In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then, He “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7).
From the dust of the ground to the dust of the ground
God made Adam from the dust of the ground and put him in charge of Eden, His garden. Because Adam was alone, “the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman” (Genesis 2:21-22).
Adam and Eve were living and tending the garden of God until the day Satan tempted them – suggesting them to disobey God’s command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil – and they both fell.
After the fall of man, the Lord told Adam: “For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
From one people to the nations of the earth
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. Genesis 11:1-9.
Different skin colors, but the same dust
Although each people group is unique and one of the kind, all share the same origin and humanity.
Indeed, all mankind descends from Adam [and Eve], who was made from the dust of the ground and blessed by God to multiply on the face of the earth; Meaning: all skin colors are from the same dust. And though we may call some white, yellow, red or black, they all come from the same material: dust; for from the dust of the ground man was made and to the dust he shall return. And so it has been since Adam to this day.
The concept of race
Race is most likely a man-made concept and attempt to classify people groups based on the color of the skin. The Word of God does not refer to race when it comes to highlighting one’s background, instead it refers to family, tribe, nationality, or tongue/language (read Numbers 12:1, Acts 8:27, and Revelation 7:9).
What really happened at the tower of Babel
In the beginning, after God created Adman and Eve, in Genesis 1:27-28: God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Again, after the flood, in Genesis 9:1-2 God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand.”
But instead, men gathered together in one place to build themselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens, and make a name for themselves (Genesis 11:4). This endeavor was wicked and against God command to fill the earth. Thus, God confused their language so they could no longer understand one another [therefore they ceased building the city/tower] and scattered them abroad over the face of the earth.
According to Genesis 10:32, these people were the descendants of Noah’s sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.”
Noah did not beget three “races” like many theories have suggested – there is absolutely no biblical evidence of that.
Also, God did not divide people into “races” at Babel. The Scriptures do not support that. God “confused their language”, meaning that people [suddenly] became unable to understand one another and a great chaos emerged, forcing them to depart from the land of Shinar with the people they could communicate with – most likely their family/nation.
Acts 17:26 reads: “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.”
Ethnocentrism and racism
Because people groups are different across the face of the earth, various theories on skin colors’ origins and intelligence level have arisen through time. Multiple attempts have been made to classify human “races” and one of the most popular and shameful of them is the theory of evolution by means of natural selection of Charles Darwin.
Evolutionism and ethnocentrism
The theory of evolution has set another ground for blind hatred and racism toward Non-Western people — and appeared as a “scientific endorsement” of the supremacy of the “White race”.
Darwin in his books On the Origin of Species by mean of natural selection followed by The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex made the door wide open to already rampant prejudice against those living outside the Western World (Occident).
Indeed, Darwin, in The Descent of Man refers to Caucasians as the “civilized race” and indigenous people as “savages”. His theory imply that the Caucasian race is the most evolved species among human beings and the Negroid – closest to apes – the less evolved.
Darwin also asserts in his book on page 201, that “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races.”
Slavery and the “curse of Ham”
Slavery has been around for a long time — within people of the same tribe and also between nations.
Throughout history, it was common after wars for victors to force defeated nations or camps into slavery. Likewise, for creditors to enslave their debtors until they pay off what they owe.
Slavery was also a lucrative activity for some people groups like the Ishmaelites (Genesis 37:25-28), and a good source for free labor to others (Exodus 1).
By definition, a slave is someone’s legal property. A person who is denied every right and decisions of his own, who is forced into harsh labor without any compensation, and whose life solely depends on the mood of his master(s).
Being a slave is being the lowest being that is and the only way out of it is to be freed by the owner.
Slavery took a drastic proportion at the beginning of the sixteenth century with the expansion of european’s influence, the discovery of new territories, and the need of a dependable workforce to exploit and produce goods in the new dominions.
Thus, most native occupants of these lands were subdued and forced into slavery, and as many of them couldn’t bear the demanding work load and the severe treatments, europeans began to enslave Black Africans (who were believed at the time to be strong and fit for hard labor) and deport then to the ‘New World’, and a very disturbing claim was used in part to justify it: the “curse of Ham”.
The story of the “curse of Ham” is obviously one of the most widespread false teachings that exists.
It refers to a curse Noah actually put on his grandson Canaan, but [maybe deliberately] attributed to Ham, his father.
Genesis 9:20-27 reads:
And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent.
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants. He shall be to his brethren.”
And he said: Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant.”
Jewish folklore has spread the idea that God cursed Ham with a dark skin because he violated a forbiddance on sex aboard the ark, during the flood. Another [Jewish] tale suggests that Canaan was “blackened” by the curse his grandfather put on him. Thus, the idea that Black Africans are the descendants of Ham has been widespread since and has survived to this day.
During the transatlantic slave trade – in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – references to Black Africans been “cursed” and “blackened” because of the “curse of Ham” and their own “sins” were widely mentioned to legitimize their enslavement.
