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 Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations

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PostSubject: Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations   Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 01, 2009 7:05 pm


(The Fulfilment Of Bible Prophecy In Ancient Israel's European Colonies)

MODERN science and archaeology in recent years have made tremendous progress in uncovering facts about our forgotten past. Not only has much of the Sacred Story been confirmed as fact but many misconceptions about it have been proven untrue. A common misconception of yesteryear was the idea that although the Phoenicians traded and established colonies throughout the Mediterranean area, their Israelite neighbours never set foot on a boat or visited distant lands in ancient times. This idea persisted in spite of the fact that the word, 'Hebrew' itself is known to have signified 'a colonist'. Modern research has in fact now documented that ancient Semitic colonization in Europe, including Hebrew, was 'enduring and significant,' according to Dr Cyrus H. Gordon, whose extensive research was highlighted throughout an entire issue of the (March, 1996) BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGIST magazine. Having written over 20 books and learned over a dozen languages, Dr Gordon is widely considered the leading Arnerican archaeologist and antiquarian of the twentieth century. His research has established that 'no longer can we we ... consider Israel the vacuum-packed miracle from Sinai. Rather must we view Greek and Hebrew civilizations as parallel structures built upon the same East Mediterranean foundations.' (Homer & Bible, page 72)


Scholars have written for centuries about an ancient sea-faring people known to modem history books as the Tuatha de Danan who founded civilizations in Greece, Spain, Britain, and Ireland. Scholars now know that the word, Tuarth, means 'tribe'. Dr Gordon has also established that the suffix, 'AN' was added to proper names in early times to signify a people or community. Thus, the name of these important early European colonists should be translated, the 'tribe of Dan.' Was this the Biblical people, one of the twelve tribes of Israel? Indeed it was, according to Dr Gordon, who relates, 'A group of Sea People, bore the name of "Dan." The Bible tells how a segment of the seafaring (Judg. 5:17) Danites [were part of ] the tribal system of ancient Israel ... The Danites were widespread. Cyprus was called Iadnan "Ihe Island of Dan (an)." The same people were called Danuna, and under this name they appear as rulers of the Plain of Adana in Cilicia. Greek tradition has their eponymous ancestor, Danaos (Dun), migrating from the Nile delta to Greece... [Note that the Israelites did in fact emigrate from Egypt.] So important was this movement that the Greeks afterward called themselves Danaoi for centuries. Virgil also designated the Greeks as "Danoi" Bold scholars see the influence of the Danites in Irish folk lore ... and in the name of Danmark (Denmark): the land of Dan ... It is a mistake to accept the consensus and to imagine that Sea People with enough striking power ... to change the course of history were unenterprising to the point of never sailing west of Gibraltar.' (p. 108, 111, BEFORE COLUMBUS)

Dr Gordon also points out Biblical evidence that 'three of the [Israel] tribes are described as navigational.. Zebulon, Dan and Asher (Gen. 49:13; Judg. 5: 17)', ibid., page 112. Based on the eminent Dr Gordon's research, we see that the ancient Hebrews not only sailed throughout the Mediterranean and Atlantic European coasts, but settled there and founded European civilization. Similarly, in the appendix to noted antiquarian G. Robert Gair's GEOGRAPHICAL ENVIRONMENT AND RACE MOVEMENTS, (1932) is the statement, 'Migration ... was responsible for the emigration of a great mass of Dan, Asher, Zebulon and Naphthali, who thus evaded the captivity under Assyria [762-676 B.C.] and turned nomad.' Logically, Israelites evaded the Assyrian power to the east, by migrating westward. How do we verify where these Israel tribes went in ancient times? One way is by language study.

Early antiquarian scholar, Aylett Sammes, published his extensive research in 1676 in a work entitled, THE ANTIQUITIES OF ANCIENT BRITAIN DERIVED FROM THE PHOENICIANS. He pointed out (p. 58) that the Danites were also known in British history as 'Damnonii,'but that 'the transposition is very easy and usual, and hides not at all the original, Dan.'The Danites settled especially in southwestern Britain's 'Phoenician' tin districts, he says, adding that in this area many rivers, cities, and hills have names compounded with the tribal name, 'Dan.'


Many words and customs in early Britain show their Hebrew-Phoenician origin. Aylett Sammes gives (p. 64), for instance, the Phoenician word, Rheda, meaning a chariot, as the source of the Celtic words, Rhediad, a course, Rheder, to run, and Redeesa, a race. Essedum was a Gaulish and British word for a wagon, and corresponded with the Semitic Dassedan,signifying the same thing. Pen was the Celtic word for a high and steep hill, which came from the Phoenician, Pinna. The Celtic, Bro, or Boro, meaning a region or country, corresponded with the Phoenician Baro. Numerous other examples are given by Sammes to show that the Phoenician influence in the settlement of Europe was very significant. Modern scholar Cyrus Cordon further relates that historians often use the word, Phoenician, in its 'wider sense' of Semitic peoples in general, including the Hebrews. The wide extent of their influence is shown on the map we've reproduced from a standard history textbook. Although labelled 'Phoenician' or 'Syrian,' we believe the evidence indicates that ancient Israel deserves credit for much of that which has been attributed to her neighbours. A more complete discussion of the Celtic link with Israel is included in our forthcoming tract, THE HEBREW-CELTIC CONNECTION.

European Landmarks Show Semitic Colonization

Chapter three of Aylett Sammes' study provides evidence that much of the coastland of Europe and the Mediterranean was settled by Hebrew-Phoenician speaking people. Here are a few of the place-names given by Samrnes with their Hebrew-Phoenician root meanings:

EUROPE: Greek Europa, received its name from the Phoenician, Urappa, signifying 'a country of white complexions.'

