THE INCREDIBLE HISTORY OF GOD'S TRUE CHURCH
CHAPTER TWO -- LAND OF THE CELTS
Who were the Celtic peoples that inhabited Britain and much of Europe during the time of Christ? Why did such people have Asiatic style war chariots? And why did the Belgae of Southern England have palm trees, of all things, on their coins?
Diodorus Siculus, writing in 60 B.C., stated: "The Britons live in the same manner that the ancients did; they fight in chariots as the ancient heroes of Greece are said to have done in the Trojan Wars -- they are plain and upright in their dealings -- the island is very populous -- the Celts never shut the doors of their houses; they invite strangers to their feasts, and when it is over ask who they are and what is their business."
The Celts were a prosperous and industrious people. Wealth was centered in large flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. Food was often preserved in smoked, cured, or salted form. International trade flourished, wine was imported from the Mediterranean region.
Mixed farming, cereal and livestock, was practiced, and a system of crop rotation with regular manuring was followed to avoid land exhaustion.
The Celts were a proud warrior race. After nine long years of bitter warfare, from A.D. 43, the Romans, although employing their finest legions and military generals, had only succeeded in conquering a part of the island.
Even at this point the Roman position was far from secure. Tacitus (A.D. 55-120) lamented that: "In Britain, after the captivity of Caractacus, the Romans were repeatedly conquered and put to the rout by the single state of the Silures alone."1 But were these people, as Gildas was to claim some four centuries later, "Israelites"?
It would be good at this point to trace some of the movements of the "lost ten tribes" of Israel after being taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 721-718 B.C.
"Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" (II Kings 17:5-6).
Cuneiform tablets discovered at Khorsabad, to the north of Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria, give the Assyrian version of the same event, which confirms the biblical statement.
"I besieged and captured Samaria, and carried off 27,290 of its inhabitants as booty."
The Israelites were settled in the regions around Lakes Van and Urmia which are situated in northern Iran and eastern Turkey.
The name "Israel" took different forms in the various nations that had contact with Israelites. Pre-captivity Assyrian records use "Bit-Khumri" meaning "the sons of Omri." An obelisk held by the British Museum has an illustration of Jehu paying tribute to Assyrian king Shalmaneser and carries the inscription, "This is Iaua (Jehu), the son of Khunui (Omri)."
The Hebrew pronunciation of "Khumri" was "Ghonui," which later became corrupted into Gimera. People having this name began appearing in Assyrian records a mere eleven years after the captivity -- and in the very region where the Israelites had settled.
Cuneiform tablets found in the ruins of ancient Nineveh tell of the reports of Assyrian spies who in 707 B.C. witnessed a battle between the Gimera and a tribe known as Urartians.
Assyrians records show that shortly before they settled, the Israelite captives in the area around Lake Van, the previous inhabitants were driven out by Assyrian troops. The indications are that these people made an attempt some years later to recapture their territory, being defeated in the process by the Gimera or exiled Israelites.
After several decades the power of the Assyrian Empire began to wane and its hold over the Israelite captives weakened. In 679 B.C. some of the tribes broke away and escaped into the mountains of Asia Minor (2 Esdras 13 vs. 40-44). At about the same time the Gimera rose in rebellion against their Assyrian captors but were defeated in the upper Euphrates region.
In Media, the other region where the Israelites were settled, one finds in the Assyrian texts reports of roaming bands of hostile Gimera.
In 675 B.C. we find the first report of Scythians in the Assyrian records. In the annals of Esarhaddon we read: "I scattered the Mannaean people, intractable barbarians, and I smote with the sword the armies of Ishpaki, the ISKUZA; alliance with them did not save him."
Within forty-five years of Israel`s captivity, we find the Gimera and Iskuza in exactly the same regions where the Israelites were settled.
Iskuza is the Assyrian version of Scythian. According to Herodotus the Persians called the Scythians "Sacae" or "Saka." In the days of Amos the Israelites called themselves after Isaac (Amos 7:16), the word probably being "Isaaca." In Hebrew the "I" is not emphasized as it is in English. In time it probably became lost and was pronounced as "Sacca" -- almost identical to the Persian "Sacae," the word for Scythians.
Much later in history we read of Saxons or "Saacs Sons." The Babylonian version of the Persian "Sacae" was Gimiri, an almost identical word to the Assyrian Gimera. The clear indications are that all these names, making allowances for different languages, refer to the same people -- the Scythians or "ten lost tribes" of Israel.
In 1947 evidence was discovered at Ziwille, about seventy miles south of Lake Urmia, of the close relationship between the Assyrians and Scythians. A royal treasure dating to the end of the seventh century B.C was unearthed. Among the items uncovered, some were of Assyrian origin, some Scythian and others a mixture of the two cultures. It is believed that at least some of the treasure consisted of wedding presents given on the occasion of the wedding between a Scythian king and an Assyrian princess.
As Assyrian influence declined, that of the Scythians increased. Herodotus relates that "A battle was fought in which the Medes were defeated, and lost their power in Asia, which was taken over in its entirety by the Scythians."
About 625 B.C. the Scythians began moving north. Soviet archaeologists have discovered evidence of a Scythian attack on the ancient fortress of Karmir Blur.
Following the defeat of their Assyrian allies in 609 B.C., the Scythians were driven into Southern Russia by the Medes. Others moved towards the West, and moving across Asia Minor, they were known to the Greeks as Cimmerians. How significant it was that the Hebrew meaning of the word Scythian was "wanderer."
For some three hundred years the Scythians prospered in Southern Russia, but about 250 B.C. were driven out by the Sarmatians and made their way into Westem Europe and later Britain. About this time they became known as the Celts.
This is why Celtic influence in the third century B.C. is said to have stretched from Southern Russia in the east to Britain and Spain in the west.
Even as late as the time of the church historian Bede, the Scythians were still sometimes known by that name. "Coming from Scythia (i.e. Scandinavia) in their long boats, and, being carried by tempest to the northern parts of Ireland" -- Bede relates that the local inhabitants, although related to the newcomers, persuaded them to move on and settle in Scotland.2
Another writer adds a few further details to the story: "To which end they accustomed themselves to the sea; and so, from thence (Scandinavia), these Scythians came into the northern parts of Britain, whence they had the name Caledonians; and, upon new supplies coming after the Romans had subdued the southern parts of Britain, were then called Picts. " Explaining how Scotland received its name, he states: "and Scotia from these Scythae."
And it is of considerable interest that a late Irish antiquary tells us "that a part of their country, (Ireland) in their own language, is called Gaethluighe, i.e. Gothland from the Goths or Scythians who took possession of it."3
As the Scythians moved westwards across Asia Minor and Europe, so the territory of "Scythia" moved West with them. This is why by Roman times "Scythia" was located in Scandinavia. This is where the Scythians came from immediately before their arrival in Britain.
The traditional home of the Norse god Odin was at Asgerd near the Euxine (Black) and Caspian Seas. "The city is thought to have been located some thirty miles north of Lake Van -- the very area where the Assyrians had settled their Israelite captives.
