Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
Jeremiah In Ireland -- Fact Or Fabrication?
According to Herbert Armstrong in the book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, the prophet Jeremiah (in the company of his scribe Baruch) took King Zedekiah's daughter to Ireland where she founded a line of Davidic kings that has continued on down to this day. What corroborating evidence can be found in the Irish annals to back up this assertion? What FACTS can be gleaned from the ancient sources to show this compelling story to be true? Shocking as it may sound, there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER -- in either the Irish or the Scottish annals -- to back up the story we have been told over the years!
by John D. Keyser
It makes fascinating reading!
As related by Herbert W. Armstrong in the booklet The United States and Britain in Prophecy, the story of Jeremiah's journey to Ireland with a daughter of King Zedekiah of Judah comes to life under the author's pen:
"The real ancient history of Ireland is very extensive, though colored with some legend. But with the facts of biblical history and prophecy in mind, one can easily sift out the legend from the true history in studying ancient Irish annals. Throwing out that which is obviously legendary, we glean from various histories of Ireland the following: Long prior to 700 B.C. a strong colony called "Tuatha de Danaan" (tribe of Dan) arrived in ships, drove out other tribes, and settled there. Later, in the days of David, a colony of the line of Zarah arrived in Ireland from the Near East.
"Then, in 569 B.C. (date of Jeremiah's transplanting), an elderly, white-haired patriarch, sometimes referred to as a "saint," came to Ireland. With him was the princess daughter of an eastern king and a companion called "Simon Brach," spelled in different histories as Breck, Berech, Brach, or Berach. The princess had a Hebrew name Tephi -- a pet name -- her full name being TEA-TEPHI.
"Modern literature of those who recognize our national identity has confused this Tea-Tephi, a daughter of Zedekiah, with an earlier Tea, a daughter of Ith, who lived in the days of David.
"This royal party included the son of the king of Ireland who had been in Jerusalem at the time of the siege. There he had become acquainted with Tea-Tephi. He married her shortly after 585 -- when the city fell. Their young son, now about 12 years of age, accompanied them to Ireland. Besides the royal family, Jeremiah brought with them some remarkable things, including a harp, AN ARK, and a wonderful STONE CALLED "LIA-FAIL," or "STONE OF DESTINY."
"....many kings in the history of Ireland, Scotland, and England have been coronated over this stone -- including the present queen. The stone rests today in Westminster Abbey in London, and the coronation chair is built over and around it. A sign beside it labels it "Jacob's pillar-stone" (Gen. 28:18).
"The royal husband of the Hebrew princess Tea was given the TITLE HERREMON upon ascending the throne of his father. This Herremon has usually been confused with a much earlier Gede the Herremon in David's day -- who married his uncle Ith's daughter Tea. The son of this later king Herremon and Hebrew princess continued on the throne of Ireland and THIS SAME DYNASTY CONTINUED UNBROKEN through all the kings of Ireland; was OVERTURNED and transplanted again in Scotland; again OVERTURNED and moved to London, England, where this same dynasty continues today in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II....
"In view of the linking together of biblical history, prophecy, and Irish history, can anyone deny that this Hebrew princess was the daughter of King Zedekiah of Judah and therefore heir to the throne of David? That King Herremon was a descendant of Zarah, here married to the daughter of Pharez, healing the ancient breach? That when the throne of David was first overturned by Jeremiah, it was REPLANTED in Ireland, later overturned a second time and replanted in Scotland, overturned a third time and planted in London? When Christ returns to earth to sit on that throne, He shall take over a LIVE, EXISTING throne, not a nonexistent one (Luke 1:32)" (1980, Worldwide Church of God, pp. 99-102).
In preparation for the writing of this article, and several others on the royal house of Britain, I searched out and read literally DOZENS of books written by British-Israelites in order to more accurately understand the BASIS for the Jeremiah/Tea-Tephi legend so eloquently penned by Herbert Armstrong. I also consulted primary and secondary sources on the Irish and Scottish annals.
To my surprise, I found that the British-Israelite books all REPEAT the same Tea-Tephi story (with slight variations), each aggressively claiming that the story is found in the ancient annals. In my research I have NOT FOUND a single British-Israelite book that actually gives a REFERENCE to WHERE in the Irish and Scottish annals the supporting material may be found! Armstrong's booklet does not -- nor does Joseph Allen's earlier book on the subject.
As also discovered by Greg Doudna (former Ambassador College student, now with the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University), "they all seem to draw from previous British-Israel writings. They speak so confidently it sounds like there must be something in the annals to which they refer. The NAMES mentioned in the Tea-Tephi legend appear in the annals, true enough, but I have discovered they are TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSONS IN THE ANNALS than the British-Israel legend makes them out to be. The annals simply don't say what the British-Israel literature, or the Worldwide Church of God, SAY they say. It is a LEGEND that someone somewhere within British-Israel circles began, stated it as fact, and it has been repeated as fact within British-Israel circles ever since, down to the present day in which the Worldwide Church of God repeats it to millions. It may make an interesting story, but IT IS COMPLETELY FABRICATED" (Afterword on British-Israelism, p. 121).