ASIA: or 'Asi' in the Phoenician language signifieth the country between or in the middle.' Evidently, Asia Minor (modern Turkey) was considered the land between Europe and the Mid-East.

AFRICA:'signifies a land of corn or ears in the Phoenician dialect.'

SPAIN: or Spania, from 'Spania, country of rabbits.'

ITALY: or Italia, was called by the Phoenicians, 'Itaria, from the exceeding quantities of pitch it yielded. The letters R and L being easily convertible in the Eastern tongue.'

LUSITANIA: a region bordering the Atlantic; modern Portugal. 'Luz in the Phoenician tongue, signifies an almond; tania is a Greek addition.'

BRITAIN: or Britannia, from the Phoenician,'Baratanac, a country of tin. Metals such as tin and lead were mined and exported from the west coasts of Cornwall and the Scilly islands.'

ALBION: from 'Alpin, in the Phoenician tongue, a high mountain, from the high rocks on the western coasts where the Phoenicians first landed.'

CALEDONIA: ancient name of Scotland, named for 'its rocky and mountainous nature,' from 'Galedtun in the Phoenician tongue ... a hard, (rocky) hill.'

BALEARES: two islands in the Mediterranean on the coast of Spain, from 'Bal jaro, a master at slinging in the Phoenician. These islands were ever famous, as is notoriously known, for excellent slingers, upon which account they had their name from the Phoenicians.'

CORSICA: a Mediterranean island, received its name frorn the Phoenicians from its woodiness. 'Corsis signifies a woody place.'

SARDINIA: a Mediterranean island 'received its name from the resemblance it had to the foot of a man. Sarad and Sarda, in the Phoenician tongue, signifies the footstep of a man.'

MALTA: anciently known as 'Melita, in the Phoenician tongue, signifies a Place of Refuge, or Sanctuary,' because it was 'lying exactly in the middle between Tyre and the Straits [of Spain], whither the Phoenicians trafficked'

RHODES: (Greek, Rhodus), an island in the Mediterranean, 'took its name from the multitude of serpents it produced, upon which very account it was called Ophiusa, by the Greeks, or, an island of Serpents. Rod, in the Phoenician tongue, is a serpent.'

CYPRUS: anciently (hard 'C') Cerastis, 'So called from the many promontories, as Stephanus witnesseth. Keren, in the Phoenician, is a horn, or Promontory.'

SICILY: (Italian Sicilia) 'had its name from the abundance and excellency of its grapes, from which it supplied Africa in former times, as witnesseth Diodorus . .. Segulaia is a country of Grapes in the Phoenician tongue.'

SYRACUSE: the metropolis of Sicily, 'It is agreed, took its name from a stinking and unwholesome marsh upon which it stood, called Syraco [which], in the Phoenician tongue signifies an Evil Savour.'

AETNA: 'a burning mountain in Sicily, without question took its name from the continual fire and smoke, which in all ages, and to this day breaketh from it. Attuna, in the Phoenician tongue, signifies a furnace or chimney. Aeluna signifies a smoky fog, in the same dialect.'

TANGIER: formerly Tingis, 'was a great Mart of the Phoenicians, who had a colony in it, according to Pompus Mela. Tigger, a mart, from Tagger, to trade, in the Phoenician, and Taggar, a trader.'
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PostSubject: Re: Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations   Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 01, 2009 7:06 pm


Although Professor Sammes gave these and many other examples of European place names indicating a Phoenician origin, it is important to note that the Hebrews and Phoenicians spoke the same language, with only minor differences. The Phoenicians, in fact, were Sernitic distant relatives of the Hebrews, tracing their origin back to ancient Chaldea, the home of the patriarch Abraham. Nevertheless, we have good reason for suspecting that much of the so-called 'Phoenician' trade and colonization was in reality Israelite.

Early 19th century noted antiquarian scholar, Sir William Betham, studied the Celtic origins of Europe, and his studies of early Italy were published in a two volume work, ETRURIA CELTICA. Sir William reproduced ancient coins from the kingdom of Utruria, in Italy, known as the Etruscan civilization. Interestingly, several of the Utrurian coins discovered were rninted in honor of their deity, which was none other than Yahweh, God of the Hebrews! We have reproduced examples of these coins from the book, and Betham comments as follows:

A human head in profile, proceeding from a shell, under it, the word, HAT, in the later Etruscan character ... The word [also] appears written TAH ... it is written both from right to left, and vice versa. The word, TA in the Celtic, is the auxiliary verb AM, IS, also EXISTENCE, BEING, i.e. the self-existent being, God. O'Reilly RENDERS IT JEHOVAH [OR YAHWEH] ... I find in the MS. Dictionary of the late William Haliday, and that of James MacGauran, the same meaning is given.' (vol. 2, page 135) Sir William continues, 'No. 2 is a human foot, cut off at the ankle, under it the word TAH, emblematic of the subjection of all things to the Supreme being.'(ibid., vol. 2, pages 135-136)

'The word ... TAH, which appears on some of the Etruscan coins ... is the first person present of the auxiliary verb TA, 'I AM.' lt is remarkable that this name God gave to himself from the burning bush, I AM THAT I AM; and again -'Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel I AM has sent me unto you.'-'This is my name forever.' (Ex. 3:14-15) (ibid., vol. 2, page 33)

Therefore, as Sir William points out, these coins represent worship of Yahweh, the Biblical 'I AM', the God of Israel; as such, the early colonists who founded the Etruscan civilization in Italy could only have been Israelites! These were not Phoenicians, the worshippers of 'Baal'. Note particularly the virtual identity of the ancient Hebrew, British Celtic, and early Etruscan worship of the True God. It is no accident that the Celtic 'TA', Etruscan 'TAH', and the similar Hebrew, 'YAH', all have identical meanings: the 'Self-Existent', or 'Ever-Living', and the 'I AM', showing their obvious connection. Our study, THE OLD TESTAMENT ROOTS OF EARLY EUROPEAN MYTHOLOGY, shows the arnazing similarity of their religious beliefs and customs.


