"Brit-Am Now"- 402
May 22, 2004
1. Extracts from "The Tribes" in Swedish
2. Just For the Record
3. The NORTHERN BORDERS of Biblical Israel
1. Extracts from "The Tribes" in Swedish translated from English by Orjan
Svennson may now be seen at:
2. Just For the Record
In recent weeks we criticized Barry Chamish, "N", and Rabbi Moshe
reconcilaitions were effected with "N", and with Rabbi Moshe Koniuchowsky.
Concerning Barry Chamish we were asked to lay off since some of our subscribers
are also fans of his.
Just For the Record
Neither Barry Chamish, nor "N", nor Moshe Koniuchowsky
criticized Brit-Am or any member of Brit-Am. They said things about other
or about other matters that involved implications concerning Brit-Am
policies. We reacted either due to considerations of the interest of
and/or after having been requested by other parties to do so. No attack had
been directed or intended against us.
We were not defending ourselves but rather a belief system that we
sympathize or identify with.
There is no need to make things appear worse than they were.
3. The NORTHERN BORDERS of Biblical Israel
(adapted from "Lost Israelite Identity" by Yair Davidy):
The Israelites had been promised all the land between the
River of Egypt and the Euphrates and "all the land of the Hittites".. One
authority (Dr.Kemelman) compared the various passages delineating the
Promised land, the Aramaic paraphrases and identifications to these
passages and places of similar namesake in Classical authorities such as
Strabo and Ptolemy. He came to the conclusion that the Chosen Land included
most of Anatolia (i.e Asiatic Turkey) and indeed historically "all the
lands of the Hittites" would have included most of that area.
"From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great
river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the
great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast" (Joshua 1;4).
The author of this present work remains uncertain as to
whether the borders of the Promised Land did or did not include Anatolia
but such a possibility should be kept in mind when considering the
historical developments of Ancient Israel. The borders at the very minimum
appear to have at least encompassed all of present day Jordan, Lebanon, and
Syria, part of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, the Sinai Peninsula, and
part of the Nile Delta. Lebanon mainly belonged to the Israelite Tribe of
ISRAELITE BORDERS IN THE FAR NORTH: DAMASCUS, DAN, AND NORTHERN JUDAH.
The region of Cilicia in the southeast of present day
Turkey extending to Thapsacus on the Euphrates River in Biblical times was
known as "Damascus" or as Damascus of "Judah in Israel". It was to be ruled
by enclaves of settlers from the Israelite Tribes of Judah and Dan.
Proofs that this region was Israelite consist of the following:
David put garrisons in Syria Damascus and established his dominion by the
"And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as
he went to establish his dominion by the river Euphrates.
".....Then David put garrisons in Aram Damascus [Syria
Damascus]."(1 Chronicles 18;3,6).
cf."And Solomon went to Hamath Zobah and prevailed against it.
"And he built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the store
cities, which he built in Hamath" (2 Chronicles 8;3 4).
"Damascus" in Biblical terms did not usually refer to the Damascus of today
but rather (when speaking of a city) to Meskine (Thapsacus) in north Syria
on the Euphrates River and (when speaking of a country) including all the
area to the north, east, and west.
"HAMATH" likewise was more of an area than a city and included the
coastal region around present day Antiochia.
"Zobah" was an area largely to the east of the Euphrates, bordering
Assyria, and called "Subatu" by the Assyrians.
Note that Hamath in the Bible mostly means a country (and not just one
city as sometimes supposed) and in the above verse it has (several) store
cities built in it.
King Solomon established an economic base in the province of Cilicia
though this fact has been often overlooked due to a misunderstanding in the
King James Translation.
Several Translations of the Bible were referred to by us throughout this
work. All of them were useful, none was perfect. All in all, the KJ (King
James) was at least as good as any other and its formulation was often more
appealing. We usually searched for as literal a rendition as possible. The
Hebrew text of the Bible seems often to deliberately lend itself to more
than one interpretation. The particular aspect of possible meaning
presented herein is not necessarily always the most correct one but it is
that which we consider to be so:
The KJ says,
"And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen
yarn [Hebrew: "qu"]: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price".
