Hebrew Linguistic Traits in Welsh


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Hebrew Linguistic Traits in Welsh
The Question of Alphabetical Lettering
Adapted from
"Lost Israelite Identity" Chapter Seventeen - by Yair Davidiy

Irish legends are compatible with an original tradition of Israelite origins. They presuppose having originally come from the Middle East AND often speak of arriving in Spain via North Africa. A Moroccan Jewish legend says that when the Ten tribes were exiled part of the tribe of Ephraim reached Morocco. They ruled over the land until the time of Ezra (ca.457-445 b.c.e.) at which period their rule was lost. It was around this time the Israelite Exiles known to have been brought to Spain by the Phoenicians moved en masse to Britain and Ireland. In many respects North Africa and Spain in early times were often effectually one entity.
The Irish, Scottish, and Welsh, and many of the ancient Britons and Gauls, spoke forms of Celtic. Celtic is considered an Indo-European tongue related to Latin. The Celts apparently received the Indo-European aspects of their language and culture from peoples they had conquered on the Continent before continuing their westward trek. Linguistic examinations of the speech of the Welsh and Irish reveal a form of Celtic in which there is an underlying speech element similar to that found in North Africa and the Middle East. North African languages are classified as "Hamitic". Egyptian and Berber are Hamitic tongues. They have an affinity with Semitic languages and local dialects in various parts of the Middle East occasionally exhibit Hamitic features. Aspects of Hamitic speech are also found in Biblical Hebrew but they are not emphasised. Most of the ancient Canaanite peoples adopted a language similar to Hebrew though both Indo-European and Hamitic languages must also have been known to them . The Phoenician use of Hebrew has characteristics of a foreign tongue adopted by them. There also exist Arabic dialects which are Hamitic or reveal a Hamitic substratum. Not only that but the impression is that much of the difference between Hamitic and Semitic is more one of emphasis than of substance. Dialects of Hebrew within the Land of Israel could well have absorbed Hamitic elements.
Insular British Celtic tongues, especially colloquial Welsh, says W.H.Worrell, show certain peculiarities which are reminiscent of Hamitic and Semitic tongues and are unparalleled in Aryan languages.
Similarly, according to H.Wagner:
"Irish.....has as many features in common with non-Indo-European languages, especially with Hamito-Semitic languages, as with other Indo-European languages".
"Insular Celtic languages.. the grammatical categories having many affinities with non-Indo-European languages, in particular Basque and Berber".
"The comparative typology of insular Celtic initiated by Morris Jones and further developed by Pokorny, G.B.Adams, and myself has revealed that most of the many peculiar features of insular Celtic rarely traceable in other Indo-European languages have analogies in Basque, Berber, Egyptian, Semitic, and even in Negro languages".
"Certain features [(of marginal influence only)] of Old Irish verb forms can be understood only in the light of Hittite, Vedic, Sanskrit, and Mycenean Greek".
J.Morris Jones said that, "The pre-Aryan idioms which still live in Welsh and Irish were derived from a language allied to Egyptian tongues".

The above linguistic remarks show that Insular Celtic (i.e. of Britain and Ireland as distinct from the Continental forms which were somewhat different) is consistent with the claims proposed herein: i.e. The original tongue of the Insular Celts was Semitic (Hebrew) which marginally was influenced by Mycenean Greek, Hittite, Indo-European (Sanskrit), Syrian, Mitanni, and what not. Heavy Hamitic influences may be attributable to those of some of the neighbouring peoples, such as the Canaanites, and Egyptians, and to having sojourned in a North African environment. In addition, the natives of Spain amongst whom the Insular Celts or a good portion of them once dwelt, traded with, and fought against, were also at least in part of North African Berber related Hamitic origin. This explanation may sound involved and complicated but it accords with the evidence when archaeological, anthropological, mythological, and linguistic findings are compared with each other. At all events the natives of Ireland and Wales must have used a Hamitic and/or Semitic tongue(s) before they came into contact with Continental Indo-European ones.

It was seen above that Irish and colloquial Welsh definitely have some type of underlying linguistic base that must only derive from Middle Eastern (Semitic) and/or North African Hamitic sources. This conclusion was derived from the quoted opinions of linguistic scientists still active in their field today.
It so happens that in the past there were others who held similar opinions but went further than their present-day continuers care to. They expressly related Celtic tongues to Hebrew!!!
A writer who signed his name "Glas" submitted a list of Welsh words with Hebrew origins in 1832 . The writer remarked that, "But the best proof of the Eastern descent of the ancient British is the close resemblance and connection existing between the Welsh and Hebrew languages, even at this day. As a proof of this we have extracted the following vocabulary of words in both tongues, so closely resembling each other in sound and sense as to leave no doubt whatever on the subject.
Many of these words, it will be found, have been transmitted from the Welsh, through the Anglo-Saxon into our modern English. It would be easy to swell their number..

Some of the examples adduced by the above writer were:

Aeth: He went, he is gone; hence = Athah
Aml: Plentiful, ample = Hamale
Ydom: the earth = Adamah
Awye: air, sky = auor, or
bu: it came to pass = bo boten, or potten : belly = beten.
brith: bright = barud
cas: hatred = caas (anger).
dafnu: to drop, or distill by drops = nataph, taph.

In 1675 Charles Edwards ("Hanes y Fydd") published A number of Welsh Cambro-Brittanic Hebraisms in which he shows that whole phrases in Welsh can be closely paralleled by whole phrases in Hebrew.

