WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Valerie Martlew, U.K.
DILIGENT Bible students will be aware that the Bible contains a mystery - that of the disappearing Tribes. Many people do not feel that this matters at all, and
are quite happy to believe that the Jews are the sole inheritors of God's Promises, or that the Promises have been transferred to the Christian Church. However, if either of these beliefs are to be accepted, we must also accept that God has gone back on His own solemn word, and changed His mind, even though the Bible tells us that He said:
"For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed" - (Malachi 3: 6)
If we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we are in honour bound to sort out the truth of this matter. In order to do this, we must clear our minds
of pre-conceived ideas, and the statements of theologians, which we may have blindly accepted for years, and find out the truth for ourselves, both from the Bible and from secular history sources. This may be a very difficult thing for us to do, but either we believe what God has said, or we substitute the traditions of men. Which do you feel to be the more reliable?
Once we have decided that we must prove God's Word to be true, we embark on a long and sometimes difficult, but eventually rewarding and thrilling adventure. A famous atheist, Charles Bradlaugh, declared that he had become an atheist because God had made certain promises to Israel, which He had not fulfilled, therefore one could not possibly believe in such a God! What a terrible conclusion to have to come to! If only he had searched his Scriptures more diligently, and had had the key to understanding, perhaps he would have become one of the truly great men in Christianity. This article can only give the outline of what is a vast subject (I have been studying it for forty years, and I am still learning more) but it is worth it to have our faith reinforced
THE SPLITTING OF THE KINGDOM
At King Solomon's death the Kingdom was split in two, owing to the intransigence of his son, Rehoboam, who refused to lighten the tax load in spite of a petition by
his subjects. This led to the ten tribes of the Northern House of Israel seceding from the Kingdom and setting up their own, under Jeroboam, who was not of the line
of David.The two Kingdoms, Israel and Judah, (two and a half tribes, ie.Judah, Benjamin, and part of Levi) existed side by side (often at loggerheads with one
another) until the Northern House was taken captive into Assyria by Sargon II of Assyria. He was successor to Shalmaneser V, who is often cited as the conqueror of Samaria, but as the deportations lasted over a period of time,ending in 722BC, it could probably have been either of them. For a time previous to this, the Samarians and peoples round about had had to pay tribute to the Assyrians.
The Assyrian policy at that time was to deport peoples to far away lands, and re-populate their country with other captives from distant places. This is how it came
about that in Jesus' time, the Samaritans were of a different race from the Jews, and despised by them. The Southern House of Judah remained in the southern parts
of Palestine until their eventual captivity and deportation to Babylon. It was not the policy of the Babylonians to repopulate the lands which they emptied, but a few
people were left behind, as we read in II Kings 25:8-12:
" And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire. And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. Now the rest of the people that were len in the dty, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away. But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen."
The captives in Babylon were not as badly treated as those in Assyria were, and many enjoyed all the advantages of citizenship. They settled down and built homes and communities, as it was Nebuchadnezzar's policy to have prosperous subjects in order to command their loyalty. Apart from homesickness (see Psalm 137),
they led a comfortable life for seventy years, until Cyrus the Mede gave them permission to return to Palestine to rebuild Jerusalem. Many opted to stay in the land of their captivity. Hundreds of thousands were originally taken captive, but fewer than 50,000 accepted the offer to return to their homeland.
These people became known as the "Jews", a corruption of the Greek "Ioudaious", meaning from the country of Judah. This is why the name should never be
applied to members of other tribes, especially theNorthern House. How often do we hear ministers of religion (who should know better!) referring toAbraham or King David as Jews? Iti s inexcusable, when you really know your Scriptures, to make such a basic error.
During the Babylonian captivity,many Edomites came up from the south and settled in Jerusalem and its environs. These people were descended from Esau, so they could not be called either Israelites or Jews, even though they were of Hebrew descent through their ancestor Abraham. In time they merged with the natives of the area. Some Babylonians joined the returning Judahites, and many Judahites had married Babylonian women, so the resulting Jewish people were a very mixed race. The majority of Jews today are Semites (or Shemites) only through their religion and language. At the time ofthe Maccabees, the Jews conquered Idumaea (Edom) and added a great many more of these people to their population. By Jesus' time, Herod, an Idumaean, had become their king. Nevertheless, Edom still hates Israel, as we can see to this present day, with all the terrible strife in Palestine.
But what of the Northern captives? Most people believe that they just evaporated, or became absorbed in the surrounding nations, never to reappear as a people. The last mention of them in the Bible is in II Kings 17:6:
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 riverof Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
We have to turn to secular history to learn of their fate. Tracing their steps is like the solving of a puzzle, and requires careful comparison of different sources. To
follow the trail is hard work, but it is well worth the effort, because it proves that what God has revealed in the Bible is true, and that He has not changed His mind, or gone back on His promises, as many a theologian and even well-versed Bible students would have us believe. This serves to deepen and reinforce our faith.