Much evidence exists of ancient Israel in Europe. Our tract, ANCIENT ISRAEL IN SPAIN AND BRITAIN, presents information about Hebrew colonization of Spain in the time of Solornon, whose 'ships of Tarshish'(or Tartessus, another ancient name for Spain) are mentioned in the Bible. These traditions must have been strong, for the UNIVERSAL JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA (vol. 1, p. 316) informs us, 'John Sadler, a student of Oriental Literature, published in 1649 his RIGHTS OF THE KINGDOM, in which he endeavoured to show ... that the English are the descendants of Israelites. He explained the name "Britain" as being derived from the Phoenician BERAT ANAC ... He was evidently influenced by the tradition that in the time of Solomon, PHOENICIAN TRADERS, ACCOMPANIED BY HEBREWS, reached as far as England and bartered their wares for the tin obtained from the mines of Cornwall. England was therefore known to the Israelites and they may have sought a refuge there after the fall of their kingdom [by the Assyrians 762-676 B.C.]' Were a significant number of these early European colonists Hebrews? In ancient times, Israel was a nation several times larger and more populous than Phoenicia, as can be easily seen on Bible maps. It would seem obvious that the few small Phoenician city-states could never by themselves have settled all of the coastlands of Europe.


Here are a few key promises of Scripture which were given by God to Israel, not to the Phoenicians. Whose descendants fulfilled them?

Israel was to become 'a multitude of nations,' Genesis 48:19; 'a company of nations,' Genesis 35:11 Where are these nations today, comprised of Israel's descendants, as foreordained in the unconditional Abrahamic covenant?

Israel was to move to a new home-land outside of Palestine. This prophecy, given in about 1042 B.C., states,

'Moreover,I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime.' (II Sam. 7: 10)

History and Scripture clearly indicate a migration of Israelites north and west from Palestine. Isaiah 11:14 declares,

'they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west...'

Israel was warned to flee the Mesopotamian power, Babylon, an obvious hint that many of them moved in the opposite direction - toward Europe! (Zech. 2:6-7)

Israel was to become a tremendous number of descendants,'as the sand on the sea shore.'(Gen. 32:12; Jer. 33:22; Hos. 1:10), and 'as the stars of heaven for multitude,'(Gen. 26:4., Ex. 32:13). Later Scripture affirms that was indeed taking place: 'God hath enlarged you as the sand on the sea shore ...' (Deut. 1:10) The Bible indicates a population of six million Israelites in ancient times before the Assyrian captivity. (See tract, THE REAL DIASPORA) The House of Israel disappeared from Palestine as 'lost tribes' and populated much of early Europe.

Europe was left virtually empty in ancient times, prepared for the great number of Israelites to be sent there in God's Providence.

'When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance; when He separated the Sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.'(Deut. 32:Cool

Israel was to expand in the seas: 'Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.'(Psa. 77:19) 'I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers.' (Psa. 89:25) 'Ask of me, and I will give thee of the heathen for thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.' (Psa. 2:Cool 'We shall have dominion from sea to sea ...'(Psa.72:Cool In light of the previous history given, how wonderfully have these promises of sea migration and colonization been fulfilled!

Israel had already settled colonies in the isles of the west when Jeremiah wrote this in circa 600 B.C.: 'Hear the word of the Lord, 0 ye nations and declare it in the ISLES afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him and keep him, as a shepherd does his flock.'(Jer. 31:10) True to prophecy, Israel was gathered to the great shepherd, Jesus Christ, through faith, and the Israel nations became known as Christendom, or 'Christ's Kingdom on earth'.

'Sing ... His praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the ISLES and the inhabitants thereof ' (Isa. 42:10)

And they do!
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PostSubject: Merchants of Tarshish   Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations I_icon_minitimeSun Aug 02, 2009 1:20 pm




L. Buxton Gresty

CHRISTIANS in general are more or less familiar with the military exploits of the ancient people of Israel, but few realise that some of these same Israelites also played an important part in the hazardous maritime enterprises of those far-off days. It is, none the less, true to say that Israelite merchant mariners, particularly of the tribes of Dan and Asher, had a substantial share of the sea-faring trade between the western world and Palestine during what has been termed the Phoenician Golden Age.

Once again, a proper appraisal of the ancient history of Bible lands has been clouded and confused by loose terminology. In this instance the offending word is Phoenician - a name applied by the Greeks and Rornans from Homer's tirne onwards, to the dwellers in the coastal strip of Palestine, irrespective of race; and more particularly used to describe the sea-traders who operated from Palestinian seaports in the early part of the millennium B.C., carrying a wide range of merchandise between the ports of the eastern Mediterranean and the most distant shores of the then known western world: even as far as Britain.

It can be shown that the people whom the Greeks called 'Phoenicians'- but who did not themselves use that term - comprised elements of several people, the chief of these being Canaanites (Using the name in its Biblical sense), Hebrews and Israelites. It is significant that the trade of Phoenicia reached the peak of its importance during the period of Israel's greatest ascendancy and that its decline commenced with the disappearance of the great bulk of Israel from the Holy Land.


The territory of Phoenicia had varying lirnits according to the period reviewed. Procopius stated that, at one time, the southern limit extended to the boundary of Egypt. Generally, however, it is considered as being the narrow coastal strip (not many miles in depth) extending from the region of Latakia in the north to Carmel in the south.