"And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six
hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so
for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they
bring them out by their means.." (1 Kings 10;28 29).
The NEP translates these verses,
"Horses were imported from Egypt and Coa for Solomon; the
royal merchants obtained them from Coa by purchase. Chariots were imported
from Egypt for six hundred silver shekels each, and horses for a hundred
and fifty; in the same way the merchants obtained them from all the kings
of the Hittites and the kings of Aram."
The JBK has it,
"And Shelomo had horses brought from Mizrayim and from
Qeve; the king's merchants took the horses from Qeve at a fixed price. And
a chariot going out of Mizrayim would cost...and so by their means they
brought them out also for all the kings of Hitti and the kings of Aram".
The word ("KU") translated in the KJ as linen yarn
actually was the name of a place transliterated as "Qu", "Coa", or as Qeve.
This place was Cilicia.
"Egypt" in Hebrew is Mitsrayim (Mizrayim) and in
Assyrian "Mutsri". The Assyrians referred to two or three places by the
name "MUTSRI", one was present-day Egypt, and the other is thought to have
been Shupria which place was one of the Provinces of what later became
Urartu. Musasir on the border between Assyria and Urartu was also known as
"Musri". Egypt proper in northern Africa and the province(s) of "Musri" in
Urartu were all horse raising centres. The Bible, similarly to the
Egyptians and Assyrians, not infrequently uses the same name for different
Micah 7;12 appears to be referring to areas on the far
northern border of Israel (from Assyria, from the cities of Mazor, and
from Mazor even to the river). AS NOTED in the JBK Translation (to Micah
7;12) the word MAZOR (Matsor) translated as "fortress" in the KJ actually
is the name of a place and maybe equivalent to the northern Mutsri. "The
Kings of the Hittites" mean the neo-Hittite entities of northern Syria and
"The kings of Aram" may be referring to north Syria though there were
also Tribes of Aramaeans concentrated in north Mesopotamia and others
scattered in the south.
It may be concluded that Solomon had a base in Cilicia (i.e. in Ku), a
monopoly on the horse trade with "Mitsrayim" which could also refer to
northern regions, and trading leverage throughout the Middle East and north
Kue was eventually controlled by the Dananu rulers of Smal. "SMAL" in
Hebrew means "left" (as opposed to right) and the left side was considered
the Northern one.
The Zephoni, one of the clans of Gad (Numbers ch.26;15)
also have a name meaning "NORTHERN" and thus synonymous with Smal. A group
known as the Zeponi was indeed recorded from the area of Smal. The Tribe of
Gad had much of its inheritance in the north and along the banks of the
Euphrates as evidenced by the CAUCHABENI (Sons of CHAGGI), on the Map of
Ptolemy..And this whole area was part of, or adjoining onto, the Gilead
within which the Gadi received inheritance. Most of the clans of Gad
eventually migrated to Scandinavia. The Swedish Province of "Smaland" (i.e.
"Smal land") may receive its name also from "Smal" denoting "North" or
"Zephon" son of Gad. If so, this would possibly connect
SMALLAND with the Zephoni. The very name "GAD" could also be rendered as
"GOTH". The clans of Gad, today, have an especial prominence in Sweden. The
Dananu ruled over Smal, most of whose population was apparently non
Israelite. The Dananu were from the Tribe of Dan but even so to the south
in the Upper Galilee Dan of the Galilee had been bordered on the east by
Gad, so maybe some intermixture occurred, and this was continued with the
The Northern Ten Tribes were destined to rebel and set up their
own kingdom. Immediately afterwards the Tribes of Israel lost ground to its
neighbours and the State of Urartu was artificially created by the
Assyrians to control the north. Urartu came too dominate Cilicia and Smal
and used the port of Tarsis in Cilicia as its outlet to the Mediterranean.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS reveal connections between the various parts of
the Israelite Kingdom. Buildings in Smal, in the neighboring Thapsacus
(Northern Damascus region), and Hama of Hamath are similar in style to
those later or contemporaneously associated with the reigns of Kings David
and Solomon in Israel. Inscriptions show that some kings of Hamath had
Jeroboam 2 (785 758 b.c.e), "returned Damascus and Hamath to Judah in
Israel" (2 Kings 14;28). "To return" implies that the receivor
had previous and rightful possession. "Damascus and Hamath" mean here the
regions between Antiochea (i.e. Hamath) on the north Syrian coast and
Meskine on the Euphrates. This was the southern region of Luash (Liash )
of Smal and Yadi. "Yadi" in Assyrian is synonymous with Judah. Yadi was
also known as "Yaudi", and "Yauti" and "Yati" which were all dialectical
forms in Assyrian and Caucasian areas for Judah.
