The House of Judah

The question has been raised now all over the world concerning the origin of those who call themselves Ashekenazi (the Ashkenazi Jews).  Tex Marrs has made the claim that the Askhenaziym are not really of the blood line of Judah, but are converts, and therefore have no lawful claim to the Avrahamic Title.  Marrs claims that the Ashekanziym are not lawful heirs, but substitute inheritors by artifice rather than actual relation.  Under this theory, Hitler would have been of great assistance, as he went out of his way to label and identify each and every person under his jurisdiction that fell in this camp of Ashkenaziym as Jewish.

The story that is being spread has to do with the Khazarian Empire (who knew?), an empire that existed from about 650 A.D. to 965 A.D. when they were conquered by the emerging Russia.  The battle between the Khazarian remnant and Russia continues even as this is being written in 2014, as the people of Ukraine have risen up in what is being called a revolution in order to throw off the Russian yoke. The story declares that the pagan (and non-related) Scythians who had migrated into Southern Russia and Ukraine and mixed with the indigenous peoples living there, later converted en masse to Judaism sometime in the 8th century.

The basis of this claim comes from the estimate that Khazaria was made up of 25-28 distinct ethnic groups, who were ruled by an elite (Jews?).  These 25-28 ethnic groups are, of course, the story and not the ruling elite, who, by the way claimed ethnic heterogeneity within 10 tribes, and who, notwithstanding the 25-28 distinct ethnic groups, divided Khazaria over a similar number of provinces or principalities. The ruling tribes distinguished themselves from the lesser ruled tribes in the regions, and were known historically as “White Khazars” (ak-Khazars), while the lesser tribes were called and “Black Khazars” (qara-Khazars). Al Istakhri, a 10th-century Muslim geographer, claimed that the White Khazars were strikingly handsome with reddish hair, white skin, and blue eyes (“Caucasian”), while the Black Khazars were swarthy, verging on deep black, as if they were “some kind of Indian” (“Asian”).

Consider this passage:

4 Ezra 13:39-41

39 And whereas you saw that he gathered another peaceable multitude to him; 40 Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Hushea the king, whom Shalmaneser the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. 41 But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, 42 That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land.

The Muslim sources writing contemporaneously with the empire of the Khazars, describe the Khazars as having a white complexion, blue eyes, and reddish hair.  It is presumed that the so-called found tribe was called the Ashina, but as we will see, this was derived from the name Ashkuz, which itself was a misapprehension of the name Askhenaz, a name which the tribe ascribes to even to this day.  Later Russian writers also distinguished between the White Oghurs (Ogres?) and Black Oghurs, referring to the Black Oghurs as Magyars (“Huns”).  For the sake of interest, you may note that the capital city of Khazaria (now razed) was Atil, and a person who hailed from such a city would be called an Atilla; hence, Atilla the Hun now reaches full circle.

This is the story about which we will try to lay a foundation here.  So let us begin at the point when modern political history begins: the division of the land at the time of Noach.  In Yovheliym 8, it reads in pertinent part as follows:

Yovheliym 9:10

10 And it came to pass in the beginning of the thirty third jubilee that they divided the earth into three parts, for Shem and Cham and Yapheth, according to the inheritance of each, in the first year in the first week, when one of us who had been sent, was with them.

To Shem:

21 And he knew that a blessed portion and a blessing had come to Shem and his sons to the generations forever the whole land of Eden and the whole land of the Red Sea, and the whole land of the east and India, and on the Red Sea and the mountains thereof, and all the land of Bashan, and all the land of Lebanon and the islands of Kaftur, and all the mountains of Seniyr and Amanah, and the mountains of Assyria in the north, and all the land of Elam, Assyria, and Babylon, and Susan and Ma’edai, and all the mountains of Ararat, and all the region beyond the sea, which is beyond the mountains of Assyria towards the north, a blessed and spacious land, and all that is in it is very good.

To Cham:

22 And for Cham came forth the second portion, beyond the Gihon towards the south to the right of the Garden, and it extends towards the south and it extends to all the mountains of fire, and it extends towards the west to the sea of Atel and it extends towards the west till it reaches the sea of Ma’uk that sea into which everything which is not destroyed descends. 23 And it goes forth towards the north to the limits of Gadiyr, and it goes forth to the coast of the waters of the sea to the waters of the great sea till it draws near to the river Gihon, and goes along the river Gihon till it reaches the right of the Garden of Eden. 24 And this is the land which came forth for Cham as the portion which he was to occupy forever for himself and his sons to their generations forever.

