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Many Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that the ten “lost” tribes of Israel moved into north-western Europe – except for Germany which some of those writers have claimed to be “Assyria”. Often, they have combined those things with a dogma regarding “the throne of David”, claiming that the kingly line of David of Israel reigns in Europe today. Some have even pointed out certain European nations as specific tribes of Israel. This study takes a closer look at those claims, from both biblical as well as historical viewpoints. It considers whether the ten “lost” tribes moved to Europe, and whether the modern-day north-west European peoples or nations might be connected with those tribes.
(This is a part of an article series on what biblical prophecy says about the fate of the ten “lost” tribes of Israel. For the other parts in this series, see the last part of the “recommended reading” section at the end of this present study.)
Indeed, are the white north-west Europeans Israelites, as some say?
The Bible does not record what happened to the ten northern tribes of Israel, after they had been taken into captivity in Assyria and the area around it. But on the other hand, there is biblical prophecy, concerning how they would be doing, during that exile and dispersion. There are several prophecies to take into consideration, as well as historical facts and certain other things. The other parts in this series have more on this. Much of the basics of that matter is clarified in the first part, the article gu01.htm. – The nature and worth or validity of many Anglo-Israelist claims can also be weighed and assessed through simple logical analysis. This present article contains a bit of that.
A note: Some writers have talked about “the Caucasian race”, in connection with the tribes of Israel. The word and concept “Caucasian” was used, and perhaps coined, by the German “scientist” and craniologist Johann Blumenbach (1752–1840). But, the term “Caucasian” does not have any scientific ground. There is more on this, later in this study.
Anglo-Israelist writers claim that the Anglo-Saxon part of the people of Britain or England are “Israelites”. And, in contrast to that, many of those writers define the Germans as “Assyrians”.
How is it with that? Did the English Anglo-Saxons come from Israel, and the Germans from Assyria?
In Old English, “England” was Engle land or Angle land, “the land of the Angles”. The Angles were a Germanic people who colonised England from Angeln (Anglia) in northern Germany. The Saxons, also a Germanic people, came to Britain from Sachsen (Saxony) in Germany.
A note: Here, the word Sachsen refers “Old Saxony” or Saxonia, the area bounded by the rivers Ems, Eider and Elbe. In other words, the north-western part of Germany.
There were also the Jutes, another Germanic people which formed colonies in Britain. Today, many historians think that they did not come from Jutland but rather from the German area east of the mouth of Rhine.
Please note that the Angles, Saxons and Jutes who came to Britain from Germany, were of Germanic stock. Even British historians are in agreement about this.
Also many Vikings and Norsemen moved into England, from Scandinavia and Normandy. Even they were of Germanic stock. Together with the Angles, Jutes and Saxons, they account for a large part of the people who moved into Britain between the 300s and the 1100s.
Those were Germanic people, speaking Germanic languages. Even the Normans were a Germanic people, but it is not fully clear what language they spoke. The warlords who used Norman men for an invasion of England, spoke a kind of French. It might be that even some of the Germanic Normans had begun to speak some form of French. (Old Normandy was an area in what today is northern France.)
Some historians have said that when the Germanic peoples invaded the island which is called “Great Britain”, that caused some of that island’s original inhabitants to move over the channel, into what today is Bretagne (Brittany) in France.
If that is so, then something that has happened elsewhere in the world, happened also on the island which is called Great Britain: The name of the people who formerly lived there, remained as the name of the geographical area, even though a new majority of a different race had moved in and gained control. The original inhabitants of that island – among them the Britons (Bretons) – were pushed aside, and apparently some of them even moved away. That island is still called “Great Britain”, but that name is misleading, as far as the origin of its present-day population is concerned.
Many Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed the modern-day British royalty to be descendants of king David of Israel. How is it with that?
Another part in this series, the article gu10.htm, takes a closer look at the “throne of David” matter, and shows that it is Jesus who has the right to that “throne” today, and not anyone else. But, here are some shorter notes on the British “royal house”.
Those who are interested in the history of the British “royalty” and its lineage, may know that the present queen comes from a long line of German kings who have ruled over England. The name of her line is really “Hanoverian”, but for domestic reasons it was changed to “Windsor”. (A note: Hanover, properly Hannover, is a German city.)
