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Various Traditions #9 by Yair Davidiy
adapted from:
"Lost Israelite Identity.
The Israelite Origin of Celtic Races" (1996).

The Clan of Yair
in Israel, Ireland
and Scotland.


         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 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 [Tribe of Dana] from "Iarbanel son of Nemedh". Iarbanel is considered a form of  Iar.

         The Leabhar Gabhala also brings two alternate versions in which Iarbanel is high up on the genealogical lists of the Dana.

         In the History of Keating the Sages  mentioned include 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!! In the Ancient Middle East "Iar" was another form of the name Yair or "Jair" as it is sometimes transcribed. Not only that but Yair in the Bible was linked to both Judah and to Gilead of Menasseh east of the Jordan. There is an opinion that there were two ancient Israelite leaders named "Yair" : One was from Manasseh and the other from Judah but settled amongst Gilead of Manaseh. Both established groups of settlement named after them. One was to the east of the Jordan and the other much further North in the border region of what are now Syria and Iraq. Alternately the two personalities were one and the same person.
This is a matter to be considered elsewhere.

One of the sons of Gilead was Peresh whose name means "Separated" or "Sanctified", as in "Pharisee".  This name "Peresh" in meaning is identical with that of "Nemha" in Irish. The History of Keating connects Iar with both Judah and Nemha! 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.

         "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 fought along the Euphrates' banks and sometimes in the north to the east of the Euphrates in the region of the Habor tributary.  Contrary to some opinions, the Israelite territories of Gilead and Bashan did reach up to those regions.

         In regards to the people of Yair it is worth noting the opinion of the Israeli researcher, 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-2 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).... #

         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 12 administrative districts into which King Solomon divided the Land of Israel. It was ruled by "Ben-Gever" (i.e. "Son of Geber") whose father (Geber the son of Uri) was appointed over all Gilead and the neighboring region of Bashan which 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).

     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. 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). The "House of Gabbar" were the ruling dynasty of "Yadi". Yadi was a Judaean enclave in northwest Syria ("Hamath which belonged to Judah" 2-Kings 14:28) known as "Yadi" (i.e. "Judah" in Assyrian) and also garrisoned by the "Dananu" from the Tribe of Dan and somehow associated with the neighbouring Tribe of Gad since its other name "Smal" is synonymous with Zephion a clan of Gad.

The people of Yadi were taken into exile to an area of Armenia whereto exiles from the Ten Tribes were also taken. 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) and in Scotland and Ireland: 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.

         In ancient Ireland there was an important ethnic group tribe called Gabraige and a place named Gabran (mod. Gowran in County Kilkenny) and a king of the Picts in northern Scotland had the same name.

         The Lagin people gave their name to Leinster in east Ireland. They were also known as GABAIR. After being conquered by the Milesian Goidels, the Lagin Gabair joined forces with them and participated in raids on, and settlement in, Scotland. They have been equated with the Gailian or Galioin, which names may well derive from the Golan in the Land of Israel since GEBER or GABAR appears to have once been an important family name in that general area.  To the northeast of Eboracum (York) and the Parissi in Britain were the GABRANTOVICES. 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 toponyms bearing the name Iar (i.e. Yair) which are believed to represent an eponymous ancestor of that name.

         The IERNE (Iverni, Iberni, Erainn)  and Osraighe in southwest Ireland regarded IAR as their forefather. The Iern were related to the Ulaid and Darini of Ulster. The name is also found in Scotland and the French historian Henri Hubert (1934) opined that they are traceable to the same ethnic goup in both Scotland and Ireland. The people of Yair may therefore be assumed to have been submerged amongst the descendants of Gilead in the British Isles.

Regarding the Iverni in Ireland it is reported:
# The personal name Iar is simply another variant of the root present in Iverni and Erainn. #

# The historical sept [i.e. "Tribe" after the Hebrew word "shevet"] of the Ui Maicc Iair ("grandsons of the son of Iar") and the MAQI IARI [Sons of Iari] of Ogham inscriptions also appear to be related. #

The authoritative Irish Historian Thomas Francis O'Rahilly believed the Erainn were a group of Belgae originally from Britain.

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 place-names of Ireland and Scotland and in Celtic Mythology.

See Also:
Irish History and Yair in the Bible.

8. Irish Israelite Ancestry and 'Roberts'.

10. Scottish/Israelite Food Taboos.

Various Celtic Traditions
List of Contents.

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