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The History of the Ten "Lost" Tribes by Baron

Deserves no other characterisation than child ish


"Philology of a somewhat primitive kind," writes a prominent and learned Jew, "is also brought in to support the theory; the many Biblical and quasi-Jewish names borne by Englishmen are held to prove their Israelitish origin. An attempt has been made to derive the English language itself from Hebrew. Thus, 'bairn' is derived from _bar_ ('son'); 'berry' from _peri_ ('fruit'); 'garden' from _gedar_; 'kid' from _gedi_; 'scale' from _shekel_; and 'kitten' from _quiton_ (_katon_ = 'little'). The termination 'ish' is identified with the Hebrew _ish_ ('man'); 'Spanish' means 'Spain-man'; while 'British' is identified with _Berit-ish_ ('man of the covenant'). Perhaps the most curious of these philological identifications is that of 'jig' with chag (_hag_ = 'festival').

"Altogether, by the application of wild guess-work about historical origins and philological analogies, and by a slavishly literal interpretation (or misapplication) of selected phrases of prophecy, a case is made out for the identification of the British race with the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel sufficient to satisfy uncritical persons desirous of finding their pride of race confirmed by Holy Scripture. The whole theory rests upon an identification of the word 'isles' in the English version of the Bible unjustified by modern philology, which identifies the original word with 'coasts'

or 'distant lands,' without any implication of their being surrounded by the sea. Modern ethnography does not confirm in any way the identification of the Irish with a Semitic people; while the English can be traced back to the Scandinavians, of whom there is no trace in Mesopotamia at any period of history. The whole movement is chiefly interesting as a _reductio ad absurdum_ of too literal an interpretation (or misapplication) of the prophecies."[2]

To this let me add the verdict of a prominent Christian scholar. Commenting on Edward Hine's "Identifications of the British Nation with Lost Israel," Professor Rawlinson wrote that: "The pamphlet is not calculated to produce the slightest effect on the opinion of those competent to form one. Such effect as it may have can only be on the ignorant and unlearned--on those who are unaware of the absolute and entire diversity in language, physical type, religious opinions, and manners and customs, between the Israelites and the various races from whom the English nation can be shown historically to be descended."

The fact of the matter is that the so-called historical proofs, by which the theory is supported, are derived from heathen myths and fables,[3] and the philology which traces "British" to "Berith-ish," and "Saxon" to "Isaac's-son," etc., deserves no other characterisation than _child-ish_.

It is in a misunderstanding of Scripture, and especially of prophetic Scripture, to which the origin of Anglo-Israelism can be traced. Coming across some of the great and precious promises in the Bible in reference to Israel, for instance, such as that they should be a great and mighty nation, and rule over those who previously had been their enemies and oppressors, and overlooking the fact that these prophecies and promises _refer to a future time_, when Israel as a nation shall be restored and converted, and under the personal rule of their Messiah become great and mighty for God on the earth, evidence of their fulfilment has been sought _in the present_. Now certainly these prophecies of might and prosperity are not now being fulfilled in the "Jews"--on the other hand, see how great and influential the British nation is in the world--_ergo_, the British must be the "lost" Israel of the "Ten Tribes"! The "history" and philology is, so to say, an after-thought of Anglo-Israelism, by which an effort is made to support the false postulate with which it starts. The Scriptural "Identifications" with which Anglo-Israel literature abound turn out on examination to be perversions and misapplications of isolated texts taken from the English versions of the Bible without any regard for true principles of exegesis.


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