~part 8 of 23~
Asylum in Egypt
The Jewish remnant journeyed into Egypt “as far as Tahpanhes” (43:7)—to “Pharaoh’s house” there (verse 9). Notice this from the famous British pioneer archaeologist and Egyptologist Flinders Petrie, who discovered the site in 1886: “Tahpanhes was an important garrison, and as the Jews fled there it must have been close to the frontier. It is thus clear that it was the Greek Daphnae, the modern Tell Defneh, which is on the road to Palestine . . .
“Of this,” he continues, “an echo comes across the long ages; the fortress mound is known as Qasr Bint el Yehudi, the palace of the Jew’s daughter. It is named Qasr, as a palace, not Qala, a fortress. It is not named Tell Bint el Yehudi, as it would be if were called so after it were a ruinous heap. Qasr is a name which shows its descent from the time of . . . habitation for nobility and not merely for troops. So through the long ages of Greek and Roman and Arab there has come down the memory of the royal residence for the king’s daughters from the wreck of Jerusalem” (Egypt and Israel, 1911, pp. 85-86; see also “Daphne,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed., Vol. 7, p. 48).
Yet there certainly were many troops there as well. Petrie states: “Psamtik [Pharaoh Psammetichus I, founder of Egypt’s 26th dynasty of which Hophra was the fourth king] guarded the frontiers of Egypt with three strong garrisons, placing the Ionian and Carian mercenaries especially at the Pelusian Daphnae . . . in the northeast, from which quarter the most formidable enemies were likely to appear” (p. 40).
These were Greek forces primarily from the west coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). “Ionian” and “Carian” primarily designated the Greek city of Miletus there: “Within Egypt itself, normally hostile to any foreign settlement, the Greeks gained a foothold . . . About 650 [B.C.] the Milesians [from Miletus] opened a ‘factory,’ or trading post, at Naucratis on the Canopic branch of the Nile. Pharaoh Psamtik I tolerated them because they made good mercenaries, while their commerce provided rich prey for his collectors of customs revenues” (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol. 2: The Life of Greece, 1966, p. 173).
Miletus will factor greatly in pursuing this whole subject to its conclusion. Suffice it to say for now that many of these “Greek” forces in Egypt were not so unrelated to the Jews taking refuge with them. There was evidently a kinship going way back. The ancient Greeks had often referred to themselves as Danaans—a name evidently derived from the Israelite tribe of Dan (see Appendix 2: “Were the Greeks Israelites?”).
Indeed, a number of the Greek mercenaries employed in Egyptian service were probably Israelites whose ancestors had earlier settled in Greece and neighboring lands. And here they were—guarding the remnant of the Davidic royal family under orders of the Egyptian pharaoh!
Yet this arrangement was not to last. “The Greeks continued to play a prominent role during the reigns of Psammeticus II and Apries (the Pharaoh Hophra of Jeremiah). Under the latter, however, a national movement among the Egyptians led to a revolt [ca. 570 B.C.] against the [Egyptian] king and the Greek element, with the result that the throne passed to the general Amasis (Ahmosis II), who withdrew the Greeks from Daphnai” (Chamber’s Encyclopedia, 1959, Vol. 5)—evidently expelling many of them whom he considered loyal to Hophra.
Adding to the need for expulsion was the fact that although Ahmose confined the remaining Greek mercenaries near his capital, making many of them part of a royal guard, “an element within Egyptian culture . . . resisted this; and the presence of foreigners in Egypt, both as invaders and settlers, led to the rise of a nationalism” that wanted the foreigners out (“Egypt,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Macropaedia, Vol. 18, 1985, p. 165; “Ahmose II,” Micropaedia, Vol. 1, p. 168).
It was now about 16 years after the fall of Jerusalem, and up to this point things had apparently gone rather well in Egypt for those who had fled there. But God had warned of the calamity to befall Hophra (Jeremiah 44:30). And He had warned the Jewish remnant seeking refuge in Egypt that they would be consumed there (verse 27). Clearly, then, the turn of events was from Him. The Egyptians drove many of the Greco-Israelite mercenaries from the country. And most of the Jewish remnant was probably slaughtered around this time, if not in the uprising then probably in Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Egypt two years later in 568 B.C., which laid waste most of the Nile valley.
Based on God’s prophecies, a few evidently made it back to Judah (verse 28). But what about Jeremiah, Baruch and the kings daughters? Where did they go? The book of Jeremiah doesn’t actually tell us, although it contains some hints.
