Read Part 1 Here. and Part 2 Here
OUTLINE HISTORY OF THE BRYTHONS AND WELSH
The country of Wales (Cymru) constitutes a nation within the larger United Kingdom. The population is around 3.4 million and the land area covers 20,735 km sq. While most of the population descends from the native Brythons, people of Anglo-Saxon and Norman stock also reside there. Christianity is still the largest religion, but the percentage of atheists and non-Christian religions is increasing. Chief among its economic activities is coal mining, lead, slate, refining of imported petroleum, tourism and electronics manufacturing. The Welsh, despite their small numbers, have long been recognized as excellent contributors to society. Thomas Rees wrote a book about some of these in 1908 under the title of Notable Welshmen 1700-1900 (the book is available free online). Ethnically, the first inhabitants of the British Isles (and indeed much of Europe) after the Flood of Noah were descendants of Japheth. Then came some Israelites, apparently having escaped from the clutches of the Egyptian captivity, while others arrived in waves. Welsh history contains a lot of traditions including one that states that Brutus of Troy actually landed in the British Isles and then he became the first King of the Britons around 1170BC. Apparently, this commenced the dynasty of the Royal Brythonic line. You can read all about this in works such as The Chronicle of the Early Britons (annotated translation by William Cooper) so I shall not summarise this information here. The early Brythons spread all over what we call Britain today (England, Scotland, Wales). In northern Scotland we find the Picts who spoke a language that we cannot find evidence of which language group it is related to. However, what we do have are Pictish place names and personal names showing that without doubt, it was a Brythonic tongue (the Irish, Scottish Gaels and people of Manx spoke the Goidelic tongue.17) The earliest Picts were of Mongoloid extraction, but the Brythonic people that later settled in that area took on the name of the Picts (this transfer of names from one people to another is not unique and does cause confusion in the minds of researchers, let alone the casual reader). The Irish called them Cruithne which is cognate (i.e., related or connected) with the Brythonic Priteni. In the 6th century AD, the Gaels from Northern Ireland entered northwestern Britain (Scotland) and over time they absorbed the Picts into their Alba and Dál Riata kingdoms. The areas of Orkney, Hebrides, Shetland and Isle of Man all became Gaelic. I should state here that the Gaels and Brythons are the same race but different tribes or the same tribe sub-divided over time. In the larger sense of Israel identity, it makes little difference.
17 While the Irish and Scottish spoke the Q-Celtic language (Gaelic), the Brythons and Welsh spoke the P-Celtic tongue which developed over time (Vaughan Thomas, Wales. A History, p. 32).
It is apt that the name Britain remains, given that it denotes the ancient occupants of all of the island. Today only the Welsh, Cornish and most Scottish Lowlanders (with a small mixture with Anglo-Saxons) represent that group.18
All of these Brythons, Picts and Gaels were considered to be fierce and warlike. History records these people as always willing to make a stand and attackers knew that it was better to leave these tribes alone or be very wary in fighting them. The area north of the Hadrian Wall and also the Welsh Cambrian Mountains were regions known to be best avoided and the Romans found out that these peoples were best not tangled with. If they did invade those territories, they found the going very difficult. Surely there are too many similarities of these peoples with the fierce tribes of Levi, Simeon and Judah. Centuries later, around 50AD, the Romans invaded the land, and it took 9 years to finally reach the Strait of Menai (northwest corner). Tacitus wrote about the battle that ensued across the Strait on the banks of the Anglesey Island. The Brythons (including their women and the Druids) fought valiantly but the Romans were terrible and slaughtered all. In the south the Silures (mix of Brythons and some Phoenicians) continued on the fight but could not stop the all-conquering Romans and by 78AD the entire land was under Roman rule. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Angles, Saxons (and some Frisians and possibly Jutes) entered the land we call England gradually and pushed the Brythons into their strongholds of Wales and southern Scotland. Many found refuge in the Highlands and Cambrian Mountains. As the Brythons were pushed further west, they grouped into the territory we call Wales today which was intended to prevent further takeovers. When the Normans (the same race as the Anglo-Saxons) came to England in 1066AD with a small force, the managed to conquer the land and unite the petty kingdoms. Years later they invaded Wales followed by all sorts of political maneuvering's one can read about from a number of sources. There was a partial conquest of Wales in the late 13th century, and it became a principality in 1284AD when England annexed the country.