One branch of the Scythian or Israelite group did not reach Britain until after the Roman occupation -- they were the Saxons. Along with the Saxons came the Danes and Jutes. In the Vetus Chronicon Holsatiae, on page 54, we read that -- "the Danes and Jutes are Jews of the tribe of Dan." The writer of this work wrongly applied the word "Jews" to one of the ten lost tribes.
The Saxons were not only a branch of the Scythian race, but also traced their own origins to Armenia, a Roman province, which included the territory in which the exiled Israelites were settled.
The Saxons were a Scythian tribe, and of the various Scythian nations which have been recorded, the Sakai, or Sakae, are the people from whom the descent of the Saxons may be inferred with the least violation of probability. Sakai -- Suna or the sons of Sukai, abbreviated into Saksun, which is the same sound as Saxon. The Sukai, who in Latin are called Sacae,4 were an important branch of the Scythian nation."
"This important fact of a part of Armenia having been named Sukasuna, is mentioned by Strabo in another place," and seems to give a geographical locality to our primeval ancestors, and to account for the Persian words that occur in the Saxon language as they must have come into Armenia from the northern regions of Persia.5
Milton too, confirms the relationship between Saxons and Scythians. "They (the Saxons) were a people thought by good writers to be descendants of the Sacae, a kind of Scythians in the north of Asia, thence called Sacasons, or sons of Sacae, who with a flood of other northern nations came into Europe, toward the declining of the Roman Empire."6
The Angles who invaded England at the same time were a branch of the Saxon race. Nennius, writing in about AD 800, traced the Saxons back to Scythia.
The Saxons recorded that the earlier Celtic inhabitants of Britain, whom they displaced, also came from Armenia. In the opening paragraph of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle we read: "The inhabitants of this land were Britons, they came from Armenia, and first settled in the south of Britain."
Bede recorded that there were "twenty eight noble cities" in Britain during "former times" and that copper, iron, lead and silver were all mined in ancient times. Vines were cultivated and an abundance of fish, along with salmon, dolphins and whales were found around the coasts.7
"It would appear, that at first the aborigines of the country could not have been what we should now call `barbarians or savages'. Their earliest traditions speak of the preexistence of letters, arts, and sciences; and all the notices of the arrangements of their policy go to prove, that their original condition was neither ignorant nor barbarous."8
Among the earliest of all British records which relate to the origins of the Celtic peoples are the Welsh Triads. These interesting writings contain a mixture of history and tradition. "Yet even in their imperfect state, they give us much intelligence respecting the aborigines of Britain"9
"Whatever opinion therefore may be formed of those Welsh records, it may be safely asserted, that the general scope of their teaching is consistent with itself, and harmonizes with the early traditions of almost every other ancient people."10
Several eminent scholars have supported the authenticity of the Welsh Triads. "Their contents furnish, in my opinion, strong evidence of their authenticity. I cannot account for them at all upon other grounds."11
The Triads relate that all but two people, of the first inhabitants of Britain were drowned in a great flood. A ship, containing a man and his family, along with a male and female of every living creature were the only ones to survive the flood.
After the flood the Triads mention the arrival of the Cymry or Kymry. This name means "the first race." They were known to the Greeks as Kimmerioi. The Cymry came from ancient Albania (not the modern communist state by that name) which was situated to the south of the Caucasus mountains and bordering the western coast of the Caspian Sea.
"There are three pillars of the nation of the Isle of Britain. The first was Hu the Mighty, who brought the nation of the Kymry first to the Isle of Britain; coming from that which is called Defrobani"; also rendered, by Thomas Wood, "more correctly Dyffynbanu, or Dyffynalbanu, that is, the deep vales or glens of Albania, a country between the Euxine (Black) and Caspian Seas."12
In "The Scottish Declaration of Independence," an important official document drawn up in A.D. 1320, we find that the Scottish people of that period traced their ancestry back to greater Scythia," which included the territory between the Black and Caspian Seas.
The fact that the Saxons, Celts and Scots all traced their origins to the area between the Black and Caspian Seas is of the utmost significance. It was in this precise region that the Assyrians settled their Israelite captives.
"The people of Israel were deported to the lands lying immediately south of the Caucus Mountains and south of the Caspian Sea."13
"According to reliable estimates there were somewhere around 7,000,000 or more people in Israel and Judah prior to their captivity. The Northern Kingdom of Israel must have easily contained a population of 5,000,000 or more at the time of the beginning of the overthrow of Israel by Assyria in 741-721 B.C."14
What became of this great mass of exiled Israelites? Not a shred of evidence exists to prove that they ever returned to the land of Israel. Even during the time of the Jewish historian Josephus in the late first century AD. the ten tribes had not returned to Palestine. He mentions that "there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude and not to be estimated by numbers."15
"Yes, just what happened to these teaming millions of prolific Israelites? This is a question which has perplexed countless millions down through the ages and has baffled Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish theologians as well."16
In view of the fact that Saxons, Celts and Scots all trace their ancestry back to the Scythians is it not significant that "The Sacai or Scythians do not appear in history before Israel`s captivity, but they do appear in the areas of the Black and Caspian Seas, shortly after Israel was deported to those same general regions."17
The Behistun Rock inscription dating to the time of the Persian king Darius the First contains vital keys to the identity of modern European races.
This inscription lists twenty two provinces, the nineteenth of which was Scythia. The information is given in three languages, Scythia is mentioned in the Persian language, the Babylonian version gives this as "in the land of the CIMMERIANS" (Gi-mi-ri).
"The ethnic name of Gimiri first occurs in the Cuneiform records -- as the Semitic equivalent of the Arian name Saka (Sakai) -- whether at the same time these Gimiri or Saka are really Cymric Celts we cannot positively say -- but the Babylonian title of Gimiri, as applied to the Sakae, is not a vernacular but a foreign title, and may simply mean `The Tribes'."18
Terms such as "The tribes" or "Lost Tribes" have frequently been employed in relation to the tribes of Israel.
The Behistun Rock inscription classifies the Gimiri (GHOMRI) as the same people as the Sacae or Scythians who were the ancient ancestors of the Saxons, Celts, Cimmerians, Cymri and several other groups.
The Welsh, to this day, still retain the ancient name of Cymry.
"The Cimmerians seeming to be the same people with the Gauls or Celts under a different name, and it is observable that the Welsh, who are descended from the Gauls, still call themselves Cymri or Kymry."19
Lysons, quoting a series of ancient authorities, traces the origin of the Cymric Celts to Armenia, adding that "it confirms the traditions of the Welsh, the views of Nennius and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and all our earliest histories, and to anyone who has studied the question seems most convincing."20
According to Sharon Turner, the Cimmerians and Celts shared a common language.21
The Welsh Triads mention that the Cymry crossed the Bosphorus on their way out of Asia Minor. Herodotus traces the origin of the Cimmerians to South Russia and the area of the Caucasus during the seventh century B.C. They were driven into Asia Minor and later moved into Western Europe. Strabo also confirmed their settlement in the Western extremities of Europe.
