Merits & Shortcomings of British-Israel, Part #12


This is the 12th critical review of the beliefs known collectively as British-Israel, and as with the first eleven, 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 support such a belief system where it is correct and 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 47:


I have noticed those Islands of Britain, as named in the Bible, called the ‘Isles of the West.’ The Isles of Tarshish, Javan, and Earsland or Arsareth, we find other names given to at an early day, they were called ‘Yarish,’ a Hebrew word, which means the land of the sun setting, or the land afar off, this name comes very near the word Irish.”

My critique: It is difficult to identify any particular place as “Tarshish” in the Bible, and from the Internet to identify “Javan” with Britain, and almost impossible to identify “Earsland” with anything in the world, and for “Arsareth” I could find no other than 2 Esdras 13:45 in the KJV Apocrypha in the Libronix Digital Library! Now back to Poole where he does a little better:

The Phoenecians [sic], or men from the country of Palms, who were the first traders to these Islands called them ‘Baratanac,’ the land of tin, from this name comes our word Britannia. The Phoenecians [sic] also called them ‘Ibernae,’ the farthest off land. To them Ireland was the farthest off land: they knew nothing of America. From this name Iberne came our Hibernæ. In the days of Grecian conquest the names of all those places were changed; those Islands were called ‘Skotee,’ which means ‘the land of the sun setting,’ from this name by the ordinary changes, we have Skuthes, or wanderers, and Scuthei, Scuthe, Scuit, Scuithan, Scythian, Scote, Scot, Scottish, Scotland. The Greeks also called those islands ‘Cassisterides [sic Cassiterides],’ from Cassisteros [sic Cassiteros], the name given to tin: the tin islands.

Aristotle, in his treatise of the Globe, called ‘De Mundo,’ dedicated to Alexander the Great, calls those islands ‘Albion,’ so did Festus in his account of the voyage of Hamilcar. The inhabitants then in Scotland spent a long time in Albania in the east, and, as was often done, they named their new country after the one from which they came; the same people do the same thing now, when they emigrate. In the account of the Argonautica, Ireland was called ‘Ierinda.’

Ptolemy called those islands ‘Iourna.’ He says, ‘They were peopled by the descendants of the Hebrews, and were skilled in smelting operations, and excelled in working metals. The Romans called them Anglesea’.”

William Finck’s critique: “The ‘Argonautica’ has nothing to do with Ireland. And from what I can find, Iernus is a river in Ptolemy’s Geography, copies of which are greatly interpolated and unreliable.” Back to Poole:


We must now turn our attention to the means and agencies used by God to prepare the way for the establishment of a new nationality, and the building up of a new Empire. To find the tribe of Dan is to find all Israel, because God had said that the captives that escaped should have the same meeting place in the far off isles.

When the land was divided by lot, Dan received only a small portion in the South, on the seaboard. He soon resolved to acquire more territory, and adopting the motto, ‘Push things,’ he won a territory north, near Lebanon. Here were the oaks of Bashan; the cedars of Lebanon; the commerce of Damascus; the enterprising Phoenicians, and close by, the emporiums of trade, Tyre and Sidon. A splendid country for ship-builders and traders. Dan soon began to make his name and influence felt, and in order to perpetuate that name he changed the name of the chief city, Laish, and called it Dan, (Judges xviii, 19) after the name of his father.

It must be remembered that Dan had a large shipping trade 1,296 years B.C. For when Deborah found that Barak was a wishey-washey, linsey-woolsey, milk and water sort of man, she, the noble woman, mounted the charger herself, and led the host to a glorious victory. On her return from the well fought field, she sang in lofty strains her patriotic joy; and in that song she mildly reproved Dan, saying, ‘Why did Dan remain in his ships?’ The fact is, Dan was looking after the bread question. He was engaged in carrying freight for the very people she made to bite the dust, and he did not want to endanger his commercial relations for the sake of a local war. Besides, an Eastern army could not hurt him so long as Judah and Benjamin were unconquered, as their territory lay between him and the enemy. [Finck remark: ‘So much conjecture’.]

