The prophet Jeremiah – where did he die? Did he go to Ireland, as some have claimed?

Also, what about the ‘stone of destiny’ which some writers talk about?

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Background: There is an old Irish Catholic story which talks about an Egyptian woman who travelled to Ireland. Some Anglo-Israelist writers have modified that story, so that the Egyptian woman was made into an Israelite princess, and they have changed even the timings and made it seem that that woman was contemporary with the prophet Jeremiah.

What are the facts regarding the prophet Jeremiah? Where did he end his life? Did he travel to Ireland, as some have claimed? And also, what about the “stone of destiny” which some writers have connected with Jeremiah? This article takes a closer look at those questions. Even the matter of the “house of David”, kingly lineage, will be considered here.

This article belongs to a series on what biblical prophecy says about the fate of the ten lost tribes of Israel.

Where did Jeremiah die? What ancient writers said about his fate.

Several ancient writers, Abulpharagius, Elmacin, Epiphanius, Jerome and Tertullian (quoted by later historians), said that Jeremiah died in Egypt – that some Jews stoned him to death there, in a town or place by the name Tahpanhes. The Scriptures do not record his death, but they do mention Tahpanhes. The below-quoted passage records that Jeremiah was taken there, along with a group of Jews who were fleeing from the king of Babylon.

Jeremiah 43:1 And it came about that when Jeremiah had come to the end of giving all the people the words of the Lord their God, which the Lord their God had sent him to say to them, even all these words, 2 Then Azariah, the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the men of pride, said to Jeremiah, You have said what is false: the Lord our God has not sent you to say, You are not to go into the land of Egypt and make your living-place there: 3 But Baruch, the son of Neriah, is moving you against us, to give us up into the hands of the Chaldaeans so that they may put us to death, and take us away prisoners into Babylon. 4 So Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, did not give ear to the order of the Lord that they were to go on living in the land of Judah. 5 But Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces took all the rest of Judah who had come back into the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been forced to go; 6 The men and the women and the children and the king’s daughters, and every person whom Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, had put under the care of Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch, the son of Neriah; 7 And they came into the land of Egypt; for they did not give ear to the voice of the Lord: and they came to Tahpanhes. (BBE)

There is no record, biblical or other, of the prophet Jeremiah travelling anywhere else after this. And again, several ancient writers said that Jeremiah was stoned to death, in the place called Tahpanhes which verse 7 mentions.

Under the following headings, there are some notes on the “Irish annals” which some Anglo-Israelist writers have in a vague manner referred to.

The origin of the story which claims that Jeremiah travelled to Ireland.

Here is a quote from ‘standard letter 004’ which used to be sent out (as a reply to questions) by a certain formerly Pasadena-based church which for a long time had Anglo-Israelism as one of its central dogmas.

“It is significant that most kings of Scotland and England have been Masons and that one of their traditional beliefs is that the house of David was transferred to Northwest Europe from Palestine. This information can be found in Algernon Herbert’s ‘Britannica After the Romans’. The old book entitled ‘Irish Prince and Hebrew Prophet,’ Masonic Publishing Company, Bleecker Street, New York City, also makes reference to a Hebrew prophet (Jeremiah), especially in chapters 5, 11, and 12.”

The first of the books which the above-quoted “standard letter” referred to, is actually titled ‘Britannia after the Romans, etc’ (printed in London in 1836, author Algernon Herbert). It calls itself “an essay on history”, but it is not that. Instead, it contains all kinds of fictitious stories and notes on occult and magic and other such things, including Mithraism, druidism, Arthurian tales (apparently of Knight Templar origin), Freemasonry, and so on. It is in that kind of context, that that book talks about “the magic wand of Moses”, “the crown and sword of David”, “the magic ship of Solomon”, and more of the same kind. In short: That book is a compilation of all kinds of occult and similar stories, often without any connection with reality.

