Jeremiah, Ireland, and the Dynasty of King David
Astonishing as it may seem, the British Monarchy is descended from the lineage of ancient king David of Israel. British-Israel people say that the prophet Jeremiah transferred the royal line via king Zede- kiah’s daughters, but no evidence has substantiated this theory. However, there IS a connection – even more mysterious and phenomenal – involving a daughter of king David himself.
William F. Dankenbring
Does the royal line of Great Britain go back in history to the ancient Hebrew tribe of Judah, and also to the ancient king of Israel, David, the beloved of YAHUAH?
There is much evidence to show that this conclusion is true, but not in the way that some believe!
In Ezekiel 21, YAH declares, “And thou profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the YAHUAH Elohim; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him” (verses 25-27).
Bible scholars have pointed out that this passage historically referred to ancient king Zedekiah, who was overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar in 586-87 B.C., his children were slain before his very eyes, and he was transported to Babylon as a prisoner.
Zedekiah, the king of Judah, during its third conquest by Babylon, was indeed taken to Babylon, as a prisoner, and never restored as a king. From that time, there has been no legitimate king of Judah, of the house of David, reigning over the Jews – therefore, the throne was literally overthrown, in Judah, three times – in 604, 597, and 586 B.C. – just as the prophecy stated (verse 27).
The Original Fulfillment
Ezekiel lived around 600 B.C., a contemporary of Jeremiah. He was prophesying of the downfall of the kingdom of Judah of that time. In his 21st chapter, YAH caused him to prophesy against Jerusalem, and the land of Israel (v.2). He prophesied the sword – or foreign invasion – would come against Judah (v.9-12). He said, “Let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the slain” (v.14).
This prophecy was literally fulfilled, when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came against Judah in 607-604 B.C., then again in 597-96 B.C., and a third and final time in 587-586 B.C.
There has been no Davidic king sitting on that throne ever since – “it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is” – that is, the Messiah Himself! Thus the prophecy was literally fulfilled. From the time of Zedekiah, no king has sat on David’s throne in Jerusalem. For all practical purposes, it appeared to cease to exist!
But did it really cease to exist?
Jeremiah in Ireland
In Ezekiel 21:27, YAHUAH says of the throne of David, “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it, and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”
Some British-Israel teachers and others claim that this passage also refers to the fact that after YAH sent the nation of Judah into captivity, and punished the wicked prince Zedekiah, king of Judah, that he used Jeremiah the prophet to take the daughters of king Zedekiah to Ireland, where one of them married into another royal line of Judah, Prince Heremon, and thus David’s line was continued in Ireland. That was “one” overturn. The second occurred when the line was transferred, or overturned, and moved to Scotland. The “third” overturn was when it was moved from Scotland to present-day England. It will not be overturned again, says this same speculation, until the Messiah returns, whose “right” it is – that is, the Messiah will sit on the throne of His father David (Luke 1:32- 33).
These may be three historical “overturns” which constitute another fulfillment of the ancient prophecy. But historical “proof” of Jeremiah the prophet taking the king’s daughters to Ireland is woefully lacking.
Although stated in Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy as if it were a fact, and he copied the story word-for-word from Joseph Allen’s Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright, and British-Israel teachers have repeated the story incessantly, none of them have provided any source proof for this belief. Why do I say this? Because it is true. No scholarship of any value supports the claim!
Greg Doudna, former Ambassador College student, Dead Sea scroll scholar and historian, investigated this claim, and wrote: “they all seem to draw from previous British- Israel writings. They speak so confidently it sounds like there must be something in the annals to which they refer. The NAMES mentioned in the Tea-Tephi legend appear in the annals, true enough, but I have discovered they are TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSONS IN THE ANNALS than the British-Israel legend makes them out to be. The annals simply don’t say what the British-Israel literature, or the Worldwide Church of God, SAY they say. It is a LEGEND that someone somewhere within British-Israel circles began, stated it as fact, and it has been repeated as fact within British-Israel circles ever since, down to the present day in which the Worldwide Church of God repeats it to millions. It may make an interesting story, but IT IS COMPLETELY FABRICATED” (Afterword on British-Israelism, p. 121).
Doudna added: “What the originators of the…legend did was simply combine famous, known figures in the annals, many centuries apart, and splice them together in a TOTALLY IMAGINARY RECONSTRUCTION.
