Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

The Tribe of Dan -- Trailblazing Pioneer of Israel

As the pioneer of his nation, Dan has well “pled the cause” of “lost” Israel by providing an unmistakable trail of “way marks” that demonstrate a clear migratory path from the Mideast to the British Isles -- proof positive that the Caucasian peoples of the Isles (and, thus, America) are of Hebrew origin.

by Philip Neal

History demonstrates that the Israelite tribe of Dan played a key role in the establishment of the birthright tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh in their new homelands in the British Isles. As we will see, seafaring Danites established colonies in the Isles long before Israel’s fall to the Assyrians, thus paving the way for later migrating Israelites to follow. Moreover, the Danites’ proclivity for leaving “way marks” -- wherein they would rename various geographical areas based on their tribal name, Dan -- has proven useful in identifying areas relevant to “lost” Israel’s migrations.

In its article on “Celtiberia” -- referring to the Celtic colonization of Iberia (modern Spain and Portugal) -- the Encyclopedia Americana informs us that “Celtic migrations [to Iberia] occurred as early as 1000 BC and as late as 600 BC.” [1] Both time frames accurately reflect biblical history. It was during the golden age of Solomon’s rule -- about 970 to 930 BC -- when Danite and Phoenician ships widely explored the Mediterranean, colonizing areas such as Iberia (and beyond). Centuries later, Danites fled Palestine on ships just prior to the fall of Samaria -- probably around 726 BC -- no doubt seeking refuge at one of their pre-established trading posts or colonies. This sudden and sizable influx of fleeing Israelites bearing proto-Celtic traits would not have gone unnoticed in Iberian history.

As the children of Israel began to claim their tribal inheritances, the tribe of Dan was given a rather modest coastal lot west of Jerusalem spanning from Gaza to Joppa. Proving too small for the tribe, a contingent of Danites set out to claim an additional area along the northern fringes of Israel, near Mount Hermon. The key city they took was Laish, which they renamed Dan in honor of their father (Joshua 19:47; Judges 18). Thus, the tribe of Dan was divided geographically between their main homeland on the Mediterranean coast and a landlocked area in the north.

As indicated by Judges 5:17, Dan had a strong seafaring heritage. In this particular passage, the Danites are criticized for being “away at sea” during a protracted local crisis. [2] Other biblical passages show that Israel as a whole -- and no doubt the Danites in particular -- benefited greatly from a close relationship with the peoples of Phoenicia, who were renowned for their maritime exploits.

The Phoenician Connection

As Israel began to settle the Promised Land, Egypt was no longer the dominant maritime power in the Mediterranean -- and it would be centuries before the Greeks or Romans began to demonstrate such prowess. Indeed, from about 1200 BC, the greatest seafaring peoples of the region were the Phoenicians. Originally a loose federation of city-states, Phoenicia was situated on the eastern Mediterranean coast in an area corresponding to modern Lebanon and the coastal plains of Syria. Its key seaport city-states were Tyre and Sidon. Others included Byblos, Akko, and Berytus (the predecessor of modern-day Beirut).

As a flourishing center of trade and colonization, the Phoenician maritime empire included nearly every port city of the Mediterranean, as well as up the Atlantic coast to Iberia and beyond. Possessing advanced sailing and navigational skills, Phoenician explorers apparently visited far-flung areas of the known (and unknown) world: parts of Africa, the Baltic coast and North Sea, the British Isles -- even America! [3]

Describing Phoenicia, the historian George Rawlinson wrote that “for a thousand years -- from the fourteenth century to the fourth century BC -- a great and remarkable nation, separate from all others, with striking and peculiar characteristics…drew upon itself the eyes of the whole civilized world, and played a most important part in history. Egypt, Judea, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, [and] Rome came successively into contact with the country and its settled inhabitants, while almost the whole known world made acquaintance with its hardy mariners who explored almost all seas, visited almost all shores, and linked together the peoples from Spain [Iberia], Britain, and the Fortunate Islands in the West to India, Taprobane, and the Golden Chersonese in the East in the silken bonds of a mutually advantageous commerce.” [4]

