In Chapter 1 we learned that some of the tribe of Levi made their way to Wales- now we continue with the study

Descendants of Levi

Those born into this bloodline became the religious teachers and leaders and inherited various privileges of office by virtue of birth. Their role was effectively suspended late in the first century until the time of the Messiah, but the Levites are still extant somewhere on this planet. Who are they? Where do they reside? And by nature, do they still tend to religious roles? The descendants of Levi are represented in the chart below. He had three sons (Gen 46:11) and a number of grandsons, etc. His sons were Gershon, Kohath, Merari and it may be that the clans named after them can still be identified.

Levitical Family Tree

When one examines the tabernacle arrangement (below) of where the various tribes are located, we find that the Judahites are at the helm, in the leadership position. Surrounding and protecting the tabernacle are the Levitical families of the Kohathites, Gershonites and Merarites. In the front, behind Judah, were Moses, Aaron and the priests.

“[Levites had a] monopoly of national honors, giving the Leah descended priests (who in practice are absorbed into Judah) the exclusive right and privilege of administering the relationship between Jehovah and Israel.” (Louis Wallis, The Bible and Modern Belief, p. 25)

Later there was a concentration of Levites around Jerusalem, but the majority were allocated across Israel to teach the way of God and to keep internal discipline. Rebellion by Israelites was dealt with by fury and violence – more on this nature will be covered in this article.

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MIGRATIONS OF LEVI


Many Levites moved to Judah prior to the Assyrian invasions (II Chron 11:13-17; 13:8-14).

In the south, others dwelt among Benjamin and Judah and joined them in captivity (Ezra 1:5; 2:40, 70; 6:16; John 1:19) – many, but by no means all, returned to the holy land with a portion of Judah under Ezra and Nehemiah.

Those that stayed with the northern tribes were taken into captivity by the Assyrians to Halah, Habor, Harah etc. (I Chron 5:26) in northwest Iran and eastern Turkey where the Cimmerians arose. Can this tribe be traced from this region to Wales?

The Cimmerians

In ancient times, Assyria emperor Tiglath-Pileser II mentions the removal of the Israelites from the land of Beth-Khumri (the land of Israel) to Assyria (c 740BC).

Other clues include the name of Crimea, the Gumri River near the Caucasus, the area of Kamir west of the Caucasus. Cimmeroi, Gimir and Gimmiri all appear to be derivations of Cimmerian.

One author, M. Guizot wrote about them in the mid-nineteenth century: “From the seventh to the fourth century B.C., a new population spread over Gaul, not at once, but by a series of invasions, of which the two principals took place at the two extremes of that epoch. They called themselves KYMRIANS or KIMRIANS…the name of a people whom the Greeks placed on the western bank of the Black Sea and in the CIMMERIAN peninsula, called to this day CRIMEA” (The History of France from Earliest Times to 1848, p. 16).

Prominent Danish linguist, respected in her field, Anne Kristensen in her work Who were the Cimmerians, and Where did the come from? Sargon II, the Cimmerians, and Rusa I argues for identifying them with the Israelites, admitting that at first, she was dubious with this find. This appears to be a unique position amongst non-British-Israel scholars. “There is scarcely reason, any longer, to doubt the exciting and verily astonishing assertion propounded by the students of the Ten Tribes that the Israelites deported from Bit Humria, of the House of ‘Omri, are identical with the Gimirraja of the Assyrian sources. Everything indicates that Israelite deportees did not vanish from the picture but that, abroad, under new conditions, they continued to leave their mark on history.” (pp. 126-127)4

4 Aryeh Kaplan in his The Living Torah wrote: “The Cimerians were seen as originally having been a Nordic people (Odyssey 11:18-19). Some sources identify them with the Cimbri of Jutland (around Denmark), a nation of Teutonized Celts.” (p. 21). See also Critique of Anne Kristensen’s “Who were the Cimmerians …?” in Archiv Fur Orientforschung, Vol. 37, pp. 143-45. God prophesied in the Bible, “In Isaac your seed shall be called” (Gen. 21:12) and the Saxons or Sacasons are, in fact, the sons of (I)saca from which the word Scythian originated. Yusifov actually calls them the Cimmero-Scythians in his work “On the Scythians in Mannea” (pp. 349-356). In footnote 33 he states: “The mention of the Cimmerians with the Scythians in the texts of Esarhaddon in the region of Mannea and Media suggested to I.M. Diakonoff (IM 265) that the sources understood Scythians also under the name Cimmerians.” (p. 356)