What were God's promises to Israel? They were many, and some were conditional upon the good behaviour of the people; but the most important promises were
unconditional. (This is just as well, seeing how disobedient and apostate the people were to become!). We will start with God's promise to Abraham in Genesis
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God
Have the Jews a king? Are they many nations? This is the first Covenant. It was ratified with Isaac in Genesis 17:19:
And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
Note that this was to be an everlasting Covenant. If, as theologians say, the Promises were transferred to the Christian Church, this means that God changed His
mind, and therefore He cannot be relied upon. Next, the Lord made a Covenant with Jacob, as we read in I Chronicles 16:13-17:
O ye seed of lsrael his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the Lord our God, his judgments are in all the earth. Be ye mindful always of his covenant,. the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac; And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant
There are many other Scriptures which re-affirm this everlasting Covenant, too numerous to quote here, but look up II Samuel 7:24, Psalm 105, Psalm 111, Isaiah 45:17, Isaiah 54: 8-10, Isaiah 55:3 and 13, Psalm 94: 14,
For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
In the time of King David, the Lord made another Covenant, which must have seemed very strange to David at the time. He had vanquished his enemies, and was ruling over a united nation, and probably feeling quite secure.
Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime - (II Samuel 7:10)
He also promised:
My covenant willI 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. - (Psalm 89:34-37)
Why should the Lord say this to a king and people who were established in the land? In His foreknowledge, He knew that they would disobey Him, and have to be
punished by being taken into captivity. He did not say that they would return to Palestine, to dwell in the land as a nation, before the Lord's return. It is true that the
remnant of Judah returned there, to prepare the way for the birth of the Lord Jesus, but the bulk of Israel were far away, and with them were the royal house and the
Note that in I Chronicles 5:2 it says:
For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler, but the birthright was Joseph's
The Sceptre or Royal house was from Judah, but the Birthright (father of many nations, Commonwealth of Nations, etc.) was Joseph's. Joseph was the prophetic
name applied to the Northern House of Israel.
Where in modern Jewry is there a Commonwealth of Nations? Where is the enduring Royal House?
The Lord went on to say, in Jeremiah 33:20-21:
Thus saith the Lord; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; Thus saith the Lord; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then willI cast away the seed of Jacob and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to retum, and have mercy on them. (33:25-26)
The Lord swore by His own Holiness, please note, and also said that as long as the sun and moon endure the seed of Jacob and of David would still be in the world. Dare we contradict Him, and say that He changed His mind? If not, we must seek true Israel in today's world. We should also seek for the House of David to be ruling over them, but that is the subject of a further study.
THE CAPTIVITY OF THE NORTHERN HOUSE
We noted from II Kings 17:6 that the Northern House of Israel was carried away... .into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
Where were these places?
Turning to the Apocrypha, we note that in the Book of Tobit, the man Tobit is speaking of his own life as a captive in Assyria during Sargon's reign. He tells us that
he and his wife were of the tribe of Naphtali (a Northern tribe), and that he became a purveyor to the king Enemassar (Sargon). Tobit 1:14 says that he went into
"... and left in trust with Gabael, the brother ofGabrias at Rages, a city of Media, ten talents of silver."
He must have thought that this was a safer place than where he was living at the time. Obviously, there were no restrictions on his making such a journey, and visiting
friends and relatives in other parts of the Empire.
The Jewish historian, Josephus, writing just after the time of Jesus, places Israel in Medo-Persia. He stated:
"This conquest (the conquest of Samaria, 721 BC) proved wholly destructive to the kingdom of Israel, Hoshea (the king at the time) being made prisoner, and his subjects being transported to Media, in Persia, and being replaced by people whom Shalmaneser caused to remove from the borders of Chuthah, a river in Persia, for the purpose of settling the land of Samaria". - (Antiquities IX:13,14)
The areas where the Israelites settled have been located. Mostof them were in Mesopotamia ("between the two rivers", i.e., the Tigris and Euphrates) in the upper
portion of the territory, not at the end near the estuaries. Gozan was in the area anciently known as Besilius,and Habor, or Khabour was the river known also as the
Araxes or Chaboras. Habor is a city on the River Habor. Halah was Ptolemy's Chalcitis, and Hara or Harran was in northern Syria,which became an Assyrian province. Thus we locate the captives in Northern Assyria and Persia. The Taylor prism in the British Museum gives Sennacherib's account of his taking the people into captivity.We can thus be assured that these events were real history and not inventions of the scribes in later days. More archaeological evidence of the Bible story's authenticity is given by the stele known as the "black obelisk" on which Shalmaneser records his humiliation of the king of the Northern house, Jehu. It was found in 1846 in Kurkh by Sir Austin Henry Layard, and depicts Jehu bowing low before Shalmaneser. He is referred to in the text as the "son of Omri". Omri was one of the first non-Davidic kings of Israel. Jehu was also called "Iaua, son of Khumri". Note that he is wearing the distinctive cap, known as a "Phrygian" cap, which was later characteristic of both Celts and Scythians, and is perpetuated today in the caps which elves and pixies are depicted wearing!
When Nineveh fell to the Babylonians, a large number of the Israelite captives took the opportunity to escape.