18 Below is the sort of information this has not found its way into the works of historians and minds of people to the extent it should. The author provides a good summary of the facts:
“At the turn of the 18th century, the Welsh linguist Edward Lhuyd discovered that Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Cornish, and Breton comprised a single family of related languages. He theorized that the languages had originated in Iberia or in what is now France. Because the Romans had referred to some inhabitants of those areas as Celts, Lhuyd named the language family “Celtic.” Lhuyd’s interest was primarily linguistic, and he never suggested that the ancient inhabitants of the islands themselves were Celts.
In the 19th century, cultural nationalists in Great Britain and Ireland, influenced by the theories of Johann Herder, argued that if the ancient Irish, Welsh and Scots were Celtic speakers, then they must actually have been Celts, and therefore their descendants were the remnants of a Celtic “race” or Volk. That faulty logic led to the invention of the myth of the island Celts, a race of mystical warrior-poets.
In the mid-20th century, scholars came to agree that the Iron Age Celtic culture in continental Europe originated in the foothills of the Alps, and associated it with the great archaeological sites at Hallstat and La Tène. Because the ophisticated Hallstat/La Tène technology had spread across much of Europe, scholars assumed that the technology had accompanied migrations outward by the Celts themselves along with, of course, their language. Thus, if the peoples of the British Isles had been Celtic speakers, then of course they must have been Hallstat/La Tène Celts.” (Éamon O'Kelly, www.quora.com/Are-Lowlanders-of-Scotland-ethnically-a-Germanic-people).
A few years later, in 1301AD, the title of Prince of Wales was given to the heir to the English throne and during the reign of Henry VIII (1509 – 1547AD) it was incorporated into England under the Act of Union in 1536AD, but further details were laid out in a subsequent act in 1543AD. Since then, there has been some intermarriage between the ethnic Welsh and English, but the racial type is still dominantly Welsh. Almost 400 years later the Welsh nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, was founded in 1925 and pushed its agenda until a referendum in 1997 they gained home rule and their own elected parliament which was convened in 1999.19 Of additional interest is that Wales has a plethora of biblical place names which extend back over 1,000 years. In exploring this phenomenon, researcher John Davies remarks: “… in their adoption of Old Testament names, the speakers of the Brittonic languages (the early forms of Welsh, Cornish, and Breton) before about AD 1100, especially those persons existing in an ecclesiastical or other primarily religious setting, had something to tell us about their own religious and cultural roots and identity.” (“Old Testament Personal Names Among the Britons: Their Occurrence and Significance Before the Twelfth Century”, Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Vol. 43, No. 1, p. 176) 20
9 A good outline of Welsh history can be found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Welsh_history
20 A British-Israel publication contained a list of place names in Cornwall that appear to be related to Hebrew which needs to be further investigated, but seems likely (“Our Israel Britain Homeland”, The National Message, July 1978, p. 210). The article also records that there is an olive-skinned, people amongst the Cornish, especially in west Cornwall and Scilly Islands – these would by a mix of Brythons with some Phoenicians.
Davies provides his reasons, but one wonders if there is not something deeper lurking in the Brythonic psyche (i.e., their ‘racial memory’).
Amy Mulligan quotes Mary Garrison’s “Divine Election for Nations,” (in The Making of Christian Myths in the Periphery of Latin Christendom (c. 1000-1300) edited by Lars Boje Mortensen, 2006): “if the Old testament was ‘the historical record of the church before Christ,’ it now became, with a new immediacy, the history of the protestant groups who saw themselves as the New Israels such as the Dutch, the English “Protestants of the Civil War, [and] the Puritans who fled to America.” (Amy Mulligan, “Moses, Taliesin, and the Welsh Chosen People: Elis Gruffydd’s Construction of a Biblical, British Past for Reformation Wales”, Studies in Philology, Vol. 113, No. 4, pp. 774-75).
