THE ISLES OF THE WEST
THE ARABIAN CONNECTION
(Extract from "Ephraim" - Chapter Two)
by Yair Davidiy
The early post-Christian Jewish populations of Palestine
and Arabia appear to have had the notion that the Lost Ten Tribes or at
least part of them were in the Blessed Isles of the West which in Classical
Terminology meant the Isles of Britain and Ireland! This concept reflects
an earlier tradition. The Jewish populations who had originated this belief
were destined to be scattered, destroyed, or forcibly converted to
Islam by the Muslim Arabs. What ideas they had about most things have to
be reconstructed from Muslim sources showing Jewish influence or from
much later Jewish ones.
THE JEWS OF ARABIA AND OF ETHIOPIA AND THEIR TEN TRIBES CONNECTION
Prior to the birth of Mohammed (ca.571 c.e.) some of the tribes of
Arabia practiced Judaism or; a primitive form of it. In addition the pagan
majority of Arabs had in many cases been exposed to Jewish influences and
to early Christian concepts. The Jewish-Arab tribes in some cases were probably
native Arabians who had converted to Judaism though some of them first appeared
in the 600s b.c.e.1 shortly after the Lost Ten Tribes had been exiled and
so too may have been descended from exiled Israelites. Another possible
source of Israelite blood heritage were; a branch of Nephtalites. They had
first been recorded close to Mannae southwest of the Caspian Sea. This area
was one of the major regions to which Northern Israelites had been transported
by the Assyrians. The Apocryphal Book of Tobias mentions Israelite exiles
from the Tribe of Nephtali in Ecbatana and Rages of Media both of which adjoined
the Cadussii area2.
The Nephtalites were called Cadussi by the Greeks, Romans,
and Persians but Pliny reported that they termed themselves "Gaeli"*g3.
The Cadussi-Gaeli were related to the Sacae Scythians according to Xenophon.
They later moved northwards into Scythia east of the Ural mountains where
they were known as Nephtalites or Nephtalite Huns though some sources still
referred to them as "Kadassaye" i.e. Cadussi. Legends, their Tribal names,
and additional factors link them to Nephtali, Dan, Judah, and
other Israelite Tribes4.
After a series of wars and migrations the Cadussi-Nephtalites
(also known as "White Huns" and sundry other names) split up into
several groups. The majority went westward and entered Scandinavia to form
what later became the Danes and Norwegians. Another portion remained
in Scythia to eventually merge with the Khazars who converted to Judaism.
Some of the Naphtalites may have gone eastward (where they became interspersed
amongst the Rajput Indian castes) as well as to Afghanistan;- or else
these last mentioned Indian and Afghan groups derived from peoples who had
subject to them, and so mistakenly are sometimes identified with them-
and this last explanation now seems the most probable.. Still another small
band of Nephtalites went to the South Arabian kingdom of Kinda5.
A group of Nephtalites had been employed by the Persians to
mind their frontiers in the 420s c.e. In the course of time some of these
Nephtalite frontier guards left the Persian domain and took service with
the Kinda who had territory between Iraq and Oman. The Kinda rulers intermarried
with and were an offshoot of the Himyarite Royalty of Yemen. The Kinda kingdom
was eventually destroyed due to attacks of an adjacent Syrian regime and
its major portion (which had been centered on the south) was absorbed by
Himyarite Yemen6. It may be assumed that Nephtalites gravitated to
Yemen and were taken into Himyarite employ. The Himyarite Dynasty
had existed for several centuries. In later Persian-moslem tradition the
Himyarites were linked-dynastically with the
Israelites and with the Scythians both of whom were represented by
the figure of Zohak7. This is significant since our studies show the Scythians
to have, in significant proportions, been Israelite-by-descent. In the past
several of the Himyarite monarchs converted to Judaism though apparently their
descendants had tended to revert to paganism. The
Himyarite, Josef Dhu-Numas, the son of a Jewish captive woman from
became king of Yemen and attempted to Judaise his entire realm. He
was defeated (in 517 c.e.) by an invasion of Christian African Ethiopians
from across the waters who (it is believed) took a group of captive Jews
and/or Judaised-Yemenites and Nephtalites from Kinda back to Africa with
them in 525 c.e. The Ethiopians were especially interested in Jewish smiths
and these were taken from Yemen and from Khaibar in Arabia to Ethiopia8.
