The Lost Tribes

1,586 words

© Anthony E. Larson, 2002

The Lost Tribes

Jesus was often called a “Galilean” in his day, according to the gospels. That is likely so because he was raised in Nazareth, a city proximate to the Sea of Galilee in an area in Northern Palestine that was known as Galilee or Samaria. Anyone from that area could rightly be referred to as a Galilean.

The practice of calling people from that area “Galileans” was widespread, apparently—certainly more common than calling them Israelites. The name seems to have followed groups of people who migrated from Northern Palestine sometime before the time of Christ to an area south of the Black Sea in what is presently modern Turkey. Evidence of this is found in Paul’s letter to the Galatians, which he addressed to “the churches of Galatia.” (Galatians 1:2.) Clearly, the Galatians were Galileans who had brought the place-name of their homeland with them, subsequently lending it to their new locality.

Therefore, it should be no surprise to learn that, much earlier, these people were an identifiable group known to both the Romans and the Greeks before them. The Romans called the people from the Galatia region “Galatae,” a Latin pronunciation. Since Galatia was also proximate to the ancient Greek city-states, the Greeks also recognized them, calling them “Keltoi,” a Greek derivation of the same word.

It is in these two variations that we find a whole new slant on history and the destiny of the biblical Israelites.

What is not generally recognized is that derivations of this same place name can be found in Europe. In his letters to Rome describing his campaign against the barbarians in Europe in 58 B.C., Julius Caesar wrote, “All Gaul is divided into three parts.” Indeed, the “Gallic” tribes he found there are known to us as Gaels who spoke Gaelic. Also known as Kelts, from the Greek “Keltoi,” they are now called Celts. Evidently, the Galileans had done considerable wandering.

This etymological trail leads us to a remarkable conjecture. Did ancient Israelites living in Northern Israel/Palestine migrate northward in large numbers into Europe anciently, long before the time of Christ, intermingling with the native peoples living there, giving the place name of their homeland, Galilee, to each locale where they settled and to themselves as Galileans?

One of the more enduring enigmas of ancient history is the disappearance of the so-called Lost Tribes—most of the House of Israel. While it is well known that there were once 12 tribes of Israel, today we find only two: Judah and Levi, who are collectively called Jews.

The question is, where are the other ten tribes?

The Old Testament relates that at the death of King Solomon, Israel split into two nations. The tribes of Judah, Levi and some of Benjamin occupied Jerusalem and the Southern Kingdom. The other ten tribes occupied the Northern Kingdom. Each territory had its own king, and the inhabitants considered themselves the rightful heirs of the name Israel.

The northward migrations began in Isaiah’s time, when the Assyrian king Sennacherib invaded Israel from the northeast. The people living in Northern Israel could choose to stand and fight, or they could seek refuge from the Assyrian juggernaut by migrating northward.

Still later, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar also invaded Palestine. Once again, it is likely that large numbers of Israelites fled northward rather than face the invading Babylonians who went on to conquer and deport all the Jews in Jerusalem and the Southern Kingdom to the northern extremity of Babylonia.

Finally, many Jews who were later freed from their exile by a more beneficent Babylonian king chose to migrate northward rather than return to Jerusalem.

Could it be that these three were the migrations that found their way into Europe? Curiously, there is yet another etymological clue that supports this view.

Anciently, Jews or any of the Israelite tribes were properly called Hebrews. Interestingly, ancient Egyptian letters use that very name, confirming our thesis. Called the Amarna tablets after the site where they were discovered in middle Egypt in 1887, they were written to the Egyptian pharaoh Akenaten by vassal kings in Palestine. (See Tel el-Amarna Letters in the Bible Dictionary in the L.D.S. King James Version of the Bible, p. 780.) Some of these letters from rulers in Canaan (Palestine) speak of invading marauders from the east desert, calling them “Habiru”—a name clearly related to our word “Hebrew.” Thus we see that as early as the 14th century B.C., Israelites were identified as Hebrews.