However, the author of that book succeeded in sorting out one thing. He made a comment regarding “the ancient idolatrous Irish [who] had a portable shrine called arn-breith”, and noted that some [writers] had claimed that that idol shrine was the same as the Ark of the Covenant which is mentioned in the Bible. He remarked that those who connect the old Irish phrase arn-breith with the Ark of the Covenant – on the basis that the old Hebrew word beriyth meant “covenant” – forget that “the Irish did not speak Hebrew but Erse, in which tongue the plain words, arn breith, mean the judge’s doom or judgment”.

The above-quoted ‘standard letter 004’ did not give the full name for the other book which it mentioned. Its title is actually ‘The Irish Prince and the Hebrew Prophet, A Masonic Tale of the Captive Jews and the Ark of the Covenant’. (Freemason publishing house, 1896. Author anonymous, possibly Joseph Vahle.) – Just as the word “tale” in that book’s title indicates, it is a work of fiction.

It appears that parts of the Anglo-Israelist dogma which the earlier mentioned church taught, came from that book. It consists of a number of fictitious stories. It refers to various kinds of Freemason “mysteries”, and at least in the original printing it had even occult signs and a scull and bones on the cover as well as on the first text page. (A note: Freemasonry is a religion, but it does not serve the true God. The article rwa042.htm has more on this.)

It is from books of that kind, that a number of writers have copied the claim that the prophet Jeremiah travelled to Ireland and took with him the daughters of the Jewish king Zedekiah and that he in that way moved a “kingly line”, “house of David”, to Ireland.

Some of those fiction books, and writers who have copied things from them, have in a vague manner referred to undefined passages in Irish stories or “annals”. (Those so-called “annals” were written by Catholic monks or priests, in the 1500s and 1600s.)

Consider this: If there existed historical documents that supported the claim that Jeremiah travelled to Ireland, we can be certain that Anglo-Israelist writers and publishers would have produced millions of facsimile copies of them, and spread them to all they could reach. But, they have not done that. Why? Simply because there are no historical documents that would support their claims.

A note: The “line of David” matter is considered later in this article.

What about the mystic Irish figure Ollam Fola?

As was noted earlier, some Anglo-Israelist writers have in a vague manner referred to Irish Catholic stories or “annals”. Often, they have in that connection mentioned a figure by the name Ollam Fola, and claimed that he was the prophet Jeremiah.

But, those “annals” do not mention the prophet Jeremiah or the daughters of Zedekiah. They mention a woman who came from Egypt, but she was Egyptian, and the timing of that event was several hundred years before Jeremiah’s lifetime. There is no connection between the prophet Jeremiah, and the figure Ollam Fola who appears in those Irish Catholic stories.

Again, according to several ancient writers, Jeremiah was stoned to death in Egypt (that may also be what the first part of Hebrews 13:7 refers to). That was around 586 BCE which is when the Babylonians took Jerusalem. The Irish figure Ollam Fola [a] lived and died several hundred years before that. ‘Annals of the four masters’ [b] place Ollam Fola [his time as a ruler] in the period 1318–1278 BCE.

a Ollam Fola is also spelled Ollamh Fodlah and Ollom Fotla, eventually meaning “the teacher from Fodla”.

b ‘Annals of the four masters’ = ‘Annala na gCeithre Mhaistrí’, also called ‘Annala Rioghachta Eireann’, ‘Annals of the kingdom of Ireland’ – a Catholic work. Some say that it was written between 1632 and 1636 in a Franciscan friary in Ireland.

Ollam Fola is said to have built some structure at Tara in Ireland, and formed an assembly there. It is also said that Ollam Fola made himself the high king, after having killed his predecessor Faildergdoit, whose father Muinemon had killed Ollam Fola’s father Fiachu Finscothach. As anyone can see, those things simply cannot be connected to Jeremiah.

Regarding the house of David and the line of the kings of Israel (Judah).

A note: The article rya102.htm has more on what the Scriptures actually say about David’s “kingly line”. See also the article rya112.htm. The following is only a short synopsis of a certain part of that matter.