British historian John C. Gawler has made a career of researching the history of Israel. Quoting the Manual of Ancient History, he writes: “It is known that the Phoenicians preceded the Greeks in forming commercial establishments along the coasts of Asia Minor and the shores of the Black Sea….In the Eastern seas they had establishments on the Persian and Arabian Gulfs….The Spanish [Iberian] peninsula -- called in Scripture Tarshish [5] -- was the country with which the Tyrians [Phoenicians] had the most lucrative trade; and the colonies they established soon became independent states. Colonies were also planted beyond the Straits of Gibraltar. Trade was extended to the British Islands and to the coasts of the North Sea.” [6]

Of utmost importance, however, was Israel’s close relationship with the Phoenician people. Under King David, Israel enjoyed a particularly beneficial association with the Phoenician king of Tyre, Hiram. After David’s death, we read that Hiram “sent his servants to Solomon, since he had heard that they had anointed him king [in place] of his father, for Hiram was always a friend of David” (I Kings 5:1). Rawlinson notes, “With the Hebrews [the Phoenicians] were always on the most friendly terms….” [7]

Consequently, Solomon invited Hiram to assist in the building of the temple David had planned. Steven Collins writes: “Kings Solomon and Hiram pooled their natural resources on the temple construction project….In fact, the temple construction project led to intimate cooperation between Israel and the Phoenician city-states as armies of workmen from each country worked in the other’s territory….The temple project served as a unifying force to cement the alliance between Israel’s tribes and the Phoenician city-states….This extraordinarily close working relationship was greatly facilitated by the two nations sharing [a common] linguistic heritage.” [8] (The Phoenicians were predominantly of Canaanite origin, but their “Semitic” language was almost identical to Hebrew.)

With their northern settlement in close proximity to Phoenicia -- as well as the fact that they shared a common seafaring interest -- the Danites benefited most from this alliance. Gawler notes: “The Danites and the men of Tyre were naturally on very intimate terms. It was a very remarkable privilege to be accorded to a foreign nation…to be allowed to help in building Solomon’s Temple. [Moreover,] the Danites and the people of Tyre intermarried; the cunning craftsman especially sent by Hiram to superintend the work of the temple was the son of a man of Tyre, and his mother was of the daughters of Dan.” [9] (See II Chronicles 2:13-14.)

According to Collins, the Israelite-Phoenician alliance became the world’s dominant military power of that time. “Israel’s military might, combined with the naval and commercial power of the Phoenician city-states, created an alliance that was both militarily and economically superior to the remainder of the world.” [10] But Solomon was not content to be a land power alone; he wanted to make Israel a major international maritime force around the world. For this, he turned to the Phoenicians. Over time, “even as the Israelite and Phoenician populations were melded on land due to the vast building projects of Solomon, they also coalesced into one unit at sea.” [11]

In I Kings 9:26 we see that King Solomon built a “navy of ships.” Moreover, the passage describes a joint trade expedition from a Red Sea port of Israelite ships manned by both Israelite and Phoenician sailors. “And Hiram sent with the [fleet] his servants, shipmen who had knowledge of the sea with the servants of Solomon” (verse 27). This expedition, which went to Ophir and brought back gold, was the first of many joint maritime trade expeditions between Israel and the Phoenicians. In fact, a fleet of the “ships of Tarshish” -- an Iberian seaport city along the western coast of Spain or Portugal -- manned by Phoenician and Israelite sailors made a worldwide voyage every three years, bringing back an assortment of exotic cargo (II Chronicles 9:21).

Since the Bible records that Phoenicians and Israelites jointly crewed Israelite ships, it is likely that Israelite sailors also served aboard Phoenician ships. Thus, Israelite sailors -- who were no doubt primarily Danites -- would have quickly acquired the Phoenicians’ navigational skills. It appears that Solomon’s maritime exploits eventually exceeded that of the Phoenicians -- at least in some respects. Gawler, quoting the Jewish Chronicle, writes that “in the golden age of [Israel’s] glory, [Solomon’s ships] were indeed the public carriers of their day, [transporting] travelers for commercial enterprise to all the then-known countries near and far. The ships of Solomon rivaled the Phoenician navy.” [12]

Most historians have overlooked or minimized the implications of Israel’s close seafaring relationship with Phoenicia. Clearly, Phoenician ships gave Israelite sailors and explorers access to many far-flung areas of the then-known world. Wherever the Phoenicians went, Israelites almost certainly accompanied them in significant numbers. But most importantly, the tribe of Dan was inspired to do their own exploring -- establishing trade routes and colonizing new lands as they chose.

