A Mixed Jewish-Israelite Group in Ireland and Scotland (18 August, 2014, 22 Av, 5774)
Irish tradition mentions Iar as one of their ancestors. Iar is another form of Yair. The Bible tells us about the settlements of Yair in Gilead and Bashan east of the Jordan. Assyrian inscriptions confirm and expand on what Scripture tells us.
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2. Yair in the Bible
3. Records of Descendants of Yair in Mesopotamian Inscriptions
4. IAR in Irish Tradition
5. Benjamin Mazar Describes the IARI and Identifies them with Yair!
6. The House of Geber and Yair
7. The House of Geber in Yadi
8. Geber amongst the Western Celts
9. Geber in Ireland and Britain
10. Yair in Ireland and Scotland
11.A Linkage to Dan?
12. Irish Accounts Correspond with the Bible and Assyrian Inscriptions
13. Irish Traditions and Israelite Origins Proven from the Bible.
We explored the subject that elements from Judah settled in Ireland and Ulster. We found a tradition that Calcol of Judah settled in Ulster, and that the IRISH attributed their attachment to the harp to their being descended from King David. Linguistically it was shown how the Irish hero Cuchuliann may represent Calcol of Judah and how other terms also reflect a presence of Judah.
See: Ulster and Judah
In addition, additional sources serve to verify the linkage between Judah and Ireland.
Irish History and Yair in the Bible
"THE HISTORY OF IRELAND FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE ENGLISH INVASION"
by Rev. Geoffrey Keating (ca.1570-1646), is a collection of ancient sources. It describes the various peoples who migrated to Ireland.
The last and most important group were the Milesians, descendants of Niul.
Niul (i.e. Neal) had been an associate of Caei the Eloquent from Judah (sic.) who was also known as Iar son of Nemha. IAR is an important figure in Gaelic history. Keating terms Iar, "Iar son of Nemha" and he says he was also known as Caei the Eloquent from Judah. Iar is therefore linked by Keating to both Nemha and to Judah. "Nemha" (i.e. in "Iar son of Nemha" above) means sanctified and it means the same as the Hebrew name "Paresh" which means separated or sanctified. Paresh in the Bible fathered a group in Gilead of Menasseh with whom Yair in the Bible was associated and identified with! Yair in the Bible was linked with both Menasseh and with Judah.
The descendants of Yair were known in the Middle East as the Iari. The Iari descended from Yair. Keating in effect confirms the identification of Iar of Irish tradition with Yair of the Bible.
The Bible speaks on several occasions of a personality named Yair [Jair] son of Manasseh or son of a son of Mannaseh who conquered an area of Gilead east of the Jordan or of neighboring Bashan also east of the Jordan and in whose honor an assemblage of settlements known as the "Encampents of Yair" (Havoth-Yair) received their name. It may be that one person is referred or (what seems more likely) several people who all received the name Yair. This name may be a dynastic one such as in the Middle Ages when we find all the Kings of Aquitaine being named Guiliame (William).
(1) Yair (Jair) son of Manasseh in Gilead.
39 The descendants of Machir son of Manasseh went to Gilead, captured it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were there; 40 so Moses gave Gilead to Machir son of Manasseh, and he settled there. 41 Jair son of Manasseh went and captured their villages, and renamed them Havvoth-jair. 42 And Nobah went and captured Kenath and its villages, and renamed it Nobah after himself.
Havvoth-jair probably means encampments or homesteads of Yair.
(2) Yair of Manasseh, Bashan
14 Jair the Manassite acquired the whole region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and he named them after himself, Bashan Havvoth-jair, as it is to this day.
(3) Yair in the Territory of half-Manasseh (east of the Jordan) in Bashan. Implied as pertaining to Machir son of Manasseh.
29 Moses gave an inheritance to the half-tribe of Manasseh; it was allotted to the half-tribe of the Manassites according to their families.
30 Their territory extended from Mahanaim, through all Bashan, the whole kingdom of King Og of Bashan, and all the settlements of Jair, which are in Bashan, sixty towns.
31 and half of Gilead, and Ashtaroth, and Edrei, the towns of the kingdom of Og in Bashan; these were allotted to the people of Machir son of Manasseh according to their clans, for half the Machirites.
(4) Yair the Gileadite.
Later in the period of the Judges there arose another Yair, a Gileadite, whose descendants also had cities named in his honor "The Homesteads of Yair".
