by Yair Davidiy
The Irish accounts of groups that immigrated into Ireland usually end with the Milesians from whom came part of the Scotts. The Milesians are also known as Hiberi, Iberi, Gaedhal, Gaeli, and Scotti, and these are all names of various ancestors. This group was the last group to arrive and it is considered top have been the most numerous and dominant one.
There are several versions concerning how the Milesians came to Ireland but all of them more or less follow the same pattern and they are compatible with similar early British accounts concerning the Scotti who moved from Ireland to Scotland.
In general, the accounts say that a Scythian ruler (named "Fennius Farsa" or something similar) who ruled over a kingdom somewhere near Greece lost his throne and went to live in Egypt. His son (Niul) married Scotta the daughter of Pharaoh and from their union came Goidel.
The name of Scotta daughter of Pharaoh seems to be recalled in every known account of these people. Historically the Kings of Egypt very rarely gave their daughters to outsiders but it is recorded that Solomon king of Israel married a daughter of Pharaoh. Also Moses the deliverer and Lawgiver of Israel as a child had been adopted by a daughter of Pharaoh. In Talmudic tradition the foster-mother of Moses was named "Batya". Batya was daughter of Pharaoh who saved Moses and later married Mered (1-Chronicles 4;18) from the Tribe of Judah. According to Talmudic tradition (Megilla 13, Lev.Rabah 1;3) "Mered" is another name for Caleb, son of Yefunei, the Kenazzi, a Prince of Judah (Numbers 13;6). Caleb of Judah, says the Talmud, married "Batya" the daughter of Pharaoh who had rescued and raised Moses.
Some descendants of Caleb, the "Chelubai" (1-Chronicles 2;9) can be traced to Chalybonitis and to the "Chalybe" people. Chalybonitis was in northwest Syria. [It was in an area associated with the Iari who were descendants of Yair. Yair (1-Chronicles 2;22) was a son of Segub son of Hezron the ancestor (or "father") of Caleb: IAR was later recalled in place-names of Ireland and Scotland]. Iar was considered to be the ancestor of groups in Ireland and Scotland. The Chalybes (descendants of Caleb) after the exile of the Israelites were reported in areas that the Exiled Ten Tribes of Northern Israel settled in. In the Pontus (on the southeast shores of the Black Sea) and in the Caucasus the Chalybes were famous as metal-workers. They were said to be of Cimmerian origin and they are recalled by Greek Chroniclers such as Xenophon. A people of similar name (i.e. the "Calybes") who were also famous as metal-workers were later reported of in the Galatian area of northwest Spain. The family name of Chaleb was "Kenazi". This name means "metalworker". The Roman historian Justin (44;3) said that the Calybes were skilled metallurgists who had been situated in the Galatian area of northwest Spain. From Galatia ("Galacia") in Spain the Celtic Milesian-Hiberi people migrated to Ireland and Britain. The legends of the Milesians said that one of their ancestors had been married to the daughter of Pharaoh. This legend of the daughter of Pharaoh marrying their ancestor may be connected with the presence amongst them of the "Chalybes" (or "Calybes") who were the descendants of Caleb from Judah.
The Irish accounts say that whilst in Egypt, the land of Capaciront (meaning Goshen where the Israelites settled) near the Red Sea was given to Goidel. Pharaoh began to persecute the Hebrews. Goidel refused to participate in the persecution of the Hebrews. Goidel befriended the Hebrews. The Hebrews asked Goidel to join them. Because of his friendship with the Hebrews or because Pharaoh feared that Goidel would try to take over Egypt the people of Goidel were forced to flee. Several versions say expressly that the company of Goidel included Israelites. They were described as wandering for 42 years in Africa, then to "the altars of the Philistines", then to Syria, then once again to North Africa. From North Africa they moved to Spain. In Spain whence they went to Spanish Galatia in the Northwest of Spain. From Galatia in the Northwest of Spain they moved to Ireland. The People of Goidel kept the Law of Moses. They did not eat foods that are forbidden in the Bible. Heber and Heremon were the leaders of the People of Goidel who invaded Ireland. Both these names (“Heber” and “Heremon”) are Hebrew names like a lot of names in Irish tradition.
