Did people of the ten lost tribes of Israel travel to Greece, Denmark and Ireland?

Some notes on certain Anglo-Israelist dogmas

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This article belongs to a series on what biblical prophecy says about the fate of the ten lost tribes of Israel. This present part has some notes on Anglo-Israelist dogmas which claim that people of the ten lost tribes of Israel travelled to Greece, Denmark and Ireland.

Did people of the ten lost tribes of Israel travel to Greece? On the deka phulai or ‘ten tribes’ of ancient Athens.

Some Anglo-Israelist writers, or at least one of them, have claimed or insinuated that there was a connection between the ten lost tribes of Israel and ten administrative districts in the Attica region which contained Athens, in ancient Greece. (In the Greek language, those districts were sometimes called phulai which could be translated as “nations”, “clans” or “tribes”.)

Here is the story behind that district division.

Around 500 BCE, a man called Cleisthenes (Kleisthenês) came into power in the Greek region Attica. In connection with this, he remodelled the administrative division of that area. Earlier, Attica with Athens used to be divided into four phulai which were based on a tribal division. Cleisthenes discontinued that earlier system and divided the area into administrative districts: Ten phulai, around fifty naukrarioi and perhaps one hundred demoi. The ten phulai, or main districts, were named after the Greek idols Erechtheus, Aegeus, Pandion, Leos, Akamas, Oineus, Kekrops, Hippothoôn, Aias and Antiochos. But again, those districts were not a tribal division. They were administrative districts, “counties”.

For some reason, at least one Anglo-Israelist writer has claimed or insinuated that those by Cleisthenes created ten administrative districts were somehow connected to the ten lost tribes of Israel. He referred to certain words and things and said that they “point to Israel”. In effect he, among other things, presented the Greek myth figure Danae and a people called Danaoi, as supposed references to the tribe of Dan of Israel.

It is clear that the by Cleisthenes created ten administrative districts had nothing to do with Israel or its tribes, but what about Danae and the Danaoi? Danae was a goddess, an idol in the Greek mythology. In those myths, she was the daughter of Akrisios, and conceived Perseus by Zeus. Of course, the idols Zeus and Danae and things named after them, have nothing to do with the tribe of Dan of Israel.

Regarding the name Danaoi – it occurs more than a hundred times in the ancient Greek idol-related epic poem Iliad. In those old Greek myths, the people called Achaeans or Danaoi were connected to king Danaos, the son of Belos and Anchinoe (and twin of Aiguptos), born in Panopolis in Egypt. Danaos was a king of Argos which was a district in ancient Greece. In those myths, Danaos’ and Aiguptos’ father Belos was the son of Libue who was the granddaughter of Io and the river-god Poseidon. As you can see, the Danaoi of Greek myths have nothing to do with Dan the son of Jacob (Israel).

The tribe of Dan in Denmark?

Some writers have connected the tribe of Dan with Denmark, apparently on the grounds that the name of that country happens to be “Danmark” in the native language. On the basis of that word-coincidence, they have claimed the people of Denmark to be descendants of Dan the son of the patriarch Jacob (Israel).

But, the inhabitants of Denmark are mostly of Germanic stock, just as the Swedes, the Norwegians, the Normans, the Anglo-Saxons, the Dutch, the Germans and the Austrians. However, the details regarding that matter cannot be included here. The article rya091.htm has some notes on the peoples of north-western Europe, including Denmark.

On the claims by Anglo-Israelist writers regarding the letters D and N in river-names in the Balkans and the Black Sea area.

Some Anglo-Israelist writers have made certain claims, on the basis of a number of river-names that have the letters D and N in them: Danube, Dnieper, Dniester, Don and so on.

They have claimed that the names of those rivers in the Balkans and the Black Sea area prove that Irishmen are “the tribe of Dan”. That sounds a bit odd. How is it with that matter?

First, let us note the fact that those rivers lie far away from Ireland. The rivers Danube, Dnieper, Dniester and Don empty themselves into the Black Sea.