~part 9 of 23~
To be planted in Israel
The very fact that Jeremiah was outside the country in the company of the king’s daughters, the only apparent successors to the Davidic throne, with a commission “to build and to plant” should give us pause. This was no mere coincidence—especially when we consider the unbreakable covenant God had made with David.
God had even said that if the Jewish remnant stayed in Judah as He told them to, He would have used Jeremiah to replant and build up the kingdom right where they were (Jeremiah 42:10). But, as we’ve seen, they instead went to Egypt—where God had explicitly said not to go.
So now that they were being driven out of Egypt, where would Jeremiah go at this time with the king’s daughters? They weren’t supposed to be where they were. And indeed, it is quite possible that they had already left Egypt even prior to Hophra’s death. In either case, to where did they travel?
No longer would God rebuild the kingdom in Judah—as the people had violated the terms of this offer by fleeing to Egypt.
Moreover, Judah or any other land under Babylonian dominion would seem a highly unlikely choice. If Nebuchadnezzar had not known about the king’s daughters before, he certainly did now. News undoubtedly reached him of their being placed under special guard and care by his enemy, Pharaoh Hophra. And even Jeremiah himself, who had previously been accorded favor by the Babylonian invaders of Jerusalem, would now be mistakenly perceived as an accomplice of Hophra.
Furthermore, we know the throne was not replanted in Judah because the Bible gives us information about the Jewish homeland during the time of the captivity. And when the captives later return from Babylon, it is obvious that there is no Jewish king reigning over anyone there. Thus, while Jeremiah and the royal daughters may have briefly passed through Judah at this time, they did not resettle there.
So did they hide out in a cave in obscurity for the rest of their lives? Or, more reasonably, did they settle down somewhere with their important status acknowledged by others? And if so, was it somewhere that the prophet could fulfill his commission?
Jeremiah himself provides us with a powerful clue. He had earlier prophesied that from his time forward, David would “never lack a man [i.e., a person] to sit on the throne of the house of Israel” (Jeremiah 33:17). This verse is crucial to understanding the whole subject. Read it again. Notice—it does not say Judah, but rather the house of Israel, which had gone into captivity around 150 years before. So from Jeremiah’s time on, David would never lack a descendant to reign over, again, not Judah but Israel. Incidentally, those who see this as just a prophecy of Christ’s future reign should realize that it then speaks of “rulers” from David’s line (verse 26)—not just a singular “Ruler.” What this is telling us is that the throne of David had to somehow be transferred to Israel at the time of Jeremiah!
Through the prophet Ezekiel, contemporary with Jeremiah, God fills in more details. Prior to Jerusalem’s fall, he posed a riddle to the house of Israel (Ezekiel 17:2)—again, not Judah—which He afterward explained. “A great eagle . . . came to Lebanon and took from the cedar the highest branch” (verse 3). Meaning: “The king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and took its kings and princes” (verse 12). Then: “He cropped off the top of his young twigs” (verse 4, KJV). Meaning: “And he took of the king’s offspring” (verse 13).
Having explained these symbols, God, through Ezekiel, gave the following clear parable: “I will take also [a sprig, NRSV] of the highest branches [Zedekiah and princes] of the high cedar [Judah] and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs [Zedekiah’s children] a tender one [female], and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain [a great kingdom]. On the mountain height [top of the kingdom—the throne] of Israel [not Judah!] I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. Under it will dwell birds of every sort [all manner of peoples] . . . And all the trees of the field [nations of the earth] shall know that I, the LORD, have brought down the high tree [Judah] and exalted the low tree [Israel]” (vv. 22-24).
Here, then, is what the latter part of Jeremiah’s commission was all about. Remarkably, he must have been responsible for transplanting the throne of David to Israel by taking a daughter of King Zedekiah to the 10 lost tribes. Yet where did the Israelites live at this time?
~part 10 of 23~
The Tuatha de Danaan
In our free brochure, The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy, we explain how a centuries-long migration was taking the 10 tribes from the areas of their Assyrian captivity to northwest Europe (be sure to request a copy if you haven’t already).
But it should be noted that there was some Israelite migration prior to the Assyrian captivity. The Danites, mariners in their own right and later more so with the Phoenicians, sailed far and wide over the seas. As we’ve seen, some settled in Greece and became known as the Danaans (again, see Appendix 2: “Were the Greeks Israelites?”).