Luash (Liash ) is mentioned in the Book of Judges (chapter 18) as having
been conquered by the Tribe of Dan.
Some commentators confuse Laish with Leshem (Joshua 19:47) in the Galilee
that was also conquered by the Tribe of Dan
but this is a mistake.
Jeroboam 2 King of Northern Israel had
"returned Damascus and Hamath to Judah in Israel" (2
Perhaps the meaning is that he returned those regions to Yadi which was
just to the north of them, Yadi being "Judah in Israel"? i.e. that entity
of Judah which was within the boundary of the northern kingdom of Israel as
distinct from the independent southern kingdom of Judah in the south?
Jeroboam 2 (the son of Amon) was contemporary (2 Kings
15;1 2) with Azariah (also called Uziah 2-Chronicles 26;1) king of Judah.
It would seem that the northern Yadi had become dominated by a dynasty that
favoured the subject Mushkabim people over the Israelite aristocracy and it
was this situation that Jeroboam-ii and Azariah came to rectify. After
Jeroboam's demise (in 758 b.c.e.), King Azariah of Judah led a coalition of
19 mainly northern states against Assyria. Hamath, Damascus, Tyre, Kummukh,
Gebal, Melid, Carcamish, etc., were all in the coalition of Azariah.
Azariah is termed "Azariah of Yadi" by the Assyrians. "Yadi" is the
Assyrian term for JUDAH. "YADI" (in this case) meant either Judah in the
south (over which Azariah ruled) or Yadi in the north (over which Azariah
may have had suzerainity) or both. The allies were defeated by
Tiglathpileser iii in ca.738 b.c.e. All the kings EXCEPT AZARIAH submitted
to Assyria. The northern kingdoms of Smal and Yadi were destroyed. One
inscription records exiles from Yadi being taken to Ullubu in the former
land of Urartu. The territory of Ullubu was approximately that of the
Urartian Provinces of Nairi and Shupria, i.e. of "Mutsri" being the
northern Egypt, in modern Armenia. "Mitsraim" (i.e.Egypt) is sometimes
recalled, alongside regions of Assyria, as one of the places to which the
northern Israelites were exiled. Perhaps the intention in some places is
to the northern "Mitsraim " (e.g. Isaiah 11;11)?
The site of ancient Damascus has not yet been uncovered.
It is not the Damascus of today. The position of Damascus is of interest to
us since DAMASCUS was apparently within the boundaries of the northern
border of Israel which reached to the Euphrates (Genesis 15;18) and is one
of the marks of Israel's boundary in the Messianic era (Ezekiel 47;17 18).
[Avraham Malamat also located two different sites named Damascus. One was on
the site of the city presently known as Damascus and the other much further
to the north.
Near Eastern Archaeology in the Twentieth Century, edited by James A. Sanders, 1970, p. 173, note 2.
Damascus was also known as Apum.
article, "NORTHERN CANAAN AND THE MARI TEXTS" by Abraham Malamat
#the land of Apum mentioned here must be differentiated from another country of the same name occurring ion the Mari and Cappadocian texts, located in the Habor region".