Designedly combined to dissimulate the hideous pecuniary motive of the slave trade, this [twisted explanation of the] passage of Genesis 9:20-27 was used to establish the superiority of “Japheth” – believed to be the ancestor of Europeans and some eastern nations – over the rest of the nations of the world.
However, in the light of the Scriptures: (1) there is no indication that Ham or his son Canaan had dark skin complexion; (2) The curse Noah put on his grandson Canaan did not make his skin turn dark either – There is absolutely no evidence of that in the Bible; (3) There is no biblical or historical evidence that Black Africans all descend from Canaan. In fact, the Canaanites settled in the Middle-East and were in part destroyed by the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. The curse “servant of servants” was entirely fulfilled when Canaanites (specifically the Gibeonites — read Joshua chapter 9) served the Israelites who themselves were slaves in Egypt.
Colonialism and racism
Following the ‘Age of discovery’ of the 15th century, marked by sea travels and land explorations, European colonialism was a massive overseas land grab by several European kingdoms desiring to enlarge their territory and influence.
Colonialism, by definition, is for a given nation to acquire, exercise, and maintain full or partial control over another country or nation. In this process, colonies are occupied, ‘pacified’, and economically exploited by metropoles.
Thus, from the 16th century to the mid-20th century, European colonies were established in Africa, Asia, Australia, and America.
Colonies were harshly ruled, controlled, and exploited through inhuman ways that include forced labor, physical – emotional – and sexual abuses, executions, segregation laws (e.g. apartheid in South Africa), and blatant injustice.
Today, many years after gaining their independence, many ex-colonies are still scarred and bruised.
Immigration and cultural diversity
Migratory movements have existed since the dawn of humanity. People have always moved from one place to another to find better opportunities or to escape the sword or scarcity of food.
Because migrants are people of different nationalities, cultures, languages, social statuses, and oftentimes skin colors, they are more likely to be discriminated against by local communities based on stereotypes and misconceptions.
Far-right groups have made immigrants their preferred target and scapegoat for society’s ills such as high unemployment and crime. Therefore, foreign nationals are repeatedly victims of hate-speech, intimidation campaigns, vandalism, etc.
There is so much more to say about ethnocentrism and racism and how society has worked toward segregating people by skin colors.
Antisemitism is hatred or prejudice against Jewish people.
Origins and perpetuation
The first antisemitism sentiments were born in Egypt, after the death of Joseph – the son of Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel – who was the second in command in the whole land.
The Egyptians, seeing that the children of Israel were fruitful and increasing abundantly in numbers, devised to “deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join their enemies and fight against them, and so go up out of the land” (Exodus 1:10).
Also, after the Lord God delivered His people (Israel) from slavery in the land of Egypt and made them crossed the Red Sea on dry land, fear and jealousy seized canaanite nations who began to concoct schemes to either stop their progression or draw them away from God. (Exodus 17:8-16, Numbers 22-24)
Hatred against the nation of Israel and Jews has ever since grown and spread all around the world. Reasons to justify it are broad; Among them: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, described as a Jewish conspiracy for global domination.
Why is antisemitism so persistent?
From the Book of Judges to the Book of Revelation, the nation of Israel has faced fierce oppressors, colonialism, and deportation, because of their numerous rebellions against the Lord their God.
A nation under God (Psalms 33:12) is one of the things the Devil fears the most. This is why he is always actively working toward pulling hearts of Jews away from God and setting up men against the Jews. In doing so he intends Jews to self-destruct by rejecting God, and other nations to hate Jews enough to annihilate them from the face of the earth.
The Scriptures recounts stories of many nations and individuals who nurtured hatred against the Jews. Among them is the story of Haman, the Agagite, who plotted to destroy all the Jews in the realm of the Persian empire (Book of Esther Chapter 3 to 9). As the story goes, God saves His people and destroys Jews’ tormentors in lieu.
The love of God and the salvation of mankind
God has shown His love for the world (all mankind) by giving His only Son Jesus that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). The blood of Jesus was shed once so that all men could be reconciled with God, Jew or not, ‘for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved‘ (Romans 10:12-13).
A command to love, not to hate
The Lord Jesus has given us the command to love one another. In John 15:13-13, He says: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”.
Anger without a cause will lead to judgment
Why are you angry at your brother without a reason? Why are you irritated at him because of the color of his skin, his origins, or his background?
In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus says: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment”.
Murder starts in the heart, so does hatred.
Blended worship in heaven
Taken up in the Spirit to the Throne room of God, John, one of the twelve disciples of the Lord Jesus-Christ, depicts, in Revelation 7:9-17, the blended worship in Heaven.
John describes a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10.
This gives us a clear indication on the people who worship God. They are from all the regions of the earth, for God made man at His own likeness, and Jesus His son has come to save all men (regardless of the color of their skin) from sin and death.