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Was King David the most famous ginger to ever live? Many people believe that he was, and they also use this reasoning to conclude that there is no way that King David could’ve been a black man born with red hair. However, there is concrete evidence that points to the contrary.
The Earliest Roots of Judah
Before Israel became a nation, Abraham was called out of Babylon, which was a Cushite Empire. The Cushites were black descendants of Ham. When we are introduced to Abraham, we is already married to Sarah, his half sister.
After leaving Ur, Abraham travels into Canaan, which was founded by descendants of Ham. From Canaan, Abraham travels to Egypt, descendants of Ham’s son Mizraim. He then leaves Egypt with vasts amounts of wealth and cattle, and heads back toward Canaan.
The Hebrews remain in this general area until we reach Jacob, who would later be named Israel. The twelve sons of Israel formed what we refer to as “The 12 Tribes of Israel”. Because they lived near Canaan, Judah took a Canaanite wife, and chose a Canaanite wife for his oldest son.
After failing to give Tamar the Canaanite to his youngest son to marry, Judah accidentally had sex with her, thinking her to be a prostitute. It is from this union that Judah’s son Pharez is born. It is through the line of Pharez that King David would eventually be born.
As we can see, from the very beginning of Abraham’s choosing, the Hebrews lived among and married descendants of Ham. It is accepted by the majority of Bible scholars, that Ham was the father of the black African nations.
The Anointing of King David
One very important book that falls within the lineage of Judah, is the book of Ruth. It is through her marriage to Boaz that we learn the lineage of Jesse, the father of David. Jesse was a Bethlehemite from the tribe of Judah. He also had seven (possibly 8) sons (1 Chronicles 2:13-15):
David was the youngest and smallest of all of Jesse’s sons. It was do to his stature that he was the last one considered by his father. After God rejects the other brother’s, Jesse then calls David to be seen by Samuel:
“And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” – 1 Samuel 16:12-13
This is the first time that we encounter David, and he is described as ruddy and having a beautiful countenance. This leads many people to falsely conclude that he was white with blushing skin. Based on his genealogy, we know that this just wasn’t the case. Another theory that may or may not be true, is that David had red hair.
David’s Ruddy Skin and Red Hair
The subject of ruddy skin in the Bible is often used to perpetuate the myth that black people cannot blush (false), and therefore King David could not have been black. In order to understand ruddy skin and it’s uses in both the Bible and science, I wrote an article that expands on this topic in great detail:
Now that we see that ruddy can be used to describe black people, we also need to understand how the word “black” is used culturally, in today’s society.
David’s Red Hair
While the Bible does not directly tell us that David had red hair, there are those that believe he did. Unfortunately, this is used along with their misunderstanding of ruddy skin, to preach a non black David. Pictures speak louder than words, so here are a few pictures of black people with natural red hair.
As we can see, even though David is described as being ruddy and possibly having red hair, it does not eliminate him from being black. For those that don’t know, there are other uncommon features that some black people have as well:
Using The Term “Black”
For those that are not black, it can be often hard to understand how we use the term. To many non black people, they look at a literal skin color for definition, and will often respond by saying, “He’s not black. He’s brown/light/etc.” While those of us that are black use the term as more of a social grouping to include anyone with at least one black parent, regardless of skin color. Here’s an example:
Within the black community, we consider both of these extremes, and everything in between, to be equally “black”. Hopefully this helps those not familiar with black culture, understand how we in the black community use the term. It has very little to do with literal skin color.
David’s Rise To Fame
The story of David and Goliath is one of the most famous stories in the world. Unfortunately, it is one of the most understated and misunderstood events in the Bible. Goliath wasn’t just a large person. The giants (rapha) were believed to be the children of fallen angels and human women (Genesis 6:2-4). Many believe that Goliath was a nephilim similar to what Joshua, Caleb, and the other ten spies encountered in Canaan just a few generations before David.
Two Translations of Genesis
“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 6:4 (KJV)
“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” – Genesis 6:4 (NIV)
Two Translations of Numbers
“And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” – Numbers 13:33 (KJV)
“We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” – Numbers 13:33 (NIV)
The renown of David wasn’t just that he defeated a giant, but he defeated what was believed to be the offspring of an angel. The Greeks, Romans, and other nations referred to the nephilim as “demigods” or “heroes”, similar to Hercules, Achilles, Perseus, etc. David’s personal guard also managed to slay four of Goliath’s brothers, earning them the reputation as “mighty men”.
David’s Wife and Son
While David did have multiple wives and women, there is one that stands out above the others. Her name was Bathsheba, the wife of David’s mighty man Uriah. Bathsheba was a descendant of the Canaanite tribe called the Gilonites. The same tribe that her grandfather Ahithophel (David’s advisor) belonged to.
It is through Bathsheba that David has his son King Solomon, who also marries multiple Hamite women, and is described as having “locks”, which is likely a reference to dreadlocks. You can read more in depth about Bathsheba and King Solomon below:
- Uriah The Hittite: Bathsheba’s Canaanite Husband and David’s Mighty Man
- Bathsheba: King Solomon’s African Mother
- King Solomon: The Hebrew Son of An African Woman