A people, so bold and enterprising as to change the name of the first city they conquered, were not slow to write the same name upon other objects as they had opportunity. Judges xviii, 12: – Their first camping ground was named Mahaneh-Dan, and, all along Northern and Central Europe, we find such names as the Dan-ube, the Dan-iester, the Dan-au, the Dan-an, the Daninn, Dan-tzig, Dan-enbury, Dan-etz, the Dan-aster, the Dan-dari, the Dan-ez, the Don, the Dacia, the Davi, the Be-davi, the Betavia, the Sea of Moses, and the Country of Moses, or Morcia, and the Dan-ric Alps, and the Danish Archiepelago. In Ptolemy’s map of Ireland we find Dan’s-Lough, Dan-Sowar, Dan-Sobairse, Dan’s resting place, and Dan’s habitation, and Dan-gan Castle (the birth-place of the Duke of Wellington). The old inhabitants of Ireland were called Dan-onians. It is well-known that among the ancient Kings of Ireland there were several Davids, three Solomons, with a Daniel in every house down to Dan O’Connell. [Finck’s remark: “????”]

You may also find a Jeremiah in almost every family. They used to sing,

“‘It matters not wheree'er you roam,

You’re sure to find a Jerry’s home’.”

My critique: I find little to criticize on “Dan” above.


If we remember that Dan was the firstborn in Rachel’s household, the reason why he was so named, and the meaning of his name, and the prominent part this tribe took in leading and in governing the nation; that, in peace and in war, this tribe furnished them their chief officers and chief architects, their Samsons, and their mighty men, we will see a divine harmony in the purposes and plans of God in that Dan should still be their chief leader, and the architect of their national greatness. It was for Dan to conquer a new territory in the west, and so far to change its name and character as to prepare for the noble work of transplanting the throne and sceptre of David, and a prince of the tribe of Dan was united with a royal princess of David’s house, that the wandering tribes might be gathered to their long promised throne and sceptre.

The ‘many days’ of Hosea iii, 4, were fast drawing to a close, the throne of David was soon to be hurled from Mount Zion, and Jerusalem to be laid in the dust. It was necessary that Dan and his ship builders, and his merchants should go to found a new nation and a kingdom, which was to be the great agency in the hand of God of blessing all nations.

In Camden’s Brittania, I find the following curious extract, ‘Postellus, in his public lectures in Paris, derives the name Ireland from the Jews [sic Judahites] so that Irin is quasi Jurin, i.e. the land of the Jews [sic Judahites]. For he says that the Jews [sic Judahites], (forsooth) being the most skilful soothsayers, and presaging that the empire of the world would at last settle in that strong angle towards the west, took possession of these parts, and of Ireland, very early, and that the Syrians, and the Tyrians also, endeavoured to settle themselves there, that they might lay the foundation of a future empire.’

It is interesting to find this early impartial testimony to a conviction on the Jewish [sic Judaean] mind of a transfer of the kingdom to the ‘Isles of the West.’ The divine intimation to Jeremiah, to plant a new kingdom, was, no doubt, the origin of the belief here ascribed to the soothsayers. Camden died 276 years ago, so we see our Israelitish theory then had firm believers among the learned ones.”

My critique: It is painfully clear here that Poole was not aware of the difference between a pureblooded Judahite of the tribe of Judah and a Canaanite-jew! Back to Poole:


I want you to note specially the fact that, when the census was taken as recorded in 1 Chronicles [ch. 21], and all Israel were said to be numbered, there is not one word said of the army, or navy, or the families of Dan. Not one word! Nor is there any mention made of Dan in the record in the Revelation, ch. vii, where the thousands of Israel were sealed.”

My critique: Poole is NOT correct that Dan is not mentioned in 1 Chronicles ch. 21, (see v. 2). AND the absence of Dan in Revelation, ch. 7 is for a different reason; that being that Dan settled too far north in Europe to be affected by the Roman catholic persecutions of the Protestants. Back to Poole:

Yet, when Ezekiel speaks of the tribes after their return to their own land, the tribe of Dan has a most honourable position among his brethren. I am aware of the special pleading of a host of expositors, who have each copied from his predecessor what must have often created surprise on the mind of the reader. The simple fact is, that, when that census was taken, Dan was not then in the country [see critique above]; he had gone to ‘the Isles of the West’ to try his fortune in Arsareth, and to prepare the way for others who were soon to follow.”

William Finck’s critique: “Arsareth is NOT Ireland!” Back to Poole:

Eldad, an eminent Jewish writer, says, ‘In Jeroboam’s day, 975 B.C., Dan refused to shed his brother’s blood; and, rather than go to war with Judah, he left the country and went in a body to Greece, to Javan (our British isles) and to Danmark’.”

Finck’s critique: “Dan entered Greece from 1500 B.C. Homer refers to the Greeks of the Peloponnesus as Danoi. Javan = Ionian Greeks.” Back to Poole:

The learned Grotius also speaks of Dan’s disappearance from the land of Canaan at an early age.”

