THE CONNECTION WITH ISRAEL


                 E.Roymond Capt M.A. A.I.A., F.S.A. SCOT.

                            (published in 1985)

     At first glance one might think E. Raymond Capt must be an
ordained minister. He quotes chapters and verses from the
Scriptures and tells about Bible characters in a flowing
narrative which would credit any pulpit. What he's been, for over
forty years, though, is a practicing archaeologist - not always
digging to unearth ancient remains but in recent years, sifting
through known archaeological findings to shed new light on the
history of the Bible.
     Capt holds a Master of Arts degree in Christian History and
Biblical Archaeology from Covenant College, Lake Wales, Florida,
and California State teaching credentials in BIBLICAL Archaeology
and History. He is also a member of the Archaeological Institute
of America. In addition to writing, Capt has produced and
presents slide and film lectures on Biblical Archaeology. These
have been enjoyed by clubs, churches and schools in many states
and in Great Britain.
     In 1972 Capt was elected a Fellow of the Society of
Antiquaries of Scotland and in 1976 received an honorary
Doctorate of Literature, (Doctor Literatum Honoris Causa) from
the Accademia Testina Per Le Scienze, (established A.D. 450)
Pescara, Italy.

Dean of the Graduate School Covenant College


     For centuries our most famous seats of learning,
universities, colleges and theological institutions have been at
a loss to solve the question - what was the ultimate fate of the
so-called "Lost Tribes of Israel" in Assyrian captivity? Although
there is an abundance of prophecy in the Bible concerning the
destiny of the "House of Israel" there is no record of its
history in exile.
     The prevailing theory, held by modern theologians, is that
they were "cast away;" simply integrated with the people of the
lands of their captivity. However, such conclusions are in
contradiction to the everlasting covenants God made with Abraham
and his descendants. (Gen.17:4-7) Also, the prophets, Hosea and
Amos, both foretold of the Israelite's captivity. They made it
very plain Israel would not be lost forever, but would eventually
be restored as a nation. (Hosea 9:17; Amos 9:8-9) Seemingly, the
ancient Assyrians, alone, held the answer to this Biblical
problem. But, they and their kingdom have long since passed away.
     Up to the middle of the nineteenth century, the student of
ancient history had little or no knowledge of the Assyrians
except what the Old Testament and the Greek historians could give
him. From the Bible he knew that Nineveh was the capital of a
cruel and powerful nation whose people God used to punish Israel
for her idolatry and disobedience. The names of the Assyrian
sovereigns, Tiglath-pileser, Shalmaneser, Sargon, and others,
were remembered as being synonymous with violence, cruelty and
sadistic killings.
     The Assyrian captivity of the Northern Kingdom of Israel was
an eternal object lesson of the doom awaiting those who continue
to break God's statutes and commandments. In spite of the
terrible experiences of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, strange
to say, the Southern Kingdom of Judah did not learn its lesson,
or heed the warning. The Scriptures state that they continued to
sin even more than the Northern Kingdom. (Jer.3:6-11) So we find
the same punishment being meted out to Judah, when a greater part
of the Southern Kingdom of Israel was also carried away captive
to Assyria.
     The inhabitants of Jerusalem successfully resisted the
Assyrians, and lived to see the destruction of Nineveh by the
Babylonians, before their city fell to the armies of
     The people, together with scattered pockets of Israelites
missed by the Assyrians, were carried away to Babylon to become
known as the "remnant of Judah.' History records the return of
less than 50,000 Judeans and other mixed people to Jerusalem
after Cyrus, King of the Persians, conquered the city of Babylon.
But, what happened to the others. (Josephus gives the figure at
several hundred thousand taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar to
Babylon and the Israelites taken captive by the Assyrians,
previously, must have been an even larger number.)
     After a lapse of over 2,500 years, it might be thought that
all hope of solving this Biblical problem has been lost in the
midst of antiquity. However, during the last hundred years,
archaeologists have unearthed and published the original
contemporary records of the Assyrians who took the Israelites
captive. It is from these records, housed today in the British
Museum, that vital clues have recently come to light.
     Assyrian artists have given us graphic pictures (inscribed on
wall plaques) of the subjection of the cities of the Israelites
and the deportation of the inhabitants to captivity in Assyria.  
Assyrian scribes also recorded on clay cuneiform tablets the
record of the Israelites' sojourn in captivity. These clay
tablets were found in the excavations of the Assyrian Royal
Library of Ashurbanipal, at Nineveh, in 1850 A.D. Later, they
were translated by Professor Leroy Waterman of the University of
Michigan. Though Waterman's translations were published in 1930,
their relevance to Israel was overlooked at the time. This was
undoubtedly because they were in complete disorder and among
hundreds of miscellaneous texts dealing with many matters of
State.    Contributing to this situation was the fact that the
Assyrians called the Israelites by other names during their
     Some of the tablets found were dated around 707 B.C. They
reveal the fate of the Israelites as they escaped from the land
of their captivity. These tablets form the "Missing links" that
enable us to identify the modern day descendants of the "Lost
Tribes of Israel." In doing so, we increase our knowledge of
Bible history and experience a dramatic revision of our
pre-conceived ideas of Bible prophecy. In the pages that follow,
the writer has attempted no more than a brief review of the
origin and history of the Israelites; a survey of the Assyrian
inscriptions and cuneiform tablets that record the deportations
of Israel as related to Biblical and secular history; their
sojourn in captivity, and a synopsis of their migrations to their
new homelands.



     In Western Asia there is a long valley separating the
deserts of northern Arabia from the Median Mountains on the
western frontier of Persia. Through this valley flows the River
Euphrates (1800 miles) and the River Tigris (1500 miles). Their
separate sources are to be found in the mountains of Armenia, on
the opposite slopes of the same range. These two primeval rivers
join at Kurnah and, under the name of Shatt-Al-Arab, flow as a
single stream into the Persian Gulf.
     Between the two rivers is an immense plain which extends
from the mountains of Kurdistan to the Persian Gulf. This plain,
known as "Mesopotamia" (Greek for 'between the rivers') contains
hundreds of thousands of square miles. Well adapted to high
cultivation, this area once sustained a huge population. The
northern part of the plain is higher than the southern. The soil
of the lower portion is especially fertile.
     Canals leading from the two rivers have distributed their
lifesustaining fluid and deposits for ages. As a result of this
fertile condition of the soil, it has been possible, from time
immemorial, for the inhabitants to raise grain, cultivate the
palm and grow many varieties of fruit-bearing trees.
     The floods of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, combined with
ordinary variations of river courses, over a long period of time,
make it impossible to say, with respect to any portion of the
alluvial plain, that it may not have been, at some former period,
the bed of one of the other rivers. Still, it would seem, on the
whole, a law of compensation prevails. As a result, the general
position of the streams in the valley is not very different now
than what it was some 4000 years ago.
     The lower portion of the valley became known as the "Land of
Sumer and Akkad," which later became part of Babylonia. The
extreme northern portion became known as "Assyria." The Bible
refers to Babylonia, in whole or part, as the "Land of the
Chaldees" and "The Land of Shinar." The land continues to grow,
as the result of silt deposited each year by the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers, at the rate of about ninety feet a year, or
less than two miles in a century. Since Alexander the Great, the
waters of the Persian Gulf have receded more than forty-eight
miles from the shore.
     Apart from the torrential rains, occuring in November and
December, and a few lighter showers in the spring, the climate is
extraordinarily dry. As early as April, the heat is very
uncomfortable. In the summer it is simply overpowering, often
rising to 110 and even 120 in the shade. The summer south-east
breezes which come off the sea, lose all their moisture as they
pass over the deserts and add to the discomfort of the
inhabitants by filling the air with a fine, sandy dust which
clogs the membranes of the nose and throat.
     The earliest settlers of Babylonia were the Sumerians, a
people whose origin is unknown. The Greek historian, Herodotus,
(5th century B.C.) had never heard of the Sumerians. Berossus, a
Babylonian scholar who lived about 250 B.C., referred to them as
legendary people (half fish and half man) who had emerged from
the Persian Gulf and settled along the coast, bringing with them
a knowledge of agriculture, writing and metal working. It was not
until about 2000 years after Berossus that the Sumerians were
     When the Sumerians first settled by the banks of the
Euphrates River, it must have been on the sandy plateau to the
west of the river where the city of Ur, (the modern Mugheir) was
later built. The Sumerians found the land between the rivers a
pestiferous marsh, inundated by the unchecked overflow of the
rivers which passed through it. The reclamation of the marsh was
the first work of the newcomers. The rivers were banked out and
the inundations controlled by means of canals. All this demanded
no little engineering skill. The eminent Professor of Assyriology
at Oxford, Rev. A.H. Sayce, wrote in 1899 that "the creation of
Babylonia was the birth of the science of engineering."
     One difficult problem faced by Sumerian farmers was that the
level of the Euphrates rose quickly, and at the wrong time of the
year for crops. Just as the plowing was complete, the fields were
likely to be flooded. Then during summer, when the river was at
its lowest, the crops were most in need of water. Their solution
was, like all great inventions, surprisingly simple. When the
spring flood was at its height, water rose above the ridges of
the ancient river banks, thus inundating land much higher than
the normal river level. During early summer, when the river water
began to subside, the bold farmers blocked its exit to the river,
thereby forming shallow lakes. Then the water was gradually
channelled along specially prepared ditches into the fields, its
flow being regulated by wooden gates, which shut off the flow
when soil in the fields was sufficiently moist.

1. A river flows between older river banks
2. The river floods
3. The old river banks trap the flood water
4. In summer water is channelled into the fields

     By building dikes to hold back the floods and reservoirs to
store water, the Sumerians were able to turn the natural sandy
barren portions of the desert into fertile ground. They grew
wheat, (indigenous to the area) each plant yielding between 200
and 300 grains. The grain grew so fast that it had to be
harvested promptly or left for the cattle to graze upon. Sorghum
and sesame plants grew almost to the size of bushes.

     In the beginning, the Sumerians plowed the ground with stone
hoes and cut their grain with clay sickles. Then they learned to
use metals, and broke the ground with metal plows. These plows
had funnel-shaped containers filled with seed that filtered down
through the funnels as oxen pulled the plows. When the grain
ripened, the farmers would cut it with a copper sickle which
replaced the clay sickle. Then, the grain was threshed by pulling
a heavy stone across the stalks and winnowing it by throwing it
into the air to separate the chaff from the good grain.
     Other food produced by the Sumerians included egg-plant, (which
took the place of the modern potato) onions, radishes, beans and
lettuce. Fruits produced included grapes, figs, melons and
apples. The native palm trees that were found along the river
banks were planted into orchards. In addition to providing dates,
the palm trees supplied a host of other needs: a sort of bread, a
sort of sugar, a sort of wine, vinegar and threads from which
fabrics were woven. Beams of palm trunks were used for
construction of buildings and date pits were used by the
blacksmiths to heat their furnaces and farmers to feed their
cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and buffaloes. A Persian inscription
lists 360 uses for the palm tree. (Strabo, XVI 1, p.14)

     The wild animals indigenous to Babylonia appear to be
chiefly the following: lion, leopard, lynx, wildcat, hyena, wolf,
jackal, wild boar, buffalo, stag, gazelle, fox, hare, badger and
the porcupine. The slow-flowing rivers swarmed with many
varieties of fish, including carp and barbel, that grew to a
large size. Eel was also found in abundance and was considered a
     While Babylonia was exceedingly rich in flora and fauna, it
was exceedingly poor in mineral wealth. The alluvium was
absolutely destitute of metals and stone. What stone we find
utilized in buildings had to be transported long distances
overland. Overcoming such engineering difficulties required
advanced skills. Developing these skills helped the people
achieve a greater mechanical ability which, in turn, produced a
higher civilization.
     As early as 3000 B.C., building stone was brought down the
Euphrates River by rafts from the Lebanon and the Amanus - a
considerable land journey. In the course of time, problems in
river transportation and construction of navigable rafts were
solved. Although the early inhabitants did acquire sufficient
stone for their great buildings and inscriptions, it was
necessary to find less costly and more abundant building material
for their homes. There was, beneath their feet, an inexhaustible
supply of the finest clay. This was readily molded into bricks.
Some of these were dried in the sun, and were then deemed
sufficient for filling in the interiors of walls. Others were
baked in kilns and used for facing the exterior walls. The same
material was also used in the manufacture of books or tablets.

     The Sumerian records, which reach back into remotest times,
never mention any other land of origin. Sumer and Akkad were
names apparently not known in the very early times. Although they
appear to be ethnically members of the Great White Race,
the Sumerians were not Semitic (an ethnological usage for a
branch of the Caucasian or white race) and show no relationship
to the Semitic nomads of the Arabian Desert who overran
Mesopotamia by the year 3500 B.C. The Sumerians were not
descended from the Biblical Adamic branch, starting about 5400
B.C., because evidence (artifacts) of their culture has been
found dating many centuries earlier.

     On the southern edge of the plain on what was then the
coastline of the Persian Gulf, the Sumerians built the town of
Eridu which became a center of maritime trade. Its site is now
marked by the mound of Abu Shahrein. (Nowawis). Today, it is
nearly 150 miles from the sea, therefore it must go back to about
7500 years, or around 5500 B.C. Ur, a little to the northwest,
with its temple to the moon god, was a colony of Eridu. The
latest excavations at Eridu have uncovered no less than fourteen
temple vaults, each one built over the other, taking us back in
time, into the fourth, fifth, and sixth millennia B.C.
     At Jarmo, in northern Iraq, an excavation by the University
of Chicago discovered a village dating back to about 6000 B.C.
Several clay figurines found there must be the earliest existing
examples of sculpture, considering that they are almost 8000
years old. Most recently, archaeologists have discovered
something else; no matter how far they delve into this "cradle"
of mankind, the beginnings of human settlements invariably are
buried still deeper in the past. No less than twenty-six stratas,
each belonging to a different period, have been excavated in a
hill (Tepe Gawra) north of Mosul that rises some sixty-four feet
above the plain of Tigris.
     The earliest records of the Sumerians reveal a class of
free, landholding citizens, working their land with numerous
slaves and trading with caravans and small boats up and down the
rivers. Over these free middle-class people were the officials
and priests, the aristocrats about the town. Such communities
controlled the land for only a few miles round about the towns,
but formed the political unit, or state. Eventually the power of
rule was consolidated into a single person who set himself up as
"king." For over a thousand years kings succeeded kings, many of
whom we know nothing, often not even their names.

     From Sumerian inscriptions, one of the earliest Sumerian
kings was Ur-Vina. (cir. 3000 B.C.) He is seen surrounded by his
royal family on an inscribed tablet. Another original inscription
documents the Sumerian ruler (En) - mebaragesi (En-men-barage-si)
2630-2600 B.C. Two known fragments of votive bowls designate him
as king of Kishi. Tradition credits him with the disarmament of
Elam, to the east. He is said to have carried its weapons away,
perhaps to pacify it; perhaps to prevent it from raiding Sumer.
On an inscription, carved in a stone on a suburban temple outside
Ur, there is pictorial description of the earliest known record
of the art of warfare developed by the Sumerians. The king, whose
face is broken off from the stone, marches at the right, heading
his troops, who follow in a compact group. This grouping of men
together in a mass, forming single fighting groups is called a
"phalanx." Such discipline was unknown at this time in Egypt. The
inscription also pictures the Sumerian troops carrying spears set
for the charge. Tall shields cover their entire bodies and they
wear close-fitting helmets, probably of leather. They are
marching over dead bodies, perhaps symbolic of the overthrow of
their enemies.

     The language of the Sumerians was quite unlike that of any
other; neither Semitic nor Indo-European nor Egyptian in
character. It was a living, spoken form of speech from before
3500 B.C. to about 2050 B.C.; then it became a dead classic
language. In its written form it originally was pictorial, each
symbol seemingly representing a complete word and capable of
being read in almost any language. Sumerian writing finally
possessed about 600 signs. These included ideograms representing
ideas or things and phonograms denoting syllables. Often
ideograms were added as determinatives, the result of the
combination formed certain words. The Sumerian system never
developed an alphabet of the letters which made up the syllables.
That is, there were signs for syllables like 'kar' or 'ban,' but
no signs for the letters ' k' or 'r', ' b' or ' n' , which made
up such syllables.

     Although the civilization of southern Babylonia, in the
period of 4000 - 2000 B.C. was basically Sumerian, during a large
part of this time it was influenced by Semitic civilization.     
North of the Sumerians, in a region called "Akkad," a Semitic
language speaking people, known as "Akkadians," moved into the
land about 3800 B.C. Their oldest city, Kish (originally founded
by the Sumerians) is situated at a point where the two great
rivers are closest together. Kish is named in the earliest
Babylonian lists as the first city to furnish a family, or
dynasty of kings in Babylonia. Near Kish was found the famous
temple of Mal-bel, at Nippur.

     The Sumerian civilization was already several millennium old
by the time the Semites appeared in Babylonia and the seeds of
death were in it. The Semitic civilization, on the other hand,
was instinctively full of life and vigour. It was inevitable that
it would permeate at first slowly and then rapidly into the
senile culture of the Sumerians. Raids by the Elamites (a
non-Semitic people) who had moved into and settled in the
towering mountains bordering southeast Babylonia, hastened the
end of Sumerian civilization as a political factor and by 2450
B.C. a Semitic civilization was the dominant force in Babylonia.

Missing links of Israel in Assyria

The rise of the Semites



     The original home of the Semites was probably Arabia.  The
Semites may have coveted the rich alluvial soil on which the
Sumerians were living. They invaded from the south, coming from
the neighborhood of the Persian Gulf. They came in several waves
and under different names. One of the earliest groups were the
Akkadians. Having been desert wanderers, they had never learned
discipline and drill like the Sumerians. Instead, they depended
on their skill as archers, and fought at a distance wherever
possible. If they came to closer quarters, they fought
single-handed, each man leaping about the fray as he pleased.
Thus, they were no match for the massive phalanx of the
Sumerians, heavily armed with shields and spears.
     The Akkadians settled, for the most part, in the narrow
strip of land between the Tigris and Euphrates, where the two
rivers are only some twenty miles apart. The northern portion of
the plain of Shinar was finally called "Akkad." Akkad occupied a
very strong commercial position on the main road from the two
rivers to the eastern mountains, and its trade always brought
     About 3800 B.C., a Semitic king, Alusharshid, was successful
in establishing a recognized kingdom in Babylonia. At Nippur,
some sixty-one fragments of vases (bearing the king's name) were
found. The signs are written as "URU-MU-USH" and reads as
"Alusharshid." (Old Babylon Ins., Hilprecht, part 1, p.19). From
the fragments of these vases, a complete inscription has been
constructed which reads: "Alusharshid, king of the world,
presented (it) to Bel from the spoil of Elam when he subjugated
Elam and Bara'se."

     At the same period in history, we find evidence of another
land under Semitic influences. This land was not in Babylonia,
but in Guti, the mountain country of Kurdistan, from which the
Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow down to Assyria and Babylonia.
Here reigned a king whose words read: "Lasirab (?) the mighty
king of Guti...has made and presented (it). Whoever removes this
inscribed stone and writes the mention of his name thereupon his
foundation may Guti, Nina, and Sin tear up, and exterminate his
seed, and may whatsoever he undertakes not prosper." (Zeitschrift
fur Assyriologie, Winckler, iv, p.82)

     Yet another Semitic kingdom existed that was ruled by King
Anu-banini. His was the kingdom of Lulbi, on the mountain
borderland between Kurdistan and Turkey. The king's carved image
was found with an inscription calling down curses on "whomsoever"
should disturb "these images and this inscribed stone." (Receul
de Travaux relatifs a la Phil, et Archeolol - Morgan)
About 2800 B.C., there arose in Akkad (Agade) a Semitic chieftain
named Shargani-shar-ali (also called Shargina) and is best known
to us as Sargon I. Much of what we know of him is from a
legendary text, but a historical basis exists. The text (of which
two mutilated copies exist) belongs to a much later date than
that of the king's reign. It is believed to have been written in
the eight century B.C. The text, known as the "Tablet of Omens"
is found translated in "Revue d' Assyriologie, iv, No, III" and
contains records of Sargon's expedition and subjection of Elam.
Under the leadership of Sargon 1, the Akkadians succeeded in
scattering the compact phalanx of the Sumerians spearmen. They
captured the old Sumerians city-states, making their kings
subject to Sargon as lord of all the "Land between the Rivers."
Sargon was the first great leader in the history of the Semitic
Race and the founder of the first great nation in Western Asia.
Under his successors, especially, Naram-Sin, the empire grew as
far as the Persian Gulf and from Elam to Asia Minor, even as far
as the Mediterranean Sea.
     Although legend designates Sargon's mother as being of
"noble" (poor?) birth and his father as "unknown," it is quite
possible that Sargon was the Nimrod of the Scriptures. The 10th
chapter of Genesis states: And the beginning of his (Nimrod)
kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land
of Shinar." (Gen.10:10) Shinar is an ancient name for Babylonia.
Three of the cities mentioned can be identified; Erech as ancient
Uruk, (present day Warka) Babel as Babylon and Accad as the
ancient Akkad, not yet located on the ground, but known to be
located in the region between Babylon and Gahgdad. Some
authorities suggest modern Tell ed Der is ancient Akkad.
     Sargon's conquests forced his nomad tribesmen (the Akkadians) to
make a complete change in their life-style. The once wandering
shepherds were obliged to drop their unsettled life and take to
fixed abodes. Settled communities required what we call
governmental administration and record keeping for ownership of
property and trade. At first, they did not know how to write and
as they began to record their Semitic tongue they used the
Sumerian wedge-form signs for the purpose. The result of this was
an amalgamation of Sumerian and Semitic elements. Thus, for the
first time, the Semitic Language began to be written. This gained
a national name for the Akkadians. They were called 'Summer" and

     Akkadian rule was challenged in 2750 B.C. when several
Sumerian cities of the south rebelled against Sargon and regained
control of their own lands. The rebellion was short lived.  This
struggle for independence was preserved on a tablet written in
the neo-Babylonian period. The inscription reads: "Afterwards, in
his (Sargon) old age, all the countries revolted against him and
they besieged him in Agade. But Sargon made an armed sortie and
defeated them, knocked them over, and crushed their vast army.
Later on Subara rose with its multitudes, but it bowed to his
military might. Sargon made sedentary this nomadic society. Their
possessions he brought into Agade." (Ancient Near East Texts
Relating to the Old Testament-1955-James B. Pritchard).
     Sargon was a patron of literature as well as a warrior. He
established a library at Akkad where standard works on astronomy
and astrology were kept. Numerous scribes were kept constantly at
work translating Sumerian books into Semitic; commentaries were
written on the older literature of the country and dictionaries
and grammars compiled. Sumerian words were put into Semitic form
and the Semitic people expressed themselves in Sumerian idioms.

     For several centuries the new united states of Sumer and
Akkad prospered and the kings who called themselves, "Kings of
Sumer and Akkad," were both Sumerians and Semites. Sargon was
followed by his grandson, Naram-Sin whose likeness is preserved
in a bas-relief found at Diabeka, in northern Mesopotamia.
NaramSin's son and successor was Bingani-sar-ali under whose
reign the dynasty declined in power.

     A second Sumerian dynasty arose when the Akkadian empire was
overrun by barbaric hordes known as the "Gutuim." (Guti) One of
its kings, Ur-Bau, was a great builder and restorer of the
temples. Under his son and successor, Dungi, a high priest by the
name of "Gudea" governed the city state of Lagas. Gudea' s
monuments and statue (of hard diorite from the Sinai Peninsula)
are now in the Louvre in Paris. The library of Gudea has been
found almost intact, with over 30,000 clay tablets or "books"
arranged in order on its shelves and filled with information of
the period. (cir. 2600 B.C.)

