Israelites in the Netherlands
(4 September, 2018, 24 Elul, 5778)
The article below has been summarized and slightly adapted from "The Tribes" (4th edition, 2012) by Yair Davidiy.
Moses grouped the two brothers Issachar and Zebulon together, saying, "Rejoice, Zebulun in thy going out; and Issachar in thy tents" (Deuteronomy 33:18). From this verse it was understood (Rashi) that Issachar and Zebulon had a symbiotic relationship, Issachar being involved in religious and scientific intellectual pursuits and Zebulon setting forth in ships to trade.
We identify the Tribe of Zebulon with a portion of the Dutch.
The Tribal symbol of Zebulon according to the Midrash (Numbers Rabah 2;5) was a ship. The symbol of Holland was a ship in popular tradition and a ship was the symbol of the former Dutch Republic. Zebulon, in Talmudic Literature, is pictured as a merchant seafarer, which description fits the Dutch. Rotterdam in Holland is the world's busiest port. Moses blessed Zebulon: that he should "Suck of the abundance of the seas and of treasures hid in the sands" (Deuteronomy 33:19). Today both South Africa and Holland are on the seashores and a good portion of the earlier diamond wealth of South Africa was found in the "sands". Zebulon, though dominant in Holland, is also represented by "Halland" of the southwest coast of Sweden, and by Hallin in Norway which names come from that of Elon, son of Zebulon, as does the name for Holland itself.
The Tribe of Zebulon
"AND THE SONS OF ZEBULON; SERED, AND ELON, AND JAHLEEL" Genesis 46:14.
Jacob prophesied "Zebulon shall dwell at the haven of the sea and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Sidon" (Genesis 49:13). Sidon (or "Zidon") was a Phoenician Canaanite city on the coast of what is now Lebanon. Canaanites settled in parts of Germany including the northern German coast. The Hanseatic league of North Germanic merchant cities may have had Phoeniican antecedents!
In the verse ZEBULON SHALL DWELL AT THE HAVEN OF THE SEA AND HE SHALL BE FOR AN HAVEN OF SHIPS (Genesis 49:13), the expression, "dwell at the haven of the sea" according to the HEBREW original ("Hof-yamim") may be preferably translated as "dwell on the SHORES of the Sea."
The only nation in the world whose population is known for dwelling extensively on reclaimed sea-land, literally, "On the shores of the sea", is Holland. This description applies in some way or other to up to two-thirds of the Dutch people. Throughout the Netherlands nearly all sub-surface souil is in effect sea sand!
Holland may also be recalled in the Book of Obadiah:
AND THE CAPTIVITY OF THIS HOST OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SHALL POSSESS THAT OF THE CANAANITES, EVEN UNTO ZAREPHATH (Obadiah 1:20).
Rabbinical Commentators understood "Zarephath" to mean Gaul and the area to the north of it apparently including Holland. In the light of these explanations (Rashi, Nachmanides, Iben Ezra, Daat Sofrim, Abarbanel) the verse should be understood to say:
AND THIS FIRST CAPTIVITY OF THE TEN TRIBES SHALL POSSESS THE REGION FROM THE CANAANITES OF GERMANY (see Iben Ezra) AND INCLUDING BRITAIN AND FRANCE AND THE NORTH.
According to the Geneva Bible (1599) of Calvin:
# By the Canaanites, the Jews mean the Dutchmen, and by Zarephath, France #.
Near the Batavi of Southern Holland were the Cananefates whose name can be interpreted to mean "Union of Canaanites". The Land of Israel in the Bible is usually referred to as the "Land of Canaan".
The SABALINGOI were to the North of Holland and their name means "People of ZEBULON"!!!
The name of ZEBULON is also found in the Sabalingoi recalled by Ptolemy in South Jutland (Denmark) and Northern Frisia. The name SABALINGOI in Hebrew means "People (Goi) - of - ZEBULON" since in Northern dialects "Sabalin" and Zebulon would have been alternate pronunciations of the same name: The "Z" was replaced by "S"; and "goi" means people in Hebrew.
The Sabalingoi were to the north of the Saxons and Sigulones whose name in Hebrew means "Chosen Ones". The People of Israel are called an 'Am Segular' (Deuteronomy 7:6, 14:2, 26:18) i.e. a Chosen People. To the north of the Sabalingoi were the Chali sons of Jahleel [Yachlayl in Hebrew, and the "Ya" would have been dropped] (Genesis 46; 14). Jahleel was a son of Zebulon as was Sered and also Elon. From Jutland and Scandinavia there were several waves of migration into the area of nearby Holland especially into Frisia. The Sabalingoi and Chali moved to the Netherlands' region, or they were already in it. Ptolemy may in fact be interpreted as placing the Sabalingoi in Northern Frisia and thus in Holland or just on its borders.
The FRISIANS are a people now concentrated in Northern Holland but once spread all along the coast from Scandinavia through Holland, Belgium, and into France. The Angles and Saxons before they, together with other northern peoples, invaded Britain in the 450s CE had sojourned (at least in part) for about 200 years in Holland especially in Frisia. Some of the Jutes had also been in Frisia. The Byzantine historian, Procopius (Gothic War vii; 20) said that the Frisians were an important element amongst the invaders of Britain.
