Chosen people

Throughout history and even today various groups of people have considered themselves as chosen by a deity for some purpose such as to act as the deity's agent on earth. In monotheistic faiths, like Abrahamic religions, references to God (or equivalent) are used in constructs such as "God's Chosen People". Modern anthropology regards these claims as a form of ethnocentrism.[1][2]



In the Hebrew Bible, (or the Tanakh), called the "Old Testament" by Christians, the "Treasured People" is the exact phrase used in the text, referring to the Hebrews/Israelites. In the Book of Deuteronomy, YHWH proclaims the Nation of Israel, known originally as the Children of Israel, as his "treasured people out of all the people on the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 7:6). As mentioned in the Book of Exodus, the Hebrew people are God's chosen people, and from them shall come the Messiah, or redeemer of the world. The Israelites also possess the "Word of God" and/or the "Law of God" in the form of the Torah as communicated by God to Moses.

In Judaism, chosenness is the belief that the Jews are a people chosen to be in a covenant with God. In modern-day Rabbinical Judaism, the idea is not connected with being the descendants of Jacob (Israel), as it was in Biblical Judaism,[original research?], since non-Jews can become Jews.

The Jewish idea of being chosen is first found in the Torah (five books of Moses) and is elaborated on in later books of the Hebrew Bible. This status carries both responsibilities and blessings as described in the Biblical covenants with God. Much is written about this topic in rabbinic literature.

The chosenness refers to a specific set of responsibilities beyond the Seven Laws of Noah given to all mankind. Every child of Noah (non-Jew) has the responsibility to live by the seven Noahide laws.

Though not held by authority figures of the religious Jews around the world, there are people[who?] with the opinion that the acceptance to adhere to the laws and commandments of Judaism make the chosen character as one of the Jewish people choosing to be in the covenant with God and not the other way around. The usual Orthodox thinking states that even completely secular Jews are part of the Jewish nation and are 'full-fledged' Jews.


Seventh-day Adventism

In traditional Seventh-day Adventist theology, the Seventh-day Adventist church is identified as the end time remnant identified in Revelation 12:17. According to this view, Adventists are "chosen" by God to proclaim the three angels' messages of Revelation 14 to the world.[citation needed]


In Mormonism, all Latter Day Saints are viewed as covenant, or chosen, people; they have accepted the name of Jesus Christ. This acceptance of entering the covenant is initiated by baptism. In contrast to supersessionism, Latter Day Saints do not dispute the "chosen" status of the Jewish people. In LDS doctrine all people who have ever lived will have the ability to enter into this covenant during the Millennium. Mormon eschatology holds that Jews, as a chosen people, will ultimately accept Christianity (See Jeremiah 31:31-34).

Most practicing LDS members receive a patriarchal blessing that reveals their lineage in the House of Israel. This lineage may be blood related or through "adoption;" therefore, a child may not necessarily share the lineage of her parents (but will still be a member of the tribes of Israel). It is a widely held belief[3][4] that most members of the faith are in the tribe of Ephraim or the tribe of Manasseh.


Rastafaris beliefs contain six fundamental principles, including the complete chosenness of the black race in the eyes of Jah (God incarnate), rendering them supreme physically and spiritually to all other people. Many Rastas are also physical immortalists who believe the chosen few will continue to live forever in their current bodies. This idea of ever living (rather than everlasting) life is very strong and important.

Based on Jewish biblical tradition and Ethiopian legend via Kebra Nagast, Rastas believe that Israel's King Solomon, together with Ethiopian Queen of Sheba, conceived a child which began the Solomonic line of kings in Ethiopia, rendering the African people as the true children of Israel, and thereby chosen. Reinforcement of this belief occurred when Beta Israel, Ethiopia's ancient Israelite First Temple community, were rescued from Sudanese famine and brought to Israel during Operation Moses in 1985.

Unification Church

Reverend Moon teaches that Korea is the chosen nation, selected to serve a divine mission. Korea, Moon says, was "chosen by God to be the birthplace of the leading figure of the age",[5] and to be the birthplace of "Heavenly Tradition", ushering in God's kingdom.

See also


  1. ^ William A. Haviland; Harald E. L. Prins; Dana Walrath; Bunny McBride (2009). The Essence of Anthropology. Cengage Learning. p. 159. ISBN 9780495599814. 
  2. ^ D. Stanley Eitzen; Maxine Baca Zinn (2003). In conflict and order: understanding society (10th ed.). Pearson. p. 84. ISBN 9780205376223. 
  3. ^ "Of the House of Israel by Daniel H. Ludlow". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved Jan 1991. 
  4. ^ "Genesis 44 – Joseph Tests His Brothers". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
  5. ^ Questions and Answers - The Second Coming - Rev Moon And Korea. Unofficial Notes from International Conferences for Clergy. Retrieved 10 March 2010.

Further reading

  • Dave Dean Capucao (2010). Religion and Ethnocentrism: An Empirical-Theological Study. BRILL. ISBN 9789004184701. 

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  • The Chosen People — Infobox Television episode Title = The Chosen People Series = M*A*S*H Caption = {Caption} Season = 2 Episode = 19 Airdate = January 26, 1974 Production = K419 Writer = Laurence Marks Sheldon Keller Larry Gelbart Gerry Renert Jeff Wilhelm Director …   Wikipedia

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