Merits & Shortcomings of British-Israel, Part #1
This will be a long and varied dissertation, as Rip Van Winkle didn’t wake up suddenly, but rather it took quite a few a years. I’m not speaking of Washington Irving’s tale in The Sketch Book, where a Dutch villager, who, while out hunting in the Catskills fell asleep for twenty years, and awakened to find his world had entirely changed and himself forgotten. Our Rip Van Winkle is not the story of a single man, but that of the twelve lost tribes of Israel. Our Rip Van Winkle fell asleep about 720 B.C. and didn’t start waking up until around 1840 A.D. and is still yawning at the present time. That’s a total of 2560 years, awfully close to the predicted seven times punishment of 2520 years Yahweh inflicted on them, for 360 years equals a time.
Recently a lady from Los Angeles, California, donated to me her Israel Identity library. About four months before that, a lady from Indiana whose mother had died donated me her mother’s Israel Identity library. Among the books from the lady from California, one was entitled Anglo-Israel Or, The British Nation: The Lost Tribes Of Israel by W.H. Poole. It is a reprint of the original by Poole in 1879 (hereinafter A-I/BN). Inasmuch as Israel Identity was in its infancy at that time, there were many misconceptions on the topic. In some areas of the message of Israel Identity, it is amazing how far they had advanced in the short period from 1840 until 1879! The purpose of this exposé is to praise them where they were correct, and give them constructive criticism where they were in error. Of course, we cannot return to their time period to do this, but we can critique the writings they left behind. I doubt whether we could have managed as well as they had we lived during their time.
On the introduction page to A-I/BN there is a list of names of the early teachers of Israel Identity, and had it not been for them, we lost Israelites of today would still be groping in the dark, so we owe a lot to them:
“In presenting to my readers the results of my researches on this interesting subject, I refer them to the writings of Sharon Turner, John Wilson, William Carpenter, Edward Hine, T.C. Balmer, E.W. Bird, Harrison Oxley, J.G. Shaw, Rev. F.R. Glover, M.A., Dr. W. Holt Yates, Bishop Titcomb, Major H.A. Tracey, R.A., Rev. Canon Brownrigg, Rev. B.W. Saville, M.A., Rev. Dr. Potter, Rev. J.T. Gott, Dr. Latham, Charles L. Brace, Lieut. Col. Vallancey, L.L.D., Sir Walter Elliott, K.C.S.I, Rev. H. Newton, B.A., Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, F.R.S.S.I.E., Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Doctor Brunnow, Astronomer Royal for Ireland, and a host of others from whose writings I have made quotations.
Thankfully, I have many of the writings of these men in my library on Israel Identity, though not all. Especially, I would like to have the writings of Sharon Turner, although I have many references to him. I do have, though, the book The British Nation Identified With Lost Israel by Edward Hine. I received this book from a very kind reader of my Watchman’s Teaching Letters about nine years ago, who searched the Internet to locate a copy of it.
In a brochure which I entitled The Early History Of Israel Identity, I quoted from The Youth Message, London, England, as found in Howard B. Rand’s Destiny Magazine, January, 1948, the topic being “John Wilson and Edward Hine”, by Marie King:
“John Wilson was born at Kilmarnock, Scotland, in 1779 and commenced his Inquiry into the Israelitish origin of the Anglo-Saxons in the year 1837. Studying at great length in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, he succeeded in tracing the Anglo-Saxons as far back as Media.
“In the following year he gave a series of lectures which proved to be most successful. Owing to their popularity, he published his lectures in book form in 1840 under the title Our Israelitish Origin, in which he traced the migrations of the peoples of Israel as they made their way across the continent of Europe to these Isles. He brings evidence to bear from Diodorus and from Ptolemy, supporting the earlier history of the Israelites. He studied the works of Rawlinson, Herodotus and Josephus and quotes extensively from Sharon Turner.