George I who in 1714 was made the king of England, was born in 1660 in Hanover, Germany. His German name was Georg Ludwig. He was chosen as the king, because the English had made a law which demanded that the king had to be a Protestant. Apparently, they found no Protestant candidate for a king in Britain, and so, they got one from Germany. George I was the king of England between 1714 and 1727, and at the same time (1698-1727) the ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover, Germany) in the Holy Roman Empire.
A note: George I had through his mother some distant relation to England’s former “royal family”, but there were some twenty others before him with a “claim” to the throne. But apparently they were not Protestants.
George I was not a very “English” king. He did not even speak English. After all, he was a German. It is said that he did not care too much for England, except that it gave him a chance to fill his pockets with English gold, as well as the pockets of his German friends. And also, it might be that the addition of England to what his family already ruled in Europe, enhanced the family fame.
Some of the later descendants of George I were at times a bit embarrassing for the English, because they were so pro-German, also in times of war, even in the 20th century.
The German lineage of the kings of England:
There we have England: In regard to genetics a largely Germanic nation, speaking a Germanic language, with German kings. What and where is the connection with Israel?
The article gu10.htm takes a closer look at the “line of David” matter; see even the article mu12.htm.
On the basis of Genesis 49:1-27, some writers have proceeded to perform an “identification” of certain nations in western Europe as specific tribes of Israel.
Those writers have cited the words “in the last days” which some bible-versions have in Genesis 49:1, and claimed that that chapter refers to our day and age. How is it with that matter?
Genesis 49:1 Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come. 2 “Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your father. (ESV01)
Verse 1, “in days to come” – the wording in the Hebrew text actually translates as “at the end of days”. That referred to a time that was future from Jacob’s viewpoint (but not ours).
Verses 3-27 record how Jacob spoke to his sons, including certain things in regard to what was going happen to their descendants when they came to the Promised Land. From Jacob’s time-perspective those were future things; from our viewpoint they are events of the ancient past. The things that Jacob spoke about, and which then happened to his sons’ descendants in the Promised Land, took place around 3000 years ago.
The article ig02.htm has some notes on Genesis 49. Certain verses in that chapter will be mentioned also in this present study; read on.
Again, some Anglo-Israelist writers have used Genesis 49 for identifying certain nations in western Europe as specific tribes of Israel. – Some of those writers have claimed the people of Sweden to be “Naphtalites”, “of the tribe of Naphtali”. Apparently, they have based that dogma solely on this passage:
Genesis 49:21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he gives goodly words. (AKJV)
(A note: The meaning of the ancient Hebrew text of that verse is not clear. And so, some translations have different wordings, such as “a roe let loose, giving fair young ones” or “a doe set free that has beautiful fawns”.)
According to some Anglo-Israelist writers, that verse “shows that Sweden is Naphtali”. They have said such things as, “You know, the Swedes have so noble views on the world. Goodly words.” – That kind of “theology” for “identifying nations” really needs no commenting. But, let us consider the origin of the Swedish people.
The Swedes are not a “race”. Many of them are of Germanic descent, but the people of Sweden are a great racial mix. Around a fourth part of them have Finnish blood. Many of them are of Norwegian, Danish, German, Dutch, Polish, Estonian, Wallonian or Romani descent. And, let us not forget the Same people (the Lapps) and all others who already lived in the country when the Germanic “Swedes” moved in. – Seeing that the people of Sweden are of greatly mixed racial background, it would be absurd to claim them to be “a tribe of Israel”. And, it would be even more absurd to claim that Genesis 49:21 “identifies the Swedes as Naphtali”.
A note: One Anglo-Israelist writer claimed that “Danites” live in Sweden. In a booklet, he had a map where he insinuated that the name “Sweden” supposedly means “Svea-Dan” (as if some Swedes were of the tribe of Dan of Israel). There is a slight problem with that: The name of that country is actually Sverige, and not “Sweden”. Sverige, from Svea-rike, means “the kingdom of the Sveas”. That has nothing to do with Dan of Israel. See also the next point.