3 After him [i.e. after the Judge Abimelech] came Jair the Gileadite, who judged Israel for twenty-two years.
4 He had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys; and they had thirty towns, which are in the land of Gilead, and are called Havvoth-jair to this day.
5 Jair died, and was buried in Kamon.
(5) Yair son of Segub son of Hezron of Judah, in Gilead pertaining to Machir.
The Bible in the First Book of Chronicles chapter 2 speaks of the sons of Judah. Judah had five sons. He had two of his sons (Zerah and Pharez) by Tamar.
Hezron was a son of Pharez son of Judah.
The Bible tells us that Hezron had sons named:
JERAHMEEL, AND RAM, AND CHELUBAI [1-Chronicles 2:9].
The Bible goes on to tell us that from Ram son of Hezron emerged the family of King David. Then the Bible tells us about the genealogy of CALEB [i.e. CHELUBAI] THE SON OF HEZRON [1-Chronicles 2:18].
After that Scripture, goes back to deal with Hezron again.
We are told that in his old age Hezron married a daughter of Machir son of Menasseh and from this union emerged Yair who possessed cities in Gilead. Yair was thus through his father Hezron a descendant of Judah but on the side of his mother he was related to Machir and had his inheritance in Gilead.
21 Afterwards Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub;
22 and Segub became the father of Jair, who had twenty-three towns in the land of Gilead.
23 But Geshur and Aram took from them Havvoth-jair, Kenath and its villages, sixty towns. All these were descendants of Machir, father of Gilead.
From the above, from the verses in Chronicles, we see that there was someone called Yair who was descended on the side of his father from Hezron of Judah and on the side of his mother he was descended from Machir the son of Menasseh. Yair possessed towns in the territory of Machir who was the father of Gilead.
It is not our purpose at present to go into the question as to whether there was one person named Yair or several personages of that name who lived more or less in the same area at different times. It is enough to notice that in the Bible the name Yair is linked both with Judah and with Machir son of Menasseh and that Yair possessed towns in the region of Gilead.
The name Yair in the dialect of Northern Israel and of Phoenecia would have been pronounced as Iar. Descendants of Yair are identified with the people known as the Iari who were prominent in ancient times in the area east of the Jordan and in Northern Syria.
We saw that in the account of Keating about Irish Traditions Iar was termed Iar, the son of Nemh and that Nemh means the same as the Hebrew "Peresh". In the Bible Peresh was a son of Machir the son of Menasseh. Peresh is indicated to be a brother of Gilead son of Machir. As we find:
14 The sons of Manasseh: Asriel, whom his Aramean concubine bore; she bore Machir the father of Gilead.
15 And Machir took a wife for Huppim and for Shuppim. The name of his sister was Maacah. And the name of the second was Zelophehad; and Zelophehad had daughters.
16 Maacah the wife of Machir bore a son, and she named him Peresh; the name of his brother was Sheresh; and his sons were Ulam and Rekem.
17The son of Ulam: Bedan. These were the sons of Gilead son of Machir, son of Manasseh.
Notice that Peresh in the Bible was linked with Gilead and with Menasseh the same way that Yair was linked with Gilead and Menasseh. In Irish tradition Iar was called "Iar son of Nemh", i.e. son of Peresh in Hebrew. Iar is also linked with Judah by Keating. Yair is linked with Judah in the Bible. Keating therefore provides us with additional evidence that the ancestor of groups in Ireland known, as "Iar" in Irish tradition was the same as the Israelite Yair mentioned in Scripture.
The Clan of Yair in Israel, Ireland, and Scotland.
The name of Iar appears several times in the Irish genealogies under various forms: There is Iarbonel the prophet one of the four sons of Nemedh mentioned by Keating. There is Jaruanell the prophet one of the four sons of Neuie McAgamemnon in the "Annals of Clonmacnois".
Keating mentions that "some antiquaries" derive the Tuatha De Danann [Tribe of Dana] from "Iarbanel son of Nemedh". Iarbanel is considered a form of Iar.
The Leabhar Gabhala also brings two alternate versions in which Iarbanel is high up on the genealogical lists of the Dana. Iarbonel is another form of the name Iar. Usually Iar is associated with the Milesians and with Nial. He may also have had connections to the Tuatha de Danaan i.e. the people of Dana. These were from the Tribe of Dan. We shall see below that the Iari of Judah under the House of Geber were also closely acquainted from the neighboring Dananu from the Tribe of Dan. We shall also see how Irish geneaologies and tribal links concerning Geber may also have had a Danite connection through the Domnu.