     East of Babylonia were the mountains of Elam, inhabited by
non-Semitic tribes. Among them were the Kassi or Kossaeans, who
maintained a rude independence in their mountain fastness. At one
time, they actually overran Babylonia and founded a dynasty (cir.
1746 B.C.) that lasted for several centuries. The capital of Elam
was Susa or Shusha. At one time, an Elamite prince, Kudur-Mabug,
proclaimed himself the "Father" or "Governor of the land of the

     As the power of the "Kings of Sumer and Akkad" slowly
weakened, new tribes of Semites began descending on the "land
between the rivers" just as the men of Akkad had done under
Sargon 1. These newcomers were the Semitic Amorites of Syria by
the Mediterranean Sea. Sometime between 2100 - 2000 B.C., they
seized the little town of Babylon, which at that time was an
obscure village on the bank of the Euphrates River. There, the
Amorites founded a Semitic Babylonian dynasty under Sumj-abi,
(Shem is my father) a name which we cannot fail to recognize as
the Shem of the Old Testament. Sumj-abi's descendants had some
difficulty in maintaining and extending their authority as they
met resistance from the native city-states of southern Babylonia
and the Elamites who harried the country with fire and sword. 
However, for several centuries, the Amorite kings of Babylon were
successful in fighting the neighboring Semites for leadership of
Sumer and Akkad.
     It was during this period in time that Abram (the son of
Terah) was born in Ur of the Chaldees. He was of Semitic ancestry
and a descendant of Heber (the Hebrew). Abram was, also, a great
great grandson of Shem. It is possible that he belonged to one of
the groups of nomadic peoples wandering around the fringes of the
settled areas of the Fertile Crescent (an area of Mesopotamia,
through Syria and Palestine, to Egypt). These people are
mentioned in various Oriental texts as "Apiru," "Abiri,"
"Habiru." They were connected with the Amorite invasion into
Mesopotamia and Syria.

     By the time of Abram (Abraham) the Semitic race was no
longer homogeneous. This was due to intermarriage with the other
races, in particular, the Sumerians, whose language and culture
were absorbed by the Semitic Babylonians and Assyrians of later
history. Later, as the Semites spread to the coast of the
Mediterranean Sea they mixed with the non-Semitic inhabitants of
the coastal towns.
     Haran, where Abram spent some twenty-five years, was an
Amorite settlement. It is significant that ancient towns in the
area had names that in Biblical tradition are credited to Abram's
relatives; Pelig, Nahor, Terah, Haran. Also, Amorites had
personal names such as Benjamin, Jacob-el, and Abram (Abraham).
While not necessarily referring to Biblical characters,
themselves, the names certainly point to a common Semitic
     Hammurabi, the fifth king (about 1792 B.C.) of the Amorite
dynasty of Babylon, succeeded in uniting most of Babylonia under
his rule. He assumed the title, "King of Sumer and Accad, King of
the Four Quarters of the World" as well as the title, "King of
Babylon." We know very little about the government of the country
which Hammurabi organized, other than he established petty
princes or viceroys under him. Various letters and dispatches to
such officials fail to give a complete picture of his
relationship to them.

     We do know that Hammurabi displayed extraordinary care in
the development of the resources of the land, and in doing so,
increased the wealth and comfort of the inhabitants. The greatest
of his achievements is best described in his own words:
"Hammurabi, the powerful king, king of Babylon ... when Anu and
Bel gave unto me to rule the land of Sumer and Accad, and with
their scepter filled my hands, I dug the canal Hammurabi, the
Blessing-of-Men, which bringeth the water of the overflow unto
the land of Sumer and Accad. Its banks upon both sides I made
arable land; much seed I scattered upon it. Lasting water I
provided for the land of Sumer and Accad. The land of Sumer and
Accad, its separated peoples I united, with blessings and
abundance I endowed them, in peaceful dwellings I made them to
live." (The Louvre Inscription, Col. I, 1, II, 10)

     Hammurabi is best known for his great Code of Law. In its
prologue he listed twenty-four major cities that were subject to
him in the last years of his reign. Among his subjects were the
Hittites (or people of Hatti) listed in the Scriptures as
"Canaanites." These people were descendants of Canaan, a son of
Ham. (Gen. 9:18)

     The name "Hittite" comes from the Old Testament, in which
the Hittites (Hebrew-hittim) figure in two different roles.
First, as one of the pre-Israelite nations of the land of Canaan
to which certain individuals, such as Ephron, Uriah, and
Abimelec, are said to belong. Second, as a group of kingdoms
situated to the north of Israel in what is now Syria. Their kings
entered into relationships with Solomon and the Pharaohs of
Egypt. Late Assyrian records called the whole of the area,
"Hatti," clearly the same word, but its inhabitants were not at
that time a single nation and were of mixed origin and speech.
Their identity could be said to be political and cultural rather
than a single tribe or nation.
     From intermarrying with the Sumerians, the Hittites acquired
the prominent aquiline nose, erroneously considered by many today
as the mark of the Semite, especially of the Jews.   However, it
is really a feature belonging to the non-Semitic Hittites, who
left this mark on the Semitic nomads from the desert-bay region
who mingled with the Hittites, "The original Jews ... blended at
an early date with the Amorites, Philistines, and Hittites, from
whom they acquired the so-called 'Jewish' nose."
(Haddon-Hammond's Library World Atlas, 1954, p.266).

     After the death of Hammurabi, the Babylonian empire began to
disintegrate. A group of invading people called "Kassites,"
descended upon the Babylonian plain from the east. By gradual
migrations, they filtered into Mesopotamia. Hammurabi's
successors seemed unable to evict them. The Kassites were soon
followed by another invading host - the Hittites, once dominated
by Babylon. From their home in the northwest parts of
Mesopotamia, under their king Mursilis I (in 1595 B.C.) they
marched down the Euphrates River and captured Babylon itself.
However, they did not remain. After plundering the city, they
returned to their own territory. Thus weakened, the Babylonians
were unable to resist repeated raids and soon the Kassites made
themselves overlords of Babylonia.

     During the 15th century B.C., the Egyptians became
aggressive in their relations with Asia. They progressed from
being the invaded to becoming the invaders. They overran
Palestine and Syria and extended their authority to most of Asia
west of the Euphrates River and south of the Taurus mountains. At
this same time in history, the Arameans were moving into
Mesopotamia from Arabia. 

     The Arameans were a Semitic people, traditionally regarded
as descendants of Shem (Gen. 10:22-23) or of the family of Nahor.
(Gen. 22:20-21) Other peoples appearing in Mesopotamia during
this period were the Suti pressing in from the east and the
southwest, and the Amorites (dislodged from their former
habitations by the Hittites) from the north.
     The Tel el Amarna letter (tablets) have thrown much light on
this period, when the Egyptian-Asiatic empire was beginning to
decay. They reveal the existence, in Syria and Palestine, of
numerous small city-states subject to Egypt. The letters also
show us that the language spoken at that time, through all these
regions, was Canaanite. This is the Semitic dialect or language
which we find later in use among the Phoenicians, Moabites and
Hebrews. The word "Hebrew" appears to be identical with "Habiru"
(they were the "Abiri" or "Apiru" of the Tel el Armarna letters)
and not to be confused with the Hebrew people that later came
into existence as an independant nation.

     To add to this period of confusion and turmoil, the
Hurrians, (referred to in the Bible as "Horites," "Hivites," and
"Jebusites") whose original home was probably in the Aramean
mountains, swept across northern Mesopotamia. They reached as far
west as the Syrian coast and influenced the petty states of
Palestine. The Hurrians spoke a language that was neither Semitic
nor IndoEuropean. Apparently, the Hurrians acquired Indo-European
leaders. These leaders introduced horse-drawn chariots for the
first time in Mesopotamia . When Mitanni emerged into history as
a centralized Hurrian state, names of Mitanni kings are found to
be derived from Sanskrit (classical old Indic literary language).
The Alien divinities they introduced into the SumerianSemitic
religions bore names well known from the Vedic literature of

     By the end of the 15th and for a part of the 14th century
B.C., Mitanni was the dominant force in Mesopotamia. The kings of
Chaldea were no more than her vassals. However, a renewed Hittite
expansion caused Mitanni to fall even more swiftly than she had
risen. By the middle of the 14th century B.C. the kingdom ceased
to exist as a great power. Yet, the Hurrians did not disappear
from history. Away to the north, in their Armenian homeland, they
entrenched themselves and built up the kingdom of Urartu. Here,
something of their culture and an Urartian language very close to
the Hurrian of Mitanni was preserved.

     In the Tigris valley, in the north of Chaldea, lived the
Assyrians. These people belonged to the same race as the
Chaldeans, but were generally noted for being a violent people
whose profession was war. Although originally Semitic, they
blended with the Hurrians and Mitanni (Indo-Iranina) and the
Horites. They were ruled over by priests of their god Ashur (El
Assar). For many years these priestkings owed their allegiance to
the great kings of Babylonia. When Mitanni collapsed, the
Assyrians were quick to assert their independence and annexed
what remained of the Mitannian kingdom.
     It was from the Mitanni that the Assyrians learned to train
horses for war. In battle they coupled the horse with the war
chariot. They organized an army of foot-soldiers who wore a
cuirass of leather panels which protected their body. Their heads
were protected by a metal helmet with a crest on top. When in
battle, they used a round shield. Their weapons were a highly
curved javelin, and a small sword which they rarely used. The
Assyrian cavalry rode small broad-tailed horses, with neither
stirrups nor saddle, although they sometimes laid a small rug
over the horse's back. Like the infantry, their main weapon was
the bow and the lance. The king and a few of the nobles went into
battle standing up in a very light, twowheeled chariot. The
chariot was open at the back only, and was drawn by a pair of

     The Assyrians mastered the art of siege warfare. They
developed the use of machines, also the ram and the mobile tower.
The ram was a huge suspended beam, usually ending in a monster's
head. They would swing the ram to and fro, so that the head would
smash into the base of the ramparts and open a breach in the
wall. Their mobile tower was a square wooden tower, standing on a
wheeled platform, high enough to look over the top of the
ramparts. Warriors were sent up inside the tower which was rolled
forward to the wall of the besieged city. The warriors stationed
inside would then shoot arrows and hurl stones down at the
     Every spring, the king of Assyria assembled his troops and
moved against a neighboring area. They often met with resistance.
But, being better organized than most of their adversaries they
usually overcame opposition. When a battle was over, they would
chop off the heads of the dead and put the prisoners in chains to
be carried home as slaves. Then they laid siege to the capital
city and if they were successful, looted everything within before
putting the whole city to the torch. Furniture, rugs, statues,
clothes and weapons, they carried away as they withdrew.

     One obstacle that threatened to block the westward expansion
of Assyria was the Arameans, who by 1200 B.C. had established a
group of flourishing kingdoms in the west, particularly in Syria.
Here, under the influence of the Hittite civilization on one side
and Egyptian on the other, the Aramean kingdoms of Syria built
royal cities and luxurious palaces. The Arameans were a highly
civilized people. Their energetic merchants extended their
business far beyond their own kingdoms. They pushed their
caravans all along the Tigris and at one time controlled the
commerce of Western Asia.

     Out of the struggles and confusion that prevailed in
Babylonia, there arose powerful new civilizations in Asia Minor.
The Phrygians established themselves in the central plateau while
the Lydians became dominant in the southwest. It is probable that
the Lydians were a fragment of the great Hittite Empire. Their
home in the western part of Asia Minor was highly favored by
     It embraced two rich valleys - the plains of the Hermus and
the Cayster. From the inland mountains, they sloped gently to the
island-dotted Aegean Sea. The mountains were rich in precious
metals which eventually led to the invention of the art of
coinage. The Lydian kings are believed to have been the first to
coin gold and silver; that is, to impress a stamp upon pieces of
these metals and thus testify to their purity and weight. (Holm,
History of Greece, Vol. 1 p.214 - 1899).

     In the extreme western part of Asia, a people known as the
"Phoenicians" moved in from the east (perhaps as early as 1500
B.C.) and colonized a series of harbor-cities along the Syrian
coast north of Mount Carmel and the Bay of Acre. The Phoenicians
were a part of the great Chaldean civilization that migrated
westward over the centuries. Their original home was in Central
Asia; probable site being the area known today as the "Tarim
Basin" in Eastern Turkestan, where Noah's Flood occurred around
3145 B.C. (Septuagint chronology) Earlier migrations of these
Adamic peoples, centuries before the Flood, had established
colonies in various parts of the earth and introduced culture
into the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile Valleys.
     The Phoenicians, generally, were tall men with red hair and
blue eyes - not a Mediterranean people. Although modern
historians refer to them as "Canaanites," they were of the same
Semitic stock as Abraham. They were not "Jews" as we know the
word today, but a "Celtic" people. According to Manetho, an
Egyptian priest, the Hyksos Dynasties in the later period of
their rule in Egypt were of Phoenician origin. Phoenician was not
the name they called themselves. Rather, it was a nickname
because the word "Phoenician" means "red- headed men."
     The name "Phoenician" seems to have been used by the
Achaeans and other Hellenes to denote the sun-tanned seamen of
the Aegean, and appears to have been especially applied to the
Cretan Cadmus. (son of Phoenix or Agenor, king of Phoenicia) He
was traditionally spoken of as a Phoenician, yet he was a cousin
of Minos. (semi-legendary king of Crete) Cadmus brought the
Cretan linear syllabary to Boeotia (a district of central
Greece). In the period following the Trojan War, the name
gradually became attached to the merchants from Tyre and Sidon
and other ports on the Syrian coast, and these are the people
known by that name in historic times.
     It is believed the Phoenicians were the inventors of the
alphabet sometime around 1200 B.C. Before that date, all Syria
and Palestine used the cumbersome Babylonian cuneiform script.

     About the 10th century B.C. we find the Phoenician alphabet
in use throughout Syria as well as Greece and southern Arabia.
Simultaneous with the spread of the alphabet, the name "Hebrew"
came into existence. The name "Hebrew" designated several groups
of people, out of whom grew the kindred nations of Ammonites,
Moabites, Edomites and Israelites.

     Under the powerful rule of Tiglath-pileser I (Tukulti-apil-
Esarra I -1114-1096 B.C.) Assyria became a truly mighty nation -
the dominant force of the civilized world. The Assyrian army
became the almost invincible machine, splendidly armed and
equipped. With cavalry now beginning to supplement the weight of
the chariotry, Tiglath-pileser I attacked and defeated nations on
all sides that had rebelled after the death of his father.
(Assur-resa-dasi 1) He marched his armies through difficult
terrain and crossed rivers on rafts of inflated skins to subdue
the neighboring nations. He penetrated as far west as the shores
of the Mediterranean Sea. On one excursion, he recorded slaying
one hundred and twenty lions and many other animals as he
journeyed through the Lebanon forests and mountains.

     Following the death of Tiglath-pileser 1, a succession of
kings ruled Assyria of which little is known other than their
names and the doubtful number of years each reigned. At about 967
B.C., Tiglathpileser II began to reign in Assyria and from his
time to the end of the Assyrian empire, we possess an unbroken
history of the kings. One of the most important rulers was
Ashurnasirpal II.(883-859 B.C.) He built up the mighty capital at
Calah (Nimrud) on the banks of the Tigris River. The gates of his
vast palace were guarded by gigantic man-headed winged bulls -
the first of their kind. At a later date, the capital of Assyria
was moved to Nineveh. This new capital was separated into two
equal parts by the River Khosar, which flows from east to west.
The mounds of ancient Nineveh, "Kiyunjik" and "Nebi Ynis" are
opposite the modern city of Mosul. The city of Nineveh may have
derived its name from "Nina," the Babylonian goddess.

     Ashurnasirpal's successor, Shalmaneser III (859-825 B.C.
continued the expansive policies of his predecessors by leading
uninterrupted wars against Assyria's northern neighbors, from the
first year of his reign. (860 B.C.) One major objective was the
subjection of the kingdom of Urartu, (Armenia) a small state in
the mountainous regions northeast of Assyria around Lake Van. The
inhabitants were originally called the "Nairi." They settled in
the area in the ninth century B.C. This kingdom had been a thorn
in the side of many Assyrian kings. Tiglath-pileser I failed to
annex it to Assyria. In his first campaign, Shalmaneser conquered
part of the kingdom. In 857 B.C. a second attempt resulted in the
capture of Arzashku, its capital. But, Arame, the king of Urartu,
managed to escape. After killing thousands of Arame's troops,
many impaled on stakes in the ruined capital, Shalmaneser
returned home content with heavy spoil.
     Despite this opposition, the Urartean state continued to
grow in power to extend its rule over a wide area. In alliance
with other small states in northern Syria, the Urarteans took
possession of the lands down to the western bend of the Euphrates
River. In this way, they gained control of a main route to the
Mediterranean Sea from the southern Caucasus. Simultaneously,
they started to subjugate the southern Caucasus itself, including
the fertile valley of the middle Araxes River and the mountains
of Armenia.

     In 853 B.C. Shalmaneser III marched his army westward to
subjugate the small city states along the Mediterranean coast. He
was met at Qarqar by a coalition of forces that included Ahab,
king of Israel. The Bible does not mention this encounter.  
However, a large stone slab (now in the British Museum) was found
in 1861 which provides us with the details. The inscription says
that Ahab contributed 200 chariots and 10,000 foot soldiers to
meet the Assyrian invasion. Although Shalmaneser's inscription
goes on to recount a decisive victory for his army, claiming they
killed 14,000 men, it appears the coalition forces were able to
forestall any further intrusion into the area, at least for the
time being.
     In the tenth year of his reign (850 B.C.) Shalmaneser III
again invaded Urartu. The only achievement of the expedition was
the taking of the fortified city of Arne and the ravaging of the
surround ing countryside. The record of this campaign is found on
the Black Obelisk (lines 85-87) erected by Shalmaneser III to
commemorate his victories. (Found by Layard in 1846 at Nineveh)
Shalmaneser III never again invaded Urartu in person. Urartu
managed to remain an entirely independent kingdom through a
succession of Assyrian rulers, periodically being invaded by
tribute collecting and plundering expeditions.

     Shalmaneser III led several campaigns against Damascus, the
most serious in 841 B.C. when the city was besieged but not
conquered. During this same campaign, the Assyrian army again
reached the Mediterranean coast and took tribute from the
seaports and from Jehu, king of Israel. The expedition was little
more than a military raid, but it foreshadowed the shape of
things to come.
     It was to establish a buffer between Assyria and Urartu that
the Assyrians transplanted conquered people to their northern
borders, including the ten northern tribes of Israel between
745-721 B.C.

Missing Links of Israel in Assyria #3

The 12 Tribes settle the Holy Land



     The Israel of the Old Testament traces its origin to
Babylonia. It was from "Ur of the Chaldees" that Abram, the
"Habiru" or "Hebrew" had come - "the rock whence ye are hewn."
(Isa.51:1) While in Haran, Abram was visited by the Lord who said
to Abram: "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and
from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I
will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make
thy name great; and thou shall be a blessing" (Gen.12:1,2).

     The "Promised Land" was Canaan, which later became known as
"Palestine." While Abram went to Canaan, in obedience to the call
of God, and dwelt there, he did not actually take possession of
it (Acts 7:1-5) However, the Lord foretold that the descendants
of Abram, after sojourning for generations in a strange land,
where they would serve as slaves, would eventually be delivered
from their bondage and brought into the Promised Land. This was
later fulfilled when the Hebrew people dwelt in Egypt and were
eventually delivered from Egyptian bondage under the leadership
of Moses.
     The Scriptures picture Abram as a "Sojourner" in the midst
of the established people of Canaan. In actuality, Abram came to
Canaan as a Babylonian prince; an ally of its Amoritish
chieftains and a leader of armed troops. With his flocks, his
family and his entourage, Abram moved through the sparsely
settled hill country, wandering from place to place. During a
famine in Canaan, "Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there."
(Gen.12:10) Upon his return to Canaan, the Lord again visited
Abram, saying: "And I will make thy seed as the dust of the
earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then
shall thy seed also be numbered"(Gen.13:16).
     At Mamre, (in Canaan) God entered into another covenant with
Abram - a covenant that gave a promise of multiplicity of nations
to come from his seed: "As for me, behold, my covenant is with
thee, thou shall be a father of many nations, neither shall thy
name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham, for
a father of many nations have I made thee." (Gen.17:4-5) Abraham
did become the "father of many nations" starting with the
Ishmaelites (through Hagar) who settled in the north of the
Arabian peninsula and the descendants of Keturah who colonized
Midian and the western coast. Edom (Esau) the elder brother of
Abraham's grandson, Jacob, took possession of the
mountain-fastness of Mt. Seir (Petra) subjugating or assimilating
its Horite and Amalekite inhabitants. Moab and Ammon also trace
their pedigree to Abraham through his nephew, Lot.
     The Scriptures relate a further covenant God made with
Abraham when he was willing to submit to God's request that he
sacrifice his son Isaac: ". . . for because thou hast done this
thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thy only son: That in
blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply
thy seed as the stars o f the heaven, and as the sand which is
upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his
enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be
blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice" (Gen.22:16-18).
     That covenant was passed on down through Abraham's son
Isaac, to his son, Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel: And
God appeared unto Jacob again, "I am God Almighty: Be fruitful
and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee,
and kings shall come out of thy loins" (Gen.35:9-11). 
     Jacob had twelve sons and one daughter by his two wives and
two handmaidens. The twelve sons became the founders of the
tribes which afterwards formed the nation of Israel. They were,
in the order of their birth:

     The growth of a family into a tribe or people is in
accordance with Oriental practice; a single individual becoming
the forefather of a tribe or a collection of tribes, which under
favorable conditions may develop into a nation. The tribe of
people was known as the "son" of their ancestor; his name being
handed down from generation to generation.
     SON            MOTHER
     (1)  Reuben    Leah
     (2)  Simeon    Leah
     (3)  Levi      Leah
     (4)  Judah     Leah
     (5)  Dan       Bilhah (Rachel's handmaiden)
     (6)  Naphtali  Bilhah
     (7)  Gad       Zilpah (Leah's handmaiden)
     (8)  Asher     Zilpah
     (9)  Issachar  Leah
     (10) Zebulun   Leah
     (11) Joseph    Rachel
     (12) Benjamin  Rachel

     About 1850 B.C. Jacob and his family migrated to Egypt
because of a famine in the land of Canaan. While in Egypt, Jacob
adopted the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, establish-
ing them as two tribes. In adopting them, Jacob placed the
younger son, Ephraim, ahead of Manasseh. Consequently, Ephraim
took Joseph's place to become the 11th tribe, leaving Manasseh
(who came after Benjamin) to become the 13th tribe. Because Levi
was removed from being numbered among the tribes, the Bible
continues to speak of the 12-tribes of Israel, although Manasseh
remained the 13th tribe.


     From twelve to fourteen generations, Egypt was the home of
the Israelites. There they became "fruitful, and increased
abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the
land was filled with them" (Exodus 1:7- 8.)  It was only after
"There arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph"
that they were placed into bondage: (Exodus 1:8) "And the
Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: And
they made their lives bitter with hard bondage in mortar, and in
brick, and in all manner of service in the field: All their
service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour" (Exodus
     When the children of Israel "sighed by reason of the
bondage" God "remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac,
and with Jacob," (Exodus 2:23,24) and appointed Moses to lead the
Israelites back to Palestine. About 1453 B.C. the descendants of
Jacob left Egypt and after forty years wandering in the
wilderness arrived at Canaan. Moses died after viewing the
"Promised Land" from Mount Nebo and Joshua was chosen to lead the
conquest of Canaan.
     Canaan was at this time in possession of Amorite or
Canaanite tribes, closely akin to the Israelites. Their cities
were strongly walled and the desert warriors, under Joshua, were
not able to drive out all of the inhabitants. Some of the plains
dwellers of Palestine were "they who are of the valley of
Jezreel" (Joshua 17:16) and had "chariots of iron" (Judges 1:19)
and were more than a match for the Israelites. So the two peoples
dwelt together in the land; the Canaanites controlling much of
the hill country and the Israelites settling in unoccupied areas
of the plains.


     Although much of the land of Canaan remained to be
conquered, the land was divided among the twelve tribes of Israel
by the drawing of lots. In the north were Asher, Naphtali,
Zebulun, Issachar and Manasseh. In the middle were Dan, Ephraim,
Gad and Benjamin. In the south were Judah, Reuben and Simeon. The
tribe of Levi did not receive a definite territory, but was
allotted 48 cities, proportioned among all the tribes for
priestly duties.
     At about the same time the Israelites entered Canaan by
crossing the Jordan River from the east, the Philistines invaded
the country from the south and settled on the coastal plain in
the area later known as "Philistine." The name "Philistine" is
first found in the Egyptian form as the name of one of the
"People of the Sea" who invaded Egypt in the eighth year of
Ramses III. (cir. 1188 B.C. ) According to Biblical tradition,
the Philistines came originally from "Caphtor," the Hebrew name
for Crete. (Jer.47:4; Amos 9:7; Deut.2:23) There is no
archaeological indication of the Philistine occupation of Crete.
Most scholars believe the Philistines came from eastern Europe
after being displaced from their original homelands as part of
the extensive population movements of the latter half of the
second millennium B.C. Having assimilated the Minoan-Mycenean
culture patterns of the Aegean world, they became identified with
other "Sea Peoples." This term included numbers of different
northern people having one thing in common, Indo-European racial

     The war-like Philistines were despised by the Israelites as
"the uncircumcised Philistines" (Judges 14:3) and clashes between
them were inevitable. In the period of the early monarchy the
Philistines were victorious, perhaps because they had a monopoly
in iron weapons and chariots, whereas "no blacksmith was to be
found in the whole of Israel" (I Sam.13:19).