To Yapheth:

25 And for Yapheth came forth the third portion beyond the river Tina to the north of the outflow of its waters, and it extends north easterly to the whole region of Gog, and to all the country east thereof. 26 And it extends northerly to the north, and it extends to the mountains of Qelt towards the north, and towards the sea of Ma’uk, and it goes forth to the east of Gadiyr as far as the region of the waters of the sea. 27 And it extends until it approaches the west of Fara and it returns towards Aferag, and it extends easterly to the waters of the sea of Me’at. 28 And it extends to the region of the river Tina in a north easterly direction until it approaches the boundary of its waters towards the mountain Rafa, and it turns round towards the north. 29 This is the land which came forth for Yapheth and his sons as the portion of his inheritance which he should possess for himself and his sons, for their generations forever; five great islands, and a great land in the north. 30 But it is cold, and the land of Cham is hot, and the land of Shem is neither hot nor cold, but it is of blended cold and heat.


Now, given that those of the house of Peretz refer to themselves as Ashkenaziym, we shall concern ourselves with Ashkenaz, the son of Gomer, the first born of Yapheth.

B’re’sheyth 10:2-3

2 The sons בֵּן of Yapheth יֶפֶת; Gomer גֹּמֶר, and Magog מָגוֹג, and Madai מָדַי, and Javan יָוָן, and Tubal תֻּבַל, and Meshech מֶשֶׁךְ, and Tiras תִּירָס. 3 And the sons בֵּן of Gomer גֹּמֶר; Ashkenaz אַשְׁכְּנַז, and Riphath רִיפַת, and Togarmah תֹּגַרְמָה.

The Hebrew name Gomer (גֹּמֶר Gomer) – is constructed from three Hebrew letters, namely gimmel (ג), mem (מ), and resh (ר).  The Hebrew when written prior to the Masoretic interpretation (the inclusion of vowels) left the word as only these three consonants - gimmel (ג), mem (מ), and resh (ר).  There are two presumptions that must be met in finding the pronunciation; first, each consonant must be followed with a vowel sound; second, the vowel in the first instance is the vowel found in the pronunciation of the letter itself.  Therefore the three letters gimmel (ג), mem (מ), and resh (ר), would be pronounced gi-me-reh, not Gomer.  The name in the plural would be the Gimeriym, and a single member of the tribe of Gimereh, would be a Gimeri, and the tribe by reference, the Gimerai, which, according to the Barry Cunliffe edition of The Oxford History of Prehistoric Europe (Oxford University Press, 1994), at pages 381–382, is exactly how they were known by the ancient Assyrians.  Both the Oxford History and the Cambridge Ancient History agree on this very issue.

According to the Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. II, part 2, at pages 425-426, the ancient Cimmerians were the Biblical tribe of Gomer, the son of Japheth, and occupied south Russia, just north of the Caucasus mountains:

But a dramatic turn of fortune's wheel now took place. In 714 B.C. the Cimmerians, the Biblical Gomer, [italics added] from beyond the Caucasus, a horde of fierce barbarians from south Russia, suddenly bore down on the confines of Urartu, driven out, according to Greek tradition,  by the Scythian tribes down the central passes of the Caucasus, [now the Russian-Georgian Military Highway], the ancient military road. Rusas of Urartu met them at Uesi (probably Ba§-Kale) and being decisively defeated, committed suicide while in 714 B.C. Sargon marched through the now defenseless country and sacked Musasir.


A Georgian fortress along the Georgian-Russian military highway.

From Urartu, the Cimmerians appear to have turned westward against the Urartians' allies, the Phrygians, whose ruler Midas, like Rusas before him, is also said to have committed suicide. The great tumulus at Gordion, excavated by the Americans in 1957, produced a burial rich in gifts, surrounding the body of a small elderly man of over sixty years of age. None of the gifts included gold which, it has been suggested, had all been surrendered to the invaders. At the same period the Phrygian city appears to have been violently burnt, though it later revived. The Cimmerians are reputed to have ravaged Ionia, probably attacking Smyrna and Miletus and other cities such as Sinope (Herodotus iv. 12) and Antandrus, but the chief effect of their invasion which terrorized Asia Minor for eighty years was to destroy the Phrygian Empire, the heart of which they appear to have occupied.  In 679 B.C. under their king Teushpa, they were defeated by Esarhaddon and thrown back from the Taurus after a pitched battle at Khupishna.

