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70 Biblical nations
bdschuh Wrote:Humanity started with 70 families.  All of them bound by the seven laws.  I fulfill the seven laws.  However, I would like to know which one of these families I belong to. My last name is Ashkenazic in origin.  I am of Germanic descent (my father's side, mostly German).  My mother is of unknown descent.  And she was adopted.  Would I trace my mother's family through her biological or her adoptive parents?  (She was adopted at age six.)

Whether a person is born a Gentile (belonging to the 70 Biblical nations) or a Jew is the heritage that is passed down by the birth mother.  The Biblical nation which a Gentile belongs to is passed down through the father. Throughout history, the 70 nations have become largely intermingled, and even those which stayed relatively isolated have apparently not retained a tradition of their ancient origins. As you said, your father's side is "mostly German," so there is really no way to tell at this point.

bdschuh Wrote:Also, are there still 70 families?  It seems like a few of them might have disappeared off the earth (the Caananites, for example).

The subject of the 70 nations which descended from the three sons of Noah (Yafes, Shem and Ham) is discussed in detail on our web page

This point is relevant to your question (quoting from that page):
  In general, the African peoples (non-Arabic) are identified as descendants of Ham, and Orientals are identified as descendants of Yafes [Japheth]. Ham and Yafes were the progenitors of other ancient peoples as well.
  It is important to note that the ruthless king of the Babylonian empire, Nebuchadnezzar, forcibly mixed the original nations which he conquered so they would lose their independent national identities. For example, the Talmud states that the original Ishmaelites became intermingled with the other nations that were descended from Abraham and Keturah. Likewise, the original Egyptians, Moabites and Ammonites can no longer be identified [for this reason]. The only peoples [within his vast empire] which Nebuchadnezzer did not intermingle were the exiles of Judea, and of course his own Babylonian people [Babylon = Asshur].

bdschuh Wrote:And also, if the family I belong to has any prophets in its history.  I understand that there have been Noahide prophets sent by G-d for the benefit of their people.

Noah, the father of all mankind, received communication from G-d. His son Shem, and Shem's great-grandson Ever (Eber), were prophets.

Iyov (Job) was a prophet who lived among the Canaanites after the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians.

Terah, the father of Abraham, Nahor and Haran (the father of Sarah), descended from Peleg the son of Ever. Abraham and his wife Sarah were prophets, and from them came the Israelite prophets.

Lavan (Laban), who received a communication from G-d regarding Jacob, was the great-grandson of Nahor. He is identified as the prophet Be'or, who was the father of the prophet Bilam. According to one opinion, the prophet Elihu who came to visit Iyov (Job) was also a descendant of Nahor.

The prophet Eliphaz who came to visit Iyov was the son of Esau (Esav). (The Jewish prophet Ovadiah/Obadiah was a convert who descended from Eliphaz.) The other two men who visited Iyov, Bildad the Shuchite and Tzofar the Naamasite, where also prophets.

Abimelech, a Canaanite king, received a communication from G-d regarding Abraham and Sarah.

Before G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish people, and made His eternal covenant with them, at Mount Sinai, He offered the Torah to a number of the non-Israelite nations which descended from Abraham and Lot. G-d made these offers through Gentile prophets who were in those nations. In each case the people of the nation asked what was in the Torah that they would have to observe. G-d answered with just one of the Seven Noahide Laws (the one which that nation transgressed to the greatest extent), and in each case the nation refused (except for a few righteous individuals).

bdschuh Wrote:How would I determine if a Noahide is a prophet?  Are there any criteria to determine this?

There are definite criteria for determining if a person is a false prophet. For example, if he claims to have had a Divine communication with instructions to permanently change, add to, delete from, or nullify any of the 613 Jewish or 7 Noahide commandments in the Torah of Moses (as they are explained in the Oral Torah), or any of its 13 basic principles of faith, then the person is proven to be a false prophet. This is true even if he performs miracles. Likewise, one who prophesies in the name of an idol is a false prophet, even if he performs miracles.  (The use of "he" is just grammatical; both men and women have been prophets.)

From (which primarily is speaking about Jewish prophets):
When HaShem [G-d] sends a prophet, He gives the prophet a sign to show that he is a true prophet. However, not every person who shows such a sign is automatically accepted. ... The sign that a prophet must give to prove he is genuine need not be a miracle. He must predict a future event, if his prophecy is fulfilled with perfect accuracy then we believe him ... We must test a prophet in this manner several times but we are not permitted to overly test him. It is always possible that even a person who successfully passes the required tests is not a true prophet. ... We can only test a prophet in prophecies which are good; the failure of a bad prophecy to be fulfilled does not mean that the prophet is false. This is because HaShem is merciful and accepts repentance. It is possible that the people have repented, and HaShem has removed the punishment which the prophet had predicted.

bdschuh Wrote:I would like to study the path of the 70 paths, that was meant for me.

In terms of following a path with is an obligation from G-d, that would be the Seven Noahide Commandments, as laws of the Torah of Moses.
In addition to the 7 Noahide Laws, the nations of Biblical antiquity voluntarily accepted several additional modes of moral behavior. These are explained on our web page

Messages In This Thread
70 Biblical nations - by bdschuh - 08-05-2007, 01:57 AM
RE: 70 familes - by Director Michael - 08-05-2007, 04:54 PM
RE: 70 familes - by Daniel2 - 12-16-2009, 11:20 AM
RE: 70 familes - by bdschuh - 08-15-2007, 07:52 AM
RE: 70 familes - by Director Michael - 08-17-2007, 03:46 PM
RE: 70 Biblical nations - by Director Michael - 12-21-2009, 06:33 AM
RE: 70 Biblical nations - by bdschuh - 01-06-2010, 03:20 AM
RE: 70 Biblical nations - by Director Michael - 01-11-2010, 09:12 PM
RE: 70 Biblical nations - by Daniel2 - 03-22-2010, 09:58 AM
RE: 70 Biblical nations - by rabbiyitz - 03-25-2010, 07:29 AM
RE: 70 Biblical nations - by Director Michael - 09-04-2014, 06:54 PM
RE: asking an expert - by rabbiyitz - 11-11-2009, 05:10 AM
RE: the planet earth - by Director Michael - 01-01-2010, 05:03 PM

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