|Tape Six side
by Yair Davidiy
Celtic Traditions no.2
Shalom, Yair Davidiy speaking from Jerusalem in Israel.
We are now continuing our discussion of Celtic Traditions that prove that the Ancient Peoples of Britain and Ireland were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. Some (probably most) of our most important sources come from Ireland.
One of the earliest sources of Irish tradition is the “THE LEABHAR GABHALA or the BOOK OF CONQUESTS OF IRELAND” which is also known as “The Book of Invasions”. It was written ca. 1171 CE. Various versions of this book exist. The book itself appears to be a collection of different traditions. The compiler of “The Book of Invasions” attempts to reconcile different traditions that sometimes contradict each other. The book discusses the history of the Milesians who are also known as Goidels and as Hiberi. “Hiberi” means Hebrew. The peoples we call Celtic peoples who dwelt in Ancient Britain and Ireland did not call themselves Celts. They called themselves “Hiberi” or Hebrews. They identified themselves as Hebrews and some Roman accounts appear in their own way to have also identified them as Hebrews. “The Book of Invasions” in one place records a woman named Scota (who was the ancestress of the Goedels) as living around the time of Moses. Elsewhere the book has this same person named Scota (or someone with the same name) living during the reign of Pharoah Nectonebus who reigned about 520 BCE which was almost a thousand years after Moses. The author of “The Book of Invasions” had come across a tradition that the ancestors of the Irish sojourned in Germany on their way westward from Scythia. He had another tradition that they had come from Spain to Ireland. The conflicting traditions are understandable since historically Ireland, like the rest of the British Isles, received immigrating groups of people from several areas. Israelites came to the British Isles by two major paths: One path was via the Mediterranean Sea and Spain to Ireland and Britain. The other path was through Scythia across Europe and Germany to Britain and Ireland. The narrator of the Book of Invasions repeats the tradition that the ancestors of the Irish in Egypt had been somehow attached to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. The Goidels were also known as Hiberi and as Milesians descendants of Mil. The names of the Sons of Mil are Hebraic and they have Israelite Tribal significance:
There is Eber whose name is the same as the Hebrew “Heber”.
LOUIS HYMAN, for instance, wrote a history book entitled: “The Jews of Ireland”, Jerusalem, Israel, 1972, on p.1 Hyman reports:
“It is stated in very old copies of The Book of Invasions and other ancient documents that it was the Mosaic law that the Milesians brought into Errin [i.e. Ireland] at their coming; that it had been learned and received from Moses in Egypt by Cae Cain Beathach, who was himself an Israelite, who had been sent into Egypt to learn the language of that country by the great master Fenius Farsaith, from whom the Milesian brothers, who conquered Errin [i.e. Ireland], are recorded to have been the twenty second generation in descent; and it is stated in the preface to Seanchas Mord that this was the law of Errin [i.e. Ireland] at the time of the coming of St.Patrick”.
Seanchas Mord was the major work of Ancient Irish law. It was a kind of constitutional document. Hyman says that in the preface to this document (Seanchas Mord) it says that the Law of Moses was the law of Ireland before St. Patrick came.
Hyman in effect reports that old copies of the Book of Invasions and other old documents state that the Goidels or Milesian Irish at one time had kept the Mosaic Law and at least some of them were descended from Israelites.
Whether the ancient Irish before the coming of St. Patrick really did keep the Law of Moses or not is uncertain but we do know that in Scotland there was a long tradition of food taboos similar to those found in the Law of Moses. These taboos appear to have existed before the coming of Christianity and they were associated somehow or other with Israelite origins.
THE SCOTTISH-ISRAELITE FOOD TABOOS
Donald A. MacKenzie (“Scottish Folk Lore And Folk Life. Studies in Race, Culture, And Tradition”, London & Glasgow, 1935) gave a report of food prohibitions amongst the Scottish.
MacKenzie said that:
In northeast England (bordering Scotland),
“fishermen dislike reference being made to the pig in connection with their work”.
MacKenzie reported that: In Scotland an aversion to the pig is deep rooted even now and was much stronger in the past. This aversion exists amongst both Highlanders and Lowlanders. “There are still thousands of Highlanders and groups of Lowlanders who refuse to keep pigs or to partake of their flesh”.