“The Lectures given by John Wilson attracted the attention of very distinguished men, amongst them being none other than the eminent Sharon Turner himself, also Piazzi Smyth (Astronomer Royal for Scotland and one of the first interpreters of Great Pyramid prophecy), the Rev. F.R.A. Glover (compiler of the genealogical chart of Her Majesty Queen Victoria), and Dr. George Moore, author of The Lost Tribes, or Saxons of the East and West.
“It was at one of these lectures that Edward Hine had his heart and his eyes opened to the glorious heritage which is ours. Upon the realization of the tremendous responsibilities of this, God’s [Yahweh’s] servant nation, he from that time forward devoted a large part of his life to the study of this wonderful truth, lecturing for several years in England, Ireland and Scotland, later touring America for about three years.
“His first book to be published was Seven Identifications, followed by Twenty-seven Identifications. These were soon increased to Forty-seven Identifications. Not long afterward he started a monthly publication, Life from the Dead (1873); this was followed by Leading the Nation to Glory, which was afterward renamed The Glory Leader.
“In Mr. Wilson’s house near St. Pancras the ‘Anglo-Israel Association’ was founded (1874). This was followed by ‘The British-Israel Identity Corporation’ about 1880, of which Edward Hine was the founder. A weekly publication named The British-Israel and Judah Prophetic Messenger and Universal News was started, which later was renamed The Messenger, and later still changed its name once more to The Covenant People. ....”
You will notice that here it is stated of John Wilson: “He brings evidence to bear from Diodorus and from Ptolemy, supporting the earlier history of the Israelites. He studied the works of Rawlinson, Herodotus and Josephus and quotes extensively from Sharon Turner.” Therefore it is quite evident that these early pioneers of Israel Identity studied extensively the Classical Greek writings. In doing so, they were hunting for all the evidence they could find on the migrations of the lost tribes, thus they became “hunters” as described at Jer. 16:14, 16 which states:
“14 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith Yahweh, that it shall no more be said, Yahweh liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt ... 16 Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith Yahweh, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.”
The “fishers” in verse 16 are none other than the disciples of Christ where He stated at Matthew 4:19: “And he saith unto them, Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”
When is the last time you heard a pastor quote this passage? Did he ever make reference to Jeremiah 16:16 and expound on the relationship between the two verses? It should be noted that The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, edited by Jerome H. Smith (a special book of cross-references) links these two verses. If then, the calling by Christ (Yahshua) of His disciples was the fulfillment of Jeremiah 16:16, just when was/is the fulfillment of the “hunters” supposed to take place? Why are the clergy so quiet about the question of the “hunters”? If the calling of the “fishers” was all that important, it would seem the calling of the “hunters” would be equally significant and carry as much weight as the calling of the fishers!
Who is it today that hunts “out of the holes of the rocks” other than the archaeologists? And don’t the archaeologists consider it quite a treasure when they find an ancient cuneiform clay tablet library? I did a paper which I entitled Who Are The Hunters? where I gave a concise review of the main archaeological finds since 1717, when the Society of Antiquaries was set up in London and received a royal charter in 1751 and issued its first Archeologia in 1770. Not only are the archaeologists the hunters of Jer. 16:16, but the ancient Classical writings are also a valuable tool in hunting for the lost Israelites. When I read where the early British-Israel researchers studied the Classics, it impresses me that they were truly dedicated students, and that we should use the same sources. There are only two ways that this can be done. That is, either learn the Greek or Latin which they were written in, or find a good English translation of the writings, which is only second best. I don’t know of anyone who has done a better job of researching the Greek Classics than William Finck, for whom I have personally typed many documents, and have them available as brochures on my Teaching Aids List, which are now also posted on the Internet. That makes William every bit as much of a “hunter” as any archaeologist, and he can read and analyze it directly from the Greek manuscripts. In every respect the hunter, William Finck, has searched and continues to search for any evidence he can find concerning the lost tribes of Israel! Now you can see why I’m so impressed by the early British-Israel researchers who have brought us much important evidence of our heritage. It is similar where at Romans 15:20 and 1 Cor. 3:12, Paul speaks of building on a proper foundation. We in Israel Identity can build on the foundation of these early discoverers of our Israel legacy. It’s not that these early diligent scholars in British-Israel were correct in every conclusion they hypothesized, for surely they were not, but they set a solid foundation for later scholars to rectify and bring in line with Scripture. To give you some cases in point, I will quote from pages 42-43 of A-I/BN, where Mr. W.H. Poole states:
“MIXTURE OF RACES
“Another objector says, ‘There is a great difficulty about mixing so many nationalities together, and still claiming for their descendants a distinct nationality, and the identity of the same people.’ My reply must be brief. As to the admixture of races, we do well to note what was forbidden and what was allowed. For very good reasons the Ammonite and the Moabite were utterly forbidden; the offspring of an alliance with them was not to be naturalized even in the tenth generation. The Edomite, on the other hand, could be admitted in the third generation, because he was the descendant of Jacob’s brother. – Deuteronomy xxiii. Also the offspring of an Egyptian alliance could be admitted in the third generation. We must not forget that Joseph married an Egyptian wife; their two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, the objector would call half-breeds, and would be troubled, no doubt, about calling them Israelites, but we find they were recognized at once as belonging to the honoured twelve, and were so included and so recorded, and especially blessed.