Some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed the country-name Danmark (as it is spelled in the native language) to be connected with the tribe of Dan of Israel, and also a group of people who in some Irish-Catholic myths are called “Tuatha Dé Danann”. Some have claimed that a part of such a group of people travelled through what today is Denmark, to Ireland.
Is that correct? Is the country-name Danmark, or the “Tuatha Dé Danann” of Irish myths (the “peoples of the goddess Danu”), in some way connected with the tribe of Dan of Israel?
Not in the books of history. But, some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed so. – One of the “sources” that those writers have used for their claims, is the Freemason fiction book “The Irish Prince and the Hebrew Prophet, A Masonic Tale of the Captive Jews and the Ark of the Covenant” which was published in 1896. That Freemason book consists of a number of totally fictitious and fabulous stories, including various kinds of Freemason mysticism. The original printing had occult signs and a scull and bones on the cover as well as on the first text page. (Freemasonry is Satan-worship in disguise. The article hv04.htm has more on this.)
A note: Some Anglo-Israelist writers have even quoted a book by the title “Britannia after the Romans, etc”, by Algernon Herbert. That book calls itself “an essay on history”, but it is not that. Instead, it contains all kinds of fictitious notes and stories on occult and magic and other such things, including Mithraism, druidism, the (Knight-Templar) Arthurian tales, Freemasonry, and so on. In short: Even that book is a compilation of occult and similar stories, often with no connection with reality.
The article hu13.htm has some notes on the Anglo-Israelist “Tuatha Dé Danann” dogma.
Some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that the people of Norway are “the tribe of Benjamin”, and the people of Switzerland “the tribe of Gad”. But, there is nothing to those claims. They are simply taken out of the thin air.
Those who carefully all of this present article, and the article gu01.htm as well as the other parts in this series, will understand how utterly absurd those claims are.
By the way, even the people of the four-language nation Switzerland are a great racial mix, consisting of peoples of many kinds. Also the Norwegians are a mix, but not quite in the same way. Most of them appear to be of Germanic origin.
Some Anglo-Israelist writers have tried to make their readers believe that the people of Germany are “Assyrians”, while their relatives who have moved to the USA (and earlier to Britain) are claimed to be “Israelites”. What should one think of those claims?
It is well known that tens of millions of people in the USA are of German descent. Their blood-relatives remain in Europe. There are perhaps more people of German blood in the USA, than there are in Germany. Not to mention the other Germanic people in the USA, such as people from the Scandinavian countries and from the Netherlands and the Dutch half of Belgium, parts of France, and the British Anglo-Saxons. In short: A large part of the population in the USA is of Germanic descent.
But again, some Anglo-Israelist writers have caused their readers to believe that those Germans who have moved to America, supposedly are Israelites, “of the tribe of Manasseh”. At the same time, their blood-relatives who remain in Germany, are claimed to be “Asshur”, descendants of ancient Assyrians. – Logical? Not in the least.
A note: The Germans are a great racial mix, a blend of many kinds of peoples. They come from many different roots: Celtic, Slavic, Frankish-Teutonic-Germanic, Romani, and many more. It would be absurd to point out the people of Germany as coming from some specific “tribe” or “race”.
Some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that the Belgians come from Asher (a son of the patriarch Jacob and a tribe of Israel). They have used this verse as a “proof” for their claim:
Genesis 49:20 Asher’s bread is fat; he gives delicate food for kings. (BBE)
Does that passage say that the Belgians are “Asher” today? No, of course not. It does not say anything of that kind.
Now, Belgium is a tri-lingual nation whose people are a great racial mix. About a half of Belgium is Flemish, consisting of Dutch speaking Germanic people. Then there is the French speaking Walloon area, as well as a German-speaking minority in the east.
The area which today is called Belgium, has been a part of many nations and powers, and it has been ruled by many kinds of kings. In the last few centuries, the area of modern-day Belgium has been controlled by the Dutch, the Germans, the French, and even by Spanish rulers. This has added to the racial mix which was great even before those things. And then, in our day, Belgium has a lot of people from its former colonies, all around the world.
In short: The Belgians are, just as most peoples of Europe, an incredible racial mix. But, some Anglo-Israelist writers have nevertheless claimed the people of Belgium to be “the tribe of Asher”. And again, they have based that claim on the words “Asher’s bread is fat, he gives delicate food for king”. – That is ludicrous.
