This is the 7th critical review of the principal beliefs known as British-Israel, and as with the first six, 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, I will start quoting Poole on page 22:
“It is a most dangerous thing to misinterpret the word of the Lord on any point. The poor, misguided Tom Paine fell into the common error of looking at the Jews as the house of Israel, and as being one with them, and he states boldly in his writings, that he was led into infidelity, because he saw in the circumstances and condition of the Jews that they never could verify the glorious promises God made to Israel.”
Poole is correct that, it is a most dangerous thing to misinterpret the word of Yahweh on any point. On the other hand, early British-Israel is guilty of misinterpreting many passages of Scripture, as has been demonstrated in the first six parts of this thesis. I’m not completely condemning these early pioneers in Israel Identity, as their eyes were not entirely opened to the truth during their lifetime. Nor do I condemn Tom Paine entirely for his infidelity, for surely he had good reason to criticize the “Jews” as he evidently saw many uncertainties concerning them in the Bible. Had there only been someone around during the lifetime of Tom Paine to have explained to him the striking difference between a racially pure Judahite and a Canaanite-jew, no doubt Tom Paine would have had a very different perspective. Surely we can’t fault Tom Paine for not wanting to worship a Canaanite-jew!
Next on page 22, Poole speaks of one of his contemporary critics thusly: “A Rev. and dear Bro. waxed warm one day and stated, ‘That the ten tribes returned from Babylon with the two, and were mixed up with the captive Jews, and that they are with the Jews still.’ This is the most extraordinary statement of any on such a grave question. Turn to Ezra, ch. i, and read of Judah and Benjamin, and also in subsequent chapters of a correspondence with Artaxerxes, and King Darius, and of the children of the transportation, and of the people carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar, and of a public meeting they held to consider their return to Jerusalem; and of a proclamation issued commanding their return, and yet there is not a word said about the ten tribes, while the return is expressly limited to the two tribes. When you take the figures as given in detail and add them together, you have only 29,818; or the total number that is given, 42,360. Even this number was considered so very small for two tribes, that they spake of them as a ‘remnant,’ and the ‘residue’.” [29,818 = Poole’s count]
In the above paragraph, Poole did quite well and is right on the money. While he made a very good argument here, he is still deficient in understanding Judah’s captivity in Assyria and that many of Judah who went into the Babylonian captivity eventually migrated into Europe in like manner as did the ten northern tribes. We may not be able to fault Poole too greatly for his understanding in 1879, for possibly not all the archaeological evidence was deciphered and published concerning the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities of Israel and Judah at his time.
Poole continues on page 22: “True, they are called Israel here, as in Ezekiel, because that was a generic term, but the ten tribes were in the Lo-Ammi, or the divorced state for a time, and then the Jews were of Israel. But, in all this correspondence, and in all this return, the ten tribes were not named, and they were not in any way connected with that captivity, or that return. They had left their country 133 years before their brethren, the Jews, and they had no sympathy with each other.”
Again, Poole does not distinguish the true Judahites as opposed to the Canaanite-jews! Poole next discusses evidence from Josephus, on page 23:
“As proof of this we quote Josephus, who says, Antiq. 11, 1-3, ‘The rulers of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with the Levites and priests went in haste to Jerusalem, yet did many of the people stay at Babylon as not willing to leave their possessions.’
“Again, ‘Thus did these men go, a certain and determinate number of them out of every family; by this means a certain part of the people of the Jews, that were in Babylon came and dwelt in Jerusalem; but the rest of the multitude returned every one to their own country again.’
“‘The ten tribes did not return to Palestine, only two tribes served the Romans after Palestine became a Roman province.’ Antiq. xi. 1.3; 3.10; & v.2.
“Josephus, when speaking of Ezra and his doings, says, ‘So Ezra read the Epistles of Xerxes at Babylon to those Jews that were there ... and sent a copy of it to all those of his own nation that were in Media, and ... many of them took their effects with them, and came to Jerusalem, but then the entire body of the people of Israel remained in that country; wherefore there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude.’
“Jerome says, ‘The ten tribes inhabit to this day the cities and mountains of the Medes.’
“Milman, in his history, vol. 1. p. 418, says, ‘Twenty-five thousand was the number of Jews who had the national spirit and patriotism to leave their comfortable homes in Chaldea, and go back to their burned city and desolated country.’
“Kitto states, ‘After the captivity we hear very little of the territories of the tribes, for ten of them never returned.’
