Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy (29 November 2017, 11 Kislev, 5778)
Are most modern-day Jews the biological descendants of the Jews that lived 3,000 years ago?
The picture shows a Jew from England in the 1200s CE. Was this Jew a physical continuation of Jews from the Land of Israel? If you met him in a pub would you take him for a foreigner? How Jewish biologically are the Jews when compared to Ancient Jews? There is a definite continuum that may not be absolute but it is at least as strong as that found in most (or all) other cases.
We pointed out that according to Scripture the present-day Jews are identified as the same people known as Judah in ancient times.
"Are the Jews of today the Jews from the Bible?"
It was noted at:
The Jews in the End Times will be known as "Israel" (Isaiah 48:1); The Jews will have been persecuted (Zechariah 1:15, Zechariah 8:13, Isaiah ch.53, Isaiah 42:10, Psalm 44:22); The Jews will have observed the Law (Psalms 60:9, 108:90; Genesis 49:10; Zechariah 8:23); The Jews will have kept the Four Fasts mourning over the Temple (Zechariah 8:19); Judah will always be recognized as Judah (Genesis 49:10); and much more.
The present question is, "Are the Jews the biological descendants of the Jews of Ancient Times?"
Biblical Indications: Though not an absolute requisite the fact that the Bible equates the Jews (i.e. the entity known as "Judah") of the future with those of the past presupposes at least some degree of physical continuation.
Physical Evidence: DNA in our opinion is determined by a combination of environment and hereditary genetic potential. All Jewish communities have something in common with each other. They also often have similarities to the peoples around them. This could be due to intermixing or shared environmental influence. At the very least it must be admitted that in most cases a core element is present that may be traced back to the original stock that came out of Judah and Israel.
Continued Characteristics: Jews all over the world share similar traits. This may be attributed in part to a shared culture. Nevertheless aspects of these traits presuppose some degree of shared physical origins: This means the points in common were there at the beginning when the ancestors of the Jews came out of the Holy Land. These traits include musical talents, intellectual proclivities, facial features, sensitivities, etc.
In other words, for all intents and purposes, the present-day Jews are descended physically from the ancient Jews. Newcomers from outside have also come in but even in Biblical Times this was accepted, e.g. Jethro and his clan, Rahab, Ruth, etc.