     The intrusion into Canaan by the Israelitish tribes was
followed by a long period of petty wars, disorders and turmoil.
During this time there arose of line of national heroes, such as
Gideon, Jephthal and Samson. Their deeds of valor and daring, in
saving the Israelites from their foes, caused their names to be
handed down, with grateful remembrance, to their posterity. These
popular leaders, most of whom were local leaders, are called
"Judges" by the Bible writers.
     During the time of the "Judges" there was, as the history of
the period shows, no effective union among the tribes of Israel.
It was the common danger from their enemies surrounding them,
especially the Philistines along the coast of Palestine, that led
to the unification of the Israelite tribes into a single kingdom,
under Saul. (about 1050 B.C.) However, no sooner was the new
kingdom established than the Ammonites, from the east, sent
forces across Gilead against the northern tribes. They were
repulsed by the armies of Saul.
     The Philistines, from the south, next invaded the hill
country of both Judah and Benjamin. This time the invaders were
defeated by Saul's son, Jonathan, helped by David's successful
encounter with Goliath. Later, the Philistines again invaded
Israel. This time they invaded through the land of the Canaanites
to the north, defeating the armies of Saul on the Plain of
Jezreel. Saul, wounded by enemy archers, fell on his own sword
and died on Mount Gilboa.

     David succeeded Saul as King of Judah around 1000 B.C. He
found the kingdom little more than a loose federation of tribes
and under his statesmanship and military prowess, welded the
tribes into a stable nation, well on its way to becoming an
empire. During David's reign, while Israel kept the Laws of God,
prosperity was the result. However, when David died, his son
Solomon caused the people of the kingdom to sin,which resulted in
the Kingdom being divided into two separate kingdoms (I Kings
     Ten tribes, under the leadership of Ephraim, formed the
"Northern Kingdom of Israel" with Samaria as its capital and
Jeroboam as its king. The other two tribes of Judah and Benjamin
(with some of the tribe of Levi) formed what was known as the
"Southern Kingdom of Judah." Their capital was located at
Jerusalem and Rehoboam (Solomon's son) was their king. (I Kings
12:12-19) Thus (in 922 B.C.) each kingdom was free and
independent of the other to fulfil its God-appointed destiny.    
One, to fulfil the first covenant which God made with their
father Abraham; that of having multitudinous seed, spreading
abroad and becoming many nations having kings coming from them.
The other, to fulfil the second covenant of bringing forth the
     After the division of Israel into two kingdoms, heathen
influences that the Israelites had acquired during the conquest
of Canaan under Joshua, grew stronger. Although the true worship
of Yahweh (Jehovah) was not completely abandoned, both parts of
the divided kingdom engaged in the worship of false gods. In the
Northern Kingdom of Israel, Jeroboam assigned priestly duties to
"the lowest of the people" so that the Levites who had served as
priests now took refuge in Judah. However, in the Southern
Kingdom of Judah, Rehoboam and many of his followers had turned
apostate and began setting up temple towers, idols and pagan
groves throughout the land.

     In the northern city of Shiloh, the prophet Ahijah
prophesied God's judgment upon Jeroboam, king of Israel: "For you
have made yourself other gods, molten images, to provoke me to
anger, and cast behind your back, therefore behold, I will bring
evil upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from him every
male, both bond and free in Israel, and will utterly sweep away
the house of Jeroboam as a man sweeps away dung until it is all
gone"(I Kings 14:9,10).
     A succession of kings followed both Jeroboam and Rehoboam,
and under their reigns, the history of both kingdoms is one of
steady decline. With the exception of a few God-fearing kings
like Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joash, Uzziah and Hezekiah, the kings of
Israel and Judah transgressed after the abominations of the
heathen and polluted the House of the Lord.

     The continuous worship of idols caused a further prophecy to
be given concerning the future fate of the Kingdom of Israel: 
". . . and henceforth the Lord will smite Israel as a reed is
shaken in the water, and root up Israel out of this good land
which he gave to their fathers, and scatter them beyond the river
(Euphrates) because they have made their idolatrous symbols,
provoking the Lord to anger" (I Kings 14:15,16).

     Centuries before, God (through Moses) had warned the people
of the consequences of such transgressions. "If ye walk contrary
to Me, I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins...
you shall be delivered into the hands of the enemy ... and I will
scatter you among the heathen..." (Lev.26:24-38) Seven times, we
know from Biblical evidence, means 2520 years. Consequently, God
caused the Assyrians to come down against Israel and remove them
from their land.

     But, before we take up the captivity of Israel it should be
noted that the dispersal of Israel had started centuries earlier
than the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities of the kingdom of
Israel and the kingdom of Judah.


Some Israelites Migrate

Well before 745 B.C.

                          MISSING LINKS OF ISRAEL
                    DISCOVERED IN ASSYRIAN TABLETS  #4



     Long before Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt
(Exodus-1453 B.C.) there had been continuous migrations of
Semitic Hebrews to Greece and other parts of Asia Minor and
Europe. There are numerous references by the classical writers to
the "Egyptian" origin of the Greeks. Hecataeus of Abdere (sixth
century B.C.) quoted by Diodorus Siculus (50 B.C.) tells us that
the Egyptians "Expelled all the aliens gathered together in
Egypt. The most distinguished of the expelled foreigners followed
Danaus and Cadmus into Greece: but the greater number were led by
Moses into Judea." (British History Traced from Egypt and
Palestine, Rev. G.A. Roberts, p.122)

     Diodorus gives us another version of the same story: "Now
the Egyptians say that also after these events a great number of
colonies were spread from Egypt all over the inhabited world ...
They say also that those who set forth with Danaus, likewise from
Egypt, settled what is practically the oldest city of Greece,
Argos, and that the nation of the Colchi in Pontus and that of
the Jews, (remnant of Judah) which lies between Arabia and Syria,
were founded as colonies by certain emigrants from their country;
and this is the reason why it is a long-established institution
among these people to circumcise their male children, the custom
having been brought over from Egypt. Even the Atheanians, they
say, are colonists from Sais in Egypt" (Diodorus of Sicily, G.H.
Oldfather, 1933, vol.1, bks. I-II, 1-34 pg.91).
     According to Euripides and Strabo: "Danaus having arrived in
Argos made a law that those who had borne the name of Pelasgiotae
throughout Greece should be called Danai." (Strabo v.ii.4)
Compare this with the act of the people of Dan. (Judges 18:29)   
We further learn from Strabo and others that this Argos soon
spread its name to the Peloponnesus and afterwards to all Greece,
for he says, "Homer calls the whole of Greece Argos, for he calls
all Argives, as he calls them Danai and Achaei. " (viii.6,5)
Argos is said by the Greeks to have been the birthplace of
Hercules, but Herodotus, who went to some trouble to find out who
Hercules really was, made a special voyage to Tyre (Strabo ii,
44) and found an older Temple to Hercules. The daring adventures
and exploits of the Grecian Hercules (Heracles) is more probably
those of semi-traders and buccaneers of Tyre and Dan. In Hebrew,
"rakal" means to "trade" and "Heracleem" means "traders." Those
who went forth from Argos and subdued other parts of Greece are
spoken of as "Heraclidae" or "descendants of Heracles."

     In the confusion caused by the Trojan War, apparently the
"Heraclidae" were driven northward out of Peloponesus. Some years
later when they made a re-conquest of the area, they were called
"the return of the descendants of Hercules." (History of the
Dorians by Muller). From these descendants of Hercules came the
Lacedaemonians, whose capital was Sparta. Thus Agamemnon, who was
chosen Commander-in Chief of all the Greeks proceeding to the
siege of Troy, was King of Argos and Mycene, and his brother,
Menelaus, was King of Sparta, capital of Lacedaemon.
     It is noteworthy that the Lacedaemonians claim descent from
Hebrews. It is recorded in I Maccabees XH, and Josephus's
Antiquities xii, iv. 10, that about 180 years B.C., the King of
the Lacedaemonians sent the following letter to the Jews in
Jerusalem: "Areus, King of the Lacedaemonians, to Onias, the High
Priest, sendeth greetings. It is found in writing that the
Lacedaemonians and Jews are brethren, and that they are of the
stock of Abraham. Now, therefore since this has come to our
knowledge, ye shall do well to write unto us of your prosperity."

     The Jews in Jerusalem are reported to have replied as
follows: "We joyfully received the epistle, and were well pleased
with Demoteles and Araeus, although we did not need such a demon
stration, because we were well satisfied about it from the sacred
writings." (Josephus xiii. v.8) Josephus called attention to the
'seal' upon the letter from Areus, "This letter is four-square,
and the seal is an eagle with a dragon in its claws." Such an
emblem can be traced to the tribe of Dan. The letter of reply
mentioned "sacred writings." This could refer to Ezekiel 27:19
where Dan is represented, in company with Greece, trading to
     Latham, in his "Ethnology of Europe, p.157, says, "that the
eponymus of the Argive Danai was no other than that of the
Israelite Tribe of Dan, only we are so used to confine ourselves
to the soil of Palestine in our consideration of the Israelites,
that we treat them as if they were 'adscripti glebae', and ignore
the share they may have taken in the ordinary history of the
world ... What a light would be thrown on the origin of the name
Peloponnesus and the history of the Pelop-id family if a bona
fide nation of Pelopes, with unequivocal affinites and
contemporary annals, had existed on the coast of Asia! Who would
have hesitated to connect the two? Yet with the Danai and the
Tribe of Dan this is the case, and no one connects them!"
     In Herodotus' time, the story of the Egyptian origin of the
Greeks was so well recorded that he did not go into details, in
his history. However, he did write: "If we ascend from Danae, the
daughter of Acrisius, we shall find that the ancestors of the
Dorian princes were of Egyptian origin. Such is the Grecian
account of their descent." (Herodotus, Book VI, Iv.) The
migrations out of Egypt led by Danaus and Cadmus are not the only
ones on record. Another important Grecian colony was founded by
Cecrops (an Egyptian and Israelite) who became the first
"legendary" king of Attica.
     G. F. Rodwell in his "Nature," Vol. Vi, article, "The Birth
of Chemistry" says: "Although much of the Greek learning came
direct from Egypt, we cannot trace it to its direct source, or
point to one Egyptian writer on Philosophy. The Greeks too,
received much from the Phoenicians; but here also we find no
record . . . The basis of the edifice (of the science of
Chemistry) is sunk deep in Eastern soil; the time when the
foundation stone was laid is too remote to be even suggested."

     The enigma expressed in the above extract is solved when we
know that the people from whom the learning came were Israelites
though the geographical source was Egypt.

     A migration by sea (cir. 1296 B.C.) is indicated when the
King of Canaan afflicted Israel while Dan abode in ships and
Asher in his seaports. (Judges 5:17) Apparently, most of the
tribe of Dan must have left Palestine prior to the time of
Jeroboam II (I Chron. 5:17-26) which would account for them not
appearing in this genealogy. Many ancient Greek writers agree
that the Danaans came to Argos from Egypt (See Hesiod, fr. 24,
Rzach). Most dates given fall around the first half of the
sixteenth century B.C. One early history of Ireland links the
Danaan or Tuatha de Danaan (People of God) invaders of Ulster
with the Greek Danois and Spartans, who as roving bands of sea
warriors controlled the Aegean Cretan civilization in the first
millennium B.C. Later Irish historians trace part of the tribe of
Dan to Ireland as early as the twelfth century B.C. This would
have been after the Exodus when the Israelites were established
in Palestine.
     The Danaan were not the first Hebrews into Ireland. Calcol
(I Chron. 2:6 - Chalcol of I Kings 4:31) founder of the ancient
Irish line of kings, planted (cir., 1700 B.C.) a royal Dynasty in
Ulster (as well as other royal dynasties in Europe). He and his
brother, Darda (Dardanus) the founder of Troy had both migrated
from Egypt before the Exodus. They are sons of Zarah, one of the
twin sons of Judah. The Hebrew name "Zarah" signifies "to
scatter," and the subsequent history of Zarah and his descendants
fully justifies the claim that he was named with prophetic
intention, even as was Jacob, the supplanter.
     From Irish folklore we are told that the first settlers in
Ireland were certain "Formorians" under Partholan and "the sons
of Nemed." They came in two successive invasions at long
intervals and made war one with the other. The sons of Nemed are
the heroes and the Formorians the villains of these tales. Both
are described as coming from "Greece" or Scythia. They are said
to have skirted the North African shore. Partholan (the Divider)
is said to have divided Ireland into four parts while the sons of
Nemed are credited with being the builders of stone cromlechs.

     In due time the "Firbolgs" arrived, "the men of the leather
bags" - perhaps an allusion to their bagpipes, a prized
possession of the Gaels. They too were said to have come from
Greece having stayed in Spain en route. They are said to have
left Greece owing to "Greek" tyranny, having been made to carry
bags of earth from the fertile valleys to rocky uplands, to make
tillable land. And so, preferring exile to slavery (memories of
Egypt?) they left. All these early arrivals in Ireland appeared
to be able to converse with each other in the same tongues. The
probable date for these events is between 1400 and 1000 B.C.,
during the Phoenician Golden Age.

     According to the "Annals of Ireland," by the Four Masters,
"The colony called Tuatha de Dannan conquered the Firbolgs, and
became masters of Ireland. It appears that the Dannans were
a highly civilized people, far more skilled in arts and sciences
than any of the other colonies that settled in Ireland. They
ruled Ireland about two centuries, or 197 years according to the
Psalter of Casbel, and were highly skilled in architecture and
other arts from their long residence in Greece and intercourse
with the Phoenicians" (p.121). "The Dannans ruled about two
centuries, until the arrival of the Milesians, which took place
1,000 years before the Christian era" (9:123). Thus, the date of
the arrival of the first colony of the Dannans would be 1200 B.C.
or 85 years after Deborah and Barak's victory, when we are told
Dan had ships.

     According to "The Harmsworth Encyclopaedia," Cecrops
("Calcol" of I Chron. 2:6 and "Chalcol" of I Kings 4:31 - and
brother of Darda) was the 'mythical' founder of Athens and its
first king. He was thought to have been the leader of a band of
Hebrew colonists from Egypt. Historical records tell of the
westward migration of the descendants of Calcol along the shores
of the Mediterranean Sea, establishing "Iberian" (Hebrew) trading
settlements. One settlement now called "Saragossa," in the Ebro
Valley in Spain, was originally known as "Zarah-gassa," meaning,
"The stronghold of Zarah." From Spain they continued westward as
far as Ireland. The Iberians gave their name to Ireland, calling
the island "Iberne" which was later abbreviated to "Erne," and
subsequently Latinized to "Hibernia," a name that still adheres
to Ireland.

     The descendants of Darda (Dardannes or Danaans) ruled
ancient Troy for several hundred years, until the city was
destroyed in the famous "Siege of Troy." Aeneas, the last of the
royal blood, (Zarah-Judah) collected the remnants of his nation
and traveled with them to Italy. There he married the daughter of
Latinus, king of the Latins, and subsequently founded the great
Roman Empire.

     Aeneas' grandson, Brutus with a large party of the Trojans
migrated to "the Great White Island" (an early name for Britain
due to its chalk cliffs). Tradition says that on the way to the
"White Island" Brutus came across four other Trojan colonies upon
the coast of Spain and persuaded them to join him.
     At Totnes on the River Dart, twelve miles inland from Torbay
(the oldest seaport in South Devon) is an historical stone that
commemorates the coming of Brutus to Britain. (Cir, 1103 B.C.)
     The stone is known as the "Brutus Stone," the tradition being
that the Trojan prince set foot upon it when he first landed. The
Welsh records state that three tribes of his countrymen received
Brutus and his company as brethren and proclaimed Brutus king at
a national convention of the whole island. His three sons, born
after his arrival in Britain were named after the three tribes -
Locrinus, Camber, and Alban. Brutus' name heads the roll in all
the genealogies of the British kings, preserved as faithfully as
were those of the kings of Israel and Judah.
     Brutus founded the city of "Caer Troia," or "New Troy." The
Romans later called it "Londinum," now known as London. The
actual date of the founding of the city is suggested in the Welsh
bardic literature: "And when Brutus had finished the building of
the city, and had strengthened it with walls and castles, he
consecrated them and made inflexible laws for the governance of
such as should dwell there peacefully, and he put protection on
the city and granted privilege to it. At this time, Beli the
Priest ruled in Judea, and the Ark of the Covenant was in
captivity to the Philistines" (The Welsh Bruts).

     The reference, in the quotation above, to Beli the Priest,
is obviously of Eli of the First Book of Samuel. Such remote
prehistorical antiquity of the site of London is confirmed by the
numerous archaeological remains found there, not only of the New
Stone Age and Early Bronze Ages, but even of the Old Stone Age.
This indicates that it was already a settlement at the time when
Brutus selected it for the site of his new capital of "New Troy."
There is ample reason to believe that the Trojans, Spartans,
Dorians, Lacedaemonians, Achaeans, Minoans, Danaans and the
Palestinian tribe of Dan are all branches of the same central
stem, branches united from the beginning by a common ancestor,

Missing Links in Assyrian Tablets #5

Israel and Judah in Captivity

                         MISSING LINKS IN ISRAEL'S
                       CAPTIVITY IN ASSYRIAN TABLETS



     The story of the Israelites downfall and deportation to
Assyria is well known to any student of the Bible. "And they
transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring
after the gods of the people of the land whom God destroyed
before them. And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul,
king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tiglath pileser, king of
Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the
Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto
Halah, and Hazor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this
day" (I Chron.5:25,26).
     The same account is given in 2 Kings 15:29, "in the day of
Pekah, king of Israel came Tiglath-pileser (PUL), king of
Assyria, and took Ijon, ,and Abelbeth-maachah, and Janoah and
Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead and Galilee and the land of
Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria." From the annals
of Tiglathpileser 111 (745 B.C.) we find he also carried away
three other tribes of Israel: Asher, Issachar, and Zebulun, and
distributed them in and on the borders of Assyria, where he built
cities. In his annals, he wrote: "People the conquest of my hand
in the midst of them I place" (Assyrian Discoveries - Smith, Pg.
     From other inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III, we find some
of the cities he built were named "Sakka," "Danium," "Elisansa,"
"Abrania," "Evasa," etc. Probably these cities were named to
commemorate his victories over them or to distinguish the
different people he had placed there. The names are distinctly
traceable to Israelitish origin. The policy of deportation of
rebellious subjects and the importation of foreign subjects to
take their place was inaugurated by Tiglathpileser III. This was
to compensate for the deportation of the people in captured
territories and the depletion of land values. The vacated lands
were not to be left to grow wild and to be the haunts of wild
beasts. They were to be worked to provide continuing tribute for
the Assyrian king. As motivation, the subjugated people were
given a certain degree of freedom which enabled them to cultivate
the country according to the experience which they had acquired
in their own land. Those classified as "artisans," no doubt, were
employed in the building of the cities in which they were placed.

     During his reign, Tiglath-pileser III restored all the old empire
of Babylonia as far as the Mediterranean. He subjected the
Hittite peoples on the Orontes and in northern Syria. He occupied
the city of Babylon and legitimized his title by receiving the
crown of Asia in the holy city of western Asia. This powerful
king aimed at the conquest of the whole civilized world. He began
by building up a great organization of which Nineveh and its
succeeding rulers were the head. To achieve this goal he built up
an army whose training, discipline and arms were such as the
world had never seen before. In addition to this, he established
a civil administration in his vassal states (wherever possible)
instead of a military one; one in which the populace would have
some part or word.
     Tiglathpileser died December 725 B.C. and his son, Ulula,
another usurper, possessed himself of the throne and assumed the
name of "Shalmaneser V." His reign, however, was short. He died
while besieging Samaria, which had revolted after the death of
Tiglath-pileser. The invasion of Samaria is found recorded in II
Kings 17:6: "In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took
Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in
Halah by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes."
     It is generally accepted that Shalmaneser V captured
Samaria, and this is certainly the impression which the
Scriptural narrative leaves. However, the assertion is not
expressly made. If we accept the direct statement of Sargon 2,
successor of Shalmaneser V to the Assyrian throne, we must
consider that he, and not Shalmaneser V, was the actual captor of
the Samarians.

     Sargon II relates in his annals, that he took Samaria; "I
surrounded and deported as prisoners 27, 290 of its inhabitants,
together with their chariots ... and the gods in whom they
trusted. From them I equipped 200 chariots for my army units,
while the rest I made to take up their lot within Assyria. I
restored the city of Samaria and made it more habitable than
before. I brought into it people from the countries conquered by
my hands. My official I set over them as governor and reckoned
them as people of Assyria itself. (Numrud Prism IV, 25-41)


     It would appear therefore that Shalmaneser died, or was
deposed, while Hoshea still held out, and that the final
captivity of Israel fell into the hands of his successor.   In
the latter trans portation of Israel, we have mention of "the
cities of the Medes" as a fresh locality where the captives were
placed by the king of Assyria. The other areas received a
supplementary portion from the later captives of Samaria. The
condition of Media during this period, like that of the other
countries bordering on the great Assyrian kingdom, was
subjugation but enjoying a relative independence. The Assyrians
claimed tribute as due them. But the Medes, whenever they dared
withheld payment, probably paid tribute only when the demand was
enforced by the presence of an army.

     Those Israelites forced into co-existence with the Medes, no
doubt enjoyed equal freedom and privileges with them. Thus, they
were able to carry out many of their old customs and manners
unmolested, perhaps governed by their own elders and chieftains.
It was not long before the two races acted in concert in
resisting the demands and encroachments of Assyria. From Tobit,
himself a captive, we get some information on the social state of
the Israelites in Assyria and Media during Sargon's reign. He
relates that he and his wife (who both belonged to the tribe of
Naphtali) were carried away from Thisbe into Assyria, whence he
seems to have acquired favor, for he became purveyor to the king
Enemassar (Sargon). Others had been placed in Rages and Ecbatana,
and cities of the Medes.
     Tobit also wrote that he "went into Media, and left in trust
with Gabael, the brother of Gabrias at Rages a city of Media, ten
talents of silver," (Tobit 1:14) evidently believing it was the
safest place. Thus, it appears the captives had sufficient
freedom to journey from one part of the empire to another, and to
hold intercourse with their relatives and countrymen in Media.
Josephus also records Israel as having been placed in
MediaPersia. Writing of the 721 B.C. conquest of Samaria, he
says: "This conquest proved wholly destructive of the kingdom of
Israel, Hoshea being made prisoner, and his subjects being
transported to Media, in Persia, and replaced by people whom
Shalmaneser caused to remove from the borders of Chuthah, a river
in Persia, for the purpose of settling in the land of Samaria
(Antiquities IX, 13,14).
     The inhabitants of other captured cities which Sargon
imported into Samaria to repopulate it were regarded as heathens
by the remnant of Judah who later returned to Jerusalem from
Babylonian captivity. In fact, great hostility existed between
the two peoples. This is reflected in the parable of the Good
Samaritan, as related by Jesus. The Samaritans, as the imported
people became known, accepted the authority of the Pentateuch,
but not the Prophets or the Talmud. They preserve to this day
their own customs and Scriptures and even their own version of
the Old Phoenician Alphabet.
     The areas where the captive Israelites were settled (as
given in 2 Kings and 2 Chron.) have been located. Most were in
Upper Mesopotamia which at that time formed part of the Assyrian
Empire, Gozan was the area of Bilikh (ancient Besilius) and
Khabour (formerly called the Araxes, or Chaboras). These areas
joined with Halah, (Chalcitis of Ptolemy), Habor (the Khabour)
and Hara (Harran or Carrhae). They are now found in modern
Alleppo and Kurdistan, districts of Turkey and Asia. The ancient
city of Halah is unidentified. But Habor is the city of Guzana -
on the River Habur (in north Syria), which was conquered by
Adad-Nirari III (in 794 B.C.) and made into an Assyrian province.
Ezekiel confirms Habor as one area occupied by the captive
Israelites. He wrote that God came to him, saying: "Son of man, I
have made thee a watchman unto the House of Israel," (Ezekiel
3:17) and he expressly states that he "came to them of the
captivity at Tel-abib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar."
(Ezekiel 3:15) Chebar is ancient Khabour.
     In 705 B.C., Sargon II was assassinated and Sennacherib
assumed the throne of Assyria. Of all the Assyrian kings, none
were more famous, or infamous, than Sennacherib. His terrifying
assault upon Judah, his blasphemous defiance of the Lord beneath
the very walls of Jerusalem, and his miraculous repulse at the
eleventh hour through the unshaken faith of Isaiah the prophet
and the prayers of the faithful King Hezekiah are all well known
to every student of the Old Testament.
     Sennacherib ordered accounts of his military exploits to be
recorded on a number of hexagonal prisms. One of them, known as
the "Taylor Prism," after the name of its first owner (found at
Nineveh) can be seen today in the British Museum. It was probably
made in 691 B.C. and contains the last of Sennacherib's records.
After first enumerating successful victories over Sidon, Ascalon,
and others, the inscriptions record Sennacherib's own
contemporary and unusually detailed account of his historical
assault upon the Kingdom of Judah. Thus, we have the Assyrian
version to compare with the Hebrew record as found in 2 Kings 19
and Isaiah 36 and 37. Needless to say, the Assyrian version shows
Sennacherib in a far more favorable and successful light.
     The Biblical account of Sennacherib's seige of Jerusalem
describes how the city was dramatically saved from destruction
when "the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of
the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand (185,000)
and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all
dead corpses. So Sennacherib, king of Assyria departed, and went
and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh." (2 Kings 19:36,37 - Isa.
     Sennacharib's own account of this episode, recorded on the
Taylor Prism, presents a very different picture. The language is
boastful, referring to Hezekiah "Like a caged bird . . . shut up
in Jerusalem, his royal city." (An analogy for his being unable
to capture Jerusalem). It also describes Sennacherib's capture of
"forty-six strong walled cities" and the taking of many prisoners
and much spoil:  "Two hundred thousand, one hundred and fifty
people, great and small, male and female, horses, mules, asses,
camels, cattle and sheep without number." In addition,
Sennacharib records annual tributes he claims he was able to
exact from Hezekiah.