“Can any one suppose for a moment, that the above number would be even a majority of the two tribes, and of the few people who went with them, much less of the ten tribes mixed up with the two. If so, they must be badly mixed.” Here again, Poole shows he is a good scholar in some areas. This also proves that Josephus’ writings are a valuable source in our own day! Next on page 23, Poole cites another of his contemporary critics thusly:
“Another learned Professor, says, ‘As Ezra uses the words, ‘all Israel,’ therefore the whole twelve tribes were included, and all went back with Ezra.’ It is too bad to have to send another learned gent to the rear; but they should know what they are saying. I affirm that the words ‘all Israel,’ do not mean in all cases the twelve tribes. For example, observe 1 Kings, xii. 20, we are told that ‘all Israel’ came and made Jeroboam King over ‘all Israel.’ Was Judah and Benjamin there? They were not. The twelve tribes did no such thing.
“Again, King Rehoboam sent his Lord Chancellor to collect tribute, and ‘all Israel,’ stoned him with stones, and he died, ver. 18. Were the twelve tribes guilty; Judah and Benjamin would plead not guilty to the charge. Here, five times, the words ‘all Israel’ are used when the twelve were not included. See also 2 Chron. xxx.
“A Rev. Dr. makes quite a flourish over Ezra vi. 17, where it is said:
“‘And for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel.’
“‘This,’ he said, ‘proves that the whole nation were represented in that sacrifice, and must have returned after the decree by Cyrus.’ This is certainly no proof that they were all present. When in the days of Ahab, ‘Elijah, on Mount Carmel, took twelve stones, according to the number of the twelve tribes of the sons of Jacob.’ Does this prove that the twelve tribes served Ahab? I shall not multiply references. Such objectors show an ostrich-like unconsciousness of the nakedness of their situation.”
At this point, Poole shows some pretty good scholarship, and we can take some pointers from him concerning where only part or all of Israel is meant.
“WHEN ARE THOSE PROMISES TO BE FULFILLED.
“‘The mills of the gods grind slowly; but they do grind.’ It is evidence of our great weakness of faith in the promises of God, that we look for a speedy fulfilment of them; the first grand promise in the Bible is a promise of Christ’s first coming, and it was not fulfilled for 4,000 years. The divine promiser was all the time preparing for its fulfilment. The second promise given to man was a promise of his [sic His] second coming.”
Here Poole uses James Ussher’s unreliable chronology from the Masoretic text of the Old Testament! All one need do is to compare Genesis chapter 5 in the Masoretic (which is found in the King James version) with the Septuagint, and there is a total discrepancy of 1486 years. About 300 A.D., Ephrem the Syrian testified, accusing the Canaanite-jews of subtracting at least 600 years from the text in order to deny that Yahshua Christ was the Messiah who had come at the appointed time! I addressed this issue in a brochure entitled Patriarchal Chronology with a chart and side by side graphs revealing the absurdity of the Masoretic text. Therefore, Christ’s first advent is closer to 5500 years after Adam rather than 4000 years. Now back to the next paragraph of Poole’s book, on page 24:
“The declarations of God against the Jews that they should be dispersed, scattered, reproached, &c., were not to be fulfilled until after the death of Christ. Judah was not then dispersed, nor had Israel then been lost. The judgments had not then overtaken the one, nor the blessings come upon the other. Those blessings must all follow the full accomplishment of the promise of the Lamb of God provided as a sacrifice for our sins. All history assures us, that the predicted punishment has fallen upon the one; and it is only reasonable to expect that the blessings are being enjoyed by the other. The blessings and the curses are proceeding from the same source, were spoken of at the same time, and belong to the same dispensation.”
Here Poole states: “The declarations of God against the Jews that they should be dispersed, scattered, reproached, &c., were not to be fulfilled until after the death of Christ.” If Poole is speaking of the Canaanite-jews, he is correct, but if he is speaking of the pureblooded Judahites of the tribe of Judah, he couldn’t be more wrong! His own words, and those of Josephus, testify that of the Judahites that were taken into the Babylonian captivity, only a minor few returned! What is that, other than dispersion?
Going to page 25, Poole states: “The kingdom of Israel is compared to a divorced wife, the Lord, the husband, says, Hos. ii. 7, 14-17, 19-20, 23.
“‘And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now. 14 Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. 15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. 16 And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. 17 For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. 19 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. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. 23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God’.”
This passage from Hosea chapter 2 is a very appropriate one for Poole to cite, inasmuch as we Anglo-Saxon and related White people are the true Israelites of the Bible! Poole continues on page 27:
“THE LOST ARE FOUND.
“The house of Israel was compared to a flock of sheep that had strayed far away from their fold and pastures. Ezek. xxxiv, 2. Thus saith the Lord, ‘Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves and not the flock.’ ... ‘6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.’