I have to ECHO Greg Doudna in his discoveries: There is absolutely NO FOUNDATION in the Irish and Scottish annals for the story of Jeremiah and Tea-Tephi as presented to us! NONE of the dozens of British-Israelite books I have read give quotations from the annals themselves, or cite chapter and verse in the annals. They simply ASSERT, in a convincing style, that these things are so. Frankly, I was not aware how BASELESS these assertions were until I researched all the literature for myself.
Who Was Ollam Fodla?
The key figure in Armstrong's story is, of course, Jeremiah the prophet. According to Worldwide Church of God historian Herman L. Hoeh, Jeremiah the prophet was known in Ireland by the name "Ollam Fodhla." (See Compendium of World History, vol. I, p. 432). In Armstrong's booklet a similar connection is made; and British-Israelite theorists also claim this as fact. E. Raymond Capt in his book Jacob's Pillar makes the SAME assertion: "Many of the ancient Irish records, when making reference to an 'eastern king's daughter,' also mention an old man; 'a patriarch, a saint, a prophet,' called 'OLLAM FODHLA' ....Tradition asserts that Ollam Fodhla was none other than JEREMIAH, the prophet..." (Artisan Sales, Thousand Oaks, CA. 1977, p. 31).
Let me state here and now that I have found NO SUCH TRADITION in the Irish annals!
To further solidify this identification of Jeremiah with the Irish Ollam Fodhla, E. Raymond Capt makes the following statement:
SOME authorities on Irish history have cited the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters (edited from MSS. in the Library of the Royal Academy and of Trinity College, Dublin translated by John O'Donovan, M.T.I.A.) as A LINK BETWEEN IRELAND AND JEREMIAH: "Ollam Fola (Foldha) is celebrated in ANCIENT HISTORY as a sage and legislator, eminent for learning, wisdom and excellent institutions, and his historic fame has been recognized by placing his medallion in 'basso relievo' with those of Moses and other great legislators in the interior of the dome of the Four Courts of Dublin....(Ibid., p. 41).
Excuse me -- did I miss something here? I might be as blind as a bat in a London fog but I saw no link between Ireland and Jeremiah in this passage! If that's all they can base their identification of Jeremiah on, then their whole theory is extremely tenuous!
Greg Doudna noticed the same paucity of evidence:
"What the originators of the...legend did was simply combine famous, known figures in the annals, many centuries apart, and splice them together in a TOTALLY IMAGINARY RECONSTRUCTION.
"For example, who is Olam Fodla? In British-Israel theory, and stated in the USBP, he is JEREMIAH, the aged prophet. In fact, Olam Fodla appears in the Irish legends as one of the greatest NATIVE MILESIAN KINGS. Unlike the British-Israel books I examined, I will now actually QUOTE something from the annals. A poem quoted in one of the annals called the Book of Leinster, and identified by one of Ireland's early authorities on the annals, Eugene O'Curry, as written around the time of the birth of Christ and of a very high degree of authority, has this to say of Olam Fodla, whom the WCG book, UNCRITICALLY REPEATING BRITISH-ISRAEL LEGEND, says was 'Jeremiah.' Does this read like a description of the biblical Jeremiah?
'Ollam Fodhla, of furious valour,
Who founded the Court of Ollamh,
Was the first heroic KING
That instituted the Feast of Teamain [Tara].
FORTY sweet musical YEARS
He held the high sovereignty of Erinn [Ireland];
And it was from him, with noble pride,
The Ultonians took their name.
Six kings of valiant career
OF OLLAMH'S RACE reigned over Errin;
For two hundred and ten full years,
No other person came between them...'
"The ancient poem continues with an account of Ollam's six reigning descendants. OLLAM WAS NOT JEREMIAH. The annals say Ollam FOUNDED A COLLEGE and was an enlightened ruler, known as 'Doctor of Wisdom.' This is said of the famous KING Ollam Fodla. The name 'Ollam' thereafter meant a wise man. THE BRITISH-ISRAELITES ARBITRARILY SAID OLLAM FODLA WAS JEREMIAH, even though the ANNALS say he was a NATIVE MILESIAN KING. THE JEREMIAH IDENTIFICATION IS A COMPLETE FABRICATION.
"Dr. Herman Hoeh, the leading historian of British-Israelism in the Worldwide Church of God, was aware of the KING named Ollam Fodla. In the Irish kings list in his Compendium of World History, an Ollam Fodla is dated 714-674 B.C., with the appended comment, "Not the later prophet Ollamh Fodhla"....In fact, THERE IS NO "SECOND," LATER OLLAM FODLA IN THE IRISH ANNALS who may be identified with JEREMIAH. There is only the ONE famous King Ollam Fodla" (Afterword on British-Israelism, pp. 121-123).