Because of the extraordinary close association between Israel and Phoenicia, Israelite colonization endeavors have frequently been wrongly attributed to the Phoenicians. Gawler contends that historians often confuse Phoenician exploits with those of Danite explorers. But this is a logical mistake, given the close working relationship between the two peoples. He writes that “we find Grecian, Irish, Scandinavian, and English histories teeming with notices of a certain race called Danai, or Dannaans, or Dannonii, who are either [mistakenly] called Phoenicians, or mentioned in company with Phoenicians. Almost wherever Phoenicians are said to have traded, there we either hear of these Danai [as the Greeks called them], or we find a river or district stamped with the name of Dan according to the early custom recorded of that tribe in the Scriptures.” [13] (Later we will look at numerous examples of how the Danites left their tribal name as “way marks” on their travels and migrations.) Likewise, modern archeologist and scholar Cyrus Gordon relates that historians often use the term Phoenician in the “wider sense of Semitic peoples in general, including the Hebrews.” Concerning Israelite colonization exploits, Gordon contends that although such accomplishments are frequently labeled Phoenician or Syrian, the evidence indicates that ancient Israel deserves credit for much of what has been attributed to Phoenicia. [14]

The Danites’ Early Colonization of Ireland

Just before Moses died, he gave specific prophecies concerning each of the tribes of Israel. Of Dan, he said: “Dan is a young lion, springing forth from Bashan” (Deuteronomy 33:22; author’s translation). The northern city of Dan was actually within the region known as Bashan. With youthful vigor, the Danites were to “spring forth” from that area -- which they did by sea. As we will see, this was by divine providence, for the Danites were used by God to establish advance Israelite colonies that would, in time, become new homelands for portions of the “lost” ten tribes -- particularly the birthright tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.

It is apparent that Danite explorers were familiar with the British Isles through long-time marine-based trade relationships dating back as early as 1000 BC (or earlier). In fact, Britain had long been a Phoenician colony and port-of-call centuries before the fall of Israel. Of this, Collins writes: “[It] is well known that the Phoenicians traded throughout the Mediterranean [region] as well as [up] the Atlantic Ocean [coast] to western Spain and [on to] the tin mines of the ancient British Isles….[Indeed, the] Phoenician alliance of Israel, Tyre, and Sidon had established many colonies in North Africa, Spain, other Mediterranean locations, the British Isles, and even as far as North America.” [15]

Rawlinson hints at the Israelite’s early presence in Britain: “The Phoenicians had one more colony towards the [north]west, which has a peculiar interest for all English-speaking peoples. Phoenician ships from Gadeira [Cadiz, Spain] braved the perils of the open ocean, and coasting along the western shores of Spain and Gaul [France], without (apparently) making settlements, crossed the mouth of the English Channel from Ushant to the Scilly Isles, and conveyed thither a body of colonists who established an emporium [center of commerce]. The attraction which drew them was the mineral wealth of the islands and of the neighboring Cornish coast, which may have become known to them through the Gauls of the opposite continent. It is reasonable to suppose that the Phoenicians both worked the mines and smelted the ores. They certainly drew from this quarter those copious supplies of tin and lead which they imported into Greece and Asia, and from which they derived so large a profit.” [16]

Since Israelite crewmen frequently served aboard Phoenician ships, it is logical that significant numbers of Israelites would have resettled in Phoenician colonies to work. It is likewise plausible that Danite pioneers would have been among the “colonists” Rawlinson says came to Britain to work the tin and lead mines.

According to The Origin of Our Western Heritage, the renowned archaeologist E. Raymond Capt wrote that Irish historians trace part of the tribe of Dan to Ireland as early as about the 12th century BC -- during the time judges governed Israel. Moreover, “the Irish historian Keating related that the Danaan, who had been in Greece, settled in Ireland and Denmark because they did not want to fall into the hands of the Assyrians.” [17] Thus, by the time the House of Israel fell to Assyria, it is probable that large numbers of Israelite settlers were already well established on the coasts of Britain (if not further inland) and parts of Ireland.