MacKenzie quotes from Sir Walter Scott (“The Fortunes of Nigel”):
“Sir Munko cannot abide pork, no more than the King’s most sacred majesty, nor my Lord Duke Lennox, nor Lord Dalgarno...But the Scots never eat pork strange that! Some folk think they are a sort of Jews.”
“The Scots [i.e. Lowlanders] till within the last generation disliked swine’s flesh as an article of food as much as the Highlanders do at present”.
Also from Sir Walter Scott (“The Two Drovers”) we have an account of a Highlander cursing in Gaelic some Englishmen who had been ridiculing him. The Highlander said:
“A hundred curses on the swine eaters, who know neither decency nor civility!”
James-vi of Scotland (who became James-i of Great Britain) “hated pork in all its varieties”.
In the 1600s there was a Civil War in England, between the King of England and the supporters of Parliamentary Constitutional Government. The Scottish also took part in this war. A song against Scottish partisans of the Rump Parliament (1639-1661) went:
“The Jewish Scots that scorns to eat
The Flesh of Swine, and brewers beat,
‘twas the sight of this Hogs head made ‘em retreat,
Which nobody can deny.”
This song mocked the Scots and called them “Jewish” because they would not eat swine.
J.G. Dalyell (1691):
“Why do Scotchmen hate swine’s flesh?”....
“They might borrow it of the Jews”...
“The same prejudice, though infinitely abated, still subsists. Yet it is not known that swine have been regarded as mystical animals in Scotland. Early in the seventeenth century the aversion to them by the lower ranks, especially in the north, was so great, and elsewhere, and the flesh was so much undervalued, that, except for those reared at mills, the breed would have been extirpated”.
A certain Captain Burt on duty in Scotland in 1730 wrote:
“Pork is not very common with us, but what we have is good. I have often heard that the Scots will not eat it...It is here a general notion that where the chief declares against pork, his followers affect to show the same dislike...”
Mackenzie says that, “Burt also refers to the Scottish prejudice against eating eels …”.
“The vulgar inhabitants of Skye, [Skye is an island off the coast of Scotland] I know not whether of the other islands, have not only eels but pork and bacon in abhorrence; and accordingly I never saw a hog in the Hebrides, except one at Dunvegan”.
Rev. L. Grant (1793):
“the deep rooted prejudice against swine’s flesh is now removed...”
Dean Ramsay (1793-1872):
“The old aversion to the `unclean animal’ still lingers in the Highlands.... I recollect an old Scottish gentleman who shared this horror, asking very gravely, `Were not swine forbidden under the law and cursed under the gospel?’“.
John Toland (1714):
“You know how considerable a part of the British inhabitants are the undoubted offspring of the Jews and how many worthy prelates of this same stock, not to speak of Lords and commoners, may at this time make an illustrious figure among us.... A great number of ‘em fled to Scotland which is the reason so many in that part of the Island have a remarkable aversion to pork and black puddings to this day, not to insist on some other resemblances easily observable.”
D.A. MacKenzie claimed that the taboo against eating pork preceded Christianity and that the coming of Christian missionaries to Scotland actually weakened the prohibition. Mackenzie stated that after examination it appeared to him that in ancient Scotland there were two different cults or attitudes, one of which regarded the pig with abhorrence while the other revered it. The Picts in northern Scotland had two clans; one was called the Clan of Bears (Orcs) and the other The Clan of Cats. Ancient pictures of wild boars have been found engraved on rocks in Scotland. A first century b.c.e. grave in Scotland contained what appears to have been a pig offering and other finds indicate the consumption of swine, that there were pig-eaters in Scotland.
Mackenzie proves that in Gaul, in Ireland, and in other parts of Britain, pigs were both plentiful and respected. Most of the Celts eat a lot of pork. The boar was a favorite symbol. Pigs were reared for meat all over the Celtic area. The Celts on the Continent even had a well-developed industry preserving swine meat that they sold to the Romans. The Celts in Europe were famous for their pig meat. Archaeological findings from Celtic areas in Europe often reveal preserved swine flesh in various containers.