“For example, who is Olam Fodla? In British-lsrael theory, and stated in the USBP, he is JEREMIAH, the aged prophet. In fact, Olam Fodla appears in the Irish legends as one of the greatest NATIVE MILESIAN KINGS. Unlike the British-lsrael books I examined, I will now actually QUOTE something from the annals. A poem quoted in one of the annals called the Book of Leinster, and identified by one of Ire- land’s early authorities on the annals, Eugene O’Curry , as written around the time of the birth of Messiah and of a very high degree of authority, has this to say of Olam Fodla, whom the WCG book, UNCRITICALLY REPEATING BRITISH-ISRAEL LEGEND, says was ‘Jeremiah.’ Does this read like a description of the biblical Jeremiah?
‘Ollam Fodhla, of furious valour, Who founded the Court of Ol1amh, Was the first heroic KING That instituted the Feast of Teamain [Tara]. FORTY sweet musical YEARS He held the high sovereignty of Erinn [Ireland]; And it was from him, with noble pride, The Ultonians took their name. Six kings of valiant career OF OLLAMH’S RACE reigned over Errin; For two hundred and ten full years, No other person came between them. . .’
“Dr. Herman Hoeh, the leading historian of British-Israelism in the Worldwide Church of God, was aware of the KING named Ollam Fodla. In the Irish kings list in his Compendium of World History, an Ollam Fodla is dated 714-674 B.C., with the appended comment, ‘Not the later prophet Ollamh Fodhla.’ In fact, THERE IS NO ‘SECOND,’ LATER OLLAM FODLA IN THE IRISH ANNALS who may be identified with JEREMIAH. There is only the ONE famous King Ollam Fodla”. (Doudna, Afterword on British-Israelism, pp. 121-123).
Doudna concludes, “”Perhaps the forger or forgers of the Jeremiah legend would have been better off if they had invented totally fictitious names, rather than taking famous characters in the annals (one from here, one from there. . .), and so obviously revealing WHERE they got the names. But whatever names might be chosen for Jere- miah and a daughter of Zedekiah, they would still FAIL TO RELATE to anything in the annals, despite what British-Israelites and the WCG tell the public” (Afterword on British-Israelism)
Obviously, Herbert W. Armstrong was not a scholar, but simply plagiarized material from British-Israel writers, as if it were indeed historical.
However, does this mean there is no connection between the throne of David and ancient Ireland? What is the real truth?
A Remarkable Prophecy
We read in the Psalms of David:
“I have made a COVENANT with my chosen, I have sworn unto David, my servant, Thy SEED will I establish FOREVER, and BUILD UP THY THRONE TO ALL GENERATIONS” (Psalm 89: 3-4).
Notice further, YAHUAH says:
“I have found David my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him: With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. . . . My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and MY COVENANT shall stand fast with him. His SEED also will I make to endure for ever, and HIS THRONE AS THE DAYS OF HEAVEN. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judge- ments; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. MY COVENANT WILL I NOT BREAK, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once I have sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, AND HIS THRONE AS THE SUN BEFORE ME. IT SHALL BE ESTABLISHED FOREVER AS THE MOON, AND AS A FAITHFUL WITNESS IN HEAVEN. Selah” (Psalm 89: 20-37).
This is an awesome prophecy – and promise! YAH said to David that his children would never cease to exist – his descendants or generational offspring would continue throughout the ages, without ever being “cut off.” Furthermore, YAHUAH promised Him – without any condition or reservations – that his THRONE would also endure forever!
This means clearly that the “throne of David” did not cease to exist with the overthrow of king Zedekiah! It had to continue somewhere on this earth! But where is it today?
Many believe that the throne of David was transferred to the British isles. There is astonishing evidence that David’s throne was established in Ireland by king David himself.
The Mysterious Ollamh Fodhla
The most famous king of early Ireland was Ollamh Fodhla, whose name means “chief poet.” But “olam” also has a meaning in Hebrew – it means “forever.” Was this a king with a heritage which was to last “forever”?
Ollamh Fodhla was not only recognized as a great poet – but also as a wise sage and a great legislator. He established the “Feast of Tara,” a festival which lasted seven days, in the fall. He was a true father to his people and an able statesman. He also established a school of learning at Tara (the Irish form of “Torah”). He organized the nation for efficiency, and his governmental precepts have endured throughout the ages. His governmental body consisted of the king (administration), priests (judicial branch), and representatives from the common people (Congress, or legislative branch). Thus the three branches of modern democratic government go back to him, as the originator!
According to one venerated ancient Irish chronology, The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, the arrival of the Milesian Scots to Ireland occurred in the time period shortly after the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, about 1440 B.C.
