BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Jews and Arabs Descended from Canaanites

DNA analysis, from bodies found at several sites, explains more than half of ancestry

DNA

After examining the DNA of 93 bodies recovered from archaeological sites around the southern Levant, the land of Canaan in the Bible, researchers have concluded that modern populations of the region are descendants of the ancient Canaanites. Most modern Jewish groups and the Arabic-speaking groups from the region show at least half of their ancestry as Canaanite.

In the study, published in Cell in May, 2020, the researchers explain that they used existing DNA analysis of 20 individuals, from sites in Israel and Lebanon, and then added 73 more, taking DNA from the bones of individuals found at Tel Megiddo, Tel Abel Beth Maacah and Tel Hazor (Northern Israel), Yehud (central Israel) and Baq’ah (central Jordan). By first eliminating individuals closely related to other individuals in the sample, then comparing the remaining 62 DNA samples against a dataset of 1,663 modern individuals, they were able to establish the genetic link to the modern populations. The ethnic groups either still living where Canaan once dominated, or from that area prior to moving elsewhere, are largely descended from the Canaanites.

Canaanite relief in basat

Canaanite relief in basat depicting a lion and a lioness at play, 14th century BC, from Beit She’an, Israel Museum, Jerusalem (Wikimedia commons)

Canaanite culture was dominant in the Southern Levant during the Bronze Age (3,500-1,200 B.C.E.) As Iron Age I began, the Canaanite city-states faded. The Israelites self-identified as a separate group. As Volkmar Fritz speculates in Israelites and Canaanites, the Israelites may have formed distinct living arrangements, establishing small villages on peripheral land not previously settled and living mostly in four-room houses. Ultimately, the Israelites formed the states of Israel and Judah, while other biblical states, Ammon, Moab, Aram-Damascus, and Phoenician city-states, emerged. Today, the region consists of Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and southwest Syria.

The study in Cell not only establishes that the ancient Israelites were descended from the Canaanites, but also establishes that the Canaanite people across the separate city-states of the southern Levant, and over a period of 1,500 years, were a genetically cohesive people.


This post originally appeared in Bible History Daily in June, 2020.


Further reading in Bible History Daily:

6,500-Year-Old DNA Points to Ancient Migration

What Happened to the Canaanites?

DNA Suggests Early Jewish Links with Africa

Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry Confirmed European by mtDNA Tests


All-Access members, read more in the BAS Library:

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47 Responses

  1. Joe A says:

    You lost me when you falsely claimed “ The Israelites self-identified as a separate group.”
    I find your readers have more knowledge than the writer.

    God bless

  2. Dr. Eric Rice says:

    I think we are missing a few things here. Abraham was a Chaldee as was his wife. He was called a Hebrew by the local population in Canaan, most likely refering to the Hebrew word avar, meaning to cross over or cross beyond, using the hifil form meaning: being caused to cross over, as in God caused him to cross over to Canaan (Ivri). Isaac’s wife and Jacob’s wives were also Chaldee. Though it is truly Jacob and his wives that create the DNA that we can call Hebrew and thus Judean or Jew, since it is at this point where we now have a pure bred data point for DNA studies, since per the law, all marriages were to be contained in this DNA pool. This DNA pool however, still had some outside DNA influences. Rechab being the first known from the Bible and she was Canaanite, Ruth was another from Moab. Were there DNAs pure? Or were they also of mixed decent within their people group. The Kings from each generation also had wives from people outside the Hebrews, especially Solomon. Each king having 30-70 children considered Jews, but many of mixed decent. So what DNA set can possibly determine a true Hebrew or Yehudim? Does this include people who converted to believe in the God of Israel. Jesus spoke of conversions in his day, how about conquered peoples as well. Slaves who converted and were freed on Jubilee? During the return from Babylon, the Bible speaks of turning foreign wives and children from the levites and priests but no so much the average people of the day, except if they could prove their paternal lineage, regardless of mixed marriage of the two generations while living in Babylon. By this time, Babylon was mixed with marriages of peoples from nearly half the world. Your desire in this is obvious, trying to negate the existance of a Hebrew people thru DNA or at least say they were Canaanite; and from what I see it is a deceptive and fruitless endeavor.

  3. Lutfi soumi says:

    I noticed that most of the comments are more Biblical than archaeological , l would like to pay your kind attention to the following : Canaan was consisted of : Israel , Judea Edome and Fillistia .. Israel , Judea , were both Canaanite’s with a big minority of Midianites who worship Yahweh and who were named Jews in the first cen. C.E and were originally from Median in north west Higaz . So all these people are from the same genetic group .
    What is inconceivable is that you did not differentiate between the eastern and western origin Jews , who do not belong to the same genetic group . Regards .

  4. Keith says:

    I’m coming late to this, but the article misses some important points.

    Beth Shean was always a mixed area and not entirely Israelite. Around 130 BC the Israelite Hasmonean king John Hyracanus conquered the Edomites (descendants of Esau) and gave them the option of exile, death or joining Israel. They chose the latter.