Rather than assume that indigenous Europeans had been colonizing Britain between 1000 and 600 BC, it is more likely that Israelite emigrants who lived and worked in Iberian colonies eventually moved on and joined their fellow Israelites in the British Isles. J. H. Allen suggests that this was likely the case: “Just how long the ships of Palestinian [and Iberian] seaports had been replenishing or colonizing the Isles, even before the Assyrian captivity of the ten tribes, is not known, but historians place the time [of their earliest colonization of Ireland] as early as [about] 900 BC.” [18]

The fact that Danite explorers were from a very early date familiar with the British Isles -- and most likely established at least a few colonies among the Isles -- would prove vital to Israel’s long-term survival after the Assyrian captivity. As a key element in the fulfillment of the Abrahamic promises, these Danite pioneers opened the way for later exilic Israelites to follow to the northwest. Just as significant, however, was the fact that both Iberia and the British Isles received a major influx of Israelites -- mostly from Dan and Simeon -- just prior to the fall of Samaria. Collins notes that by the time of Samaria’s fall in approximately 722 BC, many Israelites had voluntarily migrated out of Palestine in an effort to avoid captivity. He writes: “Much of the tribe of Dan apparently sailed as far as Hibernia (modern Ireland) in their effort to [avoid Assyrian captivity].

Their arrival in considerable force in Hibernia as the Tuatha de Danaans is recorded in the early histories of Ireland.” (Note the similarity between Hibernia and Iberia, which both originate from the Hebrew Eber or Iber; Tuatha de Danaans means literally the “tribe of Dan.”) He adds that “large contingents of the Israelite tribes of Dan and Simeon (the Danaan and the Simonii) sought refuge in Ireland and Britain after abandoning their old homelands [in Palestine] to the Assyrians….[Consequently,] many of the succeeding waves of Celtic [overland] migrations to Britain…were also Israelites in search of a permanent homeland.” [19] Indeed, for Israelites seeking refuge following the Assyrian captivity, any Phoenician or Israelite colony could have served as a new homeland. It is only logical to conclude that Israelites migrating out of the Middle East would have been well aware of these preexisting Israelite colonies in the British Isles.

A number of scholars note that the arrival of the Tuatha de Danaans in Ireland is recorded in the early histories of that land. Collins contends that, as a maritime tribe, it would have been easy for many Danites to escape the advancing Assyrians by sailing west. “Ancient [Irish] records indicate that…the tribe of Dan arrived in Ireland at [about] the time of the fall of Samaria….[Also,] the Simonii [from the tribe of Simeon] landed in Wales and southern England around the same time.” [20] Allen similarly notes: “It is…unmistakably recorded in British history that the earliest settlers in Wales and southern England were called Simonii. They came by way of the sea in the year 720 BC. At this time there was the greatest influx of the Tuatha de Danaan to Ireland, and this synchronizes with the deportation of the Israelites…to Assyria, and the flight of Dan and [neighboring] Simeon from the seaports and coast country of Palestine.” [21]

While a sizable contingent of Israelites from the tribes of Dan and Simeon fled by sea to Iberia and the British Isles, those tribes actually taken captive by Assyria later migrated, over hundreds of years, into northwest Europe -- and many moved on to the Isles. But how did those Israelites know about Britain -- or even know enough to migrate in that particular direction? Could it be that they were aware of certain Israelite “colonies” in Britain -- trade-post settlements established at least as far back as the time of Solomon and subsequently greatly reinforced just prior to the fall of Samaria?

Dan’s “Way Marks”

You will recall that a portion of the tribe of Dan lay in the northern region of Israel. It is certain that these Danites would have been taken captive in the initial Assyrian invasion, which involved the northern areas of Palestine. As a result, these Danites would have been among the Israelites migrating via overland routes out of the Middle East and into Europe -- and later on to the Baltic region and the British Isles. Like their brothers who left ahead of them by sea, these Danites would leave a scattering of telltale “way marks” bearing the name Dan. These “way marks” -- almost inestimable in number -- provide important evidence of Israel’s journey from the Promised Land to their new homes in northwest Europe and the British Isles.