My critique: Why is Poole quoting the Canaanite-jewish writer Eldad, a descendant of the Kenites, of the tribe of Cain? (Gen. 12:6 & 15:19) Back to Poole:


Dr. William Smith, in his History of Greece, (p. 18) says, ‘Of all the heroic families in Greece none was more heroic than that of the Dan-ans of Argos.’

In Keating's History of Ireland, he says, ‘The Dan-ans were a people of great learning and wealth; they left Greece after a battle with the Assyrians,* and went to Ireland and also to Danmark, and called it Dan-mares, Dan’s country.’ [ *Finck questions this.]

In a work called the ‘Annals of Ireland,’ it is said:– ‘The Danans 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 1,200 B.C., or 85 years after the great victory of Deborah.’

Humboldt, considers that the Greeks, in the term Phoenician, (the Country of Palms) included the Israelites as well as other Syrian nations. He is very clear on the early inhabitants of Ireland being Israelites, and that large numbers of them passed through Lacedaemon and Spain on their way. See John Wilson, Col. Gawler, Fitzgerald, Giraldus Cambrensis. Also the Archaeological Society of Kilkenny, Rawlinson’s Herodotus, and Kennedy’s Ethnology.

Dr. Latham, in his Ethnology of Europe, (p. 137) says, ‘I think that the Eponymus of the Argive Danaia 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 considerations of the Israelites, that we treat them as if they were adscripti gleboe and ignore the share they may have taken in the history of the world’.”

My critique: To Poole’s credit, he is leaving off quoting from a Kenite-Canaanite-jew and returning to some reputable historians. [Finck’s critique: “Humboldt was right!!!”] Back to Poole:


In Mr. Gladstone’s work on Homer and the Homeric Age, he says, that the phrase Dan-oi occurs 147 times in the Iliad, and 13 times in the Odyssey; that it never occurs in the singular number, is never applied to women, but always to soldiers and lovers of war. That Homer used the name as a standing appellation as we use the word Cambrian for a Welshman, or Caledonian for a Scotchman, or Gael for a Highlander, or son of Albion for an Englishman, he also affirms.

As to the philological argument, though one of great importance, I cannot venture to dwell upon it in this paper. I find eminent philologists willing to stand up and lecture before the London Philological Society, giving evidence of strong affinities existing between the Hebrew and the Anglo-Saxon languages. If men like the Rev. J. Davies, Phil. Soc. Trans., and Rev. F. Crawford, Phil. Soc. Trans., find such affinities, and others, whom I will quote from briefly, find a strong resemblance, an Anglo-Israelite may be excused, if he fancies that the sneers of men, who have only dabbled in the science, are of no great weight in the contention.

I can here only produce a moiety of the evidence on hand. I will confine myself to a few quotations from men of a worldwide reputation as profound scholars. A paper was read at the last Congress of the British Archaeological Association, by the Rev. Dr. Margoliouth, vicar, editor of the Hebrew Christian Witness – Bishop Merriman in the chair. The learned Doctor says in this paper: – ‘At last year’s Congress, I adduced examples of whole sentences of positive archaic Hebraisms in the now obsolete Cornish language.’ Again, he says ‘I now confine myself to the time-honoured appellation of ‘Kymry.’ It is no more true-born English, than is the term Gael, or Welsh. The nomenclature of both owe their true birth to a parentage, and a country, far more ancient than the British, or the English. Those two terms, Gael, which became Wael, and then Welsh, and Kymry, which by the Greeks became Kimmeroi, amongst the Teutons; Kimbri and Latinized into Cambria, are of purely Hebrew origin.’ [Finck: Well, right, but Kimmeroi = Khumri of the Assyrians.] In this paper the author quotes from the writings of Taliesin, known as the prince of the Druid bards, where he says in one of his poems, ‘My lore has been declared in Hebrew, in the Hebraic tongue.’ The Dr. also says, ‘I have proved that some of the dispersed of Judah had found their way to this Island not long after the conquest of Palestine by Nebuchadnezzar. I hold it also, that some of the captive Israelites, with some of their religious teachers, had also found their way hither from the regions of Halah and Habor.’