Consider the region:


Consider that Gimereh (Gomer) was the father of Ashkenaz.  There is a passage in the Cepher Yermiyahu that is worth considering:

Yermiyahu 51:19-28 

19 The portion of Ya`aqov is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Yisra’el is the rod of his inheritance: YAHUAH TSEVA’OTH is his name. 20 You are my battle axe and weapons of war: for with you will I break in pieces the nations, and with you will I destroy kingdoms; 21 And with you will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with you will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; 22 With you also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with you will I break in pieces old and young; and with you will I break in pieces the young man and the maid; 23 I will also break in pieces with you the shepherd and his flock; and with you will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with you will I break in pieces captains and rulers. 24 And I will render to Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Tsyion in your sight, says YAHUAH. 25 Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, says YAHUAH, which destroy all the earth: and I will stretch out my hand upon you, and roll you down from the rocks, and will make you a burnt mountain. 26 And they shall not take of you a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but you shall be desolate forever, says YAHUAH. 27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the shofar among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat [Turkey], Minniy [Armenia], and Ashkenaz [Ukraine?]; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough caterpillers. 28 Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Madai (Iran), the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion.

Of the seven sons of Japheth, Gimereh (Gomer) has been identified as the Kymroi or Cimmerians; Madai is identified with the Medes, the Medo people of the Medo-Persian Empire who lived in what is today northwestern Iran. Yavan is identified with the Ionians or Greeks who lived near the Bosporus (the Shabbatyron), Magog who migrated to a region north and east of the Caspian Sea, and Tiras, who is identified with the seventh-century King Gyges of Lydia in southwest Turkey. Tubal and Meshech are well-known to be the two peoples known to the Assyrians as the Tabal and the Musku, to the Greeks as the Tibaroi and the Moschoi, and to the people living in the region now as the Tubalini and the Meshek Turks, who live along the southern shore of the Black Sea and eastern Turkey near modern Armenia.  Tubal was also identified with the Tyrsenoi, the name the ancient Greeks used for the group that would later be called the Etruscans.  Tubal has nothing to do with Tobolsk, Russia.

As to the Ashkenaziym, Isaac Asimov reasons that they were known to the Assyrians as the Ashkuza only because they misunderstood the original spelling: אַשְׁכְּנַז Aleph, shin, kaph, nun, tzadi, mistaking the nun for a vav.  However, to the Greeks, the Ashkenaz were known as the Skythoi or Scythians. The Scythians came to occupy the steppe-lands north of the Black Sea, in what today would be southern Ukraine and southern Russia. This was the land occupied by the Cimmerian (tribe of Gomer) people as well, stretching from the Crimean peninsula, to modern Dagestan and beyond.

According to Herodotus, the Scythians become a bit more ruthless than the Cimmerians, and eventually pushed the Cimmerians south over the Caucasus Mountains to the lands along the coast of the Black Sea, from Bulgaria, across Turkey to Georgia.  Note that one province that appears just north of Georgia in the north Caucasus Mountains (now Russia) is known today by the names of the two tribes who occupy this province.  It is called Kabardinia Balkaria (Bulgaria?).

The Herodotus version of the war between the Scythians and the Cimmerians is as follows:

The History of Herodotus, George Rawlinson, ed. and tr., vol. 3, Book 4, Chapters 2-36, 46-82. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1885