    The Edomites merged into Israel, many becoming Pharisees (forming modern Judaism) under the sponsorship of Herod (also Edomite). The Edomites had freely bred with the Canaanites for centuries. At this point Israel stopped being entirely Israelite and became Jewish (from Judea, the place where all this was happening).

    When you consider the Khazar conversion to Judaism in the early second millennium along with the Edomite influx, the hard part is determining who of the current Jewish population is actually Israelite. While there are some Israelites still remaining in Judaism, it is wrong to say all Jews are Israelites (tribally, not politically).

    1. andrew says:

      this guy gets it

  5. Lisa Andrea says:

    Where does the study find Arabs linked to Canaanites? Canaanites were not even Arabs nor is Arabic a Canaanite language.

  6. Charles Green says:

    This is fake science and not even the real conclusion made by the cited study of which the authors have conflicts of interest and ulterior motives. Modern-day Jews don’t descend from Canaanites and neither do “Arabs” in general. The only people who do descend from Canaanites are the Palestinians and Lebanese, including the Bedouins and Samaritans among them.

    The study that the article is referencing doesn’t even conclude what the article claims despite the fact that the research study was done with a deceptive motive to claim that jews come from Palestine which they don’t. Here’s the actual conclusion of the study: “Migration from the Zagros and/or Caucasus to the Levant between 2500–1000 BCE” and “People related to these individuals contributed to all present-day Levantine populations”.

    Essentially the study intentionally and carelessly conflates Zagros/Caucases with Levant in one single gene pool in attempt to muddy the waters and claim that jews may come from the Levant. The reason they chose to do this is because they know that jews (Ashkenazis) originate from the Zagros/Caucus population, not the Levantine/Palestine population.

    1. Joe Smith says:

      I’m curious, Charles Green, why you limit your focus to the Ashkenazi Jews? It’s consistent with this study, and our understanding of the history, that the Sephardic Jews are descended from denizens of the Levant (as are the Lebanese, Palestinians, Jordanians, and others). It is well-known and widely accepted that Ashkenazi Jews are of “more” European descent (exactly how much is unclear).

      You seem dedicated to shooting down a strawman, not refuting this study, or this Biblical Archaeology Review post explaining the study.

    2. Lisa Andrea says:

      Israelites were Canaanites. Hebrew is a Canaanite language. Jews are the only living link to Canaanites.

      1. Sandra Hass says:

        Canaanites are descendants of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah, descended from Adam through Seth, not Cain. The descendants of Cain are recorded in Genesis 4:17-24. They did not survive the flood. Noah’s descendants are recorded in Genesis 10 – 11. The Semitic peoples are descendants of Shem, the eldest of Noah’s three sons. Shem’s descendants are recorded in Genesis 11:10-32, as far as Abram.

        1. Dee says:

          Thanks when in doubt refer to the BIBLE!

        2. Patrick Tilton says:

          The Bible gives us the names of Noah and his three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth), but it doesn’t tell us anything about their wives — not even their names. Bible believers — who, of course, believe the story is ‘history’ — assume that those four women were all ‘pure-blooded’ Adamites descended through an untainted bloodline (i.e. not from Cain). Extra-biblical tales may give Noah’s wife the name ‘Naamah’, but the author(s) of GENESIS thought of females as mere ‘vessels’ in which the male-derived ‘seed’ was nurtured: they didn’t know about recombinant DNA genomes and the like. Therefore, the names of those four women didn’t matter to them, in their ignorance. If we were to assume that the Noah stories in the Bible actually happened — which is ludicrous — then who’s to say that those four women were or weren’t ‘pure’-bloods? Maybe their ancestry was from Europe (Japheth’s wife), Asia (Shem’s wife), and Africa (Ham’s wife), leading to the Post-Flood distinctions along those lines, where the adjective ‘Hamitic’ refers to those descendants of Ham who, due to their maternal genes, became the Africans, etc.

        3. russ says:

          Judah and Tamar
          1About that time, Judah left his brothers and settled near a man named Hirah, an Adullamite. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua, and he took her as a wife and slept with her. 3So she conceived and gave birth to a son, and Judah named him Er.…
          Berean Standard Bible · Download

          Cross References
          Numbers 26:19
          The sons of Judah were Er and Onan, but they died in the land of Canaan.

          1 Chronicles 2:3
          The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, and Shelah. These three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanite. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, who put him to death.

          Treasury of Scripture
          And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in to her.

          saw.

          Genesis 3:6
          And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

          Genesis 6:2
          That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

          Genesis 24:3
          And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

          Shuah.

          Genesis 46:12
          And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul.

          1 Chronicles 2:3
          The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: which three were born unto him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the sight of the LORD; and he slew him.

          Shua.

          Genesis 6:4
          There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

          Genesis 24:3
          And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

          Jump to Previous

      2. Sam says:

        The DNA study disproves your claim.