Apparently, Galileans, fleeing first Assyrian and then later Babylonian armies, migrated northward to settle in Europe after detouring around the Black Sea—some through the Caucasus on the east where they came to be called Caucasians, and others across the Bosphorous Straits and modern Istanbul on the west where they could follow the same route into the heart of Europe that the Orient Express takes today.

Interestingly, as we look north and west from the Middle East in the directions where the Ten Tribes likely fled, we find many place-names and people that use some form of the root word Habiru or Hebrew.

In the far north of modern Russia we find a region called Siberia. Once again, the root ‘iberia’ or ‘iberiu’ is prominent, indicating that many Hebrews may have migrated there. Notably, some historians place the Lost Tribes in the area of the Volga River in the Russian Steppes where it is likely that the inhabitants named their city Samara after their homeland Samaria. Additionally, their ruling aristocracy spoke fluent Hebrew. More than 700 inscriptions in the Crimea suggest Hebrew origins, and Hebrew burial tombs have been traced as far north as Sweden where 19 of 22 Hebrew tribal symbols have been found in the area occupied by Germanic tribes. (Church News, May 15, 1982, p. 10.)

From the city Tarshish (Tarsis), home of the Apostle Paul on the southwest coast of modern Spain, we learn that the Celts in that locality called themselves “Iberiu,” a name strikingly similar to the Habiru of the Amarna letters and our word “Hebrew.” Indeed, France, Spain and Portugal occupy a peninsula that is called Iberia to this day, derived from the name of the people who inhabited the region. In fact, the people who live there were historically called Celtiberians, a combination of the two names the Israelites brought with them: Kelts (Galatae, Galileans) and Iberiu (Habiru, Hebrews).

And they persisted in their westward migration. The last bastion of Celtic culture in modern times is Ireland—the furthermost westerly bit of real estate in Europe—whose ancient name is Hibernia, another derivation of Hebrew (Iberiu).

All these similar sounding names cannot be mere coincidence. Clearly, the migrating Galileans also took the name “Hebrew” with them, subsequently using it as a root word for many place names where they settled on the European continent.

If such were the case, then one might expect to find Hebrew words in the many European languages. And so it is.

Linguistic research done by Dr. Terry M. Blodgett, a Latter-day Saint whose doctoral dissertation, “Phonological Similarities in Germanic and Hebrew,” delineates a dramatic “Semitic Sound Shift” that occurred in the Germanic languages (German, English, Dutch and Scandinavian) between 700 B.C. and 500 B.C.—precisely the time frame for the three northward migrations of Israelite tribes detailed previously.

Dr. Blodgett compares the Germanic language changes with ancient Hebrew and finds similarities between the two that are more than coincidental.

“At the same early period of history identified previously, the Germanic dialects added many new words to their vocabularies which were not Indo-European in origin. Approximately one-third of all Germanic vocabulary is listed in the etymological dictionaries as being of unknown origin. A comparison of these words with Hebrew vocabulary reveals that these words are similar to words in Hebrew.” (Church News, May 15, 1982, p. 10.)

There were several identifiable migrations of Hebrew-speaking people into Northern Europe, according to Dr. Blodgett, and it was that sudden influx of Hebrew-speaking people that was the likely cause of the Germanic Sound Shift.

In fact, there may be many ethnic groups names and place names in Europe that are Hebrew in origin but used in a Germanic syntax, a predictable effect of the blending of the two languages which reverses the order of the Hebrew words. For example, “son of Isaac,” in Hebrew (Ben Isaac) becomes “Isaac’s son” in English. Joined and abbreviated over time, the name became “Saxon.”

The word ‘British’ may be a combination of two Hebrew words: brit, meaning ‘covenant,’ and isha, meaning ‘man’—brit-isha or British.

The conclusion is inescapable. When Joseph Smith sent out the first missionaries to a foreign country, they went to the British Isles because “England is rich in the blood of Israel”—not an idle comment since those wandering Israelites have been moving westward ever since they entered Northern Europe over two millennia ago.

Of course, a prophet of God would know these things. It only makes sense that a restoration of the true gospel in the last days would take place among descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) who would be compelled by subtle, spiritual urges to settle in their “land of promise.”

