by Yair Davidiy

[Jer 31:21] Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.

These are dolmens and megalithic monuments. Below is an extract from Ephraim (book by Yair Davidiy) chapter five. Recent research confirms the claims made even though conventionally accepted findings would dispute our dating. We have re-examined this subject and confirmed our findings but need to do much more in this area.


     Certain types of Stone Monuments dating to ancient times are found in Western Europe, along the Mediterranean coast and in the lands of Greater Israel where the oldest specimens are believed to occur1. The "Megalithic" dolmens, cromlechs, etc., in the west of Europe are located chiefly in Celtic areas. DRUIDS were present only in places which had BOTH dolmens and Celts, i.e. Dolmens without Celts or Celts without dolmens meant no druids!  These factors indicate that druids, dolmens, and Celts should perhaps all be linked and dated together and the dolmens ascribed a much later dating than that conventionally given them! The Druid religion was a mixture of Canaanite and ancient Hebrew practices.  The distribution  of megalithic monuments should be considered  in light of migratory-paths of the Lost Israelite Tribes to the west.


The ancient Hebrews are recorded setting up stones as monuments. Jacob set up a pillar and anointed it: *

"And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had set up for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. "And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of that city was Luz at the first. (Genesis 28;18-19).  He later set up a pillar and a heap of stones together (cf. 35;14). "And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon (Genesis 35;14). *

"Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and you; and let it be for a witness between me and you. "And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. "And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.

"And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed." (Genesis31;44-47).  Joshua set up 12 stones in Gilgal (Joshua 4;3) and the name "Gilgal" connotes both circle and heap15. Single pillars (menhirs), or

Heaps of stones (cairns) or one stone upon another (dolmens) and stone circles are types of monuments known from both Israel and western Europe. In popular parlance the said structures are collectively often all referred to as "dolmens". The setting up of pillars and stone heaps and monuments

is mentioned in several other Biblical passages (Joshua 7;25-26, Joshua 8;29ff., Joshua 14;26, 1-Samuel 7;2, 2-Samuel 18;17). The intention of these monuments was the establishment of a concrete sign commemorating some event whose memory was worthy of perpetuation. The monument had to be

obviously man-made, apparent, and blatant to all and not much more than that. On occasion it is mentioned (Genesis 35;7-14, Joshua 24;26, Judges 6;11,21) that these stone monuments were in the proximity of an oak tree and oak trees were to be important in Celtic Druidical worship.

* "And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law  of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD" (Joshua 24;26).

Megalithic monuments and dolmens were once found throughout the Land of Israel though many have been destroyed and most of those remaining are in the Golan and east of the Jordan where they are  known to the Arabs as "Kubur Beni Israil", i.e. "Graves of the Children of Israel"16. Certain features of these monuments, such as the existence of cupholes, etc., are also found on similar structures in Britain17.   "The remains thus described are nearly identical in character with those which in England  and Scotland are commonly called Druidical circles"18.  Until recently cairns were still being set up in Ireland and superstitious customs linked with these stone monuments in Scotland and Ireland were similar to those known from the Middle East19.   Most of the prophets spoke of the Lost Ten Tribes in their state of exile and predicted their future reconciliation. Jeremiah appears to have linked these matters with

"highheaps" and "waymarks" which in Hebrew connect linguistically with stone monuments such as dolmens. To properly appreciate the point made in its right context the whole of Jeremiah chapter 31 should be considered:  Jeremiah (Chapter 31) speaks mainly concerning Ephraim and the rest of the

Lost Ten Tribes. This chapter contains a series of messages highly pertinent to our subject.

 "At that time..will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people" (Jeremiah ch.30;25 or Ch.31;1):

Israel was always beloved by The LORD. The mountains of Samaria will be replanted with vineyards. "Watchmen" (In Hebrew: "Notsrim") from the Mount of Ephraim will call for a return to Zion and to The LORD God.  (31;8) "Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth....a great company shall return thither.  (31;9) " ....for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.  (31;10) "Hear the word of The LORD O  nations and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, as a shepherd does his flock.   (31:11) "For The LORD has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of he that was stronger than him (Jeremiah 31;8-11).

Notice above the linkage of north country, coasts of the earth, Israel,

Ephraim, and "Isles afar off".

 Jeremiah continues and speaks of Rachel, the mother of the Tribes of Joseph and Benjamin who is pictured as having wept when her descendants were taken into exile from  Rama in the territory of Ephraim. She is told to be comforted for the work has been done i.e. the historical task of the Lost Ten Tribes in exile will have been fulfilled and the sons are coming home to their own territory from the land of the enemy.  Ephraim likens himself to an untrained young bull (bullock):

  "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou to me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God" (Jeremiah 31;18).

The word used for "young bull" (i.e. "bullock") in Hebrew is "AEGEL" and historically  "Aegel" was a diminutive for the ethnic name "Angle" and employed interchangeably with it. "Aegel", states Rashi (the foremost Medieval Jewish Commentator, 1040-1105) on this verse, was a name applied to Ephraim. The English nickname themselves "John Bull".  Ephraim  shall

return. The process of return, it is inferred, will begin when a feeling of the  need for repentance will just begin to be aroused. This feeling

will make itself felt in great intensity after the return is under way. Ephraim reproaches himself for the sins of his youth.

