The Old Testament Roots of Celtic Mythology

FOUNDATIONS OF DRUIDISM IN THE BIBLE

The mythology of Druidism is said to have been brought to England in ancient times by Hu Gadarn Hysicion, who came from the east with a party of colonists and built Stonehenge. Who were these Eastern colonists? Historians tell us that Phoenician-speaking peoples colonized the British Isles in early times. The Israelites, a seafaring people, spoke a Phoenician dialect, and the early history of these two peoples is intertwined. The Bible speaks of Israelites sending “ships to Tarshish,” or Spain, and Solomon’s navy sailed with the Phoenicians on their trade and colonizing expeditions. (2 Chron. 9:21; Isa. 60:9) Phoenician-speaking peoples, including Israelites, colonized Spain and Britain in ancient times, mining ores such as silver, iron, tin, and lead, as we document in our tract, “Ancient Hebrew Sea Migrations.” The Druidic religion of early Britain and Ireland should therefore exhibit signs of both Hebrew and Phoenician origins.

HEBREW RELIGION

Celtic scholar, John Daniel, in his book, “The Druidic Idea of God,” lists the Druidic terms for the Deity and their meaning:

Celi The Invisible One

Ior The Eternal

Duw Commonly translated ‘God’; lit., ‘He Who Wills’

Rheen All-Pervading Spirit

Peryl Author of Existence

Dofydd Governor

Deon Distributor

Yr Hen Ddihenydd Eternally Ancient One, or “Ancient of Days”

Mr. Daniels remarks, “Nobody can fail to see in these terms a similarity to the common phraseology of the Christian Church… There is such perfect consonance between these [Celtic] appellations of the Deity and those of Biblical theology, that it is strange anyone should so fail to see it…” (p.4, compare Dan.7:9,13,22, etc.) Daniels also points out that the Celtic name for the Deity was IAO, pronounced, “Yah-o,” which is virtually identical to the Hebrew name for God, “Yah” or “Yahu.” In early alphabets, letters represented ideas. In Hebrew, aleph, the first letter, stood for an ox; bet symbolized a house, gimel was a camel, dalet a door, and so on. Similarly, in Celtic the letter “I” stood for ‘the future.’ “A” represented ‘the present’, and “O” stood for ‘the past’. (ibid., pp.16-17) Thus, the Druidic name for God, “IAO,” literally meant “the Everliving,” a being in existence past, present, and future. This is the exact definition given by scholars for the name of the Hebrew God, “Yahu” or “Yahweh.” In fact, the Ferrar Fenton Bible consistently translates the name of God as “the Everliving.” The identity of the Celtic and Hebrew Deities is obvious, for “there can hardly be a question that the three letters were originally no other name than IAO, the Latinized form… of the Hebrew [Yah or Yahu]; and that such was the rendering of that name, we have the authority of several ancient writers. Diodorus Siculus says it was related amongst the Jews, that Moses attributed the framing of the laws to the God called IAO; and Theodoret states that God was by the Jews called IAO.” (ibid., p.12)

…In addition, the Druidic “IAO” was called the “Unutterable Name,” again identical to the Hebrew, “Yah.” Daniels states, “So to the Druids there was a secret name for the Deity, which was unutterable (“Aflafar”) to all but the most privileged of their order, and was symbolized by the three Bardic characters representing the vowels IAO.” (ibid., p. 11) With such close resemblance’s between the Celtic and the Hebrew Deity, it is not surprising that England was converted without the shedding of a single drop of blood. There is no record of martyrdom for any early Christian missionary, and it has been truly said that Druidism was only accepting a fuller, better revelation through the adoption of Christianity!

The Druidic priests, like the Levitical priests of the Bible, were exempt from military service. The Druidic and Levitical priests were both divided into three classes. Even the Druidic ceremonial robes remind one of the Mosaic priests, with their breastplates of gold and jewels. The Druidic rituals, like the Old Testament Levitical, included the sacrifice of sheep, oxen, and goats, but no idol worship.

In the Bible, the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 3l verse 21 instructed scattered Israel to “set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps,” and thus we find a trail of unhewn stone monuments, called dolmens, menhirs, and cromlechs, leading from Palestine (Gen. 35:14, etc.) across Europe, and into the British Isles, where they were used in worship by the Druidic priests. In England, according to Isabel Hill Elder’s book, “Celt, Druid, and Culdee,” each stone monument was called a “Si’on” in the ancient Celtic language. The similarity between this and the Hebrew word “Zion”, meaning a stone fortress, is striking. Truly, these are additional witnesses to the identity of the House of Israel in the world today.

BAAL WORSHIP

But the religious customs of the Covenant people became corrupted with the religion of the Phoenician Canaanites. The Prophet Elijah’s challenge of the Hebrew priests of Baal is one of the most moving Bible accounts. (I Ki.18:18-40) The Bible indicates that at one time the majority of Hebrew priests and people followed the rituals of Baal worship. Noted 19th century antiquarian, Sir William Betham, made an exhaustive study of the ancient Celtic peoples, and states in his book, The Gael and Cimbri, “Baal… has the precise meaning in Gaelic as in Phoenician — the lord of heaven.” (p. 226) Many customs hearken back to Palestine, as well; “even the cakes which the idolatrous Jews, in imitation of the Phoenicians, made in honour of the queen of heaven are still the most popular cake in Ireland under the old name of the barn-brack, or speckled cake.” (p. 236) Ancient customs and rituals are persistent among mankind, and therefore provide tangible evidence of a people’s origins, even where no written proof survives. Betham comments, “Thus we see at this day, fires lighted up in Ireland, on the eve of the summer solstice and the equinoxes, to the Phoenician god, Baal, and even called Baal’s fire, baaltinnes, though the object of veneration be forgotten…” (p. 222-223) In addition, archaeological proof points to a Hebrew-Phoenician origin of the Britons and Irish. Betham relates, “On an altar-stone, dug up near Kirby Thore, in Westmorland, is this inscription:”

“DEO BEL ATUCADRO LIB[ERUM] VOTUM. FECIT IOLUS.”

The text translates as follows: “To the god Baal, the friend of man, Iolus made his free vow.”

Numerous other stone altars to Phoenician gods, which have been discovered in Britain, Ireland, and Gaul, are discussed and translated in Betham’s work. Some of the principal finds include altar-stones found in Northumbria and other parts of Britain. He states that these ancient monuments to “Baal, by the ancient British… are unanswerable evidences of the identity of the people of the two islands {i.e., Britain and Ireland] and Gaul, which the most unwilling and incredulous caviler at etymologies, can scarcely refuse to receive as conclusive. It proves more, for it shows an identity of the deities of the Celtae and the [Hebrew]-Phoenicians…” (p. 228-229)

Numerous other parallels exist between Celtic and Hebrew-Canaanite worship, including mystic well-worship, worship of sacred stones, and the veneration of the autumnal equinoxes. In fact, both the Canaanites and Celts practiced autumnal sacrifices to Baal, which the Celts called, “Baal-tinnes,” as previously mentioned.

AVEN

Aven was another of the deities of the Phoenician Canaanites, and temples to this god were called, ‘Beth-Aven,” or ‘house of Aven.’ The idolatrous Israelites also had adopted worship of this false god, as we see in Hoseh 4:15-17: “…come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, the Lord liveth. For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer…Ephraim is joined to idols…” Israelite worship of this god was so pervasive, that the prophet Isaiah used the word, “Aven,” to signify an idol in general: “…he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol.” (Hebrew, “Aven”) All idols are vanity, and aven itself came to have a secondary meaning of vanity. Since this so-called god was no god at all, the idolaters were literally worshipping nothing! The Apostle Paul picks up on this theme in First Corinthians 4:8, “We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other god but One.”