A note: Even the people of the Netherlands are a racial mix, just as all of Europe is.
Some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed the people of the Netherlands (the Dutch) to be “the tribe of Zebulon”. They have based that claim on this passage (and only on it):
Genesis 49:13 The resting-place of Zebulun will be by the sea, and he will be a harbour for ships; the edge of his land will be by Zidon. (BBE)
The Dutch (the people of the Netherlands) have had many ships. On that basis, some Anglo-Israelist writers have said, “They must be the tribe of Zebulon.” – That is really not worth commenting on. But, let us consider that passage.
Does it talk about Europe? No, not in any way. The last part of that verse states that the tribe of Zebulon would have a border against Zidon. That place is in the Middle East, by the Mediterranean sea. That is where Zebulon’s in Genesis 49:13 mentioned haven for ships was.
(Eventually, that verse could even refer to the Sea of Gennesaret, but according to the ancient Jewish-Roman writer Josephus, the tribe of Zebulon obtained “the land from Carmel, and the sea to the lake of Gennesaret”. Mount Carmel is by the Mediterranean Sea.)
Some writers have claimed the French people, or a part of them, to be “the tribe of Reuben”. What is the basis for their claim? The answer is that there is no basis for it at all. Some of those writers have tried to defend their claims by saying that “the French national character” (whatever that could be) supposedly “identifies” Frenchmen as “the tribe of Reuben”.
Many of the strange arguments that those writers have come up with, are simply below commenting. Anyone who is able to consider those claims in an objective manner, can see that they are absurd. – And then, there are all the real facts, such as what biblical prophecy actually says about the fate of the tribes of Israel, after their exile, during their dispersion. The article gu01.htm has some notes on that subject. (For a full list of the parts in this “tribes” series, see the last part of the “recommended reading” section at the end of this present article.)
Some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed the Finnish people to be “the tribe of Issachar”. At the same time, they have claimed that the Finnish people’s racial relatives in Estonia to be “non-Israelitish”, “of Keturah”. (Keturah had children with Abraham, but the Bible says absolutely nothing about where their eventual descendants might live in our day.)
What is the basis for that Anglo-Israelist claim regarding Finland? This passage:
Genesis 49:14 Issachar is a large-boned ass, couching down between the sheep-folds. a 15 For he saw a resting-place that it was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant under task-work (BBE, note sign added)
(Please note that those words of Jacob referred to what was to happen to his sons’ descendants, when they entered the Promised Land, Canaan.)
a Some translations have in verse 14 “burdens”, instead of “sheepfolds”. Some Anglo-Israelist writers have built stories around that word “burdens”. They have claimed that since the Finnish nation is such a “strong ass” (!), then Genesis 49:14 “must refer to the Finns”, “as an ass crouching between the burdens of Russia and Sweden”. – Even that is below commenting.
A number of Anglo-Israelist writers have spoken about what they call “Caucasian people”. – What is the actual meaning of the term ‘Caucasian’?” Linguistically, it refers to the geographical area called Caucasus, but strictly speaking, that term has no real meaning at all. It is not a “scientific” word; it is not based on anything tangible or real. This will be explained below.
Originally, the manner of sorting people into groups based on colour and similar things, may have been launched by a Swede, Carl Linnaeus (von Linné) (1707-1778), the botanist who classified plants and animals into groups of species. He “categorised” even human beings. He called the white Europeans by the name “Homo sapiens europaeus”.
Later, the German “scientist” or “anthropologist” Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840), called the light-skinned Europeans “Caucasians” (“Varietas Caucasia”), and apparently felt them to be “the ideal man”. There was no scientific or historical basis for Blumenbach’s “anthropology”, or for his use of the word “Caucasian”. Apparently, his “classification” was based on “craniometrical research”. (Craniometry – Blumenbach measured human skulls, and used that for dividing mankind into five races – the “Caucasian” or white race, the Mongolian or yellow race, the Malayan or brown race, the Negro, Ethiopian or black race, and the American or red race.)