Interestingly, all early histories of Ireland mention the arrival there of people from Greece called the Tuatha de Danaan. While some today equate them with ancient demigods or mythical fairy folk, they were definitely a genuinely historical people. The word tuath simply means “tribe.” Notice: “Old Irish ‘tuath,’ Welsh ‘tud’ (people, country), Breton ‘tud’ (people) and Gaulish ‘teuta’ (tribe) all come from Common Celtic towta, from the Indo-European word teuta (tribe)” (Dennis King, Focal an Lae: The Word of the Day in Irish, on-line at www.lincolnu.edu/~focal/backinst/focal114.htm). Tuatha de Danaan is thus the tribe of Danaan.
The Annals of Ireland report: “The Dan’ans were a highly civilized people, well skilled in architecture and other arts from their long residence in Greece, and their intercourse with the Phoenicians. Their first appearance in Ireland was 1200 B.C., or 85 years after the great victory of Deborah.”
The Tuatha de Danaan, then, must be synonymous with the Danaans of Greece and thus the Israelite tribe of Dan. This is not at all farfetched. Indeed, it is widely accepted that the Phoenicians established trading outposts or colonies as far away as the British Isles: “The Phoenicians are believed to have played an important part in spreading the early bronze culture by their trade in tin, which their ships brought to the eastern Mediterranean from Great Britain and Spain at least as early as 1100 BC” (“Industries, Extraction and Processing,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Macropaedia, Vol 21, 1985, p. 424).
Yet what many often fail to realize is that the ancient maritime power designated as “Phoenicia” was actually an alliance between the city-states of Tyre and Sidon and the nation of Israel—in which Israel was the senior partner. The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia says: “In the time of Solomon, Phoenicians, accompanied by Hebrews, reached as far as England . . . England was therefore known to the Israelites and they may have sought a refuge there after the fall of their kingdom” (Vol. 1, p. 316).
King Solomon, we are told in Scripture, “had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with the fleet of Hiram [the Phoenician king of Tyre]” (1 Kings 10:22, NRSV). Tarshish was an ancient port of southern Spain, also known as Tartessus. It was evidently named after Tarshish, the son of Javan (Genesis 10:4)—Javan (or Yavan) being the name for Greece in the Old Testament. As an early Ionian Greek settlement, it was actually an Israelite-Phoenician colony.
~part 11 of 23~
Lands of Iberia
The land of Spain and Portugal, it should be mentioned, is also known as the Iberian Peninsula. Notes Microsoft Encarta: “Iberia, ancient name for both the Iberian Peninsula and the country lying between the Greater Caucasus and Armenia, approximately coextensive with present-day Georgia [which is south of Russia]” (“Iberia,” 1994). The Encyclopedia of Religions states: “The Iberes of the Caucasus were Georgians . . . In Sicily the Iberes were on the west . . . Spain was Iberia . . . [And the Roman historian] Tacitus speaks of Iberes in the west of England [in Cornwall], who may have come from Spain” (1964, Vol. 2, p. 259).
Why would Iberia be the name of places and people so far removed from each other? It is probably because the Israelites—the Hebrews—migrated through both Spain and the Caucasus and also went to Britain! Iber is almost identical with the name of Abraham’s ancestor Eber or Heber, father of the Hebrews (Genesis 11:15-16).
Furthermore, the name Hebrew appears to have taken on an added meaning. McClintock & Strong’s Encyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature adds that the word came to mean “one of the other side, i.e. . . . immigrant” (Vol. 4, p. 128). Bible translator Ferrar Fenton noted that in 1 Samuel 4:6, “Eberim, if translated, means ‘Colonists’—a fit term to be used by the Philistines of the Israelites, who were really Colonists in Palestine.” And it would be a fit term for Israelite colonists in other lands to apply to themselves.
Considering the Hebrew migration through Spain, the name of the River Ebro there would appear to be of the same origin. And the same may go for Ireland—or at least one of its earlier names. The word Ireland derives from Eire-land—Eire being the nation’s Gaelic name. Traditionally, Ireland is also called Erin. The Romans called it Hibernia or Ivernia.
Harvard professor Barry Fell wrote: “One of the ancient names of Ireland is Ibheriu, pronounced as Iveriu, a fact that suggests the word is derived from a still-earlier pronunciation, Iberiu. Now this is very interesting, for the Gaelic histories assert that the ancestors of the Gaels came to Ireland from Iberia, the old name of Spain. Could Iberiu be the same as Iberia, the name of the older homeland having been transferred to the younger? Many people, including some linguists, think this may well be the case” (America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World, 1976, p. 43). The connection between Iveriu and Hebrew is even stronger when we realize that the Hebrew word for “Hebrew” is actually pronounced Ivri.