There are five rivers Avon in Britain, of which three pass through Gloustershire, where Celtic worship of this god was centered. In the same English district is an old town named Avening. The ‘ing’ suffix means the place of, so Avening is the place of Aven. Historian Samuel Lysons, in “Our British Ancestors” says, “The worship at Beth-Aven, in Canaan, and that of Avening in Gloucestershire, and that of Aven, Heliopolis, or Baal bec, were all identical. The stone altars, the high place, the calves’ bones discovered there, mark the similarity.” (p.123)

MOLOCH AND CHIUN

The Canaanite god and goddess, Moloch and Chiun, are mentioned in connection with Israel’s worship by the prophet Amos (5:25), “But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity…”

At Windmill Hill, near Avebury, Wiltshire, England, there are evidences of Druidical worship, but no windmill. ‘Win’ is the Celtic word for ‘eye,’ and ‘Win-Melk’ is the ‘eye of Moloch.’ Dr. Maurice, in “Indian Antiquities,” says, “the Druids worshipped the sun under the title of Moloch, so we are certain that worship was derived to them from their Eastern ancestors.” The British towns Melch-bourne in Bedfordshire, and Melc-combe in Dorset, both retain evidence of the worship of Moloch in early times.

Similarly, the goddess Chiun was worshipped by the idolatrous Canaanites and the Israelites who followed their custom. Chiun was the moon goddess, and was considered so important that she was called the queen of heaven. In fact, it is from this word, Chiun, that we derive our English word, queen. The Prophet Jeremiah mentions worship of this goddess several times. He laments Israel’s worship of her, saying, “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.” (7:18; compare 44:17-25) The goddess Chiun had her adherents in Britain also, as seen in the name of the famous king, Cuno-bel-inus, whose name combines the worship of both Chiun and Bel. Similarly, Chiun is seen in the early British names Cunedag, Cingetorix, Conan, and Maglo-cunus.

SUN WORSHIP: AL

The Hebrew word, Al, signifies the sun, and is equivalent to the Phoenician Hal, Greek Halios, Babylonian Il, and Celto-British Heaul. Mallet’s “Northern Antiquities,” (vol.2, p.68) states, “All Celtic nations have been accustomed to the worship of the sun…It was a custom that everywhere prevailed in ancient times to celebrate a feast at the winter solstice, by which men testified their joy at seeing this great luminary return again to this part of the heavens. This was the greatest solemnity of the year. They called it, in many places, Yole or Yuul, from the word Hiaul, which even at this day signifies the sun in the languages of the Bas-Bretagne and Cornwall.” Christmas is still called Yule. A Christmas holiday beer, Ale, may be from the same root. Holly and Holy come from the word, heaul, meaning ‘to hallow, to deem sacred,’ with roots to the Hebrew, ‘El,’ God. The German words, ‘heilig’ and ‘ale’ mean ‘to swear, to call on the name of God.’ The words ‘all,’ ”whole,’ and ‘heal,’ may be related to this.

The Hebrew name for the sun appears in many places in Britain with names beginning with ‘Al,’ ‘Ail,’ ‘Ayl,’ ‘Hal,’ ‘Hayl,’ and the like. There are many examples, including Albury, Albourne, Alcester, Alby, Althorp, Alton, Allington, Allerton, Alford, Allenby, Alsop, and dozens more.

AUN OR ON

In Genesis 41:45, we read, “And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to WIFE ASENATH the DAUGHTER OF POTIPHERAH PRIEST OF ON. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.” Again in Genesis 46:20, we are told, “And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which ASENATH THE DAUGHTER OF POTIPHERAH PRIEST OF ON bare unto him.” (compare 41:50) The word, On, signifies the sun, and is derived from the Hebrew Aun, Assyrian Anu, Babylonian Aunu, Celto-British On, and the Greek On. The ancient Celtic poet, Taliesin, is quoted in “Davies’ British Druids,” as saying, “Even the sovereign On, the ancient, the generous feeder.” (p.527) Historian George Rawlinson states, “Aunu signified ‘the god,’ and was no doubt in use among the primitive Babylonians from the very earliest times.” (Herodotus, Essay x, vol. 1, p. 591) Who was this “Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah the priest of On,” whom the Biblical patriarch Joseph married? It is popular teaching today to say because Asenath dwelled in Egypt, that therefore Joseph married a Negro. But the fact that her family were sun-worshippers worshipping On, the Semitic sun-god, is proof positive of a Semitic identity.

It is from this word, On, that we derive the Latin, annus, meaning a year, from the annual solar revolution, and the English, annual. Samuel Lysons states, “That Aven and On were the same, is shown by the Greek translation of Beth-aven as ‘the house of On.’ Heliopolis, Egypt was at different periods called Ain, Aven, and On… Possibly our word Evening, Dutch Avond, and German Abend, may represent Aven, as the declining sun.” (ibid., p. 238-239)

British place-names showing early sun-worship include Ansley, Anston, Anslow, Ancoats, Ancaster (Caer An), Ancroft, Anford, Anwick, Avon, Avening, Arran, and many others. Concerning this last location, a circle of Druidic stones with a cromlech in the center at Arran indicates sun worship.

FURTHER EVIDENCES

British antiquarian, Aylett Sammes, writing in 1676, noted that “the customs, religion, idols, offices, and dignities of the ancient Britons are all clearly Phoenician.” John Pinkarton, in his “Enquiry Into The History Of Scotland,” (1789), also stated that Druidism was directly descended from the Phoenicians, while British antiquarian William Stukely, in the book, “Stonehenge,” believed that it had the marks of Israelite worship and culture.

Stukely pointed out Old Testament references to oaks, which gave these trees symbolic or mystical attributes. Abraham’s altar of sacrifice was prepared by the oak of Moreh. ”And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain (lit: “oak”) of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.” (Gen. 12:6-7) We are further told in Hoseh 4:13, “They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks…” The importance of worship under oaks in Druidism is well known. Modern Celtic scholar, John King, in his book, “The Celtic Druids’ Year,” adds, “The Hebrew word for oak also means oath, and there is evidence that the oak signified a burial place. The golden calf or bull worshipped as an idol by the Israelites has its counterpart in the Druidical image of the god Hu Gadarn, or Hu the Mighty, who, like Noah, survived the deluge and first brought the skill of ploughing to mankind. Dibbuks, demons and lesser deities, some of which might seem to correlate to Celtic spiritual figures, have been pushed into the background by contemporary Judaism.” (p. 26) Thus the Hebrew connection is little-known but factual.

Perhaps we can do no better in summing up our study than to quote the venerable Sir William Betham: “The connection of this [Hebrew-Canaanite] worship with the historical traditions of the Pagan Irish is so evident, and so extensive, that it …strongly illustrates the [Biblical] account of the progress of population from the plains of Sennaar [i.e., in the Middle-East] to the western extremities of Europe…” (p. 242) This is obvious, for no one but God’s people exhibited the peculiar mix of true and false religion seen in the early Celts.