     One of the "strong walled cities" was Lachish. The site of
ancient Lachish is known today as "Tell ed-Duweir" and it has
been extensively excavated. It was found to be one of the largest
cities discovered in Judah. The flat summit of the mound covers
about 18 acres. (Megiddo has an area of about 13 acres). Rehoboam
had built a double-wall round the city. The higher one was of
sun-dried bricks about 20 feet thick; the lower one of stone and
brick nearly 49 feet high and 13 feet thick. On the north-west
slope of the mound a pit was found into which over 1500 bodies
had been thrown, probably during a cleaning-up operation
following Sennacherib's siege of the city. Jehoiakim later
rebuilt Lachish, but it was heavily attacked by the Babylonians
under Nebuchadnezzar and thoroughly destroyed by fire in 589 B.C.
The famous "Lachish Letters" are dated from this period. (The
Lachish Letters are first hand documents dealing with the uneasy
political and military situation reigning in Judah on the eve of
Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of Jerusalem).
     Sennacherib was slain by two of his sons. Esarhaddon, a
third son and successor to the throne, in his records,
corroborates the Biblical account of this slaying. "In the month
Nisan," writes Esarhaddon in 680 B.C., "I entered the royal
palace, the awesome place wherein abides the fate of kings. A
fierce determination fell upon my brothers. They forsook the gods
and returned to their deeds of violence, plotting evil and
revolting. To gain the kingship they slew Sennacherib their
father. The gods looked with disfavor upon the deed of the
villains ... and made them submit themselves to me ... As for
those villains who instigated revolt, they fled to parts
unknown." From the Biblical account we learn that the
assassination took place in the temple of Nisroch, and that the
names of the "villains" were Adrammelech and Sharezer, and that
it was to Armenia that they fled (2 Kings 19:37).
     Esarhaddon rebuilt Babylon which his father had destroyed.
He then engaged in an endless succession of expeditions against
the people of the mountainous north, against the Chaldeans, and
against Syria. He even invaded Egypt, forcing the king of
Ethiopia to flee; advancing up the Nile Valley he captured Thebes
the capital. After dividing Egypt among twenty petty kings who
recognized his supremacy and vowed to pay tribute to him,
Esarhaddon conferred upon himself the title of "King of Kings of
Egypt" (671 B.C.). In 688 B.C., Esarhaddon retired and handed
over the throne to his son, Ashurbanipal.
     Ashurbanipal who is called in Ezra "the great and noble
Asnappar," (Ezra 4:10) was the last of the great Assyrian kings.
     During his reign a new round of wars took place. He had to
reconquer the whole of Egypt, put down rebellions in Syria,
Armenia and Susiana. The worst carnage took place in Susiana. The
king of Susiana, Teuman, was captured and beheaded in the
presence of the entire army and his head taken back to Nineveh to
be left impaled on a spear outside one of the gates of the city.

     Two messengers, whom Teuman had dispatched to the king of Assyria
before his defeat, reached Nineveh without having learned of the
intervening events. Upon seeing their master's head, one of them
committed suicide and the other one was put into chains. Two
other officials of the city of Susa (capital of Susiana) were
taken to Arbela, where their tongues were cut out before they
were flayed alive and tossed into a red-hot furnace. As a
deterrent to any would-be insurgents in Susiana, the Assyrians
cut off the lips of Teuman's sons and sent them back home in this
badly mutilated state.
     Esarhaddon showed no mercy to his younger brother, the
governor of Babylon, after he revolted against his rule. After a
siege of the city in which the inhabitants were forced to eat the
flesh of their own children to survive, the brother was captured
and burnt alive. Those of his soldiers who had not starved to
death or killed themselves were treated, in Ashurbanipal's own
words, in the following way: "I ripped out the tongues of those
officers whose mouths had blasphemed against Ashur, my master,
and then slaughtered them. Any soldiers who were found still
alive were flogged in front of the winged bulls built by
Sennacherib, my grandfather; I whipped them on Sennacherib's
tomb, and then tossed their quivering flesh for the jackals, the
birds and the fish to eat. In this way I placated the wrath of
the gods who had become incensed by their ignominious deeds."
     A later revolt brought Ashurbanipal back to Susa. Again, the
city was ransacked. All the gold, silver and statues of the
deities were removed to Nineveh. This time, he took into
captivity all the royal family, the officers and most of the men
of the army. Ashurbanipal recorded the storming of Susa in
bas-reliefs of his palace. These showed scenes of prisoners being
flayed alive, having their eyes gouged out, their ears chopped
off, and their beard and nails torn out. Ashurbanipal held a
triumphal parade in Nineveh, in which he was pulled along in a
chariot drawn by four captive kings.
     Ashurbanipal did much to enhance the beauty of Nineveh. He
repaired the palace of Sennacherib and added several new rooms.
He accumulated a library of clay tablets dealing with all manner
of subjects. The inscriptions showed they had been arranged
according to their subjects in different positions in the library
(as found by Sir Henry Layard in 1850 A.D.). The writings
included astronomical books with observations of the planets,
astrological and magical texts, mathematical calculations,
medical prescriptions, business documents, historical records of
different reigns, and personal correspondence of the kings. It
was among the royal correspondence that the archaeological
"links" (covered in chapter 6) were found.

     The great Assyrian Empire was beginning to crumble before
Ashurbanipal died in 626 B.C. Of Ashurbanipal's successor,
Ashur-etil-ilani, little is known. One of his acts was to assign
a Chaldean, "Nabopolassar," as viceroy of Babylon in 625 B.C.
Nabopolassar seized complete control of the city and by the tenth
year (616 B.C.) of his reign he became master of North Babylonia,
calling himself "the king of Akkad." In 612 B.C., the combined
armies of Nabopolassar and the Medes assaulted, captured, and
destroyed Nineveh.
     The destruction of Nineveh had been prophesied by the
prophets of the Old Testament. Zephaniah wrote: "And he will
stretch out his hand against the north, and destroy Assyria, and
will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like the wilderness. And
herds shall lie down in the midst of her, all beasts of the
nations; both the pelican and the porcupine shall lodge in the
capitals thereof; their voice shall sing in the windows;
desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he hath laid bare the
cedarwork. This is the joyous city that dwelt carelessly, that
said in her heart, I am, and there is none besides me: how is she
become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie in! Every one that
passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand" (Zeph.2:13-15).
     Nahum is the prophet-artist who gives us the most vivid and
detailed description of the final fall of the "blood stained
city" of Nineveh and cites the distress of the hated Assyrians.

     His descrip tions of the methods of defense, of the movements of
the army in the streets and numerous other data, mark his account
at the word of an eye-witness, or of one very familiar with life
in the capital. We see the dash of the enemy, with his glittering
and bounding chariots, and flashing weapons, and prancing horses,
as the walls are stormed. The attackers prepared a protection
over their heads as they came close to the walls (Nahum 2:5). But
by some means or other, possibly, as sometimes suggested, by the
rising and roaring river, the walls were undermined and the
river-gates carried away (though this is tradition) "the palace
is dissolved" (Nahum 2:6). The bloody combat and noisy confusion
in the streets result (Nahum 3:3) in "a multitude of slain, and a
great heap of corpses, and there is no end of the bodies; for
they stumble upon their bodies." "Take ye the spoil of silver,
take the spoil of gold; for there is no end of the store, the
glory of all goodly furniture" (Nahum 2:9) gathered from the ends
of the earth.
     Nahum's final words depict the end of the nation that roared
"like a lion," (Isa.5:29) whose chief sport was hunting and
slaying lions, and whose ravages were most fittingly compared
with those of lions: "Thy shepherds slumber, O king of Assyria:
thy nobles shall dwell in the dust: thy people are scattered upon
the mountains, and no man gathereth them. There is no healing o f
thy bruise; thy wound is grievous: all that hear the bruit of
thee shall clap the hands over thee: for upon whom hath not thy
wickedness passed continually?" (Nahum 3:18,19).
     At the fall of Nineveh, the king (Sin-shar-ishkun) of
Assyria disappeared and in Harran (in northwestern Mesopotamia)
Ashuruballit was made king of Assyria. In the sixteenth year (610
B.C.) the Babylonians and the Medes, who had combined their
forces to destroy Nineveh, again united their armies to attack
Harran. This was the new western capital of Assyria occupied by
the Assyrian warriors who had escaped Nineveh. The new capital
fell to the attackers but the king and most of the Assyrian army
escaped across the Euphrates.
     After the fall of Harran, the Medes took over the lands to
the north and northwest, while the Babylonians occupied the
territory to the south and southwest. Babylon also claimed Syria
and the Holy Land, and required tribute formerly paid to the king
of Assyria. With the tribute, Nabopolassar did much to rebuild
Babylon as well as the other cities of Chaldea that had suffered
immense devastation during the reign of Ashurbanipal. However, he
was of advanced age when he began and died (604 B.C.) before he
could finish his planned restorations.
     Nabopolassar's son, Nebuchadnezzar (who bore the title
"King" even before his father's death) was one of the most famous
monarchs of antiquity. He fought several wars putting down
rebellions of the petty Syrian kingdoms and was victorious over
an Egyptian army, under Pharaoh Necho, on the banks of the
Euphrates River at Carchemish. The Egyptian army was forced to
retreat to Egypt. The Book of 2 Kings refers (but does not
describe) to the results of this battle. "In his (Jehoiakim's)
days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became
his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him"
(2 Kings 24:1).


     The Babylonian Chronicle (B.M. 21901) describes the events
leading to the final collapse of Assyrian power. The Chronicle
records that in the 17th year of Nabopolassar, (607 B.C.) in the
month of Tammuz, an Egyptian army reinforced by Assyrian units
under Ashur-uballit, advanced on Harran but they abandoned the
seige on the approach of the Babylonian army led by Nabopolassar
(in Elud - August, September). Obviously, the Egyptian army could
not have gotten to Harran (to the east of Carchemish) in the
Upper Euphrates basin, without passing through the land of
     The Bible records (2 kings 23:29) that King Josiah of Judah,
was killed opposing an Egyptian army under Pharaoh Necho (Nekau)
which was on its way to the Euphrates. According to the
chronology of the kings of Judah, as given in the Bible, this
incident took place in 607 B.C. Obviously, this was the same army
reported in the Babylonian Chronicles. Thus, the Bible and the
Babylonian Chronicles confirm each other both as regards the
circumstances and the date.

     With the defeat of the Egyptians and Assyrians in 607 B.C.,
the domination of the peoples of Syria and Palestine passed from
Assyria to Babylon. This assumption of Babylonian authority over
all western Asia is confirmed by Jeremiah as dating from the
accession year of Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim had been placed on the
throne of Judah by Pharaoh Necho, but transferred his allegiance
under pressure of Babylon. 2 Kings 24, vs.1 records that he
served the Babylonian king for three years and then rebelled
against him. Consequently, Nebuchadnezzar, who had been virtually
acting as king during the latter half of his father's reign, sent
an army of mixed nationalities against Jerusalem. Daniel 1:1
gives the date of this attack as the 3rd year of Jehoiakim, which
was just three years after his accession year. This confirms II
Kings 24: vs.1, that he was vassal three years before he


     Jehoiakim's rebellion was short lived. When Nebuchadnezzar's
army came up against Jerusalem, in Jehoiakim's third year, "the
Lord gave Jehoiakim, king of Judah, into his hand" (Daniel
1:1-2). The Babylonian Chronicles reveal details of the capture
of Jehoiakim: "In the seventh year (of Nebuchadnezzar) in the
month of Kislev, the Babylonian king mustered his troops and,
having marched to the land of Hatti, beseiged the city of Judah.
On the second day of the month Adar, he captured the city and
seized the King. He set up in it a king after his heart and
having received its heavy tribute sent (them) off to Babylon."
(Compare this with 2 Kings 24:10-17) 2 Chronicles 36:6 states
that Jehoiakim was bound in fetters and carried to Babylon.
     Jeremiah prophesied regarding Jehoiakim that "he shall be buried
with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates
of Jerusalem" (Jer.22:19). Jeremiah further prophesied that "his
dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the
night to the frost" (Jer.36:30). Although the Scriptures and the
Chronicles are seemingly at odds with each other, it is not
inconceivable that all the records are true. In the general
capture of the city, Jehoiakim could have been taken with the
other captives to Babylon, but later on examination was found to
show a rebellious spirit, so was ordered slain by the king and
disgraced by being cast without the city (Jerusalem) and left
unburied for a time.
     Nebuchadnezzar placed Jehoiakim's son, Jehoiachin, to
succeed his father. However, within a few months, the new king's
haughtiness and defiance of Babylonian authority brought another
Babylonian army to Jerusalem. When the Babylonian army surrounded
the city, Jehoiachin surrendered, "he, and his mother, and his
servants, and his princes and his officers." (2 Kings 24:12) This
time Jerusalem was plundered and immense quantities of goods and
treasure was carried to Babylon. Along with the booty, the
Babylonian king deported some 7,000 workers, 1,000 craftsmen and
smiths and 2,000 of the most influential citizens of Jerusalem.
Thus, Nebuchadnezzar was guaranteed, for a period of time at
least, the respectful submission of this western district. Also,
he was supplied with skilled craftsmen for the execution of his
elaborate plans to refurbish Babylonia.
     Zedekiah (Mattaniah) the third son of Josiah, was chosen by
Nebuchadnezzar to replace Johoiachin as king of Judah. Like his
predecessor, Zedekiah defied Nebuchadnezzar and entered into an
alliance with a new king of Egypt, Hophra (Apries) who was
challenging Babylonian control of Syria. Zedekiah's refusal to
pay the annual tribute caused Nebuchadnezzar to order his army to
attack Jerusalem. When the city refused to surrender, the
Babylonians settled down for a long seige.
     Jeremiah, the prophet, advised Zedekiah to capitulate, and
consequently gain mercy and life for the inhabitants. Zedekiah
refused, confident that his pact with Egypt would bring their
forces to the defense of the city. The Egyptian allies, true to
their oath, sent an army to the rescue of Zedekiah. The
Babylonians raised the siege just long enough to meet the
Egyptian forces somewhere between Jerusalem and Egypt and drove
them back to the Nile-land.

     The siege of Jerusalem lasted about a year and a half. On
the ninth day of the fourth month, (July) 586 B.C., the city
walls yielded to the strokes of battering-rams and the
Babylonians took the city. Zedekiah made a vain attempt to escape
but was captured on the plains of Jericho. The Judean king was
carried to Riblah and in the presence of Nebuchadnezzar, the king
against whom he had rebelled, was forced to witness his own sons
slain. Then Zedekiah was manacled in fetters, his own eyes put
out, (probably in the manner indicated on the Assyrian monuments,
by the use of short swords) and carried prisoner to Babylon. To
forestall the possibility of any future rebellion in the strong
fortress, Jerusalem was thoroughly plundered and burned. Its
walls were leveled to the ground, and the better part of the
population transported to Babylon (2 Kings 25:1-11).

     The main cause of the overthrow and destruction of the
Judean kingdom was the unfaithfulness of Zedekiah to his oath and
his refusal to obey the words of the Lord that he should serve
Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah spoke the words of the Lord unto
Zedekiah: "I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are
upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm,
and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now I
have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the
king of Babylon, my servant, and the beasts of the field have I
also to serve him. And all nations (shall) serve him, and his
son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land shall
come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve
themselves of him. And it shall come to pass, that the nation and
kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of
Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the
king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with
the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I
have consumed them by his hand. But the nations that bring their
neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those
will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and
they shall till it, and dwell therein" (Jer.27:5-11).

     In Babylonian captivity, the Judeans enjoyed many of the
privileges of citizens, with settled homes and fixed communities.
Nebuchadnezzar made it one of the chief aims of his life to bring
prosperity to his subjects in order to bind them to him with ties
stronger than fetters. Contrary to popular belief, the Hebrews in
exile enjoyed a peaceful and prosperous time, aside from the
tearful memories of the desolation of their native land. Seventy
years later when the exiles were given their freedom to return to
Palestine, chose to remain in Babylon, content with their life in
their many new homes.


     After the Babylonian empire was overthrown by Cyrus, king of
the Persians, the exiled Judeans were allowed to return to their
homeland. Of the hundreds of thousands originally taken captive,
less than 50,000 accepted the invitation to return to Palestine.
It is this 'remnant' that became known as the "Jews" a name
meaning "remnant of Judah, and never having been applied to any
branch of the Semitic peoples prior to the Babylonian captivity.
(The name "Jew" is a mistranslation of the word "Ioudaious,"
meaning from, or being of: as a country - Judea, and
"Ioudaismos," meaning Judaism: the religion of Judah. The name
"Jew" cannot be correctly utilized to designate any of the other
"Lost Tribes of Israel").

     During the Babylonian captivity, Edomites settled in
Jerusalem and they together with the Babylonians who migrated
with the Israelites to Palestine and the returning Judeans
collectively, became known as the "Nation of the Jew." Modern
Jewry includes a further in-mixing with Mongol-Turkish people
(Khazar kingdom of Russia that contained some infusion of
Hebrews-Jews of the Diaspora). A great majority of the Jews
today, are Semites only in speech.
     It should be noted that Idumea was conquered by the Jews
during the time of the Maccabees and thus a considerable number
of "Edomites" was added to Jewry. By the time of Christ, they had
become so powerful that one of their number, Herod, was king in
Jerusalem. The second chapter of Matthew's Gospel shows that the
hatred of Esau's descendants against the Israelites had continued
to that time (Read Exodus 7: vv. 8-16).

     It is generally believed, by Bible scholars, that the
Israelites carried away captive from their homelands, other than
the Israelites that returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian
captivity, amalgamated with the peoples of the lands of their
captivity (Assyria and Babylon) never again to emerge into world
history. However, the error of this belief becomes evident as one
examines the Assyrian records of a people bearing the name
"Gamir" (later "Gamera" and "Gimira") suddenly appearing in the
very lands to which the exiled Israelites had been placed just a
few years earlier.

Missing Links in Assyrian Tablets #6

Israel’s name in Assyrian Captivity



     One of the earliest Assyrian references to Israel is found
on a monolith of Shalmaneser III excavated in 1861 at Kurkh
(ancient Tushkha) on the Tigris, in southwestern Turkey. It
depicts the king standing under the symbols of the Assyrian gods
which he salutes. The front and back of the stele are covered
with cuneiform writing which includes events of his first six
campaigns of conquests.
     On the stone monument, the Assyrian king records his
victory, in his sixth year (853 B.C.) over a coalition of twelve
kings, at the battle of Qarqar (Karkar), near Hamath, on the
Orontes River. The defeated armies included 2,000 chariots and
10,000 foot soldiers from Ahab, the "Israelite, (Ahabbu-mat Sir
'ilaia) king of the northern Hebrew kingdom of Israel. This is
the last record of the Assyrians referring to the Israelites by
that name.
     In spite of this victory, further uprisings against
Shalmaneser's authority brought other punitive campaigns against
various minor kings of his realm, including Jehu, the successor
of Ahab.  The subjugation of Jehu was later made complete in
Shalmaneser's eighteenth year. (841 B.C.) The record of this
event was found (A.D. 1846) on a stele in Kurkh, by Sir Austin
Henry Layard, the descendant of a Huguenot refugee who had
settled in England.
     The black stone, known as the "Jehu Stele" or "Black
Obelisk," depicts Shalmaneser's triumphs over several kingdoms of
Syria and the west. In the second row from the top is the figure
of Jehu, dressed in the costume of the Western Semites, paying
homage by bowing to the ground, while his servants bring gifts.
In the text, Jehu is called the "Son of Omri." The Assyrians in
this period of time used the term "House of Omri" to cover both
the Northern Kingdom of Israel, governed from Omri's capital,
Samaria, and the family of Omri, in which they apparently
included Jehu.
     Above the scene is written in Assyrian cuneiform script:

"The tribute of Jehu (Iaua) son of Khumri (Omri): I received from
him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed
bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king,
(and) purukhti fruits." The Hebrew name "Omri" begins with the
consonant "y," called "Ayin," which is pronounced with a gutteral
"h" and is represented in Assyrian transliteration as "Gh" or
"Kh." The Israelites would naturally pronounced "Omri" as
"Ghomri" which became "Khumri" in Assyrian. Thus, the Assyrians,
even before the Israelites were taken into captivity, called the
Israelites "Beth Khumri," meaning "House of Omri." Similar
pronounciations are found in the names "Gomorrah" and "Gaza,"
both of which begin with consonant "y."

     The Assyrian name "Khumri," used to denote the Israelites is
also found in the annals (records) of King Tiglath-pileser III
concerning his invasion of Israel when he removed the first
Israelites to Assyria: "The cities of Gilead and Abel-beth-maacah
on the borders of the land of Khumri, and the widespread land of
Hazael to its whole extent, I brought within the territory of
     Sargon II (722-705 B.C.) also makes mention of the "Khumri"
in his record of the capture of Samaria. He refers to himself as
the conqueror of "Bit-Khumri." (Omri) Apparently this is the last
mention of the Israelites by the name "Khumri." However, a study
of the Assyrian cuneiform tablets known as the "Royal
Correspondence of the Assyrian Empire" reveals the history of the
Israelites in Assyrian captivity. These clay tablets (Letters)
were found by English archaeologist Austin Henry Layard while an
attache to the British Embassy at Constantinople.
     One summer day, in 1847, Layard drove his spade into a mound
at Kiyunjik and struck the buried walls of an Assyrian palace. He
had found Sennacherib's splendid palace and the famous capital of
Assyria, "Nineveh, that great city," which had seemingly
miraculously survived the centuries nearly intact. From the home
of the notorious Sennacherib of the Scriptures, were excavated
the gigantic effigies of winged lions, supercilious bulls,
eagle-headed priests, and exquisitely carved reliefs of battle
and chase, and there was confirmation of Bible truth in every
line of the sadistic representations of disemboweled beasts,
blood-gushing wounds, severed heads impaled and tortured bodies
of men.