According to Irish annals, Ollamh Fodhla was also a great warrior-king. He besieged the city of Tara, killed the king, and took the throne by force. Also, according to the annals, his sons “succeeded him one after another as kings of this land without any other coming between them, which good never happened to no other before him.” This mighty king, then, was indeed a blessed figure. But who was he?
According to The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, Ollamh Fodhla’s reign lasted forty years, the same as king David’s. Not only that, they reigned at the very same time in history! That is, David’s reign, according to Ussher’s chronology of the Bible, occurred from 1056-1016 B.C. Ollamh Fodlah’s reign was from 1052-1012 B.C. – an almost perfect parallel! Both kings were noted as warriors, as poets, as wise legislators, and governors.
Was this mere coincidence? The likelihood of two kings, very similar in nature and ability and fame, living at the same time and both reigning for forty years, is extremely remote. Could Ollamh Fodlah be another name for king David? Is it possible that David visited Ireland during the latter portion of his life?
Some may object that Ireland is too far away from the Middle East, for David ever to have traveled there. However, David was close friends with king Hiram, of Tyre. The Phoenicians fleets were famous for their excursions beyond the pillars of Hercules, at the entrance of the Mediterranean. It has been documented that the Phoenician-Hebrews of the time of king Solomon, David’s son, possessed ocean-going fleets that traveled around the world, and even left evidence in New Mexico of their sojourn. They brought back tin, and other products, from as far away as Ireland and the British Isles, and even North America! I discuss this amazing fact in the September-October 2003 issue of Prophecy Flash, in an article titled “Did King Solomon’s Fleets Visit America?” Further documentation of these facts can be found in such books as Before Columbus, by Prof. Cyrus Gordon; America B.C., by Prof. Barry Fell; Discovery of Ancient America, by David Allen Deal; The History and Future of Israelite America, by Walter Baucum; and The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel – Found! by Steve Collins.
Therefore, strange as it may appear, there is really no reason to think that David, in his own excursions, could not have visited the island of Ireland where other branches of the Israelite peoples had already settled in the days following the Exodus from Egypt.
Interestingly, three miles north of Tara, is an Irish town named “Dowd’s Town” – that is, literally, David’s Town! Did king David visit Ireland? Dr. Herman L. Hoeh, historian, wrote in his Compendium of World History, volume 1:
“According to the Domestic Annals a consequent invasion of the Irish coast was planned to relieve the pressure from the drought. It occurred in 1016, near the end of the reign of king David of Israel. The invasion was successful. The Tuatha-de-Danaan [that is, Tribe of Dan – an Israelite tribe which abode in ships and settled Ireland in early times – see Judges 5:17] were forced to accept the new line of Royalty. . . .
“Did David Visit Ireland?
“Even to this day another of the names of the old site of Tara has been pre- served: Dowd’s Town – which means literally David’s Town, or Settlement of David. The name is found attached to an area three miles north of Tara Hill and half that distance from the old Tara Castle. . . . Is it possible that David king of Israel visited Ireland and Tara toward the end of his life, after the last rebellion in Palestine had been stamped out?
“Perhaps the enigmatic 29th chapter of Isaiah will take on new meaning in answer to this question:
‘Ah, Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add ye year to year, Let the feasts come round!
Then will I distress Ariel, And there shall be mourning and moaning’ (Jewish translation).
“That this prophecy refers to the House of Israel is made plain from the context. The climax of the prophecy is the time of divine intervention in all human affairs. But why should the ‘city where David encamped’ symbolize the center of government of the house of Israel today? It is not a fitting expression for Jerusalem and Mt. Zion, for David did more than encamp there. He dwelt and ruled there! Notice further the name Ariel. Here is a city with the name Ariel. It symbolizes the same people as does Mt. Zion in prophecy, but it is not Mt. Zion. It is only a place where David encamped. . . . Was there at Tara a famous king with the name of Ariel whose blood line runs today in the British Royal Family? Indeed there was. Of the four sons of Gede the Heremon, only the line of Irial (Irish for Ariel) continued to rule from Tara. His name was as rare in Irish history as the name David was in Jewish history!
“These scant evidences of history are more than mere coincidence. No other place on earth bears the names of Eber, of Dan, of David, of Ariel. “At the time of the founding of Tara in 1016 an event occurred involving a beautiful woman who was ‘sorrowful to a harlot.’ The passage, quoted in the poem of Cuan O’Lochain . . . has never been fully understood. . . . But if David did visit Ireland, and if at the founding of Tara he gave his daughter Tamar in marriage to Irial, the son of Gede, then all becomes clear. Tamar had been violated by her half-brother. She left the scene of the unfortunate event in a torn garb and remained desolate – unmarried – in her brother Absalom’s house. See II Samuel 13. It was not until sometime after the death of Absalom that Tara was founded and that David was free of internal dissen- sion to depart for Ireland, very probably to give his disconsolate daughter in marriage to the prince of the line of Zarah” (Compendium, pages 424-426). Pharez and Zarah
It is very possible that ancient king David did visit the land of Ireland, and founded a town called Dowd’s Town or “David’s town,” and a college called “Tara” or “Torah,” during his lifetime. When he did so, he married his daughter Tamar into the line of Irish-Jewish nobility which had already migrated to that land.