  (31;20) "Is not Ephraim my dear son? Is he not a pleasant child? For since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him  still:

therefore my bowels are troubled  for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, says The LORD.

  The following verse (31;21) in Jeremiah may well be referring to Dolmens which are large stones set table fashion over others and often covered by large piles of rocks and stone. The dolmens and other related stone monuments  form a connecting -link between Israel, Britain, west France, and Scandinavia. More dolmens (over 5000!) have been found in Denmark than in any other country20. On the other hand the oldest dolmens are believed to be those of Israel and more than 20,000 megalithic monuments of all types (including dolmens) have been found in the Land of Israel especially on the eastern "Jordanian" side  since for various reasons those on the west were destroyed by local inhabitants21.

  Jeremiah 31;21: "Set  yourself up waymarks, make high heaps: set your heart towards the highways; the way you went in: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these, your cities."

  The word translated above as "Waymarks" in the original Hebrew is "Tzionim" which strictly speaking means "signs" but in spoken Hebrew is usually used to denote a stone erection marking a grave or event.  Amongst the Classical Authoritative Rabbinical Commentators the most literal explanation of this verse is that given by the "Radak" (Rabbi David Kimchi, 1157-1236) of Narbonne, France:

  "Set Yourself Up Waymarks" (Jeremiah 31) :  "This was directed to the Community of Israel, that in the  generation when they would be exiled they should  set up waymarks [i.e. "tsionim"] such as piled-up stones or stone monuments to recognize the path  [of migration] meaning to say that even though you will be exiled  hope is not lost and you are still destined to return to these your cities.  (Radak on Jeremiah 31;21).

 Bearing in mind that according to the previous verse (31;20) Jeremiah is addressing himself to Ephraim, the verse in Jeremiah 31;21 may therefore be understood to say:

  "Set yourself up stone monuments and high heaps of stones [i.e. Megalithic monuments!]. Set your heart  towards the prepared way:

the way in which you went. Turn back o virgin of Israel, return unto these cities of yours".

 The mode of expression employed by the Prophet should be understood differently from that used by Moses. When Moses gave a commandment it had to be obeyed. When the prophets issue an order concerning future action it means they are predicting what will happen and telling us what must be learned  from this action. Jeremiah is saying that (for whatever reason) the exiled Israelites will have stone monuments set up through which it will be possible for them in the future to learn of their paths of migration away from the Holy Land and by which they may be persuaded to return.

 The inferred commandment to the exiles to erect "Tsionim" is therefore applicable to the dolmens and other so-called "Stone-Age"

("Megalithic") monuments. Many of these monuments actually date from the Bronze and Iron Age periods. They are mentioned in the Bible as being set up by the Hebrew Patriarchs and Judges as well as by others. Dolmens and related monuments are found in the Land of Israel, in Jordan, in the Caucasus, in Spain, Brittany (France), Britain, and Scandinavia.  There are several types of dolmens and examples have also been reported from Ethiopia, Japan and India22. The type of dolmen found in the area of ancient Israel (on both sides of the Jordan River) is the same as that found in western Europe:

  "The megalithic dolmens found in the Golan and Galilee are table-like structures composed of two  vertical basalt blocks roofed by large

rock slabs. A heap of stones usually covered the dolmens, creating a tumulus. Such structures are known in Transjordan from the

Chalcolithic period, but in the Golan and Galilee they definitely date to EB [i.e. Early Bronze] IV /MB [Middle Bronze] I......These dolmens

recall similar megalithic burial structures known throughout Europe in the Bronze Age, but the significance of this resemblance is unclear"23.Benjamin Mazar.

 Iron age artifacts are frequently found together with or in the vicinity of dolmens.  Iron was largely introduced to Europe after 700 b.c.e.

with the coming of the Celts. The Iron Age in ancient Israel had began about 1000 BCE. The Celtic art style (especially the realistic aspect) was similar to the Phoenician and Israelite one and unique in this regard.  Through Dolmens a good case may be made for tracing the migrations of the Lost Ten Tribes to Western Europe and in such a sense may the quoted verse of Jeremiah be well understood.  The word "Tamrurim" used by Jeremiah (translated here  as "high heaps") in modern Hebrew is the word used for

"Traffic-sign" or "wayfare-indicator" and waymarks as noted equal dolmens.  The verse (Jeremiah 31;12) may therefore in the Hebrew be understood further as saying:

  "Establish waymarks [i.e."Tsionim" =dolmens] for yourself, set up for yourself high-heaps [i.e. cairns, "Tamrurim" = wayfare-markers]:

put your heart  [i.e. pay attention] to the pathways you went by  and return, o virgin of Israel, come back  to these cities of yours.

For more on this subject see our book "Ephraim"
and also our
Answer to Queries on Archaeology Question no.3:
"What do Dolmens and other megalithic monuments such as Stonehenge tell us?

Dolmens From Around the World

Dolmens and Megalith Path of Migration


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