Were there Jewish converts before the time of Jesus?

I know a lot of people would simply say yes.

But when I think further about it,

The Nation of Israel (Children of Israel) during Moses’ time were all descendants of Jacob (Israel), and there were 13 tribes (or 12 depending on how you count it), all descendants of each son of Jacob.

After the death of King Solomon, there was civil between the 10 northern tribes and the southern tribes (which consist of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin and some Levi). The northern tribes formed the Kingdom of Israel while the southern tribes formed the Kingdom of Judah.

Basically the Kingdom of Judah were the Jews at that time.

And yes I know at our time one could convert to Jewish religion without having a Jewish ancestry, but before the time of Jesus, were there such thing? Let’s say there’s a Roman guy lived in 200 BC, his parents were all Roman ancestry, and he had no connection with Jews. And let’s say one day he met a Jewish community and decided that he loved the way the community was living, was he able to convert to Jews?

Ever come across the Book of Ruth? :slight_smile:

Here’s the Jewish Encyclopaedia on the subject.

The book of Acts specifically mentions converts to Judaism at the first Christian Pentecost. In fact, until the baptism of Cornelius, it was assumed that Gentiles had to convert to Judaism first before becoming Christian.

A (male) person who worshiped the Jewish God but did not follow the Law was a “gate proselyte.” He was expected to do no more than conform to the seven laws of Noah (who was a gentile, as he preceded Abraham). He could sit in the back of the Temple.

A person who underwent circumcision and bound himself to the entirety of Jewish Law was a “righteous proselyte.” They had the rights and responsibilities of other Jewish men, but the only way to be truly Jewish is to be born a Jew. The children of a righteous proselyte would thus not be considered Jews.

The Old Testament often speaks of “foreigners” residing in the land of Israel. The Bible tells us there were 156,300 such people during the reign of Solomon (2Chronicles 2:17-18).

I have heard of “black” Jews that supposedly went to Ethiopia. Does anyone know of the story of them and why they separated ?? If it is true about them and what tribe they may have been from ??

Jesus mentions proselytes in Matthew’s Gospel (23:15): Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you go round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, you make him the child of hell twofold more than yourselves.

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