The Israelites had been transported north eastwards about 700miles. The river Gozan flows into the Caspian Sea to this day and Israel was settled in the high plateaux of Media and Armenia, at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates. This was a central area for dispersion, and they could have travelled from there, either eastwards to the endless Russian plains, or even into China and India. If they went westwards they would have eventually come into Europe. From the lack of
mention of them under the name of Israel from their captivity onwards, we are forced to search for them under other names, for they were too numerous, and too attached to their identity as a people to become completely assimilated by the neighbouring nations. Doubtless, a good many of them did become merged with other nations, but the main body of Israelites had to continue as a people, if only to fulfil God's Word.
Another of the historic clues in the Apocrypha which we shall consider is the testimony of Esdras (Ezra). This book, although not in our present Canon, is valuable
historically, and is a continuation of the Book of Ezra, which is in our Bibles.
In II Esdras 13, verses 40 to 46, we read:
Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea (Hoshea) the king, whom Salmanaser the king of Assyria, led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. But they took counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt. That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the nanow passages of the river. For the Most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half and the same region is called Arsareth. Then they dwelt there until the latter time...
The Apocrypha should not be despised as a historical document, even though it is not included in the Canon of our present day Bibles. It consists of fourteen books,
which were added to the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Old Testament. The Jews did not recognise them as part of their Scriptures, considering that they were not inspired as the canonical books are. However, as I said, this does not detract from their historical importance.
Esdras gives us an insight into the movements of the captive Israelites. Dissatisfied with their lot, they determined to escape from their captivity and they had the opportunity to do so about fifty years after their deportation, for the Assyrian Empire came under attack by the Babylonians, and they obviously needed all their
forces to defend themselves against this new threat. The captives would have been the least of their worries!
Esdras tells us that they "entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river"... This means the headwaters of the Euphrates. Herodotus, (the Greek historian of c. 484-425 BC),then takes up the story and tells us that some members of the Ten Tribes left exile and moved westwards and northwards into what we know as Armenia, then to a place called Ar-Sareth.There is a river called Sareth to the northwest of the Black Sea. It is between the Danube and the Don.The area would have been known as Ar-Sareth, for the prefix Ar means a mountain or defended place.
By then the fugitives were known as Gimira or Cimmerians, called Kimmeroi by the Greeks. This name is cognate with the Assyrian Khumri, which is the Assyrian
name for the captives, meaning "people of Omri". (Omri was a king of the Northern House).
According to the Behistun Rock, discovered by Sir Henry Rawlinson in 1846, the Gimiri were the same people as the Sacae. The inscriptions on the Rock were cut in 516 BC, and it records them in three different languages, Babylonian, Susian and Persian, and thus we get the two different names for the same people. In the Persian and Susian versions the Gimiri are called Sacae, and amongst the twenty-three provinces listed on the Rock is one called Sak. The root Sak is the same as the root of the name of the Scythians, leading us to conclude that they are the same people, living in the same area as the Scythians. Herodotus tells us that the Persians knew the Sacae as Scythians. Now, the root of Sak is the same name by which Israel was known in the book of Amos:
Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac. - (Amos 7:16)
The House of Isaac is Beth-Saac in Hebrew. The consonants SK are the real root of all the variations, for there were no vowels in ancient written Hebrew.
Herodotus also tells of the Scythians emerging quite suddenly in that same area from which the Ten Tribes had disappeared, only half a century after their deportation.
Thus we have established in the region to which Israel was deported, a number of alien tribes who appear to have sprung from nowhere quite spontaneously. We
have demonstrated that many of their names can be traced to an Israelitish origin. It seems, from the fact that the Scythians eventually displaced the Cimmerians in
places, that they had forgotten by this time that they were kinsfolk.We must remember that communications were very much more difficult in those days, and so a lapse of several decades would cause them to lose touch with other branches of the family, and contact with other cultures and languages would enhance the gap.
Eventually they would become scattered abroad to such an extent that they would lose most of the memories of their ancient culture, whilst still retaining isolated
customs and beliefs. We must also bear in mind that they were on the move a great deal, both from pressures within and without. The Lord had prophesied to Israel
that they would forget who they were, but that it was all in His will.
And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. - (Isaiah 62:2)
We will now study some Scriptures that give us clues to God's intentions for Israel.
The Northern House of Israel had had enough warnings about what would happen to them if they persisted in their worship of idols, but they continued, despite all the exhortations of their prophets. They were the first of Israel to be deported as their punishment, which had been foretold as early on in their history as the time of the Exodus and the early settlement of Palestine.
But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the buming ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. - (Leviticus 26:14-18)
We now have the scattered tribes of the Northern House beginning to escape from their captors and expand in different directions, but mainly to the west.