Interestingly, in Jacob’s final address to the twelve tribes of Israel -- dealing with the “latter days” -- he said: “Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse’s heels, so that its rider shall fall backward” (Genesis 49:16-17). There are two vital aspects to this prophecy, both relating to the Danites’ proclivity to name or rename geographical areas according to their tribal name, Dan. Commentaries point out that the serpent motif is apt for the Danites, as it points not only to the tribe’s warlike nature but also to their ability to exploit others through craftiness and subtlety -- as opposed to sheer strength or numbers. However, serpents also leave a distinctive trail as they move across sandy ground -- showing exactly where they have been.

Look again at verse 16. It is quite apparent that Dan never judged (or ruled) the other tribes of Israel in the common sense of the term. Those key responsibilities were expressly given to Judah and the Levites. But the Hebrew word used here for judge has other meanings. In fact, we might paraphrase verse 16 thus: “As one of the tribes of Israel, Dan shall plead the cause of his people” (for this usage, see Proverbs 31:9 and Jeremiah 30:13). In other words, Dan -- whose name actually means judge or one who pleads a cause -- was to plead the cause of the “lost” tribes of Israel.

How? By using their tribal name, Dan would leave a migratory trail all over Europe, witnessing to the world -- particularly in the “latter days” (Genesis 49:1) -- that the so-called “lost” ten tribes of Israel did in fact survive their Assyrian captivity. Moreover, having found new homelands in areas of northwest Europe and the British Isles (and, subsequently, in America), Dan’s “way marks” provide living proof that God has kept His promise to Abraham that the patriarch’s offspring would become a great “company of nations” and a single “great nation.”

As pointed out earlier, the tribe of Dan expanded its inheritance by taking the northern city of Laish -- renaming it Dan (Judges 18:29). But prior to their arrival at Laish, the Danites established an encampment in Judah which they subsequently named Mahaneh-dan, “camp of Dan” (verse 12). Ancient Hebrew had no written vowels; a word’s vowel sounds (and, thus, its exact pronunciation) were supplied from memory, preserved by tradition and subject to local dialect. Dan, therefore, would be written Dn, but pronounced Dan. Over centuries of migration, countless linguistic and cultural influences would often result in other vowels being substituted. Thus, Dan’s “way marks” include scores of cities, lands, rivers, etc. bearing, in one form or another, the names Dan, Den, Din, Don, and Dun.

For example, an early name for southwest England corresponding to modern Cornwall and Devon -- where the Phoenician-Danite tin mines were located -- was Danmoni. The British historian William Camden explains that the name is a composite of monia, which means tin mine, and the name Dan -- meaning Dan’s tin mines. He notes that the area was inhabited by a group of Britons called the Danmonii or Dunmonii (the name could suggest Danish miners). [22] Collins notes that two old Irish forts still bear the name of these early Danite settlers -- Dun-Aonghasa and Dun-Chonchuir. [23]

As brought out previously, a large body of “lost” Israelites settled for a time in the area known as Arsareth, west of the Black Sea (modern Bulgaria and Romania). This region was bordered on the south by the Dardanelles and Macedonia, and to the north was split by the Danube River -- all three names showing the presence of Danites. The Dardanelle Strait probably initially received its name by maritime Danites exploring the Aegean Sea, and Celtic Israelites no doubt named the Danube centuries later as they used it to migrate further into Europe.

While the Saxons bore the name of Isaac, the Danes bore the name of the tribe of Dan, which had apparently attached its name to the major rivers entering the Black Sea when the region was dominated by Celts (Cimmerians) and Scythians. Thus, we have the Don, Donets, Danube, Dniester (formerly Danastris), and Dnieper (formerly Danapris).

In the mountains of Switzerland is the river Rhone, formerly the Rhodan. As well, the Po River, running from the Alps, was once called the Eridan. The port city of Dunkirk in northern France may well have been a Danite maritime trading post.