      3. John says:

        Did you read the Bible, Ras Sharma, or The Armana Letters? They describe the invasion of Canaan by the Israelites. Israelites are related to Canaanites because they interbred with the Canaanites after the invasion. Palestinians are more closely related to the Canaanites. And if we’re talking about the current israeli population, which is 55% Sephardim and 45% Ashkenazim, they are Spanish and European. These statistics are from the CIA. I understand there are around 3,200,000 Mizrahi jews as well, but their connection to the Canaanites can be traced back to when the israelites invaded Canaan. Otherwise their roots are from other middle eastern countries, north africa, central asia, and parts of the Caucasus.
        But does it matter anyway? Palestinians and Mizrahi jews are probably a little bit related somewhere down the line. The jewish people technically claimed the land all those years ago in the bible. Do they need to do it again? It’s mostly people not even related to the original jews trying to claim the land. God did not tell the Jewish people recently to kill all the Palestinians. Killing the Palestinians is not the will of god and it goes against the 10 commandments.
        The bottom line is is that Palestinians have more connection to the land and have always been there for thousands of years. Suddenly establishing israel and kicking out and killing Palestinians is an obvious genocide and heinous crime. You only need common sense to know this.

    3. Rich says:

      Funny how you conflate Palestinians and Samaritans with Canaanites yet provide no proof. This article misconstruing the results of the study are correct, it does conflate the initial Canaanites and the migrants after genetically from the Zagros and Caucuses (corresponding to Abraham or Lot’s descendants) into one gene pool, but considering how Palestinians, Druze, and Samaritans also cluster close with Jewish groups on every study I’ve seen on them, it seems impossible that they would be descended from Canaanites with Jews not at all. As for the Lebanese, there is that one study that does show high genetic continuity between them and Canaanites of ~1700 BC Sidon, but I couldn’t find any studies indicating that Lebanese are more related to Palestinians or to Jews. They are somewhat related to both apparently, but that could be due to the Canaanite dna in that study having chalcolithic Iranian admixture which could correspond to the same ethnicity as Abraham was from roughly speaking.

    4. Roni says:

      1. Only 20% of Jews in Israel are full Ashkenazi. Second of all, Ashkenazi Jews got genetic from the Middle East.

      2. You are lying. Jews are descended from the Canaanites. The only Canaanites language the left is spoken by the Jews.
      And here’s studies to prove you wrong:

      1. John says:

        Wrong. Recent data shows that approximately 38% of Jews in israel are ashkenazi. 42% of Jews in israel are mizrahi, and the other 20% are sephardi. These are all distinct groups. ashkenazi are descendant from europe, sephardi are descendant from spain, and mizrahi are the only descendants from the middle east. Not all jews are descended from the Canaanites. The mizrahi are the only ones that are, and they are not soley decendents of the Canaanites. Their heritage is mainly Babylonian and Persian. Their Canaanite dna is from invading the Canaanites in ~1250 bce and interbreeding with them. You can find historical evidence of this in the Bible, Ras Shamra, and The Amarna Letters. Also, the statistics are found from a simple google search.

  7. Alois says:

    So the semitic peoples are Caananites, descendants of Cain. Interesting.

    1. David B. says:

      Cain’s progeny would have been wiped out by the Biblical flood. Unless there is some piece of information that has not been revealed.

      1. Dad Gramp says:

        Wrong. Cains son Enoch had a great grandson or great great grandson named, are you ready for this? …… NOAH. Yep NOAH. So after the flood, this Hebrew named NOAH and his children and wife populated the earth for the second time. Adad an Eve did it the first time aronud. Everyone on this earth are decendents of NOAH and NOAH is a blood decendent from Adam and Eve via their son Cain who for killing his brother Able was sentenced by God to wander aimlessly for all eternity in the land of Nod, which can be found on ancient maps. You guys gotta read more ancient works that have been verified as to being original and dated.

        1. Shanks Kogno says:

          huhhhhhh, this is wrong. First there is two Enoch, one evil the other righteous; and the one you mentioned is not the grandfather of Noah but the evil one. The real Enoch related to Noah is of the seventh generation after Adam of the line of Seth. You should go back and reread the genealogy.

          1. Kumu says:

            Enoch (the good one) was taken back to heaven by God, he is now the Archangel Metatron according to some beliefs. He is a powerful Archangel

    2. Roni says:

      Why are you lying? There’s no proof of this stupid khazar theorie.

  8. Abigail says:

    A detailed look at thousands of genomes finds that Ashkenazim—who make up roughly 80% of the world’s Jews, including 90% of those in America and half of those in Israel—ultimately came not from the Middle East, but from Western Europe, perhaps Italy.
    Ashkenazi are canaanites. 13th tribe.

    Jewish descent is from the mother.
    By this criteria, which is based on halacha or Jewish religious laws, most Ashkenazi Jews are from Europe

    The majority of Ashkenazi Jews are descended from prehistoric European women, according to study published October 8 in Nature Communications. While the Jewish religion began in the Near East, and the Ashkenazi Jews were believed to have origins in the early indigenous tribes of this region, new evidence from mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on exclusively from mother to child, suggests that female ancestors of most modern Ashkenazi Jews converted to Judaism in the north Mediterranean around 2,000 years ago and later in west and central Europe.

    The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ~40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus.

    1. LisacAndrea says:

      Wrong. DNA research published in the leading genetics journal in the world found genetic linkage among European and Middle Eastern Jews, with their origins in the ME. Now even you know.