The word “Caucasian” is totally empty in regard to its scientific content. It is a racist concept, similar to the word “Aryan” which the Nazis used.
(A side-note: The article hg01.htm explains the origin and actual meaning of the words “heathen”, “gentile” and “pagan”.)
Who are the Gypsy or Romani people, and what is their origin? It is thought that the ancestors of some of the European Romani people came into Europe via Egypt. Apparently, that is the origin of the epithet “gypsies” (from “E-gypti-ans”). It seems that they had come to Egypt from Persia. And yes, Persia and its surroundings is where the ten northern tribes of Israel had been taken into captivity. But of course, we have no certain knowledge of the Romani people’s ancient ethnic roots.
Who are the present-day people who call themselves Jews and live in the and of Israel? And, how do they and their situation fit into the frame of what biblical prophecy says about the fate of the tribes of Israel?
There are Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardic Jews, and even some other smaller groups. We know that some in the Ashkenazi group – which consists of people of German and eastern European descent – began in the Middle Ages or so to write their (German) language with Hebrew letters, and also that they began practising various forms of what today is called “Judaism”. But, it is not clear what the ethnic roots of that group of people actually are. The same goes for the Sephardic group (which is of Spanish, Portuguese and North African descent).
The language which many people in the Ashkenazi group speak, is called Yiddish, supposedly meaning “Judaish”, but even though Yiddish is often written with the Hebrew alphabet, it is in fact a dialect of High German. Over the centuries, Yiddish has come to include some words from Slavic languages and Hebrew. (Most of those Yiddish-speakers who have moved to the land of Israel, have then learned even Hebrew, of course.)
Without going into the details: The present-day people who call themselves Jews and live in the land of Israel, and their situation and status, do not fit into the frame of what biblical prophecy says about the fate and restoration of the tribes of Israel.
(The article gu01.htm has some notes on what the Scriptures say in regard to the fate of the scattered tribes of Israel.)
It would be absurd to try to point out some European nation as a specific “race” or “tribe”. For the first: The borders between the European states are not drawn on the basis of race. Those borders have been drawn by war-lords, and they have been moved here and there, and even totally re-arranged, several times. Further: Many peoples have wandered into Europe and through it, mixing with the Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Gothic and other ethnic groups of Europe. There is also the great mixing effect of the Roman empire whose armies at one time controlled most of western Europe. The Roman armies consisted of people of all kinds of races, and those armies certainly left behind lots of their genes, wherever they happened to be. Also Hannibal of Carthage came up with his armies, first through Spain and then over the Alps into Italy. Then there was the Arab invasion in Spain, and the Tatars and the Osmans (Ottoman Turks) who invaded deep into south-eastern Europe. And, there have been countless other wars and things and events that have mixed the genes.
Again: Europe is an incredible mix of people and peoples. That mixing has continued to our day. For anyone who knows a bit about the history of the European continent, the claims which some Anglo-Israelist writers have come up with, are quite ludicrous.
By the way: There is no mention in the Scriptures or in the records of history, that the ten “lost” tribes of Israel would have moved somewhere else, from the area where they were taken into captivity.
Links to the other 14 parts in this series on the tribes of Israel are found in the “recommended reading” section, below.
Please send or mention the address to this site to others. You can also link to these pages. The address to the table of contents page is biblepages.net/glist.htm
Recommended reading here at the Bible Pages, on related as well as other matters
An explanation of the short names for the bible-translations that are quoted or mentioned at this site. → hs09.htm
On the King James translation, the “authorised version”. The story behind king James’ bible, including the men who were involved in producing it. → ms03.htm
Gentiles, pagans and heathen – what do those words really mean? → hg01.htm
How to understand the Bible. Easy keys to deeper understanding of the Scriptures. → ig02.htm
How to study the Bible in a deeper way. Some notes and guidelines on study methods. → hs01.htm
Maps and some notes on certain ancient kingdoms which are mentioned in the Bible – Assyria, Babylon or Chaldea, Persia and Media. → gv08.htm
Freemasonry and Freemason halls – things believers should know about them. → hv04.htm
The other parts in the “tribes” series:
Table of contents – What’s new here? – Key-word index – Search function – Contact, comments, questions – Goal and purpose
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