Quotes from M. Faulkner, AfO, 18, 1957, p.2
W. F. Albright, YGC (1968), p.58 n.30
W. F. Albright, "The land of Damascus between 1850 and 1750 B.C.," BASOR, no. 83 (1941), p.30 ff.
Identifying ancient Damascus serves as an exemplary
indicator concerning the location of other places. Damascus was the name of
both a region and a city. There was "Syria of Damascus" ("Aram Damasek" in
Hebrew in 2 Samuel 8;5). The Arami (i.e. "Syrians") were an ethnic group
with members in both Mesopotamia and the Syrian region. The Israelite
Hebrews could also refer to themselves as Arami (Deuteronomy 26;5*) and
were called "Arami" by others*. Likewise, the Scythians according to Pliny
(N.H.16;9) were originally called "Arami".
Aram Damasek (Syria of Damascus) was part of, or closely
associated with, Zobah (1 Chron.13;5 2-Samuel 8;5). Zobah equals the area
called Subatu by the Assyrians. This area bordered Assyria on the west.
It was noted above that Hamath also originally meant a
place to the north and included the northern Syrian port city of Antiochea.
Jeremiah (49;23) linked Damascus with Hamath and Arpad. Amos (1;5)
associated Damascus with the House of Eden meaning the State of Bit Adini
in Assyrian records. All these areas linked with Damascus are places to
the northwest of Syria.
A Syrian general Naaman, when told to bathe in the Jordan
"Are not Abana and Parpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters
of Israel?" (2 Kings 5;12).
From this verse it may be learned that Damascus had two
rivers, Abana and Parpar, both of which were probably more impressive than
the Jordan River. Present day visitors see the Jordan as a narrow stream
but this is because most of its water is diverted for irrigation. In
Biblical times the climate of the Middle East was colder and wetter. There
were vast forests which served to conserve moisture and lower temperature.
The Jordan River was deeper and wider than it now is. The former banks may
still be seen beside the Jordan today. They show where the water once
reached. It must have been quite impressive by any standards.
In the Middle East place names move and in some cases are
based on little more than local Arab imagination. The town now called
Damascus does have two rivers but these are hardly comparable to the Jordan
even as it now and even less so when compared to how it must once have been.
There were two Rivers in Cilicia which in Classical
Literature are known as the Saros and Pyramus. Both these rivers are of
impressive size and carry a large quantity of water. Both could well have
compared favourably with the Jordan. Even today the quantity of freshwater
that pours into the sea from these rivers if properly harnessed could solve
most water shortage problems in the Middle East. The Pyramus River in a
Hittite document is called the "Pu u ru na" (see Astour). This name is
believed to be derived from a similar root as the Hebrew "PARAR". "PARAR"
means `to break in pieces' and expresses the action of a violent stream.
The English word "poor" similarly comes from the Hebrew "PUR" (root:
PRR) meaning "a small piece" or broken remnant. One of the Rivers of
Damascus recalled by the Syrian general Naaman (mentioned above) was named
"PARPAR". "PUR" and "PARPAR" in Hebrew are derived from the same root and
have a similar sound. The Pyramus River of Classical Literature is
therefore the Puuruna of the Hittites and the "Parpar" River of Damascus in
The Pyramus (Parpar) River in Cilicia of southeast Turkey
is now called the Ceyhan River. It is just to the west (see Map) of the
AMANUS Mountain Range. The Abana and Parpar were the two rivers of
Damascus. The Parpar has just been identified as the Pyramus, leaving the
Abana to still be located. In the Hebrew Bible (Masoretic Text) it will be
noticed (2 Kings 5;12) that the word ABANA (Abana River) has none of the
usual vowel points and besides it in the margin is the word "AMANA". There
are a few similar cases of this phenomenon in the Hebrew Bible. The reasons
are not always clear but the practical traditionally accepted implication
is that the word in the text must always be pronounced as it is in the
margin even though it is written differently! In other words, the Jewish
Hebrew traditionalists always pronounced the word transliterated as "Abana"
in 2 Kings 5;12 as "AMANA"! It stands to reason that the river Amana (i.e.
Abana) of Damascus would have been relatively close to the Parpar which was
the other river of Damascus and also that it was in the vicinity of the
similarly named AMANUS Mountain Range which is also called Amana in the
Song of Solomon (4;8) I would suggest that the river concerned was the
Orontes or the northeast tributary of the Orontes which is to the east of
the Amanus Mountains. This solution places the Abana (Amana Orontes) to the
southeast of the Amanus Mountains and the Parpar (Pyramus) to the west.