Later we find a people known as the Laevi (= Levites?) among the Gauls so this might indicate that some found their way into that area.5

Concerning the Cimmerians, they are referred to as a people that were seemingly distinct from the Scythians (the term Scythian was broad, covering a number of peoples and ascertaining who is who amongst them is known as the ‘Scytho-Samartian problem’.6)

Similarly, it is quite possible that more than one people were known as Cimmerians: some were Nordic and Celtic looking, while others were Alpine. What we know of them is that they were in the area we know today as Azerbaijan in the late 8th century BC (around 715BC) and the following two centuries in the area of Ukraine. 7

British-Israelite scholars have written on the identification of the Cimmerians (and Scythians) with the ‘lost’ tribes of Israel for over 140 years. Refer to the Appendix. Who were the Cimmerians/Welsh? Tribe of Levi for further evidence.

The Welsh should be described as the Cymry or Khumry rather than Celts, after all that is what they name themselves. Could this description be derived in some way from Cimmerian?

William Rees in An Historical Atlas of Wales has a map plate 5 (b) showing migrations from the eastern Mediterranean to Spain and thence to Ireland, Wales and Scotland during the early Megalithic Culture and Early Bronze ages (i.e., after the Noahician flood until around 1500-1400BC which is roughly the time of the Exodus).8

Plate 22 on early Wales (7th and 8th Centuries) shows that the Severn River was known as the Habren – does this derive from Hebrews (i.e., Eber or Heber found in Gen 10:21, 25?) Is it possible that some place names could somehow derive from their Israelitish routes after such tedious and lengthy migrations and language change?

What of Welsh place names such as Leweston, Luelyston, Leweleston, Lewellyston, Lewelston, Lywellston, Leweston and Lewel. Do they not remind one of Levi? What of Amlwch, Pwllheli, Liverpool, Holywell, Colwyn Bay? Is it possible that in some convoluted way the name of their forefather transliterated into the Welsh language and somehow survived as a tell-tale sign of where many of his descendants reside today?9

5 “Eth. LAEVI or LAÏ (Λάοι), a tribe of Cisalpine Gauls, who dwelt near the sources of the river Padus. This is the statement of Polybius (2.17), who associates them with the Libicii (Λεβέκιοι), and says that the two tribes occupied the part of the plains of Cisalpine Gaul nearest to the sources of the Padus, and next to them came the Insubres. He distinctly reckons them among the Gaulish tribes who had crossed the Alps and settled in the plains of Northern Italy: on the other hand., both Livy and Pliny call them Ligurians. (Liv. 5.35; Plin. Nat. 3.17. s. 21.) The reading in the passage of Livy is, indeed, very uncertain; but he would appear to agree with Pliny in placing them in the neighbourhood of Ticinum. Pliny even ascribes the foundation of that city to the Laevi, in conjunction with the Marici, a name otherwise wholly unknown, but apparently also a Ligurian tribe. There can be no doubt that in this part of Italy tribes of Gaulish and Ligurian origin were very much intermixed, and probably the latter were in many cases confounded with the Gauls.” (William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, art. “Laevi”). There is also the ancient Laviana province northwest Spain.

6 For example, Marek Olbrycht, The Cimmerian problem re-examined: the evidence of the Classical sources in Collectanea Celto-Asiatic Cracoviensia.

7 An interesting read is Cimmerians in Eastern European History by Valentyn Stetsyuk. Refer also to his paper Cimbri-Cymry, pp. 9-10.

8 Interestingly, that “Around A.D. 400, it is thought that considerable numbers of Brythonic-speaking Celts moved, or were moved, from what is now southern Scotland and north-eastern England into north-west Wales … and their conquests by the eighth century covered most of northern, western and south-western Wales. Recent work has whown that they must have been very little different from the Iron Age B hill-fort dwellers in that they were racially akin to them and spoke a Brythonic dialect of Celtic speech” (Emryn Bowen, Wales. A Physical, Historical and Regional Geography, p. 138). [emphasis mine] This has been confirmed by other sources I have read.