“(But they were in safe keeping, though under his chastening rod.)
“‘11 For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep; and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. 16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away.’
“So the divorced wife is brought home, and the lost sheep are to be sought and found and restored.
“In Mat. xv. 24, Jesus said of himself, ‘I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ To his apostles he had said, ‘Go not in the way of the Gentiles, nor to the Samaritans, but. go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,’ [Matt. 10:5-6]
“Many of our Lord’s most touching parables clearly pointed out the lost Israel. The parables of the lost treasure, of the lost silver, the lost sheep, and the lost son, while the lost was in every case found amid great rejoicings.
“The good Shepherd knew that his wandering ones, his lost Israel, were off to the north and west, and there hefont face=em/font3font size= sent his messages of love.
“Paul’s apostolic tours were made among them, and because there was a colony of them in Rome, he sent his greetings, ‘to all that be in Rome, beloved of the Lord.’ And because there was a large colony of them in Spain, Paul plans his tour to go to Spain. Rom. xv. 24.
“Paul tells us, ‘That his heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.’
“The apostle James addressed his epistle ‘to the twelve tribes who are in their dispersion.’ The Jews in Palestine could not be the persons here alluded to, for they were not yet dispersed. [Canaanite-jews were not yet dispersed!]
“Peter addressed his letters ‘to the pilgrims of the dispersion.’ He called them ‘a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; which in times past (during their Lo-Ammi condition, while divorced) were not a people, but are now the people of God, which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.’
“‘Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers,’ (from Asia, or Armenia, or Media) ‘and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul, having your conversation honest among the Gentiles.’ These parties, so addressed, were not Gentiles, nor were they Jews, they were Israelites restored to favour.
“PAUL IN BRITAIN.
“Simeon said, ‘Jesus was set for the fall and the rising again of many in Israel.’ These words would not apply to the Jews, to them he was a stone of stumbling, &c.”
I must interrupt Poole again and remind the reader that indeed “a stone of stumbling” would apply to the Canaanite-jews, but surely would not apply to the racially-pure Judahites of the tribe Judah! Back to Poole:
“There are eight years of Paul’s ministerial life, to us, as yet, shrouded in mystery; would it be too much to say that those years were spent in Britain? We know that Caractacus, a British King, was a fellow-prisoner with Paul at Rome. We know also that Claudia, daughter of this King, and Pudens, her husband, and Linus, their son, were members of the Emperor’s household, 2 Tim., iv. 21. We know that on the return of this Royal household, Caractacus, Claudia and Pudens to Britain, Christianity was introduced to those ‘Isles of the West,’ and how natural and proper that, having enjoyed the blessings of the Gospel in Rome, they should plant the standard in their own land. Would Paul not be likely to accompany them, or to follow them after his visit in Spain, especially as he knew that the tribe of Dan had a large colony there?
“That Claudia Ruffina was a great favourite during her residence in Rome is certified in many a record. I here quote a few lines translated from the Latin verse. They need no comment:
“CLAUDIA RUFFINA, raised beneath the sun
That shines on Britain’s dark cerulean race,
Whence comes it that thy heart is like our own?
That thou hast such a beauteous form and face?
“The Roman matrons readily believe
That thou from them thy birthright didst receive;
That, nurtured in this fair and smiling land,
Thy name to them a monument will stand.
When after ages shall have passed away–
And be as much commended as to-day!
“The bird of song, the beauteous nightingale,
Would in its tribe thy presence gladly hail,
And claim thee as a warbler, sweet and fair,
As ever breathed its wild-notes on the air!”
“In the history of the Cymri of Wales, it is said that ‘IIid,’ an Israelite, came with Caractacus and family and introduced the Gospel into these Islands.
“Stillingfleet, in his origines Britannica affirms that some of the Apostles preached the gospel in Britain. Eusebius, Theodoret, and Jerome, our best ecclesiastical historians, say that Paul went to those Islands. Irenaeus says, ‘The Apostles planted Christian Churches among the Keltoi,’ – Celts.” [Some question Paul.]
Here W.H. Poole presents to us a story of Paul in Britain and the story of Caractacus, along with his daughter Claudia and her husband Pudens, and a son Linus, all familiar names from Paul’s epistles. This presents a brighter side of British-Israel. I wrote along this same theme in my brochure British Christians In Rome Before Paul Ever Arrived. In my paper Ruffina is spelled with a single “f”, or “Rufina”. As we continue with this subject, we’ll discover other merits of British-Israel!