The name of the Frisians is traceable to Peres son of Gilead of Manasseh but the actual inhabitants of present-day Frisia and Holland are identifiable on the whole more with Zebulon. In Biblical times, Tribes such as Zebulon, Issachar, and Asher were closely associated with Manasseh and it would seem that this linkage was repeated after their exile in areas of their re-settlement. At all events the identity of the Frisians must be closely linked with that of peoples who invaded and settled the British Isles.
Frisian-Legends Affirm Their Israelite Origins!
According to Frisian-legends a certain King Adel was a descendant of Shem. King Adel in India had three sons: Friso, Bruno, and Saxo. Legendary sources quoted by the historian Le Petit (1601) also mention Friso, Bruno, and Saxo and say too that they were descendants of Shem and lived in "India". The term "India", however, did not always mean the place known today as India but rather was more synonymous with "Cush." In Jewish tradition the area east of the Caspian was known as "Cush". Jewish legends traced the Tribes of Zebulon and Naphtali to this area and placed other Israelite Tribes in the immediate vicinity. This is the area where Frisian legends say Friso, Saxo, and Bruno came from.
In this land east of the Caspian archaeologists have found the ruins of an extensive civilization whose inhabitants spoke Aramaic. Some of the Israelite Tribes had spoken Aramaic even before their exile and the language was used as an official tongue in the Assyrian Empire and is believed to have been the most commonly-used one. In the Frisian legends King Adel was the father of Friso, Bruno, and Saxo.
The legends speak of these three brothers being descended from Shem and having been in Jerusalem at the time of its destruction by the Babylonians:
"In the time of the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnessar (586 B.C.), 3 brothers - Friso, Bruno, and Saxo with [their] wives, children, and relatives fled out of the country, encouraged to do so by announcements of the Prophets concerning the fall of the town".
In this legend Bruno represents the Angles who according to Ptolemy had at one stage been centered on the region of Brunswick in Eastern Germany. The Angles had also had a center in Angeln to the south of Denmark or else they moved to Angeln prior to the invasion of England. By placing Friso, Bruno, and Saxo in Jerusalem (which became representative of all Israel) before its capture the legend in effect infers that the Frisians, Saxons, and Brunswickian-Angles were therefore originally Israelites or Jews.
The legend contains the recognition that the three brothers had left the Land of Israel (identified as "Jerusalem" or the Land of the Jews) before Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon captured it. The northern Israelites had indeed been exiled prior to the Babylonian onslaught. The Lost Ten Tribes had been re-settled in Assyria and in lands ruled by Assyria. Another Frisian legend says that Albione and 32 sisters went from Assyria by ship and landed in England which they called Albion. After they landed, Brutus drove them out of the country and re-named it Britain in his own honor. The Albioni crossed the Sea and landed in Frisia where they intermixed with the Saxons and returned together with them to conquer the island. This legend may also serve as an indicator of Israelite origins since the exiled Israelites had indeed been re-settled in "Assyria" (or in Assyrian-controlled areas) before asserting their independence and moving elsewhere.
THE SONS OF ZEBULON
Zebulon was noticed in the Sabalingoi of Frisia; Yahleel in Chali of Jutland. Sered, son of Zebulon, re-emerges as the Suardenoi in Sweden. The Suardenoi were the same people as the Continental Suardones, who were considered, together with Angles, and Longbards, Varini, Eudoses, and others, (Tacitus, Germania 40) as part of the Suebian confederation. At the end of the 500s CE Venantius Fortunatus mentioned Suebi, together with Frissi in the Netherland area, and these Suebi, according to Zeuss, belonged to the Suarine tribe. "Suarine" and "Suardone" are alternative appellations for the same group. Sered son of Zebulon thus also was to be found in Holland.
ELON, son of Zebulon, was recalled in the names of Holland and Norway's Hallin, and the ALANS; also Halland in Sweden and the Swede associated tribe of Alands whose descendants are part of the population of modern Finland. At all events, Zebulon may well be considered to have gained ascendancy amongst the Dutch of Holland with their dykes and "SEA-SHORE" settlement. Elon became the "Alans" and "Alamans" who settled in Alsace, France. Contemporaries applied the two names (Alans and Alamans) to the both peoples quite indiscriminately.
The Diamond Symbol of Zebulon and South Africa
Some additional points of interest concerning Zebulon and Holland are: The Stone of Zebulon (on the Chief Priest's Breastplate) was a diamond (Exodus Rabah 38;5). Today, South Africa produces most of the world's diamonds which, on the whole, are processed and traded with in Belgium. South Africa is dominated by the Boers who are in part descend from Dutch settlers. Likewise in Belgium the people of Flanders are considered to be of Dutch affiliation.
The Tribal Occupations of Zebulon Are Those of Present-Day Holland!!
The Tribe of Zebulon in the Land of Israel was occupied in the Purple Dye industry, in the making of White glass, and in Fishing (Midrash Numbers Rabah 13; 16). The production of white glass uses what are considered metallurgical principles. The Purple Dye was produced from a sea mollusk by a complicated chemical process and the dye then applied to textiles in a manner that also required expertise. Modern Holland is prominent in both the Chemical and Textile Industries and also in Metallurgy. Fishing also is important in the present day Dutch economy in which at least one quarter of the inhabited land has been reclaimed from the sea and another quarter or more is somehow dependent on protection from inundation:
"Zebulon shall dwell on the sea-shores and his shore will be a haven for ships" (Gen.49:13). Rotterdam in Holland is the biggest port in the world. The Dutch people do dwell on the sea-shores and they are the only people who do.