The Jews of Ethiopia ("Falashas") were to become the Ethiopian specialists
in metallurgy. Peoples identifiable as Israelite were often metallurgical
experts. The Naphtalites (like other Israelite Tribes) had also been
known as metallurgists as were the Tribe of Dana (i.e. Dan) who according
to legend settled in Ireland. Naphtali and Dan were full-blooded brothers,
sons of Jacob and Bilhah the handmaiden of Rachel (Genesis 30;6-8), and
are often spoken of together. Both Naphtali and Dan were present
amongst the Nephtalite Huns of whom those in the Kinda service were
The Ethiopians had anciently been influenced by Judaism. They
have a tradition supported by Talmudic statements that the Queen of Sheba
after visiting king Solomon (1-Kings 10;1-10) introduced Hebraic practices
into their country. The original kingdom of Sheba apparently had domain
both in Yemen (-southern Arabia) and in Ethiopia. In Ethiopia there are many
different peoples and the dominant groups of Tigres and Amhara may have
come from southern Arabia9. They are relatively fair-skinned
and "Semitic"-looking. The "Falashas"*h reportedly resemble
the Tigre and Amhara though many of them, it is said, have the physiognomy
and colouring of the neighbouring darker "Agau" Bogos people of Eritrea10.
The Jewish Ethiopians (Falashas) once had their own independent
kingdom and were quite numerous and powerful. They converted many of the
surrounding peoples to their form of Judaism. They also over the years acquired
slaves who were later freed and thus (according to Jewish law) automatically
became Jewish. The Ethiopian Jews were ultimately reduced to the status
of a persecuted minority. They were enabled to migrate to the
State of Israel largely due to intervention by the U.S.A. They form
a fairly closed community with (like every other group) its own strong and
weak points. The present impression is that they may well prove to be a positive
element amongst the Jewish people.
There is a tendency to trace the original central core of the
Ethiopian Jews back to those Jews who were taken into captivity when the
Ethiopians conquered Yemen*i. Some (non-Ethiopian) Jewish accounts traced
them to the tribe of Dan.
The Kinda-Nephtalites had included people from Dan. Maybe members
of the Kinda were amongst the "Jewish" captives deported to Ethiopia from
Yemen at the time of the Ethiopian conquest? This would account for the "Danite"
ISLAM, MOHAMMED, EPHRAIM, AND PROPHECY
After having discussed the Kinda and Ethiopian Jews our
central theme at the moment needs to proceed with the information that in
Arabia and Syria-Palestine once existed important and ancient Jewish communities
which the Arabs were destined to, in effect, destroy.
The Cadussi, Arabia, and Ethiopia.
A psychopathic vision-seeing Arab named Mohamed (550-632
c.e.) decided that he had received a prophetic revelation superseding
all others and proceeded to persuade his fellow countrymen to believe in
him. Wars were fought against non-believers and the Arabian Jews were treacherously
exterminated at Mohammed's direction and the presence of Jews in the Arabian
Peninsula ultimately forbidden for all time, up to the present!
Regarding the future, some type of ill-fated bond between Ephraim
and the followers of Islam appears to be spoken of in the Biblical Book of
Hosea. It is obvious that the same Biblical Prophecies may legitimately
often be understood in several entirely different ways - as they were perhaps
intended to be. The relevant verses discussed here do not necessarily contain
any prophetical reference to Islam but nevertheless the possibility
should be taken into account.
The verses should be seen in their context*j. The overall
message is that the Prophet Hosea condemns Ephraim, uses a word which may
be understood to be a form of the name "Mohammed", speaks of the region of
Egypt and the east, and predicts a disaster which somehow involves a mad
prophet identified traditionally as "Mohammed": The quotations are from Hosea
" Do not be happy Israel, do not rejoice like (other) peoples,
have sinned (and gone) away from your God...(Hosea 9;1)
"They will not dwell in the land of the LORD, Ephraim shall
Mitsrayim (Egypt) and eat unclean(-food) in Assyria (9;3).