We left the people of the Northern House in the process of taking advantage of the turmoil in the Assyrian Empire, and escaping. Numerous stone tablets and
inscriptions have been discovered, in the region of the deportation, together with clay tablets that were letters from governors of provinces reporting to their Assyrian
rulers. They refer to the land of the Gamir, which was south east of Urartu. This area was where the Assyrians had placed a large number of Israelites. It was south of Lake Urmia and adjacent to Media. A few of the Israelites from the Southern House of Judah had also been settled there. Sargon had invaded this area in 719 BC., and transported the inhabitants to Syria, leaving the area empty for re-settlement by the captives of Israel. They settled in what the Assyrian governors' letters refer to as Gamir, an area south of Lake Urmia, near Media.These people, known by then as Gimiri, made alliances with the Medes and hired themselves out as mercenaries in the armies. Obviously, they would have had a vested interest in conquering the Assyrians who had oppressed them, and as the Medes were challenging the Assyrians' supremacy, they were glad to jump on the bandwagon! That they were strangers to the area is confirmed by an account of a battle of Esarhaddon with the Cimmerians in 679 BC.It claims: "Teushpa the Gimira, a barbarian whose home was afar off, I cut down with the sword in the land of Hubushna, together with all his troops". Hubushna was an area in Asia Minor, NorthWest of the Euphrates gorge, and had formerly been Hittite territory. This is only one of many references to the Cimmerians or Gimira found in the letters.
Thus the scene was set for these people to escape from the area of their captivity and to go on their travels to find other lands in which to dwell, as II Esdras 13:40-46 tells us. Esdras also states that they wished to keep their laws, which they never kept in their own land, (a change of heart, through having been chastened by the rigours of their captivity). Esdras also says that they escaped through the narrow passages of the river Euphrates, or the gorge of the Euphrates, and that they travelled from there for eighteen months before they reached an area where they settled, called Arsereth by Esdras. We shall find where this is later.
The Euphrates Gorge led to the Caucasus Mountains, where it appears that some of the fugitives went through the Dariel Pass, (which is even now sometimes known as the Pass of Israel) and into the areas bordering the Black Sea. In the reign of Sargon II, an Assyrian intelligence report sent word that the Gimira were living west of the Upper Euphrates, and north of the Taurus mountains, whilst others were further east, in Media, confirming Esdras' statements.
Those Gimiri who had been defeated by Esarhaddon, escaped further westwards into Asia Minor, as far as Sinope, on the southern shores of the Black Sea, having
been pushed there by the pursuing Assyrians. They are said to have been responsible for the overthrow of King Midas of Phrygia in 695 BC. The Greeks called these people Kimmeroi, which is close to the original Assyrian Khumri and Gimiri. It is obvious that they are the same people, especially as these events took place within such a short time after Northern Israel's captivity and transportation, a mere thirty years! They were said to have captured the city of Sardis. Some must have taken to ships and crossed the Black Sea, for many settled in the Crimea (Cimmeria), where gravestones inscribed in Hebrew have been found, and in the Arsareth region, which was mentioned by Esdras. This area was near the north western shore of the Black.Sea, not far from the lower reaches of the River Danube, where the river Sereth drains into the Danube. The whole region in which they settled was between the Danube and the Dnieper Rivers.
Eventually, about 600 BC, King Alyattes of Lydia drove them out of Asia Minor, although some probably went to Miletus, which was an ancient Israelitish colony, to which many Trojan survivors had gone after the siege of Troy. Neleus was a Milesian mercenary, who, as legend tells us, married one of the daughters of Zedekiah, who were under the protection of Jeremiah in Egypt. Would Jeremiah have allowed one of the two remaining heiresses to the Davidic throne to marry someone who was not of Hebrew or Israelitish stock?
Josephus, who was a historian to the Jews around the time of Jesus Christ, wrote that only a remnant of Judah, called the Jews, returned to Palestine, and that the bulk of the people of Israel and Judah were still beyond the Euphrates at that time. "Beyond Euphrates" encompasses Europe and Asia. Legends and history tell
us that they were in India, Central Asia and Central Europe. They followed in the footsteps of the Hebrew and Israelitish pioneers, obviously aware that they had
brethren far afield. As they followed the Danube and found themselves in Central Europe, they became known as the Cimbri, who were the vanguard of Israel in France, the Netherlands and the British Isles. Here they settled, unknowing that they had found the place prepared for them by God, as prophesied in II Samuel
Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them anymore, as beforetime
It is significant that after the reign of Sargon II, the Khumri are no longer mentioned in the Assyrian records. Where had they gone? Why had they disappeared? The Cimmerian branch of the lost Israelites was the first to leave Asia Minor, but their brethren, later known as the Scythians, followed at a later date. For the time being we will endeavour to trace the Cinunerians, and leave the Scythians until later.
We left the Cimmerians settled in the Danube area. From time immemorial, the great river has been a highway to the centre of Europe, and a channel for trade. It is not surprising that an enterprising people should use this natural route to discover and open up other lands, far away from their oppressors.
The branch known as Cimbri migrated north westwards, to settle eventually in Jutland and the area which is nowadays the north west of Germany and Friesland. Others pushed into southern Germany and the area where Switzerland and northern Italy now lie. The Romans knew them as the Galliae, or Gauls.They had travelled through what is now Romania, Hungary and Austria, but by 500BC they were in the areas which we have described. No doubt, many of their number
stayed behind, if they had found good tillage and a comfortable climate. The adventurous ones, however, pushed on, ever westward, driven by God's purpose.
