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Various Traditions #15 by Yair Davidiy
adapted from:
"Lost Israelite Identity.
The Israelite Origin of Celtic Races" (1996).


         The Milesians brought with them to Ireland a sacred stone on which their kings were coronated. This manner of coronation over a stone is believed to have been an Israelite custom hinted at in the Bible. Later this same stone of the Milesians was carried over to Scotland and there it was known as the Stone of Scone. The Stone was afterwards taken from Scotland and placed under the Coronation Chair of the monarchs of Britain where it remained until recently. At present the Stone is in Scotland. Legend states that the stone brought over to Ireland by the Milesians was that on which Jacob slept:

Genesis ch.28:
10 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward
Haran. 11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: "I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you."
16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it." 17 And he was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!"
18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place
Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."

Jacob had dreamt of angels ascending and descending a ladder reaching up into heaven. According to the Midrash (Genesis, Tanchuma, VaYaetse) this dream about angels going up and down to heaven on a ladder concerned the potential future rule of the world and the rescue of the descendants of Jacob from afar and from the land of their captivity (spoken of in Jeremiah 30;10). This mean. says the Midrash, the rescue of the descendants of Jacob from Galia (i.e. Gaul meaning France and Belgium) and from Espania (Spain) and from the neighboring lands. The Milesians did pass through Spain and some of them had been in Gaul before they crossed over to Ireland and Britain.
         A part of Christian doctrine is the idea that "true" believers or what not in Christianity are in effect spiritually Israel.  Many people in Britain and the Western nations tended to take this notion a step further and physically associate themselves with the ancient Hebrews. The point is that people often tend to believe instinctively in something that they cannot prove but feel to be so. Many scientific and other research breakthroughs have their origins in such intuitive feeling. These feelings should not be dismissed altogether.
          From a moral point of view, to invent tales justifying even the most lofty ideas is forbidden, "Keep far away from a false matter" (Exodus 23:7). Nevertheless, even false beliefs or obviously invented legends etc., sometimes may express an instinctively realized reality at the subconscious level. The Stone of Scone may (and yet may not) be an ordinary piece of rock that was hewn out of a quarry in Scotland, as some claim it was. Even so, the definite origins of The Stone of Scone are unknown. It was considered in tradition to be the stone upon which Jacob slept and that on which he received the promise concerning the future of his descendants. The Stone would have significance for the descendants of Jacob and not for other peoples.         

A poem attributed to Sir Walter Scott concerning the Stone of Scone is said to actually be a free rendition of an ancient Gaelic couplet. The poem goes:

"Unless the fates are faithless grown, 
And Prophets voice be vain,         
Where'er is found this sacred stone, 
The wanderer's (
Scothic) race shall reign."

Sir Walter Scott understood the word "Scott" to mean "wanderer" and this is one of its possible meanings. The word Hebrew ("Ivri", "ibri") comes from the word "aver" (related to the English "over") and one of its connotations could also imply "wanderer". The Scotts came from Scythia to Ireland and Scotland and from Ireland there was a later additional movement into Scotland. They were also (like the rest of the British Celts) known as Hiberi and so referred to themselves. Hiberi is another form of the word" Hebrew".

According to Hollingshed's Chronicles:

         "When our king (Edward-i) went forth to see the mountains [of Scotland], and understanding that all was at peace and quiet, he turned to the Abbey of Scone which was of chanons regular, where he took the stone, called the Regal of Scotland, upon which the kings of that nation were wont to sit at the time of their coronation for a throne, and sent it to the Abbey of Westminster. The Scots claim that this was the stone whereon Jacob slept when he fled to Mesopotamia".

We see from this that from the very beginning the people of Scotland believed that the Stone upon which their kings were coronated was the stone upon which Jacob slept. This belief was  passed on to all the peoples of Britain.

         The British believed that their rulers were coronated (i.e. received the right to rule) on the stone of Jacob: They therefore, it is inferred, thought that the right of their rulers to Empire came from the Promise to Jacob. When seen in this light the real origin of the stone becomes less historically significant than the beliefs surrounding it.

John Toland (1670-1772) reported:

         "The Fatal Stone (Liag Fail) so called, was the stone on which the supreme kings of Ireland used to be inaugurated, in the time of heathenism on the hill of Tara; it was superstitiously sent to confirm the Irish colony in the north of Great Britain, where it was continued as the coronation seat of the Scottish kings ever since Christianity; till in the year 1300 Edward -i, of England brought it from Scone, placing it under the coronation chair at Westminster AND THERE IT STILL CONTINUES. I HAD ALMOST FORGOTTEN TO TELL YOU THAT IT IS NOW CALLED BY THE VULGAR, JACOB'S STONE... AS IF THIS HAD BEEN JACOB'S PILLAR AT BETHEL".

Jacob (who was renamed "Israel") had a dream about "The ladder reaching to heaven". The dream of the Patriarch Jacob culminated in a promise from God that his seed would be as numerous as the dust of the earth, that they would spread to the west, east, north, and south, and that all the families of the earth would be blessed in him and in his seed; that God would keep him and bring him back; and in the promise that "I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of" (Genesis 28:15).

The promise was given to Jacob just as he was leaving the Land of Israel to go into exile and later return. What was happening to Jacob as an individual foreshadowed the destiny of his descendants. God says that he will not leave Jacob until he has done everything He has promised and then He will bring Jacob back. In other words all the promises about Jacob becoming a great and exceedingly populous nation would be fulfilled before Jacob returned to the Land of Israel from his place of Exile in the End Times. This promise may be understood that Jacob was promised that God would be with him and God would make him a great nation even while Jacob would be in Exile. This promise was fulfilled in the Ten Tribes.

14. Celtic Peoples and their Israelite Ancestors.

16. Early Hebrew Practices of the Celtic Peoples.

Various Celtic Traditions
List of Contents.

See also:
A list of Articles on similar themes:
Western Hebrew-Celtic Culture.