Some Anglo-Israelist writers have cited Ezekiel 21:27 in translations which have in that verse the wording “overturn, overturn, overturn”. The English word “overturn” refers to turning upside down, invalidating, destroying, and when used in connection with rulers, “causing the downfall of”. But, those writers have claimed that the words “overturn, overturn, overturn” mean instead that the kingly line was to be moved from Israel via Egypt to Ireland and then to Scotland and finally to England. It appears that that concept is copied from the earlier mentioned Freemason fiction book which, among other things, says that the prophet Jeremiah transported “the daughters of Zedekiah” to Ireland and that he in that way moved the “the house of David” (kingly lineage) there.

Let us take a closer look at that passage and matter. In the Hebrew text of Ezekiel 21:27, the word which some have translated as “overturn”, “overthrown” or “ruin”, is the noun avvah which is said to refer to “distortion”, “ruin”.

Ezekiel 21:26 thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are. Exalt that which is low, and bring low that which is exalted. 27 A ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgment belongs, and I will give it to him. (ESV11, highlighting added)

In short: That passage has nothing to do with “moving”. It talks about the overthrowing (ruin) of the rule by the line of David. [c] It shows that after that ruin, there was not to be a ruler of David’s line, not until the coming of the One who had a right to that rulership – that is, Jesus.

c The Lord had made a promise regarding king David’s lineage, but it appears that that promise was conditional, with an “if” connected to it. We read:

1 Kings 2:4 […]If your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’ (NRSV, highlighting added)

David’s descendants were not faithful to the Lord, and so, things went as they went.

When the overthrowing took place, this is what happened:

Jeremiah 39:6 Then the king of Babylon put the sons of Zedekiah to death before his eyes in Riblah: and the king of Babylon put to death all the great men of Judah. 7 And more than this, he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and had him put in chains to take him away to Babylon. 8 And the Chaldaeans put the king’s house on fire, as well as the houses of the people, and had the walls of Jerusalem broken down. (BBE)

The situation after that:

Hosea 3:4 For the children of Israel will for a long time be without king and without ruler, without offerings and without pillars, [d] and without ephod or images. (BBE, note sign added)

d The word “pillar” is considered later in this article.

This prophecy refers to still later times:

Amos 9:11 “In that day I will restore the fallen house of David. I will repair its damaged walls. From the ruins I will rebuild it and restore its former glory. (NLT04)

Several bible-passages, including the ones quoted above, make it clear that even though David’s physical lineage continued, the continuity of the “throne” (rulership) was broken. – But yes, the Lord had said that he would establish the lineage (“tent”, “house”) of king David. That is fulfilled in Jesus who is the promised descendant “whose right it is”, Ezekiel 21:27, the one who has the right to that throne (rulership). Consider these verses in the book of Luke:

Luke 1:30 And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you shall conceive and bear a son, whom you shall name Jesus. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will give him the throne of David his Father. 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever: his reign shall never end. (LO, highlighting added)

A note: As we all know, Jesus did not establish his reign here on Earth, in the first century. But in the future, he will do that.

For more on the matter of the “line of David” – really when it was to be established as a non-broken rulership, and how and in whom – see the article rya102.htm.

Regarding the claim that the words ‘branch’ and ‘twig’ in Ezekiel 17:22 are connected to a daughter of Zedekiah.

Ezekiel 17 contains a parable. Here is a part of it:

Ezekiel 17:22 Thus says the Lord God: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. 23 “On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it […] (NKJV)

Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that the words “branch” and “twig” in verse 22 are connected to a daughter of king Zedekiah of Judah. Also, they have, in effect, claimed that the words “mountain height of Israel” in verse 23 refer to Ireland. But the facts are, of course, that the prophetic words in that passage referred to Jesus and the land of Israel (Canaan). The article rya112.htm has some notes on the “branch” and “twig” of Ezekiel 17:22.

On the ‘stone of Scone’ or ‘coronation stone’ which some have called ‘the stone of destiny’.

