Like all Black Hebrew Israelites, Sicarii believes Black people as well as Spanish and Indian people are the “true Hebrews.” Recently Sicarii visited Spanish Harlem in order to “wake people up to who they truly are”, claiming they are the “real Israelites.” Where do they get this idea from? Well, like all cults they use Bible verses out of context in order to indoctrinate others.
They claim minorities such as blacks, West Indians, Haitians, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Guatemalans & Panamanians, native American Indians, Seminole Indians, Colombians, Uruguayans, Mexicans, Argentinians and Chileans. Are from the 12 tribes spoken of in the Bible who have disobeyed the LORD and are suffering the curses spoken of in Deuteronomy 28 (we’ll dive more deeply at a later article), they say it refers to the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Sicarii and other Black Hebrew Israelite camps use eisegesis to read themselves into a text found in scripture instead of using exegesis. For the purposes of this article it would be best to define what these 2 words mean to get a clearer understanding.
Eisegesis Definition: the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas. First Known Use of eisegesis was in 1892.
Exegesis Definition: Exposition, Explanation especially : an explanation or critical interpretation of a text.
A tactic you’ll find executed by Sicarii is they’ll have 1 or 2 others reading portions of scripture while a 3rd members adds his eisegesis into the text to prove a point. The paring up of 1 main person (the speaker) will have 1 to 2 others by his side reading scriptures one after another in order to disorient the individual they are looking to indoctrinate.
While never reading verses in their entire context, it’s important to know when interpreting scripture to read a few verses before and after the text in question to get the full understanding of what’s being said; especially when you’re engaging BHI.
Preferably it’s better to understand the entire chapter and book to have fuller knowledge of what the author is telling us. This can be done in 2 ways, (1) is narrowing down to the text you’re focusing on. A visual of this is knowing the theme/background of the book for instance Galatians.
The theme of Galatians is Paul is confronting men who were spreading false doctrine saying a person must believe in Christ and be circumcised. Did you catch that? These men were coming unto the assembly of believers and told them they must believe on Christ plus keep the law in order to have salvation, this would be a false Gospel. The message was a mixture of Christianity and Judaism, this is exactly what the Black Hebrew Israelites teach.
(2) We look at the surrounding text in the book for this example lets take Galatians 2:4 which says:
Isolating the above text gives us a small understanding of what’s happening and cults love to do that in order to confuse you. Reading the surrounding text gives us more context to Galatians 2:4.
Galatians 2:1 Tells us Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem and took Titus with them. Galatians 2:2 tells us Paul went there by revelation and preached the gospel most likely there was a mix of Jews and Gentiles. Galatians 2:3 Paul tells us Titus a Greek, was not compelled to be circumcised: Galatians 2:4 And false believers came in spying our freedom in Jesus Christ to bring us into bondage (the Law). Galatians 2:5 Paul and Barnabas opposed those false believers that the truth of the gospel might continue with the believers in Galatia.
Then we can focus on the text being discussed which is Galatians 2:4 and it makes perfect sense being that we took the time to look at the context of that particular verse. (1) Theme of book (2) surrounding text (3) text in question. In a perfect world we would have the time to do this always, but when debating with the BHI we don’t have the time really to dive that deep.
The best thing to do is to look at the first 1-2 verses before Galatians 2:4 and the verse after to get a quick understanding of the context. Never allow them to isolate a verse as they will try to chain verses together which have no basis to be paired together.
As in Galatians 2:4 Sicarii takes it further saying you must be of a certain “nationality” to have salvation. This is the reason you’ll hear the BHI ask “what’s your nationality?” depending on your answer is how they will treat you. BHI believe only certain people are in God’s favor and all others cannot be saved. For instance anyone of German descent is from “Esau” and they believe that God hates Esau and will quote this verse.
From the verse above they claim it’s ok to hate others because God “hates Esau.” This of course doesn’t mean God actually hated Esau in fact God blessed Esau. God preferred Jacob over Esau as Esau was not in the lineage of Christ. How can we know this to be true? The Bible has no contradictions and we can gain better understanding of how words such as “hate” were used back then.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the One all believers should want to model after and we read from the Lord Himself in Luke 14:26 which says:
Here we see that Christ is saying if you prefer your father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters and your own life above Jesus Christ then you can’t be a follower of Christ. The love a believer has for the Lord must supersede and be first in our life. Now the question is was Christ telling us to actually hate our families and friends? Of course not because Jesus Christ is without sin, and to hate someone is sin.
Unless the Black Hebrew Israelites are ready to charge Jesus Christ with sin which I’m sure they don’t then their argument fails. If they are willing to say that God actually hates “Esau” would contradict His own word and Holy character and being.
If the Lord tells us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27, 35) then how can anyone think Christ would tell us to hate those closest to us but love our enemies? The Lord tells us to love all people, but He must be our first love, and that’s all Romans 9:13 is saying. Sicarii would take this verse to mean to hate others who are not minorities i.e. blacks and latinos. This is a gross misinterpretation of the scriptures.