David himself was descended from the Pharez line of Jewish kings. Who was Pharez? The origin of the Jewish kings is highly significant. In the days of Judah, the ancestor of the Jews, he took a wife named Tamar for his firstborn son Er. But Er was wicked before the Lord and the Lord put him to death (Gen.38:1-7). Judah then gave Tamar to his second son, Onan, who refused to perform the duty of a husband to his wife, and spilled his seed on the ground. So YAH put him to death, also (verses 8-10). Judah apparently was afraid to give his third son, Shelah, to Tamar to wed her, so she dressed up and pretended to be a prostitute, and seduced Judah himself to go in to her (Gen.38:12-20). He gave her his signet ring and staff until he was able to bring her a lamb in payment for her services.
But when he returned, the “prostitute” had disappeared. Three months later, it was noticed that Tamar was pregnant, and Judah was indignant, and brought her to trial before the elders of that time. At the trial, she informed him that the man who owned a particular signet ring and staff was the father of her child – and he saw that it was his own! Judah was amazed, dumbfounded – and felt very guilty, since he had not given her his youngest son to marry and raise children by her. We read in Genesis 38: “Then Judah acknowledged them and said, ‘She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah’” (verse 26).
This intriguing story is in the Bible for a reason. When Tamar was ready to give birth, she had TWINS. “While she was in labor, one put out a hand; and the midwife took and bound on his hand a crimson thread saying, ‘This one came out first.’ But just then he drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, ‘What a breach you have made for yourself!’ Therefore he was named Perez [“breach”]. Afterward his brother came out with the crimson thread on his hand; and he was named Zarah” (verses 28-30).
King David was of the Pharez line of Jewish kings. The descendants of Zarah, however, sired a line of powerful kings in exile, among the Jews who migrated to the region of northwestern Europe along with the other tribes of Israel.
The Red Hand and Scarlet Cord
History tells us that these Jews became identified as the Milesians, and their insignia was the “Red Hand” on their flag and coats of arms – a symbol which went back to Zarah himself, “who had the scarlet thread upon his hand” when he came out of the womb (Gen.38:30). For more information on this fascinating story, read Judah’s Scepter and Joseph’s Birthright, by J. H. Allen (Destiny Publishers).
Even today there is a ‘RED HAND” in the flag of Ulster – Northern Ireland! Three of Ulster’s six counties have the Red Hand as part of their official emblems. The ancient and traditional emblem of Ulster was – and still is – a Red Hand encircled by a Scarlet Cord!
This is certainly a most remarkable fact and clear evidence that there is a connection between the people of Ireland and the ancient tribe of Judah. This “red hand” is found nowhere else but in Scotland and Ireland!
Notice that in the record of the birth of the twins, Zarah’s hand was tied with a crimson cord, but Pharez came out first. This led to some disputation as to who was indeed the firstborn. Pharez was declared to be the firstborn, and the record of his descendants continues down through king David and his successors in the Middle East. However, the line of Zarah is not recorded in the Scriptures after the third generation! What happened? As these ancient genealogies were preserved with great care, it would indicate that his descendants were no longer in Israel but migrated elsewhere.
As descendants of Judah, their tribal emblem would still have been the rampant lion. As they were not considered the firstborn, it follows that resentment may have existed toward the line of Pharez. At any rate, instead of a tawny couchant lion, like Pharez, their symbol became a rampant RED lion. A second emblem which arose due to Zarah’s hand being tied with a red thread when it poked out from the womb is a scarlet cord. A Red Hand surrounded by a Scarlet Cord is unique – it draws attention to the circumstances of the birth of Zarah, son of Judah!
Where is this emblem found, among the nations today? Scotland and Ireland!
Ancient records relate that Zarah’s great grandson Calcol led a migration of fellow tribesmen westward to Spain, and founded a city which still bears the name of their ancestor – Zaragossa. The river on whose banks they founded Zaragossa was the Ebro – from “Hebrew.” To the land itself they gave the name “Iberia” – the land of the “Hiberi” or “Hebrews.”