Later writers identify this group with the Cimbri or Cymry. The main body of the Cimmerians later merged with the Scyths.
"The Celts had an unvarying tradition that they came from the east."22
Dr. Wylie in his History of the Scottish Nation, page 15, identifies the European Celts with the Gimirrai of the Assyrian monuments.
He also states that "there exists abundant evidence to show that all the inhabitants of Britain, from this early period onwards, were all sprung from the same stock, though they arrived in our island by different routes and are known by different names."23
If the early Britons were indeed descended from the Israelites it would be logical that a measure of similarity should exist between the Hebrew and British languages. This is exactly what we do find. Very few vowels are found in either the Hebrew or Welsh languages, but the affinity between the languages goes even further than this.
"Yet this we gather from the names attaching to the British monuments still remaining among us, when divested of modern corruptions, that there is a strong affinity between these British names and that language of which Hebrew is either the original or one of its earliest off-shoots; and therefore Hebrew, Chaldee or some other very near cognate, must have been the language of the first inhabitants in this island."24
"Many have remarked upon the biblical surnames in Wales. Those are often very striking and always belong to truly Welsh families whose origins are lost in the mists of time; obvious examples are Joseph, Israel, Abraham, Mordecai, David and variations of these. Scotland also has its share of biblical surnames, like Adam, Asher, and some combining `mac' or `son' in the name, but Scotland tends more to the use of Gaelic place names with a Hebrew content."25
The earliest historical record of Ireland abound in references to the Israelites, especially the "Tuatha-de-Danaan" or Tribe of Dan. Some have tried to connect such references to the "pious fables" promoted by Irish monks of the Dark Ages but in reality the monks did not produce these records and denied the Israelite connections with Ireland.26
According to the Domestic Annals of Ireland the first settlement in Ireland was established by Nin mac Piel, whom some have identified as the Assyrian king Ninus, son of Bel or Belus. For about three hundred years after the Flood, Ireland remained uninhabited, but in 2069 B.C. a group of warriors under the leadership of Partholan founded a colony at Inis Saimer, a small island in the river Erne, at Ballyshannon. This group was destroyed by a plague in 1769 B.C.27
Moore states, (p. 63), that a colony of people called Nemedians came from the Black Sea area and settled in Ireland in 1709 B.C. They were dispersed and destroyed by "African Sea Rovers" or Formorians (who were probably Phoenicians) in 1492 B.C.
The next settlement was established by a group known as "Fir-Bolge," and lasted for thirty to forty years. "They were dispossessed by the Tuatha-de-Danaan."28
This group of Danaans from the Israelite tribe of Dan settled in Ireland in about 1456 B.C., during the period that Israel, under the leadership of Moses, wandered in the wilderness. A second group is thought to have arrived some 250 years later.
Dr. Robert Gordon Latham, well known nineteenth century ethnologist, saw a clear relationship between the Danaans and the Israelite tribe of Dan."29
The second wave of Danites arrived in Ireland in 1213 BC. during the time of Barak and Deborah when "Dan abode in ships" (Judges 5:17).
Keating gives further details of the Danite adventurers and of their arrival in Ireland.
"The Danaans were a people of great learning, they had overmuch gold and silver -- they left Greece after a battle with the Assyrians, and for fear of falling into the hands of the Assyrians, came to Norway and Denmark, and thence...to Ireland." 30
"In process of time, the Tuatha-de-Danaan were themselves dispossessed of their sway; a successful invasion from the coast of Spain having put an end to the Danaanian dynasty, and transferred the scepter into the hands of that Milesian or Scotic race, which through so long a series of succeeding ages, supplied Ireland with her kings. This celebrated colony, through coming directly from Spain, was originally, we are told, of Scythic race."31
The Danites appear to have had an outward looking and adventurous spirit even as early as the time of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.
Diodorus Siculus, writing in 50 B.C., but quoting from a much earlier source (Hetataeus), mentions that a group led by Caddis and Danes left Egypt and settled in the southern parts of Greece. He goes on to relate that the greater part of the Israelites left Egypt under the leadership of Moses. Diodorus also mentions that Danaus and his company brought with them from Egypt the custom of circumcising their male children.
Herodotus provides us with the information that the Dorian Greeks had come into Greece from Egypt.
The Spartans also claimed a common ancestry with the Jews. In a letter from the Spartan king Arius to the Jewish high priest Onias, he makes the point that "it hath been found in writing concerning the Spartans and Jews, that they are brethren, and that they are of the stock of Abraham."32
Josephus records that the Spartan seal affixed to the letter was the Danite symbol of an eagle holding in its claws a dragon or serpent. The Jews returned a message of greeting to "their brethren the Spartans."
The Danites of Greece became a maritime people extending their influence to the islands and coastal regions of Greece, and the Black Sea, where the Danite prefix D-N is found in river names Don, Danube and Dnieper; their ships also carried out raids on the coast of Egypt.
"From the records of Rameses III, as given by Hall in his Ancient History of the Near East, it is learned that a collection of marauding peoples, including the Danauna and Pulesti, moved down towards Egypt from the Aegean, through Palestine. Cotterell, in his Ancient Greeks, is prepared to accept the Danauna as Danaans. Hall, who dates this movement about 1200 B.C. says that the Pulesti were undoubtedly the Philistines."33
"The eponym Dan is found to be a root-name applied to some of the most famous sections of the ancient Greeks and their leaders, the derivations of this name include Danans, Danae, Danaans, Danoi, Danaoi, Danaids."34
Dr. R.G. Latham, well-known ethnologist makes the point that "Neither do I think that the eponymus of the Argive Danai was other than that of the Israelite tribe of Dan; only we are so used to confine ourselves to the soil of Palestine in our consideration of the history of the Israelites that we ignore the share they may have taken in the ordinary history of the world."35
In the light of such information can it really be such a mystery why the Danite settlers in Ireland traced their origins to Greece?
The greater part of the tribe of Dan entered the promised land of Israel in the time of Joshua. From the beginning of their settlement there they seemed to have played no major part in the internal affairs of the new nation, but preferred to engage in shipping and international commerce. Deborah complained that the people of Dan remained with their ships rather than taking to the field of battle in order to assist the other Israelites in the defeat of their enemies (Judges 5:17).
Although they had been warned against it, a measure of inter-marriage took place between the tribes of Dan and Naphtali and the Canaanite Phoenicians.36
The Danites along with elements of Asher and Naphtali began to share in the maritime enterprises of the Phoenicians. These "ships of Tarshish" were to create what has been termed the "Golden Age of Phoenicia."
During the reign of Solomon the Phoenicians assisted the king in the establishment of an Israelite navy based near Elath on the Red Sea coast. "And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of sea, with the servants of Solomon" (I Kings 9:27).
There are indications that this maritime cooperation between Phoenicians and Israelites continued for centuries. A trading empire of global proportions was to develop which established trading settlements in Spain (the Tarshish of antiquity), Britain and many other areas. Some have even claimed to have discovered evidence of Phoenician settlements in North and South America.