One of the leading authorities on Irish history -- O'Flaherty's Ogygia -- makes PLAIN that Ollamh Fodhla was NOT the same person as Jeremiah: "Ollam-fodla, of the HOUSE OF HIR [IR -- a son of Gathelus], the SON of king Fiach, slew Faldergod in the battle of Temor [Tara], and ascended the throne. He had FOUR SONS, viz. Finnacta, Slanoll, Ged, and Carbry, the progenitor of the Rudicians; from his name Ollamh, the name of ULSTER is said to be derived. He first instituted the assemblies of Temor [Tara], which were held every three years for enacting and executing laws. Three days before, and so many after the FESTIVAL, WHICH WE CALL SAMHUIN [ALL-HALLOWS DAY -- pagan Irish festival]...these solemn assemblies were celebrated with great pomp and ceremony....
"He, being a man of great literary knowledge, is called Ollam-fodla, i.e. through Ireland which is called Fodla in our language, he was a great professor of learning...which he deservedly obtained on account of his extensive learning. He erected Mur-Ollamhan, i.e. the wall of the learned, at Tara. You may call it a college...an academy, or a lyceum...." (Vol. II, translated by James Hely. W. M'Kenzie, Dublin. 1793, pp. 70-71).
When Did Fodhla Reign?
The epoch of Ollam Fodhla, as we shall see, is FAR TOO EARLY to be associated with Jeremiah. Francis Plowden notes that "the grand epoch of political eminence in the early history of Ireland is the reign of their great and favourite monarch OLLAM-FODLAH, who reigned, according to Keating, ABOUT 950 YEARS BEFORE THE CHRISTIAN ERA" (An Historical Review of the State of Ireland, vol. I. William F. M'Laughlin, Philadelphia. 1805, p. 13).
Seumas MacManus places the time of Ollam Fodhla's reign a little later, but still too early for Jeremiah! "All the stories say that the greatest king of those faraway times was the TWENTY-FIRST MILESIAN KING, known as Ollam Fodla (Ollav Fola) who blessed Ireland in a reign of forty years, some SEVEN OR EIGHT CENTURIES BEFORE THE CHRISTIAN ERA" (The Story of the Irish Race. The Devin-Adair Co. N.Y. 1949, p. 15).
Even Herman Hoeh, in his Irish chronology, places Ollam Fodhla's reign as 714 to 674 B.C. -- once again too early for Jeremiah. He gets around this, as we have seen, by stating that this is "not the later prophet Ollamh Fodhla"! However, there was ONLY ONE Ollam Fodhla in all of Irish history!
There is, basically, TWO MAIN CHRONOLOGIES of the Irish kings in the annals of Ireland. Roderic O'Flaherty's chronology in his Ogygia, places the arrival of the Milesians under Heremon in approximately the year 1,000 B.C.; while The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, compiled by the Four Masters, places the invasion of Ireland at a time shortly after the Exodus (ca. 1434 B.C.). When you carefully study the history of the Milesians, it soon becomes evident that The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland contain the CORRECT chronology of the Irish kings.
More Than One Tomb?
British-Israelites have pointed to two possible burial places for Jeremiah in Ireland to justify their claims of the prophet's presence in this land. But are they burial places of Jeremiah? According to E. Raymond Capt: "The burial place of OLLAM FODHLA (Jeremiah) is claimed as being in TWO DIFFERENT PLACES. One is a tomb hewn out of rock in a cemetery on Devenish Island, in Lough Erne. It has been known from time immemorial as 'Jeremiah's Tomb.' The other, and best authenticated is located in Schiabhla-Cailliche, near Oldcastle, County Meath, in Ireland, not far from Tara. A huge cairn of stones marks the spot, and a large carved stone is still pointed out as Jeremiah's judicial seat" (Jacob's Pillar, pp. 39-40).
In all books on the antiquities of Ireland, these two locations are known as possible tombs of OLLAM FODHLA -- not Jeremiah! The British-Israelites (including Capt) ASSUME these tombs to be those of Jeremiah because they ASSUME Jeremiah to be the same personage as Ollam Fodhla! A case of circular reasoning?
The Arrival of Lia-Fail
Another so-called "link" between Jeremiah and Ireland was investigated by Doudna. Notice:
"I finally was able to find a reference in a British-Israel book identifying WHERE in the Irish annals the Tea-Tephi/JEREMIAH story is supposed to be found. The reference is cited as from the Chronicles of Eri (at Trinity College, Dublin), II, 3 (p. 89). The relevant passage comes in a narrative account of the legendary wanderings, thefts, and counter-thefts of the Lia-fail stone (which had a mystique surrounding it -- whoever possessed it would rule). The passage reads: 'For being but few to journey on the land, they would move on the face of the waters in search of their brethren, led by TWO OF THE RACE, to the extremity of the world of land to the sun's going, as they had heard. And they were driven from their course. The vessel was borne to this land [Ullad] and here was broken, but all the men came safe with Lia Fail.' Then on page 90, 'Chiefs of Iber, Gaal of Sciot, look on this stone...Be thus: guard well this blessed gift; and in what land this messenger shall stay, a chief of Iber shall bear sway.'
