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SPECIAL REPORT

The Khazars: Do They Destroy God’s Plan for the Jews?

By Rev. Ted Pike
18 May 06

For more than a century, Zionists have claimed that modern Jews are entitled to Palestine because they are legitimate descendants of Abraham. Devout Christians and devout Jews both believe God’s plan for Israel involves a racially authentic Jewry.

That’s why Jewish novelist Arthur Koestler’s 1976 book, The Thirteenth Tribe, was a political and theological bombshell. Koestler reveals how the central Eurasian nation, Khazaria, converted to Judaism in 740 AD. These 2 million Turkish warriors and traders became at least as devout as actual (Sephardic-Oriental) Jews, whose genetic lines trace back to Abraham. The Khazars soon convinced themselves that they really were authentic Jews.

Today, Koestler asserts, most “Jews” worldwide are primarily descended from these ancient Turks - not Abraham! What does this mean for the millions of American Christians so eager to bless the children of Abraham? Has this Khazar corruption of Jewish blood also corrupted God’s plan for the Jews?

In this special report, I will conclude that the Khazar merger is a fact of history, but that it didn’t destroy God’s plan for the Jews at all. Far from it! The conversion of these 2 million Gentiles actually fulfilled Bible prophecy, and powerfully confirms God’s timeless ethical covenant with His chosen people.

Koestler’s Controversial Claims

Many Christians and Jews felt deeply threatened by Koestler’s thesis. Scholars and genetic studies 1 attempted to debunk it. Yet historian and author Kevin Alan Brook has extensively documented Koestler’s basic thesis. And in his fascinating book, The Jews of Khazaria, Brook has confirmed Koestler in a way that many Jews find surprisingly acceptable.

At www.khazaria.com, Brook offers a treasury of ancient commentaries on the Khazarian conversion. He also provides statements by dozens of scholars over the past century who confirm Koestler.

Jewish and Slavonic historians by the dozens have accepted the Khazar origins of eastern European Jewry. Recent archeology reveals how the Khazar converts migrated to eastern Europe, especially Poland. There, they helped create the massive eastern European Ashkenazi “Jewish” populations. Millions of their descendants immigrated to America around the turn of the 20th century, and attained wealth in business, government, and media. 2

Brook quotes this 1962 statement by the Jewish Journal of Sociology, which is typical of many: “Polish scholars agree that the oldest (Polish Jewish) settlements were founded by Jewish emigres from the Khazar state and Russia while the Jews from Southern and Western Europe began to arrive and settle only later…and that a certain proportion at least of the Jewish population (in earlier times, the main bulk) originated from the east, from the Khazar country…” 3

God's Purpose for the Khazars

How does Koestler's thesis affect God’s plan for the Jews?

As the Hebrews approached the Promised Land 3,500 years ago, God warned them that they had a choice: obey God and be blessed and dwell in the land, or disobey Him and be cursed and exiled. One of many ways God said He will curse a disobedient Jewish nation is by keeping them very small. “Then you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven for multitude, because you did not obey the Lord your God.” (Deut. 28:62)

Israel did not obey God. She crucified her Lord and spiritual husband, Jesus Christ - screaming, “His blood be upon us and upon our children!” For their disobedience, the Jews incurred the curse of remaining small in number. This curse remains in effect today.

During the Exodus, the Hebrew population was about 2 million 4, swelling to about 5-1/2 million in the time of David, 500 years later. What is the population of Jews descended from the tribe of Judah and Benjamin today? 2,950,000. 5 Incredibly, after three and a half millenia, authentic Jews number only 950,000 more than when Moses led them out of Egypt! That's a gain of less than 300 new people per year.

Contrast such anemic population growth with the posterity of another descendant of Abraham: Ishmael. The father of the Arab world was the offspring of Abraham’s union with Sarah’s maid, an Egyptian of Hamitic not Semitic stock. In contrast to the racially authentic yet rebellious descendants of Judah, God said He would magnify the descendants of the half-breed, Ishmael. “…I will multiply thy seed exceedingly that it shall not be numbered for multitude.” (Gen 16:10) What’s the population of the Arab world today? Between 200 and 300 million! 6 At 250 million, that is an increase of 62,500 per year! Truly, God’s promise of blessing and cursing could not be more powerfully fulfilled.