Hence, we now see new meaning in the words of Joseph Smith when he wrote, “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent …” (The Articles of Faith, #10.)

So, if you are of European descent, the next time someone asks you where the Ten Lost Tribes went, you can say, “You’re lookin’ at ’em!”




  1. Historically, peoples are named for their legendary patriarchs. For example, Semites and Gentiles come from Shem and Japheth, respectively, who along with Ham were the three sons of Noah that repopulated the Earth after the great catastrophe.

    From these two peoplegroups, we can further subdivide them in a manner that is primarily genealogical. Hebrews are the next well-known subgroup of Semites, the descendants of Eber, father of Peleg. Hebrews are a much larger group than, say, the Abrahamites, as Abraham is only one of 14 Hebraic lines documented in Old Testament scripture. Israelites are a smaller subgroup still from those that descend from Abraham, and the 13 tribes of Israel are its subgroups, etc.

    For the Gentiles, we can use the Irish chronologies to establish the genealogical relations of their subgroups. The Phoenicians, Feine, or Fenians are a large subgroup of the Gentiles, comparable in size and time to the Hebrews, they descend from Feniusa-Fearsa (b. BC 1990), son of Baath, son of Magog, son of Japheth. (“Phoenician” and “Hebrew” peoples are actually established in the same generation from Adam! Feniusa-Fearsa is 14th from Adam through Japheth, and Eber is 14th from Adam through Shem! Their sons Peleg and Niul are contemporary with the Tower of Babel. Hebrew and Phoenician are the same in “size” and “time”! But remember, we’re obviously dealing with two distinct pedigrees, peoples, and races here.) Next from the Phoenicians you have the Gadelians, Gaels, Kelt, Gaul, etc. These names all descend from Gaedhal Glas (or Gadelus), son of Niul. Fast forwarding through the history of the Gaels, you eventually reach the Scots, who get their name from Scota, the Egyptian princess wife of Milesius or “soldier” of Spain (also called Gollamh), born BC 1050 in Gallicia (a province of Spain named after Galatia). Gollamh’s great-grandfather Bratha brought his group of the Gaels/Gadelians from Galatia into Spain where they defeated the Iberians, who were the descendants of Tubal, son of Japheth.

    “Heber” is a very common name in the Gentile pedigrees. The name “Scot” in these pedigrees comes from Gentile patriarchs marrying Egyptian princesses named “Scota”. Perhaps the Gentiles also picked up the name “Heber” by marrying Hebrew princesses (seems likely, and remember, “Hebrew” peoples are “older” and “bigger” than the tribes of Israel we’re trying to get at in this discussion). Tubal’s issue weren’t the only Gentile groups to call themselves Iberian/Eberian/Heberian — at Gollamh Miledh Espaine three royal dynasties diverge and begin a notorious and continuous family feud: the Irians, the Heberians, and the Heremonians. Primarily these three Milesian families have contended for the throne of Ireland (Scotia Major or the Land of Ir), and Ireland is currently under Heremonian rule.

    The Table of Nations, Genesis 10, is one of the most understudied elements of scripture. How can anyone know what scripture is saying historically if they do not know where all these names are coming from and how they are all related in time and place? For example, few people point out that “Ashkenaz” is a Gentile patriarch, son of Gomer, son of Japheth. Seems to me the Ashkenazi Jews have an oral history that they possess Gentile Y-chromosomes, but even they seem to have forgotten that this is what “Ashkenazi” means (that is, that they are goy).

    The so-called “lost tribes” diverge at Jeroboam and Rehoboam, when the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah split. It tells of the tribes of the north remaining loyal to Ephraim and leaving Canaan for the land of the Gentiles, north and west and to the isles of the seas. Half of Levi went with these 10 tribes of Israel; while the other half of Levi stayed with Judah who was loyal to the tribe of Benjamin (Joseph’s golden cup gag was a prophetic play after all).

    All of the Gentiles today are Israelites, because like the Ashkenazi, we’ve been marrying into Israelite families for thousands of years, even if we don’t remember it as such. We need not remember enough to count, for we are told that in the last days all of humanity will be blessed by the seed of Israel, this includes all of the saints of the last days. Even if we do not possess Israelite Y-chromosomes (though some of us “gentiles” must), there is an Israelite grandmother or grandfather somewhere in the mix there (even if we don’t know it)!