     In two small rooms Layard found stores of clay tablets
inscribed all over with the curious Assyrian arrow-headed
writing, which we now call cuneiform writing. Later his
assistant, Mr.Rassam, found another cache of these tablets. When
scholars later found out how to read the inscriptions on the
tablets, it was discovered that these clay tablets were really
the books of the great royal library of the Assyrian kings. Most
of them had been gathered by some of the later Assyrian monarchs,
especially by Ashurbanipal, whom the Greeks used to call
     Over 23,000 cuneiform clay tablets were found, whole or
broken. These were shipped to the British Museum for translation
and study. The writings included astronomical books, with
observations of the planets, mathematical calculations, medical
prescriptions, religious texts, business documents, historical
records of different reigns and personal correspondence of the
kings. The Assyrian text of 1471 tablets (Letters) was published
by R.F.Harper (Assyrian and Babylonian Letters) and in 1930 an
English translation, by Leroy Waterman, was published by the
University of Michigan. ("The Royal Correspondence of the
Assyrian Empire")

     The "Letters," covering the sweep of the Assyrian Empire in
the seventh century B.C., contained references to the captive
Israelites. However, owing to the relevant texts being mixed up
in complete disorder among so many others, the early translators
failed to recognize references to the Israelites in about a dozen
tablets. Contributing to this situation was the fact (we now
know) that the Assyrians called the Israelites by other names.
(Ex. Gamera, Gimera)
     The earliest of these cuneiform tablets known as the "Royal
Letters" are reports (dated 708-707 B.C.) from spies operating on
the border between Assyria and Urartu. The spies were evidently
sent there by the Assyrian monarch to watch and report on
Urartian activities. It is from their reports that the activities
of the Israelites can be found.

     One tablet Identified as "Letter 123 - Gabbuana-Ashur to
King Sargon" reads as follows:

To the king my lord, your servant Gabbuana-Ashur.
In regard to the orders, which the king my lord issued to me
concerning the watch of the people of the land of Urartu, my
messengers entered into a house in the city of Kurban. Those who
are to go unto Nabuli', Ashur-beldan, (and) unto
Ashurrisua will go. The writing of the names of the men we
have in no way neglected. Each one is performing his task;
nothing has been omitted.
(Rev.) We have been informed after this manner as follows: the
people of the land of Urartu have not gone forth from the city of
Turushpia. And we shall keep the watch concerning which the
king has given me command. We shall not be negligent. On the
sixteenth (?) day of the month Tammuz I entered into the
city of Kurban. On the twentieth day of Ab, I sent a letter to
the king my lord.

     The months of Tammuz and Ab mentioned in the above Letter
are the 4th and 5th months of the Assyrian calendar and
correspond to our mid-June to Mid-August. The above and following
spy reports are better understood when read in light of the
current history: Sargon 11 (721-705 B.C.) who succeeded
Shalmaneser IV, inherited a kingdom full of great problems and
difficulties. Rebellions all over the empire hampered the
expansionist plans of Shalmaneser IV which Sargon II planned to
complete. The subjugation of Urartu could wait until the more
important ancient kingdoms of Sumer and Accad, in southern
Babylonia, were safely under his control. Apparently, spies were
dispatched to the lesser minor kingdoms to report any activities
that might pose a threat to Assyria, which could be dealt with as
the necessity arose. Gabbuana-Ashur was obviously one of the
spies assigned to watch Urartu.

     A second tablet identified as "Letter 148 - Ashurrisua to
King Sargon" is also a report from the overseers of spies
operating in Turushpa. (Tushpa - capital of Urartu on the eastern
shore of Lake Van) The fragment that can be read is as follows:

To the king my lord, your servant Ashurrisua. May it be well with
the king my lord.
Regarding that which the king my lord has written, saying, "Send
your scouts into the district of the city of Turushpa...... let
them inquire ..... Regarding the governors in the city of Asshur,
.... they came down.  The work ........

     A third tablet identified as "Letter 492 - Ashurrisua to
King Sargon" reports on military activities by the Urartians
against the fortress city of Uesi (formerly a Urartian fortress
captured by Sargon 2 in 714 B.C.) and Elizzada: (in southern

To the king my lord, your servant Ashurrisua. May it be well with
the king my lord.
In the beginning of the month Nisan, the Urartean went forth from
Tur-ushpa ; he came to the city of Elizzadu. Kakkadanu, his
commander-in chief, came to the city of Uesi. The troops of all
Urartu the king has taken. To Elizzadu he has gone down.    
The king my lord will accordingly speak, saying...... as
............ I heard .....

     Letter 444 - Ashurrisua (?) to King Sargon confirms the
previous spy reports of Urartian forces moving south and the
capture of Uesi and added the Urartian "army is strong."

To the king my lord, your servant .......... May it be well with
the king my lord.
Five governors of the land of Armenia have entered into the city
of Uesi: Sitinu, governor of the land of ... teni; Kakkadanu,
who is over against the Ukai, Sakuata of the land of Kaniun;
Siplia of the land of Alzi; Tutu(?) of the land Armiraliu -
these are their names. From the governing city they have entered
into the city of Uesi. Now these have brought up their
forces, the army is strong. The king has gone forth from
the city of Turushpa.  He has entered the city of Kaniun. 
Regarding that which the king my lord has written, saying,
"Send out scouts," I have sent twice. Certain have come (and)
spoken these words the others have not yet set out.

     A following spy report, "Letter 380 - Ashur-risua to King
Sargon" reports Urartian forces converging on Musasir (south of
Lake Urmia) while the king of Urartu may soon enter Uesi:

To the king my lord, your servant Ashurrisua. May it be well with
the king my lord.
Three thousand footsoldiers, prefects, and chieftains of Sietini,
the governor who is over against me, have set out for the
city of Musasir. They have crossed the Black River. His pack
animals, the herd of Sietini, is before him.
Regarding Sunai, the governor who is opposite the Ukai, his
men have set out also for the city of Musasir. I have heard it
reported: the king will enter the city of Uesi. He has not
yet sent (any) forth.

     Seemingly, in response to the previous Letter, Sargon sent a
messenger to Musasir for additional information on the Urarti an
troop movements, for the following tablet identified as "Letter
409 - Urzana (King of Musasir) to the Overseer of the Palace"
reported that the Urartian troops had already passed through and
that their king was on the way toward the Assyrian capital. This
Letter is unique in that it is written in Assyrian by a foreigner
who was not too well versed in Assyrian writing ... Also it
revealed an impertinence toward the Assyrian king by the words,
"According to reckoning" (I will do as I please) which suggests
Urzana had been reinstalled as chieftain of Musasir by the
invading Urartians, and felt secure under their protection.

Tablet of Urzana to the palace overseer. May it be well with you.
Regarding that which you have written, saying, "Is the king of
Urartu with his troops going to be with you?  Where does he
tarry?" the governor of the city of Uasi, (and) the governor of
the district of the land of Ukkai have come, (and) performed
the service in the temple. They say, "The king is coming (and
now) halts in the city of Uasi. The (other) governors have
met (him). They will come (and) offer sacrifices in
Musasir." Regarding that which you have written, saying, "Without
the command of the king let no one put his hand to a rite,"
when the king of Assyria came did I oppose him? What I have done
I shall continue to do, and that too not according to

     "Letter 1079-Sennacharib to King Sargon" is a letter from
Sargon's son evidently reporting an Urartian defeat in battle.
Only the ending portion survives:

. . . . . . . . . . . in the house .... I rejoiced (?), this is
the report from Ashurrisua ....... bel the second officer of the
palace overseer has come to me, saying, "Urzana has sent, saying,
'The people of Urartu have set out (?).'" When they went .... his
troops were slain, reporting that the governor of the city of
Uesi is slain, saying, "The servants (?) ... have rebelled."

Are we not investigating . . . when we have investigated
...... we shall send you our report ...... of the riding horses
...... Sharruludari. The Urarteans are fleeing, they are coming
........ of the house of the palace overseer ...... the
district of Hubushkia ......are taken ....... the fortresses

     In the above Letter, Sennacherib indicates he was continuing
to gather details of the Urartian defeat and would send a further
report. The following "Letter 197-Sennacharib to King Sargon"
appears to be the follow-up report:

To the king my lord, your servant Sennacherib. May it be well
with the king my lord. It is well with the land of Assyria. It is
well with the temples. It is well with every fortified city
of the king. May the heart of the king my lord be exceedingly
The people of the Ukkai have sent (word) unto me, saying, "When
the king of the people of Urartu went to the land of Gamir, his
army met with a debacle, he himself and his district
commanders with their contingents have been hurled back, his
........ two of his district commanders ........ has come
........ has seized ........ the ....... who came ...... of
his land ......... who will establish ........    This
is the news from the Ukkai.  Ashurrisua has sent (word) as
follows, "News of Urartu - The former (report) which I sent, that
is true. A great slaughter has taken place among them. Now
his land is quiet. His officers have gone, each to his own
district. (Rev.) Kakkadanu his commander-in-chief has been cap-
tured. The king of the land of Urartu is in the land of
Uazaun."  This is the report of Ashurrisua.
Nabuli' the governor of Halsu has reported to me as follows:

"Unto the garrisons of the fortified cities which command the
border I sent for news of the king of Urartu. (They replied),
saying, 'When he went to the land of Gamir, his army (met)
with a debacle. Three of his officers, together with their
troops, were slain. He himself escaped (and) entered his
own land. His camp has not yet been attacked.'"  This is the news
from Nabuli'. His brother of the city of Musasir and his son
have gone to greet the king of Urartu.  A messenger of the
Hubushkian has also gone to greet him.  The garrison of
every fortress on the border sends reports like this. The
letter which Nabuli'u, the overseer of the house of Ahatabisha,
brought from the land of Tabal, I have forwarded to the king my

     Further details of the Urartian defeat (May 707 B.C. during
the reign of Sargon) is contained in "Letter 646 - Author

.......... the people of Urartu ........ they fear ........ for
his hostility nine of his governors were slain.   The governor
who is over against the Chief Butler, the governor who is over
against us, the governor of Ship ... two governors who are before
the land of Karsippari, the governor of the land of Shattera, a
total of nine of his governors have been slain and their
king in his evil case has gone up by himself, he has fled to the
mountains ..... the remnants of the camp of their king they did 5
not see .... they did not know how he made his escape .... one
hundred ........ the way to the dominion ....... one hundred...

     Letters 197 and 646 identifies the area of the disastrous
rout of the Urartians as the land of "Gamir." Since the area was
southeasterly from Urartu this would place it in the territory of
the Mannai, a kindred people ruled over by the Urartians. (The
Cuneiform inscriptions of Van, A.H. Sayce, 1882) This area, south
of Lake Urmia and adjacent to Media (referred to as the 'land of
Gamir') was where a large number of the ten-tribed Northern
Kingdom of Israel had been placed by the Assyrians. And just
fourteen years prior to the battle, some of the Israelites from
the two-tribed Southern Kingdom of Judah had been settled in that
area. Sargon in his annals, says he invaded this area (719 B.C.)
and deported many of the Mannai to the west - to Syria. Evidently
this created a sparsely populated area which the homeless
Israelites would have filled. For self preservation, the
Israelites would have resisted the intrusion of the Urartians,
thus proving the practicality of the Assyrian defensive strategy
of placing captive peoples as buffers on their borders.

     "Letter 112 - Arad-Sin to the Overseer of the Palace"
reveals the names of the inhabitants of Gamir as "camera" and
further identified them as "Cimmerians." (ga-me-ra-a-an)

To the overseer of the palace my lord, your servant Arad-Sin.
The Cimmerians went forth from the midst of the Mannai and into
the land of Urartu they entered ......... Ishtarduri .........
the messenger of the governor of the city of Uesi went unto
Urzani.  Concerning ....... saying ...... the troops ..... let
them come. The whole land of Urartu is exceedingly afraid on
account of the people of the city of Bulia and the city of
Suriana. They assemble the troops, saying, "Immediately  our
forces are like reeds, shall we plant (the foot) against him?"
Concerning this booty of which they speak, saying, "Plunder he
has taken," it is so, (and) they say, "From the district of
the city of ......  

     The texts of the preceding tablets reveal the Israelites,
originally known to the Assyrians, as "Khumri" were placed in
captivity near the river Habor, (in northern Assyria) in Gozan,
and among the Medes in northern Iran. In captivity the Israelites
were renamed "Gimira" and "camera" and finally "Cimmerians."
Although the Gimira were occupying part of the land of the Medes
and Mannai, they were a distinct people. This can be shown by
a series of tablets found at Nineveh, in which the king of
Assyria (Esarhaddon 681-669 B.C.) is reciting prayers, through
his priests, to the sun-god Shamash. (British Museum KK 195,
83-1-18; 697, and 82-5-22, 175)  The king is asking for divine
guidance about the operation of his troops sent to collect
tribute in the territory of the Medes and the Mannai.
     In one of his prayers, Esarhaddon asks: "Regarding
Kastariti, the chieftain of the city Karkassi, who has sent the
following message to Mamitiarsu, chieftain of the Medes, saying,
'Let us get together against the Assyrians!' Will Mamitiarsu
listen to him, will he take notice of him, will he turn his face
toward him, and within this year make war on Esarhaddon, king of

     Another prayer indicates that such an alliance took place:
"Will Kastariti, together with his warriors, or the warriors of
the Gimira, or the warriors of the Medes, or the warriors of the
Mannai, or any other enemy whatever, as many as there may be,
succeed in their plan? Will they take Kisassu, either by storm,
force, war, battle and slaughter ... by battering ram, or any
other artifice of war by which a town may be taken, will they
force their way into the midst of that city Kisassu, will their
forces conquer that city of Kisassu, will it fall into their

     The above prayer indicates the Gimira were separate from but
had joined with Medes and Mannai, under Kastariti, against the
Assyrian controlled city of Kisassu (listed as Kishasim among the
cities of the Medes) captured by Sargon a few years earlier.
Several other texts also list the Gimira, Medes and Mannai as
separate peoples but associated in their resistance to the
Assyrians. One tablet lists the Gimira and Medes as also
threatening the district of Bit-Hamban on the southern borders of
Media, adjoining Elam and Babylonia.
     Additional proof that the Gimira were strangers to the area
is found in an account of Esarhaddon's battle with the Cimmerians
in the second year of his reign. (679 B.C.) He wrote: 

"Teushpa, the Gimira, a barbarian whose home was afar off, I cut
down with the sword in the land of Hubushna, together with all
his troops." (Babylonian Historical Text, p.14, Sidney Smith)

     Hubushna was a region in central Asia Minor, north and west
of the Euphrates gorge, which once belonged to the Hittites.
(Hittites and Armenian, Jensen, p.14, 1898) Hubushna bordered on
Urartu. The expression, "whose home was afar off" could be based
on the knowledge that the Gimira were, in fact, exiles from their
native land.

     Another spy report identified as "Letter 1237 - Belushezib
toKing Esarhaddon" refers to the Gimira or Cimmerians as
"offspring of outcasts" also suggesting they were strangers from
another land. The report suggests that Esarhaddon's troops being
sent to collect tribute from the Mannai should move with caution
against the Gimira on account of threats from the Gimira. The
letter also advises the king that his chariots and baggage wagons
should be stationed on the frontier pass so cavalry raids could
be sent to plunder both the Mannai on one side and the Gimira on
the other:

     To the king of the lands my lord, your servant ....... May Bel,
Nabu, and Shamash be gracious to the king my lord.
When a star shines forth like a torch from the sunrise and in the
sunset fades away, the army of the enemy will attack in force.
When the south wind rises suddenly and having risen continues,
and as s it continues, becomes a gale; and from a gale increases
to a tempest - a day of destruction - the prince, on whatever
expedition he goes, will obtain wealth.

     Although the king sent (an order) to his troops as follows,
"Enter into the midst of the Mannai," all the troops should
not enter. Let the cavalry and the Dakku invade the
Cimmerians, who have spoken saying, "The Mannai pertain to you,
we have not interfered." Certainly this is a lie. They are the
offspring of outcasts, they recognize neither the oath of
a god nor a (human) agreement. Let the chariots and baggage
wagons take up a position on either side of the pass; (then) with
the horses and the Dakku, let them enter and take the plunder
of the plain of the Mannai; and let them return and at the pass
let them bivouac ...... once or twice they shall enter and
........ plundered and the Cimmerians ...... they come, the
troops ...... shall enter against the cities of the Mannai ......
Belhabu of the Mannai ..... they will change to the hands of the
king my lord ....... on this fifteenth day the moon appears with
the sun. This is against them. Will you restrain the feet of the
Cimmerians from them? If they approach, their coming and going of
any sort shall I not know?  I have sent a message to the king my
lord. May the lord of kings inquire of a man acquainted with the
country and may the king, at his pleasure, send to his troops
raiders in addition to the (other) fighting men. A fortress there
against the enemy do you provision for yourself. Let all the
troops enter the Gududanu. Let them go forth and let them seize
their people of the steppe, and let them inquire whether the
Indarua have withdrawn before them. Let the troops enter against
their cities. Let them overthrow them. The king of the gods,
Marduk, turns graciously to the king my lord. Whatever the king
my lord speaks, he will perform. Upon your throne you are seated,
your enemies you shall take captive, your foes you shall conquer,
and the land of your enemies you shall despoil. Bel has spoken,
saying, "Like Mardukshapikzeri, Esarhaddon king of Assyria is
upon the throne and he is (now) seated thereon, and the whole
land (is) obedient tohis rule." The king my lord knows. Joyfully
let the king do according as he wishes.

     An analysis of the texts of the Royal Letters leads only to
the conclusion that the Gimira were part of the Israelites lost
in Assyrian exile. The Gimira are identified as being exiles from
another land. The Gimira appear in the very areas where the
Israelites had been previously placed by the Assyrians. The name
"Gimira" is easily derived from Khumri, the recognized name for
Israel. However, the Gimira people (identified by the Royal
Letters) fail to account for the greater number of Israelites of
the ten Northern tribes of Israel plus large numbers of the
southern Kingdom of Judah carried into Assyrian captivity. What
happened to them? The answer to that question is found in the
prayer tablets of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon.

     Among the prayer texts of Esarhaddon to the sun-god Shamash
are several that name a people never heard of before in history,
the "Iskuza" who evidently lived among the Mannai. One prayer
text reads: "Will the Iskuza warriors who live in the district of
the Mannai, and have moved to the frontiers of the Mannai,
succeed in their plan? Will they march out from the pass of
Hubushkia and reach the towns of Harrania and Anisuskia, and take
much booty and heavy spoil from the borders of Assyria?" The town
of Hubushkia was located in the region of Uesi and Musasir, where
the Urartians battled the Gimira in 707 B.C. - on the border of
the Mannai kingdom.

     Two other prayer texts indicate the Iskuza invaded the lands
of the Medes and competed with the Assyrian expeditions sent into
Media to collect tribute. Esarhaddon asked:  "I ask thee Samas;
great lord, whether the nobles and governors of Bit-kari and
Saparda with their warriors, horses and military forces, as many
as there may be, will be opposed, and whether . . . himself, or
his son, of the Iskuza warriors, or anyone else who is with him,
will attack the nobles and governor, nobles, warriors, horses and
troops of Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, which are in Bitkari, and
which have entered the land of the Medes in order to collect the
tribute of horses, (be attacked) by the hand of the Iskuza

     There is reason to believe the name "Iskuza" is just another
Assyrian name for the Israelites and might refer to another group
of Israelites originally in Asia Minor whereas the "Gimera"
referred to those in Media. Among the prayer tablets or any
Assyrian records, where the Gimira and the Iskuza are mentioned,
they are never described as being distinctly different people. In
fact the name "Iskuza" can be easily deduced from the name "Isaac
(The Israelites referred to themselves as House of Isaac before
their exile - Amos 7:9,16) Isaac could easily take the form of
"Isaaca" which in turn became "Iskuza" when the Assyrians heard
     As the Medes stepped up their harassment of the border
provinces of Assyria, Esarhaddon proposed an alliance with the
Iskuza (Scythian) king Bartatua (the Protothyes of Herodotus I,
103) against the Medes and Cimmerians. Bartatua demanded an
Assyrian princess in marriage as the price for his allegiance.
Esarhaddon questioned the priests of Shamash concerning this
proposal. His prayer request asked: "Regarding Bartatua, king of
the Iskuza who has just sent his ambassador to Esarhaddon, king
of Assyria, about a princess . . . I ask you Shamash, great lord,
if Esarhaddon gives a princess to Bartatua king of the Iskuza for
a wife, whether Bartatua will observe and keep his oath to
Esarhaddon, king of Assyria?" (Translated from
Politische-religiose texte, p.30, by E.G. Klaube )

     The Scythian alliance proved successful and lasted at least
for another generation for Herodotus relates that a Scythian
army, under the command of Madyes, son of Protothyes (Bartatua)
came to the relief of Nineveh.   

"A battle was fought in which the Medes (under Cyaxares, son of
Phraortes) were defeated and lost their power in Asia, which was
taken over in its entirety by the Scythians." (Herodotus I, 103) 

     Again, about 645 B.C., Madyes fought for the Assyrians, this
time against the Cimmerians. On one occasion, the Medes avenged
their defeat at the hands of the Scythians. Cyaxares invited a
large number of the Scythians, including their chiefs and
leaders, to a banquet at which they were made drunk and murdered.
As the result of this trickery, Herodotus says the Medes
"recovered their former power and dominion. " (Herodotus I, 105)
     However, any recovery was short lived as the Scythians
continued to grow in supremacy in Asia.
     It is universally accepted by modern historians that the
Iskuza were called "Shuthae" by the Greeks and "Sacae" (also
"Saka" and "Sakka") by the Persians. Herodotus further tells us
the Persians called the Sacae, "Scythians." If one wonders why
the Medes and Persians did not use the Assyrian name for the
Israelites, it is probably because they were in closer social
contact with the Israelites and thus familiar with the name the
Israelites called themselves. The name "Gimira" was strictly an
Assyrian name and not the one the Israelites would have used.

     To summarize, we have observed from the Assyrian documents
(tablets and inscriptions) that the Israelites were called
"Khumri" or "Khormi" by the Assyrians before their captivity.
However, after the reign of Sargon II (721-705 B.C.) that name is
never mentioned again. Then, around 707 B.C., a people known as
"Gimira" and "Gamera" are recorded as living among the Mannai.
Their territory was only a few miles from the Medes, in the very
areas where the Scriptures state the northern ten-tribed Kingdom
of Israel had been placed just a few years previously. We have
noted that the names, "Gimir," "Gimira," and "Camera" could
easily be corruptions of "Khumri" or "Khomri," the Assyrian names
for the Israelites. The names "Sacae" or "Sakka" (Scythians) are
probably derived from "Isaaca" or "house of Isaac." It is further
noted that the Assyrian name "ga-me-ra-a-a" is translated into
"Cimmerian." (Translation by Prof. Leroy Waterman - Royal
Correspondence of the Assyrian Empire - published by University
of Michigan, 1930)

     Although the belief (based upon Biblical and historical
records) that the Scythians and Cimmerians are descendants of the
"Lost Tribes" of Israel has been held by some Bible scholars for
many years, archaeological evidence has been lacking. That is no
longer the case. The clay cuneiform "letters" found in
Ashurbanipal's royal library at Kijunjik are the "missing links"
connecting the Israelites to the peoples of Western Europe and
America who trace their roots to the Scythians and Cimmerians.
It can now be truly said - archaeology has solved two great
mysteries, both occuring at the same time in history:

1. What happened to the countless thousands of Israelites that
"disappeared" into Assyrian Captivity?

2. Where did the countless thousands of Scythians and Cimmerians
come from?

     Both mysteries no longer exist. The so-called "Lost Tribes"
of Israel were really never "lost." They only lost their identity
during their captivity in Assyria.

Missing Links in Assyrian Tablets #7

Israel in Asia Minor




     In the Apocryphal Second Book of Esdras there is a passage
that reads: "And hereas thou sawest that he gathered another
peaceable multitude unto him; Those are the ten tribes, which
were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of
Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away
captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they
into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves,
that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth
into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, that they
might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their
own land. And they entered into the Euphrates by the narrow
passages of the river. For the most High then shewed signs for
them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. For
through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a
year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth. " (2
Esdras 13: 39-45)

     The above passage indicates a body of Israelites, evidently
placed in captivity near and to the west of the Khabur River,
escaped through the gorge of the Euphrates River. Since they
crossed the river we should find evidence of their presence west
of the river, in the large region called by the Assyrians,
"Tabal," which extended from Urartu to Phrygia. Phrygia is named
as a country overran by Cimmerians.

