[Marxism] Which prophets really existed ?

Joseph Catron jncatron at gmail.com
Sat Sep 22 15:08:25 MDT 2012

On Sat, Sep 22, 2012 at 10:34 PM, Shane Mage <shmage at pipeline.com> wrote:

Perhaps not entirely.  In the eighth century bce the Assyrian ruler Sargon
> II deported the population of Israel "beyond the mountains of darkness,"
> ie., the southern Caucasus.  The is the area from which developed the
> greatest of all Jewish states, that of Khazaria.  When Mongol invasions
> drove the Khazars westward their kingdom disappeared but they did not.  In
> the Bible the area to which the Israelites were deported was known as
> "Ashkenaz" (Genesis 10:3, I Chronicles 1:6, Jeremiah 51:27), and in the
> 10th century ce the leader of Mesopotamian Jewry, Saadiah Gaon, described
> the Khazars as Ashkenazim.  The population of Khazaria was mixed and nobody
> knows what proportion descended primarily from Israelite exiles and what
> from a native Turkic population--in any event there had to be very much
> intermarriage over 2 millennia.  Since the majority of Jews today are
> Ashkenazim,  the Israelite component is probably much larger than the
> Judaean one.

I'm in over my head when I argue ancient civilizations with Shane, and ask
that he go easy on me!

But the narrative he proposes here seems to have a few problems:

1. The gap between the resettlement of Israel in the 8th century BCE, and
the Khazars' conversion to Judaism in the 8th century CE, is an awfully
long one. Barring evidence to the contrary, the obvious assumption seems to
be that the latter exile - that of the Judean elite - had more to do with
the prosetylization of (and intermarriage with) the Khazars.

2. The form of the Hebrew religion - rabbinical Judaism - adopted by the
Khazars is distinctly Judean. Israelites deported by Sargon knew nothing of
the Talmud, formulated over a millennium later by the pharisees of Babylon.

I can't claim to follow this stuff that closely, but suspect that if there
were a compelling case that descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes had been
found populating Brooklyn and Jaffa/"Tel Aviv," we would have all heard it.
In fact, I think I'm aware of most crank theories concerning those guys'
whereabouts! Never heard this one, though. Has anyone seriously proposed it?

"Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen

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