"There is also another different story, now to be related, in which I am more inclined to put faith than in any other. It is that the wandering Scythians once dwelt in Asia, and there warred with the Massagetae [the tribe of Menashsheh], but with ill success; they therefore quitted their homes, crossed the Araxes [Caucasus Mountains], and entered the land of Cimmeria [Southern Russia and Eastern Ukraine]. For the land which is now inhabited by the Scyths was formerly the country of the Cimmerians. On their coming, the natives, who heard how numerous the invading army was, held a council. At this meeting opinion was divided, and both parties stiffly maintained their own view; but the counsel of the Royal tribe was the braver. For the others urged that the best thing to be done was to leave the country, and avoid a contest with so vast a host; but the Royal tribe advised remaining and fighting for the soil to the last. As neither party chose to give way, the one determined to retire without a blow and yield their lands to the invaders; but the other, remembering the good things which they had enjoyed in their homes, and picturing to themselves the evils which they had to expect if they gave them up, resolved not to flee, but rather to die and at least be buried in their fatherland. Having thus decided, they drew apart in two bodies, the one as numerous as the other, and fought together. All of the Royal tribe were slain, and the people buried them near the river Tyras (named after the son of Yapheth) [Dniester, a river in Southwestern Ukraine] where their grave is still to be seen. Then the rest of the Cimmerians departed, and the Scythians, on their coming, took possession of a deserted land.

Scythia still retains traces of the Cimmerians; there are Cimmerian castles, and a Cimmerian ferry, also a tract called Cimmeria, and a Cimmerian Bosporus. It appears likewise that the Cimmerians, when they fled into Asia to escape the Scyths, made a settlement in the peninsula where the Greek city of Sinope was afterwards built. The Scyths, it is plain, pursued them, and missing their road, poured into Media. For the Cimmerians kept the line which led along the sea-shore, but the Scyths in their pursuit held the Caucasus upon their right, thus proceeding inland, and falling upon Media. This account is one which is common both to Greeks and barbarians."

The Cimmerians were the founders of the city of Sinope (now Sinop in modern Turkey).  This was the city of Marcion, one of the early compilers of the New Testament, a known forger, and one who was eventually declared to be a gnostic heretic.  It is from this city that we have the term synoptic – as in the Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the city from which we obtain the term synopsis.  Marcion was likely a descendant of Gimereh, and his family former residents of Ukraine.

This story gets even more involved, when you study the lore of the people of Georgia.  Near the city of Batumi along the Black Sea, lies a first century Roman fortress called Gonio Apsaros:


Inside the fortress Gonio Apsaros, just south of the city of Batumi, Georgia.

Along the pathways inside this completely intact fortress lies the grave of the Apostle Matthias:


The grave of the Apostle Mathias in the Gonio Apsaros fortress near Batumi, Georgia

This grave has been there since the first century, and the legend tells of the mission of the Apostle Andrew and the Apostle Mathias, who traveled into Georgia (known in the native tongue as Saakartvelo, the home of the Saaka (sons of Isaac) who would later go on to inhabit both Germany as Isaac’s sons (Saxons) and Britain (Anglo-Saxons).  Mathias died here. Andrew went all the way to Kiev and founded the Ukrainian congregation; he was later killed on the Crimean peninsula by the Scythians – the Ashkenaziym, who would thereafter adopt the religion of Babylonian Talmudism, now called Judaism.

Several scholars have suggested that the Khazars did not disappear after the dissolution of their Empire, but migrated West to eventually form part of the core of the later population who would come to self-identify as Ashkenazi Jews.  The question that is of necessity raised: Are the Ashkenziym truly descendants of Yahudah, or are they descendants of Gimereh (Gomer) and Yapheth, or someone else altogether?

Some of the answer, I believe, can be found in what would logically occur in a world of animosity towards the descendants of the Yahudiym.  Where an entire empire converts to Judaism, those born under the Torah would likely see Khazaria as a haven for their beliefs.  Not everyone would relocate, but most assuredly, many did. As it was said by Ben-Zion Dinur in regard to the build-up of the great Jewish center of Eastern Europe under Khazars, in Yisrael ba-gola 5 vols., 3rd ed.(1961-1966) Tel-Aviv: Jerusalem: Dvir; Bialik Institute, 1961. (OCLC:492532282) vol.1 pages 2,5: “The Russian conquests did not destroy the Khazar kingdom entirely, but they broke it up and diminished it. And this kingdom, which had absorbed Jewish immigration and refugees from many exiles, must itself have become a diaspora mother, the mother of one of the greatest of the diasporas of Israel in Russia, Lithuania and Poland.”