The curse of smallness, which clings to racially authentic Jewry today, is not a hereditary weakness. Exodus records that when God had "respect" for the Hebrews, they enjoyed prolific powers of reproduction, even as Egyptian slaves. They increased from several hundred to several million 400 years later.

Today, Jewish inability to keep up with the phenomenal powers of Arab reproduction is a source of chronic frustration to the people of Israel and their leaders.

Israel to be Oppressed

God also threatened that “aliens” would perpetually rule over Israel if she did not obey. “The alien who is among you shall rise above you higher and higher, but you shall go down lower and lower. He shall lend to you but you shall not lend to him: He shall be the head and you shall be the tail.” (Deut. 28:43,4)

In 740 AD (or, as some experts contend, about a century later), Khazar “aliens” invaded Judaism in a bizarre twist of divine judgment. They did not do so territorially but spiritually and genetically. Like the ancient Philistines stealing the ark of the covenant, the Khazars appropriated the Talmud and Cabala (Zohar), the promises of Abraham, and even the name “Jew.” Swelling into a world population now estimated at 11.2 million 7, modern Ashkenazim, the primary force behind 20th century Zionism, dominate the government, military, economic, and religious authority of Israel. 950,000 authentic Jews in Israel 8, outnumbered 3 to 1, are largely excluded and discriminated against by the Khazar ruling majority 9, which totals about 3.7 million. Friction smolders between both groups.

In his book, The Life of an American Jew in Racist, Marxist Israel, American Ashkenazi Jack Bernstein recounts discrimination which he suffered after marrying a Sephardic. He says that next to Arabs and Christians, Sephardim are most discriminated against in Israel (p.7).

Jews are Here for the Duration

Despite persecution and the threat of assimilation, relatively authentic Jews are still very much in the world. They fulfill Christ’s prophecy that “this generation (race) shall not pass away until all things be fulfilled.” (Matt. 24:34) Yet, contrary to expectations, they are encapsulated as a repressed minority within a much larger, more aggressive Gentile majority. In a bizarre symbiosis, Khazars carry racially authentic Jews with them toward fulfillment of anti-Christ objectives. Under God’s curse to remain small, the Sephardic-Oriental would never be able to attain such goals on their own. Such shared ambitions include their prophesied ascendancy over the nations (Ezekiel 38, 39), rebuilding their temple in Jerusalem, and receiving their false messiah - anti-Christ, who will sit in their temple, proclaiming himself to be God (Matt. 24:15, 2 Thess. 2:4).

To make all this possible, God allowed the Khazar hordes to be engrafted - a nation of high intelligence and creativity but also historically possessing a dominant, warlike nature as well as skill and rapacious instinct toward commerce and finance. Incredibly, they became even more devoted proprietors of the Talmud and especially Cabala, using them as fuel for their own racism and revolution.

One of the reasons Israeli Ashkenazim resent Sephardic-Orientals is that they became part of Zionism much later, largely after statehood of Israel in 1948. Historically, Sephardic-Orientals disagreed with the Zionist-Christian Evangelical assertion that obedience to God is no longer a prerequisite for Jews to occupy Palestine. Such primarily Orthodox Jews believed they were in exile because of their sins. They claimed that only when Messiah comes, persuading the Jewish people into repentance, would a truly obedient Jewry be allowed back into God’s promised land. However, with the spectacular successes of Zionism, most Sephardics capitulated. The Ashkenazi leadership has not forgotten or forgiven their hesitancy. As a result, authentic Jews in Israel remain under the heel of the Khazar aliens in perfect fulfillment of Deuteronomy 28. They are literally the tail, while the Khazars are the head.

Who, then, constitute that repentant “Jewish” remnant so often prophesied to repent at Christ’s second coming? Will the Khazars be included?