    I prefer the Scythian/Phoenician etymology of “Britain”, which means “metals” in their languages. The British Isles were for thousands of years a highly guarded trade secret of the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians got much tin from the British Isles, a key ingredient to turning copper into bronze. The mines of Britain are as ancient as Solomon’s temple, and the Phoenicians with their ships of Tarshish were smart to keep secret the location of their British ores for so long.

    There is still much that will come out of the genealogies of the Gentiles, including, I believe, documentary evidence of these exiled Israelite bloodlines.

    This is to say nothing, of course, for the generations of Ham, whose pedigrees I hope are forthcoming. I have a friend who is of an exiled royal family of Nigeria. They live here in Kansas City. He was told by his parents that they are descended from Ham, so apparently the royal families of Africa still know quite clearly from whence they came.

    All of this has implications as to priesthood, but we can leave that for another discussion.

  2. You are an idiot. Check the DNA evidence and weep.

  3. The perspective from Vitov Mianoel Valdes-Munoz II as one can note. I have two last names, this is a Puerto Rican tradition that we have inherited from Iberia (Spain and Portugal). According to tradition every child is given the last name of his or her father and is also given the last name of his or her mother. In marriage the mother does not change her name for she keeps the name that she was born with in this she keeps her import ants. For Latino-Hispanic culture, it is not just the individual that is important but the family so when two are married it is not the union of two people becoming one when the women loses completely her identity to the husband as if she no longer exist or at least not as an independent identity. In Hispanic-Latino tradition, it is the merger of two families into one new family. So in portraying ones two last names it is a sign of honor and respect to the families that have made ones existence possible this is a sense of recognition of one’s ancestors.

    My middle name is Mia-Noel a tow part name it is a Latino (Jewish Spanish-Portuguese) name, Mia=is of Italian or Spanish for “my” and Micah a form of Michael or Miguel meaning who is like the Devine. Noel=is of French or Portuguese for “song” and Noel is a variant of Noah is of Hebrew origin and its meaning is peaceful, also possibly “wanderer”, or “conforter”.So Mianoel means , my peaceful song is the Devine is with us who is like the comforter’s song of the Devine with us or my peaceful song. My first name is a Sephardic (Jews from South Europe, such as Portugal, Spain, and North Africa, such as Morocco and west Asia, such as Turkey) name. It comes from the HEBREW Avitov which means “the Divine father is strong and good “or “the strength of goodness is from the divine.” I have studied Asian religion and Philosophy in the year of 1999 I graduated from “The Richard Stockton State College of New Jersey” in Pomona new jersey with a Liberal Arts Bachelor and a minor in Jewish studies with a second minor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In 2004 I received a B.A. in Political Science plus a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. I believe that we all are born for the purpose of learning and using what we learn is to teach others.

    “Learning is to live and to live is to learn”.
    I have great hunger and thirst for all things international weather it is food, music, art or languages, I find it to be very stimulating and enjoyable. For all cultures are unique but yet are the same .I have found cultures to be both fascinating and educational. I have notice that it is because of technology that the world is a potentially closer and accessible place. Who would imagine twenty years ago that one can talk and make friends with people from all six continents and the only reason I did not say seven is that I cannot communicate with penguins but if it was possible(maybe I can in clued those scientist doing recherché in Antarctica) I would like to include them. How one can speak with these people using cell phones and the internet. This technology have made the world so assessable in such a way that is one would claim that this will happen twenty years ago I would have said that this would be the most wonderful dream . But this dream is here now! And the possibilities are endless for the future. Now the greatest challenge is how to use the technology in such a way that can create greater mind in making stronger souls. I personally would like to utilize this technology in way so those that may have problems with writing , spelling ,or reading technology can make it easier for them to prove the intellectual value so that the world could know that there are thinking creative and inventive minds in need to express their ideas and share their knowledge with others.