That the Cimmerians were in the Black Sea area before the Scythians is an historic fact.They were the vanguard of the thrust to the west. The greater part of the
Cimmerians moved up the Danube, and they became known as Gauls when they reached southern Germany and France. The Greeks named them Celts, but the
Romans called them Gauls, according to the historian Diodorus. (d. about 20 BC.) The name of Celt is interesting, in that the Dictionary definition of a "celt" is
a "stone knife". It was a stone knife that was used by the Israelites for the rite of circumcision, never a metal one, although they were skilled in the use of metals. This is significant, for Herodotus mentions that in his time the Colchians (a colony of Israel in Colchis, in the Eastern Black Sea area) practised circumcision.This is consistent with the fugitives' repenting of their backsliding, and trying to go back to keeping the laws of their forefathers. Colchis is said to have been founded by Heracles, (the Roman Hercules), who was probably a chieftain of the tribe of Dan. Nowadays, we are taught that the Celts took their name from the stone knife, but is there any reason why it should not be the other way round?
In the 6th century BC groups of Celtic tribes had settled in Bohemia and Bavaria. They buried their warriors with their iron swords and their chieftains were entombed in wooden chambers under mounds, now known as tumuli. This has been named the "Hallstadt Culture", as the first tombs of this type were found there in Upper Austria.The older tombs date from before the Cimmerian arrivals, but, as we have noted previously, various Israelitish peoples had already settled in parts of Europe and the newcomers probably went in their direction, knowing that distant kinsmen were before them.
In the early part of the fourth century BC, the Celts invaded northern Italy, and were mentioned by Greeks and Romans. The Romans suffered several defeats by
the Cimbri. By the end of the third century BC the Celts were scattered all over Europe, from Northern Italy to northwestern France. They crossed the Alps, to go to the aid of the Etruscans, who were being attacked by the Romans. A pointer to their kinship with the Etruscans!
In 390 BC the Celts attacked Rome and burned it, under the leadership of Brennius. Brennius is a Romanisation of a Celtic name which was used by the ancient British princes, - Bran. Gauls founded Milan, Brixen and Verona. They continued to be a menace to the Romans for another two hundred years.
Around 280 BC, some Gauls went back to Asia Minor and established a colony called Galatia. It was to them and their brethren in Gaul (France), that St. Paul wrote his epistle to the Galatians. Our Lord said:
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel - (Matthew 10:4)
It is obvious that the apostles knew that the Galatians were their brethren, and that they had a mission to take the Gospel to them. Obviously, they did not consider the Galatians to be Gentiles.
The Celts then went further afield, to the British Isles, where they would have found people of their stock already established. It is highly significant that the Welsh
call themselves Cymry to this day. How else, but in the light of Kingdom truth, can we understand these facts?
Later Celts were of the La Tene culture. They built wattle and daub houses, thatched much as we still have in rural areas today, but their houses were round. They
also built the great hill top forts, like Maiden Castle in Dorset. These were not, in spite of their ingenious systems of ditches and walls, and cleverly "stepped"
entrances, effective against the Roman siege weaponry, and eventually the Celts, or "Ancient Britons", became subject to the Romans. Their culture is of great interest to the archaeologist, for they produced beautiful and distinctive artwork, proving that they were not the "woad painted savages" of traditional history. In Ireland and Wales the Romans never subdued the Celts. It has also been said that they could not write, but they had a form of writing in ancient Ogham script, which appears engraved on rocks as inscriptions. Their language survives in the remoter parts of the Celtic world, and many words are very similar to the Hebrew forms. In Welsh, too, there is also a similarity in the syntax, or construction of sentences, as well as in words, which in some cases are almost the same as the Hebrew. How many clues there are to the whereabouts of Israel, if only we have the key with which to link all these strands.
The Celtic culture and the ancient Celtic languages still survive, though some are struggling, and some are extinct. After so many years of extensive journeys and
contact with other peoples and cultures, it is remarkable that the Celts retained so many of their customs and so large a part of their ancient language, which must have had its origins in Chaldea, the home of the Abrahamic race.
The Picts were of this same stock, from a different wave of migrations. They were of a different race from the earlier people known as Picts by the Romans. "Pict"
means "painted" in Latin, so these were the original "woad-painted savages". This may have referred to the practice of tattooing. The Romans called the Celts in these regions Picts, because they inhabited the former territory of the Picts.
We must remember that the Lord punished the Northern House of Israel and their brethren for their idolatryand faithlessness, but that the places where they settled already held people of Hebrew stock who had established colonies ages before them. These Iberians, although heathen, nevertheless retained a memory of the original religion of Abraham, and preserved a great deal of the old cosmic truths that have come down to us in the Triads of the ancient Druids.They also had a good
knowledge of the original laws of God, which eventually were codified by King Alfred and form the basis of Common Law. This is now under attack from Europe,
which wishes to replace it by Roman law. Corpus Juris s the latest manifestation of this attack, and this will jeopardise our ancient rights to be innocent until proved
guilty, for the Roman Law places the onus upon the accused to be considered guilty until he can be proved innocent. This is the prevailing law in Europe, and in
much of the rest of the world, apart from those countries which retain some of their Israel heritage. Satan would obviously be delighted if we were to throw all our ancient traditions and laws away, and be in bondage to his world system.