A MISSING LINK IN FULFILLED PROPHECY

In the 8th century, B.C., the Assyrian Empire was at its peak, and its armies threatened the nations on the eastern Mediterranean seaboard, including Israel. The Assyrians were a brutal, fearsome people, the most terrible, perhaps, in all the earth’s history. Conquered lands were literally plundered of everything of value – even people, who were taken to slavery in foreign lands. The wall murals of the Assyrians, some of which now bedeck the British Museum in London, depict scenes of horrible savagery and torture. Men were sometimes skinned alive, or impaled on poles to slowly die outside the gates of the city.

Famed archaeologist, Sir Austen Henry Layard, rediscovered and unearthed the ancient Assyrian cities, and graphically described the scenes on the wall murals he found: “Captives… were stretched naked at full length on the ground, and whilst their limbs were held apart by pegs and cords they were being flayed alive. Beneath them were other unfortunate victims undergoing abominable punishments. The brains of one were apparently being beaten out with an iron mace, whilst an officer held him by the beard. A torturer was wrenching the tongue out of the mouth of a second wretch who had been pinioned to the ground. The bleeding heads of the slain were tied round the necks of the living who seemed reserved for still more barbarous tortures.” (“Discoveries In The Ruins Of Assyria And Babylon,” p. 456)

Inhabitants of Palestine in those days were well aware that Assyria would only too soon conduct a similar brutal warfare against the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Would not large numbers of Israelites migrate westward, by land and sea, to find safety for them-selves and their families outside of the Assyrian sphere of influence?

Historical evidence indicates that did indeed happen. The authoritative Dictionary of Christ & The Gospels relates, “LARGE NUMBERS OF ISRAELITES HAD BEEN CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE BY THE ASSYRIANS AND BABYLONIANS… BUT A MUCH LARGER DISPERSION WAS DUE TO VOLUNTARY EMIGRATION.” (vol. 1, p.692) Yes, more Israelites emigrated, migrated voluntarily out of Palestine, than even the large numbers of those taken away in the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. As it became clear that invasion and conquest by Assyria was immanent, Hebrews and Phoenicians emigrated westward to distant lands by the many hundreds of thousands, forming the foundation of European civilization.

These historical facts have been known for centuries, and a plethora of books by leading historians has documented “the Phoenician origin” of Western civilization. Historians have given the Phoenicians most of the credit for this emigration from Palestine to Europe, although the Hebrews were more numerous, and were Divinely promised greatly increased numbers. Perhaps the answer to the confusion is that the Hebrew language is a Phoenician dialect, and the two are virtually identical. But as we will see, a great multitude of the “Phoenician” speaking early European colonists can be shown to be Hebrew. Famed historian, George Rawlinson, commented, “The Tyrians [Phoenicians] conceded to the Israelites a participation in the traffic which they had carried on for so long a time with the nations of the west. Two trading fleets were formed (IKings 9:27; 10:22), to which each of the two nations contributed both ships and men.” (Phoenicia, pp.101-102) From their trading colonies then grew and developed early European cities.

LANGUAGE LINK

In the 18th century, historians discovered exciting proof of Phoenician-Celtic ties. An ancient Roman dramatist, Titus Maccius Plautus (died 184 B.C.) wrote a play, the Penulus, in which he placed then-current Phoenician into the speech of one of his characters. In the 18th century, linguists noticed the great similarity between that Phoenician and the early Irish Celtic language. In the adjacent box is a sample given by historian Thomas Moore’s, History of Ireland, showing the connection between these languages. Leading 18th and 19th century scholars, such as Gen. Charles Vallancey, Lord Rosse, and Sir William Betham, also wrote on this subject. Vallancey, for instance, speaks of, “The great affinity found in many words, nay whole lines and sentences of this speech, between the Punic [Phoenician] and the Irish.” Famed historian, George Rawlinson, added that this and other inscriptions are “READILY EXPLICABLE, IF HEBREW BE ASSUMED AS THE KEY TO THEM, BUT NOT OTHERWISE.” (Phoenicia, p. 327)

THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE EARLY IRISH-CELTIC AND THE SECOND CENTURY, B.C., HEBREW-PHOENICIAN LANGUAGE, AS SHOWN BY THE PENULUS OF PLAUTUS:

PHOENICIAN OF PLAUTUS:
Byth lym mo thym nociothii nel ech an ti daisc machon
Ys i do iebrim thyfe lyth chy lya chon temlyph ula.

EARLY IRISH-CELTIC:
Beth liom’ mo thime nociaithe, niel ach an ti dairie mae coinne
Is i de leabhraim tafach leith, chi lis con teampluibh ulla.

In 1772, General Charles Vallancey, a leading Irish scholar of the day, published his famous work, “Essay On The Antiquity Of The Irish Language, Being A Collation Of The Irish With The Punic (Hebrew) Language.” In his opening remarks he states, “On a collation of the Irish with the Celtic, Punic, Phoenician and Hebrew languages, the strongest affinity, (nay a perfect Identity in very many Words) will appear; it may therefore be deemed a Punic-Celtic compound.” Vallancey continues, “from the Hebrew proceeded the Phoenician, from the Phoenician, Carthaginian, or Punic was derived the Aeolian, Dorian and Etruscan, and from these was formed the Latin… Of the Roman Saxon capital letters, the Irish use but three, all the others bear a very great resemblance to the primitive Hebrew and Phoenician.” (p. 2-3) Modern language scholars have confirmed that there is a definite connection between the Celtic and Hebrew, as we have shown in our tract, “Hebrew And English.”

RELIGIOUS LINK

Since it is true that Hebrews and Phoenicians migrated to Europe in large numbers in ancient times, there must be religious and cultural ties, and in fact, such connections abound. Dr. Thomas Moore’s, History of Ireland (p. 40), relates:
“That most common of all Celtic monuments, the Cromlech… is to be found not only in most parts of Europe, but also in Asia,” including Palestine. “Not less ancient and general, among the Celtic nations, was the circle of upright stones, with either an altar or tall pillar in the centre, and, like its prototype at Gilgal [ancient Israel], serving sometimes as a temple of worship, sometimes as a place of national council or inauguration… The rough, unhewn stone…used in their circular temples by the Druids, was the true, orthodox observance of the divine command delivered to Noah, ‘If thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone.'” (Exo. 20:25) Dr. Beauford, in Druidism Revived, says, “It is remarkable that all the ancient altars found in Ireland, and now distinguished by the name of Cromlechs or sloping stones, were originally called Bothal, or the House of God, and they seem to be of the same species as those mentioned in the Book of Genesis, called by the Hebrews, Bethel, which has the same signification as the Irish Bothal.” The Bible (Judges 9:6; 2Ki. 11:14; 2Chon. 23:13) indicates that Hebrew kings were crowned either standing upon or next to a pillar of stone. “The practice of seating the new king upon a stone, at his initiation, was the practice in many of the countries of Europe…. The monarchs of Sweden sat upon a stone placed in the centre of twelve lesser ones, and in a similar kind of circle the Kings of Denmark were crowned.” (Moore, ibid., p. 42) Note also the significant Bible number, ‘twelve’, which was common to both European Celts and the Hebrews.

The book, Identity of the Religions Druidical and Hebrew, adds, “Circular temples…abound in England and other parts of Europe. The most ancient account of them is to be found in the book of Exodus (24:4), “And Moses… builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes..” (p.15) In Europe, Stonehenge, Avebury, and many other early Celtic sites were designed in a circular pattern.