The term 'Phoenician' was applied by the Greeks to the merchant mariners who traded from the seaports of this coastal strip of Palestine. Phoenike was 'the land of the red men'. The dwellers in Phoenicia did not, however, describe themselves thus. They were Canaanites, Hebrews, or Israelites, according to their various origins. The two firstnamed had been long in the land when the Israelites arrived. Sidon, grandson of Ham, is reputed to have founded the city bearing his name in 2750 B.C.; Tyre also claimed its foundation from the same period. In this connection Herodotus wrote that the first colonisers of Phoenicia were located originally on the Persian Gulf. Trogus considered that they had moved in from the Dead Sea area. The Ras Shamra and Tel-el-Amarna tablets reveal that Hebrew invaders established themselves in Phoenicia long before the time of the entry of the Israelites into their Promised Land.

Modern authorities have evinced various views on the racial characteristics of the Phoenicians. Rawlinson, like many others, called them Semitic, but admits that this is really not a racial but a linguistic classification. Ripley (Races of Europe) and Waddell (whose painstaking researches may not lightly be brushed aside) both claim them as Nordics. The Canaan element, however, would rank as 'Mediterraneans'.


In the division of Canaan by lot, under Joshua, the whole of the country as far north as Sidon was apportioned among the tribes. The coastal towns of Sidon, Tyre, Akka and Dor are particularly mentioned as being awarded to the tribes of Asher and Manasseh. It is definite, however, that some localities were never occupied at all by the tribes, and others only partially so. The Bible record makes it clear that the Israelites came to some sort of unauthorised 'live-and-let-live' arrangement with the existing inhabitants, possibly because the task of complete conquest seemed too formidable. The narrative positively states that the cities of the Phoenician seaboard and the immediate hinterland were not cleared of their inhabitants and that, in these areas, the Israelites 'dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land'.

It will be remembered that the tribe of Dan forcibly colonised a portion of the Sidonian hinterland when they found their own territory too small. This territory - only about twenty miles from Tyre - they also named Dan, though it was not actually part of their tribal allotrnent. It is of interest to note that Hiram, the renowned overseer in the work of building and embellishing Solomon's Temple, a resident of Tyre, was of Danite descent on his mother's side, though his father was of the tribe of Naphtali, whose territory also lay very close to that of Tyre.


There can be no reasonable doubt that a goodly proportion of the seafaring merchants of ancient times referred to as 'Phoenicians' were Israelites of the tribes of Asher, Dan and Manasseh, whose territory merged and mingled with that of Tyre and Sidon. As mentioned by Dr Latham, a well-known ethnologist of the last century: 'The seaports between Tyre and Ascalon ... must have followed the history of seaports in general, and not stood on the coast for nothing.' Solomon's 'Tarshish ships' operated from these bases along with those of Hiram, carrying merchandise to every part of the known world.

The concern of Dan and Asher for their shipping earned a rebuke from Deborah when these two tribes failed to do their part in the war against Sisera. Ezekiel, recounting the former glories of Tyre, mentions the Danites as having a part in the trade of that world mart, in conjunction with Javan (the Aegean area).

The Danaans of ancient Greece, who settled in Argos after their arrival from Egypt, furnish a glimpse of the seafaring propensities of this pioneering tribe. It is more than possible that the classical Voyages of Argo were stories based upon actual adventures of Danite sea-rovers.


Generally speaking, there was a remarkable degree of co-operation between the Israelites and the people of Tyre and Sidon. At the period of David and Solomon this was particularly noticeable. The first Temple owed much, to 'Phoenician' assistance in men and material. The merchant fleets of the two peoples worked together. The royal houses intermarried.

This accord arose doubtless from two causes:

(a) Hebrews - close kinsmen of the Israelites - had settled in Syria from a period long preceding the entry into Canaan of the latter.

(b) The live-and-let-live policy, already mentioned, had resulted in a considerable mingling of the several peoples in the territory under the dominion of Tyre and Sidon. There would be large numbers of their citizens who had blood ties with the peoples of the neighbouring Israelite tribes.


Colonies, settlements and trading posts were established by the 'Phoenician' traders throughout the Mediterranean and beyond the Pillars of Hercules, to the lirnits of navigation as then known. In many of these places Hebrew, Israelite, or Canaanite pioneers had already blazed the trail. As early as the time of the Exodus Danaus had led a section of the Danites to the Aegean area. At the same time Cadmus, a so-called 'Phoenician' stated to have been a citizen of Egyptian Thebes - who was probably of Hebrew extraction - had taken a band of followers from Tyre also to Greece. Agenor and Phoenix also led colonies from Phoenicia to Greece. Hordes of Canaanites expelled by Joshua fled to the North African coastal areas, reaching as far west as Tangier.

The more important of these western colonies were:


According to Strabo this important Hebrew- Israelite colony was established soon after the Trojan War. It was located in what is now South-West Spain, in the country at the mouth of the river Guadalquiver. There was a considerable Israelite colony in Tarshish probably at the time of Solomon, and certainly as early as the destruction of his Temple. Phoenicia and Tarshish engaged in a substantial reciprocal trade.


This Canaanite colony, founded in 1213 B.C. according to Philistus, was truly a second Tyre. Procopius records that Gergasites, Jebusites and other Canaanite tribes, fleeing from Joshua, established themselves in Libya. With later arrivals from Tyre, they made Carthage a centre of great importance. Procopius calls these Canaanites 'Moors'. After a long period under Roman domination they resisted Vandal incursions and ultimately dominated North Africa and Spain. As remarked by Mommsen, the parent cities in Phoenicia declined in importance as Carthage rose. The noble families and trading firms moved west, to pastures new. The word Punic, a derivative of Phoenician, was a Roman term. Even in Christian times the Libyan farmer called himself a Canaanite.