“We must also remember that in the genealogy of our Lord, a Rahab, a Canaanitish Gentile woman of Jericho was required, and a Ruth, a Moabitish heathen was permitted. If so, and so it is, this objection cannot amount to much. I cannot here enlarge, nor is it necessary.”
Well if Mr. W.H. Poole were living today, I would try to explain to him that the Edomite at Deut. 23:7 should have been rendered “Syrian” instead; the error being due to what Strong’s Concordance explains as a clerical error. In the Hebrew language the “d” and “r” look almost identical, and copyists in the past have sometimes written an “r” for a “d” and “d” for an “r”.
In The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, volume E-J, page 24, under the subtitle Edom, I found this:
“... there are places where, because of the similarity between the letters ד (d) and ר (r), the text has wrongly read ארם, ‘Aram’ (i.e., Syria), and ארמי, ‘Arameans’ (i.e., Syrians), for אדם, ‘Edom’, and אדמי, ‘Edomites’, such as II Kings 16:6; II Chr. 20:2, where the KJV has followed the MT, but the RSV has followed an emended text.” Now we have to excuse Mr. W.H. Poole, for he probably wasn’t aware of this during his time. Mr. W.H. Poole, though, is correct concerning the Ammonite and the Moabite.
As to Joseph marrying an Egyptian wife, Mr. W.H. Poole’s assertion lacks the full evidence of the Biblical story of Joseph. If one will remember, at Gen. 41:45 it is recorded: “And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.”
Mr. W.H. Poole was evidently unaware that before the city of On was named “On” it was called Beth-shemesh, or house of Shem, also meaning house of the sun, and called Heliopolis by the Greeks. This information can be found in The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia Of The Bible, vol. 4, page 535. From this it is quite evident that Joseph’s wife, Asenath, was as racially pure as the falling snow. How some of the tribe of Shem settled in Egypt I have no answer, other than this evidence, which evidently Mr. W.H. Poole didn’t have at hand.
There is another aspect concerning Joseph’s wife Asenath, and that is the fact that she was not under the covenant given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but she would come under the covenant by her marriage to Joseph, so her two sons Ephraim and Manasseh were not half-breeds in any sense of the word! On the other hand, a male non-Israelite (not of Jacob’s lineage) from the house of Shem could not come under the covenant by marrying an Israelite woman.
As for Rahab being “a Canaanitish Gentile woman”, Mr. W.H. Poole is overlooking the fact that Rahab displayed her tribe’s symbol of the “scarlet-thread”, which definitely makes her of the tribe of Zerah-Judah. Neither was Rahab a harlot, as Josephus clearly shows in his account. If you are not familiar with the fact that Rahab was not a harlot, you need to get a copy of my Watchman’s Teaching Letter #120 for April, 2008. How Rahab ever ended up in Jericho is uncertain, but it is quite evident that most of Zerah-Judah left Egypt before the Exodus and ended up at Troy. So Rahab, like Asenath, was also as racially pure as the falling snow.