Groves were also features of both Hebrew and Celtic worship. The Bible tells us that Abraham “called on the everlasting God” (Gen. 13:4) from a grove planted by his own hand. Gideon worshipped God under an oak tree. (Judges 6:19-24)

The division of time into a seven-day week was practiced by the Irish Celts, identical to the Hebrews. Dr. Thomas Moore comments that no other nation kept such a hebdomadal (seven day) cycle “excepting only among the family of Abraham,” (ibid., p. 54) a remarkable proof of identity between the two peoples!

Since early times, the Israelites sinned against God by adopting many of the pagan practices of their neighbors, and so we find evidence of both Hebrew and Canaanite culture among their descendants in Europe. (The Phoenician is the eastern branch of the Canaanitic people.) The ancient Baal pillar shown at left is one of many such religious monuments which have been found from the Middle East to Ireland.

There are many other examples, however, of customs linking the Celtic Druids specifically with Israel. English historian, William Borlase, in his “Antiquities Of Cornwall,” (1754) presented many pages of such evidence: Druids worshipped but one God and allowed no graven images, identical to the Hebrews, and in contradistinction with almost all other ancient religions. Consecration was by sprinkling with blood, as in the Old Testament Hebrew worship. Druid priests were clothed in white, similar to the Hebrew priest’s white ephod; sacrificial victims were bled to death, and the blood was collected in basins which served to sprinkle the altars; bulls were sacrificed, and the image of a bull (the heraldic sign of the Hebrew tribe of Ephraim) was carried into war. “While they performed their horrid rites of human sacrifice, the drums and trumpets sounded without intermission, that the cries of the miserable victims might not be heard.” (Compare Jer. 7:31-32; the Hebrew/Phoenician place of human sacrifice was called Tophet, meaning ‘the drum’). They prayed with uplifted hands, examined entrails for necromancy, and held the oak in veneration. The Druids used the magic wand in imitation of Moses’ rod, poured libations, sacrificed upon the tops of rocks, investigated truth by lots, anointed rock pillars with oil, and marked out boundaries with stones. (pp. 104-132, 161) In these and so many other distinctive ways, the religious customs of the Celts and Hebrews bear an unmistakable resemblance!

GEOGRAPHICAL LINK

The early name of southwestern England was “Dumnoni,” or “Danmoni,” as shown by a portion of a map in Celtic scholar, John Rhys’ book, “Early Celtic Britain.” This comprises today the British counties of Cornwall and Devon. Highly respected historian William Camden remarked concerning Cornwall: “That region, which according to the geographers, is the first of all Britain, and… was in ancient times inhabited by those Britans, whom Solinas called, Dunmonii, Ptolomy (called) Damnonii, or (as we find in some other copies), MORE TRULY DANMONII. WHICH NAME… DERIVED FROM THE EVER-CONTINUING MINES OF TIN IN THIS TRACT, WHICH THE BRITANS CALL MOINA.” (Britannia, p. 183) This compound word is therefore composed of “moina,” a tin mine, and “Dan,” the people who mined the tin. So this most ancient region of England is properly called “DANMONI,” meaning, “DAN’S TIN-MINES.” That these early inhabitants known as “Dan” were in fact the Biblical tribe by the same name has been established by leading modern scholars such as Cyrus Gordon, as shown in our tract, “Ancient Hebrew Sea Migrations.” If these early colonists had actually been Phoenicians, the region would have been called, not Danmoni, but “Fenimoni,” because the Phoenicians were known as the “Punic” or “Feni” civilization.

Celtic scholar, John Rhys, gives strong evidences of Hebrew colonization of the British isles in ancient times. “Ireland was known as IBERION,” he says. (p. 201) The ancient name of the Israelites was Ibri or Iberi (modern: Hebrew), which is derived from the name, “EBER,” or “HEBER,” an ancestor and patriarch of that people. Mr. Rhys continues, “…in Ireland it was Ivernii in Ptolomy’s time; and he mentions a town there called Ivernis, and a river Ivernios. To these may be added various forms of the name of the island, such as Juvenal’s Iuuerna, distorted more usually by the Romans into Hibernia… THEIR EPONYMOUS ANCESTOR… is variously called… EBER, Emer, and HEBER.” (ibid., p. 262-3)

Dr. Rhys discusses a region “just in the vicinity of St. David’s or Mnyw, called in the Welsh Chronicle MONI IUDEORUM, which contains an allusion probably to the same people.” (ibid., p. 226) Rhys says that some scholars suggest this word, Iudeorum or Judeorum, may relate to the “Jutes,” a Germanic tribe in Northern Europe, but that he believes such a view incorrect. Instead, Rhys indicates that it identifies Hebrews of the tribe of Judah. Rhys adds, “…lastly we seem to have a trace of the same form in the Welsh Chronicle, sometimes called Annales Cambriae, when it calls Menevia or St. David’s Moni Iudeorum. WE NEED NOT BE HERE TROUBLED BY THE LOST TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL, BUT… IT WOULD BE HARD TO PROVE THE CONTRARY.” (ibid., p. 150) Rhys also discusses early Celtic names and suggests that we “…compare Semitic names…compare the Hebrew.” (ibid., p. 259-260)

HISTORICAL LINK

One last fascinating connection with ancient Israel is suggested by Professor Rhys, who says, “the (Celtic) Kymry were for some time indifferently called Cambria or Cumbria, the Welsh word on which they are based being, as now written, Cymru… and is there pronounced nearly as an Englishman would treat it if spelled Kumry or KUMRI.” (p. 142) As students of Old Testament history well know, “Kumri” or “Khumri” was the name of the Israelites in Assyrian texts. (see, “The March of Archaeology,” by C.W. Ceram, p. 216) The virtual identity in spelling and sound between the Israelite “Khumri,” and the Celtic “Kymry,” is too much of a coincidence to not have a relationship. Taken with the many other evidences, religious and cultural, the connection between the ancient Hebrews and Celts is too strong to be ignored. In fact, it is no longer a question of, “Did Hebrews settle in Europe in ancient times?” but only a question of, “How many of the people of Europe are of Hebrew descent?” When considering the great numbers of early Israelites (see our tract, “The Real Diaspora”), and the Biblical promise of multitudinous seed (Gen. 26:4, 32:12; Exo. 32:13; Jer. 33:22, etc.), it is evident that the Hebrew-Celtic connection is very significant.

Irish history records three main waves of colonization to that isle in ancient times: the Firbolgs, of whom little is known, the Tuatha de Danaan (meaning ‘Tribe of Dan’; tuath means ‘tribe’), and the Milesians. The latter two peoples are known to have originated in Asia and may have been related. “The Story Of Ireland,” by A.M. Sullivan, tells us this: “The Milesian colony… were an Eastern people…they had passed from land to land, from the shores of Asia across the wide expanse of southern Europe, bearing aloft through all their wanderings the Sacred Banner, which symbolized to them at once their origin and their mission, the blessing and the promise given to their race. This celebrated standard, the ‘Sacred Banner of the Milesians,’ was a flag on which was represented a dead serpent and the rod of Moses…” (p.12) The Milesians traced their ancestry to “Gadelius,” whose grandfather was “the king of Scythia.” (p.13) Interestingly, Gad was a son of the patriarch Jacob, and his descendants formed one of the tribes of Israel. The Greek word Scythia is derived from the Semitic, Skutha, and the Persian, Saca, which are terms for the Israelites. (see our tract, “The Real Diaspora”) As if this wasn’t enough coincidence, the serpent symbol was a family heraldic emblem of the Israelite tribe of Dan (Gen. 49:17), whose descendants have been traced by leading modern American archaeologist Cyrus Gordon, to the Tuatha de Danaan of early Ireland! (see “Before Columbus,” pp. 108-111)

The mythology of Druidism is said to have been brought to England in ancient times by Hu Gadarn Hysicion, who came from the east with a party of colonists and built Stonehenge. Who were these Eastern colonists? Historians tell us that Phoenician-speaking peoples colonized the British Isles in early times. The Israelites, a seafaring people, spoke a Phoenician dialect, and the early history of these two peoples is intertwined. The Bible speaks of Israelites sending “ships to Tarshish,” or Spain, and Solomon’s navy sailed with the Phoenicians on their trade and colonizing expeditions. (2 Chron. 9:21; Isa. 60:9) Phoenician-speaking peoples, including Israelites, colonized Spain and Britain in ancient times, mining ores such as silver, iron, tin, and lead, as we document in our tract, “Ancient Hebrew Sea Migrations.” The Druidic religion of early Britain and Ireland should therefore exhibit signs of both Hebrew and Phoenician origins.