9 Could some names derive from Levi’s sons such as Gershon became Gershwin; and Kohath became Kuhn, Cohen, Cowan?

The Welsh call themselves the Cymry. It has been suggested that perhaps, the name Cymry could ultimately derive from Cimmerian. This is quite possible and not outside the bounds of possibility.10

The Druids – Descendants of the Levites?

In my old handwritten notes from around 1979/80 or so I wrote the following concerning Druidism being a watered-down form of Baalism (I do not know where I obtained that thought from or how accurate it is, but it might be of some interest and is likely derived from Apartian’s thesis or British-Israel literature):

“… for which God sent Israel into captivity. Druids descended from the ancient Magi of the East. Remnants of Druids at still found amongst the Welsh.”

In the late 1970s I obtained a copy of Dibar Apartian’s thesis on The French-Speaking Peoples in Prophecy11 wherein he notes:

“The Druids … were priest and it was their priestly functions which assured their prestige. They offered sacrifices … of white bullocks.” (p. 42)

These particular Kymbri

“swore by a BRAZEN BULL, which they carried with them” (Sharon Turner, History of The Anglo-Saxons, Vol. 1, p. 3. Cp Ex 32:4).

Was this a corruption of Israel’s ancient practices? See IKings 12:28-33.

Interestingly, many of the Druids functioned as judges as did many Levites: “The striking parallel between the practice of the Druids and that of the Levitical Priesthood is very significant” (Apartian, ibid). For, it was not very often that one can find in history that such a practice by a priesthood – instead it was left to the civil authorities to arbiter in public and private disputes.

The Druids of Wales were led by a High Priest (ibid, p. 43), an “Arch-Druid”, a bit like the Levitical High Priest. Also, in similitude to the Levites, they were the educators and teachers. Additionally, they were also exempt from ‘taxes’ (we would say tithes) and military service (see Num 1:2-3, 47-49). Refer to Rev Roberts’ Druids in Britain for further evidence.

They even prohibited the making of images figured as gods (ibid, p. 44). This begs the question: were they descendants of the Levites who absorbed pagan practice and mixed it with their original Biblical practices?12

10 An interesting, non-British-Israel gaming blog that sees British as descendants of the Cimmerians is https://aoc.fandom.com/wiki/Cimmerian#KNOWN_CIMMERIAN_CLANS

11 It was quite a task, but a pleasure to scan this and 100s of rare and old documents no one had (or if they did, would not share with others) and upload them to my websites over the past 20 or more years.

12 Landseer MacKenzie (member of Council, British-Israel Association) wrote: “In consulting Granger, “The Seed of Isaac,” I could not but be struck by the similarities brought out in his chapter on the ancient Britons, between the Druidical customs, manners and religious line of thought, and those of Israel. Mr Granger does not go so far as to claim identity between the Druidical and Levitical priesthood – though that may have lurked in the back of his mind …” (A Monograph of Levi, p. 17).

The Welsh variation contained a three-level hierarchy: Bards (teachers and historians); Ovates (doctors and herbalists); senior Druids (priests).

They even established schools to continue their belief system which can only be described as “huge”. Historians are still in awe of their knowledge and educational system.

Their cultic observances were practiced in the open air near oaks or pillars such as dolmons (table-like structures) or menhirs (vertically standing stone). Setting up dolmens was characteristic of the Israelites (Ex 24:4; Josh 4:9-20; Jer 31:21; II Kings 11:12-14; 23:2-3; Gen 28:18; 31:52; 35:14-15, 20).