Gades (or Gadeira - modern Cadiz) is reputed to have been founded circa 1100 B.C. It quickly became an important half-way house in the east-west trade route.


Ictis (probably St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall), loading port for Cornish tin. Strabo records that in his day (circa 50 B.C.) tin mining had been developed on sound engineering lines. The Cassiterides, or Tin Islands, of ancient record are generally held to be the Scillies. It is of interest to note that the town adjacent to ancient Ictis is still known as Marazion.

(Courtesy - National Message)
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PostSubject: Ancient Mariners   Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 08, 2009 10:35 am



Valerie Martlew

IT is not generally known how great were the voyages undertaken by people in ancient times, for the emphasis has been on voyages like those of Marco Polo and Columbus, which were comparatively late in the history of seafaring. In fact, mankind has been undertaking long hazardous voyages by sea for millennia, and travel by sea was for centuries the fastest way to travel.

The length of the voyages and the unknown hazards did not deter our ancestors from setting out into the great unknown. They were brave and adventurous to an extent which few people exhibit nowadays, and those who undertake such journeys still make the front page news, even though there are so few unexplored places left on this planet.

Ancient peoples settled in lands far away from their origins, covering distances which we should consider an undertaking even in this age of sophisticated transport by air, by sea and by land. A seven hour flight by jetliner to the United States, for instance, is still a big adventure for many, not to be undertaken lightly, or without a great deal of thought and preparation. Imagine what it was like for the Pilgrim Fathers, tossing on the vast Atlantic for months before they reached their promised land. Thousands of years ago, however, ancient peoples ventured in open boats to explore and colonise all around the Mediterranean and cast themselves upon the dangerous Atlantic ocean.

Britain has been a seafaring nation for centuries, but history is taught in such a way nowadays that we are given the impression that King Alfred was the first person to make us into a nation of mariners. True, he did organise the first navy in this country, but people had been coming to these islands for millennia, and as we are island dwellers, it is obvious that the early settlers had to come by sea. It is believed that the English Channel dates from 10,000 BC. The popular idea is that the early colonists only had coracles and frail boats, which is on a par with the “painted savages” story of the early Britons. These ideas are fallacies which are not backed up by historical records, or recent archaeological discoveries, and our race had ocean going ships from very early times.

A recent television programme, The Viking Saga, thoroughly expored the voyages of the Vikings, and the reconstruction of their ships, of which examples have been found in Scandinavian countries, and in Normandy, France. These voyages date from the middle of the first millennium AD, but the researchers are suitably impressed with the scope of the journeys and the sturdy construction of the ships, which held up to 100 men and horses, (presumably with large amounts of provisions for both). The researchers have found evidence for Atlantic voyages from Europe to Iceland, Greenland, Labrador and Newfoundland, and on the coasts of eastern Canada and America. They are very impressed with these facts, which prove to them that men were capable of navigating great distances in dangerous waters at a very early date; but the fact is that there is ample evidence for wide ranging exploration and trading by sea from a far earlier date than the centuries after Christ.

There is a wealth of historical material available on this subject, which cannot be covered comprehensively in a short space, but we hope to give enough examples to encourage interested readers to investigate further.


Seafaring may be as ancient as 5,000 years old, for the Egyptians traded with other nations by sea, and all the nations of the “Fertile Crescent” area, which had outlets to the sea, certainly had ships which navigated around the shores of the Mediterranean at a very early date. It has even been suggested that ships sailed the Atlantic to the Americas from about 5,000 BC. This has been inferred from carbon datings of findings in Labrador and New England, which correspond with the archaeological remains of people in Norway of a similar date; thus mankind has cast himself upon the waters for many millennia. Certainly we know that the Shemitic people had ships and traded with places as far away as the British Isles from about 3,000 BC.

The eastern area bordering the Mediterranean Sea has been called the “cradle of civilisation”, and civilised societies grew up in the area of the “Fertile Crescent”, which corresponds to today’s Middle East. A recent television series postulated that until the Great Flood, caused by the meltdown of the last Ice Age, the present Black Sea was a large fertile valley, which became flooded when the Mediterranean broke through the present Dardanelles and flooded the valley civilisation. The people who survived moved to the higher ground around the shores of the Black Sea, and from thence they spread out into Europe, Asia Minor and Palestine, and that this coincided with the rise of civilisations in present day Iraq and Iran.

The Mediterranean is almost an inland sea, because it is only 8 miles wide at the Straits of Gibraltar, (known in ancient times as The Pillars of Hercules). The Mediterranean is no stranger to severe storms, in fact, an American circumnavigator said that the winter storms which he encountered between Crete and Malta were worse than anything he had seen in the Atlantic, Pacific or Indian oceans. Those who navigated its waters would have to be bold and adventurous as well as skilled. Such people would dare to venture through the Straits into the Atlantic. Not all would hug the coasts, for they struck out to discover the Canary Islands which they knew as the Fortunate Islands, and went northwards to Britain to trade in tin, which was necessary in the Bronze Age, bronze being an alloy of copper and tin. The ships necessary for such voyages were not cockleshells!


As has been mentioned before, the Egyptians, whose civilisation dates from before 3,000 BC., had ships with which they traded with neighbouring nations; they paddled their ships facing forward, and may have invented the sail, because the prevailing winds on the Nile blow in the opposite direction to the current, enabling them to sail up and down the river with far less effort. They had only one sail and it was square, rigged at right angles to the hull. The ships were steered by a large oar near the stern. An innovation was seating the rowers with oars facing the stern, whereas the men who used paddles faced the prow. The Egyptians may not have confined their voyages to coast hugging trading expeditions, but in the earliest times this was probably the case. In later years they may have joined with the Phoenicians and Israelites who were the great traders of the BC era.