An entire chapter of the Bible is devoted to listing the trading enterprises of the Phoenicians and the numerous nations that shared in this commerce (Ezek. 27).
"At a time yet more remote, the Phoenician inhabitants of Tyre, we are informed, visited the western parts of Britain, and purchased of the inhabitants, tin and other productions from the soil. The commence of this traffic is supposed to have been in a year ranging between B.C. 1200, and B.C. 600 -- these events are considered to be well authenticated."37
The chief Phoenician port in Britain and the center of the tin trade was probably St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall, the "Ictis" of Strabo and other writers of antiquity. The Cassiterides or Tin Islands of the Greek records are generally held to be the Scillies.
Many ancient place names in Cornwall are thought to have had a Phoenician or Hebrew origin. Baal Rock brings to mind the infamous god of the Phoenicians. Other examples include Boswidden and Chegwidden, both meaning "house of the Jews." The suffix `Ywedhyon' is found in several place names and means `of the Jews.'
Other parts of Britain have also revealed traces of Phoenician influence. A small trading settlement probably existed in the vicinity of the modern port of Avonmouth near Bristol.
In his paternal blessing Jacob said that Dan would be "a serpent by the way." A serpent leaves a trail which can be followed. The Danites fulfilled this curious prophecy by naming cities, towns, rivers and coastal areas "after the name of Dan their father" (Judges 18:29). By this means we may trace the wanderings of the Danites across Europe. Their voyages from Greece to the Black Sea probably led to the naming of such rivers as the Danube. Further west we find a peninsula bearing the name of Denmark, or Danmark (the mark of Dan).
In Britain the D-N prefix is found many times in coastal place names and some inland locations, such as Dungeness, Doncaster, Dundee and Dumbarton. Ireland, too, has its Duranore, Dundalk, Donegal, and Danslaugh.
Few references to the Danites are found in the Bible after the period of the Judges, a clear indication that most of them migrated to areas outside of Palestine. In the time of Jeroboam, civil war threatened to divide the Israelites. A 9th century A.D. Jewish writer A.D. Eldud, informs us that "in Jeroboam's time, the tribe of Dan being unwilling to shed their brethren's blood, took a resolve to leave the country."
History clearly shows that they moved into the west, to "the isles afar off" (Jer. 31) identified by Jewish scholars such as Dr. Moses Margouliouth and Rabbi Menahem ben Jacob as Britain and Ireland.
The Danite tribal symbol of an eagle with a serpent in its talons has been found on examples of early Danish and Irish jewelry.
According to The Chronicles of the kings of Briton a chieftain named Barthlome along with thirty ships full of people settled in Ireland -- they had earlier been driven from Spain. The chief related to Gwrgant, an English king, that his people had originally come from "Israel."
This group may have come to Britain from the Spanish port of Gades or Cadiz. In this area a Hebrew-Phoenician colony was established about 1000 B.C. The Spanish river Guadalquivir got its name from "the river of the Hebrews."
One of the clearest and strongest promises and guarantees in all the Bible relates to the throne and royal dynasty of King David of ancient Israel. David stated, at the end of his life that "he (God) hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure" (II Sam. 23:5). The nature of this covenant was that "thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever" (II Sam.7:16). The promise was repeated, concerning David's son Solomon: "I will set up thy seed after thee... and I will establish his kingdom" (II Sam.7:12).
This throne and royal line were to continue in existence through the centuries and would be taken over by Jesus Christ at His second coming (Luke 1:32).
The last recorded king of David's line to reign in Jerusalem was Zedekiah. He was taken prisoner by the Babylonians in 585 B.C. and died in a dungeon at Babylon. Since that time not one king of David's line has reigned over the Jews in the Holy Land.
Does this mean, as several "higher critics" of the Bible such as Tom Paine and Bob Ingersol have claimed, that God has broken His "everlasting and sure" covenant with David, and that the scripture which Christ said "cannot be broken" has indeed proved to be false and unreliable?
Centuries after David had died, God confirmed through Jeremiah that His promise to David was as certain and unshakable as the natural cycle that produced day and night, (Jer. 33:19-26).
"My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon and as a faithful witness in heaven" (Ps. 89:34-37).
A point generally overlooked by the critics is that the Bible NOWHERE states that David's throne would always be located at Jerusalem. Many assume that David's royal line would have to reign only over the Jews, but the Bible does not say this. "David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the House of Israel" (Jer. 33:17). The Jews, from the time of Rehoboam, were known as the "House of Judah," not ISRAEL.
The "House of Israel," sometimes known as "the ten lost tribes," had left Palestine by 718 B. C. and gone into captivity. It was amongst these people that David's throne was to be located.
Jeremiah the prophet had a vital part to play in this mystery. God told him that "I have set you this day over nations and kingdoms, to pluck up and break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant" (Jer. 1:9-10).
The nation of Judah and its king were indeed overthrown by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Zedekiah died in prison, at Babylon, and ALL of his sons were killed. It would seem, to the world, that David's dynasty had come to an end and God's promise to David had been rendered null and void (Jer. 19:1-7).
David's line, however, had not been totally extinguished. We read that "Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters" (Jer. 41:10). The KING'S DAUGHTERS, descendants of David, survived. It was the royal house, represented by these Hebrew princesses, that Jeremiah was to "plant." This is the reason why Jeremiah visited Mizpah -- the princesses were there (Jer. 40:6).
Jeremiah, along with his scribe Baruch, the royal princesses and some of the people who had survived the invasion, were later taken to Egypt (Jer. 43:5-7).
Archaeology has uncovered evidence of "the palace of the Jew's daughter" at Tahpanhes in Egypt, the probable temporary residence of the princesses.
A prophecy of Isaiah mentions that "the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah," probably speaking of the princesses, "shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward" (Isa. 37:31).
Other prophecies speak of the throne being overturned three times (Ezk. 21:25) and of being removed from its former location and planted elsewhere (Ezk. 17). Jeremiah, it will be recalled, was the one who was given the task of replanting.
The location where Jeremiah "replanted" the Hebrew princess may be identified by a careful study of Irish history. Several references are found relating to a "Royal Sage" or "Saint" by the name of Ollamh Fodhla who arrived in Ireland about 600 B.C. accompanied by "Simon Brach," or "Berach," and an eastern princess.
He was described as a "celebrated personage" and "a being of historical substance and truth," a great legislator and founder of a college at Tara."38
The Hebrew princess, known in Irish history as Tea-Tephi, married an Irish prince, Herremon of Ulster who later became king. "Ollam Fodhla distinguished himself by an exquisite talent for government. He infused health into the Irish Commonwealth by excellent laws and customs."39
Other sources show that a large part of early Irish law was based on "the book of the law" or the first five books of the Bible, an indication that the one who introduced these "excellent laws and customs" was indeed the prophet Jeremiah.
Irish writers were unable to identify the nationality of Ollam Fodhla but were aware that he had not been born in Ireland.
The Chronicles of Eri inform us that he was "brought up amongst the Olam (prophets)" and that "all eyes delight to look upon him, all ears are charmed with the sound of his voice."
