the elders, and priests, and residue of the people of the Jews [Judaeans], our brethren, send greeting: 21 The ambassadors that were sent unto our people certified us of your glory and honour: wherefore we were glad of their coming, 22 And did register the things that they spake in the council of the people in this manner; Numenius son of Antiochus, and Antipater son of Jason, the Jews' [Judaeans’] ambassadors, came unto us to renew the friendship they had with us. 23 And it pleased the people to entertain the men honourably, and to put the copy of their ambassage in publick records, to the end the people of the Lacedemonians might have a memorial thereof: furthermore we have written a copy thereof unto Simon the high priest.”
This ongoing relationship and these admissions of kinship between Judaeans and Spartans, who were a branch of the Dorian Greeks, is corroborated by Paul of Tarsus in 1 Corinthians chapter 10 where he told the Corinthians, who were also a branch of the Dorians, that “1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
But if the Judaeans were not White, they could never have appeared to be Greeks except for the circumcision, and not only that, but they may have told the King of Sparta when he sent his letter that “You crazy, Nigga!” In turn, the Corinthians would have asked Paul of Tarsus “What are you talking about, Nigger?” In other words, these exchanges would never have even taken place. But of course, there is much more subtle evidence in the pages of Josephus than what we can exhibit here in a short
(33) Homer, Strabo, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus & more - Why all Greek & Roman Historians show the Israelites were white
Homer flourished in the mid-to-late 7th century BC, so there are a few anachronisms in his work, but he was writing of a time long before his own, and the world he described was the world of that time, that of the Trojan War in the very early 12th century BC. Homer mentioned Sidon and Sidonians in his writings, but he never mentioned Tyre, in spite of the fact that Tyre was the leading city of Phoenicia in Palestine in the Biblical kingdom period and throughout the Classical period. Evidently the ancient city of Tyre laid in ruins upon the conquest of Canaan by the children of Israel, so they inherited the city, but they never had to take it militarily.
Flavius Josephus, in his Antiquities Book 8, informs us as to when Tyre was built: “62… Now that year on which the temple began to be built was already the eleventh year of the reign of Hiram; but from the building of Tyre to the building of the temple, there had passed two hundred and forty years.” So if the temple was built around 970 BC, which is close enough for our purposes here, then the city Tyre was built around 1210 BC, and Homer did not give it notice while he wrote of the Trojan War which started around or very shortly after 1200 BC. Apollodorus dated the fall of Troy to have occurred 408 years before the start of the first Olympiad, which is 776 BC, and that would date the end of the war to 1184 BC. Since it is said to have lasted ten years, its beginning may be dated to 1194 BC.
One other significant fact is that Homer described all of the nations among and around those of the Greeks, but he never mentioned any Dorian Greeks. To Homer, the Dorians were only one of the tribes found in Crete. Of course, there were no Dorians in Greece, as Thucydides, in Book 1 of his history of the Peloponnesian War, states that the Dorians were brought to Greece by the Heraclidae 80 years after the end of the Trojan War. This is how we can determine the truth of that letter from the king of Sparta recorded in both Josephus and in 1 Maccabees: that the Dorians were only in Crete because they were in the course of migrating from Palestine when the Trojan War occurred, in the middle of the Judges period in ancient Israel.
In the Iliad, both Peleus the father of Achilles and Achilles himself, and Menelaus the king of Sparta were all described as having had yellow hair. Hesiod described Menelaus as having golden hair in his Catalogues of Women, and Selene is “white-armed and bright-tressed” while Demeter and Ganymedes are golden-haired in the Homeric Hymns, as is Polyneices in the Thebaid. Speaking of Thebes, the women of the city are described as being yellow or golden-haired in the plays which the Tragic Poets, Aeschylus and Euripdes, had written about the ancient city. In the Iliad, Achilles is depicted as having addressed Phoinix as “old friend and father” because Phoinix was entrusted with the raising of Achilles as a child. In the Odyssey, the title character Odysseus is described as having had yellow hair, and so did Rhadamanthus the son of Zeus and the Phoenician Europa, the daughter of Phoinix. So the heroic characters in early Greek myths are portrayed as having been intimately close to the Phoenicians. Of the wife of Odysseus, Penelope, it was said that “her complexion it was whiter than sawn ivory”. Where Homer imagined that the goddess Aphrodite had protected her son Aeneas during the fighting at Troy he wrote that she had “thrown her two white arms about the body of her dear son. She protected him by covering him with a fold of her own fair garment, lest some Danaan should drive a spear into his breast and kill him.” Juno, the imagined wife of Jove, was frequently described as “white-armed Juno”. In both works, men are frequently described as turning pale with fear.