The island country off the coast of Italy, Sardinia, was doubtless so named by seafaring Danites -- as was Cyprus, which was at one time called Ia-Dnan, the “Island of Dan.” [24]

Various ancient maps label the North Sea as Danicarum Mare or “Sea of the Tribe of Dan.” Similar maps mark the modern state of Denmark as Danos. Denmark, whose inhabitants even today refer to themselves as Danes, is derived from Danemerke, meaning “Dan’s mark.” To their north is Sweden, also bearing Dan’s name. In fact, all of the region known as Scandinavia bears Dan’s “way mark” -- Scan-din-avia. [25]

Throughout Ireland there are scores of places bearing Dan’s name: Danslough, Dansower, Dundalke, Dundrum, Donegal Bay (and city), Dunglow, Dungarven, Londonderry, and Dunsmore (which means “more Dans”). Not only is there a River Don north of the Black Sea, there is a Don River in both England and Scotland. In England there is Doncaster, Dundee, Dunkirk, Dunbar, Dunraven -- and scores more of Dans, Dons, Dins, and Duns. Of course, there is the capital of England, London; and the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. The Latin name for northern Britain is Caledonia, the area today associated with the Scottish Highlands. [26]

Gawler has aptly noted, “The tribe of Dan by its enterprise and vigor has made itself one of the most conspicuous branches of Jacob’s family.” [27] Indeed, as the pioneer of his nation, Dan has well “pled the cause” of “lost” Israel by providing an unmistakable trail of “way marks” that demonstrate a clear migratory path from the Mideast to the British Isles -- proof positive that the Caucasian peoples of the Isles (and, thus, America) are of Hebrew origin.

The Danites’ Pre-Exodus Migrations

There is one additional aspect of Dan’s travels -- one of profound importance. As will be brought out in a later chapter, the ruling line of King David was never to end -- and his “throne” was to exercise rule throughout all generations until the Messiah, son of David, should come and assume that “throne” (Luke 1:32). But as the southern Kingdom of Judah was going into captivity to the Babylonians, it seemed that David’s line -- and his “throne” -- was about to end with the demise of Judah’s last king, Zedekiah.

What was needed was a way to reestablish David’s “throne” -- via someone of Solomon’s royal dynasty -- in another location, where a Davidic descendant could legitimately continue to rule over some portion of Israel.

But where?

It is clear that Danite explorers established colonies in Ireland as early as Solomon’s time -- or even a bit earlier. Some of these colonies would in time become home to certain “royal” members of the line of Judah who would sit as monarchs over the Israelite settlements. As we will see, God used the prophet Jeremiah to reestablish the royal line of David in Ireland -- to be coupled with the area’s already-established Judaic “royalty.” Thus, the “throne” of David would be restored, actually ruling over a part of Israel. This amazing turn of events was made possible, in part, because of Dan’s extraordinary zeal to explore and settle new lands -- by sea!

As explained fully in Chapter 12, after Joseph’s passing in Egypt, there eventually arose a Pharaoh who did not know Joseph (Exodus 1:8). What is implied by this passage is that animosity and conflict gradually developed between Egypt and Israel. The result, ultimately, was slavery for the children of Israel. But before the conflict reached that critical point, some of the Judahite ruling nobility -- those of Judah’s Zarahite line -- abandoned Egypt aboard ships (most likely Danite). Sailing directly northwest across the Mediterranean Sea to what would become Greece, they established several notable cities -- Argos, Athens, Miletus, etc. They spread inland as well, settling areas such as Macedonia (which retains Dan’s name).

Centuries later, during Solomon’s golden reign, Danite explorers began colonizing Ireland. Soon thereafter, Israelites from Greece known as the Tuatha de Danann (the tribe of Dan) also began visiting Ireland -- bringing Zarahite nobles by way of Miletus. In time, these Milesian Judahites -- traveling aboard Danite ships -- became established as a ruling class over the developing Israelite colonies.

Ultimately, it was to these Judahite nobles in Ireland that the prophet Jeremiah came, seeking to join the royal line of David -- in a period of extended “exile” from Palestine -- to a long-established ruling line of the tribe of Judah. Thus, the pioneering tribe of Dan played a key role in the preservation of the throne of David!


[1]. Encyclopedia Americana, “Celtiberia,” vol. 6, p. 143. These proto-Celtic settlers were Israelite in origin, probably Danite. They are identified as being “Celtic” because of their cultural traits. Cimmerian Israelites, migrating centuries later along the Danube River, were also identified as being Celtic. Indeed, the entire Celtic culture seems to have originated with migrating Israelites.