HEBREW RELIGION

Celtic scholar, John Daniel, in his book, “The Druidic Idea of God,” lists the Druidic terms for the Deity and their meaning:

Celi The Invisible One

Ior The Eternal

Duw Commonly translated ‘God’; lit., ‘He Who Wills’

Rheen All-Pervading Spirit

Peryl Author of Existence

Dofydd Governor

Deon Distributor

Yr Hen Ddihenydd Eternally Ancient One, or “Ancient of Days”

Mr. Daniels remarks, “Nobody can fail to see in these terms a similarity to the common phraseology of the Christian Church… There is such perfect consonance between these [Celtic] appellations of the Deity and those of Biblical theology, that it is strange anyone should so fail to see it…” (p.4, compare Dan.7:9,13,22, etc.) Daniels also points out that the Celtic name for the Deity was IAO, pronounced, “Yah-o,” which is virtually identical to the Hebrew name for God, “Yah” or “Yahu.” In early alphabets, letters represented ideas. In Hebrew, aleph, the first letter, stood for an ox; bet symbolized a house, gimel was a camel, dalet a door, and so on. Similarly, in Celtic the letter “I” stood for ‘the future.’ “A” represented ‘the present’, and “O” stood for ‘the past’. (ibid., pp.16-17) Thus, the Druidic name for God, “IAO,” literally meant “the Everliving,” a being in existence past, present, and future. This is the exact definition given by scholars for the name of the Hebrew God, “Yahu” or “Yahweh.” In fact, the Ferrar Fenton Bible consistently translates the name of God as “the Everliving.” The identity of the Celtic and Hebrew Deities is obvious, for “there can hardly be a question that the three letters were originally no other name than IAO, the Latinized form… of the Hebrew [Yah or Yahu]; and that such was the rendering of that name, we have the authority of several ancient writers. Diodorus Siculus says it was related amongst the Jews, that Moses attributed the framing of the laws to the God called IAO; and Theodoret states that God was by the Jews called IAO.” (ibid., p.12)

…In addition, the Druidic “IAO” was called the “Unutterable Name,” again identical to the Hebrew, “Yah.” Daniels states, “So to the Druids there was a secret name for the Deity, which was unutterable (“Aflafar”) to all but the most privileged of their order, and was symbolized by the three Bardic characters representing the vowels IAO.” (ibid., p. 11) With such close resemblance’s between the Celtic and the Hebrew Deity, it is not surprising that England was converted without the shedding of a single drop of blood. There is no record of martyrdom for any early Christian missionary, and it has been truly said that Druidism was only accepting a fuller, better revelation through the adoption of Christianity!

The Druidic priests, like the Levitical priests of the Bible, were exempt from military service. The Druidic and Levitical priests were both divided into three classes. Even the Druidic ceremonial robes remind one of the Mosaic priests, with their breastplates of gold and jewels. The Druidic rituals, like the Old Testament Levitical, included the sacrifice of sheep, oxen, and goats, but no idol worship.

In the Bible, the prophet Jeremiah in chapter 3l verse 21 instructed scattered Israel to “set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps,” and thus we find a trail of unhewn stone monuments, called dolmens, menhirs, and cromlechs, leading from Palestine (Gen. 35:14, etc.) across Europe, and into the British Isles, where they were used in worship by the Druidic priests. In England, according to Isabel Hill Elder’s book, “Celt, Druid, and Culdee,” each stone monument was called a “Si’on” in the ancient Celtic language. The similarity between this and the Hebrew word “Zion”, meaning a stone fortress, is striking. Truly, these are additional witnesses to the identity of the House of Israel in the world today.

BAAL WORSHIP

But the religious customs of the Covenant people became corrupted with the religion of the Phoenician Canaanites. The Prophet Elijah’s challenge of the Hebrew priests of Baal is one of the most moving Bible accounts. (I Ki.18:18-40) The Bible indicates that at one time the majority of Hebrew priests and people followed the rituals of Baal worship. Noted 19th century antiquarian, Sir William Betham, made an exhaustive study of the ancient Celtic peoples, and states in his book, The Gael and Cimbri, “Baal… has the precise meaning in Gaelic as in Phoenician — the lord of heaven.” (p. 226) Many customs hearken back to Palestine, as well; “even the cakes which the idolatrous Jews, in imitation of the Phoenicians, made in honour of the queen of heaven are still the most popular cake in Ireland under the old name of the barn-brack, or speckled cake.” (p. 236) Ancient customs and rituals are persistent among mankind, and therefore provide tangible evidence of a people’s origins, even where no written proof survives. Betham comments, “Thus we see at this day, fires lighted up in Ireland, on the eve of the summer solstice and the equinoxes, to the Phoenician god, Baal, and even called Baal’s fire, baaltinnes, though the object of veneration be forgotten…” (p. 222-223) In addition, archaeological proof points to a Hebrew-Phoenician origin of the Britons and Irish. Betham relates, “On an altar-stone, dug up near Kirby Thore, in Westmorland, is this inscription:”

“DEO BEL ATUCADRO LIB[ERUM] VOTUM. FECIT IOLUS.”

The text translates as follows: “To the god Baal, the friend of man, Iolus made his free vow.”

Numerous other stone altars to Phoenician gods, which have been discovered in Britain, Ireland, and Gaul, are discussed and translated in Betham’s work. Some of the principal finds include altar-stones found in Northumbria and other parts of Britain. He states that these ancient monuments to “Baal, by the ancient British… are unanswerable evidences of the identity of the people of the two islands {i.e., Britain and Ireland] and Gaul, which the most unwilling and incredulous caviler at etymologies, can scarcely refuse to receive as conclusive. It proves more, for it shows an identity of the deities of the Celtae and the [Hebrew]-Phoenicians…” (p. 228-229)

Numerous other parallels exist between Celtic and Hebrew-Canaanite worship, including mystic well-worship, worship of sacred stones, and the veneration of the autumnal equinoxes. In fact, both the Canaanites and Celts practiced autumnal sacrifices to Baal, which the Celts called, “Baal-tinnes,” as previously mentioned.

AVEN

Aven was another of the deities of the Phoenician Canaanites, and temples to this god were called, ‘Beth-Aven,” or ‘house of Aven.’ The idolatrous Israelites also had adopted worship of this false god, as we see in Hoseh 4:15-17: “…come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, the Lord liveth. For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer…Ephraim is joined to idols…” Israelite worship of this god was so pervasive, that the prophet Isaiah used the word, “Aven,” to signify an idol in general: “…he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol.” (Hebrew, “Aven”) All idols are vanity, and aven itself came to have a secondary meaning of vanity. Since this so-called god was no god at all, the idolaters were literally worshipping nothing! The Apostle Paul picks up on this theme in First Corinthians 4:8, “We know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other god but One.”

