by Steve Phillips (8 May 2017, 12 Iyar, 5777)
Baruch ben Neriah. Tea Tephi and a Royal Cup of Tea!
[In which we express severe reservations concerning the story of Tea Tephi]
I agree that the British Israelites are poor at giving references. In referring to Tea/Tephi, they are, however, quoting Frederick Glover's work "England, The Remnant of Judah, and the Israel of Ephraim", a copy of which can either be read online or be downloaded (pdf, ePUB, Kindle) free of charge from: https://archive.org/details/englandremnantj01glovgoog. You do not need to open an account, but if you do, that also is free.
Glover is not wrong in what he says and his arguments stand the test of time, although his knowledge of Hebrew was somewhat lacking. Glover's work is actually well-referenced, though, to be fair, whilst the material on which he was relying was well-known at the time, they have since fallen into obscurity, and have as good as been 'buried', as though they did not exist.
When these people talk about Tea Tephi, they actually mean Tea aka Tephi, the two names being used interchangeably by different bards. The best discussion of the subject (there are others) can be found in an article written by the renowned Irish archaeologist, George Petrie, entitled, On the History and Antiquities of Tara Hill in Vol. 18 of The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, issued 1 Jan 1839. See in particular the comments starting on page 130, see http://archive.org/stream/jstor-30078991/30078991#page/n107/mode/1up. Be aware, however, that Tea's 'marriage' to a fictitious Heremon is an allegorical association. Heremon is usually dated around 500 years later. (See comments by Edward Gwynn on p.59 of the Todd Lecture Series Vol. 8 referenced below.) According to my research, Heremon actually dates to around 700-800 years after Queen Tea, who was in reality married to someone called Gede Ollgothach, whose existence is confirmed by the Greek writer Plutarch who called him Geder. (NB: I am keeping the source to myself fttb.) The name Ollgothach will have been pronounced Oliyata and appears to be Hebrew. The name seems to mean 'raised/elevated/promoted by G-d' (ayyin lamedh yod vav tav yod hay). The letter 'g' in Gaelic was often silent, so that, for example, Tigernach was pronounced Tierna (The History of Ireland Vol. 1, p.71, fn. , Thomas Moore in the 1843 copy but p.138 in the 1858 copy), Lugaid as Lowaye (Four Masters, Vol. 1, p.68, fn.p) etc. As for Queen Tea, when we follow the route the Irish bards say the first Milesian party took after leaving Egypt, we find that two cities have been named in her honour, thereby giving credence to the story. I can assure you that dolmens and megaliths are not the only waymarks left by the Ten Tribes of Israel.
For further discussions on Queen Tea aka Tephi, you might like to refer to the notes and corrections to Petrie's work contained in Royal Irish Academy, Todd Lecture Series Vol. 8, The Metrical Dindshenchas,Part 1, p.59, Edward Gwynn, Dublin 1903. Follow link: http://archive.org/stream/toddlectureserie09royauoft#page/n179/mode/2up. See also the article entitled The Hill of Tara in Journal of The British Archaeological Association, Vol. 1, p.272 ff, R. H. McDonald, London 1895. Follow link: http://archive.org/stream/journalofbritishns01brit#page/271/mode/1up. I find it worrying when people claim that they cannot find any mention of Tea/Tephi. It makes me wonder what sort of research they claim to be doing, especially in this digital age when it only takes a few key words typed into an internet search engine to produce results. It is also worrying that, like sheep, people perpetuate those errors without checking the original source material.
My research indicates that Queen Tea aka Tephi arrived in Ireland during the time of Nebuchadnezzar II. She arrived with the FIRST Milesian invasion which comprised the Tuatha de Danann, Firbolgs, Gadelians and Nemedians all of whom are said to be 'sons' of Seara, son of Sru, son of Easru. (General History of Ireland, p.75, Geoffrey Keating, Dublin 1861, see http://archive.org/stream/keatingsgeneralh00keat#page/75/mode/1up.) The arrival of 'Niall Noigiallach' aka Mil Espagne aka Niall son of Fenius Farsaid marked the SECOND Milesian invasion, but the Irish historians have confused the two invasions so that the people involved in the first invasion have become part of the second.
The Tuatha de Danann arrived in Egypt during the time of Psammetichus I. From Egypt, they brought with them the famous stone known as Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny). I would point out that the stone phallus which today stands at Tara is NOT Lia Fail. The phallus is associated with Baal worship, and all the Irish historians are unanimous in telling us that Baal worship was introduced during the time of Tuathal Techtmar, at a much later date. Lia Fail has been identified from an early period as being the stone which was until recent times kept in Westminster Cathedral on which many of the kings of England were crowned. (pp.28 & 66-67 in Ogygia Vol. 1, Roderic O'Flaherty Dublin 1793.) In one ancient text, mention is made of "Onaoi, a harper who came with the sons of Milidh to Ireland". (General History of Ireland p.103 in Vol. 2, Geoffrey Keating, translated by Rev Patrick Dinneen, London 1908, see https://archive.org/stream/historyireland03keatgoog#page/n144/mode/1up.) The Irish did not realise that onaoi is the Hebrew word for ship, nor that the harp was brought over to Ireland with the Tuatha de Danann in the first Milesian invasion.