The following is from the Jewish Encyclopedia: “Sacred stones are mentioned with great frequency in the Old Testament; they were erected by Jacob at Beth-el (Gen. xxviii. 18; comp. xxxi. 13), at Shechem (Gen. xxxiii. 20 [where should be read instead of), at Gilead (Gen. xxxi. 52), and over the grave of Rachel; and by Joshua in the sanctuary of Shechem (Josh. xxiv. 26; comp. Judges ix. 6). The “stone of help” (“Eben-ezer”) set up by Samuel (I Sam. vii. 12) was such a “maẓẓebah”; and other sacred stones existed at Gibeon (II Sam. xx. 8), at Enrogel (I Kings i. 9, “the serpent-stone”), and at Michmash (I Sam. xiv. 33). Twelve stones of this character were set up by Moses near his altar at the foot of Mount Sinai (Ex. xxiv. 4), and a circle of twelve at Gilgal was ascribed to Joshua (Josh. iv. 20). Finally, Jachin and Boaz, the two columns of the Temple (I Kings vii. 15 et seq.), were such maẓẓebot, not intended as supports for the building, but possessing an independent purpose, as is shown by their names. “The Phenician temples also contained such columns, and maẓẓebot long served as legitimate symbols of Yhwh. Even the prophet Hosea forewarned Israel of the terrible days to come (Hos. iii. 4; comp. x. 12), when they should be “without a sacrifice, and without an image [“maẓẓebah”], and without an ephod, and without teraphim”—that is, without public worship; while Isaiah prefigured the conversion of Egypt to Yhwh with the words, “There shall be . . . a pillar at the border thereof to the Lord” (Isa. xix. 19, Hebr.). “Dolmen. (After Conder.) Cromlech. (From Benziger, “Hebräische Archäologie.”) The Deuteronomic, code, on the other hand, rejected the maẓẓebot, rightly recognizing that they did not originally belong to the cult of Yhwh, but had been adopted from the Canaanites (Deut. xii. 3, xvi. 22; comp. Lev. xxvi. 1, and the commandment to destroy the maẓẓebot, “asherot,” and similar objects of Canaanitish worship in Ex. xxiii. 24 and xxxiv. 13). The Deuteronomic historian accordingly regarded the downfall of the people as due to the erection of these maẓẓebot by Judah and Israel (I Kings xiv. 23; II Kings xvii. 10), while the pious kings showed their righteousness by destroying them (II Kings iii. 2, x. 26, xviii. 4, xxiii. 14).” (“Stone and Stone-Worship”, http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14059-stone-and-stone-worship, by Emil Hirsch and Immanuel Benzinger). 

So, we see that the erection of stones as places to worship God connected to a representation of a pagan god and the worship of the stone, is completely unacceptable to Him. See Deut 12:3; Lev 26:1.

The rest of the article by Hirsch is worth a read.

What of the oak which was pinnacle in Druidic worship?

It featured prominently in Israel (Jos 24:26; Jud 6:11, 19-20; I Chron 10:12. See Gen 35:4, 8) but its purpose was also perverted under the influence of the Phoenicians and surrounding pagan tribes (Ezek 6:13).

Many Brythonic Druids sacrificed a white bull under their oaks, reminiscent of the ancient Levitical practice of sacrifice, but mixed with paganism (compare Is 44:14; Hos 4:13; Ezek 6:13). This synchronism is unacceptable to God and is considered apostasy: Jer 2:8; Ezek 22:26; 44:10-12. No wonder the word Druid is thought to derive from “knower of the oak tree”. Note also that he most magical and potent of all their plants was the mistletoe (a parasitic plant) that grew on oak trees. “ … Baal, according to historians, was also the founder of Druidism (Celtic Researches, Davies, p. 190). In other words Baalism was the religion of the Druids” (Apartian, ibid, p. 49)

While Baalism and Druidism were not exactly the same, it appears that the latter drew many of its elements from the former.