"For behold they are gone due to looting Egypt (Mitsrayim),
(Memphis) gathers them, Machmad [i.e. Mahomad?*6k] buries them, their
silver ensnared, the thorn in their tents (tabernacles) inherits
"The days of visitation have arrived, the days of payment
Israel shall know, the prophet is evil, mad*l [Hebrew: "Meshuga"]
a man of
spirit because of your transgression and of great hatred (9;7):
"Ephraim looked out with the god of the prophet, a
hidden snare on all his paths, hatred in the house of his god (9;8):.
As mentioned above, "The mad prophet" was considered
by some (e.g. Maimonides, 1135-1204, in his "Letter To Teman") to be a reference
to Mohamed and the name of Mohammed (in Hebrew and Arabic: "Machmad") does
appear in the passage. The desert sun, sparse diet, and seclusion (as well
as the possible use of hashish and various weeds smoken by some of the Arabs)
are liable to play tricks on highly-strung spiritually inclined individuals.
Historically, the Arabian Jews whom Mohammed massacred may have been an offshoot
from the Lost Ten Tribes, i.e. "Ephraim". Regarding the future the message
of Hosea may be a warning that the forces of Islam are a danger
and association with them threatens disaster upon Ephraim which mainly means
Great Britain though a portion of Ephraim is also to be found amongst the
Jews and in North America, South Africa, and Australia.
The said verses may well contain a hint that Ephraim will attempt
some type of rapport with "the god of the prophet" and this will not turn
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE: Maimonides ("Rambam", 1135-1204). Born in Spain.
One of the greatest Jewish legal authorities and religious philosophers..
Served as personal physician to Saladin King of Egypt, and according to
legend was offered a post by Richard-i of England.
THE SONS OF MOSES
The faith of Islam in its early stages borrowed from Jewish
and Christian sources. An important agent for the introduction of foreign
elements was Abba-Abbas who was an uncle of Mohamed. Aba Abas had been instructed
by a Jewish apostate. He added quite a lot to Moslem lore and much
of what he added had been lifted straight out of Jewish Rabbinical texts
and related popular sources. Abba Abas said that the "Sons of Moses" were
in the far east in Gabrassa and in the far west in Gabalk11. These terms are
considered to be Jewish in origin. Gabrassa relates apparently to Turkestan
in east Scythia where the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons and others had sojourned
for some time prior to continuing westward in the era 200-400 c.e. with "Scandinavian"
offshoots coming later. "GABALK" was an Arabic term for western Europe especially
the Frankish realm of France. A similar
term in the Talmud, "Gabla", "Gablan", meant the areas of the Golan
and Bashan in the northern sections of Israel according to conventional concepts12.
"Gebal" and "Gebala" are related appellations and were the names of cities
on the Phoenecian coast. In southern Gaul northwest of Narbonne were a
people named Gaballi. The Golan and part of Bashan were called "Gaulanitis"
by the Greeks and Romans whereas "Gaul" was the name
given to the area of France and Belgium in ancient times. Gaul had
been populated by the Galli and Galatae (also known as "Galadi") past residents
of GILEAD east of the Jordan. Gilead (Galaad) was the name of a son of Machir
son of Manesseh but the area known as Gilead and Bashan had been settled
by the Tribes of Reuben and Gad as well as the half-tribe of Manesseh headed
by Machir (Joshua 22;9).
The prophet Moses who led the Children of Israel out of Egypt
and through whom the Mosaic Code was received belonged to the clan of Kohat
(Qohat) within the Tribe of Levi. The task of Levi was primarily that of
priesthood, instruction, policing, and border-settlement consolidation13.
Levi was not given a tribal territory of his own but rather apportioned towns
and cities scattered throughout the land of Israel. The different
Levite clans were however each concentrated in areas of specific
Israelite Tribes. The clan of Kohat, to which Moses belonged, received its
settlements in areas otherwise belonging to the Israelite Tribes of Ephraim,
Dan, and half-Menasseh (Joshua 21;5). Later, when the northern Ten Tribes
under Jeroboam son of Nebat split off from the southern ones ruled
by Rehoboam son of Solomon, many of the Levis fled southwards.