The following paragraph is from a 2005 essay I had written titled The Race of Genesis 10:
Hesiod, probably a contemporary of Isaiah [but maybe a little later], writing in his Catalogues of Women (fragment 40A) mentions both the “boundless black-skins and the Libyans” but says that from Epaphus, a son of Chronos, “sprang the dark Libyans and high-souled Ethiopians”, but also the “under-ground folk and feeble pygmies”. It is also apparent that by this time Libya also was little more than a geographical label and signified all of Africa except Egypt and Ethiopia. [In the Bible, the Lubim are a apparently a tribe, 2 Chronicles 12:3, 16:8, Daniel 11:43, Nahum 3:9.] Surely the more reliable early source may be the poet Aeschylus, a contemporary of Nehemiah, who in his Suppliant Maidens at lines 277-290, lists a group of races and compares the likeness of their women to those of the Greek Danaans. Among those mentioned are Libyans, Egyptians and Amazons, very likely indicating a large degree of homogeneity among these peoples. Aeschylus was relating a parody of events which transpired a thousand years before his own time, the migration of Dan from Egypt to Greece. [The Danaans were not black, but White and golden or yellow-haired, although they had come from Egypt.]
There are no black races or people explicitly described anywhere in Homer. Although he mentions a warrior at Troy named Memnon, who was an Ethiopian, Herodotus explained that this Memnon was from the east and his city was Susa, the later the capital of Persia. Just as the Hebrew Bible identifies two lands of Kush, the Greeks called each Ethiopia, but the Ethiopia in the east was forgotten by later writters as Kush had long been eclipsed in power by Assyria, Babylon and Persia. So in the opening paragraphs of the Odyssey, as well as in other places, Homer mentions Ethiopians. Butler’s translation says “Now Neptune [the Greek god of the sea] had gone off to the Ethiopians, who are at the world’s end, and lie in two halves, the one looking West and the other East.” Many academic commentators believe that he was referring to black people on both coasts of Africa, but that is not true. In the Bible, there was at one time a Kush inclusive of parts of Mesopotamia and Arabia, as Kush had become an empire, and another Kush below Egypt. These are the two Ethiopias to which Homer was referring. Neither were originally inhabited by blacks. Rather, they both faced the Indian Ocean, one on its west and one on its east. Beyond the Kush to the east are the Hindu-Kush mountains, which is not a coincidence.
There are many words used to describe black, swarthy, or dark in Greek which are often applied to people, for examples: μέλας, κελαινός, πελός and φαιός. Other words meaning dark but apparently not applied to people are σκότος, κνέφας, γνόφος, δνόφος, ζόφος and ζόφερος. Our word Ethiopian comes from the Greek word Αἰθίοψ which properly means shining face, glowing face or sunburnt face, and it was certainly not used by the earliest Greek writers to describe the naturally dark races.
The adjective αἰθός is akin to Αἰθίοψ, and the 9th edition of Liddell & Scott defines it as “burnt...II. shining...red-brown...”. The 1996 Revised Supplement to this edition inserts after burnt the words “perhaps black- or dark-complexioned”, and emends shining to bronze-coloured. The black I must reject. Red-brown describes a sun-tanned Caucasian, and not a dark-skinned negro who only gets blacker in the sun. It seems that the definition of these words have indeed, over time, been politically corrected.
Other words related to Αἰθίοψ are: αἴθων fiery, burning…of metal, flashing, glittering... αἴθω to light up, kindle...; αἴθρη clear sky, fair weather; αἶθοψ, the closest, which is fiery-looking, of metal, flashing; of wine, sparkling. But according to Liddell & Scott (the source for these definitions), someone in the Greek Anthologies, a late and wide collection of Greek inscriptions and miscellaneous writings mostly from well into the first millennium AD, either translated or used αἶθοψ as swart, dark. However this is clearly contrary to the true spirit of the word’s meaning. Applied to Kush, a White man, or his White descendants, it could only mean sun-burnt as in bright red or brassy-colored, which is something which happens only to Caucasians in the outdoors, and is exactly what one may expect the Kushites in Ethiopia to look like! If the other descendants of Ham are demonstrably White, then so is Kush, and the Kushites whom the Greeks called Ethiopians.