"British-Israelites ARBITRARILY say, WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE BEYOND THEIR SAY-SO, that the 'two of the race' are Jeremiah and Baruch. 'To the sun's going' means they came from the east, which means they came from Palestine. 'A Chief of Iber' means a Hebrew Prince.
"This is, apparently, the TRUE BASIS claimed in the annals for the story of Jeremiah/Zedekiah's daughter's transfer (combined, of course, with separate accounts drawn from elsewhere of the great KING Ollam Fodla, the king Simeon Brach, Princess Tea, and Queen Tephi of Spain, all separated widely in time). This is the 'TRUNK OF THE TREE' (even though the dating of this incident involving anonymous personages is MANY HUNDREDS OF YEARS EARLIER THAN WHEN JEREMIAH LIVED). Are there ancient records or legends of any people on earth -- in most of which references can be found somewhere to 'two people travelling' and "west" and names with syllables in them -- from which the same kind or genre of conclusions could not be generated?" (Afterword on British-Israelism, note 25, p. 138).
A good question indeed -- I have never found so much based on so little by so many!
The idea that the Stone of Destiny, or Jacob's Pillar-stone, was also taken by Jeremiah to Ireland does NOT stand up to the records of history. The Irish and Scottish annals show that this famous stone was taken to Spain by GATHELUS, the son of Calcol, and then to Ireland (after his death) by his wife SCOTA and son Heremon. Heremon was the first Irish-Milesian king to be crowned upon it in their new land.
"In the capital of the Scottish kingdom [Scone] was a venerable fragment of rock, to which, at least as early as the fourteenth century, the following legend was attached: The STONY PILLOW on which Jacob slept at Bethel was by his countrymen transported to EGYPT. Thither came GATHELUS, son of Cecrops [Calcol], King of Athens, and married Scota, daughter of Pharaoh. He and his Egyptian wife, alarmed at the fame of MOSES, fled WITH THE STONE to Sicily or to SPAIN. From Brigantia, in Spain, it was carried off by...the favourite son of Milo the Scot [Gathelus], to Ireland...On the sacred Hill of Tara it became 'Lia Fail,' the 'Stone of Destiny.' On it the Kings of Ireland were placed" (Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey, by Arthur Penrhyn Stanley. John Murray, London. 1876, p. 57).
The Scottish historian Hector Boece recorded the same events in his book Chroniklis of the Scots (1531): "GATHELUS, a Greek, the son of...the Athenian Cecrops...went to Egypt AT THE TIME OF THE EXODUS, where he married Scota, the daughter of Pharao, and after the destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea, fled with her...till he arrived in PORTUGAL, where he landed, and founded a kingdom at Brigantium, now COMPOSTELLA. Here he reigned in the marble chair, which was the 'lapis fatalis cathedrae instar,' or FATAL STONE like a chair....a descendant of Gathelus [actually his son Heremon] brought the chair [and stone] from Spain TO IRELAND, and was crowned in it as King of Ireland."
These are just two of NUMEROUS references in the annals regarding the arrival of the Stone of Destiny in Ireland. NOWHERE is there any mention of Jeremiah in connection with the stone. The stone arrived in Ireland ALMOST 1,000 YEARS before the time of Jeremiah! Once again, this is just another flight of fancy by Herbert Armstrong with absolutely NO CORROBORATING PROOF in the history of Ireland.
The same thing happened with the Tea-Tephi story in Armstrong's book and British-Israelite literature: The originators simply combined famous, known figures in the Irish annals -- figures that were many centuries apart -- and spliced them together in a totally IMAGINARY RECONSTRUCTION.
Let Greg Doudna explain:
"Likewise, there is no second Tea-Tephi. TEA appears in the annals as the wife of one of the original Milesian brothers, Heremon. British-Israel theory said this was Zedekiah's daughter. But this doesn't fit chronologically, since this Tea would be dated at either 1,000 B.C. or 1,500 B.C. (depending on which of TWO CHRONOLOGIES in the annals is preferred). But Zedekiah's daughter and Jeremiah lived in the mid-500's B.C. The USBP therefore says there was a 'SECOND' Tea-Tephi in the mid-500's B.C. who was Zedekiah's daughter. As Hoeh said,...The Annals of the Four Masters reads: 'TEA, the daughter of LUGAIDH, SON OF ITHA, who Eremhon married IN SPAIN.' This Tea is an altogether different person from the Tea who came more than four centuries later to the Irish Isles. The British Israel World Federation...is unwilling to believe the history of Ireland as it is plainly recorded. The Tea who married Ghede the Heremon was a daughter of Lughaidh, the son of Ith, uncle of Miledh [Milesius]....These events occurred in David's reign, not Zedekiah's.
"But the 'SECOND' TEA-TEPHI proposed by Hoeh and in the USBP book is a SHEER FABRICATION, since THERE IS NO 'SECOND' TEA-TEPHI IN THE IRISH ANNALS which, after all, are supposed to be our sources.