However, it should be noted that while Iber is a likely root for Iberiu and the Roman names Hibernia and Ivernia, it is possible that the particular names Erin and Eire derived from another source, as we will later see. In any case, there is still a strong identification with the Iberians of Spain.
Let us, then, consider the influx into Ireland of people from the Iberian Peninsula. Northwest Spain is called Galacia, apparently after the Gaels. Likewise, Portugal may mean “Port of the Gaels.”
Thomas Moore, in The History of Ireland, states: “In process of time, the Tuatha-de-Danaan [in Ireland] were themselves dispossessed of their sway; a successful invasion from the coast of Spain having put an end to the Danaanian dynasty, and transferred the scepter into the hands of that Milesian or Scotic race, which through so long a series of succeeding ages, supplied Ireland with her kings. This celebrated colony, though coming directly from Spain, was originally, we are told, of Scythic race” (1837, Vol. 1, p. 61).
This is truly remarkable for, as proved in our publication The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy, the Gaels (or Celts) and Scythians were, by and large, Israelites—just like the Danaans. And apparently the ensuing conflict between the Milesians and Danaans in Ireland subsided rather quickly when it was realized that both sides were related peoples.
~part 12 of 23~
Who were the Milesians?
Note that the Scythians from Spain were known as Milesians—a name replete throughout the Irish annals. Peter Berresford Ellis, one of the foremost Celtic scholars now writing, states in his 2002 book Erin’s Blood Royal: The Gaelic Noble Dynasties of Ireland: “The indigenous Gaelic aristocracy of Ireland is, without doubt, the most ancient in Europe . . . The Irish royal houses have genealogies . . . tracing their descent, generation by generation, from the sons of Golamh, otherwise known as Milesius or Mile Easpain (soldier of Spain), who, according to tradition, invaded Ireland at the end of the second millennium B.C. [a time frame which is problematic, as we will see]. He is regarded as the progenitor of the Gaels” (p. 3).
Ellis thus sees the name Milesius as deriving from a root that means “soldier,” as the Latin miles, the origin of our word military. Yet as we saw earlier, the term Milesian is normally used to designate the people of Miletus in western Asia Minor (now western Turkey). We should look more into the background of this important Aegean city-state to see if there could be a connection.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “The Greek city traced its foundation to Neleus and his followers from Pylos” (“Miletus,” 1985, Vol. 8, p. 125). “The Mycenaean kingdom of Pylos was conquered by Neleus, and thereafter was ruled by his youngest son, Nestor” (“Pylos,” Baedeker Greece, 1995, p. 417). The city of Pylos was located on the southwest coast of Greece on the Ionian Sea (“Pylos,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 9, p. 820). Ionian Greeks from this area colonized throughout the Mediterranean.
Historian Will Durant explains in his acclaimed work, The Story of Civilization: “There is nothing more vital in the history of the Greeks than their rapid spread throughout the Mediterranean . . . The migration followed five main lines—Aeolian, Ionian, Dorian, Euxine, Italian . . . The second line [the Ionian line] took its start in the Peloponnesus [southern Greece], whence thousands of Mycenaeans and Achaeans [whom Homer identified with the Danaans] fled . . .
“Some of them settled in Attica [the region of Athens], some in Euboea [the large island northeast of Athens]; many of them moved out into the Cyclades [islands of the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey], ventured across the Aegean, and established in western Asia Minor [Turkey] the twelve cities of the Ionian Dodecapolis [including Miletus] . . . The fifth line moved westward to what the Greeks called the Ionian Isles, thence across to Italy and Sicily, and finally to Gaul [France] and Spain . . .
“One by one these colonies took form, until Greece was no longer the narrow peninsula of Homeric days, but a strangely loose association of independent cities scattered from Africa to Thrace [in northern Greece] and from Gibraltar [in southern Spain] to the eastern end of the Black Sea” (Vol. 2, pp. 127-129).
So it should perhaps not really surprise us that we would find the name Milesians in both ancient Turkey and even Spain since these were undoubtedly related people. This becomes even more likely when we realize the scope of influence of Miletus itself. Durant reports: “Miletus, southernmost of the Ionian Twelve, was in the sixth century [B.C.] the richest city in the Greek world. The site had been inhabited by Carians from Minoan days [more on the Cretan Minoans in a moment]; and when, about 1000 B.C., the Ionians came there from Attica [the region of Athens], they found the old Aegean culture [of nearby ancient Troy] . . . waiting to serve as the advanced starting point of their civilization . . .