Allegory goes way above most people's head. They either dismiss the stories as fantasy and consign them to the bin labelled 'mythology', or they turn the allegorical creations into actual personages. Cuchulainn and Dagda (var Daghda) are examples of the former and Heber, Heremon and Niall Noigiallach are examples of the latter. I have already demonstrated in a previous email that Cuchulainn, "the bright shining hero", who was renowned for his wisdom, was not a person, but a tribe of people named after Calchol son of Zerach. Dagda, the mythical king of the Tuatha de Danann (Early Irish History & Mythology pp. 320 & 469), who was "the god of wisdom" as well as other names "which reveal him as the sun-god" (i.e. 'bright and shining' - the same meaning as Zerach), is well-known to us as the tribe of Darda son of Zerach. 'He' again was a tribe of people.
Ptolemy's Geography provides us with a snapshot of the world in the middle of the second century CE. The problem is that Ptolemy's map of Ireland does not represent the Ireland which one would expect if Heber and Heremon had already arrived. Unable to cope with this realisation, Thomas F. O'Rahilly tried to push back Ptolemy's map of Ireland to some earlier date. Of course, although he would have liked to have pushed it back to some even more remote period, he realised that he could not fix a date earlier than the time of Pytheas (fourth century BCE):
"The conclusion is that Ptolemy's account of Ireland is considerably older than his account of Britain, which (at any rate so far as Roman Britain is concerned) probably REFLECTS THE BRITAIN OF THE EARLY SECOND CENTURY A.D. Ptolemy's Irish names, in fact, must be derived, directly or indirectly, from some geographer WHO LIVED SEVERAL CENTURIES BEFORE Ptolemy's time. No such detailed account of Ireland could have been composed by any Greek earlier than Pytheas; nor do we know of any later Greek traveller to whom it might be attributed. Accordingly it is not rash to suppose that Ptolemy's account of Ireland is based on that of Pytheas, whose voyage took place ca. 325 B.C., a date which would harmonize very well with the antiquity of the account as proved by internal evidence." (Early Irish History & Mythology pp.40-41, Dublin 1999, first published 1946. Emphases mine.)
Bear in mind that the works of Pytheas have not survived. Pytheas has become a convenient 'hook' on which academics can hang their theories. Having made this claim that Ptolemy's map of Ireland was based on the works of Pytheas, O'Rahilly then proceeds to well and truly shoot himself in the foot by admitting that Pytheas could not possibly have been responsible either for the lines of longitude or the lines of latitude used by Ptolemy, hence these must have been added at some later date: "either by Ptolemy himself or by one of his predecessors" (Ibid.) This later geographer, whoever he may have been, was not only able to recognise the names used by Pytheas, but FAILED TO UPDATE THE MAP WITH THE MORE MODERN NAMES! Is it not much simpler to accept that Ptolemy's map of Ireland represents Ireland of the second century CE? In which case, even as late as this, Heber and Heremon had not arrived in Ireland!
Also, the reason why the city of Emania is not mentioned in Ptolemy's map is because these descendants of the tribe of Heman son of Zerach had not at that time arrived. (These are the people who gave their name to the Amanus Mountains in Cilicia, the region of Emania in northern Greece, the city state of Iamonem on the island of Minorca etc.) According to Pliny, who called them Aemenienses, they were at that time (i.e. middle of the first century CE) located in Portugal somewhere to the east of Lisbon. The suggestion that Emania was built around 300 BCE is therefore also shown to be false.
I would like to stress that Scota originally only had two sons: Heber and Heremon. (Early Irish History op. cit. p.195.) The Irish academic, Roderic O'Flaherty, quoting John Colgan, an Irish Franciscan Friar, records the fact that:
"our historians every where say that Scota the daughter of Pharaoh, was rather called Scytha by her own people, BECAUSE she was given in marriage to a Scythian, contrary to the custom of her country." (Ogygia Vol. 2, p.258, Roderic O'Flaherty, Dublin 1793. (Emphasis mine.)
Quite simply, this is an ALLEGORICAL story of Iberian Scythians (i.e. Heber) and Armenian Scythians (i.e. Heremon) who arrived in Ireland from Scythia (i.e. the 'mother' Scota) via Spain in the third and fourth centuries CE. This mass exodus of the Scythian tribes (Heber and Heremon) from Armenia coincides with the rise of the Sassanid Empire, which occurred at the beginning of the third century CE. (This was sometime around 224 CE, which explains why Ptolemy's map does not represent the Ireland of the time of Heber and Heremon.) Whether they were forced out by the emerging Sassanids, or whether the Sassanids came to power because of the vacuum created by their departure is difficult to say, but I would suggest that the latter was most likely the case. When we realise this, we can begin to correctly piece together the Irish history.