Mulligan explains: Elis Gruffydd [a Welsh chronicler who lived in the 16th century], like other marginalized Protestants, appears to be thinking of his own Welsh people as another New Israel.” (ibid, Mulligan)
Perhaps there was something deep in the national psyche or memory that resurrected the belief in Israelitish identity? “In writing his chronicle Elis Gruffydd, like earlier authors, created a richly textured picture of the Welsh, or native Britons, as typological counterparts to the Israelites. At the same time, by focusing on Moses specifically, and distancing his narrative and Taliesin from the trying aspects of the Israelites’ experience, Elis shifts the focus to more thoroughly celebratory associations between the Welsh and the Israelites,” (ibid, Mulligan, p. 789) And: “The links between Wales and the Israelites do not end with Elis Gruffydd, of course. Charles Edwards (1628–91), writing in 1667, links the Welsh and the Jews through (faulty) linguistic equations of Hebrew and Welsh.” (ibid, Mulligan, p. 794).
If the reader would like to read further into Welsh history, the following are excellent works: A History of Wales by John Davies; When was Wales? A History of the Welsh by Gwyn Williams and Wales. A History by Wynford Vaughan-Thomas.
The Phoenician element in Wales
The article “The Tribes of Wales”, Welsh History Review, Vol. 4, pp. 161-74 examines the tribes and their territory in both the pre-Roman and Roman periods that Wales experienced. They maintain the whatever few textual sources that are available (chiefly Tacitus and Ptolemy), they are not necessarily reliable. In addition, the archaeological proofs are limited. However, drawing upon the siting of the forts of the Romans in relation to those tribes they were attempting to subdue provides clues as to the friendliness or otherwise of those particular tribes. They discuss the Deceangli, Demetae, Ordovices and Silures: the Demetae were a friendly tribe located in south-west Wales; the Ordovices were roughly in the middle of Wales; the Deceangli were in the area we call Flintshire; the lightly olive-skinned Silures21 were in the south, partial descendants of Phoenicians (Canaanites)22, but mixed with the Brythons.23 Publius Tacitus in his famous book Agricola (c.98AD), mentioned the darker and shorter Silurians (Agricola, xi.): “The red hair and large limbs of the inhabitants of Caledonia point clearly to a German origin [i.e., northern European racial stock]. The dark complexion of the Silures, their usually curly hair, and the fact that Spain is the opposite shore to them, are an evidence that Iberians of a former date crossed over and occupied these parts.”
The Phoenicians were from the Mediterranean rim including Carthage (a colony in North Africa) who sometimes used mercenaries from the northern parts of Africa. They are known to have mined or traded with miners of copper and lead. As if to corroborate this, Michael Weale et al in “Y Chromosome Evidence for Anglo-Saxon Mass Migration”, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Vol 19, Issue 7, July, pp. 1008–1021, have shown via DNA analysis that the population of the town of Abergele in north Wales contains small traces of people from north Africa. To this one should also note the very little genetic Roman (Italian) presence that was left behind after they abandoned the island.
“Sir Walter said ‘At that time [time of Roman occupation], the population of Britain could have been as much as one million, so an awful lot of people would need to arrive in order for there to be an impact. You can have a huge impact culturally from relatively few people. There is no evidence of a Roman genetic signature but there is evidence of what the Roman’s achieved.” (Fiona Macrae, “Are the Welsh the Truest Brits?”, Daily Mail, 19 March 2015).
In any event, most of the Roman troops on British soil were brought in from West Europe (such as the Belgae) and were not from Italy. The article contains a map stating that “People in North and South Wales are less similar to each other that the English to the Scots.”
