Connecting the House of Israel with European tribes.
Excerpt from Records Of The Past, Vol. 1, pages 109-132
Samuel Bagster & Sons, London, 1875
Translated by Sir Henry Rawlinson
The editor of Records Of The Past comments, “The great triumphal tablet of Darius Hystaspes, exhibiting the figures of the victorious king and his attendants and of ten vanquished chiefs, and accompanied by a record in three languages, which extends to nearly a thousand lines of Cuneiform writing, is engraved on the face of a precipitous rock at Behistun near the town of Kermanshah on the Western frontiers of Media.” (p.109)
The Bible Research Handbook, published in 1972 by the Covenant Publishing Company (currently out of print) has this to say, “The rock carries on its face an important cuneiform inscription of Darius Hystaspes (Darius the Great). This inscription, which was cut circa 516 B.C., records in three languages – Persian, Susian (Median), and Babylonian – the names of twenty-three provinces subject to him. In the Persian and Susian versions one of these provinces is called Scythia, the root of which is, phonetically, Sak. In the Babylonian text this province is called “(matu) Gi-mi-ri”, translated “land of the Cimmerians.” Sir Henry Rawlinson, who first copied and translated the inscription – although not disposed definitely to identify these Gimiri with the Cimmerians (Kimmerii or Cumri) – was prepared to accept the probability of a connection between them. The Behistun Rock inscription establishes that the Sacae lived in the land of the Cimmerians (modern north-west Persia) and that they formed part of the agglomeration of peoples known to the ancients as Scythians (or Skythians or Skuths).” (Bible Research Handbook, Volume II, Serial 572.9355)
As discussed by Mr. W.H. Bennett in the main body of this book, we find the House of Israel referred to in Scripture as the House of Isaac or Saka, and known to popular history as the Scythians who overspread Europe. They are called Sacae, Sacan, and Sacians in the following translation of Darius’ inscription.
The importance of the Behistun Rock is that it connects the people known in Persian and Median as Saka or Scythians, the House of Isaac or Israelites, with the tribes known in Babylonian as Cimmerian or Gimiri. The Bible Research Handbook also points out that, “The name ‘Gimiri’ …is phonetically close to ‘Khumri’, the name by which the Ten Tribes were known to the Assyrians… According to [Assyrian scholar] Pinches the kh was pronounced -g.”
To summarize, it is a well-proven fact that the people known in Assyrian as Khumri (which is phonetically the same as Gimiri or Cimmerian) were the House of Israel. (see Appendix 2) The Behistun Rock further proves that these ‘Gimiri’ were the same people as the ‘Saka’ (which is phonetically the same as both ‘Isaac’ and ‘Scythians’). Therefore, all five of these ancient tribal names, Saka, Scythian, Cimmerian, Gimiri, and Khumri are identified as Israelites, as they were known in other languages. Following is an important excerpt from Darius’ long inscription.
Assyrian name for Israel on Shalmaneser’s Black Obelisk was Khumri
Babylonian equivalent pronounced similar to Assyrian Khumri was Gimiri
Behistun Rock inscription identifies the people called Gimiri as the Sak or Sacae
Bible refers to Israel as the House of Isaac, phonetic equivalent to Sak or Sacae
Historians identify the Sak or Sacae who overspread Europe as the Scythians
Historians identify the Gimiri who overspread Europe as the Cimmerians
The ancient words of Darius on the Behistun Rock
Translation of the Inscription
I am Darius, the great King, the King of Kings, the King of Persia, the King of the provinces, the son of Hystaspes, the grandson of Arsames, the Achaemenian.
Says Darius the King: My father was Hystaspes; of Hystaspes the father was Arsames; of Arsames the father was Ariyaramnes; of Ariyaramnes the father was Teispes; of Teispes the father was Achaemenes.
Says Darius the King: On that account we are called Achaemenians; from antiquity we have descended; from antiquity those of our race have been Kings.
Says Darius the King: There are eight of my race who have been Kings before me, I am the ninth; for a very long time we have been Kings.
Says Darius the King: By the grace of Ormazd I am King; Ormazd has granted me the empire.
