You teach that the biblical definition of a Jew is strictly by bloodline, which means that one cannot, in the biblical sense, become a Jew, and that a Jew cannot become a non-Jew. Yet, Esther 8:17 states, “And many among the peoples of the land became Jews, for the dread of the Jews had fallen on them.” This seems to allow for a second biblical definition of a Jew. Ryrie notes, “i.e., embraced the religion of the Jews as proselytes.” Please comment.

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The translation of Esther 8:17 as “became Jews” is unfortunate since that is not the actual meaning of the term. The Hebrew word is hityahadim which would be better translated as “converting to Judaism.” That would be the reason Ryrie footnoted it as meaning the embracement of the Jewish religion and they became proselytes. The Hebrew text does not say they became Jews but that they became Judaistic and converted to Judaism.

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