Again, in the British Anthropological Society, there was a discussion on this very question. Dr. R.S. Charnock, F.R.A., President, in the chair. At that conference there were some of the most eminent philologists of the day, and they took an active part in the discussion. There was Dr. Leitner, Dr. C. Blake, Dr. C.O.G. Napier, Dr. F.C. Lewis, Rev. J.G. Tipper, M.A., and Bishop Titcomb. They all admitted ‘That the English language is derived in part from the Hebrew.’ The learned Bishop, last named, says, ‘The Kelts and Teutons formed cognate branches of the same great Aryan race, who swept over Europe in successive waves of immigration. They all came from one parent stock, whose home was in the East, and whose languages all centre in the Hebrew.’ General Vallancey, L.L. D., whom Pinnock ranks as a great linguist and antiquarian, says, ‘The language of the early inhabitants of Ireland was a compound of Hebrew and Phoenician.’ [Finck: Phoenician WAS Hebrew!!!] He collected several thousand words of Hebrew origin; I have now before me a grammar written by him. Of this author Sir William Bethan says, ‘I cannot speak of him with too much respect. His labours in Celtic investigation were beyond any other, intense and unremitted.’ He also says, ‘It is not just, however, to condemn Vallancy for not having his evidence arranged and systematized, he only undertook to collect, leaving others to methodize and put in order.’

William Tyndale, the first translator of the Hebrew Bible and Greek Testament into English, said, ‘The Greek agree-eth more with the Englyshe than with the Latyne; and the properties of the Hebrew tongue agree-eth a thousand times more with the Englyshe than with the Latyne.’

Rev. Jacob Tomlin, M.A., wrote a curious work of ‘Forty-eight languages, analysed and compared,’ in which it was shown that the early literature of Britain was ‘largely in the Hebrew, with several modifications.’ He also says, ‘One-fourth part of the words of the Saxon tongue bear a close affinity with the Hebrew.’

Rev. Canon Lysons, in Our British Ancestors, concludes that the Hebraeo-Kymric is the superstructure upon which our present language is built up. He gives a list of Hebrew words to the number of 5,000.

Professor Max Muller shows that the old Armenian tongue belongs to the Indo-European family. If so, we see how easily the Israelites might drop their own Semitic and take up with the Aryan forms of speech instead. In this way the old forms of Armenian Gautheic, Angli, and Saxon, may have gradually developed into English.

Professor T.C. Balmer says, ‘With respect to language, I have little to say, but, bearing in mind that it was the purpose of God that Israel should be lost as to their origin – which could not have taken place had they retained their language – therefore, the Hebrew has been replaced by another tongue; but, according to the results of recent research, there is not that great difference between the Hebrew and Saxon as is generally supposed. A great many Saxon words have been found to be rooted in the Hebrew. And when we consider that the Anglo-Saxon was an unwritten language previous to theirtext-indent: 0.3in; margin-bottom: 0in; line-height: 100%It matters not wheree occupation of Britain, the process necessary to reduce it to writing must have altered it considerably. But the Welsh and the kindred ancient tongues of Ireland and Scotland have been clearly identified as dialects of the Hebrew; and it is well known that the English language, in its grammatical construction, bears a close resemblance to the Hebrew, and is the only language into which it can be almost literally translated.

Again, on the question of language, he says, ‘We observe, that the diversity between the Hebrew and the Anglo-Saxon, of which the English is mainly composed, is not so great as is assumed. There are, it appears from the researches, no less than six hundred words purely derived from the Hebrew.’ In Sharon Turner’s History, we find that he traces eighty-four words in the Anglo-Saxon that have affinity with as many in Hebrew; and many more that have an affinity between the Anglo-Saxon and the Sanskrit.

Rev. J. Tomlin, D.D., considers that one-quarter of the words of our Saxon tongue bear a close affinity with the Hebrew, either in a primary or secondary degree. This marked affinity exists not only in words, but in the arrangement of ideas and the simple structure of sentences. In proof of the Asiatic derivation of the British, Sharon Turner says that he found one hundred and sixty words in the modern Persian similar in sound and meaning to as many in the Anglo-Saxon. He also found fifty-seven in the Zend and forty-three in the Pehlvi. From these facts and others he concluded that our progenitors came from the regions of Central Asia.”

My critique: This matter of language is very important to the Israel Identity message, and it appears that this is one area where the early discoverers of lost Israel did quite well. A word of caution is in order though, for a man by the name of Edward Hine entered the movement in its infancy. I recently scanned his 296 page book The British Nation Identified With Lost Israel, but like Poole, he is in error in many places and he continually lambasted the German people. In the next critical review on this subject, we’ll continue with Poole’s topic, “Language”.