In the History of Keating the Sages mentioned include Fennius Farsa the Scythian; Gaedal son of Ethor, of the race of Gomer, from Greece; and "Caei the Eloquent (or the Just), from Judea, or Iar, son of Nemha, as others call him.."
Iarbonel, Iarbanel, Iar, and Jaruanell are all versions of IAR!! In the Ancient Middle East "Iar" was another form of the name Yair or "Jair" as it is sometimes transcribed. Not only that but Yair in the Bible was linked to both Judah and to Gilead of Menasseh east of the Jordan. There may have been several ancient Israelite leaders named "Yair" : One was from Manasseh and another from Judah but settled amongst Gilead of Manaseh. Both established groups of settlement named after them. One was to the east of the Jordan and the other much further North in the border region of what are now Syria and Iraq. Alternately the two personalities were one and the same person.
This is a matter to be considered elsewhere.
"Iar" or "Yair" or "Jair" is recorded in the Bible as a descendant of Judah who settled in the land of Gilead (Galaadi) of Machir in Menasseh and had 23 cities attached to him.
Gilead was the son of Machir who was the firstborn of Menasseh. They inherited their portion in the lands on the east side of the Jordan stretching to the northeast and reaching far into the north and eastward to the River Euphrates.
Old Assyrian inscriptions often recall the Iari who fought along the Euphrates' banks and sometimes in the north to the east of the Euphrates in the region of the Habor tributary. Contrary to some opinions, the Israelite territories of Gilead and Bashan did reach up to those regions.
5. Benjamin Mazar Describes the IARI and Identfies them with Yair!
In regards to the people of Yair it is worth noting the opinion of the Israeli researcher, Benjamin Mazar in the Encyclopedia Biblica (free trasnlation form the Hebrew):
## "Yair, Yairi": "A large family belonging to the Tribe of Menasseh... In the account of Israelite conquest east of the Jordan this family plays an important role....the family of Yair were related by family-blood with the family of Hezron from Judah on one side and with Machir father of Gilead on the other...
#There is ground to assume that Yair was also a general name for a large group of Israelite clans who had already united at the beginning of the Israelite conquest of the northern part of the land of Gilead and from there had spread out over the Land of Bashan; (Consequently) a large and broad territory east of the Jordan was called by their name, "Townships of Yair". This widely-branched family held on to its own inheritance...and also succeeded in gaining control over the territory of Argob in Bashan....
# It is possible that the group of clans, known in Scripture by the name of Yair, are recalled in Assyrian records. In the preamble to several building-dedications the King of Assyria, Adadnirari-i tells how his father, Archdinal (early 1200s b.c.e), fought against and subdued the camps of Achlemu [i.e. Arami-Syrians], Suthi [=Seth], and Yauri [Iauri] on the banks of the Euphrates.
# There are grounds for the proposition that the Yauri are none other than the nomadic Sons of Yair who would transmigrate between the desert and the Euphrates River; also in the Genealogical records of the Tribes east of the Jordan is retained the recollection of their spreading out to the Euphrates River "Because their cattle were multiplied in the land of Gilead" (1-Chronicles 5;9). From the 1200s Assyrian sources several times recall the camps of Yauri [Iauri], Yari [Iari], and the Land of Yari [Iari] and the Mountains of Yari [Iari] in the region of the Euphrates and Khabor Rivers. In addition Assurnasipal-2 and his successors recall the House of Yair [Iahir].... as one of the princedoms in Mesopotamia whose center was the city Magrisu..
# The name Yair apparently expresses the wish that God will shine his face upon the child, meaning to say, show him favor; cf. "The LORD make his face shine upon thee..." (Numbers 6;25).... #
Later, we find what appears to a settlement of the Iari in Yadi of Cilicia (northern Syria-southeast Turkey). Yadi neighbored Smal whose inhabitants were a colony of the Dananu from the Tribe of Dan. Originally Dan had received his inheritance in the south between Judah and Ephraim (Judges 2). Many of the Danites left their area in the south and went north. In Joshua ch.2 we hear of them going to Leshem (which was renamed Dan) in the Upper Galilee. Likewise in Judges chs. 18 & 19 we read of another group of Danites moving to Laish in the north. These became the Dananu of Cilicia who shared a border with Yadi.