Iberia was the name of an ancient Israelite-Phoenician colony in Spain -- hence, the Iberian Peninsula. Centuries later, the Caucasus region between the Caspian and Black Seas came to be known as Iberia, confirming it as an area of Israelite resettlement.

Iberia -- “Iber’s land” or “land of the Hebrews” -- comes from the word Hebrew itself, Ibriy, which stems from Eber, progenitor of Abraham (Genesis 11). According to Jory Brooks, numerous ancient maps mark the Caucasus region as Iveria, an alternate spelling of Iberia (in Hebrew transliteration, the b and v are frequently interchanged). See Mapping Israel’s Migrations -- Israel’s Ancient Highways into Europe at www.ensignmessage.com/IsraelsMigrations.html.

[2]. This probably took place when Deborah judged Israel, about 1280 BC -- over 200 years before Solomon. It is likely that Danite explorers had already discovered the British Isles by this time.

[3]. The Web site www.lost-civilizations.net gives this summary concerning the Phoenicians: “The Mediterranean Sea allowed the Phoenicians to wander, to explore, and to discover. It was their link to a world that awaited their skill and their art. These fine merchants brought their dye, fabric, ceramics, glass, metals, wine, crops, and oil from port to port. They became the world’s finest maritime nation. The Phoenicians were not only adventurous merchants, [they were] expert sailors and navigators as well. They colonized parts of Cyprus, Rhodes, and the Aegean Islands. Phoenician sailors journeyed east to the Black Sea and west to places such as Corinth, Thebes, Sardinia, Palermo, Marseille, Corsica, and Malta. They were known to have gone as far as Gibraltar and Cadiz in Spain.

“By about 1000 BC, they had finally reached the Atlantic Ocean. The Greeks were influenced in their navigation by the Phoenicians, who taught them to sail by the North star…. Due to their sailing skills, the Phoenicians served as missionaries of civilization, bringing eastern Mediterranean products and culture to less advanced peoples. A few Phoenician traders braved the stormy Atlantic and sailed as far as England” (www.lost-civilizations.net/phoenicians-overview.html).

[4]. George Rawlinson, Phoenicia, History of a Civilization, pp. 22-23. Rawlinson wrote in the middle 1800s.

[5]. Tarshish was a Phoenician colony on the coast of what is now Spain; the name may correspond to the ancient city of Tartessus on the Iberian Peninsula. Tarshish served as a major sea port from which the noted “ships of Tarshish” operated. Because the “ships of Tarshish” were the largest and most magnificent seagoing vessels known to the Mediterranean world, the name eventually became applied to any comparable seafaring vessel and may have been used as an expression of naval power (Barry Fell, America B.C., p. 93; see II Chron. 9:21; Jonah 1:3; Psa. 48:7; Isa. 23:14; Ezek. 27:25; etc.).

[6]. John C. Gawler, Dan: The Pioneer of Israel, ch. 1; www.nordiskisrael.dk/ artikler/jcgawler_dan_the_pioneer_of_israel_chap1.html.

[7]. Rawlinson, p. 26

[8]. Steven Collins, The “Lost” Ten Tribes of Israel -- Found!, pp. 36-37. On Solomon’s relationship with Hiram, see I Kings 5:2-18.

Besides joint trade expeditions abroad, Israelite-Phoenician trade was extensive: Israel supplied vital foodstuffs needed by the Phoenician coastal cities in exchange for a variety of goods their ships brought from abroad. The long and prosperous relationship between these two peoples certainly explains why the Phoenician “golden age” under Hiram historically paralleled the biblical “golden age” of Israel under Solomon. Moreover, the Hebrews and Phoenicians spoke virtually the same language, with only minor differences. The Phoenicians, in fact, were Semitic distant relatives of the Hebrews, tracing their origin back to ancient Chaldea, the home of Abraham.

Over a century after Solomon’s death, King Ahab of Israel married Jezebel, the daughter of the Phoenician king of Sidon, no doubt further cementing Israel’s ongoing alliance with the Phoenicians (I Kings 16:31).