The Minoans of Crete, whose civilisation is almost as old as the Egyptian, also had seagoing vessels and conducted a busy trade with the Aegean islands and Egypt. In Crete, at the wonderful palace of Minos at Knossos, there is a landing jetty incorporated into the fabric of the palace. Obviously, in those days, Knossos was nearer to the coast than it is nowadays.

These ancient mariners navigated by the sun and stars, and by dead reckoning, which gave a rough estimate of the vessel’s speed, course and drift. It is amazing how much they achieved without all our modern aids to navigation and our extensive charts and maps.

The Bible mentions settlements in Javan (the Aegean) early on in Genesis:

"And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations." - Genesis 10:4-5


Over 2,500 years ago the Phoenicians sailed the Mediterranean and southwestern European ports. They were the foremost among the ancient merchants. They were Semitic, or Shemitic people, that is, they claimed descent from Shem. Although they later became very mixed with the descendants of Ham, such as the Canaanites, they had a high proportion of fair skinned, fair haired Shemitic peoples, from whom Abraham and his family came. When Israel later settled in the Promised Land, many Israelites, mostly from the tribes of Dan and Zebulon, joined with them in their seafaring enterprises. In this way the forerunners of the later Israelitish migrations reached the British Isles, and they had settlements in Spain and Portugal.

The people who built the megaliths across Europe and into the British Isles left gold necklaces wherever they went. They also had amber cups with handles. One beautiful example was found at Hove in Sussex, and another at Clandon in Dorset. These were products of the Baltic-Irish trade.

By 1,000 BC the Phoenicians had become the master mariners of the ancient world. They built sophisticated ships with sternpost and ribs that reinforced the planks of the hull. The planks were fitted edge to edge, that is, they were not clinker built, and closely resembled modern construction, employing mortise and tenon joints.

Homer, who dated from the sixth or seventh century BC, wrote of Odysseus (Ulysses) building a boat by boring the timbers with an auger and fastening them with wooden dowels. From this it may be seen that boat building was well advanced prior to the AD era. Indeed, Noah had to have extensive boat building skills to construct the Ark, which some authorities have calculated to have been of similar size to a modern ocean going ship.
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PostSubject: Re: Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations   Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 08, 2009 10:35 am


By the eighth century BC the trade with Britain and Spain and Portugal was well established. The Bible refers to the “ships of Tarshish”:

I Kings 10:21-22 - "... in the days of Solomon.........For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks."

I Kings 22:48 - "Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Eziongeber."

This port has been excavated, as the Tell-el- Kheleifeh. A flourishing copper mine was discovered, and the town appears to have been highly industrialised, as a blast furnace was discovered. From here the copper would have been exported, and the bronze which was so important in that time.

Jeremiah 10:9 - "Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men."

Ezekiel 27:12 - "Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kind of riches; with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded in thy fairs."

Ezekiel 27:25 - "The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas."

Ezekiel 38:13 - "Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?"

Jonah 1:3 - "But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord."

Colonists from the areas now known as Palestine and Syria had settled near the mouth of the Guadalquivir in south western Spain, in what is now Andalusia. Their trade was in metals which the natives mined. (They were probably the ancestors of the Basques). During this time the Celts were also pushing into Spain, overrunning them by 500 BC. They were relatives of the former colonists, but this fact was not necessarily realised by them. A city was built, called Tartessos, in Greek. The script of their inscriptions, known as Tartessian, was very close to Phoenician.

The Bible tells us that the ships of Tarshish were the largest in the then known world, and they became synonymous with the idea of sea power. Coastal vessels were unable to cope with the sometimes fierce conditions of the open sea. In Bronze Age times sailors feared the east wind, in case it should blow them out into the Mediterranean, so they admired those whose ships were sturdy enough to venture even further afield to the famous “Tin Islands”. Besides the Biblical references to this ancient trade, there are several classical authorities who mention it.

The merchants of Tarshish were considered to be very rich, and to have acquired their wealth by trade with the products of Andalusia, for the Andalusians mined silver. Spanish archaeologists have studied the remains of the Tartessian culture. They consider that it was dominant in southern Spain. This means that there are few traces of the La Tene culture compared with the rest of Europe.

Tartessian inscriptions have been found in America, in New England. The most important was found at Mount Hope Bay, Bristol, Rhode Island. It depicted a Tartessian ship without sails, but with a steering oar, and the translation is believed to mean “Mariners of Tarshish this rock proclaims “. It cannot be accurately dated, but is believed to be from about 700 or 600 BC. Another inscription, this time in Ogham script has been found at Monhegan Island (off the coast of Maine). There is a flat topped islet which could have been used for loading and unloading ships. The inscription is in the ancient Goidelic language (Celtic or Gaelic). Thus it would appear that trade was extensively carried on in the late Bronze Age to an extent which only recently is becoming realised. An inscription in Phoenician has also been found in Brazil. The ancient mariners certainly travelled far and wide.

Correspondence has been found which was from King Hiram of Tyre (who supplied materials for Solomon’s Temple) to a king of Lavinia, which was Tuscany. The Etruscan script is decipherable by a knowledge of Phoenician, so it would appear that Etruria was another colony of these Phoenician/ Israelitish adventurers. The document deals with a shipment from Tyre to Italy.

There also exists a shipping contract between a Greek merchant, Makarios, and a skipper of Cadiz. Cadiz, originally Gades, was founded in about 1100 BC, and was an important port in the east-west trade. It is possible, once again, that Hebrews founded the city for one of the tribes of Israel was Gad.

The ancient Greeks recorded that the Phoenicians had closely guarded secrets of the source of their supplies of tin and amber, so it was obvious that they carried on a flourishing trade with the British Isles from very early times.