      1. rocco barbella says:

        You’re wrong. The Jews of Europe are indigenous to Europe. They are not from the Levant. Individual DNA tests prove this.

      2. Richard says:

        Partially wrong. Ashkenazi’s are partially European (on the mtDNA), the other part Jewish.

    2. Sanna says:

      Judaism is passed down through matrilineal descent but that doesn’t mean Jewish converts aren’t Jewish. Jewish conversions are very rare and discouraged, since Judaism is a ethnoreligion which discourages proselytizing. Israelite men occasionally intermarried with European women who converted to Judaism, which is why Ashkenazim have some southern European genetic admixture. No ethnic group is 100% genetically pure, so intermarriage doesn’t delegitmize Jewish indegenity.

    3. Richard says:

      Israelite ancestry was passed patrilinealy ie in Joseph’s case, the Talmud is (ironically) wrong on this.

    4. John says:

      All of you are wrong. You can solve this through a simple Google search and some reading. 38% of Jews in Israel are Ashkenazi, 42% are Mizrahi, and the other 20% are Sephardi based on recent data. Ashkenazi are descendant from Europe, Sephardi are descendant from Spain, and Mizrahi are the only jews descendant from the middle east and the Canaanites. The heritage of the Mizrahi jews is Babylonian and Persian, and their small amount of Canaanite DNA is from invading the Canaanites in ~1250 bce and interbreeding with them. You can find historical evidence of this in the Bible, Ras Shamra, and The Amarna Letters.

      1. Fahim says:

        Hi John, I really appreciate the facts you mentioned about Israelites, Canaanites and Palestinians. It would be really helpful if you can provide the source of these facts, reason is, I have a presentation and these facts with sources are needed.

  9. Helen A. says:

    They are Caananites, descendants of Cain. Interesting. Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 come to mind: “I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not”

    “Abrahamic DNA is lost. About the only way anyone can say they have any Jewish ancestry is to have an uninterrupted genealogical line.” … The last jew died on the cross.

    1. Tim says:

      You are half right. Modern Europeans are the true Hebrews and Israelites. Modern Jews are Idumeans/Esau/Edom.

      1. Brian says:

        No Israelites are AfroAsiatic people Europeans are included as the Isles of the Gentiles descended from Japheth.

    2. Brian says:

      Caananites are from Ham not Cain

      1. Meso says:

        I know, right. The Bible is a book of history. I don’t understand why people say Caananites are from Cain, when there was only one family that survived the flood, Noah’s. Son’s were Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

        1. John says:

          Exactly. The bible is a history book. But as we all know, history is written by the winners, and not everything in the bible is completely correct, you shouldn’t take everything for 100% fact. You are correct but don’t be a bible thumper. Use some other sources from that time to make a better point

    3. Rita says:

      If you follow the word; Jesus was not a Jew; Jesus was a Nazarene. He was from Nazareth.

  10. Chuck Olson says:

    Abram, the descendant of Te’rah married a Chaldean woman named Sarai, Abrams brother Nahor also married a Chaldean woman. This was in the land of UR of the Chaldeans. This was to be the line of descent as promised to Abram, of the promised Messiah. There were maid servants and other women from the land giving offspring to the sons of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, so there is no actual pure DNA bloodline of Abraham. His DNA through birth of sons and daughters and their offspring is part of the people of that entire region and noone could possibly claim actually DNA descendants from Abraham.

    1. Rebecca says:

      Sarai was Abraham’s sister with a different mother. Also Abraham had child from one of Sarah’s maid servants that was Hagar. Now you need to know how to understand the lineage from the mother and I assure you to this day The Creator my Father has not allowed all his Children to be lost if you would think this go back and read the old testament those prophets spoke very well and the did have followers maybe not a lot but indeed they did. Why were Zedekiah’s daughters brought to Scotland for safekeeping after he went into captivity. Jeremiah 24 shows there is a division within the Parable of the Fig tree.

      1. Richard says:

        You just randomly include Scotland in there w/ no source, the other part downplays Deut 28.

    2. Eziekeil Strommman says:

      Same story in the Sumerian text…sooooooooo

  11. Hello, are you saying that when Joshua led Israel back to the land some 600-700 years after Abraham settled there, they were therefore fighting against their earlier relatives descendants? We are told that after re-settling in the land the Israelites intermarried with the Canaanites also. How do we know which group we are seeing now?

    1. Patricia Persinger says:

      Hi Vicki Scheel, DNA is a simple but mostly confusing science. Abraham was born in around 292 years after the flood, the age expectancy was about 200 years. His wife was his half sister (Sarah) so Isaac’s DNA would have been 3/4 Babylonian and 1/4 Assyrian. From Abraham to Joseph is 4 generations, the sons of Jacob married into the Canaanite people. This began the DNA changing of the Hebrew people. After they entered Egypt the face of the Hebrew people changed again, when beginning with Joseph the sons and grandson of Jacob married into the Egyptian people. By the time of the Exodus the DNA was totally different from the original Abrahamic DNA. The theory that the male yDNA doesn’t change is an error since the female Allele will have genetic effect on the Y DNA. After as little as 1,000 years the YDNA will have a different genetic signature. The bottom line here is this, the Abrahamic DNA is lost. About the only way anyone can say they have any Jewish ancestry is to have an uninterrupted genealogical line. There are some families which do have this history but they are few.

