This is the 11th critical review of the collective beliefs known as British-Israel, and as with the first ten, we will address statements which W.H. Poole made in his book entitled Anglo-Israel Or, The British Nation: The Lost Tribes Of Israel (hereinafter A-I/BN). The purpose of this series is to confirm such a belief system where it is correct and to give constructive criticism where it is in error. With this paper we will explore more of the topics which Poole addresses, and we’ll evaluate whether they are valid or flawed. We will start this session by quoting Poole on page 38:
“THE NEW NAME.
“We will now look around us for our Saxon ancestors and see if we can find any links connecting our fathers with those wanderers in the country and cities of the Medes. Where did this large body of enterprising men go to? Where did our Saxon ancestors come from?
“Dr. Abbadie, Amsterdam, in 1723, said, ‘Unless the ten tribes have flown into the air, or have been plunged to the centre of the earth, they must be sought for in the North and West, and in the British Isles.’
“First, as to the name, ‘Saxon,’ the dictionaries say, it comes from ‘Seaxe,’ a short sword; but short swords, or long knives, were in use thousands of years before we hear of any such word as Saxon.
“As to the ‘new name’ by which the Lord’s people are to be known when he calls them to their own land, Isaiah tells us that it shall be a ‘new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name.’ We are to find the new name in the word of the Lord; not that we are to look for a new revelation from God. It is to be found in the one he has given.
“In former times this people were called ‘Hebrews,’ then ‘children of Abraham,’ then ‘sons of Jacob,’ and ‘children of Israel,’ but as we come down the stream of time we find they are called, ‘sons of Isaac,’ Amos vii, 16. In the closing books of the Old Testament we find the new name. This also had been clearly revealed by God to Abraham when he made the promise, for he said, Genesis xxi, 12, ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called.’ This passage has been repeated on through the ages, until Paul tells us, Romans ix, 7, ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called,’ also Hebrews xi, 18. ‘In Isaac.’ How in Isaac? Drop the letter I, which is very common in the East, and we have ‘Saac,’ the letter C is often found changed to K, and often to X, so we have Saax, which with the termination ‘ons,’ gives us Saaxons.”
My evaluation: Poole might have something here. I have heard many say that the new name that the Almighty had in mind is the name “Christian”. The term “Christian”, however, means “anointed”, and Israel was called “mine anointed” in the Old Testament at 1 Chron. 16:22, so that is not a new designation. [Back to Poole.]
“Dr. W. Holt Yates, says, ‘The word ‘Saxon’ comes from ‘sons of Isaac,’ by dropping the prefix I. and adding the affix ‘ons.’ He gives us Saac, Saak, Saach, Saax, Sach-sen, Sak-sen. He shows that in most of the Eastern languages ‘sons of’ is written ‘sunnia.’ As with us in Scotland ‘Mac’ means, son of, thus, MacDonald, son of Donald; and ‘Fitz’ in England, thus Fitz William, son of William. So in the East, ‘Saac-Sunnia’ means sons of Saac, or sons of Isaac. It is a little curious to glean from the history of those ancient nations, and from the stone monuments of those early times, the various forms in which this word is to be found. I will here insert a few from a list of my own gleaned from ancient history. Thus, ‘sons of Isaac,’ sons of Saac, Saac-Sunnia, Saac Sunia, Saac-Suna, Saac-Sena, Saca-pena, Esakska, Sacae-Amyrqui, Beth-Sakai, Sunia-Sakai, Sakai-Suna, Saca-Suna, Sacæ-Sunæ, Sackasina, Sachka-Sunnia, Sacacine, Saka-Suna, Sacas-Sani, Sakas-Saeni, Saxi-Suna, Sach-Suna, Sachi, Sacha, Sakah, Saachus, Saacus, Sacho, Saxo, Saxoi, Saxonia, Saxones, Saxae, Sachsen, Sacksen, Saxe-Sen, Saxone, Saxony, Saxon. ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called.’
“But I must now produce proof from reliable authors, that those people were so called. I will not quote a tenth part of what I have on hand. I have before me a very ancient map of the country of the Medes, and directly north of the Medes we find a most fertile valley called Sacasena and Sacapene [Sacasene?]. These names are on the map. Those valleys were so called from those tribes during their residence there.