"Admittedly, a problem occurs EITHER WAY Tea Tephi is interpreted. The problem with the British-Israel Tea Tephi being the daughter of Jewish king Zedekiah is:
a) she is the COUSIN of Milesian founding king HEREMON,
b) her father is said to have been LUGAIDH, A MILESIAN, NOT ZEDEKIAH, A JUDEAN,
c) she comes from SPAIN, not Palestine, and, finally,
d) she is about FIVE HUNDRED YEARS TOO EARLY.
"The problem with the WCG's "SECOND" Tea-Tephi in the time of Jeremiah is,
a) primarily, that SHE DOESN'T EXIST.
"The 'second' Tea Tephi, like a 'second' Ollam Fodla, HAS BEEN COMPLETELY INVENTED" (Afterword on British-Israelism, pp. 123-124).
Not only that, but there NEVER was a Tea-Tephi to start with! The original wife of the Heremon in question was named, simply, "TEA," NOT "Tea-Tephi." Doudna notes that a much earlier "Tephi" does appear in the Irish annals; however, she was the daughter of a LEADER OF A CELTIC SETTLEMENT IN SPAIN. She evidently married a British king by the name of Canthon and had absolutely nothing to do with the Irish royal line.
How the "Tea-Tephi" name came about is recorded by Doudna:
"In 1861, a British-Israel expositor named F. R. A. Glover COMBINED 'Tea' and 'Tephi' into ONE PERSON, in the first book to promote the 'Tea-Tephi' theory. Glover is the inventor of the story of 'Tea-Tephi' and Jeremiah, et al. Glover's slipshod scholarship was adopted by other British-Israelites, including C. A. L. Totten's first five volumes of Our Race (1890-92), followed by W. M. H. Milner, The Royal House of Britain an Enduring Dynasty (1902), J. H. Allen (1902), and of course, Herbert W. Armstrong, whose book circulates to the whole world by the millions today. [It has now been dropped by the Worldwide Church of God]. The story of Glover's origination of 'Tea-Tephi,' with documentation, is told in Filmer, Nithsdale, Price, and Stough, 'Tea-Tephi or Scota,' The Message, Issue 5 (London: Covenant Publishing Co., [1982?])" (Ibid., note 22, p. 138).
In a rather bizarre twist of circumstances, Doudna wrote to the Worldwide Church of God in 1987 for further information about the Tea-Tephi/Jeremiah story:
"I also asked WHERE in the [Irish] annals the story of Tea-Tephi and Jeremiah was found. To that, I received this response: 'You also asked for information regarding Princess Tea-Tephi. This information is available in booklet form from: The Covenant Publishing Co., Ltd., 6 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E6JP, United Kingdom.'
"I wrote the Covenant Publishing Co., and, TO MY ASTONISHMENT, received back a letter dated March 11, 1988, from the Secretary, Richard Hall, with an enclosure giving a policy statement from six years earlier REFUTING BEYOND ANY DOUBT THAT THERE EVEN WAS A TEA-TEPHI. (As explained in an earlier note, there was a Tea, and there was an earlier Tephi, which had been WRONGLY COMBINED INTO ONE PERSON in 1861 by Rev. F. R. A. Glover, but there is NO "Tea-Tephi" in the annals at all.)
"In other words, not only is the WCG UNABLE to quote from the annals themselves to support assertions in the USBP, but the SOURCE to which a questioner is referred mails back evidence COMPLETELY BLOWING THE THEORY OUT OF THE WATER.
"(The Covenant Publishing Co. believes the connection of the Irish royalty to David happened instead through a 'SCOTA,' wife of Miled. This is not an improvement to the theory, however. 'Scota' appears in the annals as A DAUGHTER OF PHARAOH, NOT ZEDEKIAH or any other Jewish king. Also, SHE IS AT LEAST 500 OR 1200 YEARS TOO EARLY, according to Irish chronology. Hence, Scota WAS NOT a means of transfer of the Davidic line to Ireland. See MacManus, Story of the Irish Race, p. 8)" (Ibid., note 35, p. 140).
In an extract from the booklet Co-Incidences? Pointers to Our Heritage, by Brigadier G. Wilson, the author ADMITS the shortcomings in the Tea-Tephi story. Unfortunately, he follows this admission by including another error that is equally UNTRUE! Notice: "The account given here concerning ZEDEKIAH'S DAUGHTER is that which is generally accepted [the Tea-Tephi legend]. However, RECENT RESEARCH suggests that the Princess was NOT Tea or Tea Tephi as previously thought, but SCOTA, Zedekiah's eldest daughter [?]. In accordance with royal Egyptian custom this princess had, on coming to Egypt with Jeremiah, been adopted by Pharaoh Hofra as HIS daughter. This explains why she was thought to be an Egyptian princess when she arrived in Ireland. Research suggests that Eochaidh -- Heremon of all Ireland, was SCOTA'S SON and NOT her husband, and that EOCHAIDH MARRIED TEA, DAUGHTER OF LUGHAIDH. Lughaidh was grandson of Breogan who was Eochaidh's great grandfather also thus they were all DESCENDED FROM CALCOL, SON OF ZARAH-JUDAH, and were all 'Judahites' " (pp. 13-14).