      1. Sherri says:

        I enjoyed reading this Article; I would Love to Read many more; I can’t get enough of Archeology; especially, Biblical Archeology; For Me, it’s more Real to Me now ,; all the Years of imagining the The Life and Times of.the Bible Characters I read about since Early Childhood; to have the Amazing Opportunity , the ability to Get more Historical Data than ever throughout all of History holds an endless Fascination for Me; All I can say is…” More Please”!

      2. Wrong, the Abrahamic bloodline is in the haplogroup E or rather its subclades E1b1a. This is the TRUE Hebrew-Israelite bloodline, which links to Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses III and the Moors of Spain.

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47 Responses

  1. Joe A says:

    You lost me when you falsely claimed “ The Israelites self-identified as a separate group.”
    I find your readers have more knowledge than the writer.

    God bless

  2. Dr. Eric Rice says:

    I think we are missing a few things here. Abraham was a Chaldee as was his wife. He was called a Hebrew by the local population in Canaan, most likely refering to the Hebrew word avar, meaning to cross over or cross beyond, using the hifil form meaning: being caused to cross over, as in God caused him to cross over to Canaan (Ivri). Isaac’s wife and Jacob’s wives were also Chaldee. Though it is truly Jacob and his wives that create the DNA that we can call Hebrew and thus Judean or Jew, since it is at this point where we now have a pure bred data point for DNA studies, since per the law, all marriages were to be contained in this DNA pool. This DNA pool however, still had some outside DNA influences. Rechab being the first known from the Bible and she was Canaanite, Ruth was another from Moab. Were there DNAs pure? Or were they also of mixed decent within their people group. The Kings from each generation also had wives from people outside the Hebrews, especially Solomon. Each king having 30-70 children considered Jews, but many of mixed decent. So what DNA set can possibly determine a true Hebrew or Yehudim? Does this include people who converted to believe in the God of Israel. Jesus spoke of conversions in his day, how about conquered peoples as well. Slaves who converted and were freed on Jubilee? During the return from Babylon, the Bible speaks of turning foreign wives and children from the levites and priests but no so much the average people of the day, except if they could prove their paternal lineage, regardless of mixed marriage of the two generations while living in Babylon. By this time, Babylon was mixed with marriages of peoples from nearly half the world. Your desire in this is obvious, trying to negate the existance of a Hebrew people thru DNA or at least say they were Canaanite; and from what I see it is a deceptive and fruitless endeavor.

  3. Lutfi soumi says:

    I noticed that most of the comments are more Biblical than archaeological , l would like to pay your kind attention to the following : Canaan was consisted of : Israel , Judea Edome and Fillistia .. Israel , Judea , were both Canaanite’s with a big minority of Midianites who worship Yahweh and who were named Jews in the first cen. C.E and were originally from Median in north west Higaz . So all these people are from the same genetic group .
    What is inconceivable is that you did not differentiate between the eastern and western origin Jews , who do not belong to the same genetic group . Regards .

  4. Keith says:

    I’m coming late to this, but the article misses some important points.

    Beth Shean was always a mixed area and not entirely Israelite. Around 130 BC the Israelite Hasmonean king John Hyracanus conquered the Edomites (descendants of Esau) and gave them the option of exile, death or joining Israel. They chose the latter.

    The Edomites merged into Israel, many becoming Pharisees (forming modern Judaism) under the sponsorship of Herod (also Edomite). The Edomites had freely bred with the Canaanites for centuries. At this point Israel stopped being entirely Israelite and became Jewish (from Judea, the place where all this was happening).

    When you consider the Khazar conversion to Judaism in the early second millennium along with the Edomite influx, the hard part is determining who of the current Jewish population is actually Israelite. While there are some Israelites still remaining in Judaism, it is wrong to say all Jews are Israelites (tribally, not politically).

    1. andrew says:

      this guy gets it

  5. Lisa Andrea says:

    Where does the study find Arabs linked to Canaanites? Canaanites were not even Arabs nor is Arabic a Canaanite language.

  6. Charles Green says:

    This is fake science and not even the real conclusion made by the cited study of which the authors have conflicts of interest and ulterior motives. Modern-day Jews don’t descend from Canaanites and neither do “Arabs” in general. The only people who do descend from Canaanites are the Palestinians and Lebanese, including the Bedouins and Samaritans among them.

    The study that the article is referencing doesn’t even conclude what the article claims despite the fact that the research study was done with a deceptive motive to claim that jews come from Palestine which they don’t. Here’s the actual conclusion of the study: “Migration from the Zagros and/or Caucasus to the Levant between 2500–1000 BCE” and “People related to these individuals contributed to all present-day Levantine populations”.