This was approximately the region of YADI which fits the description
"returned Damascus and Hamath to Judah in Israel" (2 Kings 14;28). The
city of Damascus will be demonstrated as having been that of Thapsacus (or
Miskine) on the Euphrates. A solution which has the ancient Land of Aram
Damascus stretch from Thapsacus to the northwest of neighbouring Arpad, and
encompass the strategic Amanus Mountains solves most of the Geographical
requirements posited for the location of Damascus in Scripture.
The subject (non-Israelite) population of Yadi and Smal of
the Dananu were called "Mushkabim" or "Muski". It had been prophesied that
the Ten Tribes of Israel would be "scattered beyond the river" (1-Kings
14;15) meaning according to the Aramaic Translation of Yehonathan "Beyond
the Euphrates". Amos the Prophet foresaw the exile of Israel "beyond
Damascus" (Amos 5;27).
"For the LORD shall smite Israel as a reed is shaken in
the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave
to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they
have made groves, provoking the LORD to anger.
"And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of
Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin" (1 Kings 14;15-15-16).
"Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond
Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts" (Amos
By assuming that the Damascus spoken of in Scripture was
by the Euphrates River the above verses are reconciled with each other.
Proof From Ezekiel That Biblical Damascus Was Far To The North.
(Main sources: Eiseman in Artscrolls on Ezekiel, Bar-Deroma).
Ezekiel (47;17 18) placed Damascus on the northern or
north east boundary of Israel which reached at least up to the Euphrates
River (Genesis 15;18). Ezekiel in chapter 47 describes the future
allocation of the Promised Land to the Tribes of Israel. Ezekiel (ch.48)
divides the Land up into 13 portions. Each portion is 150,000 cubits wide:
A cubit equals between 18 to 24 inches depending upon
which opinion is relied upon. This measurement gives a minimum of 42.6
miles per portion. Between Jerusalem and the northern border there were 7
portions which gives us 298 miles and brings us to the Euphrates River to
the city of Thapsacus otherwise known as Meskine. Meskine is the Biblical
city of Damascus. Damascus in Hebrew is pronounced as Damashek. Scholars
for some time have been interpreting this name as "DA-MESHEK" and relating
it to the Meshki people who dwelt in the area.
Abraham the patriarch said,
"The steward of my house is Eliezer of Damascus" (Genesis
This verse contains a play on words. The words translated as "Steward" in
Hebrew are "ben Meshek" which may also be understood to mean "Man of
Meshek", i.e. the verse may alternately be read,
"The man of Meshek [(serving)] in my house is Eliezer of
"Man of Meshek" being naturally a native of Da-Meshek this being Meskine on
the Euphrates adjoining the territories of the Muski (Mushkabim) who later
were ruled by the Judaean Yadi and the Israelite Dananu..
[It should be noted that there exist other opinions concerning the
location of Damascus IN CONTRADICTION TO OUR OWN. One of these views is
that of bar Deroma who places Biblical Damascus in Mesopotamia! This
opinion is placed on several arguments, amongst which are the following:
The Meskenoi (Meshki) were to be found in Mesopotamia as well as around
There was an important canal linking the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. This
canal was called Avena which he interprets as Abana. There was also a
nearby area called Abena.
A Talmudic passage (Erubin 19a) states that a place called Dumaskinin (i.e.
Damascus?) was the most beautiful site in the Mesopotamian region.]
NEVERTHELESS, the identification of Thapsacus-Meskine with Damascus of
Scripture fits all of the Biblical passages. It accords with the
identification of the Parpar River as the Pyramus and of the Abena (Amana)
as the Orontes tributary east of the Amanus mountains. It identifies
Scriptural Damascus with Yadi of Judah and thus clarifies the verse,
"returned Hamath and Damascus to Judah in Israel". It also accords with the
axiom that places the boundary of Israel on the Euphrates River even though
from time to time excursions were made to the east of it, and it
corresponds with the border measurements based on Ezekiel.
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