Verifying all of this is another historian about which we can speak, and that is Diodorus Siculus.
First, Diodorus Siculus was a highly educated Greek historian of the 1st century BC. He probably wrote up to about 35 or 30 BC, according to the latest events which he had recorded. His Library of History is an attempt to record all of the known history of the world from the earliest time up to his own. To do so, he cited hundreds of earlier writers and works, most of which are now lost. In the opening six books of his work, he sought to describe the earliest myths and what he knew of the histories of both barbarians and Greeks. So he wrote in chapter 4, paragraph 6 of his first book: “Our first six books embrace the events and legends previous to the Trojan War, the first three setting forth the antiquities of the barbarians, and the next three almost exclusively those of the Greeks.” He was writing in retrospect, as he had already completed his endeavor when he went back to write his introduction in Book 1, and he also attested that he visited many of the places of which he had written.
So in the opening three books of his work, Diodurus described the founding myths, kings and culture of the Egyptians in Book 1, and then in Book 2 the history of Assyria, with descriptions of the surrounding lands of India, Scythia and Arabia, and then in Book 3 the Ethiopians and Amazons of Africa, all among other things. But when the work is read, it is clear that Diodorus Siculus believed all of these groups to have had much in common not only in their religious beliefs and culture, but also in their general physical charteristics. So where he does encounter blacks in Ethiopia, he makes a special mention of them and their savage behavior in contrast to apparently White Ethiopians. While Diodorus Siculus described the peoples of Ethiopia, or Kush, in Asia, he also described and made a distinction of the people of Ethiopia in Africa.
Once again quoting my essay, The Race of Genesis 10:
In the first eleven chapters of his third book, Diodorus Siculus draws from much earlier historians (as he always did for whomever he wrote about) to describe the various peoples of African Ethiopia, and it is evident that those tribes contrast with one another quite starkly. [What I did not mention in that essay is that Diodrus probably also visited this Ethiopia himself.] The first Ethiopians he discusses are endowed with what we may consider a well-developed form of “western civilization”, for he states “they say that they were the first to be taught to honor the gods and to hold sacrifices and processions and festivals”, they quote Homer in reference to themselves (Iliad 1:423-424), they recount the unsuccessful invasions into their country by Cambyses and Semiramis, and they claim that the Egyptians were originally Ethiopian colonists, led by Osiris. The two types of their writing (like Egypt), popular or demotic and sacred or hieroglyphic, are described, and it is said that the sacred is common among these Ethiopians. Their priests were much like the Egyptian. They believed that their kings gained sovereignty by Divine Providence, their laws and punishments were from custom, and they practiced the same flight of refuge which the Greeks did, which was similar to the Hebrew Levitical cities of refuge. An Ethiopian king under Ptolemy was educated in Greece and studied Philosophy, and aside from a few odd customs, there is no reason to believe that these Ethiopians, whose physical characteristics were not mentioned, were anything but civilized, and not much different than the rest of “western” society.
In stark contrast to those cultured Ethiopians which Diodorus first discussed, beginning at 3.8.1 he says: “But there are also a great many other tribes of the Ethiopians [and here it is apparent that, like “Phoenicia” and other labels, “Ethiopia” has become merely a geographical designation, rather than an ethnographical one], some of them dwelling in the land lying on both banks of the Nile and on the islands in the river, others inhabiting the neighboring country of Arabia [between the Nile and the Red Sea], and others residing in the interior of Libya [the rest of Africa - Sudan here]. The majority of them, and especially those who dwell along the river, “are black in color and have flat noses and wooly hair.” Here it is evident that Diodorus is describing the Nubians and other wandering black tribes of the region. He continues: “As for their spirit they are entirely savage and display the nature of a wild beast...and are as far removed as possible from human kindness to one another...and cultivating none of the practices of civilized life...they present a striking contrast when considered in the light of our own customs.”