The same trade products appeared simultaneously in the Aegean, Moravia, Hungary, Spain, Brittany, Holland and Britain from about 1600 BC. Amber products were found in all these places, and as the source was the Baltic, it seems that it was traded from the ports as well as being brought by an overland route to the shores of the Mediterranean. Irish jewellery has been found at Gaza, (mentioned by Sir Flinders Petrie), and beads found in Egyptian and Aegean tombs, dating from 1400 BC; others found at Lachish, dating from 1200 BC, are exactly similar to beads found in Wiltshire.

The fall of Knossos, Crete was about 1400 BC. After this, the Mycenaean civilisation became dominant in the area. It had originally been an offshoot of the Minoan from Crete. It became the foremost civilisation of the Bronze Age. It was about this time that Israel left Egypt, and contact between Egypt and Crete ceased during the time of Amenhotep III. The story of Theseus and the Minotaur tells how the Mycenaeans overthrew the Minoans, so yet again legend proves to have a basis in fact. Gold mounted amber discs have been found in the late Minoan tomb of the Double Axes at Knossos, and these are also like those found in graves in Wessex. The double axe symbol is also found in Ireland, so we can tell from these finds how far afield the traders sailed.

The Palestinian ports traded with the Aegean (Javan) and Cyprus (Chittim). Deborah’s rebuke to Dan (Judges 5) dates to approximately 1300 BC. This information is given in C.F.C. Hawkes’ book The Prehistoric Foundations of Europe to the Mycenaean Age (Methuen & Co., London, 1940).

Before 530 BC the Greeks had made an exploratory voyage from their colony in the south of present day France. It was known as Massilia in those days, and is now still the thriving port of Marseilles. The expedition visited Tartessos, with which town they had exchanged trade since about 630 BC. There are fragments of an ancient manuscript known as the Massiliote Periplus which were quoted in a poem by Festus Avienus in the 4th century AD. It tells that the Tartessians went far north for their trade, perhaps as far as modern Brittany, and to two large islands even further north, known as Ierne (Ireland) and Albion (Britain). Some authorities think that the Phoenicians had discovered the south west of Britain long before, because of the importance of the import of tin. They had the secrets of the production of bronze, and they also imported amber, which came from the Baltic regions. Strabo, an ancient geographer of the first century AD wrote that the Phoenicians were very careful to guard their secrets, and even ran their vessels ashore if they suspected that they were being tailed by Roman ships.


A Greek mathematician, Pytheas (350-320 BC) undertook a long sea voyage to test his theory about the measurements of the earth. He set sail from Massilia and went through the Pillars of Hercules (The Straits of Gibraltar), following the Atlantic coast northwards to Brittany. He said that he crossed the Channel and landed in Britain, which he called the Pretanic Islands. He is then supposed to have sailed round the north of Scotland, and to have landed at the mouth of the Elbe. He found civilised people, engaged in farming, tin mining and fishing. His account was considered too fantastic to credit, but he has since been proved correct. He described the tides of the Pentland Firth, which are particularly high in springtime, and how the natives did their threshing in barns because of the dampness of the climate. Although his contemporaries and later scholars have dismissed his writings as imaginary, it is difficult to see how he could have given such accurate descriptions of the conditions in those northern areas if he had not been there. He was ridiculed, because most people believed that no one could go beyond the then known limits of the earth. Although his voyage was much later than that of the early Celt-Iberians, he proved that such voyages could have taken place in ancient times, and, indeed, must have done so, otherwise he would not have found inhabitants in his “Ultima Thule”. His original records have been lost, but fragments were quoted by other writers in order to ridicule his findings.


Carthage was a colony of Phoenicia, founded by Queen Dido, who brought many settlers with her from Tyre. Strabo, the Greek geographer and historian who was born about 63 BC, said that the enterprise prospered and that people went on to colonise Iberia (present day Spain and Portugal), making their settlements and city a rival to Rome. They fought three wars with the Romans, but they were defeated in the last one by Scipio Aemilianus, whose army wiped out the proud city. Another “Phoenician” was Cadmus, who, according to legend, founded Thebes in Egypt.


The popular belief is that all Phoenicians were Canaanites, but just because they lived in Canaan does not automatically mean that they were of the Canaanitish race. In fact, the area was originally settled by Shemites, the Amorites or “Westerners”, who were of the same race as Abraham. The Bible tells us that the Israelitish tribes who lived in juxtaposition with the Phoenicians had joined them in their seafaring enterprises. The prophetess, Deborah, castigated the tribe of Dan for “abiding in ships”, and the tribe of Zebulun were also known as seafarers. The Phoenicians should therefore be considered as two peoples who co-operated in trade. In Solomon’s time the Israelitish ships were considered to be equal with those of Tyre and Sidon, and there is no doubt that Israelites lived in those cities.

Gladstone wrote a book called Juventus Mundi (The Youth of the World), and he traced the origin of the name of the Danaoi of Greece to 200 years before the Trojan war, or about 1300 BC. He postulated that the original tribe of Danaans may have been of Egyptian origin, stemming from Danaos. It would therefore seem that the tribe of Dan had set off on its seafaring whilst Israel was still in Egypt.