Even some of the Druid religious festivals roughly coincided with those of Leviticus 23 (i.e., around April-May, October), counted their months according to the moons and they counted days sunset to sunset normally not practiced by other religions, except that laid out in the Bible (Apartian, ibid, pp 51-2). The following information comes from The Veil of Isis; or, The Mysteries of the Druids by Winwoode Reade 13:

“The Druids possessed remarkable powers and immunities. Like the Levites, the Hebrews, and the Egyptian priests they were exempted from taxes and from military service. They also annually elected the magistrates of cities: they educated all children of whatever station, not permitting their parents to receive them till they were fourteen years of age. Thus the Druids were regarded as the real fathers of the people. The Persian Magi were entrusted with the education of their sovereign; but in Britain the kings were not only brought up by the Druids, but also relieved by them of all but the odium and ceremonies of sovereignty.” (p. 56)

“We first hear of the sacramental offering of bread and wine as used by Melchisedek. I have described it among the ceremonies of Druidism. Among the

13 Note that this is a non-British-Israelite work.

Of further interest is that:

“This class of professional learned men, priests and scholars, seems to share a common Indo-European inheritance with the brahmins of India, for the later and fuller evidence of Irish sources shows a similar class, the filid, who, while shorn of their priestly office in a Christian society, have retained the scholarly functions of the druids as poets, genealogists, lawyers, and the practice of oral rather than written tradition. Both the form and content of their learning show astonishing similarity to Brahminical traction…

“The Indo-European origin of Irish metres, and the striking similarities between the Hindu and Irish systems of law, which also point to Indo-European origin, go a long way towards proving that the Irish filid, and therefore the Celtic druids, were heirs to the same traditions as the brahmins”. (Myles Dillon & Nora Chadwick, The Celtic Realms, pp. 10, 12) [emphasis mine]

More than that, were these also not the functions of the Levites? In the scattering did some influence the religions of northwest India to a degree?

Why does he mention the Indo-European Brahmin ruling caste of northwestern India (who originated in the steppes according to some histories)? Did some of the Levite’s mix with these ancient descendants of Abraham? Did they influence each other’s religious beliefs?

The Rev Roberts noted: Druidism is no doubt a perversion of Hebraism, for Bardic ideas are culled from scripture as may be gathered form the following quoted from Barddas, Vol. I, and other works.

The unity of the Godhead was the very soul and center of Bardism, and yet this unity was a three in one; Belenus, Taranis and Hesus, three representatives of the one God. They discountenanced human sacrifices.

Lastly, Mr. Charles Hulbert (cir. 1825 A.D.), in his ‘Religions of Britain,’ says: “The charge of staining their consecrate places with human blood and offering upon the altar of ‘Cor-Gawr,’ or Stonehenge, human victims, hath no real foundation in fact; an accusation as wicked as unjust.” (p. 37) So near is the resemblance between the Druidical religion of Britain and the Patriarchal religion of the Hebrews, that we hesitate not to pronounce their origin the same.” (Druidism in Britain, p. 41)15

According to my old notes based on my readings, among their beliefs we find some which align more-or-less with Biblical laws and history, such as:

• Life must be given for life

• The priests “spoke in the name of the Lord”

• Legends of a great flood 14 Some historians believe that due to their knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, medicine and such like the Romans saw them as a threat which accounts for their brutality.

See Guto Dafydd, “Are the Welsh the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel?”, The Daily Wales, 29 Jan 2015. 15 See Paul Bunch, The Masterminds of Stonehenge.

14 Some historians believe that due to their knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, medicine and such like the Romans saw them as a threat which accounts for their brutality. See Guto Dafydd, “Are the Welsh the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel?”, The Daily Wales, 29 Jan 2015.

15 See Paul Bunch, The Masterminds of Stonehenge.

• Their tradition that they came originally from Asia Minor

• Their Archdruid was clad with a white robe, a breastplate and a golden tiara, with the name of Jah.

One author was over enthusiastic with his assessment:

“‘So near is the resemblance’, said Charles Hulbert in his book “Religions of Britain” (1825), ‘between the Druidical religion of Britain and the Patriarchal religion of the Hebrews, that we hesitate not pronounce them the same’” (quoted in H. Olden, The Early British Church, p. 94).

Although a rather exuberant statement, at least he was “on to something” and could sense that there was more to the Druids than meets the eye. This needs to be explored further by historians.

A good British-Israel work on all of this is Celt, Druid and Culdee by Isabel Hill Elder which is worth a read.