“Taking a lesson from the Phoenicians and gradually bettering their instruction, Ionian merchants established colonies as trading posts in Egypt, Italy, the Propontis [Sea of Marmara between Istanbul and the site of ancient Troy], and the Euxine [Black Sea]. Miletus alone had eighty such colonies, sixty of them in the north” (pp. 134-135, emphasis added).
Surely, then, the Milesians of Spain were from Miletus or any of its many colonies. But who were these people? They came, we have seen, from Mycenaean Greece, which was heavily Danite (once again see Appendix 2: “Were the Greeks Israelites?”). Yet Danites, it should be realized, were not the only Israelites in southern Greece.
Indeed, as amazing as it sounds, it can be shown that many inhabitants of Mycenaean Greece—and of ancient Troy—were of the tribe of Judah, which seems to have migrated through Crete. Indeed, it appears that these Jews were ruled by kings descended from Judah’s son Zerah, of the scarlet thread. From this descent emerged two main royal Zarhite lines—the Trojan royal house, from which most of European royalty is surprisingly descended, and the royal house of Athens, which became the royal line of Miletus (see Appendix 3: “Aegean Royal Lines From Zerah”).
Milesius or Miledh, the father of Ireland’s Milesian dynasty from Spain—also called Golamh or Gathelus—is referred to as either the son of Nel (also Niul or Neolus) or the son of Cecrops, the founder of Athens in Greek mythology. This is, in fact, proof positive that Ireland’s traditional histories link its Milesians to those of the Aegean. For besides the mention of Cecrops, we have already seen that the Milesians of Asia Minor traced their descent from Neleus, the ruler of Mycenaean Pylos on the Ionian Sea (who, as with other Mycenaean rulers, was likely of Jewish descent). So Milesius was probably not the actual name of the founder of the Milesian dynasty in Ireland. Rather, the name Milesius or Miledh itself meant Milesian (one from Miletus). Thus, it most likely did not just mean “soldier.”
Likewise, the name Golamh and its variants are not personal names. Rather, they simply denote nationality, coming from the same origin as Gaul and Gael. As explained in our booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy, these names denote wandering Israelites—as did the term Scythian (“Linguistic Links: What’s in a Name?,” p. 30). Interestingly, as noted elsewhere in this publication, Milesius was said to descend from the king of Scythia, one Feinius Farsaidh. But this may not be an actual personal name either. “Feinius appears to be the same word as Feni, a name for Ireland’s earliest Celtic inhabitants” (Ellis, p. 228). These were probably the Phoenicians—many of whom were Israelites.
Continuing on, the high kings of Ireland “claimed their descent from the two sons of Milesius, Eremon and Eber Fionn, who were progenitors of the Gaels in Ireland and who divided Ireland between them—Eremon ruling in the north and Eber Fionn in the south” (p. 5). Again, these may not have been personal names. We will later look at the meaning of Eremon or Heremon, which may have been a real name or at least a title. But Eber Fionn or Eber Finn may simply denote “Hebrew Phoenician.” Whatever the case, the most likely conclusion regarding the identity of the Milesian invaders of Ireland is that they were Israelites—yet not just any Israelites, but Zarhite Jewish royalty from Miletus.
~part 13 of 23~
The people of the Red Hand
The Trojans were forced out of the Aegean region through a series of national conflicts—one of which is presented to us in the famous Trojan War of Homer’s Iliad, which occurred around 1200 B.C. Some refugees seem to have migrated north into Europe via the Black Sea. Others from Troy migrated south to the area of Miletus (see Roberta Harris, The World of the Bible, 1995, map on p. 63). And still other Trojans appear to have traveled west—even all the way to Spain and France, some of them eventually migrating to Britain (see Appendix 5: “Brutus and the Covenant Land“). And we know that Milesians also migrated to Spain from the Eastern Mediterranean at a later time—ending up in Ireland.
It is amazing that two royal lines from Zerah—the Trojan dynasty and the Athenian-Milesian dynasty—both passed through the Iberian Peninsula. Arriving here, these settlers may have sailed up the Ebro River and, upon its banks, founded the city of Saragossa—which some have identified as Hebrew Zerah-gaza, meaning “stronghold of Zerah.”