We may guess that Israelitish pioneers, wearying of the oppression of their race after a “Pharaoh arose who knew not Joseph”, had set sail to establish colonies in the Greek Islands and the Greek mainland. Members of the tribe of Dan must have been prominent amongst these adventurers, because the names “Danoi” and “Danaan” are significant. Moses’ blessing to Dan mentioned that he would “leap from Bashan”, which was in the north of Palestine, where Dan had territory allocated. Dan was the largest of the tribes to enter Israel, and they overflowed their territory early on. Their outlet to the sea was at Joppa (now Jaffa), and this port handled trade from Tarshish.
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PostSubject: Re: Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations   Ancient Hebrew sea Migrations I_icon_minitimeSat Aug 08, 2009 10:37 am


Hecaetus, an ancient Greek writer is said to have written that the Egyptians expelled aliens from their country when they began to be troubled by plagues, and that amongst these people who took to their ships were the leaders, Danaus and Cadmus, who took their people to settle in Greece. Ancient Greek legends told that Greece was colonised from the south and east. Diodorus of Sicily (c. 50 BC) said that those who left Egypt with Danaus settled in Argos, and that Athens was colonised from Egypt. Herodotus stated that Cadmus came from Tyre, which was close to northern Dan. Asher, Zebulun and Dan, had ports between Tyre and Ascalon. Dan appears as a root of many names of the ancient Greeks and their leaders, for instance, Danaus, Danae, Danaans, Danoi and Danaids. The name also appears in Irish traditions as Tuatha de Danaan.

Rameses III recorded that a collection of marauding peoples, including the Danauna and Pulesti (Philistines) attacked Egypt in about 1200 BC, which was in the time of Joshua and the Judges.

The legend of Heracles has parallels with the story of Samson. Historians, with their inverted reasoning, would probably surmise that the Israelites had copied the tale from the Greeks, just as they maintain that the Flood story is a corruption of the Babylonian myth of Gilgamesh, but we prefer to believe that the Babylonian tradition is a corruption of the true Flood story handed down through the Shemitic race.

A Phoenician historian, Sanchoniathon, who was said to have lived before the Trojan War, suggested that the Greek and Phoenician gods were based on ancestor worship and were of Hebrew origin. He said that Kronos (Saturn) had a son Ieoud, which is very similar to Judah. This would make Kronos the equivalent of Jacob/Israel. This is feasible as the Northern tribes of Israel were renowned as seafarers. (Judges 5)

The Dorians, the early colonisers of the Greek mainland, arrived by sea at about the time when the tribe of Dan and other Israelites were feeling territorial constriction. The Dorians were, according to Herodotus, descended from Dorus, the son of Hellen (hence the Hellenes), and the Lacedaemonians claimed descent from them. They were the Spartans, who claimed that their laws were brought from Crete by Lycurgus. Their seals carried the eagle and the serpent, which were Danite emblems. These are described as appearing over the armies at the siege of Troy. Much later in history in Maccabaean times (between the Old and New Testaments), Josephus reports that the Lacedaemonians wrote to the Jews and claimed descent from Israel, affixing the seal with the emblems to their letter.

The Minoans and early Greeks worshipped bulls (emblem of Ephraim), and this goes back to the early days in the Wilderness, while Moses was in the Mount receiving the Commandments. They set up a golden calf to worship, much to Moses’ anger on his return. The Israelites who went off colonising did not have Moses to keep them on the straight and narrow path of Jehovah worship. It was always a failing of the Northern House of Israel to slip easily into idolatry and heathenism.


Egyptian hieroglyphs have been found in America, notably in New England, which would be the first landfall of mariners who dared to cross the Atlantic; similarly Iberian-Punic inscriptions, (Punic = Phoenician) and Celtic Ogam and Libyan writing has been discovered. The ancient mariners of Shem were further ranging than historians have previously imagined. Basque script has also been found in New England, and the Ogam inscriptions have been deciphered by scholars with a knowledge of ancient Irish! Names in North East American Indian languages translate into ancient Irish, both in similarity of pronunciation and meaning. All these discoveries are exciting in that they extend our knowledge of the people of Shem, whose mission to colonise the world was ordained by God.


However, Israel sinned and had to be banished and fragmented during God’s Seven Times punishment. This lasted for 2,520 years; but God had not cast off the Northern House of Israel for ever, for there are many prophecies concerning the restoration and reuniting with the remnant of Judah in the Latter days. One of these prophecies is to be found in the prophet Hosea:

Hosea 1:9-10 - "Then said God, Call his name Loammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God."

God had appointed a gathering place for all the people who had been taken into captivity, and then escaped to trek across Europe. He made a surprising promise to King David; at the time that it was given, Israel was settled and united in Palestine. God, however, knew how the tribes would split into two separate nations, the Northern and Southern Houses. They were both taken into captivity as a punishment for apostasy and idolatry.

The Southern House later returned in a much depleted state, to rebuild the land and Jerusalem, and to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus. This remnant became the Jews, but the bulk of Israel lost their name and spread out into Asia Minor and Europe, eventually settling in the British isles and the coastlands of western Europe, as God had promised David:

2 Samuel 7:10 - "Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime."

From there they went out to the four corners of the earth, just as had been prophesied, taking the Gospel with them.

God promised to Abraham that his descendants would colonise large areas of the world:

Genesis 28:14 - "And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

This promise has only been fulfilled by the descendants of Shem, and in particular, those of the line of Abraham, variously known as Hebrews, Israelites, Cymry, Celts, Britons, Angles, Saxons, Normans and all the other names under which they colonised and opened up the world so that the Gospel of the Kingdom could be taken to the uttermost parts of the earth. They have done this in blindness, not knowing their origins, and losing their name of Israel, as was prophesied by St Paul in Romans 11:25 -

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."

We eagerly await further researches by historians and archaeologists, for all the facts unearthed lead us to a greater knowledge of Bible history and confirm its accuracy. The researchers do not necessarily come to the correct conclusions about the meanings of their researches, and some of their conjectures seem very wide of the mark to those who believe that the Bible is a true record of history. It is the mission of all who have the key to understanding the Scriptures to collate their research and put it in its proper perspective, to the greater glory of God and for the instruction of His People Israel.
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