Well, it seems like necessity is the mother of invention! When you have to discard one theory because of a total lack of corroborating evidence, you just INVENT another one to avoid facing the paucity of evidence for a man called Jeremiah and the daughter of an eastern king arriving in Ireland! Nowhere in the Irish or Scottish annals is SCOTA remotely connected with King Zedekiah! The idea that Scota was adopted by Pharaoh Hofra as his daughter is ludicrous -- Scota was a daughter of the pharaoh CONTEMPORARY WITH MOSES, as all the records show!
I personally wrote to the Covenant Publishing Company in London, and received a rather defensive letter from them declaring that they no longer propound the Tea-Tephi scenario. They claim to follow the Scota/Jeremiah idea instead. To back this up, they sent me a reprint article from The National Message which states practically the same thing as Brigadier Wilson's booklet.
The bottom line is, ALL the annals and histories of Ireland and Scotland place SCOTA in the same epoch as Moses, so there is NO WAY she could have been a daughter of Zedekiah!
Breck, Berech, Brach or Baruch?
Let us now turn our attention to Jeremiah's scribe Baruch. The United States and Britain in Prophecy, as quoted earlier, says, "With him [Ollam Fodhla/Jeremiah] was...a companion called 'Simon Brach,' spelled in different histories as Brech, Berech, Brach, or Berach...can anyone deny...that his companion was Jeremiah's scribe, or secretary, Baruch?"
Well, yes, I can deny that -- and I DO deny it, because it is simply another invention!
Notice what Greg Doudna discovered:
"In the FIRST place, nothing in the annals links Ollam Fodla with Simon Brach. SECOND, Simon Brec is identified in the annals, according to Britannica (11th ed.), as a famous ancient warrior BEFORE the Milesians ever arrived in Ireland. Other records in the annals spell his name "Breas" and say he was a leader of sea-robbers. This name WAS LIFTED OUT OF ITS CONTEXT in the annals nearly 1000 years earlier and arbitrarily said to be "Baruch, the scribe," who accompanied Jeremiah to Ireland in the 500's BC.
"Actually, there is a SECOND tradition of Simon Brec in the annals. O'Flaherty's Ogygia has 'Siomon Breac' as a Milesian king in the 400's BC. It is surprising that both the Compendium and Joseph Allen's Judah's Sceptre book, have 'Simeon Breac' which they already identified with BARUCH [Jeremiah's scribe] listed in the line of kings SEVERAL GENERATIONS AFTER TEA TEPHI, without comment or a hint of embarrassment. The Compendium lists Siomon Breac's reign as 483-477 BC.
"The anomaly can be stated another way: One publication, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, authored by Herbert Armstrong, says Simeon Breac was Jeremiah's scribe who came over with Tea-Tephi.
"But another Worldwide Church of God publication, Les Pays de Langue Francaise Selon La Prophetie (France in Prophecy), authored by evangelist Dibar Apartian, long-time head of the WCG's French Department, says Simeon Breac was an IRISH KING at least FOUR GENERATIONS LATER, descended from Tea-Tephi. Since this booklet is offered only in French, it is safe to say that few English-reading Worldwide Church members are aware of this CONTRADICTION in two current pieces of literature, both offered freely to the public to this day.
"It is evident that if Simeon Breac was an IRISH KING generations after the alleged arrival of Jeremiah and Tea-Tephi, and if he was descended from earlier Irish kings, then HE CANNOT BE THE BIBLICAL BARUCH WITH JEREMIAH (Afterword on British-Israelism, pp. 124-125).
Geoffrey Keating, in The History of Ireland, verifies the existence of the early SIMEON BREAC, who was the grandson of Neimheadh and the "sea-robber" mentioned in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. (See Vol. I, pp. 179-191. The Irish Texts Society.) The second Simon -- called SYMON BREK -- is verified by Hector Boece in The Chronicles of Scotland as being a later KING OF IRELAND and far removed from the time of Jeremiah. (See Vol. I., pp. 27-30. William Blackwood & Sons, Ltd. Edinburgh. MCMXXXVIII).
"Is there a 'THIRD BREAC' in the annals answering to the biblical companion of Jeremiah named Baruch? Absolutely not! The story of Jeremiah [and Baruch] bringing Zedekiah's daughter over to Ireland is an OBVIOUS CUT-AND-PASTE JOB, taking prominent names in the Irish annals SEPARATED BY MANY CENTURIES and making the most superficial, gullible identifications. If anyone checks the story of the annals themselves and stumbles across these things, the WCG explanation is that there were 'SECOND' Ollam Fodlas, Heremons, Tea-Tephis, and Brachs -- these 'SECOND' personalities all just happening to have such famous names and of whom, strangely, THE IRISH LEGENDS KNOW NOTHING -- and all conveniently at the right time, unlike their inconveniently dated famous namesakes" (Afterword on British-Israelism, pp. 125-126).