So surely it is apparent here, that if we do not have a White culture in Ethiopia in an era not long before Diodorus’ own, we certainly have at least the remnants of one. Ezekiel chapter 30 lists Ethiopia among “all the mingled people”, and all of this fits very well with the picture of a once Caucasian but now adulterated Kush in that region.
Not much use for desciptions of personal characteristics. He did mention that “Italians in general naturally excel Phoencians and Africans in bodily strength and personal courage” (Histories, 6.52.10). His acounts also illustrate the connections between ancient Tyre and Carthage as late as 306 BC (3.24.3), where the Romans had made a treaty with the Carthaginians which included Tyre and Utica.
Polybius’ histories did not completely survive. But one notable and revealing fragment came down to us in a citation of his work made by Strabo of Cappadocia. Like Diodorus Siculus, Strabo also cited many dozens, perhaps hundreds, of earlier writers in his lengthy Geography. Strabo also wrote a history of Assyria which is now completely lost.
In Strabo’s 17th book he wrote: “Polybius at least, who visited the city, was disgusted with its condition at the time. 2 He says it is inhabited by three classes of people, first the native Egyptians, an acute and civilized race; 3 secondly by the mercenaries, a numerous, rough, and uncultivated set, it being an ancient practice there to maintain a foreign armed force which owing to the weakness of the kings had learnt rather to rule than to obey; 4 thirdly there were the Alexandrians themselves, a people not genuinely civilized for the same reason, but still superior to the mercenaries, 5 for though they are mongrels they came from a Greek stock and had not forgotten Greek customs. 6 But when this population had been nearly annihilated, chiefly by Euergetes Physcon, in whose reign Polybius came to Alexandria — for this king being frequently troubled by seditions exposed the populace to the onslaught of the soldiers and destroyed them — the city fell into such a state that afterwards Homer's line was really true — To Egypt is a long and dangerous road.”
Elsewhere, Strabo himself marvelled that in Alexandria there were mixed races of people living together in one city, so that phenomenon must have been rare in the ancient world. Speaking of Memphis in Egypt, in Book 17 of his Geography Strabo says: “The city is large and populous; it ranks next to Alexandreia, and, like that place, is inhabited by mixed races of people. There are lakes in front of the city and of the palaces, which at present are in ruins and deserted. They are situated upon an eminence, and extend as far as the lower part of the city.” (17.1.32) Strabo never remarked like that in his descriptions of any of the other cities he detailed, so it is apparent that ethnic diversity was more or less peculiar to Egypt in his time, as Polybius had also attested.
Strabo’s White Syrians, “as if there were any black ones” contrasted to Herodotus where he called Judaeans “Syrians” or “Syrians of Palestine” on at least three occasions. I want to read the actual citation, from the opening chapter of Book 16 of Strabo’s Geography: “2 It seems that the name of the Syrians extended not only from Babylonia to the Gulf of Issus, but also in ancient times from this gulf to the Euxine. At any rate, both tribes of the Cappadocians, both those near the Taurus and those near the Pontus, have to the present time been called ‘White Syrians,’ as though some Syrians were black, these being the Syrians who live outside the Taurus; and when I say ‘Taurus,’ I am extending the name as far as the Amanus.” The Euxine is the Black Sea, and the Amanus a mountain range in southern Anatolia.
Where Strabo said “as though some Syrians were black”, that means that there were no black Syrians. If there were no black Syrians then there were no black Israelites. The Biblical histories of Israel and Syria are inseparable, because from the time of David and down to the time of Jeroboam II, Israel had ruled over much of Syria. So we read in the words of Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 26: “5 And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous….” The kindred of Abraham were originally from Padanaram, in the northernmost parts of Syria, and that is from where Isaac and Jacob had gotten their wives. Likewise, if the Phoenicians in Greece were blond, then the Phoenicians of Carthage were blond, and therefore the Phoenicians of Phoenicia in Palestine were blond, because the only bastard cities known to Strabo were in Egypt.
Speaking of Moses, both Strabo and Diodorus Siculus recognized him as a founder of cities and a giver of laws, and in Diodorus’ 40th book he recognizes that many of the cities in Greece and elsewhere had been founded by the outcasts from Egypt who left by sea rather than having followed Moses. In any event, all of this serves to show that the orgins of Hebrew and Greek culture were the same.