According to the Annals of Clonmacnoise, Ulster (Ulladh) took its name from him and describes him as "soe well learned and soe much given to the favour of learning." This work states that he was also known as "Cohawyn" which in Hebrew means "The Long-suffering" or "The Patient." How appropriate for a man of Jeremiah`s background.
Some of "the laws of Eri, set in order by Ollam Fola" seem to have been taken directly from the Old Testament.
"Let not man slay his fellow.
"Let not man take the belongings of another privily.
"Let not the lips utter what the mind knoweth to be false.
"Man be merciful. "Let man do even as he would be done by."40
Some traditions mention that Jeremiah took the other princess to Spain where she married into the royal family of Zaragossa. Jeremiah is also said to have brought to Ireland two unusual objects, a harp and the "Stone of Destiny" or "lia-fail."
The "harp of Tara" was later to be adopted as the national emblem of Eire.
The princess Tephi is said to have been buried on the hill of Tara. For centuries local Irish people have considered this to be a sacred spot.
"Jeremiah`s tomb" is located near the ruins of Devenish Abbey, on the Isle of Devenish in Lower Lough Erne, near Inniskillen, County Fermanagh.
Few objects in the history of Britain has attracted such an aura of mystery and superstitious awe as the "Stone of Scone" or "lia-fail." For two and a half thousand years the kings and queens of Ireland, Scotland and England have been crowned sitting over this rock.
Several daring attempts have been made to illegally remove the stone from the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey; so highly regarded was the stone that in 1940 when enemy invasion threatened, it was placed in a secret hiding place known only to a few in high office; the Prime Minister of Canada was also sent a plan of the hiding place.
Why such interest in a twenty-six inch long block of dull reddish sandstone?
Stones and rocks play an important part in the symbolism of the Bible. They are often used to represent kings and kingdoms. Jesus Christ, a future "king of kings," is described as a "chief corner stone" (I Pet. 2:6) and a "rock of offense" (I Pet. 2:8). His kingdom is represented as a "stone" (Dan. 2:34).
Stones or pillars have often been used in coronation ceremonies. In ancient Israel King Jehoash "stood by a pillar as the manner was" (II Kings 11:12-14).
In England the Saxon kings used a stone in their coronation ceremonies.
According to tradition the "Stone of Destiny" was the very one upon which Jacob rested his head at Bethel. "And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it" (Gen. 28:18).
Some skeptics have claimed that the stone consists of "Scottish red sandstone." However, it should be noted that reddish sandstone of this type is found near the Dead Sea, not far from the spot where Jacob had his dream.
Later, if the tradition is correct, Jeremiah brought the stone to Ireland. For about a thousand years the descendants of Tea-Tephi and Heremon of Ireland were crowned sitting over the stone and ruled Ireland. In the fifth century A.D. Fergus MacEarca of the same royal line landed an army on the Mull of Kintyre in Scotland and began a dynasty ruling in Scotland.
Until 1297 the kings of Scotland were crowned sitting over the stone; in that year it was seized by King Edward the First of England and placed beneath the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey.
In 1603 the Scottish royal line in the person of James the Sixth of Scotland inherited the English throne and thus the ancient prophecy that the throne of David would be overturned -- three times was fulfilled (Ezk. 21:27). It was overturned once when it was transferred from Jerusalem to Ireland during the time of Jeremiah, overturned a second time about a thousand years later when the royal line was moved to Scotland and then overturned the third and final time when James the Sixth of Scotland inherited the throne of England in 1603.
It is to be overturned "no more, until he comes whose right it is; (speaking of Jesus Christ at His second coming) and I will give it to him." Yes, God has surely kept His promise to David, his royal line does exist to this very day, ruling over a part of the Israelitish peoples.
The husband of Tea-Tephi was a member of the Milesian Royal House. The Milesians, who conquered Ireland in 1016 B.C. were of Scythian stock and were related to the Danites who controlled Ireland prior to the arrival of the Milesians. Keating in his History of Ireland gives a comprehensive coverage of this subject.
Tea-Tephi was of the Pharez line and her husband was of the Zarah branch of the "Scepter" family of Judah (Gen. 38:27-30). This marriage healed the "breach" between the two branches of this line.
The symbolic "Red Hand" of Ulster could well represent the red or scarlet thread tied around the wrist of Zerah (Gen. 38:29-30). The flag of Northern Ireland includes both the red hand and a six pointed "star of David."
Several marked similarities exist between the ancient coronation ceremony used in the crowning of British monarchs and that used for the kings of Old Testament Israel. Some have considered the twelve jewels in the crown of St. Edward symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel.
A further proof of the relationship between the people of Britain and the Israelites is that a host of tribal symbols used by the "ten lost tribes" are found in British heraldry, and some are even found in the national symbols of the United States of America. A detailed study of this subject is beyond the scope of this present work, but an adequate coverage, with many illustrations, is given in the book Symbols of our Celto-Saxon Heritage by W.H. Bennett.
English law, which many have admired and some nations have attempted to adapt to their own use, was in its earliest form, which dates back to about the time of Alfred the Great, based upon the Mosaic "Book of the Law" -- the first five books of the Bible. This civil legal code incorporated more "Mosaic" legal principles than any other national code. Through the centuries however this early system became greatly overlaid with a mass of man-made, non-biblical ordinances, which in many cases contradicted the early, but simple and effective legal system.
One of the most important keys in tracing the ethnic origins of the early Britons is found in the Cephalic Index. This is an accurate scientific method for determining race by examination of skeletal remains, including the shape of the head.
"The origin of the peoples of Northwestern Europe has occasioned much controversy! As a result, a considerable amount of confusion has been generated over the question of the racial affinities of the various branches of those people who inhabit primarily the coastlands, islands and peninsulas of Northwestern Europe."41
"It can further be proved beyond question that the longheaded Scythian (or Sacae) skulls which were formerly found on the Steppes all across South Russia and Northern Europe from the Danube to the Don River (and even further east) are today found in type only among North-West Europeans."42
Most authorities agree that the Scythians were of the "Nordic" racial type. They are distinguished from the Mediterranean races of Southern Europe by their longer limbs and larger skulls.
The modern Nordics are the English, Flemings, Dutch, North Germans and Scandinavians. The English are of the long headed type. Nordics produce the adventurers, explorers, sailors and above all rulers and organizers.
Considerable evidence exists which links the Scythians with the Celtic and Saxon peoples of Britain. Nennius, in his account of the arrival of the Saxon leaders Hengist and Horsa in Thanet mentions that "messengers were sent to Scythia" for reinforcements.
Several Scythian customs reveal traces of an Israelite ancestry.
"The migrating Hebrews, wherever they are found, though usually tainted by the paganism of neighboring nations, always show some custom or almost forgotten religious rite that is a memory of their early history. The Scythians are no exception. Herodotus tells us that they never sacrifice swine, nor indeed is it their wont to breed them in any part of their country.' They may have forgotten why they were to regard the pig as `unclean', but the custom remained."43
One of the reasons why Israel was driven into captivity was the excessive use of "wine and new wine" (Hos. 4:11). The prophets spoke of the "drunkards of the tribe of Ephraim." Herodotus records that the Scythians too, had the same reputation; other nations he mentions used the proverb "pour out like a Scythian," which seems to have been the equivalent of our saying "as drunk as a lord."