Scripture (1-Chronicles chapter two) states that Yair was descended from Judah yet his people were to be identified with Gilead the son of Machir from the Tribe of Menasseh. As noted above Irish Mythology also relates "Iar" (i.e. Yair) to Judah! We find a connection between descendants of Yair and the Family of Administrators in the time of Solomon named Geber.
The region of Yair (and Argob) was one of 12 administrative districts into which King Solomon divided the Land of Israel. It was ruled by "Ben-Gever" (i.e. "Son of Geber") whose father (Geber the son of Uri) was appointed over all Gilead and the neighboring region of Bashan which could reach up to the Euphrates and beyond.
And Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel....The son of Geber, in Ramoth Gilead; to him pertained the towns of Jair the son of Menasseh, which are in Gilead; to him also pertained the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, threescore great cities with walls and brasen bars..... "Geber the son of Uri was in the country of Gilead, in the country of Sihon king of the Amorites, and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer which was in the land.
Ptolemy records a Gabara (from Geber) in the region of Bashan. Ptolemy listed numerous place and historical ethnic names proving that Israelite tribes once ruled over all the area of northern Syria reaching at least to the Euphrates. Examples are the areas called RAHABENI (i.e. Reuben), MASANI (Menasseh), CAUCHABENI (i.e. Sons of Chauchi, i.e. of Haggi son of Gad), BATHANAEI (Bashan in Aramaic), CHALYBONITIS (Chalybes of Judah), and the cities of Belginaea and Belagaea (Belgae from Bela-g-h), and GABARA from Geber in the region of Bashan (Bathanaei) close to Masani (Menasseh).
Geber and Geber son of Uri were the administrators appointed by Solomon over the Gilead.
Later we find, The "House of Gabbar" as the ruling dynasty of "Yadi". Yadi was a Judaean enclave in northwest Syria ("Hamath which belonged to Judah" 2-Kings 14:28) known as "Yadi" (i.e. "Judah" in Assyrian) and also garrisoned by the "Dananu" from the Tribe of Dan and somehow associated with the neighbouring Tribe of Gad since its other name "Smal" is synonymous with Zephion a clan of Gad. The location of Yadi and Smal adjoins Gilead and Bashan. Yadi evidently was a settlement of the Iaari.
The people of Yadi are recorded as being taken into exile to an area of Armenia whereto other exiles from the Ten Tribes were also taken.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle said that the Celts of Britain came from Armenia.
Ethnic and Place-names with the root "Geber" (GBR) were found amongst the Celts on the Continent (Guberni, Gabreta) and in Scotland and Ireland.
Ptolemy recalled the GABRETA in Baiern (Bavaria) whom Zeuss identified as a Celtic people and recalls the city of Gabromagus and Vergobretus (in territory of the Aedui of Gaul, Caesar, G.W.1;16). There was also a Celtic group called Guberni (Pliny N.H.4;17) between the Ubii and Batavi in Holland.
9. Geber in Ireland and Britain
In ancient Ireland there was an important ethnic group tribe called Gabraige and a place named Gabran (mod. Gowran in County Kilkenny, southeast Ireland) and a king of the Picts in northern Scotland had the same name.
The Lagin people gave their name to Leinster in east Ireland. They were also known as GABAIR. After being conquered by the Milesian Goidels, the Lagin Gabair joined forces with them and participated in raids on, and settlement in, Scotland. They have been equated with the Gailian or Galioin, which names may well derive from the Golan in the Land of Israel since GEBER or GABAR appears to have once been an important family name in that general area. To the northeast of Eboracum (York) and the Parissi in Britain were the GABRANTOVICES. Further north in the Caledonian region (of Scotland) of the Gadeni (Otadeni) was the settlement of Gabrosentas.
From Gilead ("Galaad") of Israel emerged the Galatae or "Galadi" of northern Gaul, the Galadon of northern Wales and southern Britain, and the Caledonians of Scotland. These groups had ethnic migratory connections with the Gaels of Ireland. In both Ireland and Scotland are toponyms bearing the name Iar (i.e. Yair) which are believed to represent an eponymous ancestor of that name.
In addition we find The IERNE (Iverni, Iberni, Erainn) and Osraighe in southwest Ireland who regarded IAR as their forefather. The Iern were related to the Ulaid and Darini of Ulster. The name is also found in Scotland. The French historian Henri Hubert (1934) opined that they are traceable to the same ethnic goup in both Scotland and Ireland. The people of Yair may therefore be assumed to have been submerged amongst the descendants of Gilead in the British Isles.