The Irish traditions we have just talked about may all sound a bit like fairy-tales that people made up to entertain themselves with. Nevertheless these traditions should be considered in the light of other facts. The idea of a Scythian origin was well known in Britain and may be verified from other sources; the Irish (and Welsh) languages definitely do show a strong Middle Eastern “Semitic” and North African influence; Archaeological and other evidence also indicates that the ancestors of the Hiberi Gaelic-Irish and Scots did move from the Land of "Syria" and Israel to Spain, in Spain they did move to the northwest of Spain, and they did pass over from the northwest of Spain into Britain and Ireland; many commandments of the Law of Moses were kept at one time or other by some of the Peoples in Britain and Ireland and these practices were not due to Christian influence; People in the time of Early Christianity may have had difficulty in saying straight out that they were of Israelite descent since this may have been inconsistent with the Theology of the Church that prevailed.
The English historian Bede said that the Gaels who invaded Scotland from Ireland came originally from Scythia and from the Crimea. Bede incidentally identified the Anglo-Saxon people with the Lost Tribes of Israel.
In the court of Charlemagne who was the king of France and of Western Europe Irish influence was strong. The Irish in the Court of Charlemagne were referred to as "Egyptians” since they claimed to have originally come from Egypt. The Ancient Israelites came out of Egypt. Moses delivered them from Egypt. They could also claim to have come originally from Egypt since in a sense they did.
The British Celtic historian Gildas said that the British Celts were "Truly Israel of the Exodus" who came out of Egypt. Gildas wrote about 540 CE. Gildas lived in Britain at the time that it was being conquered by the pagan Angles, Jutes, and Saxons. As a Christian priest and a Celt he was horrified by what he saw. He attributed the calamity to the sins of the Celtic people and he upbraided them. He used Biblical expressions and several times addressed the Celtic princes as The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. Gildas referred to Britain as “a treacherous lioness of Gad”. Gad was one of the Tribes of Israel. Why Gildas chose Gad out of all the 12 Tribes of Israel is unknown. It was said above that the Hiberi Milesians brought the Israelite Law of Moses with them when they came to Ireland. It was believed that the Law of Moses was the Law of Ireland before St. Patrick converted Ireland to Christianity.
RAYMOND F. McNAIR in a booklet about the Lost Ten Tribes ("America And Britain In Prophecy", 1996, U.S.A.) quotes from somebody called "Roberts". McNAIR says that Roberts was the author of "one of the oldest histories in the English language”. Roberts speaks of Israelites led by Bartholome (who seems to have also been known as "Erain" cf. Numbers 23;36: Eran son of Ephraim son of Joseph). According to Roberts Israelites led by Bartholome had been driven from Spain and went to settle in Ireland:
"Gwrgan(r)t....directed them [Bartholomew and company]..to go to Ireland, which at that time lay waste and uninhabited. ...and there they settled..; and there their descendants are to this day in Ireland."
"He Bartholome .. had his name from a river of Spain called Eirinnal, on the banks of which they had lived.....they had arrived from Israel (Palestine) their original country, and ...their ancestors dwelt in a retired part of Spain, near Eirnia, from whence the Spaniards drove them to sea.. "
"Bartholomew" or "Partholomew" is also mentioned in other Irish accounts as leader of one of the first groups who settled in Ireland. In the extract of Roberts that we have just read it says expressly that "Israel" was "their original country".
In 1581 Vincenzio Galilei (father of the astronomer, Galileo Galilei) wrote that the Irish believed themselves to be descended from David, King of Israel, and that was why they used a harp as their symbol: King David is associated with the harp.