"The many references to the Scythian horses, during Alexander's invasion of Asia, combined with the fact that the Scythians were so frequently on the move that their enemies seldom caught up with them, shows that the greatest migratory movement took place on horseback, or with the use of wheeled vehicles. The Scythians used `scores of chariots equipped with scythe blades' the same type of chariot as that used by Boadicea in her battles against the invading Romans, a strange fact if there were no connection between the Scythians and Britons."44
The Scythians were skilled in the use of cavalry and excellent archers. Even the Persians found them a difficult enemy to defeat. They sometimes adopted a "scorched earth" policy, retreating into their vast plains beyond the reach of an invading army. They were a prosperous people and conducted an extensive trade with Greece in such commodities as grains, furs, hides, meat, honey, salt, fish and even slaves.
Scythian kings were often buried with their horses and various objects, some of which were made of gold and silver. From time to time a tomb is discovered in Siberia, where deep freeze conditions have preserved even perishable items such as carpets.
Scyths wore baggy trousers, belts and pointed caps. They, in common with the early Britons had a fondness for tattooing themselves. The great majority of Scyths were long headed, a very small number however, due to intermarriage were Mongoloid. Evidence taken from Saxon cemeteries in Britain shows that the Saxons were of the same long headed ethnic type as the Scythians.
As a separate race the Scythians seem to have almost vanished by about the time of Christ. In Europe they were then known by a variety of other names.
The apostle Paul, when listing four ethnic groups (Col. 3:11) mentions the Scythians as being distinct and separate from the Greeks, Jews and Barbarians. As descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel this is precisely what we would expect.
Scythians and Celts mixed freely with each other, giving rise to the term "Celto-Scythians." Ancient writers always described the Celts as being very tall, fair haired with blue or grey eyes.
According to Dinan, one Celtic tribe was called "Ombri." Could there be any connection with "the land of Onui," the Assyrian term for ancient Israel?
Scythian art was very similar to that of the Celts and Saxons.
"Soon after a schoolboy discovered, on St. Ninian's Island, a rich hoard of objects inlaid with gold, silver and enamel, with typical Celtic Zoomorphic decoration, a cache of equally wonderful work, carried out in the very same style, was discovered in a remote spot west of the Caspian Sea.
"It is surely more than coincidence that metal workers in places thousands of miles apart should have been using identical methods; apart from the remote possibility of British craftsmen sending such a quantity of goldwork to that distant region in the Middle East, the only conclusion is that the craftsmen themselves migrated from east to west, bringing the skills and practicing them in all the regions of their settlement."45
Some have assumed that because many different groups of people have settled in Britain under different circumstances and at different times that the people of Britain are a mixed or mongrel race. But is this really so?
"Although this mixed race theory has long prevailed, ethnologists declare that the various peoples who settled in the British Isles were branches of a common stock. Thus Professor Grunther, in The Racial Element of European History (p. 228-229), remarks: `The racial composition of England is worthy of special mention, for the common and wrong opinion exists about the English people that it owes its capacity to much racial admixture --Whatever peoples, whatever individual Viking bands may have trodden English ground -- Kelts, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Danes, Norwegian and Icelandic Vikings, Normans -- they were always predominantly Nordic peoples... English history is rich in movements of peoples; in movements of races it has little to show'."46
Great confusion exists among both Jewish and Gentile historians over the question of exactly what happened to the ten "lost" tribes of the Israelites, although it is generally agreed that the descendants of these people do still exist -- somewhere.
Israel was to be sifted among all nations yet not to be destroyed (Amos 9:8-9). Although the kingdom was to be destroyed the people were to continue in existence because of God's promise to Abraham. The lost tribes were to ultimately return to the Holy Land (Ezk. 11:15-17).
The Israelites were prophesied to multiply rapidly (Gen. 22:17, 24:16). By the time of Joshua (1450 B.C.) two to three million of them entered the promised land.
The children of Jacob or Israel were, according to the prophecy, to become "a nation and a company of nations" (Gen. 35:9-12). Other prophecies speak of them spreading around the world, becoming prosperous and of playing a dominant economic and military role in world affairs. The Jews, who were only one (Judah) of the twelve tribes, never fulfilled these prophecies. The United States of America and the British Commonwealth on the other hand have very clearly fulfilled all such prophecies.
The Bible speaks not of just the Jews but of ISRAEL and JUDAH (Ezk. 37:15-22, Jer. 3:17-18). Israel was to be "scattered among the heathen" and "dispersed through the countries" (Ezk. 36:16-20).
The apostle James, in the first century addressed his epistle to "the twelve tribes scattered abroad."
Evidence exists which traces the westward migration of the Israelites towards Europe. Many gravestones have been discovered in the Crimea, including one belonging to a member "of the tribe of Naphthali." The inscription mentioned that he "went into exile with the exiles, who were driven away with Hosea, the king of Israel."47
Within a few generations the exiles seemed to have lost the knowledge of their early history and had begun to develop a new culture.
What of the physical appearance of the early Israelites? How did this compare with the appearance of the modern day West European or North American?
The early Israelites did not necessarily look like the average Jews of today. They were more Nordic than Jewish.
Sarah was described as a "fair" woman (Gen. 12:11). The meaning of the Hebrew word used in this case is "to be bright" or a fair skinned person. A description of Sarah is given in the seventh of the Dead Sea Scrolls: "Her skin was pure white; her hair was long and lovely; her hands were long and slim."
Although some of the Jews are of swarthy appearance due to intermarriage with Canaanites, others are of Nordic appearance.
"The famous traveller, Lady Burton, in The Inner Life of Syria, speaks of visiting a prominent Jewish family in Damascus and finding that `they were white with blue eyes and fair hair, like any English people'."48
The meaning of the name Laban, a close relative of Abraham, is "white." David was "ruddy and of a fair countenance," (I Sam. 17:42), like many a modern Western European. The subject of the Song of Solomon is described as "white and ruddy" with black hair. This description is very much like that of a modern Sephardic Jew.
Nazarites of Israel were described as "purer than snow" and "whiter than milk," "more ruddy in body than rubies" (Lam. 4:7).
The ancient Israelites were not dark or olive skinned people, but light skinned-many were blonds, others were black or brown haired. They were "Nordic" in racial type. Some intermarried with other races.
Pictures of Israelite prisoners have been found engraved on the walls of the temple of Karnak in Egypt. These people are of the blond Nordic type. A tomb painting at Thebes also shows an Israelite (described by some authorities as "Jewish" or "Amorite"), having white skin and light, reddish brown eyes and hair.
The word "Amorite" was used by the Babylonians, and in their language means "Westerner." It was used to describe the inhabitants of Palestine. Some of the latest research indicates that the Amorites were a long headed race with blue eyes, straight noses and thin lips much like the Northern Europeans of today.