21 These and others are regarded as darker and found also in pockets in northern Wales, parts of Ireland, western Scotland and Exmoor in Devon (directly across the sea from Wales) and seem similar to some peoples along the coast of northwestern Spain (Emrys Bowen, Wales. A Physical, Historical and Regional Geography, p. 135).
22 “It is true that the Cassiterides, the “Isles of Tin,” whence the Phoenicians obtained great quantities of this metal, so much in request for the making of bronze, are no longer identified with the Scilly Isles, but it is suggested with much probability that they were the British Isles themselves” (John Lloyd, History of Wales, p. 27). Refer also to “Who were the Phoenician?” Watch Jerusalem, Nov-Dec 2021, pp. 4-10.
23 See also Edwin Guest, Origines Celticae (Vol. 2), pp. 46-55 for more about these tribes.
Links between Welsh and Hebrew Languages?
Could the Welsh language provide any clues as to true Welsh origins? “In 1899 the Welsh scholar Morris Jones published a paper entitled Pre-Aryan Syntax in Insular Celtic… “[he] concluded that the pre-Celtic language or languages of the British Isles were of a Hamito-Semitic type of origin” (Heinrich Wagner, “Near Eastern and African Connections with the Celtic World”, in The Celtic Consciousness pp. 51-52).
This includes the Hebrew language (p. 61). 24 They are not to be confused with the Celts of Europe (sometimes called ‘Celto-Slavs’). The labelling of the Gaels (or most of them) and Brythons as ‘Celts’ is a misnomer, much like American ‘Indian’. Some professional linguists such as Theo Vennemann has argued for a Semitic substratum in the Celtic languages, although this has not been accepted at this time by most linguists. In a short article Vennemann notes that “The non-Indo-European structural features of Insular Celtic have all been shown by Morris Jones and Pokorny to occur in Hamito-Semitic, and by Gensler to form a characteristic bundle of islglosses just of Hamito-Semitic and Insular Celtic.” (Theo Vennemann, Semitic → Celtic → English: The Transitvity of Language Contact, p. 1)25 John Wilson in his Languages of Europe states that: "The basis of the English language may, to a remarkable extent, be found in Hebrew. Many of our most common words, and names of familiar objects, are almost pure Hebrew." (J. Wilson, The Languages of Europe. Similar comments are made in John Cohane, The Key, p. 266)
The ancient Welsh language also has some similarities to the Hebrew and has the same characteristic of almost being vowel-less as is the Hebrew. The Scythian language indicates that many of the Scyths were descendants of the Hebrew-speaking "Lost Ten Tribes". The Scythiac language they spoke is classified this way in the authoritative linguistic work, A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (which later became known as the Oxford English Dictionary): "Scythiac ... Scythian (language) ... There is a strong similarity between Hebrew and the Scythian languages". (James Murray, A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 1971 ed., Vol. VII, art., "Scythiac")
24 “It is tempting to think that it was the Iron Age hills-fort dwellers who introduced into Wales those dialects of Celtic speech [Brythonic], that became ancestral to the Welsh” (Emryn Bowen, Wales. A Physical, Historical and Regional Geography, p. 136)
25 For instance, “Today the museums of England and Ireland can boast of remarkable Celtic [i.e., British] works of art which reveal the art of the islands as an individual branch of Celtic art … The insular style combined relief ornament with linear engraving, using palmettes, spiral patterns [etc] … The earlier style was in use mainly in south-east England, from whence it later penetrated to Ireland.” (Jan Filip, “Early History and Evolution of the Celts: The Archaeological Evidence”, in The Celtic Consciousness, p. 43) [emphasis mine]
A famous Jewish convert to Christianity, Moses Margoliouth, wrote in his The History of the Jews in Great Britain (vol. 1): “Now, if the aboriginal Britons knew not the Jews [i.e., Israelites], where could they have got hold of whole Hebrew—of purely Hebrew sentences? We say then, again, is it not highly probable, if not demonstrated, that the Jews visited this island at a very early period, and tried to teach the natives the lessons which they have themselves learned?” (p. 23)26
