MACHIR AND AMERICA
An interesting fact is that:
THE NAME MACHIR IS RECALLED IN THAT OF AMERICA!
Machir was the first-born son of Manasseh son of Joseph (Genesis 50:23).
Machir was the forefather of the Gileadites (1-Chronicles 2:21).
The Phoenicians are believed to have visited AMERICA. According to Barry Fell the Phoenicians named it -
"The Great North Country". The Hebrew Prophets predicted that in the end
time the Lost Ten Tribes would return from the "North Country" (Jeremiah 31:8).
The Prophets certainly were well acquainted with the Phoenicians some of whom were in effect Israelite Tribes. The Vikings later
attempted to settle in North America and named it "MARKLAND" which is believed
to mean "Land of Darkness"(1). Even so, Maruk (a permutation of Machir) and
Mark (in "Markland") are not dissimilar. After the Vikings, the existence
of America was realised by people in Britain including fishermen from the
port of Bristol. Richard Ameryk, a Bristol merchant 1470's is now claimed
to perhaps have given America its name. Ameryk was of Welsh ancestry and his
family name originally was "Ap-Meryk", possibly denoting "Son of Machir".
The more commonly accepted explanation is that the name "America" comes from
that of the Explorer, Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512) also called "America"
and (after 1507) "America" is said to have been named in his honor. At all
events, the name Amerigo or "America" is similar to Medieval appellations
("Aimerico"(2), etc.) for a Jewish Prince of southern France whose proper Hebrew
name (from which the Latinised appellations were derived) was "MACHIR".
The name in Hebrew was also given as "HaMachiri".
In Biblical Hebrew "HaMachiri" literally denotes "The Sons of Machir" (Numbers 26:29) but it could also connote "That which Comes of Machir" and in this case it was applied as a nickname to Machir himself
and then Latinised to sound something like "America"!
The Hebrew version is difficult
for untrained westerners to pronounce (or even remember) and so was
rendered in Early Medieval Latin as "Americo" or "Amerigo" and this name was later
given to Amerigo Vespucci who gave his name to the land of America. It follows
that the name AMERICA may well be understood to mean "Land of Machir" (or "Land of the Sons of Machir"), son
The very name "Menasseh" in Hebrew (according to the Commentary
of Rabbi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch) can mean delegated responsible representation
and this is a fundamental aspect of the North American character. The USA
was created when its early settlers declared "no taxation without representation"
and fought against Britain for their Independence.
America was named after
Brit-Am supporter Benyamin Turkia (of Finland, now living in Jerusalem) pointed out that "Machir" in Hebrew can mean
"Selling" or even simply the Principle of Capitalism.
The principles of Capitalism and Free Enterprise have also
become part of the American character.
Note: It should be noted that in Rabbinical commentaries
on the Bible and in Jewish tradition the meaning and origin of names is very
important and this principle is supported by the Bible itself. Great emphasis
is given to the meaning of names, e.g. the names of Abraham, Sarah, and Israel.
1. Whatmore, Arthur William. "Insulae Brittanica", Great Britain, 1913.
2. ZUCKERMAN, Arthur J. "A Jewish Princedom in Feudal France, 768-900", New York, 1972. p.375
Zuckerman notes that Machir (Ha-Machiri) was referred to as Al Makhiri, "AYMERI", "Maghario" (p.180) or "Magharius", as "Aymeri", p.121 n.16., and as "Aimerico", and "Aimericus". Zuckerman p.131 n.38
Zuckerman describes how Machir ("Aimericus") became a legend whose name was celebrated in the ballads of Southern France and neighboring regions.
See also on this subject:
"Names Linked with Joseph":
Manasseh as America
"Biblical Place-Names in America
"Manasseh in Rabbinical Sources"
"Is the USA Ephraim or Manasseh?"
"Great Britain as Ephraim"
"The USA: Questions and Answers
"The USA in Biblical Codes