FRISIANS - SONS OF ISSACHAR!
Bert Otten, Holland
THIS study is to show that the Frisians are descendants of the tribe of Issachar, one of the lost ten-tribes. Many books have been written to show the nations of north-western Europe to be of Israelite descent in general, and Great Britain (Ephraim) and the United States of America (Manasseh), to be Joseph in particular.
There are numerous parallels between the Celts, who surfaced in Europe from about 600 B.C.onwards, and the ten-tribed Northern House of Israel (also called
Ephraim and Samaria), which was taken into Assyrian captivity from 721 to 718 B.C., and which broke loose from their captors after the Assyrian Empire fell to the Babylonians.
The Celts are descended from the House of Israel, Samaria, Bit Khumri (Assyrian for Beth Omri, the House of Omri), hence 'Khymri' or 'Cimmerians'. There is quite an astonishing analogy between the Northern House of Israel with their Levites/priests on the one hand and the Celts and Druids on the other.
Among the Celts, the Druids were the only teachers of religion, like the priests/Levites were in Israel. The Druids offered sacrifices as the priests did in Israel. Among pagan nations it is normally the civil government that judges criminals, especially so in murder cases but this was not the case amongst the Celts. Like the priests in Israel, it was the Druids, and not the kings or heads of tribes, that decided about life and death.
Dutch Frisian Islands
Similarly, the Druids had their high priest as did ancient Israel and like the priests and Levites, the Druids were in charge of religion. Another strong link is the fact
that both Levites in Israel and Druids among the Celts were exempt from military service and paying taxes.
The Celts seem to have raised commemorative stone monuments as the Israelites did, and the oak tree played a significant role in the lives of both Celts and the
idolatrous Israelites of the Northern Kingdom.
The Celts had special feasts in May and October, a corruption of those of the Eternal (Leviticus Ch.23). Their day started at sunset, as it did in Israel, whereas the year commenced, according to certain historians, in autumn, as the year still does with the Jews. They also used a solar-lunar calendar, with alternating months of 29 and 30 days similar to the Jewish solar-lunar Calendar of today.
The most gruesome analogy is the one of human sacrifices. For this reason Julius Caesar considered the Celts barbaric and it was one of the reasons why God drove the Ten Tribes out of the Promised Land. Could it be that Baal and Moloch, the gods the apostate Israelites turned to worship, were in essence the same as the Celtic gods Belenos (Baal) and Lug (Mo-loch)? Human sacrifices were made to both Moloch and Lug.
Zebulun and Issachar
Those who write about the Lost Tribes are quite unanimous over the identity of the Dutch as Zebulunites. Zebulun's prophecies (see Genesis Ch. 49 and
Deuteronomy Ch.33) strongly focus on a tribe obtaining a living from the sea. The Bible is supported in this by the apocryphal Testament of Zebulun, The Testament of the TwelvePatriarchs, in which the very first sailing-boat is ascribed to Zebulun and in which Zebulun encourages his tribe to be compassionate.
The love for water, for the sea, and compassion for fellowmen, are strong national characteristics in Holland. In Deuteronomy Chapter 33, Issachar shares Zebulun's prophecy concerning maritime and naval blessings. In the Testament of Issachar, the patriarch Issachar calls his tribe to simplicity and goodness (eenvoud, rechtdoor zee!) and encourages his descendants to breed cattle! Where Zebulun is, Issachar cannot be far away.
Strong and Brave Fighters
Just before his death the patriarch Jacob prophesied about his sons' descendants in the Last Days. Jacob's blessing for Issachar is mentioned in Genesis 49:14-15,
"Issachar is a strong ass" (KJV),"a rawboned donkey" (NIV), "un ane robuste" (Louis Segond), "un ane osseux" (TOB), "een bonkige ezel" (NBG),"eensterk gebeende ezel" (SW = Staten VertaIing).
The Jewish Encyclopaedia states about Issachar, "...Jacob in blessing his children before his death compared Issachar to a strong and bony ass (Genesis 49:14). This expression is a prophecy referring to the tribe of Issachar."
The descendants of Issachar are described as robust, vigorous people and the Romans wrote about the Frisians likewise. M.D.Teenstra describes the Frisians in
'De Kroniek van Groningen, Fries and en Drenthe',
" ... De Romeinen beschreven de Friezen aIs ruw en woest, groot van lichaarnsbouw en sterk gespierd ..."
(The Romans described the Frisians as rough and fierce, of big physique and very muscular). (All translations from Dutch works are by the author).