A good portion of the population of Scotland only arrived there well after ca.200 BCE. They came to Scotland via Ireland or via Spain or via Scythia and the north. Different groups settled in different areas of Scotland yet the pig taboo was accepted all over Scotland by a good proportion of the populace and the prohibition was deeply entrenched in popular consciousness. A good portion of the peoples of Scotland would not eat pig meat. Eels, rabbits, and hares are also forbidden by the Mosaic Law and the Scotts had prejudices against all of these animals. They refused to eat them even though they are popular foods amongst the neighboring English. The obvious place to look for the source of these prohibitions is in a past exposure to and acceptance of the Mosaic Law and this was the source to which observers in the past usually traced these taboos. It is interesting to note that from time to time certain fish and birds that the Mosaic Code (of Ancient Israel) does permit came under a ban and were tabooed but the taboo did not last. Only in the case of animals that are expressly prohibited by the Law of Moses did the taboo last or become widely accepted in Scotland. There are indications that in some parts of Celtic Britain and in Brittany of France similar taboos against forbidden foods to those in Scotland did once exist at least to a degree.
It should be noted that abstaining from foods that are prohibited by the Mosaic Law has physiological advantages conducive to long-term physical and emotional stability. It is healthy to keep Kosher and to only eat Kosher foods.
We can conclude from the Irish traditions and from the food taboos in Scotland and elsewhere in Britain that at some stages at least a portion of the so-called Celtic peoples in Britain and Ireland must have kept at least part of the Laws of Moses. This is consistent with our knowledge that these peoples were Hebrews. They called themselves Hebrews (Hiberi) and they were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel
Geoffrey Keating (ca.1570-1646): THE HISTORY OF IRELAND FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE ENGLISH INVASION, by Rev. Geoffrey Keating (ca.1570-1646), translated by J. O’Mahoney, New York, 1866.
Keating says that the Invaders of Ireland were first the Partholanians, then the Nemedians, the Fomorians, the Fir Bolg, the Tuatha de Danaan [i.e. the People of Dana] (who came after being defeated by “Syrians”), and finally the Milesians (descendants of Niul) whose ancestor had been an associate of Caei the Eloquent from Judah (sic.) who was also known as Iar son of Nemha. Niul befriended the Children of Israel under Moses and was offered a portion with them in the Promised Land but he declined and so was given by Moses a thousand men and a fleet of ships when he left the country. Niul begat Esru and Esru begat Sru. Due to the resentment of the Egyptians they left Egypt and went to Scythia. Fifteen generations later led by Batha son of Degatha their descendants migrated to Spain. They were called the sons of Miledh. From the heart of Spain they were driven into the northwest of Spain to Galicia in Spain and from there they launched their invasion of Ireland.
We see from this account of Keating that the ancestors of the Milesians were associated with Caei the Eloquent from Judah (sic.) who was also known as Iar son of Nemha. IAR is an important figure in Gaelic history. Keating terms Iar, “Iar son of Nemha” and he says he was also known as Caei the Eloquent from Judah. Iar is therefore linked by Keating to both Nemha and to Judah. Iar is the son of Nemha and he is also known as Caei from Judah. “Nemha” (i.e. in “Iar son of Nemha” above) means sanctified and it means the same as the Hebrew name “Paresh” which means separated or sanctified. Paresh in the Bible fathered a group in Gilead of Menasseh with whom Yair in the Bible was associated and identified with! Yair in the Bible was linked with both Menasseh and with Judah. The descendants of Yair were known in the Middle East as the Iari. The Iari descended from Yair. Keating in effect confirms the identification of Iar of Irish tradition with Yair of the Bible.
The Bible in
[Numbers 32:39] AND THE CHILDREN OF MACHIR THE SON OF MANASSEH WENT TO GILEAD, AND TOOK IT, AND DISPOSSESSED THE AMORITE WHICH WAS IN IT.The Bible in the First Book of Chronicles chapter 22 speaks of the sons of Judah. Judah had five sons. He had two of his sons (Zerah and Pharez) by Tamar. Hezron was a son of Pharez son of Judah. The Bible tells us that Hezron had sons named: JERAHMEEL, AND RAM, AND CHELUBAI [1-Chronicles 2:9]. The Bible goes on to tell us that from Ram son of Hezron son of Pharez son of Judah emerged the family of King David. Then the Bible tells us about the genealogy of CALEB [i.e. CHELUBAI] THE SON OF HEZRON [1-Chronicles 2:18]. After that Scripture, returns to deal with Hezron and tells us that in his old age Hezron married a daughter of Machir son of Menasseh and from this union emerged Yair who possessed cities in Gilead. Yair was thus through his father Hezron a descendant of Judah but on the side of his mother he was related to Machir and had his inheritance in Gilead.
