So where were we before my computer decided to have a heart attack and die last night? Just when it was getting interesting. (My son saved the day and lent me his while mine has a heart transplant.) Yeremyah the prophet has a little princess, or two, or three, and has mysteriously disappeared with them. The King of Israel has been bereft of his sons, had his eyes plucked out (erk!), and been dragged off to Babylon in chains to die. Do you think maybe he wasn’t SEEING something he should have?
The northern Israelite kingdom had eight dynasties in all. Yudah had only one in an unbroken line since David. We would therefore expect each overturn, discussed in my last post The Prophet and the Princess (EZE. 21:25-27), to be a wholly new dynasty or family. It would surely be in the pages of Scripture from where this new line would spring. And it surely is.
Back in the times of the twelve brothers who became the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel, Yudah and his daughter-in-law Tamar had twin boys. Despite me not being able to imagine how this could happen, there must have been some serious jostling in Tamar’s womb, one little boy stuck out his hand first, had a red string tied around it, pulled it back in, and was beaten to the post by his brother. That firstborn was called by the midwife Pharez, meaning: a breach (GEN. 38:27-30). The other with the string still around his wrist was called Zarah, the SEED. It was important to know which child in a twin was first in order to determine primogeniture, or who would inherit the throne and birthright. David and Yahshua were in the line of the firstborn Pharez, yet it was the second-born who was named as the seed. It was also the Pharez line that Yeremyah was to pluck up and plant elsewhere.
We know all about Pharez’s line from his unbroken genealogy in the Bible. Not so much is known about Zarah. He had five sons (I CHRON. 2:6) famed for their wisdom just a little less than Shelemoh’s (Solomon’s). Just as little known is that Ezekiel unites a prince and princess, places them on a throne, and has them ruling over the kingdom of Israelites in a country that is not Israel or Yudah.
EZEKIEL 17 will enlighten us. The relevant verses are in the form of a parable or riddle sandwiched between two revelations about Yerushalem’s harlotries and Zedekyah’s unfaithfulness, after which the parable is reiterated and enlarged. As I write the riddle, I will put its explanation in parentheses, for: To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven (MATT. 13:11), and It is the glory of YHWH to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings to search out a matter. As we are a nation of kings and queens, we should certainly search this out. The actual Scripture is written in bold and italics to make it easier to read.
EZEKIEL 17:3-4 …A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers. which had divers colours (the tribe of Dan that abode in ships had great carved eagles with outstretched wings as figureheads on their oceangoing vessels. The great wings would be the sails), came unto Lebanon (the seaport of Tyre in Palestine), and took the highest branch of the cedar (to get cedars of Lebanon–from a mountain range in Palestine–with which to make masts for their ships [EZE. 27:5]. But the great eagle–YHWH–took the highest branch of the cedar. Here is a double meaning: the cedar of Lebanon is a symbol of royalty). He cropt off the top of HIS young twigs (this is a person, a young male of the royal house), and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants (to another land in an up-and-coming city there).
At some time a young scion of the royal house of Zion has taken ship to another land and settled there. The story continues: EZEKIEL 17:5-6 He took also of the seed of the land (the seed being offspring of the royal house of David, from the land of Israel–including Yudah) and planted it in a fruitful field; he placed it by great waters (of an ocean; not the Mediterranean, a mere sea), and set (grafted) it as a willow tree. (What nation bordering an ocean has native willow trees?)
And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature (the one who was to inherit the crown from Zedekyah was low, whereas the king of Yudah was high [EZE. 21:36]), whose branches turned toward HIM (him being the royal cedar of Zarah also previously taken to this other land), and the roots thereof (of the seed/vine/willow tree) were under HIM (the people exalted him and made him their ruler, that is, the roots under him gave him power): so that it became a vine, and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs (he became a royal dynasty in his own right with sons, albeit as yet low–not as famous as David’s house in Yudah).
The prophetic parable continues, and in so doing, unveils yet more of the riddle: EZEKIEL 17:7: There was another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and behold this vine (of verse 6, who also came on a great ship of Dan to this other land) did bend HER roots (of a ruling power) toward HIM, and shot forth HER branches toward HIM (gave him children), that HE might water it (bring them up in the spiritual covenant of YHWH) by the furrows of her plantation.