“In Rev. L. Porter’s ‘Giant Cities of Bashan’ this interesting item ‘Turning away from Batanea we rode along the mountain side eastward to ‘Shuka’; this is a very old town. Ptolemy calls it ‘Saecaea’.’ Only a few of its antique houses remain, and its shattered ruins of temples are seen on every side. Around Shuka are tombs and towers, with numerous tablets over the doors which record the names of the dead who once lay there. There can be no mistake as to who these people were here called Sacaea, and here we find them in the land of Israel, on the northern slope of the mountains of Bashan, overlooking the boundless plains of Damascus. Here the Sacaea are traced to the very place where our Saxon-Israelites, sons of Isaac, lived before their captivity.
“Strabo, the great Greek historian who lived 19 A.D., says, ‘The most ancient Greek writers called the people who lived beyond the Caspian sea Sacae or Messegatae. In modern parlance Saxons and Goths. He also says, those people called the ‘Sacae’ got possession of the most fertile valleys in Armenia, which was called after their own name, Sacca-senae.’ The historian and the map are clear proofs of the existence of such a people.
“Diodorus of Sicily says, ‘The Sacae sprung from a people in Media, who obtained a vast and glorious empire.’
“Ptolemy mentions a Scythian race sprung from the Sakai, called Saxones, they came, he said from the country of the Medes.
“Pliny says, ‘The Sakai were among the most distinguished people of Scythia who settled in Armenia, and were called Sacca-sani.’
“Albinus said, ‘The Saxons were descended from the ancient Sacae of Asia, and that in the process of time they came to be called Saxons.’
“Æschylus, the celebrated Grecian poet specially mentions that, ‘The Sacae were noted for good laws, and were preeminently a righteous people.’
“Prideaux says, ‘The Cimbrians were driven from their country by a people called Asæe, who came from between the Euxine and Black Seas, and from whom came those Angli, who, with the Saxons, afterwards took possession of England.’
“On the Nineveh marbles, we read that a people called Esak-ska rebelled against the Assyrians about 670 B.C., that is nearly fifty years after the captivity.
“In 516 B.C. Darius Hystaspes inscribed on a famous rock called the ‘Behistan.’ the history of ‘Iskunka,’ the chief of the Sacae who rebelled against him.
“Palgrave, in his History of the Anglo-Saxons, gives a drawing (p. 221) of a Runic ring found in Norway, of the possible date of the second century of the Christian era, when the Scandinavian population were emigrating to the North of Europe, on which is engraved a perfect representation of a Greek cross, while a penny of our own Alfred the Great, coined a thousand years ago, has on the obverse side the symbol of a Greek cross, the exact counterpart of the one which appears on the head of Iskunka, the chief named on that famous rock of Behistan.
“Sharon Turner says, ‘The Saxons were a Scythian nation and were called Saca, Sacha, Saki, Sachsen.’ He also says, ‘It is peculiarly interesting for us to consider the immigration of the Cymry, the Goths, and Saxons, because from these branches not only our own immediate ancestors, but also those of the most celebrated nations of Europe have unquestionably descended.’
“The Rev. W.L. Bevan, writer of the article, ‘Gomer’ in Smith’s dictionary of the Bible, justly observes that ‘Gomer is generally recognised as the progenitor of the early Cimmerians, of the later Cimbri, and the other branches of the Celtic family, and the modern Gael and Cymry, the latter preserving with very slight deviation the original name. After the expulsion of the Cimmerians from Asia Minor, their name disappears in its original form; but there can be no doubt that both the name and the people are to be recognised in the Cimbri, whose abodes were fixed during the Roman Empire in the north and west of Europe’.”