     Strabo, the Greek geographer wrote: "Those Cimmerians whom
they also call Trerans, or some tribe of the Cimmerians, often
overran the countries on the right of the Pontu (area south of
the Black Sea) and those adjacent to them, at one time have
invaded Paphlagnia, and at another time Phrygia even, at which
time Midas drank bull's blood, they say, and thus went down to
his doom." (Strabo 1,111,21) 

     The drinking of bull's blood was regarded as a kind of trial
by ordeal. If one died as a result of drinking the blood, it was
considered a sign of condemnation by the gods. Evidently, when
the Cimmerians invaded his kingdom, Midas king of Phrygia drank
bull's blood in order to invoke the decision of the gods as to
who should have the victory. Midas' death was probably accepted
as the will of the gods because the Phrygians seemingly accepted
the Cimmerians as divinely appointed overlords.
     The date of the death of Midas is uncertain but
archaeological excavations at Gorion, the Phrygian capital,
indicates that the city was destroyed by fire about 700 B.C.
Strabo goes on to say that "Lygdamis (Tugdamme in Assyrian
records) king of the Cimmerians, at the head of his own soldiers,
marched as far as Lydia and Ionia, and captured Sardis (capital
of Lydia) but lost his life in Cilicia."

     The account of the conquest and capture of Lydia, a kingdom
situated immediately to the west of Phrygia, is found in the
annals (records) of Ashurbanipal: "When Lydia came under attack
by the Cimmerians, Gyges, king of Lydia had a dream in which he
was told to appeal to Assyria for help. Assur, the god who
created me, he wrote, revealed the honored name of my majesty to
him in a dream, saying, Lay hold of the feet of his highness
Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, favorite of Assur, king of the
gods, lord of all, and revere his kingship, implore the favor of
his lordship. As one doing homage and paying tribute, let thy
prayers come to him. On the same day that he saw this dream, he
sent couriers to me to greet me, and the Cimmerians who had been
disturbing his land, his hands took alive in battle. Together
with his heavy tribute he sent them to Nineveh, my royal city,
and kissed my feet."
     Ashurbanipal later records that with the tribute sent him by
Gyges, were two captive Cimmerian chieftains, bound in fetters of
iron. It is probable that the Assyrians provided at least a token
of assistance by some attack on the Cimmerians from the rear to
justify the tribute. Another reference to the Cimmerians in Lydia
is found in Ashurbanipal's account of a revolt by Gyges. When
Assyria was engaged in putting down rebellions on her other
borders, Gyges allied himself with Egypt and ceased to pay
tribute to Assyria.

     Ashurbanipal's account of the Lydian rebellion is recorded
on a large clay cylinder exhibited in the British Museum which

"His messenger whom he kept sending to me to bring me greetings,
he suddenly discontinued ... he sent his forces to the aid of
TushaMilki (Psammetichus) king of Egypt, who had thrown off the
yoke of my sovereignty. I heard of it, and prayed to Assur and
Ishtar, saying, 'May his body be cast before his enemy, may his
foes carry off his limbs.' The Cimmerians, whom he had trodden
underfoot by calling upon my name, invaded and overpowered the
whole of his land."

     Evidently, Gyges lost his life in the battle with the
Cimmerians, (cir. 652 B.C.) for Ashurbanipal continues, "His son
seated himself upon his throne after him. He sent me by the hand
of his messenger an account of the evil which the gods my helpers
visited upon him in answer to my prayers; and he laid hold of my
royal feet, saying, 'Thou are the king whom the gods has favored.
Thou didst curse my father, and evil was visited upon him, I am
thy slave who fears thee; be gracious unto me, and I will bear
thy yoke.'" (Historia VII p.47, 1958)

     The invasion of Lydia and the sacking of its capital,
Sardis, is also found in the writings of the Greek historian
Herodotus that states the Cimmerians captured Sardis, during the
reign of Ardys, son of Gyges, but failed to take the central
stronghold of the city. (Babylonian Historical Texts - Smith,
     Following the capture of Sardis, the Cimmerians, led by
Lygdamis, made further raids on Lydian settlements and the Greek
cities of Smyrna and Ephesus on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor.
The poet, Callimachus, writing about 250 B.C., wrote that:
"Lygdamis, in his insolent madness, threatened to destroy it
(Ephesus) and brought against it an army of mare-milking
Cimmerians like the sands of the sea in number." (Callimachus,
Hymn to Artemis) One record states that the Cimmerians did
actually destroy the temple of the Ephesian goddess.
     Another city to fall to the Cimmerians was the flourishing
Greek city of Magnesia, in the valley of the Maeander River.
Strabo wrote: "In ancient times it came to pass that the
Magnetians were utterly destroyed by the Treres, a Cimmerian
tribe ... but the Milesians (descendants of Hebrews that migrated
out of Egypt before the Exodus) took possession of the place the
following year." (Strabo XIV,i,40) We note that Strabo twice
referred to the Treres as a Cimmerian tribe and says elsewhere
that the Treres colonized this particular part of Asia Minor.
(Strabo XIH,i,8)

     The death of Lygdamis is recorded on a fragmentary text
published by A.R. Millard: "... the weapons of Ashur, my lord,
overwhelmed him and he (went mad), and in his delirium chewed his
knuckles ... changed, and imposed on him his severe punishment.
(One side of his body suffered a stroke, piercing pain attacked
his heart." (Millard 1968: 109-10)

     Aristotle wrote that the Cimmerians occupied the city of
Antandrus, in the same region. He adds that the city was at one
time called "Kimmeris," because the Cimmerians settled there for
a hundred years. Although historical records are somewhat sketchy
it is clear that the Cimmerians overthrew the kingdom of Phrygia
shortly after 700 B.C. Since much of the Phrygian territory
included most of the Black Sea coast west of the Halys River, as
far as the Sea of Marmor, the Cimmerians would have been spread
over a large area of Asia Minor west of the Euphrates River,
including the Trojan region.
     Eventually, the Cimmerians were driven out of Western Asia
Minor by Gyges' son, Ardys, and his grandson, Alyattes; helped in
part, by pressure from marauding bands of Scythians. While some
of the Cimmerians settled in the Crimea area, the greater part
are recorded as occupying Arsareth, (2 Esdras 13: 40-45)
northwest of the Black Sea. (cir. 525 B.C.) The Greeks called the
Cimmerians, "Kimmeriori" and it is so written in their records of
the Cimmerians.

     During the period of Cimmerian dominance of Western Asia
Minor, the Scythian Israelites consolidated into a separate
kingdom. Their power grew as the Cimmerians migrated out of Asia
Minor and the Assyrians were being weakened by the rise of
Babylon. However, in the later half of the 7th century B.C., the
Scythians became divided into two main groups; an eastern or
Central Asian group and a western group, south of the Caucasus.

     Herodotus tells us that during this period of Scythian supremacy,
the Scythians behaved like robbers, "riding up and down the
country and seizing people's property" and established colonies
in various parts of the country. Strabo, in his "Geography"
wrote: "The Sacas (from Sakka) made raids like those of the
Cimmerians and Treres, some into regions close to their own
country, others into regions farther away. For instance, they
occupied Bactriana (Bactria) and acquired possession of the best
land in Armenia, which they named after themselves Sacasene."

     Bactria is 500 miles east of the Caspian Sea and south of
the Oxus River. This would place it in modern northern
Afghanistan. These Scythians became known as "Sakkas" whereas
those remaining in the west continued to be called "Scythians"
and "Sacae." ( as long as they remained south of the Caucasus )
Sacasene is located between the Araxes and Kura Rivers, between
the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. This area was once a part of
the kingdom of Urartu. (Strabo XI, 4)

     In excavations at Karmir Blur, near Erivan on the Zanga
River in Soviet Armenia, Russian archaeologists discovered an old
Urartian fortress. An inscription on a bronze bolt indicated the
ruins to be the site of Teshebani, the center of government for
Urartian Transcaucasia, where a viceroy or governor held court.
There appeared to be three distinguishable periods of occupation,
an earlier, marked by objects bearing the name of Menuas who
reigned about 815-790 B.C., a second in which Rusa II (678-654
B.C.) was most active, and a third when Sardur reigned, about
640-620 B.C. (Iraq XIV,1952)

     The fortress is believed to have been originally built by
Menuas, but reconstructed and enlarged by King Rusa 11. The
finding of large numbers of the three-edged Scythian arrow-heads
and Scythian horse-trappings indicated the fortress had been
captured and destroyed by the Scythians around 625-620 B.C. This
date agrees with the dates given by Herodotus as when the
Scythians rose to great power in Western Asia Minor. By this time
the once mighty Kingdom of Urartu must have been reduced to a
small area around Lake Van.
     Strabo (writing about A.D. 20 but drawing his information
from earlier sources) remarks on the variety of reports that he
found about the Scythians, although he uses the name
"Massagetae." (The name "Massagetae" means "the great Sakka
horde," or "the main body of Sakkas") The name "Massagetae" may
have been the name that the Persians gave to the main body of
Scythians in northern Media before they were driven out, to
distinguish them from those in the outlying colonies, such as the
Sakkas in Sacasene and Bactriana.
     In later periods, the Scythians west of the Caspian Sea
retained their name while those east of the Caspian Sea became
known as "Massagetae" or "Sakka." A few Greek writers did
continue to refer to the Scythians west of the Caspian Sea as
"Massagetae," but this only indicates that they drew on Persian
sources for their information. Strabo wrote, concerning the
Massagetae, "some of them inhabit mountains, some plains, others
marshes. But the country is inundated most of all, they say, by
the Araxes River, which splits into numerous branches, and
empties by its other mouths into the sea." 
     This would place them near the Araxes River and west of the
Caspian Sea. Then a little further on he writes, the "Massagetae
are situated alongside the Bactraiani...along the Oxus River."
Apparently, the earliest Sakka settlers in Bactria (east of the
Caspian Sea) were followed by a second wave of Scythians called

     The relationship between the Sacae and the Massagetae with
the Scythians has been noted by several historians. Zaborowski
states: "I have proved it and can say that the Sacae and the
Scythians were identical." (The Aryan People of Asia and Europe -
1, pg.94) Zaborowski also wrote: "The first information of
history concerning the peoples of Turkestan refers to the
Massagetae, whose life was exactly the same as that of the
Scythians. (Here he was quoting Herodotus 1, 205-216) They
enjoyed a developed industrial civilization while they remained
nomads." (i, pg.285)

     Minns, in his "Scythians and Greeks" (pg.11) says: "The
picture drawn of the nomad Massagetae seems very like that of the
Scythians in a rather ruder stage of development. Herodotus, V.
215, describes them as follows: 'In their dress and mode of
living the Massagetae resemble the Scythians. They fight both on
horseback and on foot, neither method is strange to them.'"

     Madison Grant, in his "The Passing of the Great Race" (pg.
252) says that: "The Sacae or Saka were the blond peoples who
carried the Aryan language to India. Strabo (511) allies them
with the Scythians as one of their tribes... One tribe gained the
most fertile tract in Armenia, which was called Sacasene, after

     Herodotus also makes reference to the Massagetae and says
that after Cyrus (king of Persia) had conquered Babylon (538
B.C.), his next desire was "to subdue the Massagetae whose
country lies to the eastward beyond the Araxes...some suppose
them to be of Scythian nationality " (Herodotus VII, 64) The
dates and details of the campaigns against the Scythians are
lacking but Herodotus gives us a clue as to the date of their
withdrawal from the district round Lake Urmia and the territories
south of the Araxes River. Herodotus wrote that from 590-585 B.C.
there was a five years war in Asia Minor between the Medes (led
by Cyaxares) and the Lydians. A total eclipse of the sun took
place during the war and everyone stopped fighting to look at the
eclipse. The date of this eclipse has been calculated to have
taken place on May 28, 585 B.C. Since the Medes would have had to
go through the territory of the Scythians to reach Lydia, it can
reasonably be assumed that they must have previously conquered or
driven out most of the Scythians from their territory south of
the Araxes River.

     The Massagetae, at this time, were governed by a queen named
"Tomyris." She was a widow, past middle age. She had a son named
"Spargapizes," who was heir to the throne and commander in-chief
of the armies of the queen. The first plan Cyrus formed for the
annexation of the lands of the Massagetae to his own dominions
was by a matrimonial alliance. Tomyris, realizing that it was her
realm, and not herself, that constituted the great attraction for
Cyrus, refused the offer and warned the king to leave her and her
country in peace.
     Cyrus, all the more determined to conquer the Massagetae,
crossed the Araxes River, that formed the boundary between Persia
and the Massagetae, with his army. Cyrus's strategy was to send a
small part of his army, with a great abundance of supplies,
including large stocks of rich wine ahead to establish an advance
camp. Then when the enemy attacked, to fall back in apparent
disorder, leaving the troops of Tomyris to assume they had
defeated the main Persian army. Hopefully, the Massagetae would
celebrate their 'victory' by feasting and drinking the wine,
becoming vulnerable to a counter-attack by the Persians.

     Cyrus' plan was successful. Not only were the army of the
Massagetae effectually overwhelmed and a large number slain, the
supplies recovered, but Prince Spargapizes, intoxicated with
wine, was captured. The result of this strategem, triumphantly
successful as it was, should have settled the contest and made
Cyrus master of the whole realm. However, Tomyris had planned a
similiar ruse. Only part of her army had engaged the Persians.
Two thirds of her army remained intact and in reserve. Probably
she intended, if the Persians defeated her advance detachment,
they would have thought they had destroyed her main forces and
could be caught unprepared for a surprise counter-attack by the
Massagetae. Only the unexpected capture of her son kept the queen
from ordering her troops to attack the victorious Persians.

     When Spargapizes awoke from his stupor, and learned the full
extent of his misfortune, he was overwhelmed by disappointment
and shame. The ignominy of his defeat under the circumstances,
and the distress of being captive, caused him to seize a weapon,
when he was not observed by his guards, and kill himself. When
Tomyris heard of the fate of her son, she was frantic with grief
and rage. She immediately summoned all the additional troops that
could be obtained from every part of her kingdom. Cyrus, when
informed that he still had the main force of Tomyris' army to
contend with, prepared for a great final struggle.
     Within a few days the two armies approached each other and
the battle began. The Persians fought desperately, for they
fought for their lives. They were in the heart of an enemy's
country, a broad river behind them cut off their retreat and they
were contending with a foe determined to avenge their injured
queen. For an entire day the battle raged. Neither side seemed
able to gain the advantage. Bands of Persians and Massagetae
(Scythians) would neither retreat nor surrender, preferring to
fight till all were slain. By nightfall it was evident that the
Massagetae had defeated and almost wholly destroyed the Persian
army. Among the dead was Cyrus. Tomyris cut and mutilated the
lifeless form and is reported to have said, "You have murdered my
son, but I promised you your fill of blood, and you shall have
it." After saying that, she filled a container with Persian
blood, obtained probably by the execution of her captives.
Cutting off the head of Cyrus, she poured the blood into the
severed neck and exclaimed, "Drink there, insatiable monster,
till your murderous thirst is satisfied." (Clio cciv-ccxiv)

     Cyrus was succeeded by his son, Cambyses, who had been
appointed regent during the kings absence. His reign was
uneventful and it was not until the reign of Darius, who ascended
the Persian throne (521 B.C.) that Persian armies again attempted
to subjugate the huge bands of Scythians whose territories
extended from the Araxes to the extreme parts of the east.
     Considering the harassing and absorbing policy which the Persians
pursued against them, it is not surprising that historians
(writing a few centuries later) should mention the existence of
the Massagetae and Aakka (Sacae) peoples at great distances from
the localities where Herodotus places them.

     During the first six years of Darius' reign, his army was
employed in suppressing rebellions in various parts of the
empire. Among the peoples subjugated were portions of the
Scythians, then spread over a huge territory extending from the
Araxes River to the extreme parts of the east. Darius recorded
taking some "Sakkas" prisoners. The record, inscribed on a stone
face, known as the "Behistun Rock," forms an important Israelite-
Scythian archaeological "link."

Missing Links in Assyrian Tablets #8



                           THE BEHISTUN ROCK

     No better evidence can be desired to establish a fact or to
settle a date, than that of a monument created by a public
authority. It settles the question of a historical fact, and few
persons would be disposed to question a statement of a date found
on one. The testimony of written documents may undergo a change
due to fraud or accident, or may be liable to corruption or
     The old caravan road from Babylon to Ecbatana (ancient
capital of Median) runs by a limestone mountain rising out of the
plain to a height of 1,700 feet. About 300 feet above the base,
on the perpen dicular side, is a rock face containing an
inscription made by the order of Darius the Great, about 515 B.C.
The inscription not only fixes the date of his reign but provides
some interesting references to the so-called "Lost Tribes of
Israel." The memorial measures about 150 feet long by 100 feet
     The labor of preparing and polishing the mountain side on
the sheer cliff must have been a painstaking task. Where the rock
was defective or unsound, pieces were filled in and secured with
molten lead. Holes or fissures in the rock were filled up in the
same way, and the whole of the face of the rock divided into
panels and beautifully polished. The lettering had then been
engraved on the prepared surface, and treated with a coat of
silicious varnish.

     The inscriptions were in three languages, Babylonian
(Accadian), Elamite (Susian) and Persian. They were chiefly in
the cuneiform or wedge-like characters. While many scholars
should be recognized for their efforts toward solving the puzzle
of the wedge-shaped script, a young English officer in the
Persian army, Henry C. Rawlinson, is given credit for
successfully deciphering the Old Persian signs. The trilingual
inscription on what today is known as the "Behistun Rock"
provided the 'key.' Once it was determined that the texts of the
three languages were identical it was only a matter of time till
scholars were able to read the Elamite and Accadian writings.

     Before the Behistun Rock gave up its hidden secret, the
Babylonian-Assyrian valley was merely a cemetery of vanished
nations, covered with tombs of ancient cities and towns, whose
identities were a matter of conjecture. The relations of these
nations to other people and lands were also inferred from hints
here and there, and especially from representations of the Old
Testament. But only by the linguistic achievements of dedicated
scholars were past conjectures transformed into visions of a
valley full of thrifty cities, well-organized governments,
victorious armies and world rulers.

     The dominant feature of the Behistun Rock inscriptions is
King Darius, in royal attire and surrounded by captives. Around
the captives are five main panels, twenty in all. The first panel
contains 19 paragraphs and 96 lines. Each paragraph commences
with the words: "I am Darius, the king of kings, the king of
Persia." The second panel has 16 paragraphs and 96 lines; over
each figure is a brief history of the man and the tribe he
represents. The tenth panel is most interesting to a Bible
student because it speaks of "Sarocus," the Sacan, who has the
Hebrew form of head-dress.
     Most note-worthy is King Darius majestically standing before
nine persons united by a rope around their necks and their hands
fastened behind their backs. A tenth man is prostrate on his
back; the right foot of the king is upon his body. No two of the
prisoners are dressed alike. Some of them have short tunics,
others have long flowing robes. They are evidently the head
chiefs of the ten tribes of Israel. The word "Kana" occurs 28
times in the inscription and the word "Armenia" also occurs
frequently. This is the area from which the prisoners were taken
- the very area where the ten tribes of Israel had been placed by
the Assyrians.

     The inscriptions include a list of 23 nations over whom
Darius ruled and named among these are the "Sakkas." In both the
Persian and Elamite versions the original word is "Sakka," but in
the Babylonian version the same people are called "Gimiri."
(verified on behalf of the British Museum by L. W. King and R. C.
Thomson - Sculptures and Inscriptions of Behistun - pg.161) 
     This proves that the Assyrians and the Babylonians called
the Israelite exiles "Gimiri" regardless of where they lived. It
also indicates that by this time (about 517 B.C.) a branch of the
Gimiri (called "Sakka" by the Persians) had already migrated a
long way beyond Bactria and dwelt on the eastern extremity of the
Persian empire.

     In another inscription, written on a gold tablet about a
foot square, Darius wrote: "This kingdom that I hold is from
Sakka which is beyond Sogdiana to Kush (Ethiopia) and from India
to Sardis." (Translation published by Sidney Smith of the British
Museum - 1926) This provides added evidence that by 500 B.C. some
of the Sakkas were far to the east near the upper Jaxartes Basin.
Additional evidence that the Sakka were a branch of the Gimiri
(Israelites) is provided by another trilingual inscription found
in the tomb of Darius, in southwestern Persia. The tomb is cut
into the face of a cliff in the valley of Naksh-i-Rustam, near
the ancient city of Persepolis. The inscription again included a
list of the nations over which Darius ruled. On this occasion,
Darius listed three separate groups of "Sakkas;" the "Amyrgian
Sakkas," the "Sakkas with the pointed caps," and the "Sakkas who
are beyond the sea." In each case the name "Gimiri," in the
Babylonian text, is translated "Sakka" in the Persian.
     These inscriptions have been known for many years but the
publications dealing with them have generally passed over the
translation of "Gimiri" to "Sakka" with scarcely a comment.
Perhaps it seemed quite inexplicable to the historians. And yet,
the only conclusion that can be drawn from the inscriptions (also
the writings of Josephus) is that the Iskuza were called "Sakka"
by the Persians. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that the
"Iskuza," the "Sakka," and the "Gimiri" are the same people. Then
in reviewing the Royal Correspondence of the Assyrian Empire it
is evident that the "Iskuza," the "Sakka," the "Scythians," the
"Cimmerians," and the "Gimiri" are all Israelites.

     In the next two chapters, we shall present a synopsis of the
migrations of these people into Central Asia and Europe.

Missing Links found in Tablets #9

Israel in Europe and the New World!


                              ISRAEL MIGRATES


     All historical accounts agree that the Cimmerians were in
the southern areas west of the Black Sea before the Scythians. It
was the Scythians, pushed by the Sarmations, that caused the
Cimmerians to move westward as "Celts" and "Gauls." (the latter
name being given to them by the Romans). It is recorded that a
small section of the Cimmerians merged with a portion of the
Scythians, the progeny of this blend being termed
"Celto-Scythiae" by modern historians.
     One branch of the Cimmerians migrated from the Black Sea
region in a north-western direction to the "Low Countries" (now
Belgium, Holland and North-West Germany) to the "German Ocean"
and occupied the tract of land known as "Cimbric Chersonesus,"
now called "Jutland." The Romans called these people "Cimri,"
being an abreviation for Cimmerians. Plutarch in his "Life of
Marius" says "they were called at first Cimmerians and then, not
inappropriately, Cimbri." Poseidonius, (130? - 50 B.C.) the Stoic
philosopher, also records the Cimbri dwelling originally on the
shores of the Black Sea where they had been known to the Greeks
as "Cimmerians."
     After entering Europe, the greater part of the Cimmerians
moved up the Danube, through Hungary and Austria, into southern
Germany and France where they became known to the Greeks as
"Celts," though the Romans called them "Gauls." (Diodorus)
     Between the seventh and sixth centuries B.C., martial groups
of Celtic tribes had settled in Bohemia and Bavaria. They buried
their warriors accompanied with their iron swords, although
examples of bronze ones have been found of the same period. Their
greater chieftains were entombed in wood-built chambers under
great mounds. (Tumulus)

     Material from these tombs has been given the name "Hallstatt
Culture," so-called from the place of that name in the
Salzkammergut area of upper Austria. It was there, in the
nineteenth century A.D., that a very rich cemetery was excavated.
It yielded iron weapons, quantities of fine bronze vessels,
bronze harnesses for horses, and decorated pottery of Greek and
Etruscan workmanship. Often, the pottery vessels were filled with
joints of pork and beef.

     Modern archaeology has identified such settlements as
"Celtic" and existing some centuries before the Cimmerians
migrated from Asia Minor. This has caused somewhat of an
archeological problem.
     However, the problem is solved when one understands that
these earlier settlers in Western Europe and the British Isles
were, in fact, the vanguard of the Cimmerian Celts. It would be
more appropriate to refer to them as "Proto-Celts."(These earlier
migrations were covered in previous chapters.)
     Excavations of houses of the Hallstatt period revealed that
some were huts of the crudest kind, but that others compare well
with the houses of prosperous farmers of today. An example of the
best type of house is one excavated at Newhausel, Czechoslovakia.
The group of buildings on this estate covers an area of about
ninety by ninetyfive feet and consists of several attached houses
for living and farm purposes. The roofs were covered with thatch,
and the framework of the buildings were constructed of carefully
jointed timbers. The earthen floors were covered with sand. The
long halls, stables and barns leave little doubt that this
establishment was the property of some wealthy farmer.