    I have my involvement with a numerous organizations and clubs, being an active member and an officer in others. I have worked and contributed to Amnesty International, I have served in public relations for the Asian Student Alliance, and I have also contributed to the Caribbean Student Association. I have served in public relations for the International Student Organization. I worked and contributed to the Jewish Student Union’ and served as Vice President for ‘Los Latinos Unidos and have been a member of “The Philosophical Society”.
    I also received a scholarship from The Jewish War Veteran, and also received two Harmony Scholarship and three book awards. I worked as an interpreter for Selantic Health Services working as a volunteer for AmeriCorps*Vista in Atlantic City New Jersey serving the Puerto Rican , Mexican , Haitian and Cambodian Communities. I worked as a progect maniger for The Korean Centers for Community Development as a Americorps*Vista Volunteer in Philadelphia (PA )
    I served The University of Georgia Institute on human Development and Disability Center for Excellence in developmental Disabilities Education,Research,and Service , Brain and Spinal cord injuries, thru AmeriCorps*National State Georgia Personal Assistance Service (P.A.S)Corps, partnership with the Shepherd Center, a hospital in Atlanta that assists individuals with brain and spinal cord injuries. I also did some volunteer work for, The Seventh Day Adventist in Venezuela interpreting and assisting in the building of a clinic and a community center. Also in Atlanta Georgia I spent time in service to the Vietnamese immigrants by working with Boat People S.O.S Atlanta Chapter.

    “There is no race but one but one human race there is no nationality for we are citizens of the world!” “We are all citizen of the same world; we are members of the same global communities” “One world One Dream!”

  4. The where abouts of the10 Lost Tribes is NO Mystery at all. To understand that the ENTIRE so called Mystery boils down to being a SIMPLE “FAMILY” Matter… is the KEY.

    Let me explain it like this…

    JUDA being the “Rightfull” Heir to the Thrown of ‘KINGSHIP” in Israel makes Juda a HUSBAND & FATHER. A HUSBAND to EPHRIAM who is the Rightful Heir to the “BIRTHRIGHT” Blessing, which makes Ephriam WIFE to Juda.

    COLLECTIVELY being the TWO DOMINATE Tribes and each Pocessing these Roles to Play, makes the TEN TRIBES their CHILDREN.

    Now that the “FAMILY OF ISRAEL” Relationship has been established, all you need to do to figure out where the “KIDS” have Disapered to, is begin with them living as a UNITED Family under David & figure out what went wrong that caused a Family Break up and realize the Lord’s ULTIMATE GOAL is to REUNITE THEM.

    It’s what happens to ALL FAMILIES that experince BREAK UP!

    Lets pick up the Story where things FALL APART…And follow SIMPLE COMMON SENSE. LOGIC….And in “MY CASE”…. REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE with the subject at hand.

    Ephriam ( WIFE & MOM ) gets “UPSET” with Her Abusive Husband ( JUDA ). Rather than Turning to the Lord as she SHOULD HAVE to solve her problem with her Husband, She “REBELLS” by establishing HERSELF as “KING” of her Family ( Israel ).

    Now Granted…JUDA WAS a “JERK” but He WAS the “LAWFUL” Husband & Father to ISRAEL according to the DAVIDIC COVENANT. Ephriam had no RIGHT to USURP the ROLE of her HUSBAND .

    In her Rebellion, she SEPERATED herself from her husband and of COURSE the Kids will ALWAYS side with their ABUSED Mother and “OFF THEY WENT” doing their OWN THING.

    This REALLY Tourqued off the Lord who NEVER INTENDED for them to SEPERATE.

    So He Punishes the “WIFE” for her GREATER SIN of Rebellion. And unfortunately, because the “KIDS” didn’t quite understand the SCOPE & SEVERITY of what was Happening between Mom & Dad, they got CAUGHT in the MIDDLE of a DOMESTIC FUED that got DCF involved who took them as a GROUP and carted them OFF from Mom AND Dad who where NOT told where they had been taken…For their OWN protection.

