Are there black Jews? I’ve heard that there are some in Ethiopia. Black people are supposed to be descended from Ham, but where did his descendants settle after the flood?

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There are black-skinned Jews, and they are from Ethiopia. Up until three years ago, the majority of black Jews were still in Ethiopia, but most of them have now been airlifted to Israel — and this is where the majority of black-skinned Jews live today. It is correct that the black population descended from some of the sons of Ham, and, based upon Genesis 10, we know that these people settled in Central and South Africa. Other olive-skinned descendants of Ham, such as the Egyptians, settled in North Africa. And the descendants of Ham€s fourth son, Canaan, also olive-skinned, settled in the land of Canaan which later became the land of Israel.

The origin of the black Jews comes from an intermarriage between the local Hamitic black and Jewish Semitic populations. After Babylon destroyed Jerusalem in 586 B.C., many Jews fled to Egypt and later became Egyptian army members who guarded the cataracts of the Nile in regions that are today Ethiopia. These Jews from Israel intermarried with the local black population that had adopted Mosaic Judaism — such is the origin of the Ethiopian Jews, sometimes known as the Falasha Jews.

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