- Category: Genetics
- Published on Saturday, 13 March 2010 17:00
Because of the emphasis in the Hebrew Scriptures on "Ephraim" as being the primary "final" recipient of the promises of Hebrew multitudes, Jeremiah's prophecy to the House of David and to the Levites is rarely discussed or even considered in the realm of genetics.
Jeremiah 33:22 "As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me."
Something that is exciting and perplexing to the Jewish world is the semi-recent discovery of the genetic "Cohen Modal Haplotype" (CMH) within Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jewish men which seems to validate very old oral traditions of being descended from the family of Cohanim (or Levitical Priests). An African tribe known as the Lemba also has the same oral tradition and the Cohen Modal Haplotype is also found in a percentage of their men. This is very exciting and authenticating for many people.
The perplexing and/or vexing part of this discovery is the reality that there are many traditionally non-Jewish (largely Muslim) populations who also have the Cohen Modal Haplotype. And of course many who would like to discredit "the Jews" as Jews or discredit the authenticity of the Hebrew Scriptures, enjoy using this reality as an instrument to disrupt the faith of not only Jews, but also Christians who put an enormous amount of weight on the historical events recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures.
There are other possible solutions
Sadly, many bright Jewish scientists fail to remember Jeremiah's prophecy regarding David and Levi... and several other realities:
- The Jews (of the Southern Kingdom of Jew-dah) were deported to Babylon and only a remnant of their population returned to the Land of Judea.
- Jews have lived along side Muslims for hundreds and hundreds of years throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean. They even had many communities scattered throughout the Arabian peninsula... some of whom were forcefully converted to Islam at various periods.
- Many Edomites (Arabs) joined the Kingdom of Judah prior to and during the Roman period and eventually became known as Jews (Deuteronomy 23:7-8).
- Exponential human population growth within the last 3,000 years can go a long way in describing how Levi and David's y-chromosomes could become present in tens of millions of men today... but joining exponential mathematics WITH the Divine favor and promise of Heaven... certainly should remove all doubt of HOW it could have been accomplished.
True "Arabs" actually descend from both Ishmael (brother of Isaak) and Esau (brother of Jacob) and likely have a mixture of other Semitic and non-Semitic peoples today. Yet, the y-chromosome of Ishmael and Esau should look very similar to Jacob because they all received the same y-chromosome from Abraham. This is why we shouldn't avoid or abore the possibility that many so-called Muslims and/or Arabs actually have Israelite ancestry.
We must remember that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are religious systems... and peoples have been moving in and out of those systems for many hundreds of years. Just because an Iraqi Muslim has been taught that he is purely Arab, does not mean it is so. Just because a Christian has been taught that he is purely European, does not mean it is so.
Where to start with DNA
Being tested by Family Tree DNA can tell men if they fall within the Cohen Modal Haplotype of the Levite family. Family Tree DNA also has a genetic project group for individuals (both men and women) who traditionally believe they are descended from the House of David. Once a man or woman has been tested by Family Tree DNA, he/she can join the "Davidic Dynasty" project and compare results with others. Simply search the Surname Project directory for "Davidic" to find the project.
Do you recognize any of these surnames?
The following is an incomplete list of surnames which have varying degrees of provability via family oral traditions and historical sources which claim to be descended from King David.
|Alter/Rotenberg (Ger Chassidim)||Loeb*|
|Bach (descendants of Sirkes)||Maharal of Prague*/**|
|Breslav Chassidim, Nakhman||Morgenstern (Kotzk Chassidim)|
|Caro/Karo||Yisroel Dov Odesser|
|Cohen (various families)||Parnas|
|Don Yechia/Ibn Yechia*||Peretz|
|Eichenstein (Zditchov Chassidim)||Rapaport*|
|Elfandari||Rashei Galut (Exilarchs) male descent from David*|
|Enzel||Rashi (descendants of daughters)*|
|Fishel||Rokeach (Belz Chassidim)|
|Friedland||Rubin (Horowitz) (Ropshitz Chassidim)|
|Friedman (Rizhin, Sadagora etc. Chassidim)||Rubinstein|
|Gombiner||Schneurson (Lubavitch Chassidim)|
|Yisroel Karduner Halpern||Segal (descendantz of "Taz")|
|Meshulam Shraga Feivish Halpern||Shachor/Charny/Shwartz|
|Yehudaï Leibish Halpern||Shapiro/Shapira.Spiro/Spira*|
|Hillel and the Nesi'im*||Sirkes/Sirkin|
|Horowitz/Hurwitz (various Chassidim)*||Sonnabend|
|Kalmankes||Twersky (Chernobyl Chassidim)|
|Katz (Maharal of Prague) */**||Weisblum (Lizhensk Chassidim)*|
Primary Families (*) Further Research Required (**) | Source: Davidic Dynasty
The following is an incomplete list of surnames which have varying degrees of provability via family oral traditions, historical sources, and genetics... which claim to be descended from the priestly clan of the Levites.
Source: J2 Kohanim haplotype tree
If you have specific questions regarding your own ancestry and DNA, please contact Hanok from here.
- Can DNA testing confirm Jewish or 10-Israel Ancestry?
- The Birthright Promise of Multitudes in Scripture
- Israelite and Noahic Haplogroup Hypotheses