Regarding the Iverni in Ireland it is reported:
# The personal name Iar is simply another variant of the root present in Iverni and Erainn. #
# The historical sept [i.e. "Tribe" after the Hebrew word "shevet"] of the Ui Maicc Iair ("grandsons of the son of Iar") and the MAQI IARI [Sons of Iari] of Ogham inscriptions also appear to be related. #
The authoritative Irish Historian Thomas Francis O'Rahilly believed the Erainn were a group of Belgae originally from Britain.
We noticed above that the name GABAIR was applied to the Lagin people who gave their name to Leinster in east Ireland. These in turn have been identified with the Dumnoni who were also record of in southwest England, and Scotland.
The Blood of the Isles. The Carswell DNA Study
Part One by Ian Carswell (July 2007)
... One account states that: These were the Dumnonii, who gave their name to Devon [southwest England], while their most powerful Irish branch was known as the Laigin, and gave their name to Leinster [in east ireland]. The Dumnonii (or Domnonii) settled as a distinct tribal population in the south of England and in several areas of Ireland, exercising overlord status over larger regions. A branch from Ireland settled in the area south of Dumbarton in southern Scotland before the arrival of the Romans in the mid-first century A.D., and became the ancestors of the Strathclyde Britons...- Cuchulain, the warrior hero of King Conor mac Nessa, is most likely British. The Irish legends hint at the British origin of this warrior hero. There is a battle Cuchulain fights with Ferdia, a Damnonian. Cuchulain tells Ferdia that he is unwilling to fight Ferdia, as they are friends and of the same race..
The region of the Dumnoni in Devon and the surrounding area of southwest Britain was also known as Dannonia linking it to Dan.
Leinster in East Ireland was later dominated by the Viking Danes (from Denmark) who were also from Dan.
This would fit a known pattern were different elements from the same Tribe instinctively converged on the same areas.
In the Land of Israel the Tribe of Dan had bordered Judah in the south. In addition the House of Geber had ruled over Yadi of Judah in Cilicia. There, they had adjoined the Dananu (from Dan) of Smal and the two entities appear to have at times had the same rulership. We thus find a possibility that this experience was repeated in Ireland.
For more on this subject plus slightly variant opinions see:
The Irish legends quoted above speak of Iar of Judea or of Iarbanel the Prophet who is identifiable with Iar and who in some accounts was one of the first ancestors of the Nemedian peoples (including the Dana and Milesians) who settled in Ireland and elsewhere is closely associated with Fennius, the first and primary forefather. "Nemed" means "Separated" or "Sanctified" the same as "Peresh" the son of Machir the son of Menasseh (1-Chronicles 7:16). It is doubtful if the transmitters of the Irish legends were ever aware of the quoted verses in the First Book of Chronicles and their historical value. Neither did they know what was inscribed on Assyrian tablets concerning the Iari. Neither were the place names bearing the ethnic denomination "Iar" in Ireland and Scotland derived from scholastic imagination.
All of the above proofs are from independent sources that complement each other and indicate historical truths underlying the Irish texts. Biblical and archaeological evidence showed a geographical linkage of the names Gabar, Gad, Yair, Yadi (Yehudah), and Gilead and parallel associations are noticeable in the place-names of Ireland and Scotland and in Celtic Mythology. It is worth noting that a prominent Rabbinical authority, the Natziv
(Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, 1816 - 1893), in his commentary on the Torah speaks several times of Yair. The Natziv see great significance in the presence of Yair from Judah amongst Manasseh. The task of Yair, he opines, was to bring the Torah learning and Torah outlook of Judah to those Israelites east of the Jordan River. It may be that descendants of Yair (even though they are not aware of who they are) amongst the English-speaking peoples have in a symbolic sense fulfilled this role.
Sources: The sources for this article are as given in the text, Keating, O'Rahilly, Mazar, etc. The underrlying identity of the names Iar, Iarbonel, Jaruenell, etc, and their being derived from Yair is pointed out in National Message Serial no.118c, from an unnamed author. Dr Clifford Smyth of Belfast, Northern Ireland, provided me with this source.
Yair gave rise to a group of settlements associated with both Judah and Manasseh. They were ruled over by a dynasty of administrators named the House of Geber. The center of gravity of this entity moved to the north of Syria where they were neighbored by a colony of Dan. The Assyrians exiled these peoples together with the rest of the Ten Tribes. Later, we find them under virtually the same names in the west, especially in Britain and even more in Ireland.