Who then is Yahudah? Let us trace the steps of his sons, Perets and Zerach.  Perez can be traced to the first century by means of the genealogy set forth in Mattithyahu 1 and Lucas 3:

Mattithyahu 1:1-17

The book (סֵפֶר cepher) of the generation of YAHUSHUA HAMASHIACH, the son of David, the son of Avraham. 2 Avraham begat Yitschaq; and Yitschaq begat Ya`aqov; and Ya`aqov begat Yahudah and his brethren; 3 And Yahudah begat Perets and Zerach of Tamar; and Perets begat Chetsron; and Chetsron begat Aram; 4 And Aram begat Ammiynadav; and Ammiynadav begat Nachshon; and Nachshon begat Salmah; 5 And Salmah begat Bo`az of Rachav; and Bo`az begat Oved of Ruth; and Oved begat Yishay; 6 And Yishay begat David the king (מֶלֶךְ melek); and David the king (מֶלֶךְ melek) begat Shalomah of her that had been the woman of Uriyah; 7 And Shalomah begat Rechav`am; and Rechav`am begat Aviyah; and Aviyah begat Aca; 8 And Aca begat Yahoshaphat; and Yahoshaphat begat Yoram; and Yoram begat Uzziyah; 9 And Uzziyah begat Yotham; and Yotham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Yechizqiyah; 10 And Yechizqiyah begat Menashsheh; and Menashsheh begat Amon; and Amon begat Yo’shiyah; 11 And Yo’shiyah begat Yahoyakin and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: 12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Yahoyakin begat She’altiy’el; and She’altiy’el begat Zerubbavel; 13 And Zerubbavel begat Aviyhud; and Aviyhud begat Elyaqiym; and Elyaqiym begat Azzur; 14 And Azzur begat Tsadoq; and Tsadoq begat Yoqiym; and Yoqiym begat El’ayil; 15 And El’ayil begat El`azar; and El`azar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Ya`aqov; 16 And Ya`aqov begat Yoceph the father of Miryam, of whom was born YAHUSHA, who is called Mashiach. 17 So all the generations from Avraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon to HaMashiach are fourteen generations.

So, the house of Perets can be traced from Yahudah to YAHUSHA, the first born of Miryam, and the rightful heir to the throne of David.  His brothers, identified as Ya’aqov (James) and Yahudah (Jude) were later born, and scripture does not identify whether either one was married or produced progeny.

Given this difficulty, the mythology expounded upon by Dan Brown in the Da Vinci Code is then promulgated, claiming a marriage between YAHUSHA and Miryam Magdalena, and a royal line.  Other than a suspect single Coptic Egyptian papyrus, there is no evidence in any of the scriptures, or even the gnostic writings, that corroborate this claim.

However, consider the birthright of Yahudah:

B’re’shiyth 49:8-12

8 Yahudah, you are he whom thy brethren shall praise: your hand shall be in the neck of your enemies; your father's children shall bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, you are gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Yahudah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

From this declaration, the lion emerges as the symbol of Yahudah, which we shall see.  Also, and of importance in tracing the house of Peretz (Peres, or Pheres), is this blessing that “the scepter shall not depart from Yahudah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come.”

The period from the Bar Kochba revolt to the emergence of the Babylonian Talmud tends to be a dark period for the house of Yahudah as traced through the house of Pheres.  But, there is an interesting anomaly.  From the period around the time of the Messiah, a person holding the scepter arose among the dispersed Yahudiym in the Indus Valley and stretching to the Punjab province, who was known as Gondophares I (gondo-pheres).  He arose as the main Indo-Parthian ruler over the area of Sistan, in the region of the Scythians, and called himself “king of kings.”

So, it appears that the early Scythians, before migrating over the Caucasus Mountains to displace the Cimmerians, appear to be fairly integrated with the Yahudiym (and other tribes of the house of Yisra’el), and led specifically by those descendants of the house of Pheres (Gondophares I – IV) from 20 AD to 240 AD.  The history of the Khazarian Empire always included the Yahudiym, and the later conversion of its leadership to Judaism.  The Khazars integration included conversions of the Goths (house of Gad), the Vandals (house of Gad and Rueben) and the Alans, whose migratory paths took them as far west as Spain and Portugal.  The house of Peretz was thus spread throughout Europe.

The migration of the house of Peretz (Pheres) following the collapse of the second temple:


At the time of the diaspora, therefore, the house of Peretz (Pheres) migrated from Yerushaliym primarily back to the established social order in Babylon.  However, some went in the direction of the upper Nile and to points farther south in Africa; and some to the Indus River Valley.