Other works bringing tremendous scholarship to the above are Similarities in Germanic and Hebrew by Dr Terry Blodgett and The Word by Isaac Mozeson (both of these works are a “must” to read). Another is “Lat. Sacena, Heb. Sakkin and the Mediterranean Substrate”, The Journal of Indo-European Studies, Vol. 22, pp. 165-175 by Hannan Rosen; The Affinity between the Hebrew Language and The Celtic by Thomas Stratton; and A Comparative Vocabulary of Forty Eight Languages, comprising One Hundred and Forty Six Common English Words, with the Cognates in other Languages showing their Affinities with the English and Hebrew by Jacob Tomlin.27 The latter, for example, strives to prove that early Cymric literature was a derivation of Hebrew in its ancient form. And to cap it all off, perhaps it should not be a great surprise to understand what the name Britain (derived from Briton or Brython, an ancient Celtic tribe) really means. The Hebrew word for covenant is berith or beriyth. While the Hebrew word for man is ish or iysh. In Judges 8:33 the word for covenant is coupled with Baal to mean “idol of the covenant”. Thus, the English pronouncement of the Hebrew berith-ish is British. In other words, the British are the people of the covenant or covenant man – seemingly a concept carried by them down through the generations.
Suggested Further Reading on Welsh History
• “Who Were the Phoenicians”? Watch Jerusalem, Nov-Dec 2021, pp. 4-10 by Mihailo Zekic.
• Celt, Druid and Culdee by Isabel Hill Elder.
26 “Be it recollected that the Jewish nation has been trained to be a wandering nation—to be prepared, no doubt, for their mighty dispersion. Their progenitor, Abraham, seems to have been a type of the same, who was thus commanded (Genesis xii. 1), “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee;” and 'his descendants have ever and anon manifested a peculiar migratory disposition, as is to be seen in holy writ.” (p. 7)
“Now if Tharshis be Spain, the conclusion that the Israelites must have visited the western countries in the days of Solomon, is inevitable.” (p. 14)
“Now, Strabo calls Britain Bpeamm—Bochart, a profound Oriental scholar, shows that Bperavucn is a corruption of the Hebrew words Barat-Anach, which are in signification the same as Casseritides. Is it not highly probable that Jews came over to this island with the Phoenicians, and named it according to its peculiar quality; which designation was ultimately adopted by the aborigines, when they began to have intercourse with the Jews.” (p. 22)
“Clemens Romanus, who was an intimate friend and fellow-labourer of St. Paul, declares in his Epistle to the Corinthians, that St. Paul having been a herald of the gospel both in the east and in the west, he received the noble crown of faith, after teaching righteousness to the whole world, and gone even, “ to the utmost bounds of the west :” an expression well ' known to every scholar, that always designated, or at least included, the British Islands.” (p. 39). For more details refer to St. Paul in Britain by the Rev. Morgan.27 In If Calmy You Listen by L. Buxton Gresty, wrote: "The Rev. E. E. Williams, a prolific writer and author of The Ancient Celtic Tribes, Historical Anecdotes of the Welsh Language, The Druids and Celtic Bards, etc., has said that “The roots of most of the ancient British, or real Welsh words, may be regularly traced in the Hebrew."" (p. 147)
27 In If Calmy You Listen by L. Buxton Gresty, wrote: "The Rev. E. E. Williams, a prolific writer and author of The Ancient Celtic Tribes, Historical Anecdotes of the Welsh Language, The Druids and Celtic Bards, etc., has said that “The roots of most of the ancient British, or real Welsh words, may be regularly traced in the Hebrew."" (p. 147)
• The Chronicles of the Early Briton. An annotated translation by William Cooper.
• The Light of Britannia. The Mysteries of Ancient British Druidism Unveiled by Owen Morgan.