Issachar being a raw-boned donkey, not only referred to the physique of his descendants but also to their military ability. Although not an aggressive people by nature, they were reliable fighters whenever they were called upon.
Judges Ch.l describes how the tribes of Israel took possession of the Promised Land and how each tribe failed to drive out certain Canaanites living in its area. The only tribe not mentioned in this account is Issachar! This could be either because Issachar was included in Zebulun or because it was the only one to remove the
Canaanites. It is unknown whether the Issacharites actually achieved this but they are not accused of not having done so.
In the days of David the tribe is described as very populous; able to supply more able men to fight for Israel than any other tribe (except for Judah!).
Frisians - Brave People
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th and 11th Editions, states of the Frisians,
"In the 13th book of his Annals, Tacitus tells how the chiefs, Verritus and Malorix, as he calls them, excited the amusement and admiration of the people by taking, unasked, their seat among the senators in Pompey's theatre, when they heard that strangers from nations distinguished by their bravery and friendship to the Romans were advanced to that honourable position." - (9th Edition).
"The Frisians struggled against Roman overlordship somewhat longer, and it was not until A.D. 47 that they finally submitted to the victorious arms of Domitius Corbulo. The Frisian auxiliaries were likewise regarded as exce/lent troops." - Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition Vol. 19, p.413.
Why are they compared to a strong and bony ass? Probably because it also refers to their stubbornness. In English there is the expression 'as stubborn as an
ass', or in Dutch 'zo koppig als een ezel'. In Holland, in Dutch the Frisians are also known for their stubbornness, "Friese stijfkop" (stubborn Frisian).
A Couching Down Between Two Burdens
"Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that the rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute" - (Genesis 49:14-15).
Tillage and Tribute
With regard to Issachar, Genesis 49:14-15, Matthew Henry's Commentary states the following:
"That the men of that tribe should be strong and industrious, fit for labour and inclined to labour, particularly the toil of husbandry, like the ass, that patiently carried his burden, and, by using himself to it, makes it the easier. Issachar submitted to two burdens, tillage and tribute. It was a tribe that took pains and thriving thereby, was called upon for rents and taxes."
Scott's Commentary, Vol.1, concerning the same two verses states:
"Issachar is described under the emblem of a strong ass, as Judah had been under that of a fierce lion. This implied that the tribe of Issachar would be industrious and unambitous; bearing labour or tribute peaceably, of which burdens others grievously complained. He was sensible that rest, not from labour, but from war and contention, was profitable; and, being satisfied with the pleasantness of a remote part of the country, he little intermeddled with the affairs of the state, or of war."
Another excellent comment is found in the Dutch Staten Bijbel met kanttekeningen, translating as:
"In comparison with a strong but lazy and easy-going ass, he predicts Issachar's descendants to become strong and of great capacity though, by the fatness of their land, however so much inclined to ease and peace, that they would not accomplish much, yes even become tribute to others."
Frisians - Not Aggressive
Compare this with what the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 9th Edition, says about the Frisians.
"Frisians,... a people of Teutonic stock, who at their first appearance in history, are found in possession of the same district of Europe which they still, at least partially, occupy. So far as can be judged they have never been of an aggressive disposition "he saw that the rest was good" and it is not improbable that at one time they may have possessed a much wider territory, than history usually assigns them. For this neglect the principal reason is undoubtedly the fact that the people have, at least in modern times, displayed no strong political individuality (bowed his shoulder to bear), but now allowed themselves peacefully to be merged in more powerful nationalities (and became a servant unto tribute)."
These more powerful nationalities are the Dutch and the Germans. Most of Issachar's descendants live either in the Netherlands or in northern Germany. If one draws a line from Ijmuiden in the Netherlands to Bremen in Germany then north of that line is Issachar country.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Micropaedia Vol.5, p. 14-15 states this:
"Frisian, member of a Germanic people speaking a language closely related to English and living in the Frisian Islands, in Friesland, a northern province of the Netherlands and in Ostfriesland and Nordfriesland in Germany... From the 1st to the 5th century A.D., they were more or less tributary to the Romans; their land was then infiltrated by Angles and Saxons on the way to England and subsequently conquered by the Franks under Charlemagne, who converted them to Christianity. In subsequent centuries (in the Last Days) they were territorially divided between two campfires (NIV, margin); in the 16th century the western Frisians joined the union that was to become The Netherlands."
Courtesy of Kingdom Digest, USA.
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