The Lord gave our stock a mission, which we ignore at our peril. In the days of Israel's migrations, He used them to fight many battles, for He said:
Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war..for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; - (Jeremiah 51:20)
The Celts and Gauls (the Roman name for the Celts in what is now France) fulfilled this role and contributed much to the fall of the Roman Empire. Their brethren,
the Scythians continued the work, at the same time as they were being gathered together to the Appointed Place. Itis difficult to see how the flow of history can be
understood without this key to the origins of peoples.
We shall now follow the fortunes of the brethren of the Cimmerians, who later became known as the Scythians.
The Scythians were good fighters, and they hired themselves out as mercenaries to the surrounding nations. Scythians attacked and destroyed an ancient fortress, Karmir Blur, in 625 B.C. This is in the region known as Urartu, just north of the river Araxes, which flows into the Caspian Sea south of the Caucasus. Three edged
arrow heads, typical of the Scythians, have been found embedded in the walls, and a collection of bronze bowls enabled them to be dated, as they were stamped
with the name of Sardur III, whose reign ended about 620 B.C.
The Scythians came under pressure from the Medes, after they tried to attack their territories, and those who lived west of the Caspian would have had to move on to new territories, through the Dariel Pass of the Caucasus Mountains, into southern Russia. This may have been about 600 B.C, and the earliest Scythian tombs which have been found in southern Russia dated from 580 BC These were dated by Greek objects found in the tombs. There are others in the Crimea which have been found to have inscriptions in ancient Hebrew and have names like "Jehuda ben Mose". From southern Russia, the Scythians then went further west to the Crimea. Cimmerians already occupied this peninsula, but their Scythian brethren ousted them from this region, and caused the Cimmerians to go even further west, into what is now Romania and Bulgaria. There they settled for several centuries, although some adventurous people pushed onwards and northwards, further into
Russia, for archaeology has unearthed Scythian objects from further north. Some went as far to the west as the Carpathian Mountains, where Darius, King of the Medes, met them in 512 BC.
The Scythians stayed in this area for several centuries. Herodotus tells us that the Scythians dominated the steppes between the Carpathian mountains and the Sea
of Azov, and their tombs have been found in areas stretching nearly as far as Kiev.
Esarhaddon left prayer texts to the sun god, which mention people previously unknown who were living amongst the Mannai, on the borders of Assyria. He calls
them Iskuza, and complains that they are making raids on the lands of the Medes. The root of the name of this people is the same SK sound. They must have been the same as the Sacae, or "Sons of Isaac". This could be Itsaak in the Hebrew pronunciation, so it is easy to see where Esarhaddon's derivation came from.
Herodotus, writing in the fifth century BC, said that the Scythians in his time were occupying what is now the south of Russia, from the Carpathian Mountains to the River Don.There is archaeological evidence of their presence from 575 BC, in the burial mounds of the Russian steppes. They gave their nobles splendid burials, with many grave goods elaborately decorated, some depicting horses. Scythian art is renowned for its craftsmanship and wonderful detail. Many tombs contained wagons and weapons as well. They were famed for their horse management. Scythians were later employed as mercenaries by the Greeks, the archers being noted for their skills. There were even Scythian arrowheads found in Jerusalem, from the Babylonian assault on the city. It would seem that Scythian mercenaries were employed even at that early date.
We noted the area from which the deported tribes escaped, and that many of their brethren went westwards early on after their captors were defeated by the Medes and Persians. Another branch moved northwestwards, up through the Dariel Pass into the Caucasus area. We noted also that the Behistun Rock inscriptions equated the Sakka with the Khumri, who became the Gimira, and ultimately the Cimbri and the Celts.The Sakka retained the Persian form of their name, which was a development from the Assyrian Iskuza.We also noted how close this name was to the Israelitish name of Isaac.
It was the Greeks who changed the name of Iskuzu to Skuthae. Since, as in Hebrew, the accent was on the next syllable to the "I", as in "Itzaak", it is easy to see
how the "I" came to be omitted, eventually giving us the name "Scythians".
Herodotus, the ancient historian, writing about 450 years before Christ, said that the Persians called all the Scythians Sacae. The Behistun Rock, a Persian tri-lingual
inscription, mentions the Sacae, or Saka, and this is always translated as Gimiri in the Babylonian version. We have established previously that the Gimiri were the
same as the Khumri, or Cimmerians. Thus, this other people who seemed to spring from nowhere a few years after the Northern House of Israel was taken into captivity, obviously had the same origins as the Cimmerians, but went their separate ways. Herodotus tells us the Scythians began their westward movement in the time of a King of Lydia who reigned from 686 to 637 BC.