     The acquisition of iron, knowledge of which may have come up
though the Balkans, undoubtedly made these people the most
powerful north of the Alps, allowing them to become overlords of
the earlier immigrants. The iron ax enabled them to clear the
forest lands. The iron plow, drawn by oxen, broke virgin soil,
giving a surplus of grain and vegetables that spurred the growth
of population and sent them wandering in quest of fresh fields
and pastures.
     The imported goods found in the Hallstatt tombs were the
result of export trade in salt which was mined, and extracted
from springs, at the head of the Salzkammergut valley. The value
of salt in the contemporary world may be gauged by the wealth of
exotic objects received in trade. Gold ornaments, and cups of
native manufacture, bear witness to an accumulation of wealth
among their chieftains which they had not previously enjoyed.

     From the opening of the fourth century B.C., when the Celtic
tribes invaded northern Italy, these people come closer within
the range of written history so that archaeological evidence can
be filled out through the observations of Greek and Latin
writers. The Roman historian Sallust, in recording the series of
defeats of the Romans at the hands of the Cimbri, stated they
were "Gauls." Other Roman historians repeatedly spoke of the
Cimbri as a "Celtic tribe." Seemingly, modern historians have
been unable to accept the clear and consistent historical
witnesses to the effect that the Cimbri in Jutland and the Celts
and Gauls in France have a common ancestry in the Cimmerians who
had once been known to the Greeks on both sides of the Black Sea.
     Tacitus and Pliny, supported by modern archaeological
research, state that all the tribes dwelling along the North Sea
Coast from Holland to Denmark were a single ethnic group which
they called "Ingaevones." From this we may conclude that the
historical Frisians, Chauci and Cimbri (mentioned by early
historians) were of one stock; not only of Cimmerian but
originally of Israelitish origin. Archaeology indicates that
these people first arrived on the shores of the North Sea about
300-250 B.C.

     Among the first settlers were the "Terp-dwellers" who
migrated westward from northern Germany. They found lush meadows
of salt-loving grasses which were attractive to herdsmen. To
protect their homes and cattle against flooding at high tides,
these people built artificial mounds of turf sod which are called
"terpen." The height of most of these ancient mounds had been
raised over the centuries by successive generations of farmers,
until some stood as much as twenty feet above sea-level.

     Excavations on a number of Terp-sites reveal that both
houses and stables were under one roof, the stalls being arranged
along both sides of a central aisle. One of these farmsteads was
found to be 23 and 1/2 feet wide and 79 feet long with stalls for
housing as many as fifty-two cows. The oldest phase of this
"Terpen-culture" extended from 300 to 50 B.C., after which a
change in the style of pottery indicated the arrival of new
immigrants from the east. It is possible the new arrival were
Anglo-Saxons. (Scythians)

     By the end of the third century B.C., the Celts, or "Gauls"
as the Romans called them, filled the whole of Central Europe and
North Italy, from the Apennines to Brittany. It is about this
period that they first came under the scrutiny of the historians,
for so greatly had the Celtic tribes increased in number, that
their migrations to more extensive lands caused a general
commotion. They crossed the Alps and Apennines, and overran
Central and Southern Italy. It was they who overthrew and
destroyed the Etruscan power, a state exceeding that of Rome both
in civilization and extent.
     The Gauls attacked the Romans in consequent of the latter
refusing justice in the case of a Gaulish chief (who aided the
Etruscans) being slain by a Roman. Rome was sacked and burned (in
390 B.C.) by the Gaulish leader Brennus or "Bran." Rome continued
to be harassed by the Gauls for almost 200 years. Previous to the
battle of Sentinum, the Gauls had never fought a Roman army
without conquering them. (Arnold's History of Rome, vol.  p.521)
     Milan, Brixen, and Verona were founded by Gauls, while
another stream of the Celtic race poured over the great Central
European plain.
     A little later, about 280 B.C., vast hordes of Gauls from
Central Europe invaded the western portion of Asia Minor, the
whole of which for many years they ravaged at leisure. They
permanently maintained themselves in Phrygia, and gave their name
to the northern portion, which became known as "Galatia." This is
the region mentioned in Acts 16:6. Most Bible scholars fail to
recognize, in reading the Epistle to the Galatians that it was
written to a race of the Celts. (Cimmerian Israelites) They
formed the "second" influx into Asia Minor. Thus, as Professor
Rawlinson remarks, "these two great invasions into Asia Minor
proceeded from the same identical race," (App. Bk. iv) in the
first instance called "Cimmerians," in the second, "Gauls."
     In the century before Caesar, the Gauls again attacked the
Romans, joining forces with their kinsmen, the Teutons from the
north. In five battles they defeated five Roman consuls. For many
years they ravaged all the country from the Rhine to the
Pyrenees. Then they spread into Spain, where they were repulsed
by a mingled branch of their own stock, the Iberians. They were
finally defeated by the Roman Marius (102 B.C.) at Aix and Milan.
From 200,000 to 300,000 were destroyed in these battles. After
this slaughter, Rome triumphantly held sway until the third
century of our era, when Europe was again overrun by the
so-called barbarians, Goths and Huns, for some 300 years.

     As the Celts and Gauls expanded into the remote parts of
Europe and into Britain and Ireland, they created individual
rural communities. These groups were bound to each other in a
close system of family relationships and social obligations to
serve and protect one another, the whole bound together by ritual
and magical sanctions. One notable example of Celtic ritualistic
culture is found in the votive deposits excavated at La Tene, at
the northeastern end of the Lake of Neuchatel, north of the Alps.
During the nineteenth century the lowering of the lake level
revealed timber posts and a great quantity of iron weapons, but
relatively few other objects. It is now considered that this was
a votive deposit on a large scale. Subsequent discoveries of
other such tombs yielding ritual offerings bear out the testimony
of Classical writers who ascribe this kind of practice to the

     The votive deposit at la Tene was made in the second century
B.C., however, the term "La Tene Culture" has been applied to
similiar deposits found to be of earlier periods. (going back to
about 500 B.C.).  From chieftains' tombs, mainly in the
vicinity of Koblenz, have been found some of the earliest and
finest examples of metal work, gold and bronze, in the La Tene
style. Drinking vessels, helmets, and chariot fittings were among
the principle fields for this new artistry in brass, while gold
was rendered into neck ornaments, the torc, and bracelets. It is
by means of such art craft that the Celtic tribes are traced into
Britain and Ireland.

     The houses of the La Tene period had much the same
construction as those of today. Wood was the primary building
material and in the better houses iron clamps were used to bind
the wooden posts to the stone foundations. The style of
architecture differed from place to place. The method of heating
the houses had improved from the Hallstatt period which utilized
small hearth fires. The La Tene people had primitive fireplaces
with chimneys. Stoves of clay with oaken frames walled in with
bricks on a clay foundation to heat the rooms.  At Grossgartach,
Wurttemberg, Germany, diggers found an excellent example of fine
farm buildings, consisting of several small rectangular and round
wattle-and-daub houses for living and farm purposes.

     In Caesar's time, France, or "Gallia" as it was called, was
divided into three large tribes; the "Belgae," "the Gauls," and
the "Acquitanae." Of these the Gallic tribes were the most
extensive and indigenous. By their name, the whole country was
known to the Greeks and Romans - the word "Galli" or "Gaul" being
the Latinized form of the native term "Gael." The Belgae were in
the north-east of France, the Gauls occupied the central portion,
and the Acquitanae were between the Garonne (or the Loire) and
the Pyrenees and are supposed to have come from the Iberian stock
of Spain.
     The name "Iberes" (the Gaelic name for Hebrews) was carried
by Celtic peoples from Spain to Ireland. They named their new
island home, "Hibernai," a name that still exists. However, the
name "Scotia" is, by ancient historians, applied to Ireland more
often than any other name. Orosius, a third century geographer,
used the term "Hibernia, the nation of the Scoti." The ancient
poets and seanachies (historians) of Ireland claim the name
"Scotia" was derived from "Scota," queen-mother of the Milesians.
(Story of the Irish Race, MacManus pg.192) Undoubtedly this was
Scota, the daughter of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah. Scota
married a Milesian prince in Egypt and their son, Eochaidh
(Heremon or Eremon) married Tea Tephi and founded a dynasty in
Ireland. (See Jacob's Pillar - Capt).
     About 300 years before the Christian Era, "Scots" (Celts)
from Ireland, under Fergus I, invaded the western side of North
Britain. They were expelled in A.D. 203 by the Picts with their
allies the Britains. However, in 403 A.D., under Fergus II, the
Scots took possession of Argyle and the Hebrides. For the next
four centuries, fierce and relentless war was carried on between
the two nations.

     By A.D.848 the Scots gained complete control, exterminating
vast numbers of the Picts and setting up their own king, Kenneth
MacAlpin, on the throne of Scotland.
     During this time, it appears the general term "Celt"
comprised the Cimmerii or Cymry; the Gael or Gauls; the Belgae
and several minor tribes, all being the primitive inhabitants of
Gaul, Belgium, the British Isles and probably parts of Spain and
Portugal. Descendants of these people now inhabit Scotland,
Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, France, and to a
lesser degree, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Perhaps the closest
living representatives of the ancient Celts are those who
retreated to the fastness of Wales. To this day, they cling to
their ancient language and traditions with patient tenacity.

     The Celts never seemed to have been wholly domesticated. The
agricultural and pastoral life never completely supplanted their
inclination for hunting and warfare, which was the basis for a
Celtic aristocracy. Their farms on the uplands of France and
Germany and the downs of southern England seldom comprised more
than 20 acres in all. Usually their dwellings were primitive
thatched houses of timber, twigs and clay. Later, sometime in the
second century B.C., defensible clusters of dwellings began to be
grouped together in southern France and in central Europe.
     The Celts relied for static defense on hilltop forts, the
remains of which are found scattered throughout western Europe.
Some of these were improvised earthworks. Others were elaborate
fortifications of stone, which provided a refuge for their
families and animals. While the defenses provided adequate
protection against marauders, they could not resist Roman siege
     In his "Commentaries of the Gallic War," Julius Caesar
describes how easy it was to capture them.
     The Celtic lands of Ireland and Wales were never subdued by
Roman arms. Eventually, allied with the Church of Rome, Celtic
Ireland formed the base for one of its most secure and loyal
strong holds. Throughout the Saxon and subsequent Danish and
Norse invasions (during the 500 years after the Roman exodus) a
substantial proportion of the Celts stayed on their lands to
mingle their blood and folkways with those of their new masters.
When the last invader of England, the Normans, crossed the
channel from France (A.D.1066) they found a native people who
were strongly tinged with Celtic stock and traditions.
     Although it is widely taught that no trace of an original
Celtic written language exists, there is evidence that the early
Proto-Celts, who landed in Ireland by sea, in addition to
speaking Hebrew had a written language - Ogham. Several hundred
Ogham inscriptions have been found in Britain and Ireland. The
majority of these alphabetic inscriptions were found on stones in
southwest Ireland (Kerry and Cork). One early example of Ogham
script is found on a panel in the Memorial Chapel of the Place
Manor Church in Cornwall and is dated not later than the end of
the first century A.D.
     Deciphering of Ogham (grooved writing) was made possible by
ancient Irish manuscripts, the most notable one being the "Book
of Ballymore" believed to have been assembled about eight hundred
years ago. It is a collection of miscellaneous manuscripts, the
last being known as the "Ogham Tract." It deals with about
seventy varieties of ancient Celtic script, called collectively
by the name "Ogham." It is suggested, by some scholars, that this
name is derived from an ancient Greek word "ogme," meaning
     Ogham writing, as set out in the Ogham Tract, is an alphabet
comprising fifteen consonants and five vowels, together with a
few other signs representing double letters such as the sound
"ng," and diphthongs. It has inumerable permutations (changes in
arrangement of position) similar to shorthand. The letters are
constructed from single parallel strokes or notches placed in
sets of one to five, in positions above, across, or below a guide
line. Often the guide line is the edge of an upright stone.
Following are examples of early Ogham script in Ireland and
Cornwall, England.
     Irish Ogham appears only in inscriptions believed to
postdate the time of Christ. Ogham script found in Iberia (Spain)
and in America have fewer consonants and omits the vowels and
appear to date from around 800 B.C. and upwards.
     By means of reviewing Ogham inscriptions, it can be seen the
Celts visited or settled in parts of the United States about the
same time Celts started moving into Ireland from Iberia. (Spain
and Portugal) They came by way of the Canary Islands, sailing the
trade winds, as Columbus also was to do long afterward. They were
not venturing into the unknown. During the preceeding thousand
years, ancient Hebrew-Phoenicians, Libyan and Egyptian mariners
had visited and in some instances established small colonies.
This is evident by the hundreds of lapidary (stone) inscriptions
found in several languages (i.e., Phoenician, Iberian-Punic,
Libyan and Egyptian hieroglyphs) antedating the Celtic Ogham
     Descendants of these visitors are found among some of the
eastern and central Indian tribes, several of which employ
dialects in part from ancient Phoenician and North African

"The Celts seem first to have settled near the mouths of rivers
of New England, as at North Salem on a branch of the Merrimac
River - in southern New Hampshire. At some time, they ascended
the Connecticut River, sailing as far north as Quechee, Vermont,
where a western branch of the river joins the main stream through
a precipitous gorge. Attracted doubtless by the seclusion of the
uplands beyond the gorge, the Celts turned westward and colonized
the hanging valleys of the Green Mountains. 'Quechee,'
incidentally, perpetuates the ancient Gaulish pronunciation of
the Celtic word 'Quithe,' meaning chasm or pit, and the river
that flows through the gorge, the Ottauquechee, similarly is an
Amerindian rendering of the Celtic name meaning
'Water-of-the-Chasm.'" (America B.C. - Barry Fell 1976).

     The Celtic Ogham inscriptions are usually found on huge
stone boulders left upon the land by the retreating glaciers at
the end of the last ice age. Publicity concerning ancient
inscriptions (in the 1970s) resulted in searches for additional
inscriptions by archaeologists and history buffs. The result was
the discovery, in the last decade, of hundreds of new
inscriptions from localities often thousands of miles apart and
in a context that precludes any possibility of fraud. These new
discoveries, together with Runic (Germanic-Scythian writings)
inscriptions, have altered our thinking that America was unknown
to the Old World before the Celts, Vikings and other Norsemen.

     The Celtic language still exists. Today, four Celtic
dialects are spoken in Britain: Welsh, Gaelic, Erse or Irish, and
Manx. Welsh is used in Wales for religious services and is the
official language for all documents of the Welsh Nationalist
Party. Gaelic lingers on in the western Highland and islands of
Scotland. Erse or Irish is the official government language and
Manx is spoken in the tiny Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. In
Brittany (France) the Breton language (a mixture of Old Welsh and
Old Cornish) brought to France from the southwest of England in
the fifth century A.D., is still widely spoken.

     The Las Lunnas Decalogue inscription (New Mexico) is an
example of early Hebrew script resembling Phoenician writing
(cir. 1000 B.C.) under Greek influence. The inscription, on the
face of a large stone, consists of nine lines, reading from right
to left. It is a summary of the Ten Commandments from Exodus 20:
2-17. An English translation reads:

"I am Yahweh your God that brought you out of the lands of

1.   You shall not have any other gods besides me.
2.   You shall not make for yourself any graven image.
3.   You shall not take the name of Yahweh in vain.
4.   Remember the day of the Sabbath, to keep it holy.
5.   Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be
      long on the land which Yahweh your God is giving to you.
6.   You shall not murder.
7.   You shall not commit adultery.
8.   You shall not steal.
9.   You shall not testify against your neighbor as a false
10.  You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor
      anything of your neighbor's."

     We note the name YAHWEY for God appears three times in the
inscription, and in line two both YAHWEY and ELOHIM (Gods)
appear. A comparison of the archaic Tetragrammaton revealed in
column 10 of the 100 B.C. Habbakuk Commentary from Qumran Cave I
with the Las Lunnas inscription vouches for the authenticity and
age of the latter.

Missing Links Discovered

The mirgrations of the Sythians




     In the early part of the eighteenth century A.D., a British
historian suggested that the Anglo-Saxons were descended from the
Sakka Scythians. He maintained the Saxons had come from the
"Sakki." While it is true some of the Scythians known as "Sakkas"
did migrate into Europe around north of the Aral and Caspian
Seas, archaeological and historical evidence has shown that the
Saxons, as a whole, were not derived from the Sakka branch of the
Eastern Scythians (Israelites) in Central Asia. Instead, they
were mainly derived from the Western Scythians (Israelites) that
migrated through the Caucasus into Europe around the sixth
century B.C. This migration was undoubtedly because many Scythian
Israelites, due to their love of liberty, were unwilling to
submit to Persian rule.
     For the most part, the Sakkas migrated eastward (over the
centuries) reaching the border of China about 175 B.C. A series
of incidents occurred about that time, on the border of Mongolia.
The warlike Hiung-nu (believed to be the ancestor of the Huns)
attacked and drove a peaceable people, known as the "Yuehchi "
out of their homes, on the border of China. About 165 B.C. the
Yueh-chi, fleeing westward, in turn displaced some people called
"Sai-wang" from the region of Lake Issk-kul and the Ili River. It
appears that Sai-wang was originally pronounced "Sok-wang,"
meaning the "Sakka princes."  Chinese records record that these
people fled south into India, apparently through the great
mountain passes of Afghanistan. It is known from coins that have
been found there, that shortly after 100 B.C., a Sakka kingdom
was established in the valleys of the upper Indus between Kashmir
and Afghanistan. (The Indo-Greeks, A.K. Narain, 1957, pgs. 128 -
     Other Chinese historians write that "the population of the
Sai were scattered, and in some places they constituted several
countries. (Narain, op, cit., pgs. 137-138). Those named
countries lay to the west, in the general direction of the Aral
Sea. Some of the Sakka probably fled to Ferghana near the upper
Jaxartes region. Russian archaeologists have identified numerous
burial mounds there, dating from the first century B.C. down to
the fourth century A.D. Others, no doubt, fled further west, and
were absorbed by the various Massagetae tribes around the Aral
     The Sakka or "Sai" may account for the rise of Buddhism.
Horne, the author of 'Great Events' says: "One hundred miles
north-east of Benares, at Kapilivastu, on the banks of the river
Rohini, the modern Kohans, there lived about 500 B.C. a tribe
called Sakyas (Sacau?) ... Gautama (Lord Buddha) had many titles,
one of which was Sakyashina. He was also called 'the lion of the
tribe of Sakya, Sakyamuni, the Sakya Sage, Sugata the Happy One,
Sakya the Teacher.'"
     Tombs of the Sakka (Eastern Scythians) have been found in
the vicinity of the upper Ili River, and even as far east as the
Altai Mountains of Siberia. The earliest of these have been dated
to the fifth century B.C. Among the graves in the Altai
Mountains, several were found that had been partly looted
centuries ago. The removal of the timber roofing had allowed rain
water to seep into the graves. The water froze on the corpses and
objects buried with them. In this condition, the fragile items of
clothing, wood, leather and felt objects were preserved.

     The so-called "Indo-Scythians" who were driven into India
and Afghanistan from the north and west probably lost their
Israel identity, early in the first century A.D. as they
intermingled with the native population. It is noteworthy that
missionaries visiting Afghanistan (early in the nineteenth
century) record meeting people who called themselves
"Beni-Israel" and claimed to be of Israel descent. It is quite
possible they were, in fact, descended from the ancient Sakka
Scythians and thus of Israel.

     In the fifth century B.C., Herodotus reported the Scythians
as occupying South Russia from the Carpathians to the Don River.
In the Fourth Book of his Histories, he provides us with a
detailed account of them. Undoubtedly, these Scythians migrated
northwards through the Caucasus Mountains. Archaeological
evidence of the Scythians occupation of South Russia, starting
about 575 B.C., has confirmed Herodotus' writings. The evidence
is in the form of Scythian burial mounds found scattered all over
the Russian Steppes.

     The kings and chieftains of the Scythians were given
elaborate burials. These royal and semi-royal tombs contained
splendorous relics buried with their dead. Diverse in style, with
elements adapted from Greece, Iran and the Near East, these
artifacts were created or bought to decorate themselves, their
horses, their weapons and their dwellings. From the lively
intricacies of the animal style to the serenely balanced
naturalism of works (probably by Greek artisans) the objects
found give us a glimpse of the nomadic life of the Scythians.
Of special interest is the craftsmanship of the Scythian artisans
in gold castings. Most notable in their art is the recurring
appearance of stags, felines, griffins, and birds of prey. The
numerous appearances of the stag suggest it may have been a
'totem' animal for the Scythian Israelites. Known as "Scythian
animal style," representations of animals of great visual
vitality appear in poses indicating they are either in a passive
state or dead; legs and heads may droop, rear legs may be folded
over the front ones, or a body may curl into a full circle.
Often, only a head, beak, antler, or hooves may be used to
symbolize the entire animal.
     Another characteristic of Scythian animal art style is the
incorporation of many smaller animals within the body of a larger
one. Such images may have been designed to indicate the combined
powers of all the creatures portrayed.

     The tombs of the Scythian were constructed of wood or stone
and covered with mounds of earth and stone. Herodotus, who
visited the Scythians, gives us a vivid description of the burial
of a Scythian ruler. The chieftain's body was embalmed, and
placed on a wagon, and carried around to visit the various tribes
over whom he had ruled in life. When this ceremony was over, the
king's body was brought to the grave that had been dug for it.

"In the open space around the body of the king they bury one of
his concubines first, killing her by strangling, and also his
cupbearer, his cook, his groom, his lackey, his messenger, some
of his horses, firstlings of all his other possessions, and some
golden cups ... After this they set to work, and raise a vast
mound above the grave, all of them vying with each other and
seeking to make it as tall as possible. " (The Persian Wars, IV,
pg. 711). A year later, the grisly burial ceremony was continued.
Fifty young men and fifty horses were killed, then placed around
the royal tomb as a final token of the late king's power over his
     The timbered chamber and cross sections originally supported
a hemp-smoking tent on its site. Inside the chamber are several
coffins (with their lids open) containing small furnishings.
Contained in the burial are the parts of a four-wheeled wagon, a
carpet, felt hangings and a felt cover for the wagon. The tomb
contained the body of a man of European type with a large narrow
skull and a narrow arched nose. His hands were folded across his

     The above sketch (none of the many photos, scetches, drawings,
are reproduced, for the sake of space on this Website - Keith
Hunt) of a Scythian burial tomb is an example of the older and
simpler type of Scythian royal tomb from which later types were
elaborated. The wooden framework, the human skeleton and the
skeletons of sacrificed horses are shown as described in
the text. This barrow was found in Kostromskaya, immediately
north of the Caucasus.
     Royal tombs have been found, both south and north of the
Caucasus Mountains. Just as described by Herodotus, horses and
grooms were interred along with the main burial. While the form
of the burials often varied from site to site, the tombs were
always large underground structures of wood and stone, lavishly
furnished with royal possessions, and covered with mounds of
earth and stone. The objects found in the royal tombs were always
things used in everyday life - clothing, cooking pots, weapons
and jewelry.

     Mastery of the horse was the most significant factor in the
life of the Scythian nomads. Their cavalry and light, horse-drawn
chariots gave extreme mobility to their warfare and made them the
terror of enemies on foot. Scythian battle steeds wore elaborate
ornaments of bronze, silver and gold. For protection against
enemy weapons, they wore handsomely worked eye-pieces and nose
shields, richly decorated with the likenesses of animals.
     The Scythians may not have been the earliest mounted archers
in antiquity, but they were among the most skilled, as indicated
on the relief from the palace of Ashurbanipal. The Scythian bows
were short but powerful and their distinctive, socketed
arrowheads were usually constructed of bronze and trilobate
(three-edged) in shape. Their "gorytus," a case which held both
arrows and bow, was often elaborately decorated in gold.