THE CLAN OF YAIR (DESCENDANT OF JUDAH) IN GILEAD OF MENASSEH AND IAR THE PROPHET IN IRISH TRADITION
An important figure in the early history of Ancient Israel was Yair. Numbers 32:39-41 it says that Yair (Jair in the KJ) was a son of Manasseh and he took possession of a group of towns in Gilead east of the Jordan. Deuteronomy 3:14 says the same but it seems to say there that the townships of Yair were in the Bashan which was also east of the Jordan but a bit to the north of Gilead. Joshua (13;30) mentions sixty townships of Yair being in the Bashan. Judges (10;3) mentions Yair the Gileadite who was a Judge or Leader of Israel for 22 years and who had 30 sons who had 30 cities in the Land of Gilead. 1-Chronicles 2:21-22 says that Hezron the son of Judah married the daughter of Machir the son of Menasseh and begat Segub who begat Yair who at first had 23 cities in the Land of Gilead and then later captured another 60 cities from Aram (Syria) and Geshur to the north. The cities of Yair were considered to be in the territory of Machir the son of Menasseh. The different accounts concerning Yair appear to be confusing. There are different explanations that reconcile the apparent contradictions in the accounts concerning Yair. We will not examine the case of Yair in Scripture here. It may be that there were 2 maybe 3 people named Yair at different times who all lived east of the Jordan River in the territory of Menasseh and who all had groups of townships or cities associated with them. One of the people named Yair was descended from Judah but lived in the territory of Menasseh. The other Yair (or Yairs in the plural) also lived in the territory of Menasseh east of the Jordan. This territory was the land of Machir the son of Menasseh or the Land of Gilead who was the son of Machir and grandson of Menasseh. There were two or three groups of townships associated with Yair east of the Jordan. The largest of these groups was further to the north in the area of Aram meaning Northern Syria.
The name Yair in Hebrew would have been pronounced by some of the Northern Israelites and by the Phoenicians as IAR. An ancestor named IAR was also recorded in Irish history and according to place-names was also known of in Scotland. We found an analysis of Iar in Irish Mythology in a booklet we received whose only reference of authorship was National Message Serial no.118c. No author and no date was given for this booklet but we figure it was about 100 years old. Our friend and Brit-Am supporter, Dr. Clifford Smyth of Belfast in Ulster, gave the booklet to us. The study we are quoting from said:
The name of Iar appears several times in the Irish genealogies under various forms: There is Iarbonel the prophet one of the four sons of Nemedh who was mentioned by Keating. There is Jaruanell the prophet one of the four sons of Neuie McAgamemnon in the "Annals of Clonmacnois".
Keating mentions that "some antiquaries" derive the Tuatha De Danann from "Iarbanel son of Nemedh". The name Iarbanel is also considered to be a form of Iar.
The book of Irish Mythology known as the “Leabhar Gabhala” also brings two alternate versions in which Iarbanel is high up on the genealogical lists of the People of Dana.
In the History of Keating the following sages are mentioned: Fennius Farsa the Scythian; Gaedal son of Ethor, of the race of Gomer, from Greece; and "Caei the Eloquent (or the Just), from Judea, or Iar, son of Nemha, as others call him.."
Iarbonel, Iarbanel, Iar, and Jaruanell are all versions of IAR!! Not only that but Yair in the Bible was linked to both Judah and to Gilead of Menasseh east of the Jordan as we have seen. One of the sons of Gilead was Peresh whose name means "Separated" or "Sanctified", as in “Pharisee”, as we mentioned previously. This name, “Peresh”, in meaning is identical with the meaning of the name "Nemha" in Irish. The History of Keating connects Iar with both Judah and Nemha! The Bible links Yair with both Judah and with Gilead the father of Peresh. The name Nemha (i.e. Nemedh) has the same meaning as the Hebrew “Peresh” who was linked with Gilead of Menasseh who gave rise to the Celtic Galatae also known as the Galadi. Nemha (i.e. Nemedh) was the ancestor of the Nemedians who were one of the early groups of settlers who entered Ireland.
"Iar" or "Yair" or "Jair" is recorded in the Bible as a descendant of Judah who settled in the land of Gilead (Galaadi) of Machir in Menasseh and had 23 cities attached to him.
Gilead was the son of Machir who was the firstborn of Menasseh. They inherited their portion in the lands on the east side of the Jordan stretching to the northeast and reaching far into the north and eastward to the River Euphrates.
Old Assyrian inscriptions often recall the Iari who are identified as the people of Yair, i.e. "Jair". The Assyrian inscriptions say that the Iari (descendants of Yair) fought along the banks of the Euphrates River. Sometimes they also fought in the north to the east of the Euphrates River in the region of the Habor River which is tributary of the Euphrates River in the North. Contrary to some opinions the Israelite territory of Gilead did reach up to those regions.