    Essentially the study intentionally and carelessly conflates Zagros/Caucases with Levant in one single gene pool in attempt to muddy the waters and claim that jews may come from the Levant. The reason they chose to do this is because they know that jews (Ashkenazis) originate from the Zagros/Caucus population, not the Levantine/Palestine population.

    1. Joe Smith says:

      I’m curious, Charles Green, why you limit your focus to the Ashkenazi Jews? It’s consistent with this study, and our understanding of the history, that the Sephardic Jews are descended from denizens of the Levant (as are the Lebanese, Palestinians, Jordanians, and others). It is well-known and widely accepted that Ashkenazi Jews are of “more” European descent (exactly how much is unclear).

      You seem dedicated to shooting down a strawman, not refuting this study, or this Biblical Archaeology Review post explaining the study.

    2. Lisa Andrea says:

      Israelites were Canaanites. Hebrew is a Canaanite language. Jews are the only living link to Canaanites.

      1. Sandra Hass says:

        Canaanites are descendants of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah, descended from Adam through Seth, not Cain. The descendants of Cain are recorded in Genesis 4:17-24. They did not survive the flood. Noah’s descendants are recorded in Genesis 10 – 11. The Semitic peoples are descendants of Shem, the eldest of Noah’s three sons. Shem’s descendants are recorded in Genesis 11:10-32, as far as Abram.

        1. Dee says:

          Thanks when in doubt refer to the BIBLE!

        2. Patrick Tilton says:

          The Bible gives us the names of Noah and his three sons (Shem, Ham, and Japheth), but it doesn’t tell us anything about their wives — not even their names. Bible believers — who, of course, believe the story is ‘history’ — assume that those four women were all ‘pure-blooded’ Adamites descended through an untainted bloodline (i.e. not from Cain). Extra-biblical tales may give Noah’s wife the name ‘Naamah’, but the author(s) of GENESIS thought of females as mere ‘vessels’ in which the male-derived ‘seed’ was nurtured: they didn’t know about recombinant DNA genomes and the like. Therefore, the names of those four women didn’t matter to them, in their ignorance. If we were to assume that the Noah stories in the Bible actually happened — which is ludicrous — then who’s to say that those four women were or weren’t ‘pure’-bloods? Maybe their ancestry was from Europe (Japheth’s wife), Asia (Shem’s wife), and Africa (Ham’s wife), leading to the Post-Flood distinctions along those lines, where the adjective ‘Hamitic’ refers to those descendants of Ham who, due to their maternal genes, became the Africans, etc.

        3. russ says:

          Judah and Tamar
          1About that time, Judah left his brothers and settled near a man named Hirah, an Adullamite. 2There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man named Shua, and he took her as a wife and slept with her. 3So she conceived and gave birth to a son, and Judah named him Er.…
          Berean Standard Bible · Download

          Cross References
          Numbers 26:19
          The sons of Judah were Er and Onan, but they died in the land of Canaan.

          1 Chronicles 2:3
          The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, and Shelah. These three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanite. Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, who put him to death.

          Treasury of Scripture
          And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in to her.

          saw.

          Genesis 3:6
          And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

          Genesis 6:2
          That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

          Genesis 24:3
          And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

          Shuah.

          Genesis 46:12
          And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul.

          1 Chronicles 2:3
          The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: which three were born unto him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the sight of the LORD; and he slew him.

          Shua.

          Genesis 6:4
          There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

          Genesis 24:3
          And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:

          Jump to Previous

      2. Sam says:

        The DNA study disproves your claim.

      3. John says:

        Did you read the Bible, Ras Sharma, or The Armana Letters? They describe the invasion of Canaan by the Israelites. Israelites are related to Canaanites because they interbred with the Canaanites after the invasion. Palestinians are more closely related to the Canaanites. And if we’re talking about the current israeli population, which is 55% Sephardim and 45% Ashkenazim, they are Spanish and European. These statistics are from the CIA. I understand there are around 3,200,000 Mizrahi jews as well, but their connection to the Canaanites can be traced back to when the israelites invaded Canaan. Otherwise their roots are from other middle eastern countries, north africa, central asia, and parts of the Caucasus.
        But does it matter anyway? Palestinians and Mizrahi jews are probably a little bit related somewhere down the line. The jewish people technically claimed the land all those years ago in the bible. Do they need to do it again? It’s mostly people not even related to the original jews trying to claim the land. God did not tell the Jewish people recently to kill all the Palestinians. Killing the Palestinians is not the will of god and it goes against the 10 commandments.
        The bottom line is is that Palestinians have more connection to the land and have always been there for thousands of years. Suddenly establishing israel and kicking out and killing Palestinians is an obvious genocide and heinous crime. You only need common sense to know this.

    3. Rich says:

      Funny how you conflate Palestinians and Samaritans with Canaanites yet provide no proof. This article misconstruing the results of the study are correct, it does conflate the initial Canaanites and the migrants after genetically from the Zagros and Caucuses (corresponding to Abraham or Lot’s descendants) into one gene pool, but considering how Palestinians, Druze, and Samaritans also cluster close with Jewish groups on every study I’ve seen on them, it seems impossible that they would be descended from Canaanites with Jews not at all. As for the Lebanese, there is that one study that does show high genetic continuity between them and Canaanites of ~1700 BC Sidon, but I couldn’t find any studies indicating that Lebanese are more related to Palestinians or to Jews. They are somewhat related to both apparently, but that could be due to the Canaanite dna in that study having chalcolithic Iranian admixture which could correspond to the same ethnicity as Abraham was from roughly speaking.