From the above, from the verses in Chronicles, we see that there was someone called Yair who was descended on the side of his father from Hezron of Judah and on the side of his mother he was descended from Machir the son of Menasseh. Yair possessed towns in the territory of Machir who was the father of Gilead.
It is not our purpose at present to go into the question as to whether there was one person named Yair or several people of that name who lived more or less in the same area at different times. It is enough to notice that in the Bible the name Yair is linked both with Judah and with Machir son of Menasseh and that Yair possessed towns in the region of Gilead.
The name Yair in the dialect of Northern Israel and of Phoenecia would have been pronounced as Iar. Descendants of Yair are identified with the people known as the Iari who were very prominent in ancient times in the area east of the Jordan and in Northern Syria.
We saw that in the account of Keating about Irish Traditions Iar was termed Iar son of Nemh and that Nemh means the same as the Hebrew “Peresh”. In the Bible Peresh was linked with Machir the son of Menasseh and with Gilead. As we find:
[1-Chronicles 7:16] AND MAACHAH THE WIFE OF MACHIR BARE A SON, AND SHE CALLED HIS NAME PERESH; AND THE NAME OF HIS BROTHER WAS SHERESH; AND HIS SONS WERE ULAM AND RAKEM.
[1-Chronicles 7:17] AND THE SONS OF ULAM; BEDAN. THESE WERE THE SONS OF GILEAD, THE SON OF MACHIR, THE SON OF MANASSEH.
We do not know from the above verses whether Peresh was the son of Machir son of Menasseh and a brother of Gilead the son of Machir; or whether Peresh was another name for Gilead; or whether Peresh was a son of Gilead who was the son of Machir son of Menasseh. We do not know and at this point we do not have to know. It is enough to notice that Peresh in the Bible was linked with Gilead and with Menasseh the same way that Yair was linked with Gilead and Menasseh. In Irish tradition Iar is linked with Peresh (“Nemh” in Irish), Iar was called Iar son of Nemh, i.e. son of Peresh in Hebrew. Iar is also linked with Judah by Keating. Yair is linked with Judah in the Bible. Keating therefore provides us with additional evidence that the ancestor of groups in Ireland known, as “Iar” in Irish tradition was the same as the Israelite Yair mentioned in the Bible.
THE RED HAND OF ULSTER
In addition to the descent from Jair, discussed previously (Jair though born to Segub son of Hezron son of Pharez of Judah was actually counted with Menasseh), Calcol son of Zerah son of Judah was also recalled. Camden18 (1551-1623) stated that Calcol of Judah sailed from Egypt to Spain (where the city of Zaragossa was named after Zerah19), and then on to Ireland where he founded Ulladh. “Ulladh” (i.e. Ulster) has actually a name similar (in some types of Hebrew pronunciation) to that of ELADAH of Ephraim (1-Chronicles 7;20).
Zerah was the brother of Pharez and both were born to Judah (son of Israel) from Tamar. In Celtic Southwest Britain Ptolemy recorded the Tamarus River. There was also a Tamarus River in northwest Spain. Zerah and Pharez were twins. The manner of their birth is described in the Bible.
[Genesis 38:27] AND IT CAME TO PASS IN THE TIME OF HER TRAVAIL, THAT, BEHOLD, TWINS WERE IN HER WOMB.
The present day official symbol of Northern Ireland (Ulster) is a scarlet hand superimposed upon the Star of David which universally is taken as representing the Tribe of Judah and appears upon the flag of the modern State of Israel. The Star of David has twelve junction-points and shows how the Tribes of Israel were encamped around the Tabernacle when they came out of Egypt. The red hand has been interpreted to represent Zarah of Judah father of Calcol who according to the legend quoted above sailed to Ireland and founded Uladh (i.e. Ulster).