Christ, in Ezekiel 47, speaking out of His coming millennial temple as He rules in Jerusalem, gives the answer. “And it will come about that you shall divide by lot for an inheritance among yourselves and among the aliens [Khazars] who stay in your midst. And they shall be to you as the native-born among the sons of Israel: they shall be allotted an inheritance with you among the sons of Israel.” (Ezek 47:22) Christ makes it clear that, as in the Old Testament, Gentiles who earnestly adhere to Judaism, even in its apostate condition, can do so and be counted in the Jewish nation.

Is God Finished with National Israel?

Since Koestler’s revelations, various political and theological critics of Zionism have seized upon the Khazars as proof that whatever destiny God had for Israel has now been destroyed by Khazar admixture.

Yet God is full of new mercies. Thousands of years ago, He and many great prophets and godly men and women labored, largely in vain, to bring forth a meager harvest of righteousness from the dry rocky soil of Israel's unbelief. The Pharisees, in their Talmud, call Jesus “a fool,” mocking His claim that He will ultimately receive obedience from the Jewish people (Sanh. 67a). Many today believe Jews have become so wicked and corrupting that it is inconceivable they should someday experience a mass outpouring of grace from the One their fathers crucified and reviled.

But Jesus Christ is the Redeemer who extends love to the vilest sinner who calls upon Him for mercy. He formed the Jewish people to show forth the riches of His love to all nations. He will not be frustrated in that ambition, even by the depths of their apostasy.

Don't be astonished, then, that He can miraculously save a remnant of Jews. It is a miracle that any of us are saved.

He has saved the Jews before. He can do it again.

End Notes:

1 The Y chromosome in males and mitochondrial DNA in females never changes. Consquently, despite the genetic shuffle of the centuries, it is possible to identify the general genetic make-up of the founders of an ethnic group.

At least three major genetic studies, Hammer et al. (2000), Goldstein et al. (2002), and Behar et al. (2004), attempted to determine Jewish origins. Their results are sometimes contradictory and puzzling even to geneticists. Yet Goldstein and Behar agree on one thing: the founding mothers of Sephardim were very different from those of Ashkenazim. All agree that it is "likely" that the male founding ancestors of Ashkenazim were largely of Mid-East origins - more so than the ancestors of Caucasian Europeans.

This suggests a plausible scenario explaining the presence of Mideast genes within the European Ashkenazim.

With conversion of the Khazars, history records an intense demand by the Khazarians themselves for Rabbinic teachers to instruct them in the requirements of a very complex religion.

Twelfth century Sephardic writer Yehuda HaLevi said the Khazars were "eager to learn the Jewish law… They sent to various countries for scholars and books and studied the Torah… They also honored and cherished the Israelites who lived among them."(The Kuzari: The Book of Proof and Argument in Defense of the Despised Faith, HaLevi)

"Rabbis were then invited to come and teach Jewish laws and customs to the Jewish Khazars. During the 200 years of the existence of this Jewish kingdom, most of the Khazars had learned the Jewish religion and were living in accordance with its laws."(Mordecai Soloff, How the Jewish People Grew Up, Cincinnati, Ohio, The Union of American-Hebrew Congregations 1936, p. 219-221)

It is inconceivable that the transformation of possibly two million idolatrous Khazars into zealous Jewish proselytes could be facilitated and sustained for two centuries without thousands of Rabbinic teachers. Such must have consisted primarily of the priestly class, the "Kohanim." These teachers were highly intelligent Talmudists. They were by definition male and most likely single, being visitors from distant lands such as Spain and Babylon. Khazarian women were famous for their beauty, prized as wives by Byzantine nobility. This was a perfect setting for pairing of Semitic genes with Gentile.

Constantine Akropolites (1250-1324) revealed that Khazars and Jews of the East may have freely intermarried. Jewish Khazars of Constantinople did intermarry and become fully integrated into the Jewish district, in contrast to Sephardim in the west. See The Legend of St. Zotikos according to N. Constantine Akropolite, ed. Timothy S. Miller, 1994, p.339-376.

Goldstein’s 2002 study of the origins of Ashkenazi women indicated they had many founding mothers and such possessed widely diversed genes. This harmonizes with the fact that Khazar women, living in a major international trading center, lacked any tradition of racial exclusivity.