    4. Roni says:

      1. Only 20% of Jews in Israel are full Ashkenazi. Second of all, Ashkenazi Jews got genetic from the Middle East.

      2. You are lying. Jews are descended from the Canaanites. The only Canaanites language the left is spoken by the Jews.
      And here’s studies to prove you wrong:

      1. John says:

        Wrong. Recent data shows that approximately 38% of Jews in israel are ashkenazi. 42% of Jews in israel are mizrahi, and the other 20% are sephardi. These are all distinct groups. ashkenazi are descendant from europe, sephardi are descendant from spain, and mizrahi are the only descendants from the middle east. Not all jews are descended from the Canaanites. The mizrahi are the only ones that are, and they are not soley decendents of the Canaanites. Their heritage is mainly Babylonian and Persian. Their Canaanite dna is from invading the Canaanites in ~1250 bce and interbreeding with them. You can find historical evidence of this in the Bible, Ras Shamra, and The Amarna Letters. Also, the statistics are found from a simple google search.

  7. Alois says:

    So the semitic peoples are Caananites, descendants of Cain. Interesting.

    1. David B. says:

      Cain’s progeny would have been wiped out by the Biblical flood. Unless there is some piece of information that has not been revealed.

      1. Dad Gramp says:

        Wrong. Cains son Enoch had a great grandson or great great grandson named, are you ready for this? …… NOAH. Yep NOAH. So after the flood, this Hebrew named NOAH and his children and wife populated the earth for the second time. Adad an Eve did it the first time aronud. Everyone on this earth are decendents of NOAH and NOAH is a blood decendent from Adam and Eve via their son Cain who for killing his brother Able was sentenced by God to wander aimlessly for all eternity in the land of Nod, which can be found on ancient maps. You guys gotta read more ancient works that have been verified as to being original and dated.

        1. Shanks Kogno says:

          huhhhhhh, this is wrong. First there is two Enoch, one evil the other righteous; and the one you mentioned is not the grandfather of Noah but the evil one. The real Enoch related to Noah is of the seventh generation after Adam of the line of Seth. You should go back and reread the genealogy.

          1. Kumu says:

            Enoch (the good one) was taken back to heaven by God, he is now the Archangel Metatron according to some beliefs. He is a powerful Archangel

    2. Roni says:

      Why are you lying? There’s no proof of this stupid khazar theorie.

  8. Abigail says:

    A detailed look at thousands of genomes finds that Ashkenazim—who make up roughly 80% of the world’s Jews, including 90% of those in America and half of those in Israel—ultimately came not from the Middle East, but from Western Europe, perhaps Italy.
    Ashkenazi are canaanites. 13th tribe.

    Jewish descent is from the mother.
    By this criteria, which is based on halacha or Jewish religious laws, most Ashkenazi Jews are from Europe

    The majority of Ashkenazi Jews are descended from prehistoric European women, according to study published October 8 in Nature Communications. While the Jewish religion began in the Near East, and the Ashkenazi Jews were believed to have origins in the early indigenous tribes of this region, new evidence from mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on exclusively from mother to child, suggests that female ancestors of most modern Ashkenazi Jews converted to Judaism in the north Mediterranean around 2,000 years ago and later in west and central Europe.

    The origins of Ashkenazi Jews remain highly controversial. Like Judaism, mitochondrial DNA is passed along the maternal line. Its variation in the Ashkenazim is highly distinctive, with four major and numerous minor founders. However, due to their rarity in the general population, these founders have been difficult to trace to a source. Here we show that all four major founders, ~40% of Ashkenazi mtDNA variation, have ancestry in prehistoric Europe, rather than the Near East or Caucasus.

    1. LisacAndrea says:

      Wrong. DNA research published in the leading genetics journal in the world found genetic linkage among European and Middle Eastern Jews, with their origins in the ME. Now even you know.

      1. rocco barbella says:

        You’re wrong. The Jews of Europe are indigenous to Europe. They are not from the Levant. Individual DNA tests prove this.

      2. Richard says:

        Partially wrong. Ashkenazi’s are partially European (on the mtDNA), the other part Jewish.

    2. Sanna says:

      Judaism is passed down through matrilineal descent but that doesn’t mean Jewish converts aren’t Jewish. Jewish conversions are very rare and discouraged, since Judaism is a ethnoreligion which discourages proselytizing. Israelite men occasionally intermarried with European women who converted to Judaism, which is why Ashkenazim have some southern European genetic admixture. No ethnic group is 100% genetically pure, so intermarriage doesn’t delegitmize Jewish indegenity.

    3. Richard says:

      Israelite ancestry was passed patrilinealy ie in Joseph’s case, the Talmud is (ironically) wrong on this.