When you consider the blessing given to Shimon and Leviy in B’re’shiyth 49, the violence of Shimon and Leviy is expressly mentioned.

B’re’shiyth 49:5-7

5 Shimon and Leviy are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. 6 O my soul, come not you into their secret; unto their assembly, my honor, be not you united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Ya’aqov, and scatter them in Israel.

The Scythians were well-known as a violent and ruthless people.  It is reasonable to conclude that the descendants of Shimon and Leviy were part of this multitude as well early on in the Indus River Valley.

In a paper distributed by the “Igbo Benei-Yisrael Association of Nigeria,” (See Shevei Israel: For our lost brethren, three possible migration routes of Jews into Africa are proposed:

  1. Through migrations west from the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Sudan.
  2. Through trade and travel of North African Jews within the West African Kingdoms of Mali, Songhai, and Kanem-Bornu. According to accounts from explorers of the region, several of the rulers of the Songhai Empire were said to be of Jewish origin.
  3. Through Jews traveling with Kel Tamasheq (Tuareg) trade caravans from various parts of Northeast Africa into West Africa.


Possible Migration Routes of Jews into Africa

Another possibility described by a 9th century Jewish traveler named Eldad ben-Mahli (also known as Eldad the Danite) is that his tribe, Dan, migrated from the land of Israel so as not to take part in the civil war at the time of Yeroboam’s secession, and were residing in the land of Havilah beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. According to Eldad, three other tribes in addition to Dan – Naphtali, Gad and Asher – were with them; these had joined in the times of Sennacherib.

Eldad wrote that the Igbo Jews in Africa had an entire body of scriptures except for the books of Esther and Lamentations. They knew nothing of the Mishna nor the Talmud; but they had a “Talmud” of their own in which all the laws were cited in the name of the biblical Joshua. Eldad described a specific law dealing with the rules pertaining to the killing of animals for food.

Although these tribes are referred to as Igbo “Jews”, the tribes mentioned are Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.  However, as we will discover, many of these routes were followed by other tribes – Dan, Ephraim, and Issachar.

Now, let us consider the other twin son of Yahudah: Zerach (Zara).  As mentioned before, the symbol of the house of Yahudah is the lion.  But there are two of them – the Golden Lion, for the house of Peretz (Pheres), and the Red Lion, for the house of Zerach (Zara).


B’re’shiyth 38:27-30

27 And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb. 28 And it came to pass, when she travailed, that the one put out his hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first. 29 And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How have you broken forth? this breach be upon you: therefore his name was called Peretz. 30 And afterward came out his brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zerach.

Yahudah is described as a “lion’s whelp” in the blessing of Yisra’el set forth in B’re’shiyth 49, hence the symbol of the lion for both houses – the house of Zerach and the house of Peretz.  The standing lion is called the rampant lion, an aggressive posture to be sure.

However, the lineage of Zerach is unspoken.  Whereas Peretz is traced generation by generation to the time of HaMashiach, we are not told of the history of Zerach until we reach the writings of Ezra.  It is entirely possible that this line is not traced because the house of Zerach left Egypt before the exodus of the house of Yisra’el.

There is some trace of the descendants of Zerach set forth in the book of Yashar:

Yashar 88:24 

And Akan the son of Karmiy, the son of Zavdiy, the son of Zerach, son of Yahudah, dealt treacherously in the accursed thing, and he took of the accursed thing and hid it in the tent, and the anger of YAHUAH was kindled against Yisra’el.

And this offense is listed again in the book of Yahusha (Joshua) 7.

Yahusha 7:1

But the children of Yisra’el committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Akan, the son of Karmiy, the son of Zavdiy, the son of Zerach, of the tribe of Yahudah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of YAHUAH was kindled against the children of Yisra’el.

