Watchman's Teaching Letter #76 August 2004
This is my seventy-sixth monthly teaching letter and continues my seventh year of publication. I have been running a series of lessons in defense of Herodotus, and it will be continued here. It is my desire that you are beginning to have a healthy appreciation for his writings. He was far from perfect, and didn’t have the tools to work with as we have today. Most of his informants had the bad habit of exaggerating many things highly out of proportion, and it’s a miracle he was able to sort out facts as well as he did. He must have had the mind of a detective, and a way of asking questions to get the response he needed. Herodotus is important to us because he serves as a valuable witness to important fulfilled Biblical prophecies.
No prophet is any better than the witnesses who vouch for the fulfillment of the prophecy that the prophet foretold. Prophecy without witnesses is not Sacred prophecy, for without witnesses the prophet prophesies in vain! Therefore, if the prophet is a true prophet, he is anointed by Yahweh for that purpose. Additionally, if the prophecy comes to pass and is verified by witnesses, the witnesses are anointed to give evidence of its fulfillment. Prophets and witnesses simply cannot be separated! From this we must conclude there are both anointed prophets and anointed witnesses! Herodotus’ writings are a witness of the fulfillment to a substantial portion of Daniel’s prophecies! Herodotus’ main subject is the war of invasion by the Persians into Greece. His Histories are divided into nine books: the first three deal with the reigns of Cyrus and Cambyses and the accession of Darius and his expansion of the Persian Empire. This “Cyrus” is mentioned in Scripture at 2 Chr. 36:22 , 23; Ezr. 1:1, 2, 7, 8; 3:7; 4:3, 5; 5:13, 14, 17; 6:3, 14; Isa. 44:28; 45:1; Dan 1:21; 6:28 & 10:1. There are two prophets concerned in these passages, Isaiah and Daniel. Herodotus speaks of “Cyrus” at 1. 75-92, 107-130, 141, 188-191, 201-214; 3. 34, 36, 159 & 9. 122. It would seem, then, that it would be advisable to compare Herodotus with Scripture. It should be noted that all of these references are to Cyrus II (the Great), for there was a Cyrus I, his grandfather.
“Darius” is mentioned in Scripture at Ezr. 4:5, 24; 5:5, 6, 7; 6:1, 12, 13, 14, 15; Neh. 12:22; Dan. 5:31; 6:1, 6, 9, 25, 28; 9:1; Hag. 1:1, 15; 2:10; Zech 1:1, 7; 7:1. In Herodotus we find “Darius” at 1. 209; 2. 158; 3. 38, 73-87, 89, 118-119, 127-132, 134-135, 139-149, 150-160; 4.1, 83-98, 118-143, 200-204; 5.12-15, 24, 105-107; 6.24, 30, 48-49, 70, 94, 98, 119; 7. 1-4 & 194. If one is not aware of Darius’ campaign against the Scythians, much is lost, as Scripture is mute on that subject. In the Israel Identity Message, we need every bit of evidence about the Scythian-Israelites we can obtain. Herodotus’ coverage of the Scythians is invaluable to us who understand who true Israel is. It’s simply astonishing to me that anyone in Israel Identity would want to throw the writings of Herodotus out of the window! Yet this is exactly what many in Identity want to do with the writings of Paul! But that’s a different subject for another time.
While it was Cyrus II (the Great) who initially established the Persian Empire, it was Darius who expanded the empire to its greatest extent. A note of interest, though, it was Cyrus II who demanded the unconditional surrender of all the Ionian cities except the seaport of Miletus. Caria, Lycia, and the rest of Asia Minor were overrun by Cyrus’ generals and brought under Persian rule, (Collier’s Encyclopedia, vol. 7, page 613). That is why Caria was under Persian rule at the time of Herodotus’ birth. Though Collier’s states “Ionian cities”, Halicarnassus of Caria in Asia Minor was a Dorian settlement.
While there were historians other than Herodotus who wrote on Cyrus, like Ctesias and later Xenophon, Herodotus’ accounts seem to be more accurate according to the 1894 Encyclopædia Britannica, vol. 18, page 574 on “Persia.” An example speaking of a king list says: “... But the names of the kings in Herodotus are now all authenticated, directly or indirectly, by inscriptions lately discovered.” That was observed 110 years ago! The 1894 Encyclopædia Britannica shows that Ctesias had a problem getting his facts straight and used the words “mixed up” to describe them. But nevertheless, we need all the witnesses we can get, for many times they are all in agreement on certain items.
HERODOTUS GIVES PARTIAL WITNESS TO DANIEL 7:17
At Daniel 7:3-7, he prophecies of four kingdoms thusly:
“3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.”
If you followed my series on Daniel, then you know these four kingdoms were, (1) Babylon, (2) Medo-Persia, (3) Greece and, (4) Rome. Of these four kingdoms, Herodotus gave substantial witness to Babylon and Medo-Persia. Later, Josephus would witness much concerning Greece and Rome. With both Herodotus and Josephus, some of the witnessing was secondhand, but both also witnessed oftentimes with their own eyes. Without these two great anointed witnesses to history, much would be lost, and we would be left somewhat in the dark stumbling along without anything to guide our path.
It is important we comprehend these four kingdoms, as it points the way to the coming in of the fullness of Yahshua’s Kingdom at Daniel 7:27:
“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” While we are on our way, we certainly are not there yet!
THE FOUR KINGS AT DANIEL 11:1-4
Before we look into this passage, let’s first read Daniel 11:1-2:
“1 Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him. 2 And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.”
Now Darius the Mede at verse 1 is not the Darius that later ruled Persia. In fact, to understand the timing of this passage, we must go back to Daniel 10:1 where it speaks of “Cyrus king of Persia.” In Daniel 10:7, Daniel had received a vision and didn’t understand it. It seems, then, that Michael the chief prince was sent to Daniel to help him comprehend what it was about, but the “prince of the kingdom of Persia” delayed him twenty-one days. This shows there are higher powers over the activities of men than most imagine. Then Michael announces to Daniel that his reason for coming was to ”fight with the prince of Persia.” Michael is the archangel over Israel, so Persia had a different prince than the Israelites have. Anyway, Daniel 11:1-2 is a prelude to that fight. So the first king of the four is Cyrus II of Persia.
The “fourth” king of Persia, according to 11:2 is described as being very rich, and that he would use his riches to “stir up ... the realm of Grecia.” There is only one king of Persia who fits that description and that is Xerxes I, the “fourth” from Cyrus (actually making 5 kings in all). Notice that it says “stir up” and not “conquer.” But then Daniel at 11:3-4, is prophesying of Alexander the Great where he says:
“3 And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. 4 And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.”
So the “fourth” king of verse 2 is a different king than the one at verse 4. The one at verse 2 is Xerxes I, while the one at verse 4 is Alexander the Great! The one at verse 2 is to “stir up ... Grecia” while the one at verse 4 is “to be broken ... and divided toward the four winds.” Verse 4 fits Alexander the Great as he left no “posterity.” So to sum up the four kings after Cyrus at Daniel 11:1-3, they would be, (1) Cambyses, (2) Smerdis, an impostor, (3) Darius Hystaspes, and (4) Xerxes I. What this passage all boils down to is a prophesied conflict between the Japhethic Medes and their allied Elamite Persians against the Greeks, (who were Israelites and Japhethic Ionians and related tribes). Xerxes I was the last Persian king to invade Greece, and the prophecy therefore passes over nine successors of Xerxes before introducing Alexander the Great at Daniel 11:4. There are two confusing elements in this passage that must be overcome: (1) the mention of Darius the Mede, and, (2) the skipping of nine successors of Xerxes between verses 3 and 4. It was necessary to skip the nine successors in order to remain on the subject of Greece.
Since I started this teaching letter, I found out that the Septuagint didn’t read the same as the KJV at Daniel 11:1. The LXX reads: “As for me. I in the first year of Cyrus was his strength and power.” As a result, I’m going to have to add the following three reasons why the Septuagint version must be correct: (1) Because Daniel chapter 10 is a precursor for Daniel chapter 11 where the subject is Michael the archangel for Israel contending with the “prince (angel) of Persia” twenty-one days (v. 13). This shows the Persians didn’t have Michael as their prince. (2) Because Daniel chapter 10 is a precursor for Daniel chapter 11, Cyrus is named at 10:1. And there is no question that it was Cyrus who was in charge when Persia defeated Babylon! (3) Because Xerxes I was very rich and the last king of Persia to invade Greece, counting backwards from him, one must arrive at Cyrus!
? WHO WAS XERXES I ?
It will be necessary, if we want to understand Daniel’s prophecy, to explain how Xerxes fits into the Persian picture. Herodotus wrote extensively on Xerxes, and if I were to quote him on this subject, it would require the better part of three hundred pages from books 5 through 9. You can check your copy of Herodotus to see if what I’m telling you is correct. Therefore, I’ll quote a concise article on him from the World Scope Encyclopedia, vol. 12 under the heading “Xerxes.” (This encyclopedia doesn’t use pagination.)
“Xerxes I ... King of Persia. He was the eldest son of Darius by Atossa, his second wife, the daughter of Cyrus, although he had older half-brothers. His birth and early history are unknown, but it is reasonably certain that he reigned from 485 to 465 B.C. He is mentioned as Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther, and is famous in history in connection with several noted Greek campaigns. His father died in 485 B.C., while making preparations to invade Greece for the *third time. Xerxes spent the first years of his reign putting down revolts in Egypt and Babylonia and then began to make elaborate plans for carrying his father’s designs into execution. Provisions were collected to support a vast army for three years, a great transport fleet was constructed, and the most skilled engineers obtainable were engaged to plan the removal of natural obstructions. Some historians, accepting Herodotus’s figures, believe that the army and navy represented a combined force of more than 2,000,000 men, but this is generally believed to be a considerable exaggeration. To secure the passage of his army across the Hellespont, Xerxes ordered the construction of a bridge of boats a mile long. Herodotus states that it required seven days and nights for the forces to cross over the Hellespont. [* Note: After Thrace and Marathon under Darius.]
“Xerxes, having landed on European soil, marched unobstructed until he reached Thermopylae, where he was brought to a stand by the Spartan leader, Leonidas, who was at the head of a small but determined band of Greek warriors. They guarded the narrow passage with remarkable persistence until they were defeated through treachery (480), but when Xerxes reached Athens he found the city deserted. Though successful on land, Xerxes found his fleet driven to desperation and finally it was defeated. The Greeks were successful in several engagements at Artemisium and a storm did much damage to the Persian fleet, destroying 400ships of war. In 480 B.C. the final naval battle was fought at Salamis, where the Persians were defeated with great loss, and Xerxes fled to the Hellespont. A storm had destroyed the bridge of boats in the meantime, but he crossed over in a vessel and left Mardonius with a Persian army of 300,000 men to subdue Greece. Mardonius was defeated by the Greeks the following year in the Battle of Plataea, and in 478 B.C. the last possession of the Persians in Europe was taken from them by the victorious Greeks. Xerxes spent his later years in obscurity and was finally murdered by the commander of his bodyguard, Artabanus, who, it is generally believed, wished to usurp the Persian throne. Artaxerxes, Xerxes’s son, ascended the throne in 465 B.C. and killed Artabanus. Herodotus represents Xerxes as cruel and cowardly, but credits him with highly attractive personal qualities, and asserts that he was skillful in furthering the interests of his government.”
You should be beginning to see how important it is that we understand secular history as well as the Bible. And it’s simply amazing how many people there are who have never cracked open a secular history book going around trying to tell everyone else what the Bible says! Xerxes I had enough riches to wage many campaigns against Greece, and wars are expensive! – just ask George Bush!
To show you an example of Herodotus’ writing about Xerxes I’s siege and the burning of Athens, I will quote from The History: Herodotus translated by David Grene, 8. 52-53:
“52. The Persians established themselves on the hill opposite the Acropolis that is called by the Athenians the Areopagus, and they besieged the Acropolis in this way: they wrapped tow around their arrows and set them alight and shot them into the barrier. There the Athenians who were besieged still defended themselves, all the same, although they were reduced to the extremity of ill, and their barrier had betrayed them. They refused to receive any propositions of the Pisistratids about surrender, but they staunchly defended themselves by various means and especially by launching down great stones on the barbarians as they approached the gates, so that for a great time Xerxes was at a loss, being unable to beat them.
“53. But at last the barbarians found a way out of their difficulties. For according to the prophecy, all of Attica on the mainland must be overcome by the Persians. In front of the Acropolis, but behind the gates and the road up, there was a place where no one was on guard, for no one had thought that any man could ascend there; it was near the shrine of Aglaurus, the daughter of Cecrops, and at it, though it was a very precipitous place, some men managed to climb up. When the Athenians saw that these had got to the top, to the Acropolis itself, some of them threw themselves down headlong from the wall and so found their deaths, but others fled to the inner chamber. Those of the Persians who had climbed up turned to the gates and opened these up and butchered the suppliants there. When these had all been laid low, the barbarians plundered the shrine and set the whole Acropolis afire.”
What, then, is the bottom line about the passage at Daniel 11:1-2? The answer is, if we don’t understand some of the secular history surrounding it, we can have little idea what it’s talking about. And without Herodotus’ writings, we would be almost totally lost.
While I was putting this lesson together, I was not aware of it, but William Finck was writing up a similar paper. He is my best critic and one of my proofreaders. I get to speak with Bill once or twice a month, and it is limited to 15 minutes. On one call we were discussing how Herodotus fits the Book of Daniel. Bill casually mentioned the three kings of Daniel as an example. From this one sentence of Bill’s conversation with me, I fed the words “three kings” into my Franklin electronic Bible. In Daniel it took me to 7:24 and 11:2. As I had already written on Daniel 7:24, I knew that Bill meant 11:2. From that one tip by Bill, I wrote up the previous portion of this lesson. After I got Bill’s paper, I was amazed as we both had a similar thesis. Once I saw Bill’s explanation that the LXX has “Cyrus” at Daniel 1:11 instead of “Darius the Mede”, I realized that it would be necessary for me to rewrite that portion of my lesson, though I had already surmised that 11:1 should be Cyrus as Daniel 11:1-4 is only a continuation of Daniel chapter 10, where at Daniel 10:1 the subject is Cyrus. The following is the paper that William Finck wrote up for me:
HERODOTUS, SCYTHIANS, PERSIANS AND PROPHECY
By: William Finck
Except for his long description of Egypt in Book 2, and his other forays into the past, Herodotus gave the history of Persia covering the reign of five kings: Cyrus (1. 46), Cambyses (2. 1), Pseudo-Smerdis (3. 67), Darius (3. 88), and Xerxes (7. 5). These kings are the exact kings which Daniel our prophet speaks of in Daniel 11:1-2.
Where at Daniel 11:1 in the A.V. reads “Darius the Mede” (a satrap at Babylon), the LXX has 11:1 thusly: “And I in the first year of Cyrus stood to strengthen and confirm him.” But regardless, the record is clear that Cyrus was king of Persia as Daniel wrote these last chapters. 11:2 continues: “... there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia ...” (So we have Cambyses, Pseudo-Smerdis, and Darius who actually began the war with the Greeks, defeated at the battle of Marathon), “... and the fourth shall be far richer than all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.” And Xerxes, Daniel’s fourth king, not only invaded Greece, leveling Athens itself, but also incited the Phoenicians of Carthage (with their Iberian brethren and others – Herodotus 7. 165) to attack the Greeks of Sicily at the same time. Where Xerxes is defeated, Herodotus – having fulfilled his testimony of this war – ends his Histories.
On the fate of the “ten” tribes: II Esdras 13:39-45, and Josephus’ Antiquities 8:11:1, 10:9:7 and 11:5:2, not only do the Arians and Parthians beyond Babylon meet the description of being “beyond the Euphrates”, but so do the Armenians, Iberians, Sacae, Massagetae, and all the Scythians who ventured up through the Black and Caspian coasts and the Caucasus, looking at the river’s course.
Hosea at 12:9 says of the Israelites being deported by the Assyrians: “And I Yahweh thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles (tents), as in the days of the solemn feasts.” And not only do we have descriptions of the Scythians living in such a fashion by Herodotus (4. 46), but their very name, “Scythian”, may certainly be derived from the Hebrew word for “tabernacle” or “tent”, succoth. Strabo tells us that over 400 years later, the Scythians and Scythian Germans were still living in this fashion (7. 1. 3, 11. 2. 1)! It makes no sense, that the people who rapidly became – and still are – the world’s greatest engineers, would for so long dwell without house nor city: except the prophet said that they would.
Herodotus at 4. 61 describes the Scythians’ use of animal bones for firewood, where Rawlinson compares Ezekiel 24:5. More strikingly, Herodotus says that the Scythians “never use swine for any purpose”, nor do they breed them (4. 63), although it is evident that this had changed by Strabo’s time (4. 4. 3), and Herodotus describes a Scythian mode of divination from bundles of rods, or sticks, to which may be compared (as Rawlinson again noticed) Hosea 4:12. (& Tacitus, “Germania”, 10).
Strabo (11. 3. 6, 11. 4. 7) discusses some customs among the Iberians and Albanians of the Caucasus which we find much like many in our Old Testament, and Herodotus even describes sacrifice procedures among the Magi and Persians much like the Levitical (1. 132). In many instances from Gaul to India, the priesthoods are said to belong to a particular tribe, such as the Magi (Herodotus 1. 101, 140), a practice also to be found at times among the Greeks (i.e., the Arcadians at Strabo 8. 3. 25). As the Persians would not sacrifice without a Magus (Herodotus 1. 132), the Kelts would not without a Druid (Strabo 8. 3. 25). Also found among the Greeks, swine were considered impure (Strabo 12. 8. 9) and were only accepted for sacrifice at certain temples of Aphrodite (Strabo 9. 5. 17).
From a map drawn from the accounts of Diodorus Siculus, found in volume 2 of Harvard’s Loeb Library edition of his Library of History we see several branches of the Scythians, notably the Sakae and Massgetae, the Sogdians and the Tocharians, dwelling about the Iaxartes river, north of the sources of the Indus. Their location here is evident also from the accounts of Herodotus and Strabo. The Massagetae and the Sakae were among the last of the Scythian tribes to have entered into Europe, as traced across the continent by Sharon Turner in his Anglo-Saxon history.
When this early home of these Scythian tribes is noticed, and we realize that the “rivers of Ethiopia” in the Bible are in Hebrew the “rivers of Kush”, and that the eastern, or Hindu-Kush, only then Zephaniah may be understood, at 3:10 where he writes “From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring my offering” and he can only be talking about the Massagetae, Sakae, and their Kin! – the dispersed of Israel! It was to these tribes that the Kingdom of Yahweh would come (Micah 4:8, Dan, 2:44, Matt. 21:43), and the further from Mesopotamia the dispersed traveled, the stronger and more lasting a nation they became (Micah 4:7, Isaiah 41).
Herodotus’ description of a barren northern Europe (5. 9-10, et al.) and the evidence of Scythian, or German and Keltic migration westward to inhabit it, calls to mind Deut. 32:8. “When the most High divided to the (Genesis 10) nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the bounds of the (Adamic) people according to the number of the children of Israel.” Yet the Thracians claimed that “the country beyond the Ister (the Lower Danube) is possessed by bees (Rawlinson footnotes ‘mosquitoes’), on account of which it is impossible to penetrate farther.” (Herodotus 5. 10). Yet I suspect there are reasons, besides mosquitoes, that the Thracians were so prevented. [Note: Exodus 23:28, and Wisdom of Sal. 12:8 in the Apocrypha.]
Isaiah 10:5-16 foretells the destruction of Assyria. 10:17-18, 10:20-27 and 11:16 fully assure that Israelites will be actively involved in that destruction. Isaiah 14:24-27 mentions this destruction again. Herodotus relates that the Medes were already at war with the Assyrians, when the Scythians invaded Media during the reign of the Median King Cyaxares (625-585 B.C., according to Herodotus’ chronology). The Scythians prevented the Medes from destroying Nineveh, and themselves “became masters of Asia”, a position they held for 28 years. While Herodotus states that Cyaxares conquered Nineveh himself, after becoming free of the Scythians, this is impossible since Nineveh was destroyed before 612 B.C., and Herodotus is likely repeating later Median propaganda. Strabo tells us rather that “In ancient times Greater Armenia ruled the whole of Asia, after it broke up the empire of the Syrians”, where he is obviously confusing Syrians with Assyrians (and he mentions “Greater Media” later in the paragraph). Greater Armenia, that first Scythian land, according to Diodorus Siculus (refer to Watchman’s Letter #72, p. 1, Diodorus Siculus 2. 43), with the witness of Herodotus, albeit indirectly, show that Isaiah was correct, the Israelites – and surely with Medes alongside them – destroyed Nineveh, and the Assyrian Empire. (Herodotus 1. 102-106, Strabo 11. 13. 5).