At this point, one of Poole’s contemporary critics states in opposition to him:
“Rev. Mr. --- says, ‘There is one difficulty about the Scythians i.e. the fact of their name appearing frequently upon ancient Assyrian tablets and cylinders, ages before Israel was carried captive.’ I [Poole] have quoted his own words exactly. This objection vanishes at once, when you see several colonies of those very same people migrating to that country ages before the captivity. Is that so? Yes it is! In Genesis xxxviii, 30, we read of one Zarah, a brother of Pharez, son of Judah, who became a Scythe, a wanderer, he and his whole family of five sons, 1 Chronicles ii, 6. Moreover, this family took with them members of all the tribes, and went away north east, and founded a Scythian nation. It was not long until a colony of Simeon followed them away in the fertile valleys of the east, where they found ‘fat pasture and good, and wide, and quiet, and peaceable,’ 1 Chronicles iv, 39-40. The sons of Reuben, also went away to the Euphrates and joined the former Scythes, and grew up a strong nation in a few years, I Chronicles v, 9-10:
“‘And eastward he inhabited unto the entering in of the wilderness from the river Euphrates: because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead. And in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagarites, who fell by their hand: and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the east land of Gilead.’
“Also the sons of Reuben and of Gad, with 44,000 of an army, gave a good account of themselves in the work of extension, 18-20:
“‘The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war. And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.’
“Here we have the names and the persons, wanderers, true Scythians, in large numbers hundreds of years before Israel were made captive; they no doubt erected the tablets and monuments referred to.”
My evaluation: It is my duty to interrupt W.H. Poole at this point, for while he did quite well here, on the other hand, he is confusing the issue. Poole, as long as he was referring to historians such as Strabo, Diodorus, Ptolemy, Pliny, Albinus and Æschylus was on the right track to identifying the migrations of Zerah-Judah. But he goes astray in attempting to include Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh. I believe what was confusing Poole is the word “tent/s” in the above passages of Scripture. Evidently Poole, when he read “tent” in these passages, assumed that they also became Scythians. It is true that the Hebrew word #5521 “sook-kaw” can mean “tent”, that is not the Hebrew word used in these passages. No doubt, Poole had an English dictionary in his possession, and the present-day Webster’s Dictionary describes “Scythian” as, “... any of a nomadic and warlike people who lived in ancient Scythia ...” At 1 Chron. 5:9-10 the word for “tents” is rather #168 ô’hel, and can also mean “tent” and translated in the KJV as covering, dwelling place, home and tabernacle. Had Poole checked 1 Chron. 5:6, he would have discovered that Beerah was a Reubenite chieftain taken into exile by the Assyrian king Tiglathpileser III apparently during the reign of Pekah. Therefore, this passage is not contemporary with the time of the migrations Zerah-Judah! Otherwise, Poole did quite well on the Classical historians and the descendants of Zerah-Judah, but he is confusing the story by bringing in Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh. Just because the Scythians lived in tents is no sign that everyone who lived in tents were Scythians. [Back to Poole.]
“W.H.S. Aubrey, in his History of England, states that Herodotus, describing the Cassiterides, or Tin Islands, in the West of Europe, says, that the tin came from Cornwall. The country was known to the Phoenicians who traded for tin, which, when mixed with copper, was the well known bronze of early times.
“This metal was largely used in Solomon’s temple. This tin was found in Cornwall, England. It was called ‘bright iron.’
“Sir Edward Creasy, a distinguished antiquarian, in his history of England, says, ‘The British tin mines mainly supplied the glorious adornment of Solomon’s temple.’
“When the power of the Medo-Persian Empire was broken, and all hindrances removed, the commission from the Lord was given to Israel. Isaiah xxiii, 6, ‘Pass ye over to Tarshish, pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish.’
“They could now go as a river, in streams, none to hinder them. They are commanded to go to Tarshish.
“The Lord moreover had said, Isaiah lxvi, 19, ‘I will send those that escape of them (i.e. Israel) unto Tarshish, and Javan, and to the Islands afar off, (or Yarish Islands) that have not seen my glory, nor heard my fame, and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles [sic nations].’
“Who does not see in this passage the divine will clearly indicated as to the country to which they were to go; and the glorious privileges they were to enjoy; and the grand and glorious missionary work they were to perform among the Gentile nations after their settlement in their island home. Have not the great missionary associations of Great Britain been doing the work here spoken of long centuries ago? ‘They shall declare his glory among the Gentiles [sic nations].’
“In Ezekiel it is said, ‘that in the latter days Sheba and Dedan, and the Merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof were to be associated in commerce and in war.’ Those young lions will aid in finding the old lion.