    As a result of Mom trying to take on the Role of Her Husband….She FORGETS who she really IS as a WIFE & PROPER MOTHER….Soon she can NO LONGER even remember who that JERK of a Husband WAS. And as Far as the Kids where concerned, they became ADOPTED by NEW PARENTS.

    Eventually after Realizing the MISTAKE she had made, she begain to REGATHER HERSELF and Realize her TRUE IDENTITY as WIFE & MOTHER and thought of Returning to her Husband.

    But there was a Problem that FIRST needed to be taking care of before she could persue that. She KNEW that is was “SHE” that caused the Kids to SIDE with her AGAINST their Father and he was UNLAWFULLY DEPRIVED of his OWN Children and He wasn’t likely to look very KINDLY on her for that.

    So in order to get back into his Good Graces, she would have to SEEK OUT & REGATHER her Children…..But WHERE would she FIND THEM?

    Well, it JUST SO HAPPENED the KIDS “KNEW” where “SHE” WAS because “SOMEONE” had told them. But unfortunately they were being held “CAPTIVE” by a “TYRANT” for their OWN REBELLION. An ADOPTIVE Father and they were NOT ALLOWED to Leave His Home to “RUN” to their Mother.

    As MOM & KIDS BEGAIN TO WISH they had never LEFT DAD, the Lord Realized they were in a Problem they could NOT solve on their own and decided to “STEP IN” like the “LOCATOR” and make it POSSIBLE for the KIDS to ESCAPE their CAPTOR by DESTROYING Him.

    The solution to the “MYSTERY” is to understand TWO KEY WORDS and WHAT they MEAN.

    One is…..”CAPTIVITY” . The other is “ASSYERIA.”

    The Scriptures tell us that the “KIDS” left as a GROUP and crossed the Euphrates and traveled NORTH for 2 1/2 years. That would place them somewhere far up in TOAY’S RUSSIA….Latterday ASSYRIA. And LATTER DAY ASSYERIA ( RUSSIA ) gets WAXED according to ISAIAH.

    The Scritures tell us the KIDS are being held “CAPTIVE”.

    That would be ….Today’s RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT….The TYRANT ADOPTIVE FATHER….Is most likely not going to be able to do ANYTHING in regard to hanging on to those kids when the ‘LATTERDAY ASSYRIA is Destroyed by God.

    NOW the KIDS are FREE to say “HEY MOM” we’re OVER HEAR !!! We “SEE” YOU…Hear we “COME”!!!

    Once MOM & KIDS are Reunited then it’s TIME to SEEK OUT DAD !!!

    So MOM sends “TWO” of Her KIDS as “WITNESSES” to the Fact she has realized her MISTAKE in SEPERATING herself from her Husband hopes THEY will sort of ‘PAVE THE WAY” for Her Return to Him. Afterall….Who could say NO to their REPENTANT CHILD ?

    Well those “TWO” KIDS do a REAL GOOD JOB of Representing their Mother and DAD is on the VERGE of saying YES ! But just CAN’T QUITE seem to be able to COMPLETELY Reconcile the SITUATION without a “Little Help”.

    So at the CRUCIAL MOMENT of DECSISION… GOD shows up to REMIND HIM of what they “ONCE HAD” as a “UNITED FAMILY”. And Apparently, that is ALL it TOOK to Get them OVER THE HUMP in their Marrige & EPRIAM & JUDA & ALL THEIR CHILDREN GET BACK TOGETHER AGAIN.



  5. Some are in the center of the earth read d&c 133 and the words of enoch, google the hollow earth theory!

  6. Shaku-ni
    Bo dhi hwa Myo-Ji Noemi “Naomi”(Pagan-Ramirez) In Memory of Entered:
    Niruana September 10,2010 2:30 A.M NAMOAMIDABUTSU…my mother R.I.P…

  7. aye blood type ‘o’ rhesus negative irish and scots hebrew gaelilean gaelic kelt israelites. Not blood type a rhesus positive anglo-saxons

  8. […] original inhabitants, and hence came to be called "Galilee of the Gentiles" (Mat 4:15) The Lost Tribes | LDS Anarchy Easton's Bible […]

  9. Can I download a DVD of The lost tribes of Israel

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