WELSH CHARACTER AND ATTRIBUTES
Let us now explore the national characteristics of the Welsh and how this stacks up with that of the tribe of Levi. Welsh Attributes – Similarities to Levi The Levites (as well as the Simeonites and to a lesser extent the Judahites) were quick-tempered, fierce and sometimes cruel people as we have seen (Gen 49:5-7). Wynford Vaughan-Thomas in Wales. A History noted that the Welsh “are proud to call themselves Celts. They speak a variety of the old Celtic tongues and have a speial affinity with their Celtic neighbours in Ireland and Brittany … Without the Celts there would have been no Wales… they were a race of warrior aristocrats” (p. 28) But that is not all, from what can be ascertained from the Scriptures this tribe are excellent singers, individualistic, musically gifted. How similar to the Welsh who are also known for their individualism, excellent oratory and natural singing as well as an unusual sense of duty for the caring of others. Were not the Levites the main musicians within ancient Israel? See IChron 9:33; IIChron 5:12-14; 34:12; Neh 11:22 for evidence. Recall the famous Tom Jones musically gifted to a very high degree with an incredibly powerful singing voice.
In fact, since my childhood I heard that the Welsh were the best singers in the world, producing top class singers out of all proportion to their small numbers. No wonder Wales is known around the world as the “land of song” and their distinctive link to music as part of national identity stands out among the nations.28 Their National Eisteddfod festival which has been in operation in one way or another since the 12 century (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisteddfod), honours those Welsh who have made a large contribution to Welsh language and culture; it also promotes poetry, music, arts and literature. The most important ceremony during the week-long celebration is the ‘crowning of the bard’ – i.e., the winning entrant. Notice Moses’ prophecy referred to previously: “And of Levi he said, “Give to Levi your Thummim, and your Urim to your godly one, whom you tested at Massah, with whom you quarreled at the waters of Meribah;
who said of his father and mother, ‘I regard them not’; he disowned his brothers and ignored his children. For they observed your word and kept your covenant.
"They shall teach Jacob your rules and Israel your law; they shall put incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
"Bless, O LORD, his substance, and accept the work of his hands; crush the loins of his adversaries, of those who hate him, that they rise not again.” (Deut 33:8-11)
28 A blog listing some famous Welsh singers is https://millersmusic.co.uk/blog/iconic-welsh-musicians/
This blessing of the congregation at the end of some church services (cp Num 6:23-26) may be found in ancient Israel. Is there a Levitical element within many Protestant churches?
National and Tribal Emblems
One of the most prominent national emblems is the leek. A tradition has it that when the Welsh were at war with the Saxons, a Welsh leader (king of Gwynedd) ordered his troops to wear a leek to identify themselves in contrast to the Saxons during the confusion wrought during the fighting. While this distinguished the Welsh from the Saxons, it also supposedly possessed a secret potion that helped them win the battle. While the leek is mentioned in the Bible (Num 11:5), it doesn’t appear to bear any relationship to the Levites. However, the pretty daffodil was chosen during the 19th century as the national flower while the oak is the national tree. As we have seen, the latter has Levitical significance.
The national flag depicts a red dragon as a heraldic symbol, but it has nothing to do the devil, despite the nonsense spread by conspiracy theorists.29 It may have something to do with the Welsh for warrior or chieftain, ddraich or draig, denoting bravery. Following is a simple explanation of its origin: “The Flag of Wales incorporates the red dragon, now a popular Welsh symbol, along with the Tudor colours of green and white. It was used by Henry VII at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 after which it was carried in state to St. Paul's Cathedral. The red dragon was then included in the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in 1959. The British Union Flag incorporates the flags of Scotland, Ireland and England but does not have any Welsh representation.
29 See “Dragon is a symbol of evil and paganism?” www.reddragonflagmakers.co.uk/blogs/blog/128673735-dragon-is-a-sign-of-evil-and-paganism-how-wrong-can-rev-hargreaves-be
It is thought to extend clear back to the 5th century to symbolise the withdrawal of the Romans and Welsh power restored. It could be that the dragon evolved from a bull symbol mixed with a dragon symbol found on a few Roman standards. This Roman symbol was even adopted by the kingdom of Wessex.