Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy
Why couldn't Jesus have been a blue eyed, blonde man? Many indigenous Middle Eastern people have blonde hair and blue eyes.
(18 March, 2018, 2 Nisan, 5778)
Jewish sources are divided concerning the existence of Jesus. Personally I tend to accept the majority opinion that he lived more than a hundred years before the time the Christians place him. In other words, we are not necessarily talking about the same person.
The question (by Walter Smyth) was:
Why couldn't Jesus have been a blue eyed, blonde man? Many indigenous Middle Eastern people have blonde hair and blue eyes?
Well, wherever and whenever he was, who says he was not?
The above illustrations depict Jews (from Judah) and other Israelites. The images derived from Ancient Egyptian depictions, Assyrian stellae, etchings in ivory from Samaria the former capital of northern Israel, and the picture of a royal figure from Judah. They show a mixture of racial types somehow similar to each other. Some of the people depicted are blond or red-haired. Overall they are not that much different from present-day Israelis. Just like today an Israeli or Jew can be any color including blond and blue-eyed, so too at the time in question. Who really cares, one way or the other? Who even notices? Studies do show that infants prefer the company of other infants with eyes of similar color to their own. There is something to racial distinctions but not that much. When you go to buy a car does the racial phenotype of the salesman mean that much to you?
Anyway, our impression is that:
Most Jews from Judah were dark haired and possibly of mediterranean type.
King David however was red (or golden) haired and possibly blue -eyed.
Some of the other tribes were darkish like Judah or even more so while other tribes were more fair.
12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, ‘Arise, anoint him; for this is he.’
42 When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance.
The word translated above as "ruddy" in Hebrew is "Admoni" usually connoting a red-haired type cf.
25 Now the first came forth red [Hebrew: “admoni”] all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau.