|"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14;|
Tracing Dan - Part 1 Chapter 1
By Walter Baucum
By now, so much work has been done on tracing the Israelite tribes that only stubborn, hard-headed die-hards refuse to see who they are in our modern world today. The list of names of those who have participated in this endeavor are legion, perhaps the foremost being E. Raymond Capt and Yair Davidy, the latter an Australian-born authority on the "lost tribes" now living in Israel. His three books on the subject, The Tribes, Ephraim, and Lost Israelite Identity, replete with Bibliography and quoted sources a mile long, should remove all doubt from the dissenters. In the following study, I intend to use much of his material and his conclusions, as well as direct quotes from him, for Part I, and I will use material from Barry Fell and his three books, America B.C., Saga America, and Bronze Age America, for Part II. Included in both, of course, will be other sources.
This work, then, will be divided into two parts, Part I tracing the Israelite tribe of Dan from its forced slavery in Egypt to its capture and exile by the Assyrians, its identification with the Cimmerian hosts that moved from the Middle East into Europe, and some of the specific places Danites themselves settled and/or became associated with. Part II will take up Dan's crossing of the Atlantic and settling in America, either alone or in company with the Phoenicians (Canaanites), North Africans, and Celtic peoples from North Europe and the Mediterranean areas other than those already mentioned. The evidence that the countries of West Europe, Britain, and the U.S. are the Israelite tribes is overwhelming. America (generic term for the U.S.) is not the Tribe of Dan, but Dan was probably the first Israelite tribe over here thousands of years ago and today is mixed among us.
In order to make this claim plausible and acceptable, some basic assumptions must first be made.
Assumption 1 is that I have no vast libraries, nor even access to any, so that the reader must accept that the authors, works, and references used in this paper have been studied and accepted as serious works and easily provable to even the most critical non-believer. In a paper of this length, I haven't the time, nor have I the inclination, to re-prove what already has been proved, and by researchers much more able and knowledgeable than I.
Assumption 2 is that Eternal has kept the bloodlines, physical characteristics, and other cultural peculiarities of the Israelite tribes virtually intact. That diffusion and mixing of cultural traits, tools and weapons, and dietary considerations all take place over time, we have no doubt. That some mixing, or intermarriage, of Israelites, among their own tribes and among other nations, would inevitably occur must be accepted. Because ETERNAL has much to say in prophecy about the future of the Israelite tribes, our assumption must be that in some way known only to Him, He has kept the tribes as more or less identifiable and unified entities. Else the prophecies and many of the promises made about the outcome of these Israelite peoples would obviate the authenticity of the Holy Scriptures with all that they have to say about them. I personally believe that Yair Davidy has done this with his vast, in-depth examination of the mythology, ethnic-names, languages, and religious customs that connect Celtic (Britain, Ireland, and Gaul), North African, and Scandinavian peoples to these ancient Israelites. He brings evidence from The Holy Scriptures, Talmud, archaeology, mythology, linguistics, Greek and Roman authors, and general history. Barry Fell, the world's foremost authority on ancient languages (until his untimely death), takes up where Yair Davidy leaves off, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt (to those with open minds) that Israelites came to America over 3,000 years ago and continued coming, across both the Atlantic and the Pacific, until about 200 years before Columbus re-started the trend.
Another point is that many scriptures indicate a portion of the Israelite exiles were destined to be taken overseas and re-settled elsewhere. Isaiah 11:11, for example, says:
"The Eternal shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, that shall be left from Ashur, and from Mitsrayim, from Patros, and from Cush, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the Isles of the Sea."
Then, if I claim that trans-oceanic voyages took place two to three thousand years ago, perhaps a third assumption must be that the North American continent is included in this prophecy as being one of the "isles of the sea." This point will be discussed in further detail later.
Assumption 4 would be that ships large enough and capable enough to transport many people over long distances did indeed exist. According to Yair Davidy, at one stage Carthaginians (Phoenicians) are recorded to have transported 30,000 men and women in 60 ships on a colonizing venture beyond the Pillars of Hercules (now Gibraltar), apparently to West Africa [Mr. Davidy's words--for my two cents, it could have been a venture to the "island" beyond the sunset, well known to the ancient world and what we call America today]. This, he continues, was in 500-480 B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and shows that at that time, large-scale migration and colonization by sea were practiced. Previously, in the era 1100-800 B.C.E., the Phoenicians had had, in a practical sense, a trade monopoly over the sea trade routes in the Mediterranean area and beyond it. The Phoenicians established settlements in North Africa, in Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily and also had trading emporiums in Spain and Britain.
Maps had to exist for these Phoenicians (sometimes Egyptian-hired) to traverse the globe. Stecchini's geodesic studies and the cartographic evidence of Charles Hapgood prove that our oldest medieval maps are nothing but copies of copies whose lost originals go far back into antiquity. By modern means, they determined that the originals had been laid out by means of spherical geometry, just like our own modern maps. Paul Tesla's work in this same area was later checked and approved without qualification by top U.S. military cartographers, which would seem to place its technical aspects beyond dispute.
Checking further on this, a researcher, Paul Tesla, found that the celebrated Piri Reis map has a strange feature. It shows Antarctica in unglaciated condition, a geological event which could have concluded as much as six thousand years ago. The geodesic center of this map is Cyene, Egypt, Cyene being also the marker for other maps. Piri Reis traced his map back to Alexander the Great, thus, by inference, to the scholars of Alexandria (this according to his own notations on the map). Theoretically, even these early Egyptian map makers could have been using much older materials they had preserved, simply modifying them to suit their new geographical circumstances. 1 A footnote in Lost Israelite Identity deserves comment at this point, so I will copy it verbatim.
"Steven M. Collins opines that Phoenicians and Israelites in the service of King Solomon were probably responsible for the exploitation of copper resources in North America in the period between 1000-800 B.C.E.! The inspirational source for this opinion is apparently Barry Fell, Bronze Age America, 1982, wherein the actual dating for the copper-working is given as 2000-1000 B.C.E. based on radio-carbon dating. This dating would not make allowance for sun-spot activity now acknowledged to arrest the process of Carbon-14 disintegration on which radio-carbon dating is based. An adjustment downwards in the dating is therefore allowable.
Diodorus of Sicily (16:20) states that, "the Phoenicians planted many colonies throughout Libya (i.e., Africa) and not a few as well in western parts of Europe." Avienus, himself, implied that these Phoenicians (Remember that Dan had dwelt beside, gone to sea with, and intermarried with these Phoenicians) had established colonies in Britain. Their monopoly on the British tin made them rich and powerful; tin and copper are essential in the production of bronze, which was the basic metal employed by most ancients. Many bronze daggers, axes, and other figurines and implements have been found in the mounds in the East and Midwest of the United States. Even Joseph Smith and the people of his day, believing the mound builders to be red native Americans, would dig into these mounds seeking evidence for their belief. They found many bronze and copper tools in them. The American Indians did not make bronze. But more on this later.
In Genesis 28:14, ETERNAL told Jacob in his famous dream,
"And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
Perhaps a final assumption must be that those of us in United Hebrew Congregations are correct in understanding our role today. That role is telling Israel who they are. Whether it be done now or in our captivity, we see this as ETERNAL's purpose in calling us at this time in His great plan. That plan, of course, is to regather Israel to its own land. Genesis 28:15:
"And behold I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."
Greek tradition related how Danaus, after coming out of Egypt, came with his daughters to Greece whereas his brothers went to Jerusalem. These daughters intermarried with the local aristocracy and their children became rulers (Were these locals earlier Danites who had come there a hundred years or more before?). In honor of Danaus, the local Pelasgian Ionian Greeks renamed themselves Danaioi, by which term the early Greeks are often referred to by Homer.
"Danaus, the father of fifty daughters on coming to Argos took up his abode in the city of Inarchos and throughout Hellas (i.e., Greece). He laid down the law that all people hitherto named Pelasgians were to be named Danaans" (Strabo 5.2.40 quoting Euripides). 3The Philistines are believed to have been of the same stock as the Greek Pelasgians, and the term "Pelast" (meaning Philistine) in early Greek inscriptions is considered interchangeable for Pelasgian. As suggested, the struggle of the Danites with the Philistines within the Land of Israel may be somehow connected with the coming of the Danaoi to Greece. There is an opinion that the Danaioi formed a peculiar military class amongst the Mycenean Greeks. At all events the Greek account may be understood as saying that a small number of Danites came to Greece, intermarried with local rulers, gave their name to an early already present segment of the population, and not much more than that.
(Diodorus Siculus (1:28:1 5):"They say that those who set forth with Danaus, likewise from Egypt, settled what is practically the oldest city of Greece, Argos, and that the nations of the Colchi in Pontus and that of the Jews, which lies between Arabia and Syria, were founded as colonies by certain emigrants from their country... 4
Archaeologists now believe that an offshoot of the Hyksos (the name given the Israelites during and after the Exodus), about the time when they were expelled from Egypt came to Greece, conquered it, and laid the basis for Mycenean civilization. They identify these Hyksos with the Danaioi of Greek tradition.
An interesting sidelight on the Danites in Greece is the history of Ireland, where the Danites settled at a later time. Irish history links Israel with its past. First to come to Ireland was Nin Mac Piel (Irish for Ninus, son of Bel or Belus). Ninus, or Nimrod, laid claim to Irish soil, but then left. For 300 years, Irish soil lay generally uninhabited. In 2069 B.C.E. Parthalon and a band of Hebrew warriors arrived from the Greek world and established a settlement at Inis Saimer, a small island in the river Erne, at Ballyshannon. In 2019 a plague befell the settlers and most died. Those who didn't fled, Ireland was desolate for another 30 years, and then those who had fled returned, continuing to inhabit it for another 250 years until 1739. The historian Keating records that another catastrophe befell these Parthalonians, possibly at the hands of the Phoenician Formorians (Esau). Some of this is speculation, since no historian professes to know when the Formorians came to Ireland. (Note that some Irish historians trace their earliest inhabitants to Japheth, not to Shem.)
The second wave of Hebrew migrants to Ireland came from Scythia. They were called Nemedians, after Nemedh, their leader. They dwelt there for 217 years, were gradually enslaved by the Formorians, then fled to Grecian Thrace to escape oppression. They then returned, this time under the name Fir-Bolgs, a name derived from their oppression while in Grecian Thrace.
Thirty-six years after this (1456), the first small migration of the Tuatha-De-Danaan occurred. This was during the time of the wandering of Israel in the Wilderness after coming from Egypt. The records, according to Keating, tell us that while the Tribe of Dan dwelt in Greece, "It happened that a large fleet came from Syria to make war upon the people of the Athenian territory, in consequence of which they were engaged in daily battles...as to the Tuatha-de-Danaans, when they saw the natives of the land thus vanquished by the Syrians, they all fled out of the country, through fear of those invaders and they stopped not until they reached the regions of Lochlinn (Scandinavia), where they were welcomed by the inhabitants, on account of their many sciences and arts...when they had remained a long time in these cities, they passed over to the North of Alba (Scotland), where they continued seven years in Dobar and Iardobar."
Keating continues. "When the Tuatha-De-Danaan had remained seven years in the north of Alba (Scotland), they passed over to Ireland and landed in the north of this country."
We know the Tuatha-De-Danaan to be the Tribe of Dan and the invaders from Syria to be armies of Jabin, king of Canaan. This segment of Irish history is found in O'Flaherty's Ogygia, in Keating's History of Ireland, pp. 142-46, and in Vol. II of Stokvis' Manuel, p. 232. 6
When I attended college at the University of Southern Mississippi, I found a history of Ireland, began reading it, and was astounded by its being settled by Dan and other Israelite and Hebrew peoples. Since then, I have corroborated this in many other readings. That they settled parts of Greece is found in many sources, including the above and also Homer's Iliad.
We cannot in this short paper discuss the cultural, artistic, technological, architectural, or other contributions the Israelite tribes have made to the world. Ezekiel 27:19, though, says, "Dan and Javan (Greece) from Uzzal were your sub-contracting-intermediaries (Hebrew: "Izvon-aich"); they gave iron manufactured, alloyed, and in bars (Hebrew: "asot kidah ve-kenah"). They were amongst your guarantors" (Hebrew: "ma-arav-aich"). Manetho said the final expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt included that of a people known as the Danaoi. The Danaoi are identifiable with Danaus, who, according to Diodorus Siculus (1:28), came to Greece but had left Egypt together with those who built Jerusalem. "Danaoi" and "Danaus" are forms of the name Dan.
"That Greeks and (some of the) Israelites were the same can be attested to also by Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, 13:5;8.
"Jonathan the high priest of the Jewish nation...to the ephori and senate and the people of the Lacedamonians ("Greeks"), send greeting: When in former times an epistle was brought to Onias, who was then our high priest...concerning the kindred that was between us and you, a copy of which is here subjoined....'"Herodotus means that the chiefs of the Dorians came out of Egypt and therefore he calls them Egyptian even though they may not have been of Egyptian stock. Perseus, we know, was a descendant of Danaus. 7
"Herodotus 6:53: '...in what follows I give the tradition of the Greeks generally. The kings of the Dorians (they say)--counting up to Perseus, son of Danae,...If we follow the line of Danae, daughter of Acrisius, and trace her progenitors, we shall find that the chiefs of the Dorians are really genuine Egyptians....'"
An interesting comment regarding Danaus' landing in Greece from Egypt says he (Danaus) was said to be the son of Belus, sometimes spelled "Bela," which strongly resembles "Bilhah," the name of Jacob's concubine, and mother of Dan (Gen. 30:4-6). 8
(E. Raymond Capt, quoting Latham), "...in his Ethnology of Europe, p. 157, says, 'that the eponymous of the Argive (Greek) Danai was no other than that of the Israelite Tribe of Dan, only we are so used to confining ourselves to the soil of Palestine in our consideration of the Israelites, that we treat them as if they were "adscripti glebae," and ignore the share they may have taken in the ordinary history of the world...what a light would be thrown on the origin of the name Peloponnesus and the history of the Pelopid family if a bona fide nation of Pelopes, with unequivocal affinities and contemporary annals, had existed on the coast of Asia! Who would have hesitated to connect the two? Yet with the Danai and the Tribe of Dan this is the case, and no one connects them!'" 9Not only did many Danites leave Egypt early, but it was Dan, too, more than any other Tribe, that assimilated itself onto other peoples, integrated more with others (first with Esau-Phoenicia, then others gradually), and is therefore spread out more among more nations. Except for Ireland, Wales, and Norway, and Denmark too (although much less so), Danite blood is mingled among all the other Israelite tribes. It is (and has been), though, kept intact in these countries (just listed) more than anywhere else.
We will not belabor this point much longer. One final thought is that early Greek history (in its formative period) has it that native groups known in Greece-proper as Pelasgians and as Ionians on the west coast of Anatolia (Turkey), together with the Aeolians (a related group), after the coming of the Danaioi, created Mycenean civilization. Mycenean civilization was destroyed and its leaders fled to the north to re-establish themselves as Dorians. The Myceneans were replaced by the Pelopid dynasty from Anatolia and the Achaeans. After the 1100's, the Dorians returned and re-established their suzerainty. The Dorians referred to their action as "the return of the Heraclids," meaning the return of the sons of followers of Hercules. Hercules was a hero of the Danaioi. He is based on the figure of Samson, the judge-hero of the Tribe of Dan, there existing many similarities between the two figures 10
At this juncture, I would like to tie in the Danite Greeks with their immigration to North Africa, for it is in North Africa that we continue our study. Plutarch, in his writings in the second century C.E. (Common Era), says much about "Greeks." Briefly, Rome was culturally the child of Greece, and it is pointless to distinguish between specific Hellenistic and Roman influences, for they are blended. The people have features (in the mosaics) resembling those of North Africans today. Most people customarily call them Arabs because their modern speech is Arabic. But their ancestry is a blend of European, Arab (and/or Israelite) and Berber. Plutarch's Greeks were just such a people, inheriting the maritime traditions of a varied ancestry, and speaking a dialect of Greek strongly influenced by North African vocabulary. Even Polybius, who visited North Africa in the second century C.E., regarded the North African Greeks as a people now considerably different from the Greeks of Greece. They called themselves Greeks, but were olive-skinned and represented a fusion of Greek and North African ("North African" being mainly the mixture of Dan and Phoenicia). These people called themselves Libyans, which itself was a generic name for Mediterranean North Africa, and occasionally for all of the continent of Africa.
A long chain of ruined cities in present-day Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco in the desert sands marks the maritime of North Africa where these seafarers once lived. Their cities were beautiful, and the ruins of them are still beautiful. Their marble, limestone, and porphyry columns gleaming in the bright desert sun in stately series along the deserted streets and market places compare remarkably with Ephesus and Pergamon (which I have toured personally) and other ruins of great cities of the ancient world.
Phoenician settlers, who later became independent of the parent cities of Tyre and Sidon in Phoenicia (Lebanon), and eventually founded the Carthaginian Empire, introduced a language "similar to ancient Hebrew." Around 650 B.C.E., Greeks from Sparta (Tribe of Dan-- "Danaans" in Homer's The Iliad) established a settlement which superseded the Phoenician village in east Libya and became the famous city of Cyrene. "Greek" influence spread over the neighboring region, where eventually five cities rose and comprised the kingdom of Cyrene. Semitic people that Barry Fell calls Arabs came to North Africa, probably around 600 B.C.E. (long before Islam, which began over 1,000 years later), so now "Arabic" became a part of the language. Even today, many North Africans, including the Berbers, still speak Arabic.
Continued in Part 1 Chapter 2