From the list of Charles Edwards, L.G.A. Roberts (1919) made a selection and we have selected examples from Roberts after slightly modernising the Hebrew transliterations : It should be noted that when account is taken for likely and known dialectical changes of pronounciation the examples given in effect show identical Welsh parallel phrases for the Hebrew original.

In Welsh: Gael hedd (Gen.31;47) meaning Geledd i.e. heap of testimony= in Hebrew : Galaed.

In Welsh: Bagad meaning "A troop cometh ?" (Gen.30;11) = in Hebrew

In Welsh : Anudon meaning "Without God" = in Hebrew: Aen Adon.

In Welsh : Yni all sy dda meaning "I am the Almighty God" (Gen. 17;1) = in Hebrew: Ani El Saddai.

In Welsh : Llai iachu yngwyddd achau ni meaning "Let him not live before our brethren" (Gen. 31;32) = in Hebrew Loa yichei neged acheinu (Gen.31;32).

In Welsh Ochoren ballodddi hoc-dena meaning "After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure?" = in Hebrew : Acharei belothi hedenah (Gen.18;12).

In Welsh Bebroch fra am beneu ach ef, dyfet Deborah mam ianceth Ribecah meaning "When he fled from the face of his brother . But Deborah Rebecca's nurse died" (Gen. 35;7-8) = in Hebrew :  Beborcho mpnei achiv vetamath Deborah mayneceth Ribecah.

In Welsh: Yngan Job yscoli yscoli cynghaws i (Job 6;1,2) meaning "Job answered, O that my grief were thoroughly weighed" = in Hebrew:  Veya(g)n Eyub ....shocol yishocal ca(g)si

In Welsh: Amelhau bytheu chwi a bythau holl ufyddau chwi meaning "And they shall fill your house and the houses of all your servants" (Gen. 10;6) = in Hebrew: Umalu bathechoh and bathei col avedochoh.

In Welsh Iachadd ni meaning "Thou hast healed me" = in Hebrew: hechiyatni.

In Welsh Nesa awyr peneu chwi meaning "Lif thou up the light of thy countenance" = in Hebrew: nasa aor panechoh.(Psalms 4;6.).

In Welsh An annos meaning "None did compel" = in Hebrew: ain ones. (Esther 1;8).

In Welsh As chwimwth meaning "an angry man" = in Hebrew: ish chamas (Psalms 140;12 Proverbs 16;29 meaning a wickedly-violent man).

In Welsh Be heulo, luerferfo (Job 6;4) meaning "When his candle shined ..... and by his light.." = in Hebrew: behilo, leoroe.

In Welsh Bwgythieu in gwarchaeni (Job 6;4) meaning "The terrors of God set themselves in array against me = in Hebrew: Biu(g)thi elohai ya-a(g)rchuni.

In Welsh I far meaning "Shall be cursed" = Hebrew : Yu-ar, yuv-ar. (Numbers 22;6).

In Welsh Am geryddo fo meaning "At his reproof" = in Hebrew :im ge-arato.

Godfrey Hughes "The Celtic Druids" (1829) quotes from a certain Welsh Translation of the Bible in which similar examples as the above are apparent:

In Welsh By-lllwng Adon-ydb holl neuodh Jago meaning "The Lord has swallowed up all the tabernacles of Jacob" (Lamentations 2;2) = Hebrew : Balla(ng) Adoni eth col neoth Yacob.

In Welsh Dyrac buth-hi ai-i-sengyd meaning "The avenue of her dwelling he would go to tread" (Proverbs 7;8) = Hebrew : Derech baithah yitsa(ng)d.

In Welsh Py yw-o sy maeloc y-cavad I-a-ywoo savwyod yw-o maeloc y-cavad, Selah meaning "Who is the king of glory [attainment]? The LORD of hosts , he is the king of glory. Selah" (Psalms 24;10) = Hebrew: Mi hu zeh melec hacavod Y....Tsavaoth hu melec hacavod selah.

The affinity between Hebrew and Welsh was mentioned by a certain Dr. Davies (amongst others) and in the preface to his Welsh Grammar there was
a poem to the effect that:

He gladly deigns his countrymen to teach,
By well-weigh?d rules, the rudiments of speech;
That when the roots first of our own we gain,
The Hebrew tongue we thence may soon attain .

The Rev. Eliezer Williams (b.1754) wrote several works on the Celts and made several remarks (quoted by Roberts p.23):

"In the Hebrew...which the ancient British language greatly resembles... "The roots of most of the ancient British, or real Welsh, words may be regularly traced in the Hebrew.. "Scarcely a Hebrew root can be discovered that has not its corresponding derivative in the ancient British language...But not only..the words...their variations and inflections afford a much stronger proof of affinity...The plural number of nouns likewise is often formed in a similar manner in the Celtic by adding in (a contraction of ??: i.e.-IM which is the suffix used in Hebrew to form the masculine plural)...in the formation of sentences, and in the government of words...the same syntax might serve for both.....

Davies in "Mythology of the Ancient Druids" (p.94) asserts that "Taleisin, the chief Bard, declares that his lore had been detailed in Hebraic..."

In addition to the above Karel Jonging, "Comparing Welsh & Hebrew", (2000, The Netherlands) quoted from hundreds of examples in which the grammatical structure and characteristics of Welsh parallel those of the Hebrew.

It follows from all the above that though the language of the British Celts may have superficially conformed to an Indo-European type it had enough Semitic and Hebraic features to confirm the notion that Hebrew had been their original tongue. This explanation fits best of all the facts in our possession taken from all disciplines concerned with the subject.

For more information on Brit-Am contact:

Yair Davidiy
POB 595
Jerusalem 91004