According to the legend, Scota died on arrival in Ireland. This death of the queen on arrival is a recurring theme amongst these allegorical tales and seems to represent the casting off of the old life for the new. In the case of Scota, who is said to have been the 'daughter' of Pharaoh Cingcris according to the one legend, and 'daughter' of Nectanebo according to another, will have been well over 500 years old when she arrived in Ireland. I should imagine that, at that ripe old age, she must have fallen flat on her face! Even Abraham was only 175 years old when he died. But, of course, this story of Scota and her two sons is allegory!
In the case of Niall Noigiallach, an Irish bard has written an allegorical tale of enmity between the indigenous Errain (represented by Mugmedon's first 'wife' Mongfind, a name which means 'SLAVE OF PHOENICIA'!!) and the newly arrived, great powerful federation of tribes known collectively as 'Niall Noigiallach', who emerged from the region between Corunna and the River Deva in northern Spain (represented by Niall's 'mother', Cairren Chasdub). In Gaelic, Cairenn Chasdub means 'Cairenn the black-legged'. It is actually a play on the words 'Corunna and casa Deva'.
In Gaelic, Noigiallach (pronounced Noyala) means 'nine battles' or similar. It is a play on the word 'Nelead'. For the benefit of those who are not familiar with Greek history, the Neleads were a powerful family who at one time ruled from Miletus in Anatolia. Niall's son's name is given as Loegaire, this being a play on 'G-d of Eire'. His father's name is given as Mugmedon, a name which means 'Slave of Medon'. Now, who in their right mind would call their son 'Slave of Medon'? The same goes for Mongfind, a name which means 'Slave of Phoenicia'? When we look at the Greek records, we see that Medon ruled from Athens, whilst Neleus (i.e. Niall), who refused to accept Medon's rule, instead ruled from Miletus in Anatolia.
"A few years afterwards MEDON and NEILUS [i.e. Niall Noigiallach], the oldest of the sons of Codrus, quarrelled about the rule, and NEILUS refused to allow MEDON to rule over him, because he was lame in one foot. The disputants agreed to refer the matter to the Delphic oracle, and the Pythian priestess gave the kingdom of Athens to MEDON. So NEILUS and the rest of the sons of Codrus set out to found a colony, taking with them any Athenian who wished to go with them, but the greatest number of their company was composed of Ionians." (Pausanias, Description of Greece vii.ii.1, emphases mine.)
Niall Noigiallach is the person other Irish bards have decided to call Mil Espagne, a king who supposedly lived around 1,000 BCE! He is also the person another Irish bard has decided to call Niall son of Fenius Farsaid who supposedly lived around 2,000 BCE! This, however, is how allegories work, but the Irish historians have not understood what they are playing with.
The names Er, Ir, Ire and Eire are all variant spellings of the same name. Er was the husband of Tamar who was smitten by HaShem, but Judah fulfilled the Torah commandment to raise up 'seed' to the house of Er. People generally have difficulty with these multiple spellings of the same name, but this practice was commonplace in ancient texts. For example, in Gaelic, the city of Tamar in Ireland was variously written Temur, Temrach, Teamrach, Temraidh, Teamhuir, Teamhair, Temoria, Tara or Taragh to name but a few variations. The suggestion that Teamhuir in its various forms means 'house, palace or town of Queen Tea', 'wall of Tea' or, as suggested by the Irish historian George Petrie, 'house with walls', is all highly contrived. In an old Irish book known as The Four Masters, it is said by John O'Donovan that: Teamair: "was very common in Ireland as a woman's name". From this, we can be assured that all of these spellings of the name are variations on the name which is otherwise written Tamar. The River Tamar in northern Israel was called Tamyras by Strabo (16.2.22) and is even today known as Nahr Damur. It takes its name from the tribe of Calchol who at one time dwelt there. The River Nelo (now the Ulla), which, according to Pliny, was known to the Celts as Neri (both names being variant spellings of Niall), was called the Tamar by Ptolemy. Whilst Ptolemy and Strabo called the inhabitants of this region Arrotrebae, Pliny called them Tamarci (i.e. Tamarites) and Iadovi (i.e. Jews). The Domnian (Tuatha de Danann) who settled in Devon built the city of Tamar, on the River Tamar. They will also have been responsible for naming the River Isaca (= Isaac, now the River Exe, note the metathesis). These Domnians are understood to have come from Leinster in Ireland where the city of Tamar once stood. In my opinion, it is no coincidence that the flag of Devon is the same Emerald Green as the flag of Leinster.
I could add a lot more, but this should hopefully give you some idea of what you are playing with when dealing with the Irish records. In 1 Kings 4:31 we read that Solomon's wisdom was greater than that of the sons of Zerach. It seems that, even today, the wisdom of these sons of Zerach is beyond most people's comprehension.