Note:

“the term Druidism must denote not so much a unique system of theology as the peculiar organization of a hierarchic caste that kept a secret magic-lore and conducted the religious side of Gallic life.” (p. 22) In footnote 8 he states “’ Cf. Ausonius’s ” Stirpe druidarum ” with the Hebrew Levites. (IV. 226) lays stress on the hierarchic condition of Gaul.” (In footnote 8 he states: “Cf. Dottin, L’ Antiquite Celtique, p. 289, ” the hierarchy of the Druids “”’ (W. Tamblyn, “British Druidism and the Roman War Policy”, The American Historical Review, Oct 1909, p. 22)

 Amazingly another secular author sees similarities between the Druids and Levites: “The Celts had priests called gutuatri attached to certain temples, their name perhaps meaning “the speakers,” those who spoke to the gods. 3 The functions of the Druids were much more general, according to this theory, hence M. D’Arbois supposes that, before their intrusion, the Celts had no other priests than the gutuatri. 4 But the probability is that they were a Druidic class, ministers of local sanctuaries, and related to the Druids as the Levites were to the priests of Israel, since the Druids were a composite priesthood with a variety of functions.” (John MacCulloch, The Religion of the Ancient Celts, p. 298)

The Druids wore breastplates (as did the Levites) and believed in some sort of supreme God over the universe. They also had a god named Esus or Hesus, their healing sun-saviour. So, it is self-evident that the Levites combined their ancient beliefs with ideas about the immortality of the soul, a triad and such like as they slid into apostasy.

Godfrey Higgins wrote the following insightfully in his The Celtic Druids; or, an attempt to shew that the Druids were the Priests of Oriental Colonies who migrated from India “In Ireland it was the custom on the first of November, the Autumnal equinox when the sun at the Vernal equinox was in Taurus, to extinguish all the fires except the sacred fires of the Druids; and every one was prohibited, under the most terrible penalties, from procuring this indispensable article in any way except from them, for which a stipulated price was paid. Dr. Hyde states that this custom is continued by the fire worshipers, or Guebres of India at this day; and he observes that he learns from the Talmud, that this practice was adopted by the Israelites when they were in captivity in that country amongst the Medes, who are called Persae. “What will the sceptics of the ancient connexion between Ireland and Asia say to this? Will they account for it by back-reckoning, or say that it is an accident?

If sceptics do, I can only say that sceptics are more credulous than I am. M. Baillie says, “After what we have said of the difficulty of the communications, we cannot imagine that the Druids have quitted their forests two or three thousand years ago to go to school with the Bramins or the Magi, or that the latter have visited our ancestors.” (p. 158)16 Here we have another non-British-Israelite author finding links to the Brahmins. Concerning the stones that the Druids either set up or were associated with, he demonstrates similarities to those of ancient Israel (pages 214-16, 233).

Further, “I think it impossible for any one to read the previous part of this chapter and not see, that the customs of the Israelites and the Druids, with their stone circles and pillars, &c., were the same.” (p. 268) 

The British-Israel World Federation has long linked the Druids with the Levites. For example, A. Exley, “The Tribe of Levi”, The Kingdom Herald, Sept-Oct, 1991, pp. 31-34 (reprint from an older periodical, The Kingdom Empire) and A Monograph of Levi.

There are a number of others such as W. Finlayson, “The Levites: Their Role in Israel”, The Kingdom Digest, Feb 1987, pp. 31-34 (reprint from the older National Message):

“The descendants of Levi, characterised by an inherent zeal for service to their God, would surely tend to enter the Christian ministry and also to take part in national and local administration.

“It is remarkable how historians of the ancient Celtic Church have noted its observance of Levitical customs, descrive in the Old Testament and newly-intermingled with the proclaimed Gospel of Christ.” (p. 33)

We must, of course, be careful not to force similarities into any preconceived ideas. Some similarities are there, but Druidism was still highly pagan.

Suggested Further Reading on the Welsh

• An Historical Atlas of Wales by William Rees.

Wales. A History by Wynford Vaughan-Thomas.

• Welsh Tribal Law and Custom in the Middle Ages by Thomas Ellis.

• Who Were the Cimmerians, and Where Did They Come From? By Anne Kristensen.

16 Other similarities with the Levites are found on pages 76, 78, 165, 168, 179, 306.

Where did the Levites Go Part 1.                  coming next :  Part 3…>>>>  

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