There are five rivers Avon in Britain, of which three pass through Gloustershire, where Celtic worship of this god was centered. In the same English district is an old town named Avening. The ‘ing’ suffix means the place of, so Avening is the place of Aven. Historian Samuel Lysons, in “Our British Ancestors” says, “The worship at Beth-Aven, in Canaan, and that of Avening in Gloucestershire, and that of Aven, Heliopolis, or Baal bec, were all identical. The stone altars, the high place, the calves’ bones discovered there, mark the similarity.” (p.123)

MOLOCH AND CHIUN

The Canaanite god and goddess, Moloch and Chiun, are mentioned in connection with Israel’s worship by the prophet Amos (5:25), “But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity…”

At Windmill Hill, near Avebury, Wiltshire, England, there are evidences of Druidical worship, but no windmill. ‘Win’ is the Celtic word for ‘eye,’ and ‘Win-Melk’ is the ‘eye of Moloch.’ Dr. Maurice, in “Indian Antiquities,” says, “the Druids worshipped the sun under the title of Moloch, so we are certain that worship was derived to them from their Eastern ancestors.” The British towns Melch-bourne in Bedfordshire, and Melc-combe in Dorset, both retain evidence of the worship of Moloch in early times.

Similarly, the goddess Chiun was worshipped by the idolatrous Canaanites and the Israelites who followed their custom. Chiun was the moon goddess, and was considered so important that she was called the queen of heaven. In fact, it is from this word, Chiun, that we derive our English word, queen. The Prophet Jeremiah mentions worship of this goddess several times. He laments Israel’s worship of her, saying, “The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.” (7:18; compare 44:17-25) The goddess Chiun had her adherents in Britain also, as seen in the name of the famous king, Cuno-bel-inus, whose name combines the worship of both Chiun and Bel. Similarly, Chiun is seen in the early British names Cunedag, Cingetorix, Conan, and Maglo-cunus.

SUN WORSHIP: AL

The Hebrew word, Al, signifies the sun, and is equivalent to the Phoenician Hal, Greek Halios, Babylonian Il, and Celto-British Heaul. Mallet’s “Northern Antiquities,” (vol.2, p.68) states, “All Celtic nations have been accustomed to the worship of the sun…It was a custom that everywhere prevailed in ancient times to celebrate a feast at the winter solstice, by which men testified their joy at seeing this great luminary return again to this part of the heavens. This was the greatest solemnity of the year. They called it, in many places, Yole or Yuul, from the word Hiaul, which even at this day signifies the sun in the languages of the Bas-Bretagne and Cornwall.” Christmas is still called Yule. A Christmas holiday beer, Ale, may be from the same root. Holly and Holy come from the word, heaul, meaning ‘to hallow, to deem sacred,’ with roots to the Hebrew, ‘El,’ God. The German words, ‘heilig’ and ‘ale’ mean ‘to swear, to call on the name of God.’ The words ‘all,’ ”whole,’ and ‘heal,’ may be related to this.

The Hebrew name for the sun appears in many places in Britain with names beginning with ‘Al,’ ‘Ail,’ ‘Ayl,’ ‘Hal,’ ‘Hayl,’ and the like. There are many examples, including Albury, Albourne, Alcester, Alby, Althorp, Alton, Allington, Allerton, Alford, Allenby, Alsop, and dozens more.

AUN OR ON

In Genesis 41:45, we read, “And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to WIFE ASENATH the DAUGHTER OF POTIPHERAH PRIEST OF ON. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.” Again in Genesis 46:20, we are told, “And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which ASENATH THE DAUGHTER OF POTIPHERAH PRIEST OF ON bare unto him.” (compare 41:50) The word, On, signifies the sun, and is derived from the Hebrew Aun, Assyrian Anu, Babylonian Aunu, Celto-British On, and the Greek On. The ancient Celtic poet, Taliesin, is quoted in “Davies’ British Druids,” as saying, “Even the sovereign On, the ancient, the generous feeder.” (p.527) Historian George Rawlinson states, “Aunu signified ‘the god,’ and was no doubt in use among the primitive Babylonians from the very earliest times.” (Herodotus, Essay x, vol. 1, p. 591) Who was this “Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah the priest of On,” whom the Biblical patriarch Joseph married? It is popular teaching today to say because Asenath dwelled in Egypt, that therefore Joseph married a Negro. But the fact that her family were sun-worshippers worshipping On, the Semitic sun-god, is proof positive of a Semitic identity.

It is from this word, On, that we derive the Latin, annus, meaning a year, from the annual solar revolution, and the English, annual. Samuel Lysons states, “That Aven and On were the same, is shown by the Greek translation of Beth-aven as ‘the house of On.’ Heliopolis, Egypt was at different periods called Ain, Aven, and On… Possibly our word Evening, Dutch Avond, and German Abend, may represent Aven, as the declining sun.” (ibid., p. 238-239)

British place-names showing early sun-worship include Ansley, Anston, Anslow, Ancoats, Ancaster (Caer An), Ancroft, Anford, Anwick, Avon, Avening, Arran, and many others. Concerning this last location, a circle of Druidic stones with a cromlech in the center at Arran indicates sun worship.

FURTHER EVIDENCES

British antiquarian, Aylett Sammes, writing in 1676, noted that “the customs, religion, idols, offices, and dignities of the ancient Britons are all clearly Phoenician.” John Pinkarton, in his “Enquiry Into The History Of Scotland,” (1789), also stated that Druidism was directly descended from the Phoenicians, while British antiquarian William Stukely, in the book, “Stonehenge,” believed that it had the marks of Israelite worship and culture.

Stukely pointed out Old Testament references to oaks, which gave these trees symbolic or mystical attributes. Abraham’s altar of sacrifice was prepared by the oak of Moreh. ”And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain (lit: “oak”) of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.” (Gen. 12:6-7) We are further told in Hoseh 4:13, “They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks…” The importance of worship under oaks in Druidism is well known. Modern Celtic scholar, John King, in his book, “The Celtic Druids’ Year,” adds, “The Hebrew word for oak also means oath, and there is evidence that the oak signified a burial place. The golden calf or bull worshipped as an idol by the Israelites has its counterpart in the Druidical image of the god Hu Gadarn, or Hu the Mighty, who, like Noah, survived the deluge and first brought the skill of ploughing to mankind. Dibbuks, demons and lesser deities, some of which might seem to correlate to Celtic spiritual figures, have been pushed into the background by contemporary Judaism.” (p. 26) Thus the Hebrew connection is little-known but factual.

Perhaps we can do no better in summing up our study than to quote the venerable Sir William Betham: “The connection of this [Hebrew-Canaanite] worship with the historical traditions of the Pagan Irish is so evident, and so extensive, that it …strongly illustrates the [Biblical] account of the progress of population from the plains of Sennaar [i.e., in the Middle-East] to the western extremities of Europe…” (p. 242) This is obvious, for no one but God’s people exhibited the peculiar mix of true and false religion seen in the early Celts.