The so-called “stone of destiny” or “fatal stone” is a mystic relic stone that has been used at the inauguration of kings and queens in Britain. Thence the name “coronation stone”. In Scotland, it was kept in a place called Scone, whence the name “the stone of Scone”. In 1296, Edward I who was the king of England, invaded Scotland and took, among other things, that stone as spoils of war and moved it to England. There it was placed in London, in Westminster Abbey (which was in those days a Catholic church building). – In 1996, it was returned to Scotland.

Various stories have been woven around that Scottish Knight Templar and Freemason relic stone. One of those stories claims that it is “Jacob’s pillar stone”, an allusion to Genesis 28. It may be that those stories were created for the purpose of producing a “biblical base” for the British “royal house”, perhaps as a part of an effort to justify England’s imperialism.

On the story regarding ‘Jacob’s pillar stone’, and 2 Chronicles 23:13, the words ‘the king standing by his pillar’.

In connection with a story regarding “Jacob’s pillar stone”, some writers have cited certain words in Genesis 28 and claimed them to be connected with 2 Chronicles 23:13 which talks about “the king standing by his pillar”.

The earlier mentioned Freemason fiction book (which Anglo-Israelist writers have used as “source reference”) contains a story where the prophet Jeremiah is said to have transported “Jacob’s pillar stone” and the Ark of the Covenant from Israel to Egypt, and then to Ireland, “on one of Dan’s ships”. In order to make that story sound true, that book then claims that in that connection, “Irish history comes majestically to our relief”, and then it further claims that it is “an indisputable historical fact that in 580 B.C. there arrived in the North of Ireland a Hebrew princess whose name was Tea Tephi, and she was accompanied by two men, one of whom was a prophet”. But, the woman whom certain Irish Catholic “annals” mention, did not come to Ireland “580 B.C.” but much earlier, several hundred years before Jeremiah and Zedekiah were even born. And, she was Egyptian. Also, the by Catholic monks or priests written “annals” do not mention the prophet Jeremiah. More: It appears that even some of the most ardent supporters of Anglo-Israelism have rejected the “princess Tea Tephi” story as bogus created in the 1800s.

But, let us nevertheless consider the passage which mentions the stone which the patriarch Jacob had under his head, and which he then did some rites with.

Genesis 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. 18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone [Hebrew eben] that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar [matstsebah], and poured oil on the top of it. […] 22 And this stone [eben], which I have set for a pillar [matstsebah], shall be God’s house: and of all that you shall give me I will surely give the tenth to you. (AKJV, comments added)

In connection with the “coronation stone” story, some writers have, copying things from the earlier mentioned Freemason fiction book, claimed that the stone which Jacob used as a pillow, Genesis 28:17–18 and 22, is the same as the pillar which is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 23:13. Let us consider that passage and matter.

2 Chronicles 23:13 When she looked, there was the king standing by his pillar [Hebrew ammuwd] at the entrance (NKJV, comment added)

In that verse, the Hebrew text has ammuwd, referring to a large column in the temple area in Jerusalem. Here is a note on 2 Chronicles 23:13 in the 1871 Jamieson, Faucett and Brown commentary:

13. behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in—The king’s pillar was in the people’s court, opposite that of the priests. The young king, arrayed in the royal insignia, had been brought out of the inner, to stand forth in the outer court, to the public view. Some think that he stood on the brazen scaffold of Solomon, erected beside the pillar.

Again, the pillar (ammuwd) which is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 23:13, was a large pillar (column) in the temple area. It had nothing to do with the small stone (eben, matstsebah) of Genesis 28:18 and 22. The word matstsebah could refer to an image, a marker stone or even a tombstone, but not anything as large as the in 2 Chronicles 23:13 mentioned ammuwd which was a large column.

Summarising this point: The pillar (column) of 2 Chronicles 23:13 had nothing to do with the stone which Jacob had put under his head and then poured oil on (Genesis 28:18). But, some writers have quoted various kinds of stories, and invented new ones, in order to make people believe that the Freemason relic stone which used to be stored in Westminster Abbey but is now in Scotland, supposedly had its origins by the temple in Jerusalem.

The Rock of Israel, 1 Corinthians 10:4.

