When, in accordance with the usual methods of Hebrewgenealogical history, the Levites are defined as the descendants ofLevi, the third son of Jacob by Leah (Gen. xxix. 3 4), a literalinterpretation is unnecessary, and the only narrative wherein Leviappears as a person evidently delineates under the form ofpersonification events in the history of the Levites (Gen. xxxiv.).3 They take their place in Israel as the tribe set apart for sacredduties, and without entering into the large question how far thetribal schemes can be used for the earlier history A. vanHoonacker, Le Sacerdote levitique (1899); and J. Orr,Problem of the O.T. (1905). These and other apologeticwritings have so far failed to produce any adequate alternativehypothesis, and while they argue for the traditional theory, laterrevision not being excluded, the modern critical view accepts latedates for the literary sources in their present form, andexplicitly recognizes the presence of much that is ancient. Notethe curious old tradition that Ezra wrote out the law which hadbeen burnt (2 Esdr. xiv. 21 sqq.).
A 2013 study by Rootsi, Behar et al. of Ashkenazi Levites (4% of the Jewish male line) found a high frequency of haplogroup R1a-M582 among them (64.9% of Ashkenazi Levites) pointing to a founding event and paternal ancestor common to half of them. Since R1a shows high frequency in Eastern Europe generally, it was thought possible, that the evidence might indicate the founder was a non-Jewish European. Testing the 3 hypotheses of a European, a Near Eastern or a Khazarian origin, their data excluded both the European and Khazarian origin of a Levite founder since they found no evidence of R1a-M582 Y-chromosomes was found in either group, other than singletons, while it occurs with significant frequency in Near Eastern regions , , the Kurds from Cilician Anatolia and Kazakhstan, and among Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi Jews. R1a-M582 was not detected among data from Iraqi, Bedouins, Druze and Palestinians sampled in Israel.
Reading the Old Testament Part 1 Torah - Barry Bandstra
1:1.) And isthere a touch of fellow feeling in the mention of the old man of Ephraim whooffered hospitality in Gibeah?
This Saul-David hypothesis now being exploredseems to have relevance to the rest of the Book of Judges also.
The first tribe to go up against the Canaanites(1:2) was Judah, and Judah had to take the lead in the capture of Jerusalem,even though it was assigned to Benjamin (1:8).