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Various Traditions #7 by Yair Davidiy
adapted from:
"Lost Israelite Identity.
The Israelite Origin of Celtic Races" (1996).

  Irish Accounts of their Ancestors:
Milesians Continued.

         The Irish accounts say that whilst in Egypt, the land of Capaciront (i.e. Pi HaHerut = Goshen?) near the Red Sea was given to Goidel. Pharoah began to persecute the Hebrews and Goidel refused to participate but rather befriended the Hebrews who gave him the opportunity to unite with them. Because of this or because Pharoah feared that Goidel would try to take over the country 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 again to North Africa whence they passed into Spain, whence they went to Spanish Galatia in the northwest and from there to Ireland. They kept the Mosaic Law and did not eat forbidden foods.  Their leaders in invading Ireland were Heber and Heremon  -both Hebrew names like much of  Ancient Irish nomenclature.
The above accounts may seem highly fanciful but they should be considered in the light of other facts:
The idea of a Scythian origin is known and defendable from other sources.
The Irish (and Welsh) language definitely does show a strong Middle Eastern and North African influence.
Archaeological and other evidence also indicates that the ancestors of the Hiberi Gaelic-Irish from "Syria" and Israel did enter Spain, move to the northwest, and pass over into Ireland.
The skull of a barbary ape from North Africa dating from ca. 100 BCE has been found in North Ireland at the site of Emain Macha.  Boats and artifacts of Egyptian and Phoenician design have been found throughout the British isles.
Many aspects of the Mosaic law were kept at one time or other independently of Christian influence.
To say outrightly that they were of Israelite descent would have been inconsistent with a Church outlook for various reasons. This discussion of the Irish legends is returned to below though a few supplementary sources and additional points will first be mentioned:
         The English historian Bede said that the Gaels who invaded Scotland from Ireland came originally from Scythia and the Cimmerian Chersonesus (Crimea).
          In the court of Charlemagne (king of France and western Europe) Irish influence was quite strong and they were referred to as "Egyptians" perhaps in reference to their claimed origins.
         Gildas said that the British Celts were "Truly Israel of the Exodus". Gildas wrote about 540 CE. He 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 native British people and upbraided them. He used Biblical expressions and several times addressed the British princes as Israel and referred to Britain as "a treacherous lioness of Gad" though why he chose Gad out of all the 12 Tribes of Israel is unknown. It was said that the Milesians brought Mosaic Law into Ireland at their coming and that this law was the Law of Ireland before their conversion to Christianity at the time of St.Patrick.
         The Irish versions were repeated or paralleled by Scottish and later by English sources. Some of these (such as that of Nennius) are quite early. These additional accounts often provide supplementary information of some significance.
6. The Hiberi-Milesians. Early Settlers of Ireland.

8. Irish Israelite Ancestry and 'Roberts'.

Various Celtic Traditions
List of Contents.

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