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Various Traditions #12 by Yair Davidiy
adapted from:
"Lost Israelite Identity.
The Israelite Origin of Celtic Races" (1996).

Celtic Peoples and their Israelite Origins.

We are now continuing our discussion of Celtic Traditions that prove that the Ancient Peoples of Britain and Ireland were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. Some (probably most) of our most important sources come from Ireland. One of the earliest sources of Irish tradition is the "THE LEABHAR GABHALA or the BOOK OF CONQUESTS OF IRELAND" which is also known as "The Book of Invasions". It was written ca. 1171 CE. Various versions of this book exist. The book itself appears to be a collection of different traditions. The compiler of "The Book of Invasions" attempts to reconcile different traditions that sometimes contradict each other. The book discusses the history of the Milesians who are also known as Goidels and as Hiberi. "Hiberi" means Hebrew.

The peoples we call Celtic peoples who dwelt in Ancient Britain and Ireland did not call themselves Celts. They called themselves "Hiberi" or Hebrews. They identified themselves as Hebrews and some Roman accounts appear in their own way to have also identified them as Hebrews.  "The Book of Invasions" in one place records a woman named Scota (who was the ancestress of the Goedels) as living around the time of Moses. Elsewhere the book has this same person named Scota (or someone with the same name) living during the reign of Pharoah Nectonebus who reigned about 520 BCE which was almost a thousand years after Moses.  The author had come across a tradition that the ancestors of the Irish sojourned in Germany on their way westward from Scythia. He had another tradition that they had come from Spain to Ireland. The conflicting traditions are understandable since historically Ireland, like the rest of the British Isles, received immigrating groups of people from several areas. Israelites came to the British Isles by two major paths: One path was via the Mediterranean Sea and Spain to Ireland and Britain. The other path was through Scythia across Europe and Germany to Britain and Ireland.

The narrator of the Book of Invasions repeats the tradition that the ancestors of the Irish in Egypt had been somehow attached to the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL. The Goidels were also known as Hiberi and as Milesians descendants of Mil. The names of the Sons of Mil are Hebraic and they have Israelite Tribal significance: There is Eber whose name is the same as the Hebrew "Heber". There is Ir whose name is the same as the Hebrew "Err" of Judah (Genesis 38;3). There is Don whose name is a version of  the Hebrew "Dan". There is Eremhon whose name is the same as the Hebrew "Hermon". There is Eber Finn whose name is related to that of the Hebrew "Phuni" of Issachar (Numbers 26;23). There is Aimirgin whose name is a version of the Hebrew ""Ha Machiri" which means "The Machirites", or the Sons of Machir who, belonged to the Tribe of Menasseh mentioned in Numbers chapter 29. Some of these names and similar ones are also found in Celtic place names and in pagan Celtic legend.         

We have described The Book of Invasions according to the version which is available to us however reports say that there are other editions of this book in which the Israelite identity of the Ancient Irish is made much clearer. LOUIS HYMAN, for instance, wrote a history book entitled: "The Jews of Ireland", Jerusalem, Israel, 1972, on p.1 Hyman reports:

 "It is stated in very old copies of The Book of Invasions and other ancient documents that it was the Mosaic law that the Milesians brought into Errin [i.e. Ireland] at their coming; that it had been learned and received from Moses in Egypt by Cae Cain Beathach, who was himself an Israelite, who had been sent into Egypt to learn the language of that country by the great master Fenius Farsaith, from whom the Milesian brothers, who conquered Errin, are recorded to have been the twenty second generation in descent; and it is stated  in the preface to Seanchas Mord that this was the law of Errin at the time of the coming of St.Patrick".

Seanchas Mord was the major work of Ancient Irish law. It was a kind of constitutional document. Hyman says that in the preface to this document (Seanchas Mord) it says that the Law of Moses was the law of Ireland before St. Patrick came. Hyman in effect reports that old copies of the Book of Invasions and other old documents state that the Goidels or Milesian Irish at one time had kept the Mosaic Law and at least some of them were descended from Israelites.

11. The Judah Touch and the Red Hand of Ulster.

13. Irish History and Yair in the Bible.

Various Celtic Traditions
List of Contents.

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