Some have expressed the opinion that the name Don simply meant “water”. There was also a goddess Danu who was related to waters. Thus, it is no wonder that the letters D and N appear in the names of several waters (rivers).

But, some Anglo-Israelist writers have talked about “the serpent trail of Dan”, on the basis of some river-names and similar things. They have claimed that Genesis 49:17 shows or proves where the tribe of Dan lives today. So, let us read that verse. Here we go:

Genesis 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. (AKJV)

As you can see, that verse has no connection with river-names, or with Ireland.

On the Irish people who were called Tuatha Dé Danann, and the prophet Jeremiah.

The name Tuatha Dé Danann (some use the spelling Danaan) occurs in some medieval Irish-Celtic stories. Apparently, it means something like “the peoples of [the goddess] Danu”. Danu was a mother of various Irish “gods”.

A number of Anglo-Israelist writers have produced their own, modified versions of those stories, and then they have connected that to the prophet Jeremiah and the lineage of king David of Israel. Certain Anglo-Israelist stories that were produced in the late 1800s and in the 1900s, claim that an “Israelite princess” came to Ireland, from Egypt, “escorted by the prophet Jeremiah”. Now, some Irish Catholic stories do mention a group of people who came from Egypt to Ireland. That group included a “princess” of some kind, but she was an Egyptian woman, and the timing of her arrival to Ireland was several hundreds years before Jeremiah’s lifetime.

Again, some Irish Catholic stories talk about an Egyptian woman who came to Ireland. In Anglo-Israelist stories she has been made into an Israelite princess, “a daughter of king Zedekiah”. By the help of that changed story, and a changed timing, some writers have caused their readers to believe that the prophet Jeremiah transported to Ireland “the line of David”, kingly lineage, in the form of a daughter of Zedekiah.

But: There are no old records or “annals” that mention the prophet Jeremiah in Ireland. Such ancient writers who mentioned what happened to Jeremiah, said that he died in Egypt, that he was stoned to death by certain Jews who had gone there when they fled from the king of Babylon.

(Some Anglo-Israelist writers have tried to prove their claims by referring to a Freemason fiction book with the title ‘The Irish Prince and the Hebrew Prophet, A Masonic Tale of the Captive Jews and the Ark of the Covenant’. The article rya121.htm sorts out that matter.)

Then, some writers have claimed that in the days of the Exodus, a part of the tribe of Dan supposedly left Egypt for Ireland. But: There is no mention of any such thing, neither in the Bible nor in historical records or Irish annals.

Consider this: We can be certain that if Anglo-Israelist writers had found in the by Irish Catholic monks written stories (“annals”) something that would give support to their claims, they would have forced facsimile copies of those things, on all whom they could reach. But, they have not done that. Instead, they have only made some vague, unclear and unspecific references to “Irish annals”. Why is this? Simply because they have nothing to show. The whole story about Jeremiah and a daughter of king Zedekiah coming to Ireland, is taken out of the thin air. Well, it appears that it was copied from the earlier mentioned Freemason fiction book which was published in 1896.

The article rya101.htm considers the biblical record and prophecy regarding the line of king David of Israel – what really happened to it, and in whom its rulership was to become permanent.

The article rya112.htm considers the meaning of Ezekiel 17:22 and the words “branch” and “twig” which some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed to be connected to a daughter of Zedekiah and Ireland.

The article rya121.htm has some notes on the “stone of destiny” story which some writers have connected to the line of king David.

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. Please also link to this site. The address to the table of contents page is biblepages.net/contents.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. → rsa091.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. → rga021.htm

Freemasonry and Freemason halls – things believers should know about them. → rwa041.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. → rya071.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? → rya082.htm

Did the ten lost tribes of Israel move to Europe? Are the white north-west Europeans Israelites, as some say? → rya091.htm

Is the line of David the king of Israel still ruling somewhere on Earth? → rya101.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

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? → rya121.htm

Regarding Anglo-Israelism: What if Russia with her Slavic sister nations are the ten lost tribes of Israel? → rya141.htm

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


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