What About Prince Heremon?
Another problem with the Jeremiah/Tea-Tephi story is the AGES of King Zedekiah's daughters. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, the king's daughters were still under the care of their mother; and, since Zedekiah was just 32 at the fall of Jerusalem (II kings 24:18), his daughters must have been quite young. Says Doudna, "was the Irish prince just hanging around in these unappealing conditions waiting for one of them to grow up so he could marry her? And how did he escape death or captivity after Jerusalem fell -- when King Zedekiah was blinded and most of the rest of Jerusalem's leadership executed?"
It does seem strange that an Irish prince would choose to be in Jerusalem in the middle of a devastating siege; and the Book of Jeremiah makes NO MENTION of anyone remotely resembling an Irish prince accompanying Jeremiah. Aside from all of this, Heremon was the founder of the Irish-Milesian kings, which took place around 1500 B.C. according to the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters. This, obviously, is centuries too early for Zedekiah's daughter to have married him. How Herman Hoeh and the Worldwide Church of God overcame this obstacle is revealed by Doudna:
"British-Israel theory says Zedekiah's daughter was Heremon's wife Tea-Tephi. But since the WCG version and the Compendium have already ruled out this Tea-Tephi in favor of an IMAGINARY 'later' Tea-Tephi, they simply go down the list of kings until one is found five hundred years later [1,000 years if you go by the chronology of the Annals of the Four Masters] at approximately the right time, and ARBITRARILY say, "Here! This one must have been the 'Heremon' we're looking for that Zedekiah's daughter married!" It happens that his name isn't Heremon, but this was solved by suggesting that Heremon became a TITLE that could be applied to ANY KING descended from Heremon. (But this does not appear in the annals.) Thus a 'SECOND' HEREMON is added to the 'second Tea-Tephi' and 'second Ollam Fodla' to make the British-Israel legend work. Strangely, NONE of these figures, who just happen to have duplicate names to known leading figures in the annals, appear THEMSELVES in the annals" (Afterword on British-Israelism, p. 124).
The Ark of the Covenant
Armstrong insists, as do the British-Israelites, that "Jeremiah brought with them [to Ireland] some remarkable things, including a harp, AN ARK, and a wonderful stone called 'Lia-Fail,' or 'STONE OF DESTINY.'" The ark referred to here is none other than the ARK OF THE COVENANT -- kept in the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem. According to the story, Jeremiah was able to remove the Ark from the Temple before the Babylonians overwhelmed the city and the Temple Mount. Is this true, or just another flight of fancy taken by the author?
Some Christian and Jewish scholars believe that, just prior to the burning of the Temple by the Babylonians, Jeremiah secretly hid the Ark and the altar of incense in a cave in Mount Pisgah in Jordan. This tradition, however, seems to contradict the fact that the Bible mentions the Babylonian army capturing thousands of Temple artifacts and transporting them to Babylon. Other scholars have suggested that the Zealots took the Ark to Herod's fortress of Masada in A.D. 70 to escape the Roman armies. This idea is confounded by the fact that part of the Jewish oral law-- the Mishna -- states clearly that the Ark was not in the Second Temple.
A popular viewpoint today is that the Ark is located in one of the many tunnels underneath the Temple Mount. According to Grant R. Jeffrey: "A respected source told me in confidence that Jewish archaeologists had in fact seen the Ark at a distance in one of these tunnels but were prevented from examining it because the Muslim authorities immediately sealed up the tunnel entrance" (Armageddon: Appointment with Destiny, p. 122).
The Jewish sage Maimonides, in an account called The Laws of God's Chosen House, gives this remarkable story: "When Solomon built the Temple, he was aware that it would ultimately be destroyed. He constructed a chamber in which the Ark could be entombed below the Temple in deep, maze-like vaults. King Josiah commanded that the Ark be entombed in the chamber built by Solomon, as it is said (2 Chronicles 35:3), 'And he said to the Levites who were enlightened above all of Israel, Place the Holy Ark in the chamber built by Solomon, the son of David, King of Israel. You will no longer carry it on your shoulders. Now, serve the Lord, your God.' When it was entombed, Aaron's staff, the vital manna, and the oil used for anointing were entombed with it. All these sacred articles DID NOT return to the Second Temple" (Hilchos Bais HaBechinah).
Is this the Ark of the Covenant that sat in the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Solomon?
There is another tradition that the Ark resides in the country of Ethiopia in Africa. In the September, 1935 issue of the National Geographic magazine, an article appeared regarding interviews with different priests in various parts of Ethiopia. These priests consistently stated that when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem, she had a child by him called Menelik I.
According to the priests author L. Roberts interviewed, Solomon educated the young boy in Jerusalem until he was nineteen years of age. The young man then returned to Ethiopia with a large group of Jews, taking with him the TRUE ARK OF THE COVENANT. As the story goes, King Solomon wanted to give Menelik a REPLICA of the Ark to take with him since the distance between Jerusalem and Ethiopia was such that Menelik would be prevented from ever again worshipping at the Temple.