In regards to the people of Yair it is worth noting the opinion of the famous Israeli researcher and archaeologist, Benjamin Mazar in the Encyclopedia Biblica:
~ <<"Yair, Yairi": "A large family belonging to the Tribe of Menasseh... In the account of Israelite conquest east of the Jordan this family plays an important role.... the family of Yair were related by family-blood with the family of Hezron from Judah on one side and with Machir father of Gilead on the other...
~There is ground to assume that Yair was also a general name for a large group of Israelite clans who had already united at the beginning of the Israelite conquest of the northern part of the land of Gilead and from there had spread out over the Land of Bashan; (Consequently) a large and broad territory east of the Jordan was called by their name, "Townships of Yair". This widely-branched family held on to its own inheritance...and also succeeded in gaining control over the territory of Argob in Bashan....
~It is possible that the group of clans, known in Scripture by the name of Yair, are recalled in Assyrian records. In the preamble to several building-dedications the King of Assyria, Adadnirari-i tells how his father Archdinal (early 1200s b.c.e) fought against and subdued the camps of Achlemu [i.e. Arami-Syrians], Suthi [=Seth], and Yauri [Iauri] on the banks of the Euphrates.
~There are grounds for the proposition that the Yauri are none other than the nomadic Sons of Yair who would transmigrate between the desert and the Euphrates River; also in the Genealogical records of the Tribes east of the Jordan is retained the recollection of their spreading out to the Euphrates River "Because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead" (1-Chronicles 5;9). From the 1200s Assyrian sources several times recall the camps of Yauri [Iauri], Yari [Iari], and the Land of Yari [Iari] and the Mountains of Yari [Iari] in the region of the Euphrates and Khabor Rivers. In addition Assurnasipal-11 and his successors recall the House of Yair [Iahir].... as one of the princedoms in Mesopotamia whose center was the city Magrisu.."
~The name Yair apparently expresses the wish that God will shine his face upon the child, meaning to say, show him favor; cf. "The LORD make his face shine upon thee..." (Numbers 6;25)....~>> That is what Benyamin Mazar says.
Scripture (1-Chronicles chapter two) states that Yair was descended from Judah yet his people were to be identified with Gilead the son of Machir from the Tribe of Menasseh. As noted above Irish Mythology also relates "Iar" (i.e. Yair) to Judah! The region of Yair (and Argob) was one of the 12 administrative districts into which King Solomon divided the Land of Israel. In Hebrew Gever and Geber are different ways of pronouncing the same word. The region of Yair in the time of King Solomon was ruled by “Ben-Gever” (i.e. “Son of Geber”) whose father (Geber the son of Uri) had been appointed over all Gilead and the neighboring region of Bashan that could reach up to the Euphrates and beyond.
"And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel...The son of Geber, in Ramoth Gilead; to him pertained the towns of Jair the son of Menasseh, which are in Gilead; to him also pertained the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, threescore great cities with walls and brasen bars...
"Geber the son of Uri was in the country of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer which was in the land" (1-Kings 4; 7,13,19). We see from these verses that the name Geber (or son of Geber) was found in a family of administrators linked with the settlements of Yair.
The ancient Geographer Ptolemy listed numerous place and historical ethnic names proving that Israelite tribes once ruled over all the area of northern Syria reaching at least to the Euphrates River. Examples are the areas called RAHABENI (i.e. Reuben), MASANI (Menasseh), CAUCHABENI (i.e. Sons of Chauchi, i.e. of Haggi son of Gad), BATHANAEI (Bashan in Aramaic), CHALYBONITIS (Chalybes of Judah), and the cities of Belginaea and Belagaea (Belgae from Bela-g-h), and GABARA from Geber in the region of Bashan (Bathanaei) close to Masani (Menasseh). There was a settlement of people from Judah in northwest Syria. This settlement was called Yadi. “Yadi” in the Assyrian dialect of the north meant “Judah”. Yadi in the Bible is called "Hamath which belonged to Judah" 2-Kings 14; The "House of Gabbar" were the ruling dynasty of "Yadi". Just beside Yadi to the east was a small kingdom of the "Dananu". The Dananu came from the Israelite Tribe of Dan. The Dananu of Dan were also somehow associated with the neighboring Tribe of Gad. The Kingdom of the Danau was known as "Smal" which means “North” and is synonymous with the name of Zephion a clan of Gad. The Assyrians later took the people of Yadi into exile to an area of Armenia. Exiles from the Ten Tribes were also taken to this area. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle said that the Celts of Britain came from Armenia. Ethnic and Place-names with the root "Geber" (GBR) were found amongst the Celts on the Continent (Guberni, Gabreta). Ptolemy recalled the GABRETA in Baiern (Bavaria) whom Zeuss identified as a Celtic people and recalls the city of Gabromagus and Vergobretus (in territory of the Aedui of Gaul, Caesar, G.W.1;16). There was also a Celtic group called Guberni (Pliny N.H.4;17) between the Ubii and Batavi in Holland.
