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What I will try to show here is that the Old Testament was anti-racist before Ezra and that Ezra twisted the Old Testament to create a new racist religion which is what we call Judaism. I will begin with the first part, showing that the Old Testament was anti-racist before Ezra.
A common argument that the Torah is racist is Deuteronomy 7:3 talking about other nations "Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons,". But Deuteronomy 7:4 continues and explains "because they will turn your sons away from Me to worship other gods.". So the point here isn't race, but rather religion. This is a prohibition against marrying people from bad religions, not other races.
Biblical racists claim that the Israelites were a race. But when the Israelites left Egypt, "An ethnically diverse crowd also went up with them" Exodus 12:38. If they wanted to maintain racial purity, they wouldn't have accepted this. But they did accept this and presumably the ethnically diverse crowd simply assimilated into Israel.
Moses was the most important person in the Old Testament. So who did he choose as his wives? His first wife was Zipporah, a Midianite (not Israelite). And his second wife was a Cushite (Ethiopian, black). This is discussed at length in Numbers 12. Here Aaron criticizes Moses about his second wife, and then God tells Aaron that he is wrong. This is a clear case of God speaking against racism.
The story about Ruth is the conversion story in the Old Testament. What is interesting is that Ruth was a Moabite which was one of the biggest enemies of Israel. In fact Deuteronomy 23:3 says "No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the Lord’s assembly; none of their descendants, even to the tenth generation, may ever enter the Lord’s assembly.". But Ruth married the Israelite Boaz and 3 generations later we have David. Is there a conflict here? First of all, the English translation I used (HCSB) is common but inaccurate. The phrase "of their descendants" isn't in the Hebrew at all, it just says "of them". The translation is using a racist interpretation. But what does ten generations of them mean? To me it clearly means ten generations of their culture/religion/nation. When Ruth joined Israel, she said "your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." Ruth 1:16. This means that she was no longer a Moabite and was now an Israelite, so there is no conflict.
I hope that I have provided enough evidence to show that the Israelites were defined by religion, not race. If I haven't convinced you, then please stop reading because you are hopeless. If I have convinced you, then let's move on to Ezra.
Ezra's primary action was forcing all Israelite/Jewish men to send away their foreign wives and their children. This is described in Ezra 10. In fact Ezra wrote his own book, so this is his narration. Ezra tries to make the connection to Deuteronomy 7:3 in Ezra 9:1 but then immediately afterward in Ezra 9:2 ties this to race "the holy seed". Only by tying this to race could Ezra force ALL foreign women to be sent away instead of just those who refused to convert.
While Ezra was high priest, Nehemiah was the administrator and he gives some more details about what happened in his own book which he wrote. Here Ezra starts by reading Torah and bringing back festivals. But then in Nehemiah 9:2 "Those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and they stood and confessed their sins and the guilt of their fathers.". Here the word "descent" is accurate coming from the Hebrew "seed". So Ezra starts to get people to think in terms of race by separating people by race. Then Ezra gives a long talk aimed at instilling racial pride. And finally in Nehemiah 10:30 Ezra makes people take a vow that "We will not give our daughters in marriage to the surrounding peoples and will not take their daughters as wives for our sons.". Note how similar this is to Deuteronomy 7:3 but skillfully leaves out the reasoning of Deuteronomy 7:4 in order to make it racist. And immediately after in Nehemiah 10:32 Ezra adds "To give an eighth of an ounce of silver yearly for the service of the house of our God" to make sure he gets plenty of money. Ezra brutally enforced this vow, forcing everyone to come and take it. "Whoever did not come within three days would forfeit all his possessions, according to the decision of the leaders and elders, and would be excluded from the assembly of the exiles." Ezra 10:8.
So who was Ezra? According to Ezra 7, Ezra was a descendant of Aaron. And this makes sense in the context of Numbers 12. In effect, this was Aaron's revenge against God, with Ezra repudiating God's anti-racism. By the rule of Ezra, Moses would have had to send away his wives and Ruth would also have been sent away.
It is worth noting that Ezra was chosen by Darius, the king of Persia, not by the Israelites themselves. Darius was concerned because the nations around the Israelites feared Israel's growing power. What better way to destroy a community than to send in a racist high priest? This is just speculation on my part, but the main point is that Ezra was not chosen by the Israelites or by God.
Another indication of Ezra's character is that, as a scribe, he changed the content of the Old Testament. We know this from Jewish sources and Samaritan sources. Even if the changes are minor, the Old Testament was already ancient scripture by the time of Ezra and so no honest scribe would have altered it.
Ezra was a racist who was put in power by a Persian king and used this power to force his racist reinterpretation of Torah on the people. He replaced the idea of Israelite with the idea of Jew. He destroyed the ethical religion of the Israelites and replaced it with the racist religion of Judaism.
After Ezra, things only got worse. Ezra's original Judaism is like Karaite Judaism. But later, Hillel started Talmudic Judaism which is much worse. I would say that Karaite Judaism is like White Nationalism, both of which are fairly benign forms of racism. Talmudic Judaism is like Nazism, both of which are intolerable forms of racism. Modern Israel is an almost perfect implementation of Hitler's vision in Mein Kampf but with different races and locations. The general topic of the evils of Talmudic Judaism is well covered elsewhere, so there is no need for me to go into this subject. But I think it worth including two jewish sources on this subject:
Thankfully there have been two attempts to revive the basic message of the Old Testament, one from Jesus and the other from Muhammad. These attempts produced non-racist religions that shared the basic ethics of the Old Testament.
Here is a video about the Israel Lobby by Al Jazeera:
Nothing surprising for me here, just the expected dirty tricks and buying off the American government.
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