The much earlier Biblical Amorites were dark Canaanite people whose land the Israelites later occupied. Several sources mention that the Amorites were Caucasian in physique and appearance, closely related to the Celtic peoples.
Some scholars have noted similarities between the beliefs of the Amorites and those of the early inhabitants of Europe, i.e, including the Druids.
The religion practiced by the early population of Britain gives a clear indication of the ethnic origins of the people.
"We cannot avoid the conclusion that our British ancestors were devoted to that kind of worship which they brought with them from the East, even close upon the Patriarchal times of Holy Writ."49
Several early authorities mention "the remarkable similarity which the practices of the Hebrew patriarchs bore to those of our forefathers... the first inhabitants of our island brought with them the religion of Noah and Abraham; they knew and worshipped the one living and true God... and this continued, subject to various alterations and additions, through many ages. It would be very interesting and highly instructive, to follow the history of these additions and corruptions."50
This early form of worship is often classified as being Druidic. Although the word "Druid" does not appear in Greek and Roman records until some three to four centuries before Christ, it is clearly evident that the form of religion from which Druidism emerged arrived in Britain some fifteen hundred years before this time.
Speaking of the Druids, Smith writes that "they believed that the Deity was the source of life, and giver of good; they defined his duration as eternal, and attributed to him omnipotence as the measure of his power. And as they found nothing in the animal creation or in man, which had any proportion or resemblance to God, they had neither statues nor pictures to represent him. From which we infer, that they regarded God as a pure Spirit."51
The Druidic definition of wisdom is almost identical to the Biblical precepts on the subject.
"Obedience to the laws of God, concern for the welfare of mankind, and suffering with fortitude all the accidents of life."52
The first Britons seemed to have been keenly aware of the Creation story as given in Genesis. Early sites where worship was conducted had marked similarities to the picture given of the Garden of Eden.
"Hence we find everywhere, in the description of the first sacred places, some allusions to the scene of man's temptation and fall: a garden or grove, with one or two trees in the midst, watered by a river, and enclosed to prevent unhallowed intrusion. This was evidently the case with our ancestors."53
Pillars, oaks and altars of uncut stone played a significant part in early British worship, as they had done in the form of worship employed by Abraham, Moses, Joshua and other Old Testament figures.
The oak tree was used as a symbol of Israel (Isa. 6:13). It often marked a place of worship, both in the true religion (Josh. 24:26) and also the false (Isa. 1:29, Ezk. 6:13).
Druidic altars in Britain were of uncut or uncarved stone, as was the case in ancient Israel (Ex. 20:25-26).
Excavations conducted at Stonehenge and other places of worship in Britain have uncovered the remains of animal sacrifices, mostly of bullocks, sheep and goats; the animals sacrificed in Britain were the same "clean" beasts as are found listed in the Levitical regulations of the Old Testament.
Except for a few brief periods, the religion of the Israelites consisted of a mixture of Mosaic precepts and the paganism of the various Canaanite cults of the surrounding nations. They were warned in the strongest terms that such compromise would lead to the ultimate horror -- ritualistic human sacrifice (Deut. 12:30-31).
By Roman times the Druids had largely exchanged the simple sacrifices of an earlier era for the gruesome and abominable sacrifice of living people.
Caesar described great wickerwork figures, the limbs of which were filled with human victims and then set on fire. Tacitus records that the British Druids "deemed it indeed a duty to cover their altars with the blood of captives and to consult their deities through human entrails."
Druidic tradition traced their own ancestry to the Israelite captives in Egypt. They claimed that the arrival of these Israelite adventurers in Britain was marked by the erection of Stonehenge.
A host of wildly conflicting theories have been expressed over the years to determine the date of erection and purpose of the Stonehenge monument. The evidence strongly suggests that it was erected for purposes of both astronomy and religious observance.
Modern research tends to confirm the date given by Sir Norman Lockyer, the astronomer, of about 1700 B.C. Egyptian glazed beads dating to this period have been discovered at the site.
This date falls within the four hundred and thirty years that the Israelites were in Egypt. Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews mentions that Abram was "skillful in the celestial science" and that he communicated to the Egyptians arithmetic, and delivered to them the science of astronomy." Centuries later the Egyptians forced Abram's captive descendants to "learn all sorts of mechanical arts."
The Israelites, after leaving Egypt, set up pillars, sometimes around a central altar (Ex. 24:4). Moses commanded the people "thou shalt set thee up great stones" (Deut. 27:2). Joshua ordered the setting up of twelve stones "for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever" (Josh. 4:7). The site of this monument was called Gilgal, meaning "rolling" or "circle."
Although the British stone circles such as Stonehenge and Avebury were constructed on a much more spectacular scale than the Biblical examples, could this not indicate some connection between the two peoples?
A stone circle 200 yards in diameter has been discovered in Jordan, in the vicinity of ancient Heshbon.54
According to E.O. Gordon in his Prehistoric London, the name Avebury, which is the site of a circle of stones of gigantic dimensions, situated about twenty miles from Stonehenge, is derived from "Abiri" -- the name given to the Israelites by the former inhabitants of Canaan.
Perhaps the most amazing discovery of all has been made very recently in Scotland. In 1976 an American-led scientific expedition armed with under-water cameras and sonar sounding equipment began to probe the murky depths of Loch Ness, seeking tangible evidence of the existence of the world famous "monster."
The searchers found "some indications of a carcass-like shape with a neck-like projection about 30 feet long." This, however, was not all that they discovered.
"To their great astonishment, the expedition members, with their sophisticated equipment, detected quite clearly on the bed of the loch `circles of stones ranging from 15 to 150 feet in diameter which resembled the Stonehenge formations.'"55
Modern scholars are correct in pointing out that Stonehenge and the other strange circles were already objects of great antiquity when the first Druids arrived on the scene. By Roman times such sites had been taken over as places of pagan worship. Historians with good reason reject the ancient fables of magic and superstition associated with these monuments, but seem at a total loss to determine which group of ancient peoples were responsible for their erection.
Is it not possible that the early Israelites whose custom it was to "set up great stones" as a memorial of their arrival in a new land, and who used stone "pillars" often arranged in circular formations, could have been responsible for such structures?
Josephus records that the Israelites of this period were forced by the Egyptians to build walls, ramparts and pyramids and "to learn all sorts of mechanical arts." Several writers have noted the similarity of building techniques in the early Egyptian and British monuments. The same system of measurement was employed by the Stonehenge builders as was used by the pyramid builders of the same period.
Could not the advanced knowledge of astronomy that Josephus attributes to Abraham have been employed by his descendants in the design of the stone circles of Britain?
Jeremiah speaks of "scattered Israel" and "the isles afar off" in the same verse (Jer. 31: 10). Some Jewish scholars have seen a direct reference to Britain here.
The High Priest of the ancient British religion wore a white robe and a golden breastplate set with twelve jewels. Such a breastplate has been found on an ancient skeleton in a tomb near Stonehenge.
