Are there any black people mentioned in the Bible?Question: "Are there any black people mentioned in the Bible?"
Answer: We can say with a fair degree of certainty that, yes, the Bible does mention black people, although the Bible does not explicitly identify any person as being black-skinned. Neither does the Bible specifically identify any person as being white-skinned. A person’s skin color is rarely mentioned in the Bible; the color of one’s skin is meaningless to the basic message of the Bible.
The vast majority of the Bible’s narrative takes place in the Middle East, in and around Israel. Neither “black” nor “white” people are common in these regions. The majority of people in the Bible are Semitic and would have been light to dark brown in complexion. Ultimately, it does not matter what skin color the people in the Bible had.
Some scholars guess that Moses’ wife, Zipporah, was black since she was a Cushite (Numbers 12:1). Cush is an ancient name for an area of Africa. The Shulammite may have been black (Song of Solomon 1:5), although the context indicates that her skin was dark due to working in the sun. Some propose that Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:3) was black. Some believe that the Queen of Sheba who visited Solomon (1 Kings 10:1) was black. Simon of Cyrene (Matthew 27:32) may have been black, and also “Simeon called Niger” in Acts 13:1. The Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:37 was almost certainly black. Ethiopians are mentioned about 40 times in the Bible, and we can assume that these are references to black people, since Ethiopians are black. The prophet Jeremiah asked, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin?” (Jeremiah 13:23)—the natural assumption is that Jeremiah refers to black skin.
Most Bible teachers believe that black people are descendants of Noah’s son Ham (Genesis 10:6–20), but we cannot be sure since the Bible does not specifically say. When it comes to skin color, the Bible is consistently silent. The color of the skin is not as important to God as the condition of the heart. The gospel is universal good news. Black people, white people, and every shade in between are invited to come to Christ for salvation. By the grace of God we can take our eyes off of the skin and focus on the soul.
Recommended Resources: Bible Answers for Almost all Your Questions by Elmer Towns
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