Here we have a major clue as to where this land may be, along with the great waters, the willow tree, a royal line already established there, ships of Dan or Phoenicia sailing to its thriving cities, and the land’s fruitfulness. It is a marvellous fact that the province of Ulster in Northern Ireland was called the ‘Plantation of Ulster’.
Ireland fulfils all of these clues. Much of her history is a mystery (made to be unveiled!), but there is enough in the Anals of Irish History and Anals of Ulster to fill in a lot of gaps. In previous posts–see The Jews and the Ten Lost Tribes—I explained how the ten tribes of the northern kingdom came to the British Isles. The Phoenician ships would voyage to the Tin Islands (United Kingdom) where the Tuatha de Danaans (Tribe of Dan), as the Israelites were called, had settled and named geographical landmarks for their father, Dan. The Irish colonies must have been well-known to the Yudaeans of Yeremyah’s day, even until the time of Yahshua. Hence the reason why Britain became the destination of Joseph of Arimathea and his band of castaways (see post Turned the World Upside Down). It is said that Joseph had investments in the tin mines and that Yahshua, his nephew, spent some of his childhood there. Paul is believed to have traveled there, according to the New Testament fathers.
We must however return to dissecting Ezekiel’s riddle. EZEKIEL 17:18 It (the vine) was planted in a good soil by great waters (of the Atlantic Ocean), that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit (children), that it might be a goodly line (royal line).
Verse 9 asks whether Satan will be able to pull up the roots of this newly planted royal house. Clearly he will. For YHWH says it will wither under the east wind, without any great power or many people as was the previous house pulled out by Nebuchadnezzar and war. And it must wither and die if there were or are to be two more overturns. But that is far in the future. Let’s look at the last part of the story, following the details of Zedekyah’s demise.
EZEKIEL 17:22-24 …I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar (prince of Zarah’s line), and will set (graft) it, I will crop off the top of his young twigs a tender one (princess of the Pharez line), and will plant it upon a high mountain and eminent (in the rulers or government of a foreign land): In the mountain of the height of Israel (in an established royal house wherever the ten tribes of Israel are dwelling) will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit (children), and be a goodly cedar (royal family): and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing: in the shadow of the branches therof shall they dwell (many nations and people shall be under its sovereignty). And all the trees of the field (nations) shall know that I YHWH have brought down the high tree (YHWH must vindicate Himself by pulling down all rulers or governments which fail to represent Him righteously), and have exalted the low tree (and raise up a righteous one in their place), have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish…
YHWH left many distinguishing marks that we may be certain of the whereabouts of the house of Joseph and be able to recognize it. Foremost is that once the prince and princess are planted together, he whom had formerly been dry would flourish whereas the green tree of the Jewish kingdom would dry up. This is exactly what happened, with the withering of the fig tree at Yahshua’s command lending weight to this prophecy.
Returning to the disappearance of Yeremyah with the princesses, if we can discover where he did the planting, the whereabouts of Ephraim, the site of Yeremyah’s grave, surely that would confirm the truth of the matter at hand. Was it Ireland, or not?
HOSHIYAH 12:1 points to the whereabouts of Ephraim: He followed after the east wind, meaning he goes from the east to the west as does an easterly wind. Ephraim is cast afar off, therefore he must be in the far-off west. On confirming His promise to David about his royal lineage, YHWH says He will set his hand (that holds the sceptre) in the sea (PSA. 89:25). Ezekiel gives the location of Israel and the royal pair as a land of traffick with good soil and fruitfulness. This land sits on great waters. Yeremyah (31:10) calls to Ephraim, the firstborn of YHWH, in the isles afar off. The isles are likewise referred to often in relation to Israel. The far-off home of Ephraim is not on an island but isles – a group of islands in the ocean.
Of Israel’s return to Palestine, Isayah (49:12) shows them to be in the north-west from today’s Middle East: Behold, these shall come from afar…from the north and from the west (i.e. north-west, there being no compound word for it in the Hebrew). The only group of isles in a north-westerly direction from Palestine are the British Isles. Notice they are not called the British ISLANDS as most groups of islands. The great waters are of course the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, and the English Channel.
Now to Yeremyah and his princess wards. At the time of the first fully comprehensible written records of Ireland’s history, it already had a king. From where he came no secular historian knows. Bible scholars should know that YHWH hid him and his people for a term until His Gospel plan came to fruition: Keep silence before Me, O islands, and let the people renew their strength (until they found their Saviour at which time the joy of YHWH became their strength).