And the remedy for this offense:

Yahusha 7:16-26

16 So Yahusha rose up early in the morning, and brought  את-Yisra’el by their tribes; and the tribe of Yahudah was taken: 17 And he brought the family of Yahudah; and he took the family of the Zarchiym: and he brought את the family of the Zarchiym man by man; and Zavdiy was taken: 18 And he brought his household man by man; and Akan, the son of Karmiy, the son of Zavdiy, the son of Zerach, of the tribe of Yahudah, was taken. 19 And Yahusha said unto Akan, My son, give, I pray you, glory to YAHUAH ELOHIYM of Yisra’el, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what you have done; hide it not from me. 20 And Akan answered את-Yahusha, and said, Indeed I have sinned against YAHUAH ELOHIYM of Yisra’el, and thus and thus have I done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred sheqels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty sheqels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. 22 So Yahusha sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. 23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Yahusha, and unto all the children of Yisra’el, and laid them out before YAHUAH. 24 And Yahusha, and all Yisra’el with him, took Akan the son of Zerach, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Akor. 25 And Yahusha said, Why have you troubled us? YAHUAH shall trouble you this day. And all Yisra’el stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So YAHUAH turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, Emeq Akor, unto this day.

Now in the writings of Ezra, referred to in the English and 1 and 2 Chronicles, the lineage is finally set forth to some degree.

Divrei Hayamiym Ri’shon 2:4-8

4 And Tamar his daughter in law bore him Perets and Zerach. All the sons of Yahudah were five. 5 The sons of Perets; Chetsron, and Chamul. 6 And the sons of Zerach; Zimriy (Zavdiy), and Eythan, and Heyman, and Kalkol (Calcol), and Dara: five of them in all. 7 And the sons of Karmiy (son of Zavdiy); Akar, the troubler of Yisra’el, who transgressed in the thing accursed. 8 And the sons of Eythan; Azaryahu.

While Zimriy (Zavdiy) appears to have remained and sojourned with Yasharon into the wilderness, there are records that indicate that the other sons went in different directions.  According to W.H. Bennet, John D. Keyser, The Modern Descendants of Zara-Judah, the tribe of Kalcol -- also known as Cecrops -- migrated to Greece and founded the city of Athens. Another tribe of Dara or Dardanus, ended up in the Troad and built Troy, the ancestors of the Trojans. In the generation of Kalcol and prior to the Exodus, Gathelus (Miledh), a son of Kalcol, returned to Egypt after killing a man in Greece. He assisted one of the pharaohs in his fight against the Ethiopians, Gathelus was given the hand of the pharaoh's daughter Scota in marriage. After living seven years in Egypt, Gathelus fled the land at the outset of the plagues and traveled westward to a land known today as Spain, where he settled for a number of years. During their time in Spain, Gathelus and his people founded a city which still bears the name of their ancestor Zara -- Zaragossa.

Edward J. Cowan has traced the first appearance of Scota in literature to the 12th century. These sources indicate that Scota was the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh, a contemporary of Moses, who married Geytholos (Gathelus) (Goídel Glas) and became the eponymous founders of the Scots (from Scota) and Gaels (or Ga’els) (the Godly (‘el) from Gathelus) after being exiled from Egypt. The earliest Scottish sources claim Geytholos was “a certain king of the countries of Greece, Neolus, or Heolaus, by name”, while the Lebor Gabála Érenn Leinster redaction in contrast describes him as a Scythian. Other manuscripts of the Lebor Gabála Érenn contain a variant legend of Scota's husband, not as Goídel Glas but instead Mil Espaine and connect him to ancient Iberia, also known as Spain.

Scythian migration and the displacement of the Cimmerians:


Finally, the migration of the house of Zarra can be traced by the markings of the Red Hand – signifying the hand that was tied with the scarlet thread, saying “this one came out first.”

Whereas, the house of Judah in the east would travel under the name Pheres (and the mixed multitude under their leadership as the Ashkenaz), the house of Judah in the west – the house of Zerach - would travel as the tribe of Eber (Heber) from whence the name Hebrew is derived.  More historically, it is the name of the peoples called Iberian (Eberian) and is also the name of a certain peninsula that would at some point be called Spain and Portugal.  On this land, this tribe of Eber named one of its cities Zaragossa (Zarah-gossa) and named its river the Ebro.  The house of Zerach is known in the modern world as the Cepherad (Anusiym).

History tells us that Gathelus died in Spain, and his widow Scota, along with her sons, left the land and voyaged northward to the island we now call Ireland. Once again, they took their name with them, calling their new home Hiber-land or Hibernia, and the islands to the north of it, the Hebrides. Then, with Eremon as their king, these descendants of Zara-Judah founded the Kingdom of Ulster shortly after the Exodus, and from that time to the present - some 3,400 years - the emblem of Ulster has been a red hand circled with a scarlet thread.  