Strengthening the identification with Zerah is the fact that the Milesians rulers who assumed the Irish throne were known as the people of the “Red Hand.” In fact, the Red Hand appears even today on the official flag of Northern Ireland and on the coats of arms of many Irish and Scottish clans.
This “ancient regional emblem [is known as] the blood-red right hand of Ulster” (Idrisyn Evans, The Observer’s Book of Flags, 1959, 1975, p. 28)—Ulster being the northern province of Ireland through which the high kingship was later transferred to Scotland.
An old story explains the origin of Ulster’s heraldic symbol this way: “A quarrel arose between Eremon and Eber over the right to rule all Ireland and it continued through their descendants. Eremon and Eber, so legend has it, originally made a wager on which of them would reach Ireland first. Realizing that Eber was about to reach the shore before him, Eremon is said to have cut off his hand and thrown it onto the shore, claiming to have won the bet. Thereafter the O’Neill kings [of Eremon’s line, named after the Milesian ancestor Niul and a later king in this line named Niall] adopted a symbol of a Red Hand. But a hand reaching forth is a symbol of kingship, and the severed hand is a fanciful tale” (Ellis p. 228).
Yes, it makes for interesting storytelling—and would account for the blood-red hand. Yet it should be obvious that this event did not really happen—or at least did not happen this way. No ruling chieftain would have cut off his own hand to win a race unless he were insane—in which case he would likely have been deposed. If there is any truth in the story at all, we should recognize that instead of tossing his own hand ashore, Eremon had the emblem of the blood-red hand that represented him set up on shore before his competitor’s arrival—and possibly before his own arrival. Of course, this requires that Eremon already possessed the symbol of the blood-red hand before any supposed contest.
Thus, the Red Hand must have had an older origin. This becomes even more intriguing when we consider another factor in the history of the Red Hand. It is reported that Ulster’s emblem prior to the division of Ireland in 1920, when most of Ulster became the British state of Northern Ireland, was a blood-red hand circled by a scarlet cord.
Consider: A hand red with blood—perhaps the blood of birth—encircled by a scarlet cord. Surely this is no mere coincidence! According to a Northern Irish newspaper, “one tradition has it . . . that the Red Hand goes back to biblical time; when the twin sons were being born to Judah” (David Hume, “Did a Lost Tribe of Israel Land at Carrickfergus?,” Larne Times, Dec. 24, 1986). Indeed, the scarlet thread tied around Zerah’s hand would seem rather likely to be the origin of this emblem.
Scholar Peter Ellis, however, sees hints for the origins of the Ulster emblem in various Indo-European words for king. “The terminology is related—the Irish Ri(gh) compared to the Gaelish Celtic Rix, the Latin Rex and the Sanskrit Rajan (Hindi = raj). Certainly the English king from the Gothic kunnings has no relationship, but a surprising harking back to the concept appears in the English words ‘rich’ and ‘reach.’ The ancient Indo-European concept was that a king reached forth his hand to protect his people. Also in Old Irish, for example, rige was not only the concept for kingship but also the word for the act of reaching . . . The Ui Neill’s ancient symbol of the Red Hand doubtless stems from this concept” (p. 25). Yet could it not be that the very idea of one reaching forth for kingship came from the story of Zerah reaching forth from the womb—especially considering that Israelites under Zarhite leaders were scattered across, and had a major influence over, the entire Indo-European geographical region?
Regarding the story of Zerah, the Larne Times article continues: “The Red Hand of Ulster is thus claimed in some circles to be symbolic of this event, and also considered symbolic is the fact that the ancient Knights of Ulster were the most distinguished in the history of the island. They were known as the Knights of the Red Branch.” Ellis says: “There are several orders of elite warrior corps mentioned in the sagas and chronicles of ancient Ireland. Perhaps the best known were the Ulster Red Branch Knights, or the Craobh Radh. They emerge in the Ulster Cycle of myths, especially in the famous epic Tain Bo Cualigne (Cattle Raid of Cooley), which has been compared with the Greek Iliad. Its date of origin is uncertain. Scholars have identified it as having been handed down in oral form probably from the La Tene period, from about 500 B.C.” (p. 338). Indeed, when viewed in conjunction with the Red Hand, might not the Red Branch represent the Zerah branch of Judah’s family?
This, then, provides us with even more reason to believe that the Milesian royal line of Ireland originated with Judah’s son Zerah.