“In view of the overthrow of Tyre, Isaiah wrote, xxiii ch. ‘Howl, oh ye ships of Tarshish.’ He says ‘It was revealed to them from the land of Chittim.’ The message came to Javan and Dan (England and Ireland) across the straits of Dover, from France as we call it, and the next verse is:–
“‘Be still ye inhabitants of the Isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea have replenished.’
“The same people on those Isles of Tarshish are exhorted to quietness and trust in the Lord.
“This was a cry of hard times, when the great commercial emporium was destroyed, and the eastern trade cut off.
“The ‘escaped’ of Israel and the ‘preserved’ of Israel were sent over to Tarshish, and the Lord promises them four things, ‘the comely’ and ‘the beautiful,’ ‘the excellent,’ and ‘the glorious.’ Has he not made good his promise to them long ago?
“Ortellius says ‘The ten tribes went north and west of Media, to a country called Arsareth, where, on entering, they took the name of Gau-thei; or people of God’.”
My evaluation: I have checked my 1894 Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, under the topic of Phoenicia, vol. 18, page 819, and Poole is correct that the Cassiterides are the Tin Islands at Cornwall. I also found verification for this in vol. 21 under the topic “Scilly Islands”, pages 486-487 which states, “The Scilly Isles are probably the Cassiterides or ‘Tin Islands’ ...” Also, the only evidence that I could find concerning Tarshish was the Tarshish in Spain along the Guadalquivir river. It should also be noted that Poole didn’t quote Isaiah 66:19 in its entirety, which reads thusly in the KJV:
“And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.”
I see Tarshish, Javan and the isles afar off as three separate entities! Poole is simply attempting to apply all three of these entities to Britain alone! This does not, though, diminish the importance of Britain! [Back to Poole.]
In a previous quotation from Esdras that name Arsareth occurs. It is a question of great interest and importance. Where is this country called Arsa-reth, said to be so far away from Media that it would require one year and a half to reach it ? I will answer that question by quoting from the pen of Rev. James McIntosh, curate of Hebburn-on-Tyne. His knowledge of the Hebrew will not be questioned. He says, Arsareth is composed of two roots, ‘Ars,’ and ‘Areth,’ this last meaning ‘land,’ or earth, or country, giving us Ars-land, or Erse-land, or Ireland. It means, ‘to betroth,’ or ‘to espouse,’ signifying, ‘the land of Espousals,’ or the land of Betrothment. Read this in connection with Hosea ii, I4-20, where Israel is brought into the wilderness; there they become a christian [sic] people; there they rejoice as in the days of their national prosperity; there they forget the names of their idols; there God causes them to dwell safely, and then he says, I9:
“‘And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. And I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the Lord’.”
Objection by William Finck: “Arsareth is certainly NOT Ireland! What a stretch that is! Ar + Sereth = the land around the Sereth river in modern Hungary. The name also appears on towns in both Hungary and Romania.” [back to Poole]
“LAND OF ESPOUSALS.
The betrothed are to be married when ‘their land shall be called Buelah, for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.’
“The same author traces the word Kelt, or Celt and Gael, or Gaelic and the Cymbri, and Engli’, or Angli, and Saxon, all to their original Hebrew; and he says, ‘All these races, then, – the Danes, Saxons, Angles, Gaels, Celts, Cymbri, and the Northmen, are the lost tribes.’ In conclusion he says, ‘We have clearly proved that the place ‘Arsareth,’ to which the ten tribes journeyed, was no other than Ireland, a word which is nearer Erseland in its form than is Ireland; and that all the peoples of these islands can be identified with the lost tribes. This kind of evidence is peculiarly convincing, and amounts to a moral certainty, if not to an actual mathematical demonstration.’
“Parkhurst, the learned lexicographer, says, ‘It seems not a little remarkable that the Northern nations should have retained the Hebrew word nearly in its physical sense. The Saxon ‘Bael’ signifies a fire. Bel, Bal, or Bael, was the name of the chief deity of the ancient Irish, which, according to Col. Vallancey, they derived from the Punic’.” [see Hos. 2:16-17]
My evaluation: This matter of the remarriage of Yahweh to Israel is very important, and Poole does quite well by bringing this subject to the fore! This remarriage is a long and complicated subject and cannot be addressed in this short space.