Now that we have established their original identity, we must follow them across Asia and Europe, to find their ultimate destination.
THE EASTERN CELTS AND SCYTHIANS
They appear to have gone both eastwards and westwards once they were through the Dariel Pass and free from pursuit by their oppressors. Remains have been
found in North West China of a people who have remarkably Celtic attributes, both in their physical makeup and their grave goods and the remnants of their clothing, which included materials of a similar design to Scottish plaids. These have been called Asian and Indo-Scythians, for their traces have also been found in the Benares region of India, dating from about 500 BC, and there is a theory that Buddha was a member of these people, for he is also known as Sakya and Sakashina. Scythian traces have been found in the Altai Mountains. However, we shall trace the footsteps of the western branch.
The documents that first mention the Scythians were Babylonian. They dealt with troops sent into Media to collect tribute, and reported that the soldiers had to fight
resistance by the Medes and the Gimiri and Iskuzi. They also mention a King Partatua of the Iskuzi, who was contemplating marriage with a daughter of Esarhaddon, the Assyrian ruler.
The Medes, in whose area the Iskuzi were living, were renowned for their skill with horses, and this attribute obviously influenced the Scythians, for they were later
famed for their horsemanship. After having been the allies of the Medes, they became their enemies, and attempted to overthrow their rulers and overrun their
territory. Dwelling in the area, which was around the shores of Lake Urmia, were a people called the Mannai, also famed for their horsemanship. However, way back in the Scythians' Hebrew ancestry, their forebears had also been noted for their prowess with horses and chariots, so the skills probably came naturally and were easily acquired.
Lake Urmia was south of the Araxes River, and the Caucasus Mountains, not far from the great inland Caspian Sea. There is a place called Sakkiz in this region,
and twenty five miles to the east, at Ziwiye, a magnificent treasure was found, consisting of gold and silver articles. It was found part of the way up a hill with ramparts on the summit. Although the treasure was cut up by the local people, who shared it out amongst themselves, enough is known of the finds for experts to have categorised them as Assyro-Scythian.
The historian, Strabo, said that the Sacae were living in Bactriana and Armenia, and that they called themselves Sacasene. This name is remarkably similar in sound and in meaning to Saxon. Their area was formerly called Urartu, and was just north of the River Araxes. The Araxes flows into the Caspian Sea. The Sacasene began to expand and push out of this territory around 625 to 620 BC. Russian archaeologists established this date when they found Scythian arrowheads of this date, horse gear, and bronze bowls, all dated to this time. Several bore the name of the Urartian King of those dates, notably Sardur III, who ceased to reign about 620 BC. This is not all that far removed a date from the last deportation of the Northem House of Israel. This group of people were believed to have gone further east, not following the trend of their kinsmen to migrate towards the west, and they may have been the people who eventually colonised the Takla Makan in north west China.
The Scythians intermarried with Greeks and other foreigners, as there were Greek trading posts around the Black Sea. During the relatively calm period after their
settlement in the Crimea, the Scythians spread over the steppe country between the Carpathians and the Sea of Azov and their distinctive tombs have been found on
both sides of the River Dnieper, almost as far as Kiev. Their peaceful period ended in the fourth century BC, when a race called the Sarmatian began to push them,
as they moved westwards from the River Don. The Sarmatians then pushed on to the Carpathians in the second and first centuries BC, and eventually came to what is Hungary nowadays. Confusion has arisen, even in the minds of some historians, because these later arrivals called themselves Scythians too, even though they were of a different race. This has also happened in more recent times. When the Saxons inhabited parts of modem Germany, they called their territory Saxony.This
name is retained although the original Sacasene have been joined by some of the different races of people calling themselves Germans and Saxons. However, there
is reason to believe that the population still contains a large amount of the original Saxons.
After their ousting from the Black Sea areas and the Carpathians, the Scythians began to be known to the Romans as "Germans". This was because of the confusion between the real Scythians and the Sarmatian newcomers. The Latin for "real" or "genuine" is "germanus". This name was applied to distinguish the
original inhabitants of the region that later became Germany. It is from these people and their mythology and legend, that Hitler and his cronies took their
"Herrenvolk" theory, which in the true tradition of the Deceiver, Satan, was perverted from the Scythians' distant memories of their Israelitish past. These "Germans" also reached as far as the Baltic shores, which had been very sparsely populated prior to their advent. The tombs found in this area are 100 years later
than the similar tombs of these people from further south, in places such as Poland, proving their migration to the Baltic regions. This takes us to 100 BC.
Parts of Romania are still known as Dacia. A peculiarity of ancient languages is that consonants can change. This is known as the "consonant shift". There is also a
"vowel shift", but the Germanic languages especially were prone to consonant shift. This could result in "Sac" becoming "Tak" and "Dak", hence Dacians.We can see an example of this in the modern German "Tur", which is our word "door".
The Goths were the same people, originally known as "Getae". They came from the Danube valley. They have a bad reputation, being classed with the Vandals, who came after them, but they were a different people from the later arrivals, the Vandals. The Massagetae were also from the same stock.