     The Scythian-type arrowheads may have been used for two
different purposes. Those found dating from the seventh century
B.C. probably were employed by marauding bands of Scythians.
Those dating from the sixth century and later, may be attributed
to the Scythians groups who remained in the Near East, to serve
as mercenaries with the great powers, especially Egypt and
Babylonia. Greek history records Scythian bowmen employed as
"policemen" in Classical Athens. Scythian arrowheads, uncovered
from the Babylonian attack on Jerusalem, suggests that Scythian
mercenaries may have served as the vanguard of the Chaldean
     The Western Scythian, occupying a central position in the
Steppes of South Russia, had no natural barriers against invasion
by hostile forces from east or west. Its frontier rivers, the
Volga and the Danube, could easily be bridged. The rich
grasslands of the Steppes were a magnet for the dispossessed
peoples of Central Asia, who were driven westward by the growing
aridity of climate and the expansion of the Chinese empires that
barred the road to the east. The first wave of invaders to
intrude into Scythian territory were the Sarmatians.
     The Sarmatians were first mentioned by ancient historians in
the 5th century B.C. under the name "Sauromatae." Herodotus says
that their land lay "three days journey" east of the Don River,
and three days journey northwards from the Sea of Azov.
     Archaeological research has shown they extended over the wide
grassland of the Eurasiatic border east of the Don River nearly
up to the Ural River, and northwards along the Volga up to the
Saratov. They were of mixed Iranian stock, combining features of
various Late Bronze Age cultures, particularly of the Maeotians
and later some Greek and Scythian people - with whom they were in
close contact. Herodotus mentioned that the Sarmatians "use the
Scythian language, speaking it corruptly."
     The Sarmatians had no permanent settlements. They lived for
the most part on horses and their dwellings were wagons drawn by
oxen. In the dress, culture and customs, they were similar to the
Scythians. They wore trousers and pointed caps. Their wives
retained the 'ancient Amazon' mode of living, joining their
husbands in the hunt and in war, and wearing the same dress as
the men. No virgin was permitted to marry until she had killed an
     The Sarmartians developed new innovations in war tactics and
armor. Their armor consisted of leather or other material on
which were sewn small copper or iron plaques; horses were
protected in the same manner. Their main weapons were long, heavy
lances held in a hooked bar fixed to the horse's neck. Also, they
used long iron swords. Their cavalry fought in close array and
few adversaries could resist them. These new tactics of warfare
resulted in a reorganization of all the armies in the east, even
those of the Huns and the Chinese. Light mounted archers were
replaced by armored cavalry which became the typical Sarmatian
war-formation. Even the Romans were, in the end, forced to equip
some of their units in the same fashion.
     By 338 B.C., the Sarmatians had crossed the Don regions and
engaged in battles with the Scythians who were occupying the
regions west of the Don River. By the end of the fourth century
B.C., the Scythians disappeared from the Kuban and are found
further west, on the other side of the Dnieper River. The
implication is that they were pushed westward by the advancing
Sarmatians. By 300 B.C., the Sarmatians controlled the whole of
the area between the Don and the Dnieper Rivers.
     Soon after 300 B.C., the Sarmatians advanced from the
Dnieper to the Carpathians and finally into what is today known
as Hungary.
     The Scythians, again pushed westwards, divided into a
northern and southern group. The latter, were ultimately driven
into two pockets, one in the islands of the Danube delta, the
other in the Crimea where they were forced to pay tribute to the
Sarmatians. (Cambridge Ancient History Vol IX, pg. 228). Both
southern groups appeared to have been wiped out by the Goths in
the third century A.D.
     The larger northern group of Scythians migrated northwest.
Strabo, (the Greek writer) describing the various parts of Asia
and Europe shortly before the beginning of the Christian Era

"Of the portions thus divided, the first is inhabited in
the region toward the north and the ocean by the Scythian nomads
and wagon dwellers. and south of these by the Sarmatians."
(XI,ii, I).

     This would indicate that the Scythians had settled to
the north of the Sarmatians as far as the "ocean." This may be
either the Baltic or the North Sea.

     Pliny, the Elder, in his "Natural History" also written in
the early part of the Christian Era, mentions various islands in
the "Northern Ocean" off the coast of Scythia. One was named
"Bau-nonia," (Bornholm?) which was said to lie "off Scythia at a
distance of a day's voyage from the coast, on the beach of which
in spring time amber is cast up by the waves." Pliny also
mentions a report that "three days" sail from the Scythian coast
there is an island of enormous size called "Balcia," which may
well be a description of Scandinavia. These statements plainly
reveal that the northern Scythians had migrated as far as the
Baltic coast.
     In his description of central Europe, from the Danube to the
Baltic, Pliny states that, "The name of the Scythians is
everywhere changed to that of Sarmatae and Germans, and his old
designation has not been continued for any except the most
outlying sections of this nation who live almost unknown to the
rest of mankind (IV, xii). By outlying sections, Pliny doubtless
meant those on the north coast of Europe just mentioned. The
reason why the name "Scythian" was changed was because they no
longer lived in the country immediately north and west of the
Black Sea that had been called "Scythia," as this land had become
largely occupied by Sarmatians.

     It was to distinguish between the Sarmatian inhabitants and
the true Scythians, that the Romans dropped the name "Scythian"
and substituted "Sarmatae" and "Germani." (Germans)  "Germanus"
being the Latin word for "genuine." Seemingly, Pliny thought it
was unnecessary to give the reason for the name change, perhaps
because it was well known in his time. Strabo, on the other hand
felt an explanation was called for. But, he confused the
Scythians with the Cimimerians. (Celts) He said, "It was for this
reason that the Romans assigned to them the name Germani, as
though they wished to indicate thereby that they were the
"genuine" Galatae, for in the language of the Romans, "germani"
means "genuine. " (Strabo VII,i,2) He should have said the
Germani were the "genuine" Scythians, not Galatae. (Galatians).
     Archaeological evidence confirms the historical record of
the name change. Prior to 100 B.C. the lands bordering on the
southern Baltic Sea (now Poland and East Germany) had been rather
sparsely populated and burials found of that period invariably
contained cremated remains - the ashes usually being buried in an
urn and little or no grave offerings accompanying the interment.
However, later interments contained bodies without cremation and
usually contained the dead person's personal belongings. In
addition, there was an increasing number of "royal" or chieftains
graves, consisting of a wooden chamber in which the body was
buried along with gold and silver ornaments.
     Because of the similarity between these later burials and
the mode of burial of the Scythians; inhumination, (burial
without cremation) often in timber tombs, and noted for the
quantity of weapons and ornaments placed in them, the new burial
rites may well be accounted for by the arrival of the Scythians
in these lands. Generally, modern archaeologists have failed to
recognize these burials as Scythian, even though Pliny and Strabo
both reported that Scythians actually inhabited these regions.
One reason may be because of minor cultural changes.
     It is well known that the Anglo-Saxons, who came to Britain
were called "Germans" by the Romans, and that the Normans, the
last to arrive (A.D. 1066) were of the same stock. Tacitus and
Ptolemy both name the region of the River Elbe and the base of
the Jutland Peninsula as the places inhabited by the Angles and
the Saxons before they came to Britain. According to Roman
terminology, this was "Germany," but it is noted that the British
historian, Nennius, in his account of the arrival (about A.D.
449) of Hengist and Horsa, (two brothers claiming descent from
Odin) hired as mercenaries to fight against the Picts and Scots,

"messengers were sent to Scythia" for reinforcements. The context
of the report shows that the brothers came from north Germany.
So, evidently, the ancient name of the "genuine Scythians"
persisted for some time in northern Europe.
     The Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain was divided into two

     The first, between A.D. 280-450, when the Saxons
periodically raided the coast of Britain, returning home
immediately. The second, between A.D. 450-600 when the
Anglo-Saxons, after the withdrawal of the Roman garrisons from
Britain, landed and settled in various parts of the country. One
group of Saxons, under the rule of Cerdic, (founder of the famous
Saxon dynasty which produced in later years, King Alfred) landed
with five ships somewhere west of the Solent. The historical King
Arthur is believed to have organized the British defense which
was able to keep Cerdic from gaining a decisive victory for
thirteen years.
     Other important Saxon settlements were in Surrey on the
south bank of the Thames estuary and on the north bank of the
     Here, about A.D. 530 the small kingdom of Essex was formed.
This was later expanded to include Middlesex. Starting about A.D.
527, the Angles followed the Saxons into Britain. The most
important group, historically, was that led by Ida, who arrived,
about A.D. 547, with forty ships. They landed on the east coast
of Scotland. Ida founded the kingdom of Bernicia, between the
Tweed and Forth. Bernicia later became part of the kingdom of
Northumbria. Another kingdom formed by the Angles was Mercia,
under a dynasty of kings who claimed descent from Offa, king of
Angeln, in south-east Jutland.

     By the end of the sixth century A.D., seven kingdoms had
been formed, known as the "Heptarchy." These divisions each were
governed by chiefs, or kings, and were called by the following
names: Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Northumbria, Mercia, East Anglia,
and Essex. These separate kingdoms were united by Egbert, the
king of Wessex (West Saxons) who made all the other kingdoms
subordinate to his own, raising himself to be the first Saxon
king of England. This union proved to be a permanent blessing to
the country, and enabled Egbert to consolidate the Saxon power,
and insured the prosperity of his reign.
     Bede, the English historian (known as the Venerable Bede) in
the eighth century wrote an account of the Anglo-Saxon invasion
of Britain: 

"Those who came over were of the three most powerful nations of
Germany - Saxons, Angles and Jutes. From the Jutes are descended
the people of Kent and the Isle of Wight, and also those in the
province of the West Saxons who are to this day called Jutes,
seated opposite to the Isle of Wight. From the Saxons, that is
the country which is now called Old Saxony, (modern North Germany
and Holland) came the East Saxons, the South Saxons, and the West
Saxons. From the Angles, this is the country which is called
Angeln, and which is said from that time to remain a desert to
this day, between the province of the Jutes and the Saxons, are
descended the East Angles, the Midland Angles, Mercians, all the
race of the Northumbrians, that is of those nations that dwell
north of the river Humber, and the other nations of the English."
(Quoted from Everyman's edition).

     As the Saxons were being united and were growing in power,
greatly assisted by its conversion to Christianity, the ancient
Britons who had fled to the extreme west and north remained free
and independent. The remnants of the Roman colonies became
extinct. Saxon laws, customs, manners and institutions under the
influences of the Christian religion gradually changed and laid
the groundwork of the liberties and privileges which the British
people enjoy today.
     Sharon Turner writes: 

"The first great change in the Anglo-Saxons appeared in the
discontinuance of their piracies. They ceased to be the ferocious
spoilers of the ocean and its coasts; they became land-owners,
agriculturists, and industrious citizens;...Their war-leaders
became territorial chiefs; and the conflicts of capricious and
sanguinary robbery were exchanged for the possession and
inheritance of property in its various sorts; for trade and
manufactures. for useful luxuries, peaceful industry,
and domestic comfort" (History of the Anglo-Saxons Vol. III, p.

     The archaeological evidence indicates that the Angles and
the Saxons comprised only the western fringe of the great
Scythian horde that extended east as far as the Vistula River.
The more easterly tribes, on finally reaching the Baltic,
eventually made their way to the Danish islands. This is borne
out by the close affinity between the archaeological finds in
Denmark and those on the south Baltic coast. Only a very few
migrated to Sweden, because at that time Sweden already had a
surplus population.

     A new empire had been established in the northern half of
Sweden, founded by the historical Odin. The account of Odin, as
narrated by Snorre in the "Ynglinga Saga," states that Odin came
from Asaland or Asaheim. (Central Scythia) Odin assembled, at
Asgard, (modern Kiev) once the capital of Asaland, a huge army
which marched up the valley of the Dnieper, then westward to the
shore of the Baltic (Pelagus Scythicum) and finally to
Scandinavia. It was from Odin's army, known as the "Svear," that
Sweden takes its name. In their own language, the Swedes call
their country "Sverige," - the "land of the Svear." The date of
Odin is given variously as between A.D. 200 and 300. 

     In the Herald's College, London, there is a very ancient
manuscript deducing the Saxon Kings from Adam and from David.
Odin is listed in the genealogy (as is also his wife, Frea)
tracing the Royal House of Britain back to David.

DAVID - Ancestor of Anna, the Cousin of the Virgin Mary
Penardim m. Leah, of Judah through Troy 
Lucius - Cadwallader - Frea m. ODIN
0DIN descended through Troy  from Judah     
Tudors, Stuarts, Plantagenets, Hanoverians, Saxe-Coburgs, Danes
King George V  QUEEN MARY

     Odin introduced among the people a new religion, the tenents
of which Faith included the Fatherhood of God, the immortality of
the soul, future rewards and punishments, the consecration of
valor, "seeking ever to die in battle rather in peace," - this
being the ultimate goal by which they might attain to "Valhalla"
(The Hall of Heroes) or Heaven. 

     After the death of Odin, his authority was transmitted to
his five sons, whom he had placed on neighboring thrones. In time
Odin came to be regarded by the early Scandinavians as a mythical
     From Odin's son, Skiold, descended the "Skiolduns" - a race
of Kings, which long held the scepter of Denmark. Yngue, another
son, reigned in Sweden, and from him sprung the "Ynglings" - a
name by which the ancient sovereigns of that country were
distinguished in history. Yet another son, Balder, became viceroy
over the Angles, and from him the Anglo-Saxon Princes all traced
their origin. Horsa and Hengist, the two Saxon Chiefs who fought
the English in the fifth century, reckoned Odin (or "Wodin" in
their dialect) as their ancestor.

     Another principal progenitor of the inhabitants of Sweden
were the Goths (a branch of the German Scythians) who occupied
the southern half of the country known as "Goth-land." In
Swedish, this area is called "Gatarike." (kingdom of the Goths)
The Goths also occupied the largest island in the Baltic, also
called "Gothland" and is today a Swedish possession. On the
western coast of Sweden there is naturally an element of
Dano-Norse blood.
     Due to the close proximity of Finland, the Swedes naturally
established colonies around the coast lands, where the Swedish
language is still spoken today. The inland parts of Finland are
occupied today by descendants of Tartar tribes (Fenni, Esths, and
Lapps) that once occupied Sweden before being pushed out by the
Goths and Svear. Some of the Finns are descended from the old
Goths who never crossed the Baltic. The Tartar tribes are
believed to have once inhabited central and western Europe but
were pushed north by the Cimmerians as they fled westward before
the Scythians.
     About the year A.D. 330, an offshoot under the name of
"Visigoths" broke away from the main body of Goths, then often
called "Ostrogoths." These Visigoths, (Western Goths) under
Alaric (the Bold), invaded Italy in A.D.400, and took Rome in
410. Four years later, they extended their conquests to France,
and then to Spain. Their rule in France, however, ended in A.D.
507, when they were defeated by Clovis at Vougle. Their dominion
in Spain was brought to an end in A.D.711, when they were
conquered by the Saracens (Muslims) under Musa.

     The Ostrogoths (Eastern Goths) however, did not penetrate so
far west in Europe, nor did they stay so long. They ravaged
eastern Europe, including the Balkans. In A.D.493, under their
renowned leader Theodoric (the Great), they became masters of the
greater part of Italy. There, they retained their power until
A.D.553, when they were ultimately conquered by Narses,
Justinian's general. Under negotiated terms the Ostrogoths were
allowed to leave Italy as free people, collect and remove their
movable property, and receive financial assistance to defray
their expenses on the road. In the month of March, A.D.553, they
left Italy, and from that time the name "Ostrogoth" is rarely
found in historical writings.

     After the Anglo-Saxon migration to England (A.D.450-600)
there remained in and on the west coast of Norway, two important
groups of people of Scythian origin. These we shall refer to as
"Danes" and "Norsemen," although the two groups are sometimes
confused in history books and are often called "Vikings," a term
which also includes pirates of Swedish origin. The present
population of Norway is almost wholly of Norse descent, and the
Norwegian people still call themselves "Norsk" in their language.
The first mention of the depredations of the Danes (or Northmen
as some writers prefer to call them) on the English coast was on
their landing upon the Isle of Thanet in the year A.D.787.
     According to the Saxon Chronicle: "First came three ships of
Northmen, out of Haeretha-land. (Denmark) And then the reve
(governor) rode to the place, and would have driven them to the
king's town, because he knew not who they were; and they there
slew him. These were the first ships of Danishmen which sought
the land of the English nation."

     The more congenial climate of Britain drew more Norsemen who
settled in the Shetland and Orkney Islands, where they absorbed
the remaining Celtic population. To this day they are almost
entirely Norse, and the people are proud of their Norse descent
and refuse to be called Scots. Both the Shetlands and the Orkneys
remained part of Norway until 1468, when they were ceded to James
III of Scotland by Christian I of Denmark and Norway.
     Between A.D. 800-900, Norse and Danish raiders plundered the
coast lands of Britain and Ireland, spreading havoc and
destruction on all sides. They not only burned the churches and
destroyed cities, but perpetrated the most barbarous cruelties
upon the inhabitants. Encouraged by the rich booty the raids
produced, the Norsemen, for over thirty years, regularly swarmed
down the west coast of Scotland. At the beginning of the ninth
century, raids on the east and west coasts of Ireland became an
annual event.

     In A.D.835, a Norse chieftain, named "Turges," landed in
Ireland with a large fleet and declared himself king of all the
Norsemen in Ireland. He built himself a fortress at Dublin,
previously an obscure village called "Ath Cliath," and the new
city became the center of the government for the Norse colonies.
After some eight or nine years, Turges was captured and drowned
in Lough Owel by the Irish king of Meath. Shortly after this some
Danish Vikings arrive from the south and the Irish enlisted them
to fight against the Norsemen. For several years Ireland was
devastated by wars between Norsemen and Danes, until a Norse
prince known as "Olaf the White," recaptured Dublin and restored
Norse rule.

     In A.D. 853 another group of Norsemen left Scandinavia under
the leadership of Rollo (Rolf the Ganga), and invaded the north
of France. The territory which they acquired was called
"Normandy" (Northman's Land) and the Norsemen themselves who
settled that part of France became known as "Normans." (A
softened form of the word "Northman") In a short time these
colonists adopted the French tongue and French customs. They
adopted the growing feudal practices of France and developed
them, both in Normandy and in England, into a harmonious system.
     During the ninth and tenth centuries many Norsemen settled
peaceably among the Celts in the Hebrides and parts of the west
coast of Scotland. However, in Ireland there were frequent wars
between Norse and Irish, first one and then the other gaining the
upper hand. In A.D.1014 the Irish gained control of their
country when they defeated the Norsemen in a fiercely fought
battle at Clontarf, in which some 7,000 Norsemen and 4,000
Irishmen, including most of the leaders on both sides, lost their
lives. After this battle the Norse settlers were allowed to
continue to occupy the same cities and territories as before.

     In England, many groups of Norsemen and Danes settled down,
taking possession of parcels of land and for the first time began
to grow their own crops. Other groups left England for the
Continent, where they ravaged France, Belgium and west Germany.
The Norse and Danish invasions of Britain cost the lives of
hundreds of both invaders and defenders. But, through all the
warfare, England did not become subject to a foreign power.
Although Norsemen ruled for a time in Ireland, and the Danes in
parts of England, eventually they both became a second wave of
immigrants from the common stock that had gathered in Denmark at
the beginning of the Christian Era.

     The Norman conquest of Britain started in A.D.1066 when
William the Conqueror (sixth generation from Rolf the Ganga )
landed with an army of Normans, on the Sussex coast. An English
army, led by Harold, the Saxon claimant to the English throne,
met the Normans. In the ensuing Battle of Hastings, Harold was
killed and the Saxon government came to an end. The English
estates were divided among the Norman victors. William was
crowned King of England on the following Christmas Day. Forty
years later the English regained the throne of England and an
English invasion of Normany followed. For over a hundred years
England and France struggled for possession of Normandy. Finally,
the French under King Philip Augustus, won complete control -
between 1202 and 1204 A.D.
     The Normans who remained in Britain gradually became
absorbed into the peoples of Britain - they became English,
Scots, Irish and Welsh. 

     In considering the many conquests of Britain, first by the
Anglo-Saxons from Germany, the Danes and Norsemen from Denmark
and Scandinavia and finally the Normans from France, one might
imagine that the resulting population of the British Isles,
including the original ancient Britains, would have produced a
mongrel breed of several different races. Such, however, is not
the case. The Normans were a branch of the Scythians who came
from Scandinavia. They and the other invading peoples are all of
one origin, Israelites of either the Scythian or the Cimmerian
branch of the ancient (ga-me-ra-a-a) Gimira, the Assyrian name
for Israelites. The Ancient Britains are also descended from the
same stock - Hebrews that left Egypt before the Exodus or later
from Palestine before the Captivities of Israel.

     Having identified the western European nations as
predominately of the ancient Cimmerians (Israelites) and the
Scythians (Israelites) the question naturally arises concerning
the racial makeup of the modern inhabitants of central Europe.   
Because of a greater admixture with non-Israel peoples, it is
difficult to distinguish with certainty the ethnic origin of the
individual peoples making up these nations. One can only

     The inhabitants of modern Hungary are descended from several
sources. The early people were no doubt Scythians. (Germanic)
During historical times, this flatland between the Danube and the
Tisza (Theiss) has experienced incessant human ebb and flow -
Dacians, Goths, Vandals, Gepidae, and Hun. Nearly half of the
present inhabitants are descendants of the Magyars, who came in
from the Siberian steppes, (at the beginning of the tenth
century) and pushed into the heart of Germany and Italy. They
suffered reverses and finally settled back into present-day
Hungary. The Magyars, who were once subject to the Khazar kings,
are recorded in modern history books as belonging, in origin and
language, to the "Finno-Ugrian division of the Alpo-Carpathian
stock." It is quite possible the Magyars contained a strong
element of Scythians who allied themselves with them.
     The Austrian population of today is changed from that of the
original ancient Nordics (generally long-headed) that once
occupied the land. Toward the close of the sixth century A.D.,
the Slovenes (Slavs) pressed on by the Avars (a Turkish tribe
closely akin to the Huns) invaded Austria. The Slovenes advanced
as far as the Tyrol, until checked at Salzburg by the Germans.
The Slovenes are identified by Pliny as the "Venedi." (Slavs) The
Slavs are an Alpine (generally round-headed) people, and it is
noted that among the modern Bavarians and Austrians are found a
proportion of roundheads. But there is also noted a decided
difference between these round-heads and those (round-heads)
found in other parts of Europe. For example, the physical height
of the Czechs and Moravians in the north, of the Austrians in the
middle, and the Slovenes of Yugoslavia in the south, is greater
than that of the round-heads in general. As in the case of
Hungary, there is a strong strain of the Nordic (Scythian) blood
found in Austria.
     The people of Bulgaria are also of diverse origin. They are
taller than the European average and frequently long-headed. A
certain proportion of both Bulgars and Serbs are related,
racially, to each other and possibly to the prehistoric people of
south Russia, who once inhabited the shores of the Black Sea. The
Serbs also show an ethnic mixture, probably linked to the peoples
who invaded the lands south of the Save and Danube. Neither the
Serbs nor the Bulgars are related to the Russian Slavs. The
modern Rumanians show common ancestory with the Bulgarians. They
too, contain a proportionate strain of Nordic (i.e., Gothic)
     The problem of the origin of the present day Slavs is a very
complex one to solve. It is generally believed the primitive Slav
people had their cradle between the Oder and the Dnieper, north
of the Carpathians. They seem to have had their area of
characterization in Poland and the country between the Carpathian
and the Dnieper. Today, the people of Poland are generally
round-headed, (Alpine) small of stature and show ethnic mixture.
However, people of Nordic ancestry make up a proportion of the

     The migrations of the Celts and the Gauls, as they crossed
the western Pyrenees about the end of the sixth century B.C.,
brought the first Nordic blood into Spain. They introduced the
Tryan speech into the Iberian peninsula, The Vandals and
Visigoths who later conquered and held Spain for 300 years added
to the Nordic blood. Evidence of their blood is found in the
"hidalgos" (the son of a Goth) and in the "blue-bloods." Through
losses in wars outside of Spain, Nordic blood faded and is today
found only in a small minority of the country. The same is
somewhat true in Italy and Greece, where Nordic blood was
replaced by that of Alpine and Mediterranean people, as well as
that of Arab invaders. A large part of the southern Italians and
some Spaniards are racially identified with the Berbers of North
Africa. (The Berbers are a branch of the indigenous 'Libyan'
race. They are distinctively a 'white' race. Dark hair and brown
or hazel eyes are the rule, although blue-eyed blonds are found. 
     In northern Italy there is a large amount of Nordic blood
(Lombards) attributed to the Celtic invasions of the fourth
century B.C.

     To summarize, it is probable that as the Nordics (Scythians
and Cimmerians) moved westward, the Slav-speaking Alpines filled
up their places, just as the Nordics submerged the earlier
Alpines in the west. In central Europe (and to a lesser degree in western
Europe) there has been a strong admixture of blood between the
Nordic and Alpine peoples, due to the long periods of time they
have been in contact with one another. This mixture is found in a
portion of the people of France and Germany. In France, it is
noticeable in the great plateau of the Vosges, Jura, and part of
the French Alps. In Germany, it is identifiable in the south and
east, due in part to the continuing replacement of the Nordics by
the Alpines during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648).

This book is full of photos, drawings, and diagrams which I have not reproduced for
space on this Website. – Keith Hunt


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