Nor was “Ruth a Moabitish heathen”, as Mr. W.H. Poole states here. There is still an erroneous claim made today that Ruth was a “gentile Moabite” who became an ancestor of Yahshua Christ. Anyone who makes such a declaration really hasn’t thoroughly researched the Biblical history surrounding the story of Ruth.
If one will check, he will find that under the Joshua period, the Israelites killed and displaced the occupants of the entire land of Moab, and then reoccupied the land of Moab for themselves for 300 years. Please check the following scriptures: Num. 21:25, 29, 31; 33-35; Deut. 2:32-34; Deut. 3:12-16; 23:3; Judg. 11:12-26; Zeph. 2:9; Isa. 25:10. Ruth was an Israelite who merely dwelt in the land of Moab. Ruth was a Moabite only by geographic area rather than by genetics. Christ was of a pure bloodline all the way back to Adam!
To understand the chronological order of events, one must fathom that: Firstly, Sihon, king of the Amorites, had conquered and occupied the kingdom of Moab. Secondly, that after Sihon had absorbed the Moabites, Israel destroyed both the Amorites as well as the Moabites whom Sihon had conquered and brought under his rule. Upon driving the Amorites (+ absorbed Moabites) out of the promised land, it is recorded at Joshua 18:7 that half of the tribe of Manasseh, along with the tribes of Gad and Reuben, moved into the former land of Moab east of the Jordan. It was later, during the Judges period, that an Israelite lady from the conquered land of Moab by the name of Ruth journeyed with her mother-in-law Naomi back to Bethlehem. With a King James Bible in his hands, this matter of Ruth should have been fully resolved by Mr. W.H. Poole! But I would estimate that less than 1 tenth of 1% of all Bible scholars over the last 2000 years have been able to resolve this matter about Ruth being an Israelite!
Let me state it yet another way for those who find it hard to understand that Ruth was an Israelite and not a Moabite. At the time of Ruth, the Israelites had occupied the the land of Moab for approximately 300 years without interruption! I don’t believe there is any problem of understanding that at the time of Ruth all Israel was ruled by judges. That means that Israelite judges were assigned to half of the tribe of Manasseh, along with the tribes of Gad and Reuben, on the east side of the Jordan river in the land formerly known as Moab. In other words, when Elimelech and Naomi and their two sons left Bethlehem due to the famine, they left the jurisdiction of their judge at Bethlehem and came under the jurisdiction of the Israelite judge in the land of Moab for whatever particular tribe of Manasseh, Reuben or Gad who had settled there. Therefore, when the two sons of Elimelech and Naomi took women of Moab as wives, they had taken wives from one of the three tribes of Manasseh, Gad or Reuben. Then after Elimelech and their two sons had died, Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, and Ruth her Israelite daughter-in-law (of Manasseh, Gad or Reuben) decided to return with her. Then both Naomi and Ruth left the jurisdiction of the Israelite judge in the land of Moab and came under the jurisdiction of the Israelite judge at Bethlehem.
Therefore, there wasn’t a single drop of impure, heathen blood flowing in Yahshua Christ’s veins! Not through Joseph’s wife Asenath; not through Rahab of the scarlet-thread; and not through the Israelite lady, Ruth! I hope that some of the shortcomings of British-Israel are now becoming evident to the reader! British-Israel also makes the mistake of designating the Germans as Assyrians, whereas the greater part of the Germanic tribes were from the tribe of Judah.
Today the leading publication for British-Israel seems to be The Ensign Message from Newton Institute, Longs Court, Leicester Square, London, England WC2H 7HR. I have to give them credit though, for in the last few years they are correcting some of their shortcomings. They now recognize that the German people are by-and-large Israelites. They even printed one article by a person who recognized the satanic origin of the Canaanite-jews. In their April-June 2007 issue they printed an article by Bertrand L. Comparet, which is surely a move in the right direction. In the upcoming parts of this dialog on British-Israel, I hope to show many of their praiseworthy positions. As I said before, Rip Van Winkle has not fully awakened from his sleep!