"Now the priests [Hebrew: "Cohanim"] and the Levites
whole of Israel resorted to Rehoboam from all their territories;
Levites had left all their common land and their patrimony and had
Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his successors rejected
services as priests of the LORD, and he appointed his own priests
hill-shrines, for the demons, and for the calves he had made.." (2
It follows from the above excerpt that a good
portion of the Tribe of Levi must eventually have been found amongst the
"Jewish" southern tribes and some accounts (such as one of several ascribed
to Eldad Hadani) concerning the SONS OF MOSES do mention them alongside the
Jewish exiles in Babylonia. Other legends connect the SONS OF MOSES with
the Lost Ten Tribes of northern Israel exiled by the Assyrians. -Eldad haDani
(ca.800 c.e.) transmitted a tradition that the Sons of Moses were somewhere
region of Turkestan and adjoined the Lost Ten Tribes. Even until recently
people of the Jewish faith (or of a Judaising tradition) in this area would
call themselves "Mousssai"14 meaning "followers of Moses" rather than
use the terms Yehudi (Jew) or Israelite. The ancestors of the Angles, Saxons,
Jutes, and some of the Scandinavians had once been in Turkestan or nearby.
The Arabs stated that An'am the Himyarite made an expedition
to the far west and erected a brazen statue at the end of the Mediterranean15.
The Himyarite (i.e. of Yemen) links with Israel were mentioned above. Yitzchak
Ben-Zvi said that at least 15 different Himyarite kings became Jewish. In
Arab Geneaologies the Himyarites together with the Scyths are linked to
Zohak16 who was accredited with creating the Hebrew Bible17 and may be
understood as representing Israel and his name as being a form of
Saka or Isaac18.
Other traditions of apparent JEWISH ORIGIN derived through
Arab intermediaries relate a similar tale. These other versions state that
the CHILDREN OF MOSES were in the far west in "Djabarka" (i.e. "The
Golden Castle"), in the "Islands of the Happy", dwelling in a town wherein
the remnants of AD19 were also to be found20.
The Druids in Gaul told a Roman inquirer (Timagene quoted by
Marcellinus, 15, ch.9) that part of the Gauls were indigenous to
their country whereas others had come (in about 500 b.c.e) from distant
isles, which said H. D'ARBOIS DE JUBAINVILLE were otherwise known as "The
Land of the Dead", or "The Islands of the Happy21", and apparently meant
the islands of Britain and maybe also the coastlands of Scandinavia. They
had been driven out due to a rising of the sea that flooded their own areas.
"The Islands of the Happy" in the far west in which dwelt both the
sons of Moses and the sons of Ad were the British Isles, and later the term
in Classical Writings would be applied especially to Ireland! The Roman
Avienus wrote a poem "Ora Maritima" said in part to incorporate an earlier
Phoenecian or Carthaginian account of the west Atlantic area;
"..Two days long is the voyage thence [i.e.from French Brittany
Britain] to the once so called Holy Island [i.e.to Ireland], which
expanded on the sea, the dwelling of the Hibernian race: at
hand lies the
island of Albion.."
Other Classical sources refer to Ireland and sometimes
to Ireland and Britain together as the Isles (or Isle) of the Happy or Isles
of the Blessed, thus conforming to the Arab-transmitted description. The
Celtic Welsh called Britain, "The Honey Isle of Beli"22.
The remnant of Ad together with the Sons of Moses
were said to be in these western Isles of the Happy. AD in Arab folklore
and written tradition belonged to the family of Abraham. Also belonging to
the family of AD (say these same sources) were the Himyarite
kings and the Eponymous "ZOHAK"23 representative of the Scythians and whose
very name is a form of "Isaac". A brother of AD and sometimes identified
with him was HUD. There are several traditions concerning the geneaology of
Hud and he is sometimes assimilated with "Abar" (the Biblical "Heber"
strictly speaking forefather
of the Hebrews but in practice representing the Biblical Israelites)
or regarded as son of the latter. "HUD" is derived from a word-root meaning
to "Judaise", or denoting the Jews. "Hud" was identified as ancestor of the
Jews says the Encyclopedia of Islam. Hud in the Koran was sent to the
people of Ad who refused to receive him and therefore were swept away by
a violent storm24. Ad (brother of Hud) was therefore an Israelite people
because of their sins had been blown away to the west25. The story
of Ad and Hud is an Arabicised account concerning the Israelite Lost Ten
Tribes who because of their sins had been expelled by the Assyrians (2-Kings
ch.17) and some of whom had been taken overseas immediately to the west*m.