Says Darius the King: These are the countries which belong to me, by the grace of Ormazd I have become King of them, Persia, Susiana, Babylonia, Assyria, Arabia, Egypt, those which are of the sea, Sparta, Ionia, Media, Armenia, Cappadocia, Parthia, Zarangia, Aria, Chorasmia, Bactria, Sogdiana, Gandara, the Sacae, the Satagydes, Arachosia, and Mecia, in all twenty-three countries.
Says Darius the King: These are the countries which belong to me; by the grace of Ormazd they have become subject to me, they have brought tribute to me. That which has been said unto them by me, both by night and by day it has been performed by them.
Says Darius the King: Within these countries whoever was good, him have I cherished and protected; whoever was evil, him have I utterly destroyed. By the grace of Ormazd these countries have obeyed my laws. As to them it has been said by me, thus has it been done by them.
Says Darius the King: Ormazd granted me the empire. Ormazd brought help to me so that I gained this empire. By the grace of Ormazd I hold this empire.
Says Darius the King: This is what was done by me, before I became King. He who was named Cambyses the son of Cyrus of our race, he was here King before me. There was of that Cambyses a brother named Bardes; he was of the same father and mother as Cambyses. Afterwards Cambyses slew this Bardes. When Cambyses slew Bardes it was not known to the state that Bardes was killed. Then Cambyses proceeded to Egypt. When Cambyses had gone to Egypt, the state became wicked; then the lie became abounding in the land, both in Persia and in Media, and in the other provinces.
Says Darius the King: Afterwards there was a certain man, a Magian, named Gomates. He arose from Pissiachada, the mountain named Arakadres, from thence; on the 14th day of the month Viyakhana then it was that he arose. To the state he thus falsely declared: “I am Bardes the son of Cyrus, the brother of Cambyses.” Then the whole state became rebellious; from Cambyses it went over to him, both Persia and Media, and the other provinces. He seized the empire; on the 9th day of the month Garmapada [the 5th month], then it was he thus seized the empire. Afterwards Cambyses killing himself died.
Says Darius the King: The empire, of which Gomates, the Magian, dispossessed Cambyses, that empire had been in our family from the olden time. After Gomates the Magian had dispossessed Cambyses of Persia and Media and the dependent provinces, he acted with his own party, he became king.
Says Darius the King: There was not a man, neither Persian, nor Median, nor any one of our family, who could dispossess of the empire that Gomates, the Magian. The state feared him exceedingly. He slew many people who had known the old Bardes; for that reason he slew the people “Lest they should recognize me that I am not Bardes the son of Cyrus.” There was not any one bold enough to say aught against Gomates the Magian until I arrived. Then I prayed to Ormazd; Ormazd brought help to me. On the 10th day of the month Bagayadish [first month] then it was, with my faithful men I slew that Gomates, the Magian and the chief men who were his followers. The fort named Sictachotes, in the district of Media, named Nisaea, there I slew him; I dispossessed him of the empire. By the grace of Ormazd I became King; Ormazd granted me the scepter.
Says Darius the King: The empire that had been wrested from our race, that I recovered, I established it in its place; as in the days of old; thus I did . The temples which Gomates the Magian had destroyed, I rebuilt; I reinstituted for the state the sacred chaunts and (sacrificial) worship, and confided them to the families which Gomates the Magian had deprived of those offices. I established the kingdom in its place, both Persia and Media, and the other provinces; as in the days of old; thus I restored that which had been taken away. By the grace of Ormazd I did this. I laboured until I had established our family in its place as in the days of old. I laboured, by the grace of Ormazd, (in order) that Gomates the Magian might not supersede our family.
Says Darius the King: That is that which I did after that I became king.
Says Darius the King: When I had slain Gomates the Magian, then a certain man, named Atrines, the son of Opadarmes, he arose; to the state of Susiana he thus said: “I am King of Susiana.” Then the people of Susiana became rebellious; they went over to that Atrines; he became King of Susiana. And a certain man, a Babylonian, named Nadinta-belus the son of Aenares, he arose. The state of Babylonia he thus falsely addressed: “I am Nabochodrossor the son of Nabonidus.” Then the entire Babylonian state went over to that Nadinta-belus. Babylon became rebellious. He seized the government of Babylonia.