[9]. Gawler, ch. 1

[10]. Collins, p. 21

[11]. Collins, p. 39

[12]. Gawler, ch. 1, here quoting the May 28, 1875, Jewish Chronicle. In this regard, note Psalm 89:25, where God said of David (and thus Solomon): “I will set his hand” -- symbolic of authority, rulership -- “also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers” This indicates a significant naval influence.

[13]. Gawler, ch. 1

[14]. Gordon adds that “we have good reason for suspecting that much of the so-called ‘Phoenician’ trade and colonization was, in reality, Israelite.” See www.israelite.ca/research/specialstudiesfiles/ancmigr_files/ancient_hebrew_ migrations.html.

Having written over 20 books, Dr. Cyrus Gordon is considered one of the leading American archaeologists of the 20th century. Much of his extensive research has been published in Biblical Archaeologist magazine.

[15]. Collins, pp. 41, 121. Relatively new research by scholars such as Barry Fell reveals that both the Phoenicians and the Israelites anciently colonized pockets of North America. In his groundbreaking book America B.C., Fell references numerous archeological finds that prove the presence of “Phoenician” explorers in North America. According to Fell, a great number of such finds bear Celtic-Iberian inscriptions. This means the explorers and settlers came from the Iberian Peninsula -- which was known to be inhabited by Phoenician and Israelite colonists. As we have seen, much of what has been attributed to Phoenician explorers should more accurately be attributed to Israelite explorers. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that 1) Israelite colonists came to America aboard Phoenician ships, and 2) Danite seamen also likely explored the New World on their own.

Fell documents the existence of ancient Phoenician inscriptions at a site known as Mystery Hill in New Hampshire. Carbon dating traces the writings to the second millennium BC. In one of the chambers is an inscription dedicating it to the Phoenician god Baal (pp. 85, 90). Burial mounds have been found in Rhode Island, Ohio, and West Virginia that reveal a Celtic-Iberian origin (pp. 163-167). In fact, Celtic art on walls, pottery and burial urns found in America is virtually identical to Celtic art found in Iberia. Hundreds of stone grave markers -- written in Phoenician and Celti-berian scripts and dated to 800-600 BC -- have been found in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania (p. 169).

Fell also cites evidence that the Phoenicians had a regular port-of-call off the coast of Maine. He writes: “The periodic arrival of Phoenician ships on the New England coast is attested by the Ogham [an ancient Irish script] inscription on Monhegan Island, off the coast of Maine. It is obvious that the flat-topped rocky islet would not have been set aside for the loading and unloading of Phoenician ships were they not regular visitors to America with a predictable timetable of ports of arrival and departure at expected dates.” Fell concludes that the whole island was a “Phoenician trading station,” and that the facts indicate a highly organized system of maritime commerce stretching from the Iberian region to North America (pp. 100-101). According to Fell, the Celtic-Iberian traders came not just from Iberia, but from Ireland as well.

[16]. Rawlinson, pp. 69-70

[17]. The Origin of Our Western Heritage, ch. 5: The Captivity and Deportation of Israel; www.bethelcog.org/church/the-origin-of-our-western-heritage/thecaptivity-and-deportation-of-israel

[18]. J. H. Allen, Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright, p. 267

[19]. Collins, pp. 122, 125. According to Fell, “the oldest Gaelic name for Ireland is Ibheriu” -- which clearly resembles Iberia and Hibernia. He adds that migrant peoples commonly carried the name of their former homeland to a new homeland (p. 63). Thus, we can see why Iberia (“land of the Hebrews”) was anciently attached first to the Iberian Peninsula and later to Ireland -- as well as to the Caucasus region, which migrating Israelites briefly settled.

[20]. Collins, p. 123

[21]. Allen, p. 275

[22]. See www.israelite.ca/research/specialstudiesfiles/hebrew_celtic_ connection.html. According to this Web site, the area labeled Danmoni is shown on an ancient map in Celtic scholar John Rhys’ book, Early Celtic Britain.

[23]. Collins, p. 122

[24]. www.israelite.ca/research/source_documents/dan_in_europe.html

[25]. www.ensignmessage.com/IsraelsMigrations.html

[26]. Most of these examples are taken from Gawler (ch. 1) and Allen (pp. 263, 266-267.)

[27]. Gawler, ch. 1


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