"However, Prince Menelik was concerned with the growing APOSTASY of Israel and the fact that his father, Solomon, was now allowing idols to be placed in the Temple to please his pagan wives. King Solomon gave the prince a going-away banquet and after the priests were filled with wine, Menelik and his loyal associates SWITCHED ARKS AND LEFT THE REPLICA in its place in the Holy of Holies.
"A group of priests with some representatives from several of the tribes of Israel reverently took the TRUE ARK OF THE COVENANT to Ethiopia for safekeeping until Israel should turn from idol worship and return to the pure worship of God. Unfortunately, Israel never wholly returned to following God exclusively and suffered a succession of mostly evil kings until both Israel and Judah were finally conquered four hundred years later. Thus, the Jewish descendants of Menelik I. of Ethiopia NEVER RETURNED the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem" (Armageddon: Appointment with Destiny, by Grant R. Jeffrey, p. 115).
The TRUE ARK more than likely sits in the historic Church of Zion of Mary in AKSUM, ETHIOPIA, while the REPLICA, built by Solomon for Menelik, sits entombed beneath the site of the Temple in Jerusalem. NOWHERE is there ANY MENTION of an ark (original or replica) being taken by Jeremiah to Ireland! This, once again, is PURE FANTASY on the part of Herbert Armstrong and the British- Israelites.
The Final Bombshell!
All of this research into Jeremiah and the so-called Tea-Tephi is actually made superfluous by one core truth -- only a SON, NOT A DAUGHTER, could perpetuate the royal line of David!
If you study the genealogies in the Bible, you will find that they pass down through the MALE LINE without exception. The only time females are named in the genealogies is when there is something remarkable about them that needs to be recorded. Examples of this are found in Genesis 11:29; 22:23; 25:1-4; 35:22-26; Exodus 6:23 and Numbers 26:33. This is why Josephus could say: "And after this manner have the kings of David's race ended their lives, being in number twenty-one, until THE LAST KING, who altogether reigned five hundred and fourteen years, and six months, and ten days: of whom Saul, who was their first king, retained the government twenty years, though he was not of the same tribe with the rest" (Antiquities of the Jews, chap. VIII, 4).
During an interesting dissertation on the anointing oil used by certain royal lines, Roderic O'Flaherty comments "that David and his posterity were anointed with the same oil that is used in the ordination of priests: the Rabbis unanimously believe it: and they also confirm, by traditions which they hold in the highest veneration, that the blessed oil, with which Aaron was anointed priest, was providentially and miraculously preserved without the smallest diminution, UNTIL THE LINE OF DAVID WAS EXTINCT...." (Ogygia, or, a Chronological Account of Irish Events. Vol. I. W. M'Kenzie, Dublin. 1793, p. 71).
This is not to say that DESCENDANTS of David no longer carried on the line, but that descendants of David sitting on the throne IN JERUSALEM came to an end. David's blood-line continued and there are people today, on this earth, descended from David -- and also one sitting on the British throne!
Obviously O'Flaherty, a leading authority on the Irish annals, KNOWS NOTHING of David's line being transferred to Ireland by Jeremiah!
Lack of Evidence
In The United States and Britain in Prophecy, not the slightest attempt at documentation appears within its pages. This is also true for Allen's Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright. In spite of the tone of authority in Armstrong's book -- citing the legend of Jeremiah/Tea-Tephi as fact -- it is very evident the tale did not come from Ambassador College researchers consulting the Irish and Scottish annals DIRECTLY and summarizing them for public consumption. WHOLE PASSAGES were simply lifted from Allen's book -- even down to details! An example of this can be found on page 99 of Armstrong's work. Allen wrote that Jeremiah was "a patriarch, a saint." The United States and Britain in Prophecy says Jeremiah was an "elderly, white-haired patriarch, sometimes referred to as 'a saint.'" The adjectives "elderly" and "white-haired" were obviously added by Herbert Armstrong for effect -- a minor embellishment, a touch of artistic license!
"Perhaps the forger or forgers of the Jeremiah legend would have been better off if they had invented totally fictitious names, rather than taking famous characters in the annals (one from here, one from there...), and so obviously revealing WHERE they got the names. But whatever names might be chosen for Jeremiah and a daughter of Zedekiah, they would still FAIL TO RELATE to anything in the annals, despite what British-Israelites and the WCG tell the public" (Afterword on British-Israelism).
So where does this leave us -- is the story of Jeremiah going to Ireland indeed a total fabrication -- or is there a kernel of fact buried somewhere in the ancient Irish annals? Author John E. Wall thinks so. Part Two of Jeremiah in Ireland -- Fact or Fabrication? will reveal the sources and point us to the possible historical Jeremiah in Ireland!
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Taking the Lead in the Search for Truth!
Hope of Israel Ministries
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