Later Calcol and others moved northward to Ireland, calling their new home “Hiberland” or “Hibernia” and the islands to the north the “Hebrides.” They founded the kingdom of Ulster “shortly after the year 1600 B.C., and from that time until the present, a matter of nearly 3,600 years, the emblem of Ulster has been a Red Hand circled with a Scarlet Cord” (W. H. Bennett, Symbols of Our Celto-Saxon Heritage, p.114).
In Scotland, also, the Red Hand is a racial emblem used by at least fourteen of the ancient clan chiefs. Thus they, too, point to their heritage as being descended at least in part to the line of Zarah, son of Judah. The Scots, however, did not migrate from Ulster. Their own records state that they came from ancient Scythia and settled the western part of Scotland about A.D. 501. An ancient document in the Register House in Edinburgh, called the Declaration of Arbroath, consists of a letter written by the parliament and sent to the pope in A.D. 1320. It states that the Scots came from Scythia, lived a long time in Spain, and came to what is now called Scotland “1200 years after the outgoing of the people of Israel” (ibid., page 116).
Only descendants from Israel would date a historic document by an event which occurred to the people of Israel! Therefore, these ancient Scots – men from Scythia – had to be descendants of Israel! If we count backward 1200 years from 500 A.D., we come to 700 B.C. – the very time the northern kingdom of Israel was attacked by the Assyrian Empire, and carried off into captivity. At this time, many must have fled the oncoming Assyrian onslaught, and migrated to Spain and other Israelitish outposts in the Mediterranean world.
David and the Line of Zarah
If king David himself at one time visited Ireland, and gave his daughter to a descendant of the line of Zarah, to marry, such a marriage would have healed this breach which had occurred, and reunite the two lines of Jewish kings!
As we have seen, that is exactly what happened!
If this is the case, then when that throne was moved from Ireland to Scotland – “overturned” – that could constitute a second overturning. Then the “third” overturning could indeed have been the moving of that ancient throne from Scotland to Westminster Abbey, in London, England.
The British throne or coronation chair is still there, today.
Some might object to the theory that the British throne is related to David and constitutes David’s throne, since the descendant of David who intermarried with the Zarah line of Judah was in this case a woman – David’s own daughter. This, some might say, would not constitute a true “throne of David” as the throne had to be passed down through the male descendants. This is mere speculation, however. The intermarriage meant that the descendants would definitely have been of Davidic ancestry and David’s own blood-line. As a point of interest, the “Stone of Scone,” or “Jacob’s Pillar Stone,” was returned to Edinburgh castle in Scotland in 1996.
It remains a fact that the two kingly lines were united by marriage, and the daughter of David carried his own blood-line and all their descendants would have been of the blood-line of David himself and qualified to sit on his throne.
Thus the “throne of David” ceased to exist in Israel, when the monarchy was destroyed, with the death of the last king, Zedekiah. However, another “line of David” had been begun in Ireland, and transferred later to Scotland, and then to England, and the English monarchy therefore traces back to both the lines of Pharez and Zara, the two sons of Judah by Tamar, and includes the lineage of king David himself through his daughter.
What a remarkable and wonderful story! Thus Elizabeth, Queen of Great Britain, is a descendant of king David of Israel, and is of the royal Davidic blood-line herself. David’s throne, as prophecy states, would endure to all generations, as long as the sun and moon continued to exist.
As we read in the Psalms of David, YAHUAH declared:
“I have made a COVENANT with my chosen, I have sworn unto David, my servant, Thy SEED will I establish FOREVER, and BUILD UP THY THRONE TO ALL GENERATIONS” (Psalm 89: 3-4).
“His SEED also will I make to endure for ever, and HIS THRONE AS THE DAYS OF HEAVEN. If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgements; if they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments, then I will visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
“MY COVENANT WILL I NOT BREAK, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. Once I have sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, AND HIS THRONE AS THE SUN BEFORE ME. IT SHALL BE ESTABLISHED FOREVER AS THE MOON, AND AS A FAITHFUL WITNESS IN HEAVEN. Selah” (Psalm 89:29-37).
The sun and moon continue to exist, today, and so does the “throne of David”! After centuries of intermarriage, and wars, and conquests, and three major “overturns,” it still exists today! What a remarkable fulfillment of Biblical prophecy! Here is another major proof that the Elohim of the Bible is the TRUE Elohim, for who but He could make a promise for thousands of years into the future, and then insure that it comes to pass throughout every succeeding generation – a promise now three thousand years old and still holding true and steadfast in our end-time generation!