Bennett states that,
“the ancient and traditional emblem of Ulster was and still is a Red Hand circled by a Scarlet Cord”.
“Three of Ulster’s six counties, as well as the towns of Bangor and Dungannon, have the Red Hand as part of their official emblems”20.
From Ireland, the Scotts migrated to Scotland, and the Red Hand, says Bennett:
“appears in the Arms of several of the old families and in those of at least fourteen of the Clan Chiefs: Davidson, MacBain, MacNeil, MacNaughton, MacPherson, MacGillivray, MacDonald of Sleat, Clanranald, and Shaw of Rothiemurchus”21.
Another source of Classical Irish Mythological History are The “Annals of Clonmacnoise”, that were written sometimes after ca.1408 CE:
“Annals of Clonmacnoise, From the Creation to a.d. 1408,” translated into English by Conell MacGeoghagan, a.d.1627; ed. Rev.D.Murphy, Dublin 1896, University Press.
In these Annals a certain Bartholome is mentioned as coming to Ireland in the time of Semiramis who the author states lived at the time of Abraham. Semiramis historically was actually the mother or the widow of Pul. Pul was a king of Assyria who was responsible for exiling at least part of the Israelites. Pul has been identified (maybe wrongly) with Tiglathpileser-III. It is believed that Pul is another name for Tiglathpileser but this may be wrong. At all events Pul was one of the Assyrian monarchs responsible for exiling the Northern Israelites (1-Chronicles 5;26). Assuming that Bartholome does represent an historical group who did come to Ireland at the time of Semiramis we can say that Bartholomew came at the time when the Northern Israelites were exiled from Israel.
An old English version (by Roberts) of this same tradition said that the people who were led by Bartholome who sailed to Ireland came from Israel via Spain.
“The Annals of Clonmacnoise” say that “Jaruanell” was amongst those who came next to Ireland. He came from Greece along with Brittan who was the ancestor of the Welsh. The name “Jaruanell” is another form of the name IAR who was an ancestor of peoples in Ireland and Scotland and identified as Yair of the Bible. Yair belonged both to the Tribe of Menasseh and to the Tribe of Judah. The Assyrians referred to the descendants of Yair as the Iari.
“The Annals of Clonmacnoise” say that “The Tower of Conyn” (of “Conan” in other versions) was conquered by invading Fomorians. The “Ffirvolge” also invaded Ireland. The “Ffirvolge” in other accounts are called the Fir Bolge or sons of Bolge and they were the Belgae, groups of whom settled in Britain, Ireland, and Belgium.
“The Annals of Clonmacnoise” say that The “Twathy de Dannan” came from Greece. In other accounts these people, called by the Annals “Twathy de Dannan” are usually referred to as the “Tuatha de Dannan” meaning the “People of Dana”. They were from the tribe of Dan. There was a strong connection in Ancient Times between the Greeks and the Israelite Tribe of Dan. The founder of Greek Civilization in Greek eyes was called Danaus. Ancient Classical authors (such as Manetho and Diodorus of Sicily) identified Danaus of Greek tradition with Dan of Israel. In Hebrew Greece is Javan and the Prophet Ezekiel linked Dan and Javan (Greece) together as traders with the Phoenician city of Tyre on the coast of Lebanon.
[Ezekiel 27:19] DAN ALSO AND JAVAN GOING TO AND FRO OCCUPIED IN THY FAIRS: BRIGHT IRON, CASSIA, AND CALAMUS, WERE IN THY MARKET.
The last and most important group of immigrants, recorded by “The Annals of Clonmacnoise” was the Milesians who are described as descended from Neale. The name “Neale” is sometimes understood to be a form of Beale or Bel and Britain was known as “The Honey Isle of Bel”. Bel was a Mesopotamian, Syrian, and Northern Israelite form of the name “baal”. “Baal” was the god of the Canaanites and of neighboring peoples including the Israelites who left the worship of God and became pagans and worshipped baal. That was why they were exiled, because they worshipped “baal” and other pagan gods. This is described in 2-Kings chapter 17 at some length. The Annals say that Neale went to Egypt and settled in a place called Capacyront. The name Capacyront is said to be derived from the Hebrew “Pi-hahiroth” (Exodus 14;2).