Isaiah 13 foretells the destruction of Babylon. 13:4 states that “the kingdoms of the nations” will perform such destruction. 13:17 indicates that the Medes are one of these nations. 13:3 indicates that the children of Israel are also. 13:12 is surely an allusion to Cyrus, king of Persia, who led the takeover of Babylon (see Isa. 44:28). Isaiah 14:3-23 is a parable foretelling Babylon’s destruction. Note Isaiah’s statement concerning Cyrus at 45:1: “Thus saith Yahweh to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden. to subdue nations before him, and I will loose the loin of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut.” And Herodotus said of the Babylonians: “A battle was fought at a short distance from the city, in which the Babylonians were defeated by the Persian king, whereupon they withdrew within their defences. Here they shut themselves up, and made light of his siege, having laid a store of provisions for many years in preparation against this attack; for when they saw Cyrus conquering nation after nation, they were convinced that he would never stop, and that their turn would come at last.” (1. 190). After a short time as Herodotus describes (1. 191) the Persians easily gained access to the city, by redirecting the Euphrates river which ran under its walls, dividing the city in two; something the Babylonians did not foresee, and a project they took notice of too late.
Isaiah 21 is a parable involving Elam (Persia) and Media in the destruction of Babylon. Jeremiah 50 and 51 also prophesy the fall of Babylon. Jeremiah 50:3-4 surely indicate that the Israelites will participate with the Persian conquest of Babylon, as do 50:9, 50:20-28, 33-34 and 41-42. Jeremiah also indicates this at 51:27, where from history we know that people related to the Scythians (Israelites) inhabit the mountains of Ararat, Armenia. Ashkenaz is a Japhethite tribe (Gen. 10:3). Jeremiah 51:31 describes the Persian system of post discussed by Herodotus at 8. 98, a sort of Persian “pony express.” While we can’t tell from Herodotus whether the Sakae, Scythians, or other Israelites were with the Persians when they took Babylon, surely Persian records themselves indicate such. Herodotus does describe the Persian forces in great detail as they were less than 60 years later under Xerxes, during his great invasion of Greece. At 7. 64 he mentions the “The Sacae, or Scyths” along with the Bactrians. At 7. 66 he mentions the Arians, Parthians, Sogdians, the Caspians at 7. 67, and several times relates some custom or implement of these people to the Medes. At 7. 62 he says “These Medes were called anciently by all people Arians” yet Herodotus is certainly again confusing the Medes with Israelites who were settled in Media by the Assyrians. For the word “Arya” is certainly Hebrew for “Mountain of Yahweh” (note Daniel 2:44-45). The Scythians were said by Herodotus three times (1. 215, 4. 5, 7. 64) to have the FV("D4l as a favorite weapon, and only the Scyths are mentioned by him with this weapon (once as Massagetae), which Rawlinson translates “battle axe” (compare Jeremiah 51:20). Sharon Turner is his History of the Anglo-Saxons states that the battle axe was the preferred weapon of the Saxon at least until the Norman Conquest (vol. 1, page 82; vol. 2, pages 58, 75 & 76).
At 7. 64, Herodotus also states that the Sacae, the Scyths, were “clad in trousers, and had on their heads tall stiff caps rising to a point.” A similar pointed cap, not so stiff, may be seen on the head of a Germanic chieftain, pictured on a cup and shown paying homage to Augustus, on page 43 of the May-June 2001 issue of Archaeology Odyssey. The same type of hat worn by the Germanic chieftain can be seen on page 52 of the November-December 2002 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review on the head of a figure excavated at Dor in Israel. On page 49 of the same issue, this same hat is seen in the famous inscription of the Israelite King Jehu on the Black Obelisk of Assyria. A Scythian head dress indeed!
By now I would hope it is evident that Herodotus, supported to a greater extent by later historians, was an excellent and most valuable witness to the dispersion of the Israelites and then their fulfillment of so many prophecies concerning them as we have here seen from Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Micah and Zephaniah, and even evidenced in Daniel, another story entirely.