Their exile had come upon them as a punishment from God for sinning (2-Kings
ch.17.). They had gone to the western "Happy" or "Blessed" Isles meaning
to those of Britain and "Islands of the Sea" (Isaiah 11;11) is listed as one
of the places of exile.
There may be some significance
in the fact that in the centuries prior to the muslim transformation of Arabia,
Ireland and Wales had had close contacts with the eastern Mediterranean
and with Arabia. Irish folklore and music show Arabic influence. Ireland
of that time, culturally, by some authorities is considered as effectually
Ireland was then a European centre of learning and quite developed.
The early Irish and Scottish christians practised aspects of the Biblical-Mosaic
Code and considered themselves and were considered by others as a type of
"Jew" -or at least of Hebrew descent..Even in Roman times Britain (perhaps
due to its mineral wealth) for some reason had been referred to as "The Treasure
of Arabia26"! -Classical Geographers (such as
Strabo, etc.) did not really distinguish well between the lands of
Israel, Phillistia, Syria, and Arabia. Ptolemy calls the former Israelite
lands of Reuben, Gad, and half-Menasseh "Arabia Deserta". At all events,
perhaps this nickname, "Treasure of Arabia", applied to Britain was
some type of euphemism for Israel or at least reflected the Middle East origins
of the British Celts. It does seem that some form of familial
relationship between the Jews and the Celtic British was intuitively felt.
One version of Celtic mythology says that Britain was
named after Prydain son of Aed the Great27. There was a people in Gaul named
"Aedui" who were considered a brother nation by the Romans with whom they
generally collaborated. The Celtic god Aedui once gave his name
to the whole British Isles which say the Welsh Triads (a collection of traditions)
was called "Aeddon", or "Eiddyn"28. Aedui is honoured in the name Edinburgh,
or "Caer Eiddyn" in Welsh; "Caer" meaning "walled city" based on the
"KIR" (wall); a "KIRIAH" in Biblical Hebrew meant a walled
city. "CAER" and "KIRIAH" use the same Hebrew word-root, "KIR". The name
AED which was given once to Britain and from which "Edin-burgh" is derived
is cognate with AD which was synonymous in Arabian literature with northern
The name itself may be derived from the Hebrew "ad" meaning
both jewel and witness.
"Ye are my witnesses [Hebrew:"adi"]...(Isaiah 43;10).
"..the sure mercies of David.
"Behold, I have given him for a witness [Hebrew: "ad"] to
the people, a
leader and commander to the people" (Isaiah 55;3-4).
"AD" as well as meaning "witness" can also mean "jewel"
and as such the word is synonymous with "segular". The Israelites were
called an "Am Segulah" (Deuteronomy 7;6) translated as "a special people".
Ptolemy placed the "Sigulones" in southern Jutland (Denmark) between
the Sabalingoi and the Saxones.
It will be shown how the Jewish Biblical commentator RASHI
(on The Book of Obadiah) believed that the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel
migrated into Zarephath which he identified with the land of France while
Don Isaac Abarbanel equated "Zarephath" with both France and England together.
It is implied that Nachmanides (in "The Book of Redemption") considered
the term "Zarephath" to encompass all of the Northwest European region29.
The upshot of the above is that taken as a whole Jewish-derived
(though partly Arab transmitted) tradition strongly implies that at least
part of the Lost Ten Tribes were considered to be in the west especially
in France, Ireland, and Britain.
An additional Arabian link (also involving the Cadussi) concerning
the present-day location of The Lost Tribes is that connected with the Children
Brit-Am Now no. 1411
#7. Rechabites: A New and Unexpected Source?
Jewish Traditions Placed the Lost Ten Tribes in the British Isles!!
The above article discusses new findings strengthening existing evidence that in Second Temple Times a tradition existed amongst the Jews that the Lost Ten Tribes were in Ireland and Britain.
Whereas in the present article we have discussed originally Jewish evidence as transmitted by Arabian sources the new findings discuss originally Jewish evidence as transmitted by Jewish-Christian and Early Christian sources.
The two different vehicles of transmission confirm each other and both point back to the same original source.