Another belief Sicarii holds is that the Bible is only for Hebrew Israelites. They deny Gentiles are non-Jews found in the Bible by saying those who identified as Gentiles were in actuality Hebrews living in other lands and when the word Gentile us used it means “a gentile state of mind” in other words lost Jews. This is how they try to get around verses which clearly teach a distinction between Jews and non-Jews.
There are 2 words used in the Bible to describe an individual who is not from the nation of Israel. As mentioned earlier (1) Gentile and the other (2) nations, here are the definition for both.
גּוֹי gôwy, go’-ee; rarely (shortened) גֹּי gôy; apparently from the same root as H1465 (in the sense of massing); a foreign nation; hence, a Gentile; also (figuratively) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts:—Gentile, heathen, nation, people.
Outline of Biblical Usage
I. nation, people
A. nation, people
i. usually of non-Hebrew people
ii. of descendants of Abraham
iii. of Israel
B. of swarm of locusts, other animals (fig.)
proper masculine noun
C. Goyim? = “nations”
Ἕλλην Héllēn, hel’-lane; from G1671; a Hellen (Grecian) or inhabitant of Hellas; by extension a Greek-speaking person, especially a non-Jew:—Gentile, Greek.
Outline of Biblical Usage
I. a Greek either by nationality, whether a native of the main land or of the Greek islands or colonies
II. in a wider sense the name embraces all nations not Jews that made the language, customs, and learning of the Greeks their own; the primary reference is to a difference of religion and worship
One way around the objection that only Hebrews can be saved is by pointing them to Acts chapter 10. We have the account of Cornelius who was a centurion (Act 10:1) during the time Jerusalem was under the rulership of Ceasar and the Roman empire.
Cornelius is spoken of as being “devout man, and one that feared God with all his house” this is evidence that Cornelius obviously had some kind of belief in God. He didn’t know who God was at this point and time but he prayed to God always (Act 10:2). He had a vision an angel visited him and told him his prayers “come up for a memorial before God.”
Act 10:3, 4 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.
Cornelius is told by the angel Simon Peter is in Joppa send for him (Acts 10:5) and he will tell you want to do (Acts 10:6). Cornelius sent men to bring Peter from Joppa and now Peter after receiving his own vision in Joppa is told by the Spirit to come to Cornelius (Acts 10:17, 10:19). When Peter comes into the house of Cornelius, he’s told about the vision Cornelius received and that he was visited by an angel.
Peter starts to preach the Gospel to Cornelius and everyone that was there from Cornelius’ household, and something extraordinary happens. Just like in Acts chapter 2 the Holy Spirit indwelt the believers in the upper room and they spoke in touges. So did Cornelius and all they of his household. Now remember Cornelius is a Roman centurion, there’s no chance that any Jew could be part of the Roman army as the Romans hated the Jews.
This plus many other verses prove that salvation is not only for the Hebrews but also for Gentile believers in Jesus Christ. I’ll leave you with a few more verses from the Old Testament which prove God wants to save both Jews and Gentiles. The word stranger(s) is another word which refers to non-jewish people.
Strangers (non-Jews) are to be treated as one born among the Hebrews. How are they keeping the commandments of God when the LORD says to “love him (the stranger) as thyself” is Sicarii loving the stranger as themselves?
Leviticus 19:33, 34 And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. [But] the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.
Hebrews are called to love the stranger who lives among them, but so called “Black Hebrew Israelites” hate white people (non-minorities). But God Himself says that He loves the stranger and gives the stranger food and clothes. Therefore, God commanded the Hebrews to “love ye therefore the stranger” because the Hebrews are to be reminded when they were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 10:17-19 For the LORD your God [is] God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
The LORD tell the Israelites to give a fair portion of the inheritance to the strangers and themselves, these strangers are once again living among the Israelites.
Ezekiel 47:22, 23 And it shall come to pass, [that] ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall come to pass, [that] in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give [him] his inheritance, saith the Lord GOD.
In this passage of Isaiah the LORD is saying Egypt are His people and Assyria are the work of the LORD’s hands and Israel is His inheritance. Three sets of people are shown favor by the LORD.
Isaiah 19:23-25 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, [even] a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed [be] Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
In the following scripture we see how God makes provision for the Gentiles (stranger) saying He (LORD) gave the Lord Jesus as a covenant to be “a light of the Gentiles.” Christ fulfilled this prophecy in the Gospel of Luke 2:32 “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.” Also in the Gospel of John the Lord Jesus said “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)
Isaiah 42:6, 7 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
Again the Lord Jesus is spoken of as the One who would gather Jacob (Israel) again to God. Even though Israel is not gathered Christ would still be glorious in the sight of God. This is the same glorious One will be a “light to the Gentiles” because Christ is the LORD’s salvation for all people not only Israelites.
Isaiah 49:5-7 And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb [to be] his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength. And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, [and] his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, [and] the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
It’s clear Christ died for all (2 Corinthians 5:14, 5:15) which means the Lord Jesus died for both Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews). Christ is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe (1 Timothy 4:10). Thanks for reading and look out for the next article concerning the so called “Black Hebrew Israelites” and their faith plus works doctrine in other words keeping the commandments for salvation.