If there were no connection between the Israelite and British religions, why would a British High Priest or Arch Druid be wearing a golden plate, almost identical to that worn by Aaron, the High Priest of Israel (Ex. 28:15-21)? Why would the British breastplate be set with twelve jewels, the same as that of Aaron, which symbolized the twelve tribes of Israel?
The early Britons continued to follow the Israelite tendency to mix the religion of the true God with the rites of pagan worship. The "Golden Calf" incident is an excellent example of this.
This calf is supposed to have represented Tammuz the false messiah of the Babylonian Mystery Religion. The mother of Tammuz was Semiramis the so-called "queen of heaven" (Jer. 44:17-19). In Egypt this calf or bull was known as Apis which was worshipped by the Egyptians and mummified and buried with great pomp. In 1851 a huge sarcophagi was discovered by Mariette containing no less than sixty four such mummified bulls.
This Apis or golden calf was worshipped by the Israelites in what they called "a feast to the Lord" (Ex. 32:1-6). Centuries later Jeroboam gave the Israelites "two calves of gold" to worship (I Kings 12:28). God strongly condemned this false system of worship which included kissing "the calves" (Hos. 13:1-3).
Those calves were taken by the Israelites into captivity at the time the people were to become "vagabonds or wanderers among the nations" (Hos. 9:17, 10:5-6). The calves or Apis were introduced into Britain in the form of "a spotted cow" and "astral bull."
"The cow of Athor, however, the female divinity corresponding to Apis, is well known as a spotted cow, and it is singular that the Druids of Britain also worshipped a spotted cow."56
"The astral bull of milk-white hue, its horns crowned with golden stars, became the symbol, or visible sacrament of Druidism."57
In Celtic Britain and Westem Europe the Druids appear to have held a position which was almost identical in many respects to that of the Levites in Israel.
Caesar states that "the former (Druids) are engaged in things sacred, conduct the public and private sacrifices, and interpret all matters of religion. To these a large number of the young men resort for the purpose of instruction, and they (the Druids) are in great honour among them.
"For they determine respecting almost all controversies, public and private; and if any crime has been perpetrated, if murder has been committed, if there be any dispute about an inheritance, if any about boundaries, these same persons decide it... The Druids do not go to war."58
They believed in repentance, purification and observed one day in seven as peculiarly sanctified and made holy by the Great Creator." One tenth of their income was dedicated to religious purposes.59
Good health and public hygiene seems to have been of particular interest to the Druids.
"Druidic physicians were skilled in the treatment of the sick; their practice was far removed from the medicine-man cult. They prayed to God to grant a blessing on His gifts, conscious that it should always be remembered that no medicine could be effective nor any physician successful without Divine help. The chief care of the physicians was to prevent rather than to cure disease. Their recipe for health was cheerfulness, temperance and exercise. Human bones which had been fractured and re-set by art have been found in Druidic tumuli."60
"The supposed magic of the Druids consisted in a more thorough knowledge of some of the sciences than was common -- astronomy, for instance. Diodorus Siculus states that the Druids used telescopes -- this evidently is the origin of the story that the Druids could by magic bring the moon down to the earth."61
Druids also looked forward to a coming Messiah to pay the price of human sins.
There is a darker side to the picture of the Druids -- a side which has received by far the most publicity through the centuries. They became deeply influenced by paganism, particularly the Baal worship so strongly condemned by Jeremiah and other Old Testament prophets.
They believed in a pagan trinity, the immortal soul concept, and took part in the worship of "Baal and Astarte." "The Pagan festival of the 24th of June was celebrated among the Druids by blazing fires in honour of... Baal." In common with some of the
Israelites the Druids probably caused human victims "to pass through the fire unto Molech" (Jer. 32:35)."62
When all the facts are clearly examined it becomes very clear that the early Britons were indeed a part of the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" to whom Christ sent some of His apostles.
FOOTNOTES -- Chapter 2
1. Tac. Ann. Lib. v. c. 28.
2. Ecclesiastical History of England, Bede, page 7.
3. Antiquities of the British Church, Stillingfleet.
4. The History of the Anglo-Saxons by S. Tumer, vol. 1, page 57.
5 Ibid., page 87.
6. History of England, Milton, Book 3, p.
7. See Bede's Ecclesiastical History, chapter 1.
8. Smith's Religion of Ancient Britain, page 22.
9. Ibid., page 6.
10. Ibid., page 10.
11. Celtic Researches by E. Davies.
12. Smith's Religion of Ancient Britain, page 5.
13. Key to Northwest European Origins, Raymond F. McNair, page 72.
14. Ibid., page 76.
15. Ant. XI., V., Sec. 2.
16. Key to Northwest European Origins, McNair, page 88.
17. Ibid., page 91.
18. Rawlinson, History of Herodotus, Bk. 4, Appendix, Note 1.
19. Our British Ancestors, Lysons, page 23.
20. Ibid., page 27.
21. History of the Anglo-Saxons, S. Tumer, vol. 1, page 23.
22. Our British Ancestors, Lysons, page 27.
23. Ibid., page 265.
24. Our British Ancestors, Lysons, page 93.
25. Division and Dispersion by G. Taylor, page 45.
27. See The History of Ireland by Geoffrey Keating and The History of
Ireland by Moore, vol. 1, page 59.
28. Ibid., page 60.
29. Ethnology of Europe, p. 137.
30. Keating's History of Ireland, page 40.
31. The History of Ireland, Moore, page 60.
32. I Maccabees, chap. 12 and Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, chap. 12 and 13.
33. National Message magazine, September 1976, page 268.
34. Ibid., page 268.
35. Ethnology of Europe.
36. Josephus, Ant., 3:4 and 1 Kings 7:14.
37. Smith's Religion of Ancient Britain, page 3.
38. The History of Ireland, Moore, pages 86-88.
39. Cambrensis Eversus, Lynch, written 1662.
40. Chronicles of Eri., vol. 2, pages 98-103.
41. Key to Northwest Europe Origins, Raymond F. McNair, introduction.
42. Ibid., page 45.
43. The Magnet of the Isles, G. Taylor, page 14.
44. Ibid., page 13.
45. The Celtic Influence, G. Taylor, page 19.
46. The National Message magazine, September 1978, page 246.
47. Synchronous History, vol. 3, by J. Bosanquet.
48. The Celtic Influence, G. Taylor, page 13.
49. Our British Ancestors, S. Lysons, pages 93-94.
50. Smith's Religion of Ancient Britain, pages 41-42.
51. Ibid., page 36.
52. Ibid., page 36.
53. Ibid., page 40.
54. The Celtic Influence, G. Taylor, page 27.
55. The National Message magazine, February 1977, page 50.
56. The Two Babylons, Hislop, page 45.
57. St. Paul in Britain, R. Morgan, page 12.
58. Gallic War, vi. 13, 14.
59. The `Painted Savages' of England, A. Heath, page 16.
60. Celt, Druid and Culdee, I.H. Elder, pages 57-58.
61. Ibid., page 59.
62. The Two Babylons, Hislop, pages 103, 116, 232.