The Scots, in the Declaration of Arbroath (1316), claimed that the Scots came originally from Scythia, by way of the Mediterranean, via Spain. This, however, is
more likely to have meant the Cimmerians, as the Scots are largely a Celtic people. The fact that the territories occupied by the ancestors of the Scots were later
invaded and settled by the Scythians, may have confused the issue, for the area carne to be known as Scythia after these later arrivals. Apart from the fact that some derive "Scot" from "Scythian", it is also notable that its original pronunciation would have had a hard "k" sound, "Skuth". It is significant that this is a Hebrew word, "Succoth", meaning "booths" or "tabemacles", - in other words, temporary dwellings, such as would have been erected by a people on the move. Remember that there is a "Feast of Tabernacles", which commemorates the wanderings in the Wilderness of the Israelites who had escaped from Egypt.
The Scythians proved themselves to be good fighters. We have already mentioned that they were hired as mercenaries early on in their deportation. In later times,
having escaped and gained their independence, they were responsible for many historic victories. They invaded Media, Assyria and Babylon, and ruled those
countries for thirty years, until defeated in their turn in 508 BC, by Darius, the successor to Cyrus. They were also victorious over Macedonia in 291 BC, when they
defeated Alexander the Great's successor, who had invaded their territory between the River Sereth and the Danube. They made him a prisoner. In AD9, their leader, Arminius, defeated the Roman army and beat them back from the River Rhine. They withstood assaults from Rome in 70 and 86 AD.
In Herodotus' time, the Scythian territory extended 500 miles each way from the Danube to the Don.
The word "Scythian" is mentioned once in Scripture:
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. - (Colossians 3:11)
This points to the fact that the Scythians were not considered to be in the same category as Barbarians in Paul's day. Barbarians meant the savage tribes round
about, such as Huns.Vandals were a people akin to the Scythians, and they were not such horrible people as history has depicted them. Their culture was advanced.
In the middle of the third century A.D., the Scythians, under Odin, their King,(later deified, as ancient heroes frequently were), pushed deep into Saxony and
Scandinavia. At this time the Roman Empire began to decline and fall. Odin's march pushed the Vandals, Goths and Lombards towards Rome. Odin is supposed to have died in Sweden. The Danish city of Odense retains a memory of his name. His capital was at Asgard, on the River Dneiper. Shortly after this, the Saxons became a force that pushed ever westward. Remember that Saxons, or Sacasune, were derived from "Isaac's Sons". The Lord promised, long before they adopted this name, that this was how they would be known:
And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called - (Genesis 21:12)
THE ANGLES AND SAXONS
The Roman writers, Ptolemy and Tacitus mention the settlements of people called Angles and Saxons, further west of the Baltic, having settled in what is now Jutland, part of Denmark. The Romans included this area in "Germany". Now, we all know that the Angles and Saxons eventually came to Britain,where they largely
displaced the indigenous British or Celts, who were pushed to refuges in the west of Britain. These people had Scythian origins, as we know from the fact that
Hengist and Horsa, the Saxon invaders, sent to "Scythia" for reinforcements.
Let us now consider the significance of the names "Angle" and "Saxon". In ancient Hebrew "engl" was an ox or bull. Which of the tribes had as their symbol an ox or bull? Ephraim! This symbol survives to this day, for we speak of "John Bull" as a typical Englishman, and the corrupted version survives in the Royal Arms as the Unicorn. We have already seen the derivation of Saxon.
God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. He couched he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? - (Numbers 24:8 -9)
His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. - (Deuteronomy 33:17)
Here are the two supporters of the Royal Arms enshrined in the first few chapters of the Bible, and they have continued up to our time! Isn't that marvellous in your eyes? It is in mine, for it proves that God is a Covenant-keeping God, in spite of the waywardness and wickedness of His Servant People.
The last successful invasion of the British Isles was by the Normans, who were Vikings or Northmen from Scandinavia, who had settled in France and had adopted
the language and customs of the Franks. They added no new racial element to these islands, for they were of the same stock, as attested by Professor Freeman in Origin of the English Nation. He said,
"Tribe after tribe, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, poured across the sea to make new homes in the Isle of Britain, a nation formed by the union of various tribes of the same stock, The Dane hardly needed assimilation. He was another kindred tribe, coming later than the others. Even the Norman was a kinsman".
All the tribes fought one another bitterly until the newcomers had established themselves, and then they settled down together, merging to become the English people, observing the same laws.
By these long drawn out and laborious means, God eventually brought all His People together in the place that He had prepared for them, even though their
punishment was of 2,520 years' duration, and even though His People forgot who they were and what was their function in the world. Unknowingly, they were led,
and blind they persist in being. This is in accordance with God's Will, for He has said in His Holy Word:
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all lsrael shall be saved: - (Romans 11:25-26)
We, however, who believe the Lord and trust in Him to work out His Purposes in our unworthy selves, have the tremendous privilege of knowing this key to history.
We are humbled and awed, giving thanks to God that He will eventually honour His Covenant in full, and gather the scattered people into the fullness of His Kingdom. §
Back To Archive Contents