Who is a Jew?
After having a number of conversations with the Jews, it appears that many of them have taken a
seemingly erroneous position regarding the qualifications of 'being a Jew'. According to the Bible, their position is incorrect.
Contrary to the scriptures, modern-rabbinic Judaism teaches that the only way an individual can be
considered a Jew is when his or her mother is a Jew. With all due respect, this teaching is baseless and
without merit. For example, Moses married a woman named Zipporah, (Exodus 2:21, Exodus 18:2) who was the daughter of Jethro, a Midianite priest, (Exodus 18:1) and she bare him a son named Gershom (Exodus 2:22). To say that Moses' son Gershom was not a Jew because Zipporah was not a Jew would be insulting not only to Moses, but to Gershom as well.
However, this was shortly before the law at Sinai, and perhaps Zipporah converted to Judaism. So let
us give modern-rabbinic Judaism the benefit of the doubt regarding the example of Moses, Zipporah and Gershom. However, when it comes to Rehoboam (Solomon's only son), the first king of Judah, there can be no excuses.
Rehoboam - When Solomon's kingdom was rent in two because of Solomon's sin (1Kings 11:1-10)
Jeroboam, the son of Nebat (1Kings 11:26) became the king of Israel (1Kings 12:20). Rehoboam,
Solomon's only son (1Chronicles 3:10) became the king of Judah (1Kings 12:23). Based on modern
Judaism's teachings of today, the first king of Judah, Rehoboam, was not a Jew. 2Chronicles 12:13
states: "So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was one and forty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. And his mother's name was Naamah an Ammonitess." (Also see 1Kings 14:21).
According to the scriptures Rehoboam's mother Naamah was an Ammonitess, a pagan. Remember,
1Kings 11:1 states: "But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of
Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites".
Judaism's followers may argue that Naamah converted and became a Jew. However, this was not the
case. Instead of Solomon succeeding in converting Naamah to Judaism, the scriptures teach that it was
Naamah who converted Solomon to following the gods of the Ammonites. Here are the scriptural
1Kings 11:2-10 "Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall
not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded."
According to the above passage, when Solomon became old his wives turned his heart to other gods
(1Kings 11:4). Among the false gods that Solomon served was Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites (1Kings 11:5) and Molech the abomination of the children of Ammon (1Kings 11:7). Remember, Naamah, Rehoboam's mother and Solomon's wife or concubine, was an Ammonitess.
Therefore, it can be said that modern Judaism's teachings that one's mother has to be a Jew for one to
be considered a Jew is false, scripturally unsound, baseless and without merit. Otherwise Rehoboam, the first king of Judah, would have been considered a pagan. Of course, this can not be the case.
In closing, there is no scriptural basis for Jewish belief that the mother has to be a Jew for one to be a
Jew. Actually if one's father is a Jew, a descendent of Jacob, one is a Jew according to the Scriptures.
John McTernan & Louis Ruggiero
MHM would like to thank John McTernan & Louis Ruggiero for their article on "Who Is A Jew?" I'm sure it will help many who like myself, have a father who was Jewish and not a mother. I have been told if I want to be called a Jew I would have to convert to Judaism, which is so far from the truth laid out in the Scriptures. I pray that one day Israel will change its ruling on this point, and let all who have a Jewish parent into the country and allow them to be citizens.
Rev. Barbara Di Gilio <><