Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy (1 January 2017, 14 Tevet, 5778)
Is there any proof that Celtic people were originally one of the lost tribes of Israel?
There is evidence that at least some of the people generally regarded as Celtic were wholly, or in part, descended from Hebrews. The Ancient Israelites had divided into two sections (2-Kings 12:21). The Tribes that became the Jews were in the south. These were Judah, Benjamin, Levi, and minority representatives of all the rest. This was the Kingdom of Judah from which emerged the Jewish People. In the north and east were Ten Tribes. These were exiled by the Assyrians (2-Kings 17:5-6, 1-Chronicles 5:26) and lost awareness of their ancestry. Physically however they remained more or less together or divided into sections that later re-coalesced. These are known as the Lost Ten Tribes. The Bible and Rabbinical sources speak of the Lost Ten Tribes being in western (Isaiah 24:14, Hosea 1:10) and northern areas (Jeremiah 3:18 31: 6-10), and in the Isles of the Sea (Isaiah 24:15, 49:6 60:9), and in Zarephath, meaning France and Britain (Obadiah 1:20). These too were Celtic areas.
This is the general direction of Celtic Civilization. Specific details given in the Bible such as the worship of Baal (Hosea 2:8) i.e. the Celtic god "Bel" and Fires in the Isles (Isaiah 24:15) also point to Celtic Peoples in the West. The linguistic sub-structure and vocabulary of Celtic languages known to us, i.e. Welsh, Irish Gaelic, and Scottish indicate that these tongues had been built on a language closely related to Hebrew. They did not call themselves Celtic. As far as is known the Celts had no general name for themselves and no common self-identification. Nevertheless the ethnic term "IIber" or "Hiber" is found all over the Celtic world especially in the west. It is part of literally 100s of place-names and tribal names. The source of this name is not known or at least not agreed upon. It is however the equivalent of the name "Hebrew" meaning "Israelite." This is the nearest thing we have to a generic name that the people used for themselves. They should be called Western Hebrews.
Tribal names and place names are often similar to those found in the Bible and are Israelite. A few examples from the British Isles in Celtic Times (see Map above) include Galadon and Caledonians from Gilead, Simeni (from Simeon) otherwise identified as the Iceni (from Yacin of Simeon), and the Idumaeus River from Edom, the Isaca River, Tamar, the Tamar River, and the Damnone otherwise known as Dannonia, the city of Danum in the north along with two rivers named Don i.e. Dan, and more. The similarity of these names to Hebrew ones could be attributed to coincidence and the names said to mean other things were it not for additional Tribal associations and configurations reflecting Biblical ones.
The Celts as Israelites
Aspects of the material culture such as a particular style of enamel, wheat silos lined with straw, etc, indicate eastern origins from the Middle East area.Â
The dolmens and megalithic monuments trace a line of migration from the Land of Israel to the West through Celtic areas, the British Isles, etc, and into Scandinavia.
Jeremiah (KJV) 31:
21 Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities.
These megalithic edifices are generally dated to well before the Celtic area but it seems the dating is incorrect. The monuments in question were erected at a later date and in the Celtic Era. They show a pathway linking the general area of Ancient Israel with Western Places, as predicted. Celtic traditions as found in sources from the British Isles, especially legends from Ireland, indicate Israelite origins.
The appearance of Celtic Culture in the west was after ca. 500 BCE. The Ten Tribes were exiled from Israel in ca. 700 BCE according to conventionally accepted secular reckoning. Whatever the case the culture of these peoples was not known to us prior to the exile of Israelite Tribes from the land of Israel.
The Ten Tribes had been exiled. They moved westward along two main paths: (1) Sea-ward and (2) Overland. This is indicated by Scripture. (1) A portion of the Israelites were transported by sea (Amos 4:2-3 in the Hebrew). They were taken from the Middle East to the West by Minoans and Myceneans (Philistines cf. Amos 1:6-8), and Edomites from Phoenicia (Philistines cf. Amos 4:9, 11). They served as proxies extending the Assyrian domain. Israelites were included both as slave labor and as colonists against their will (Amos 1:6-8,9, 11). (2) Isrealites were employed in the Assyrian armies, and as colonists and were taken overland. Eventually they moved northward and then to the west. Both movements gave rise to Celtic peoples. The Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians, and others were also of the same stock.
A selected sample of Iber-Heber Names in Western Europe:
Gaul (France, Belgium, Switzerland):
Eborica (Navarre, southeast France)
Ebronium (Evre, Mayenne, northwest France.)
Eborovices (Veneti, Brittainy in Gaul)
Eburodunum: also known as Embrun in the French Alps of ancient Gaul.
Evorolocum: in Auvergne, Gaul.
Eborobritum: Beira, Gaul, .
Eborovices: Evreux, in Gaul
Eborobriga: Yonne, in Gaul.
Eboromagus: (in the region of Aude, in Gaul) also known as "Hebromagus" and close to Narbonne .
Eborodunum: Yverdon, in Switzerland, once dominated by the Celtic Tribe of Helveti.
Eboracensis Comitatus (northeast of Durham in Yorkshire).
Eboracum (York, England).
Hibernia: name for Ireland.
Heber - an ancestral figure in Irish Mythology.
Iberni in southwest Ireland.
Iberni Ocean east of Ireland.
Hebrides: islands off the northwest coast of Scotland, a Celtic region.