The Almighty One raised up a man to reintroduce hidden Israel to His righteousness. This man came by ship from the east, bringing with him the royal seed of David. ISAYAH 41:1-5 …let them (who were commanded to be silent) speak: let us come near together to judgment. WHO RAISED UP THE RIGHTEOUS MAN FROM THE EAST, called him to his foot (sanctified in the womb, ordained as a prophet [YER. 1:5]), gave the nations before him and made him rule over kings? [YER. 1:10] …He pursued them (Israel), and passed safely, even by the way that he had not gone by his feet (not gone before and not by walking)… The isles saw it, and feared, the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came (accepted his Gospel/Law/Message).
From these Scriptures there is little doubt Yeremyah, the righteous man from the east, took ship to Ireland. From the king on down, the people were converted back to the ways of YHWH: But thou, Israel, are my servant, Yacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend, Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art My servant, I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away (IS. 41:8-9).
Scripture is replete with these evidences, and so is Irish history. Many authors attest that various chronicles and records of ancient Ireland have the Hebrews settling in that country. They further agree that:
- a saint, or important Hebrew man known as Ollam Folla (meaning prophet) came to Ulster in Northern Ireland around 585 BC.
- This man was accompanied by a princess or princesses, the daughter or daughters of an eastern king, toward whom he acted as guardian. The name of one princess, the younger, was Tea Tephi. Another was called Scotia (from Scythia), later giving her name to Scotland.
- The group had likewise in company with them one Simon Brack, Bruch, or Berach.
- The group brought with them a Lia-fail or Stone of Destiny (more about this in a future post); and the harp of David. It is well-known that this has been a feature of the royal arms of Ireland.
- The princess, Tea Tephi, was married to Eochaid the Heremon, king of Ireland of the Zarah bloodline. The notable patriarch made it a condition of the marriage that the king abandon his former pagan religion in favour of YHWH’s, and establish a school for prophets. This was agreed upon and carried out, the school being called Mur-Ollam. The king also changed the name of his capital city from Lothair to Tara (Torah, Hebrew for Law).
- The crown worn by this sovereign had twelve points. The first of Ezekiel’s overturns had been made manifest.
- To this day the Irish are very proud of the fact that Yeremyah the prophet is buried in their country. His tomb is said to be found on Devenish Isle in Lough Erne, near Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
There is a slightly different version of this story in a book The Irish Prince and the Hebrew Prophet. One Eochaid (meaning Knight) Oilioll Olchaoin, son of Siorna Saoghlach mac Dian called the Heremon of the Zarah line, king of Ireland, was visiting Yerushalem for several years before and during the siege by the Babylonians. There was quite obviously much traffic, communication, and close relationship between the two nations throughout Israelite history. Upon the destruction of the city, the Irish prince accompanied Yeremyah, Baruch, and the king’s daughters in their flight to Egypt. The little band was given protection by Pharoah Hophra in his royal house at Tahpanhes. The older sister, Scotia, married Niul, one of Pharoah Hophra’s Milesian–that is, a Gaul (later Gael) of Israelite ancestry–mercenary soldiers. Tea Tephi was married to the Eochaid. They had a son.
When Pharoah Hophra was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, the fugitives from Yudah were driven out of Egypt by Pharoah Ahmosis II. They escaped (YER. 44:28) and took a ship from a Mediterranean port to Ireland via Spain where they sojourned for a while. Some of Hophra’s mercenaries, including Niul, accompanied Yeremyah on the voyage.
Upon their arrival in Ireland. Prince Oilioll Olchaoin discovered his father the king had just died. He was therefore proclaimed king. The Heremon was the first king to be crowned there on the Stone of Destiny. Yeremyah joined the hands of the new king and his queen, Tea Tephi, over the Stone. The Zarah and Pharez lines were one. A ruler of David’s house had continued his line. The Irish Prince and the Hebrew Prophet finishes the tale with Yeremyah commanding YHWH’s blessing upon the throne of David.
And the Stone? It was and still is Yacob’s pillar stone. the Bethel Stone, on which he rested his head the night he saw angels ascending to Heaven as he fled from his enraged brother Esau. It too has an amazing story.