The Khazarians would also have received Hebrew DNA from another major source. Surrounding the period of initial Khazar conversion, large populations of Jews were expelled from Asia Minor and the Byzantine empire. They took refuge in their new "promised land," Khazaria.

A final thought: One wonders why DNA from the bones of 9th century Khazar graves has not been extracted and compared to DNA of eastern European "Jewry." Such research might help resolve a debate which has too long remained contentious.

2 Medieval Rabbinic authorities of the Sephardim in Toledo, Spain, were aware of the Khazars and made it clear that they did not grant equality to them. They discouraged intermarriage. Such geographic, cultural and spiritual separation is revealed in the following statement to me by Khazar authority Muhammad Rafik: "The medieval German (and in fact all western European) Jews were not in contact with eastern European "Jewry." This can be easily demonstrated by the medieval synod of France, where the leading rabbis of Europe would congregate… Of over 100 attending rabbis at the 11th and 12th century synod, not one was from eastern Europe or even Poland. They all came from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, and England."

Yet in The Jews of Khazaria, Brook expands our awareness of how small numbers of Jews entered medieval eastern Europe, largely from southern lands and as a result of persecution under the Crusades and Inquisition. They found relative safety in the more tolerant Slavic countries of eastern Europe. However, he agrees with many authorities that such numbers of authentic Jews vastly swelled as German Sephardim migrated into Khazar-dominated Poland in the 15th and 16th centuries. Partly as a result of the more permissive intermarriage practices allowed by Maimonides, authentic and Polish Khazar Jewry at last significantly melded. In time, such Khazar-Sephardim radiated westward, creating the stereotypic "German Jews," often resented by Sephardim of the west for their aggressiveness.

In Khazar-dominated countries of eastern Europe outside Poland, the genes of the founding Khazars remained much less diluted. Around the turn of the last century, such Khazar Ashkenazim joined a horde of European Jewish immigrants to America.

3 Adam Vetulani, in his article, "The Jews of Medieval Poland," in Jewish Journal of Sociology, volume 4 (December 1962), page 274.

4 Motivated by military considerations, Moses' census, Num. 1:46, records 603,550 "sons of Israel… from 20 years old and upward, whoever was able to go out to war in Israel." Add an equal number of women of that age (603,550) plus young people under the age of 20 (perhaps 500,000) plus elderly and infirm over 60 (250,000). Total: 1, 957,100. The number of Hebrews in the exodus, not counting a "mixed multitude" (Ex. 12:38) of Gentiles surely totaled about several million.

5 Encyclopedia of the Orient, “Sephardi”

6 Wikipedia, “Arab”

7 Wikipedia, “Ashkenazi”

8 Encyclopedia of the Orient, “Sephardi”

9 The Christian Science Monitor reports, "…years of discrimination against Sephardic Jews in education, jobs, housing, and other areas by Israel's mostly Ashkenazi, or European Jewish elite." (Jen Lynfield, "The Shahs of Israel Rise to Prominence," April 4, 2000.

Similarly, "In Israel, political tensions continue to persist because of feelings on the part of many Sephardim that they have been discriminated against and still don't get the respect they deserve. Historically, political elite of the nation have been Ashkenazim… Jewish Virtual Library, "Ashkenazim," by Shira Schoenberg, p. 3, 2006.

Despite recent increase in voting power provided by the powerful Sephardic Shahs party, an angry Sephardic cries out, "They gave us homes, they gave us the dirty work; they gave us education, and they took away our self-respect. What did they bring my parents to Israel for? …Wasn't it to do your dirty work? You didn't have Arabs then, so you needed our parents to do your cleaning and be your servants and laborers… You exploited and disgraced us for thirty years. You brought a million donkeys to ride on." (Beyond the Promised Land, Glen Frankel, p. 143)


Rev. Ted Pike’s 345 page book "Israel: Our Duty…Our Dilemma" contains a ten page appendix, The Khazars. This is a concise overview of Koestler’s argumentation. Order for $24.90 at www.truthtellers.org.

For many more articles discussing biblical perspectives on Israel come to www.truthtellers.org.

TALK SHOW HOSTS: For interview with Rev. Ted Pike, call 503-631-3808.

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