Some writers have even claimed that the Knight Templars’ and Freemasons’ “sacred” stone (the “stone of Scone”) supposedly is “the Rock of Israel” which is mentioned in the Scriptures. Some have gone as far as claiming that the in Exodus 17:6 mentioned rock from which water poured forth for the Israelites, supposedly was that Freemason relic stone, and that later, the prophet Jeremiah transported it from Israel to Egypt and further to Ireland.

But again, the Irish “annals” do not mention Jeremiah, and ancient writers say that he died in Egypt. Also: The Scriptures tell us the identity of “the Rock of Israel”, “the Rock that followed them”. Let us read what the apostle Paul wrote about that “Rock”.

1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. (NKJV)

In other words, that “Rock” was and is the Lord Jesus. (The matter of Jesus’ past identity – who he was before he became a mortal – is something for a separate study, but even Paul’s words in the above-quoted verse 4 make that matter quite clear.)

Still regarding rocks, in this case literal ones: Exodus 17:6 and Psalms 78:15 record how the Lord gave the Israelites water to drink, not from a stone that could be carried around but from a rock, cliff, Hebrew tsuwr. This was in the Arabian desert, before the Israelites had come to the Promised Land. We read:

Exodus 17:6 I will be standing there in front of you on the rock [Hebrew tsuwr] at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. (NRSV, comment added)

Psalms 78:15 He split rocks [tsuwr] open in the wilderness, and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep. (NRSV, comment added)

The in Exodus 17:6 mentioned rock or cliff, Hebrew tsuwr, which let out a huge quantity of water, was not a stone (matstsebah) that could be carried around. And again, as for the phrase “the Rock of Israel” – it refers to the Lord. The Bible contains many references to him as “the Rock”.

Links to the other 14 parts in this series on the tribes of Israel are found in the “recommended reading” section, below.

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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. → rsa092.htm

On the words “gentiles”, “pagans” and “heathen” and what they actually mean and refer to. → rga012.htm

Easy keys to deeper understanding of the Scriptures. → rga022.htm

Freemasonry and Freemason halls – things believers should know about them. → rwa042.htm

The other parts in the ‘tribes’ series:

What biblical prophecy says about the fate of the ten lost tribes of Israel. → rya012.htm

Leviticus 26:19, “and I will break the pride of your power”. How and when was the ancient Israelites’ pride broken? → rya022.htm

On the meaning of Genesis 22:17, the words “and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies”. → rya032.htm

On what the concept “birthright” meant and referred to, in regard to inheritance, in ancient times. Also, some notes on the patriarch Jacob’s birthright, and that of his son Joseph. → rya042.htm

On the meaning of the words “seven times” in Leviticus 26:18, 21, 24 and 28. Does the wording in the Hebrew text mean “seven times more” or “sevenfold” as many translations have it, or “2520 years” as some writers have claimed? → rya052.htm

Jeremiah 30:7, “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. On what chapter 30 in the book of Jeremiah means and refers to. → rya062.htm

On the prophet Ezekiel and his mission, and the “Ezekiel message” dogma. → rya072.htm

Matthew 10:5–6, “do not go into the way of the gentiles and do not enter a city of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Who and where were those “sheep”? Where did the apostles go? → rya083.htm

Did the ten lost tribes of Israel move to Europe? Are the white north-west Europeans Israelites, as some say? → rya092.htm

Is the line of David the king of Israel still ruling somewhere on Earth? → rya102.htm

The meaning of the words “branch” and “twig” in Ezekiel 17:22. Some notes on Anglo-Israelist dogmas regarding king Zedekiah’s daughters. → rya112.htm

Did people of the ten lost tribes of Israel travel to Greece, Denmark and Ireland? Some notes on certain Anglo-Israelist dogmas. → rya132.htm

Regarding Anglo-Israelism: What if it is instead Russia with her Slavic sister nations that are the ten lost tribes of Israel? → rya142.htm

Ethnic groups which could eventually belong to the lost tribes of Israel. → rya152.htm

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