Says Darius the King: Then I sent to Susiana; that Atrines was brought to me a prisoner. I slew him.
Says Darius the King: Then I proceeded to Babylon against that Nadinta-belus, who was called Nabochodrossor. The forces of Nadinta-belus held the Tigris; there they had come, and they had boats. Then I divided my army; one portion I supplied with camels; the other I mounted on horses; Ormazd brought help to me; by the grace of Ormazd I succeeded in passing the Tigris. Then I entirely defeated the army of that Nadinta-belus. On the 27th day of the month of Atriyatiya [9th month] then it was that we thus fought.
Says Darius the King: Then I marched against Babylon. When I arrived near Babylon, the city named Zazana, upon the Euphrates, there that Nadinta-belus who was called Nabochodrossor, came with a force before me offering battle. Then we fought a battle. Ormazd brought help to me; by the grace of Ormazd, I entirely defeated the force of Nadinta-belus. A part of the army was driven into the water; the water destroyed them. On the 2nd day of the month Anamaka [10th month], then it was that we thus fought the battle.
[End of Column No. 1, which extends to ninety-six lines, and the writing of which is generally in good preservation.]
Says Darius the King: Then Nadinta-belus with a few horsemen fled to Babylon. Then I proceeded to Babylon; I both took Babylon and seized that Nadinta-belus. Afterwards I slew that Nadinta-belus at Babylon.
Says Darius the King: Whilst I was at Babylon these are the countries which revolted against me: Persis, Susiana, Media, Assyria, Armenia, Parthia, Margiana, Sattagydia, and Sacia…
A. Repetition of the first four paragraphs of Column 1 above.
B. Tablet attached to the prostrate figure on which the victor King tramples:
“This Gomates, the Magian, was an imposter; he thus declared, ‘I am Bardes, the son of Cyrus. I am the King.’”
C. Adjoining the first standing figure:
“This Atrines was an impostor; he thus declared; ‘I am King of Susiana.’”
D. Adjoining the second standing figure:
“This Nadinta-belus was an impostor; he thus declared, ‘I am Nabochodrossor, the son of Nabonidus; I am King of Babylon.’”
E. Adjoining the third standing figure:
“This Phraortes was an impostor; he thus declared, ‘I am Xathrites, of the race of Cyaxares; I am King of Media.’”
F. Above the fourth standing figure:
“This Martes was an impostor; he thus declared, ‘I am Imanes, the King of Susiana.’”
G. Adjoining the fifth standing figure:
“This Sitratachmes was an impostor; he thus declared, ‘I am King of Sagartia, of the race of Cyaxares.’”
H. Adjoining the sixth standing figure:
“This Veisdates was an impostor; he thus declared, ‘I am Bardes, the son of Cyrus. I am the King.’”
I. Adjoining the seventh standing figure:
“This Aracus was an impostor; he thus declared, ‘I am Nabochodrossor, the son of Nabonidus. I am the King of Babylon.’”
J. Adjoining the eighth standing fugure:
“This Phraates was an impostor; he thus declared, ‘I am the King of Margiana.’”
K. Above the ninth or supplemental figure with the high cap:
“This is Sakuka, the Sacan.’”
Sir Henry Rawlinson comments on the final column above as follows: “Of the thirty-five lines which compose a supplementary half column, divided into 6 paragraphs, it is impossible to give a complete translation, one side of the tablet being entirely destroyed. From such portions as are decipherable it appears to contain an account of two other revolts; one in Susiana, conducted by a man named, …..imim; and the other by Saku’ka, the chief of the Sacae, who dwelt upon the Tigris.”
“We have reasonable grounds for regarding the Gimirri, or Cimmerians, who first appeared on the confines of Assyria and Media in the seventh century B.C., and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock, nearly two centuries later, as identical with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel.”
-George Rawlinson, note in his translation of History of Herodotus, Book VII, p. 378