The first settlers in Ulster also used the Rampant Red Lion. In the official Arms of Northern Ireland we indeed see that it continues to hold an important place. Another point of interest in these Arms is that the Red Hand has as its background a six-pointed star of David (the Paleo Hebrew marker of dalet/dalet – the first dalet pointing toward the kingdom of heaven, the second dalet pointing toward the kingdom on earth).


Flag of Ireland

The flag of the province of Ulster (Ireland) showing David’s harp, the star of David under the crown with the red hand of Zarra in the middle, and of course the rampant red lion.

Consider again that the sons of Zerach were Zimriy (Zavdiy), and Eythan, and Heyman, and Kalkol (Calcol), and Dara: five of them in all. However, the name Dara at one point is referred to as Darda (Melakiym Ri’shon 4:31). The Jewish historian Josephus referred to him as Dardanus (a Greek qualifier) and gives account of his travels northward across the Mediterranean Sea to the northwest corner of what is now called Asia Minor (Western Turkey). There, the tribe of Darda (Dardanus) established a Kingdom, which would later  be called Troy, on the southern shore of that narrow body of water which bears his name to this day, the Dardanelles. Centuries later, according to Homer in his Iliad, Troy was destroyed in a war with the Greeks. The emblem of ancient troy – the rampant red lion, survived and traveled with the tribe northward into Europe. A large group led by Prince Brutus (et tu Bruti?), a direct descendant of Dardanus and Zara, lived in northern Italy for a while where they founded a royal line before moving on to Britain by way of Spain. They arrived in Britain around the year 1100 B.C.

Although Britain had a considerable population long before the arrival of these Trojans, their coming and the setting up of this transplanted Trojan Kingdom is the actual beginning of the British (brit = covenant, ish = man) nation.

As an aside, once again consider the progenitors of the tribes that would come to establish the populated world.

B’re’shiyth 10:22-24 

22 The children of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram. 23 And the children of Aram; Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Mash. 24 And Arphaxad begat Salah; and Salah begat Eber.

Here, the talmidi of history can see the foundations of Elam (Persia, now Iran), Asshur (Assyria, now emerging Kurdistan), Arphaxad begets Salah who begets Eber (the father of the Hebrew nation); Lud (for whom the ancient city of London was originally named); and Aram (the father of the Aramaic language spoken throughout the ancient middle east following the collapse of Judea (now modern Syria).  They are all cousins, eh?

Back to the rampant red lion.  This symbol appears as the chief emblem in Scotland and is found in the Scottish Standard.  Twenty Scottish clans have the rampant red lion in their coats of arms: the Earldom of Fife; Abernethy, Lord Saltoun; Dundas; Duff, Farquharson; Guthrie; Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell; Leslie; Lindsay; MacBain; MacIntosh; MacLachlan; Clanranald; Maitland, Earl of Lauderdale; Moncreiffe; MacDonald of Sleat; Shaw of Rothiemurchus; Spens of Lathallan; Stuart, Marquis of Bute; and Wemyss.  The rampant red lion appears on the Royal Standard and on the shield on the Royal Arms.  It appears as the ancestral emblem of the royal houses in Wales as well, and in the Netherlands in the provincial arms of South Holland, North Holland, Utrecht, Zeeland, Limburgh and Overijssel.

I leave you with a passage from the cepher Ovadyahu verse 19 that should not leave memory:

Possess the Negev, the eth mountains of Esau, and drive out the eth Peleshitiym from the lowlands, and the eth fields, Ephraiym shall possess the eth fields in Shomeron, and the son of Benyamin, eth Gilad. 20 The exiled hosts, these sons of Yisra’el, the Kenaaniym in Tsarepheth, and the captivity of Yerushaliym which is in Cepherad, shall occupy eth the land of the Negev.

Here, Ovadyahu speaks the promise that Ephraim (the Saxons) shall possess the fields of Shomeron (Samaria and the Galilee), Benyamin shall possess Gilead (Western Jordan), the sons of Yisra’el in Tsarepheth (Northwestern Europe), and the Cepherad, the house of Zerach in Spain and France, shall come to possess the southern portion of Yisra’el called the Negev.