A MISSING LINK IN FULFILLED PROPHECY

In the 8th century, B.C., the Assyrian Empire was at its peak, and its armies threatened the nations on the eastern Mediterranean seaboard, including Israel. The Assyrians were a brutal, fearsome people, the most terrible, perhaps, in all the earth’s history. Conquered lands were literally plundered of everything of value – even people, who were taken to slavery in foreign lands. The wall murals of the Assyrians, some of which now bedeck the British Museum in London, depict scenes of horrible savagery and torture. Men were sometimes skinned alive, or impaled on poles to slowly die outside the gates of the city.

Famed archaeologist, Sir Austen Henry Layard, rediscovered and unearthed the ancient Assyrian cities, and graphically described the scenes on the wall murals he found: “Captives… were stretched naked at full length on the ground, and whilst their limbs were held apart by pegs and cords they were being flayed alive. Beneath them were other unfortunate victims undergoing abominable punishments. The brains of one were apparently being beaten out with an iron mace, whilst an officer held him by the beard. A torturer was wrenching the tongue out of the mouth of a second wretch who had been pinioned to the ground. The bleeding heads of the slain were tied round the necks of the living who seemed reserved for still more barbarous tortures.” (“Discoveries In The Ruins Of Assyria And Babylon,” p. 456)

Inhabitants of Palestine in those days were well aware that Assyria would only too soon conduct a similar brutal warfare against the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Would not large numbers of Israelites migrate westward, by land and sea, to find safety for them-selves and their families outside of the Assyrian sphere of influence?

Historical evidence indicates that did indeed happen. The authoritative Dictionary of Christ & The Gospels relates, “LARGE NUMBERS OF ISRAELITES HAD BEEN CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE BY THE ASSYRIANS AND BABYLONIANS… BUT A MUCH LARGER DISPERSION WAS DUE TO VOLUNTARY EMIGRATION.” (vol. 1, p.692) Yes, more Israelites emigrated, migrated voluntarily out of Palestine, than even the large numbers of those taken away in the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. As it became clear that invasion and conquest by Assyria was immanent, Hebrews and Phoenicians emigrated westward to distant lands by the many hundreds of thousands, forming the foundation of European civilization.

These historical facts have been known for centuries, and a plethora of books by leading historians has documented “the Phoenician origin” of Western civilization. Historians have given the Phoenicians most of the credit for this emigration from Palestine to Europe, although the Hebrews were more numerous, and were Divinely promised greatly increased numbers. Perhaps the answer to the confusion is that the Hebrew language is a Phoenician dialect, and the two are virtually identical. But as we will see, a great multitude of the “Phoenician” speaking early European colonists can be shown to be Hebrew. Famed historian, George Rawlinson, commented, “The Tyrians [Phoenicians] conceded to the Israelites a participation in the traffic which they had carried on for so long a time with the nations of the west. Two trading fleets were formed (IKings 9:27; 10:22), to which each of the two nations contributed both ships and men.” (Phoenicia, pp.101-102) From their trading colonies then grew and developed early European cities.

LANGUAGE LINK

In the 18th century, historians discovered exciting proof of Phoenician-Celtic ties. An ancient Roman dramatist, Titus Maccius Plautus (died 184 B.C.) wrote a play, the Penulus, in which he placed then-current Phoenician into the speech of one of his characters. In the 18th century, linguists noticed the great similarity between that Phoenician and the early Irish Celtic language. In the adjacent box is a sample given by historian Thomas Moore’s, History of Ireland, showing the connection between these languages. Leading 18th and 19th century scholars, such as Gen. Charles Vallancey, Lord Rosse, and Sir William Betham, also wrote on this subject. Vallancey, for instance, speaks of, “The great affinity found in many words, nay whole lines and sentences of this speech, between the Punic [Phoenician] and the Irish.” Famed historian, George Rawlinson, added that this and other inscriptions are “READILY EXPLICABLE, IF HEBREW BE ASSUMED AS THE KEY TO THEM, BUT NOT OTHERWISE.” (Phoenicia, p. 327)

THE SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE EARLY IRISH-CELTIC AND THE SECOND CENTURY, B.C., HEBREW-PHOENICIAN LANGUAGE, AS SHOWN BY THE PENULUS OF PLAUTUS:

PHOENICIAN OF PLAUTUS:
Byth lym mo thym nociothii nel ech an ti daisc machon
Ys i do iebrim thyfe lyth chy lya chon temlyph ula.

EARLY IRISH-CELTIC:
Beth liom’ mo thime nociaithe, niel ach an ti dairie mae coinne
Is i de leabhraim tafach leith, chi lis con teampluibh ulla.

In 1772, General Charles Vallancey, a leading Irish scholar of the day, published his famous work, “Essay On The Antiquity Of The Irish Language, Being A Collation Of The Irish With The Punic (Hebrew) Language.” In his opening remarks he states, “On a collation of the Irish with the Celtic, Punic, Phoenician and Hebrew languages, the strongest affinity, (nay a perfect Identity in very many Words) will appear; it may therefore be deemed a Punic-Celtic compound.” Vallancey continues, “from the Hebrew proceeded the Phoenician, from the Phoenician, Carthaginian, or Punic was derived the Aeolian, Dorian and Etruscan, and from these was formed the Latin… Of the Roman Saxon capital letters, the Irish use but three, all the others bear a very great resemblance to the primitive Hebrew and Phoenician.” (p. 2-3) Modern language scholars have confirmed that there is a definite connection between the Celtic and Hebrew, as we have shown in our tract, “Hebrew And English.”

RELIGIOUS LINK

Since it is true that Hebrews and Phoenicians migrated to Europe in large numbers in ancient times, there must be religious and cultural ties, and in fact, such connections abound. Dr. Thomas Moore’s, History of Ireland (p. 40), relates:
“That most common of all Celtic monuments, the Cromlech… is to be found not only in most parts of Europe, but also in Asia,” including Palestine. “Not less ancient and general, among the Celtic nations, was the circle of upright stones, with either an altar or tall pillar in the centre, and, like its prototype at Gilgal [ancient Israel], serving sometimes as a temple of worship, sometimes as a place of national council or inauguration… The rough, unhewn stone…used in their circular temples by the Druids, was the true, orthodox observance of the divine command delivered to Noah, ‘If thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone.'” (Exo. 20:25) Dr. Beauford, in Druidism Revived, says, “It is remarkable that all the ancient altars found in Ireland, and now distinguished by the name of Cromlechs or sloping stones, were originally called Bothal, or the House of God, and they seem to be of the same species as those mentioned in the Book of Genesis, called by the Hebrews, Bethel, which has the same signification as the Irish Bothal.” The Bible (Judges 9:6; 2Ki. 11:14; 2Chon. 23:13) indicates that Hebrew kings were crowned either standing upon or next to a pillar of stone. “The practice of seating the new king upon a stone, at his initiation, was the practice in many of the countries of Europe…. The monarchs of Sweden sat upon a stone placed in the centre of twelve lesser ones, and in a similar kind of circle the Kings of Denmark were crowned.” (Moore, ibid., p. 42) Note also the significant Bible number, ‘twelve’, which was common to both European Celts and the Hebrews.

The book, Identity of the Religions Druidical and Hebrew, adds, “Circular temples…abound in England and other parts of Europe. The most ancient account of them is to be found in the book of Exodus (24:4), “And Moses… builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes..” (p.15) In Europe, Stonehenge, Avebury, and many other early Celtic sites were designed in a circular pattern.

Groves were also features of both Hebrew and Celtic worship. The Bible tells us that Abraham “called on the everlasting God” (Gen. 13:4) from a grove planted by his own hand. Gideon worshipped God under an oak tree. (Judges 6:19-24)

The division of time into a seven-day week was practiced by the Irish Celts, identical to the Hebrews. Dr. Thomas Moore comments that no other nation kept such a hebdomadal (seven day) cycle “excepting only among the family of Abraham,” (ibid., p. 54) a remarkable proof of identity between the two peoples!