The name was also recalled in Scotland and Ireland: In ancient Ireland there was an important ethnic group called Gabraige and a place named Gabran (mod. Gowran in County Kilkenny) and a king of the Picts in northern Scotland also called by the same name, Gabran.
The Lagin people were also known as GABAIR. The Lagin people gave their name to Leinster in East Ireland. The Milesian Goidels conquered the Lagin Gabair and the two peoples joined forces. The Lagin Gabair together with the Milesian Goidels participated in raids on, and settlement in, Scotland. The Milesian Goidels have been equated with the Gailian or Galioin, which names derive from the name of the “Golan” in the Land of Israel and GEBER or GABAR had been an important family name in that general area, by the Golan in Israel. To the northeast of Eboracum (York) and the Parissi in Northern England were the GABRANTOVICES whose name also bears the root “GEBER”. Further north in the Caledonian region (of Scotland) of the Gadeni (Otadeni) was the settlement of Gabrosentas.
From Gilead ("Galaad") of Israel emerged the Galatae or "Galadi" of northern Gaul, the Galadon of northern Wales and southern Britain, and the Caledonians of Scotland. These groups had ethnic migratory connections with the Gaels of Ireland. In both Ireland and Scotland are place-names bearing the name Iar (i.e. Yair). These place-names in Ireland and Scotland with the root IAR are believed to have been in honor of an eponymous ancestor named Yair.
The IERNE in southeast Ireland regarded IAR as their forefather and similar usage of the name is also found in Scotland! The people of Yair may therefore be assumed to have been submerged, to have become assimilated, amongst the descendants of Gilead in the British Isles. The Irish legends quoted above speak of Iar of Judea or of Iarbanel the Prophet who is identifiable with Iar and who in some accounts was one of the first ancestors of the Nemedian peoples (including the Dana and Milesians) who settled in Ireland and elsewhere is closely associated with Fennius, the first and primary forefather. "Nemed" means "Separated" or "Sanctified" the same as "Peresh" the son of Machir the son of Menasseh (1-Chronicles 7;16). It is doubtful if the transmitters of the Irish legends were ever aware of the quoted verses in the First Book of Chronicles and their historical value. Neither did they know what was inscribed on Assyrian tablets concerning the Iari. Neither were the place names bearing the ethnic denomination "Iar" in Ireland and Scotland derived from scholastic imagination. It follows that all of these proofs are from independent sources that complement each other and indicate historical truths underlying the Irish texts. Biblical and archaeological evidence showed a geographical linkage of the names Gabar, Gad, Yair, Yadi (Yehudah), and Gilead and parallel associations are noticeable in the toponomy of Ireland and Scotland and in Celtic Mythology.
The Irish texts mentioned above speak of several waves of invasion of peoples who were essentially akin to each other and from the same ancestors. They speak of having had some portions of their people subjected in Greece or in "Grecian Scythia", of having been in Egypt, of having been able if they so wished to partake with the Israelites in the Israelite inheritance, of their leader's forces having included Israelites, of going to Scythia, and of conquering Spain and in Spain being driven into the northwest and from there coming to Ireland.
THE JUDAH TOUCH
The Prophet Joel condemned the major Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon for having sold Judaeans to the Greeks:
"Yea, and what have you to do with me, Tyre, and Sidon, and all the coasts of Palestine?...
"Because you have taken my silver and gold...
"The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have you sold unto the Greeks, that you might remove them far from your border" (Joel 3;4-6).
Even so, revenge was destined to be taken:
"When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and made you as the sword of a mighty man" (Zechariah 9;13).
What exact events the above verses are referring to is unclear. Nevertheless, the Irish sources do state that a portion of their ancestors had been captives in Greece and had freed themselves. They also refer to possible Judean origins, in part.