    4. John says:

      All of you are wrong. You can solve this through a simple Google search and some reading. 38% of Jews in Israel are Ashkenazi, 42% are Mizrahi, and the other 20% are Sephardi based on recent data. Ashkenazi are descendant from Europe, Sephardi are descendant from Spain, and Mizrahi are the only jews descendant from the middle east and the Canaanites. The heritage of the Mizrahi jews is Babylonian and Persian, and their small amount of Canaanite DNA is from invading the Canaanites in ~1250 bce and interbreeding with them. You can find historical evidence of this in the Bible, Ras Shamra, and The Amarna Letters.

      1. Fahim says:

        Hi John, I really appreciate the facts you mentioned about Israelites, Canaanites and Palestinians. It would be really helpful if you can provide the source of these facts, reason is, I have a presentation and these facts with sources are needed.

  9. Helen A. says:

    They are Caananites, descendants of Cain. Interesting. Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 come to mind: “I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not”

    “Abrahamic DNA is lost. About the only way anyone can say they have any Jewish ancestry is to have an uninterrupted genealogical line.” … The last jew died on the cross.

    1. Tim says:

      You are half right. Modern Europeans are the true Hebrews and Israelites. Modern Jews are Idumeans/Esau/Edom.

      1. Brian says:

        No Israelites are AfroAsiatic people Europeans are included as the Isles of the Gentiles descended from Japheth.

    2. Brian says:

      Caananites are from Ham not Cain

      1. Meso says:

        I know, right. The Bible is a book of history. I don’t understand why people say Caananites are from Cain, when there was only one family that survived the flood, Noah’s. Son’s were Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

        1. John says:

          Exactly. The bible is a history book. But as we all know, history is written by the winners, and not everything in the bible is completely correct, you shouldn’t take everything for 100% fact. You are correct but don’t be a bible thumper. Use some other sources from that time to make a better point

    3. Rita says:

      If you follow the word; Jesus was not a Jew; Jesus was a Nazarene. He was from Nazareth.

  10. Chuck Olson says:

    Abram, the descendant of Te’rah married a Chaldean woman named Sarai, Abrams brother Nahor also married a Chaldean woman. This was in the land of UR of the Chaldeans. This was to be the line of descent as promised to Abram, of the promised Messiah. There were maid servants and other women from the land giving offspring to the sons of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, so there is no actual pure DNA bloodline of Abraham. His DNA through birth of sons and daughters and their offspring is part of the people of that entire region and noone could possibly claim actually DNA descendants from Abraham.

    1. Rebecca says:

      Sarai was Abraham’s sister with a different mother. Also Abraham had child from one of Sarah’s maid servants that was Hagar. Now you need to know how to understand the lineage from the mother and I assure you to this day The Creator my Father has not allowed all his Children to be lost if you would think this go back and read the old testament those prophets spoke very well and the did have followers maybe not a lot but indeed they did. Why were Zedekiah’s daughters brought to Scotland for safekeeping after he went into captivity. Jeremiah 24 shows there is a division within the Parable of the Fig tree.

      1. Richard says:

        You just randomly include Scotland in there w/ no source, the other part downplays Deut 28.

    2. Eziekeil Strommman says:

      Same story in the Sumerian text…sooooooooo

  11. Hello, are you saying that when Joshua led Israel back to the land some 600-700 years after Abraham settled there, they were therefore fighting against their earlier relatives descendants? We are told that after re-settling in the land the Israelites intermarried with the Canaanites also. How do we know which group we are seeing now?

    1. Patricia Persinger says:

      Hi Vicki Scheel, DNA is a simple but mostly confusing science. Abraham was born in around 292 years after the flood, the age expectancy was about 200 years. His wife was his half sister (Sarah) so Isaac’s DNA would have been 3/4 Babylonian and 1/4 Assyrian. From Abraham to Joseph is 4 generations, the sons of Jacob married into the Canaanite people. This began the DNA changing of the Hebrew people. After they entered Egypt the face of the Hebrew people changed again, when beginning with Joseph the sons and grandson of Jacob married into the Egyptian people. By the time of the Exodus the DNA was totally different from the original Abrahamic DNA. The theory that the male yDNA doesn’t change is an error since the female Allele will have genetic effect on the Y DNA. After as little as 1,000 years the YDNA will have a different genetic signature. The bottom line here is this, the Abrahamic DNA is lost. About the only way anyone can say they have any Jewish ancestry is to have an uninterrupted genealogical line. There are some families which do have this history but they are few.

      1. Sherri says:

        I enjoyed reading this Article; I would Love to Read many more; I can’t get enough of Archeology; especially, Biblical Archeology; For Me, it’s more Real to Me now ,; all the Years of imagining the The Life and Times of.the Bible Characters I read about since Early Childhood; to have the Amazing Opportunity , the ability to Get more Historical Data than ever throughout all of History holds an endless Fascination for Me; All I can say is…” More Please”!

      2. Wrong, the Abrahamic bloodline is in the haplogroup E or rather its subclades E1b1a. This is the TRUE Hebrew-Israelite bloodline, which links to Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses III and the Moors of Spain.

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