Since early times, the Israelites sinned against God by adopting many of the pagan practices of their neighbors, and so we find evidence of both Hebrew and Canaanite culture among their descendants in Europe. (The Phoenician is the eastern branch of the Canaanitic people.) The ancient Baal pillar shown at left is one of many such religious monuments which have been found from the Middle East to Ireland.

There are many other examples, however, of customs linking the Celtic Druids specifically with Israel. English historian, William Borlase, in his “Antiquities Of Cornwall,” (1754) presented many pages of such evidence: Druids worshipped but one God and allowed no graven images, identical to the Hebrews, and in contradistinction with almost all other ancient religions. Consecration was by sprinkling with blood, as in the Old Testament Hebrew worship. Druid priests were clothed in white, similar to the Hebrew priest’s white ephod; sacrificial victims were bled to death, and the blood was collected in basins which served to sprinkle the altars; bulls were sacrificed, and the image of a bull (the heraldic sign of the Hebrew tribe of Ephraim) was carried into war. “While they performed their horrid rites of human sacrifice, the drums and trumpets sounded without intermission, that the cries of the miserable victims might not be heard.” (Compare Jer. 7:31-32; the Hebrew/Phoenician place of human sacrifice was called Tophet, meaning ‘the drum’). They prayed with uplifted hands, examined entrails for necromancy, and held the oak in veneration. The Druids used the magic wand in imitation of Moses’ rod, poured libations, sacrificed upon the tops of rocks, investigated truth by lots, anointed rock pillars with oil, and marked out boundaries with stones. (pp. 104-132, 161) In these and so many other distinctive ways, the religious customs of the Celts and Hebrews bear an unmistakable resemblance!

GEOGRAPHICAL LINK

The early name of southwestern England was “Dumnoni,” or “Danmoni,” as shown by a portion of a map in Celtic scholar, John Rhys’ book, “Early Celtic Britain.” This comprises today the British counties of Cornwall and Devon. Highly respected historian William Camden remarked concerning Cornwall: “That region, which according to the geographers, is the first of all Britain, and… was in ancient times inhabited by those Britans, whom Solinas called, Dunmonii, Ptolomy (called) Damnonii, or (as we find in some other copies), MORE TRULY DANMONII. WHICH NAME… DERIVED FROM THE EVER-CONTINUING MINES OF TIN IN THIS TRACT, WHICH THE BRITANS CALL MOINA.” (Britannia, p. 183) This compound word is therefore composed of “moina,” a tin mine, and “Dan,” the people who mined the tin. So this most ancient region of England is properly called “DANMONI,” meaning, “DAN’S TIN-MINES.” That these early inhabitants known as “Dan” were in fact the Biblical tribe by the same name has been established by leading modern scholars such as Cyrus Gordon, as shown in our tract, “Ancient Hebrew Sea Migrations.” If these early colonists had actually been Phoenicians, the region would have been called, not Danmoni, but “Fenimoni,” because the Phoenicians were known as the “Punic” or “Feni” civilization.

Celtic scholar, John Rhys, gives strong evidences of Hebrew colonization of the British isles in ancient times. “Ireland was known as IBERION,” he says. (p. 201) The ancient name of the Israelites was Ibri or Iberi (modern: Hebrew), which is derived from the name, “EBER,” or “HEBER,” an ancestor and patriarch of that people. Mr. Rhys continues, “…in Ireland it was Ivernii in Ptolomy’s time; and he mentions a town there called Ivernis, and a river Ivernios. To these may be added various forms of the name of the island, such as Juvenal’s Iuuerna, distorted more usually by the Romans into Hibernia… THEIR EPONYMOUS ANCESTOR… is variously called… EBER, Emer, and HEBER.” (ibid., p. 262-3)

Dr. Rhys discusses a region “just in the vicinity of St. David’s or Mnyw, called in the Welsh Chronicle MONI IUDEORUM, which contains an allusion probably to the same people.” (ibid., p. 226) Rhys says that some scholars suggest this word, Iudeorum or Judeorum, may relate to the “Jutes,” a Germanic tribe in Northern Europe, but that he believes such a view incorrect. Instead, Rhys indicates that it identifies Hebrews of the tribe of Judah. Rhys adds, “…lastly we seem to have a trace of the same form in the Welsh Chronicle, sometimes called Annales Cambriae, when it calls Menevia or St. David’s Moni Iudeorum. WE NEED NOT BE HERE TROUBLED BY THE LOST TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL, BUT… IT WOULD BE HARD TO PROVE THE CONTRARY.” (ibid., p. 150) Rhys also discusses early Celtic names and suggests that we “…compare Semitic names…compare the Hebrew.” (ibid., p. 259-260)

HISTORICAL LINK

One last fascinating connection with ancient Israel is suggested by Professor Rhys, who says, “the (Celtic) Kymry were for some time indifferently called Cambria or Cumbria, the Welsh word on which they are based being, as now written, Cymru… and is there pronounced nearly as an Englishman would treat it if spelled Kumry or KUMRI.” (p. 142) As students of Old Testament history well know, “Kumri” or “Khumri” was the name of the Israelites in Assyrian texts. (see, “The March of Archaeology,” by C.W. Ceram, p. 216) The virtual identity in spelling and sound between the Israelite “Khumri,” and the Celtic “Kymry,” is too much of a coincidence to not have a relationship. Taken with the many other evidences, religious and cultural, the connection between the ancient Hebrews and Celts is too strong to be ignored. In fact, it is no longer a question of, “Did Hebrews settle in Europe in ancient times?” but only a question of, “How many of the people of Europe are of Hebrew descent?” When considering the great numbers of early Israelites (see our tract, “The Real Diaspora”), and the Biblical promise of multitudinous seed (Gen. 26:4, 32:12; Exo. 32:13; Jer. 33:22, etc.), it is evident that the Hebrew-Celtic connection is very significant.

Irish history records three main waves of colonization to that isle in ancient times: the Firbolgs, of whom little is known, the Tuatha de Danaan (meaning ‘Tribe of Dan’; tuath means ‘tribe’), and the Milesians. The latter two peoples are known to have originated in Asia and may have been related. “The Story Of Ireland,” by A.M. Sullivan, tells us this: “The Milesian colony… were an Eastern people…they had passed from land to land, from the shores of Asia across the wide expanse of southern Europe, bearing aloft through all their wanderings the Sacred Banner, which symbolized to them at once their origin and their mission, the blessing and the promise given to their race. This celebrated standard, the ‘Sacred Banner of the Milesians,’ was a flag on which was represented a dead serpent and the rod of Moses…” (p.12) The Milesians traced their ancestry to “Gadelius,” whose grandfather was “the king of Scythia.” (p.13) Interestingly, Gad was a son of the patriarch Jacob, and his descendants formed one of the tribes of Israel. The Greek word Scythia is derived from the Semitic, Skutha, and the Persian, Saca, which are terms for the Israelites. (see our tract, “The Real Diaspora”) As if this wasn’t enough coincidence, the serpent symbol was a family heraldic emblem of the Israelite tribe of Dan (Gen. 49:17), whose descendants have been traced by leading modern American archaeologist Cyrus Gordon, to the Tuatha de Danaan of early Ireland! (see “Before Columbus,” pp. 108-111)