by Yair Davidiy

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     The material below is mainly an extract from "Lost Israelite Identity"  by Yair Davidiy. Experience shows that even they who have read our works several times over sometimes enjoy and benefit from selected short extracts of interest.

     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 to arrive and considered the most numerous and dominant.
     There are several versions concerning how the Milesians came to Ireland but all of them more or less follow the same pattern and are compatible with similar early British versions concerning the Scotti.
     (The Scotti who settled in Scotland came from Ireland and are considered a branch of the Hiberi Milesians).
     In general, the accounts claim that a Scythian (named "Fennius Farsa" or something similar) ruling somewhere near Greece was deprived of his throne and went to live in Egypt.  His son (Niul) married Scotta daughter of Pharaoh and from their union came Goidel37.
     The name of Scotta daughter of Pharaoh seems to be recalled in every known account.  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 the same "Batya" daughter of Pharaoh who later married Mered (1 Chronicles 4:18) from the Tribe of Judah*38.  According to Talmudic tradition39 (Megilla 13, Lev.Rabah 1:3) "Mered" is another name for Caleb, son of Yefunei, the Kenazzi, a Prince of Judah (Numbers 13:6) who, 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) are traceable to Chalybonitis40 and to the "Chalybe" people.  Chalybonitis was in northwest Syria.  (It was in an area associated with the lari descendants of Yair who himself (1 Chronicles 2:22) was a son of Segub son of Hezron ancestor (or "father") of Caleb*41: The eponymous ancestor IAR was later recalled in place-names of Ireland and Scotland).  The Chalybes (descendants of Caleb) after the Israelite exile were to be reported in areas of Ten Tribes settlement.  In the Pontus (on the southeast shores of the Black Sea) and Caucasus the Chalybes were famous metallurgists considered as of Cimmerian origin and recalled by Greek Chroniclers such as Xenophon42.  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" which name connotes "metalworker"43.  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 Celts identified with the Mileasian-Hiberi migrated to Ireland and from there to Britain.  The legend of the Milesians that one of their ancestors had been married to the daughter of Pharaoh may be connected with presence of "Chalybes" (or "Calybes") descendants of Caleb from Judah amongst them*44.
     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.  Pharaoh began to persecute the Hebrews and Goidel refused to participate but rather befriended the Hebrews who gave him the opportunity to unite with them45.  Because of this or because Pharaoh 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 Ireland46.  They kept the Mosaic Law and did not eat forbidden foods47.  Their leaders in invading Ireland were Heber and Heremon48 both Hebrew names like much of British-Celtic 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; many aspects of the Mosaic law were kept at one time or other independently of Christian influence49; to say outrightly that they were of Israelite descent would have been inconsistent with the Church outlook of that time.
     The England 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 "Egyptians50" perhaps in reference to their claimed origins.
     Gildas said that the British Celts were "Truly Israel of the Exodus"51.  Gildas wrote about 540 c.e.  He lived in Britain at the time that it was being conquered by the pagan Angles, Jutes, and Saxons.  As a Christian priest he was horrified by what he saw.  He attributed the calamity to the sins of the Celtic people and upbraided them.  He used Biblical expressions and several times addressed the Celtic princes as The Lost Tribes of 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 Errin at their coming and that this law was the Law of Ireland before their conversion to Christianity at the time of St. Patrick52.
     Some of the Celts were quite wild and according to reports even cannibalistic while others were highly cultured.  They were not all of one origin but Israelites were dominant amongst significant sections of them, and this is what interests us.
      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.
     "Roberts" in what is described as "one of the oldest histories in the English language"*53 speaks of Israelites led by a certain Bartholome (also known as "Erain"? cf.  Numbers23:36: Eran son of Ephraim son of Joseph) who were driven from Spain and settled 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 Irish accounts as leader of one of the first groups who settled in Ireland.  In the account of Roberts above it says expressly that "Israel (Palestine)" was "their original country".
     In 1581 Vincenzio Galilei (father of the astronomer, Galileo Galilei) wrote that the Irish believed themselves descended from David, King of Israel, and that was why they used a harp as their symbol*54.

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