The Scythians were a notable Aryan tribal group and were counted among the armies of Medo-Persian Aryan kings. They fought with Persia to destroy Assyria and later they were said to have ruled over all Asia from Greater Armenia. A branch of the Scythians formed the Arsacid dynasty of Parthia whose empire bravely contended against the Romans for dominion in Western Asia.
When we investigate the origins of these Scythians we must look to the earliest mentions. In the earliest Greek records the Scythians are known as the Kimmeroi who came from the East to ravage Anatolia and sack Lydia. They were also known in classical literature as Sacae according to the Persian name Saka.
There is an inscription found on the side of Behistun mountain in Iran. Commissioned by Darius the Great, it is written in three tongues: Old Persian, Babylonian and Elamite. The tri-lingual inscription verifies that the Khumri/Kimmeroi/Gimirrai and the Sacae/Saka/Scythians are one and the same people.
The northern house of Israel was in those days known by the name of the house of the King Omri which, in Assyrian inscriptions, is rendered as Khumri. In Assyrian inscriptions Samaria, the capital city of ancient Israel, is refered to as Beth-Khumri meaning “House of Omri”. This of course refers to the palace of the Israelite Omride dynasty. Khumri is surely the source of the Greek name Kimmeroi used by Homer as the Assyrians were the Greek’s first notable cultural acquaintance with greater Asia
The identification of the Israelites with the Khumri is verified by many Assyrian inscriptions including the Black Obelisk and the Ashur Stone of Shalmaneser III, the annals of Tiglath-pileser III, the Nimrud Slab of Adad-nirari and by the Moabites in the Mesha Stele. When we look at the depiction of the Khumri on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser we see them depicted wearing pointed caps just as seen on some of the Saka in Persian reliefs. This type of pointed cap was a piece of apparel that the Scythians were widely known to have favoured.
When the northern house of Israel went into the Assyrian captivity they were placed among the Aryan Medes (the Japhetic Madai) as a buffer population on the fringes of the Assyrian empire.
“6In the ninth year of Osee the king of the Assyrians took Samaria, and carried Israel away to the Assyrians, and settled them in Alae, and in Abor, near the rivers of Gozan, and in the mountains of the Medes.”
-2 Kings 17
The Northward migration of the house of Israel out of Mesopotamia is recorded in 2 Esdras:
“40 Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. 41 But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, 42 That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. 43 And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow places of the river. 44 For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. 45 For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth.”
-2 Esdras 13
Once uprooted and settled among the Iranic Medes they would have, by necessity, adopted the Iranic lingua franca of these territories. This aligns with the Irano-Semitic language hypothesis which proposes an intermediary Irano-Semitic, Indo-Semitic or Aryo-Semitic language group conjoining Afro-Asiatic and Indo-European language groups (Carleton T. Hodge 1998:318, Alan S. Kaye 1985:887, Adams and Mallory 2006:83, Cuny 1943:1). This represents the Israelite crossover into the Indo-European cultural and linguistic world.
‘The Linguistic Developments of the Shemites, Hebrews and Israelites’
The historian Flavius Josephus describes the location of these deported tribes from a Judaean perspective:
“the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude and not to be estimated in numbers.”
-Josephus, Antiquities, 11:133
In the Dead Sea Scrolls in the War Scroll (4Q492) Togar (Togarmah) and Masha (Meshech) are “beyond the Euphrates” from a Judaean perspective. Togarmah and Meshech refer to lands in modern Russia, Georgia and Armenia that the Scythians were known to have settled.
There is further evidence that Josephus identified the Scythians as Israelites in his preface to the Wars of the Judaeans where he says he wrote in “the language of our country” (Hebrew, Syriac or an amalgam of the two) to the “Upper Barbarians” among whom he lists “the Parthians … Babylonians … remotest Arabians … and those of our nation beyond Euphrates, with the Adiabeni.”
Those in Babylon and Arabia must be Judaeans who either sojourned there or had remained behind following the Babylonian captivity. The Arsacid Parthians of course were an offshoot of the Scythian Dahae. Adiabene consisted of the plains beyond the Tigris bordering Babylonia to the South, Armenia to the North and Media in the East where dwelt Scythians.
It is thus evident that Josephus considered these Upper Barbarians of Scythian stock to be kindred of the Judaeans, to be concerned with the affairs of Judaea and to be able to read his missive written in Syriac or Hebrew.
The Persians were cousins of the Israelites and descendants of the Shemitic patriarch Elam. The Persians continued to deal extensively both with the Scythian-Israelites and the portion of Judah who remained in Canaan. The latter would later be liberated from Babylonian rule by the Aryan king Cyrus the Great.
The ancient Zoroastrian religion of Iran is monotheistic and has clear affinities with Christianity and ancient Israelism. Both religions worship a singular highest God (YHWH to the Israelites, Ahura Mazda to the Zoroastrians) who reigns over his Heavenly Host. Both religions feature the motif of the primordial battle between good and evil and both religions represented their God with a winged solar disc called Faravahar by the Zoroastrians and called the Sun of righteousness in Scripture (Malachi 4.2, also featured on the seal of King Hezekia of Judah).
Given the timeline it seems highly probable that the rejuvenation of Zoroastrianism in Iran was influenced by the Scythian Israelites from whom sprang the Parthians and many of the Sassanians who both practiced Zoroastrianism.
‘Zoroastrian and Christian Parrallels’
Herodotus informs us that the Scythians regarded swine as unclean, declining to use them for sacrifice or to raise them (The Histories 4.63).
On page 46 of his work Four Old Iranian Ethnic Names Oswald Szemerenye offers the definition of “wanderer” or “vagrant nomad” for Saka stemming from the root sak- meaning “go, roam”. Thus it seems most likely that Saka is an Iranic translation of the Hebrew name Ibriy (H5680 meaning “Hebrew”) which bears the same meaning.
‘Habiru: Reavers of the Fertile Crescent’
There is no commonly accepted etymology for Scythian (Skuthes in Greek) and it seems likely that Skuthes derives from the Hebrew word sukkoth (H5523) meaning “booths” or “tents”. The Scythians lived in tents and travelled in covered wagons as they crossed the Steppe. The Scots of course were offspring of the Scythians and their ethnonym Scot (likewise without a commonly accepted etymology) is probably a well preserved variation of sukkoth.
By all classical European accounts there were no Germans or Gauls in Europe until midway through classical antiquity. The Greek records consistently give account of a generally vacant Europe north of the Danube. It remained so until the arrival of the Northern Barbarians midway through classical antiquity. Herodotus says even the barbarian Thracians (the Japhetic Thiras) would not inhabit the land beyond the Ister on account of it being “inhabited by bees” (see Joshua 24.12, Deuteronomy 7.20, Exodus 23.28), but the Greeks attributed its general vacancy to the cold.
Our ancestors were no fools, and they surely would not have sat in the frozen North of Europe for long being agrarian and pastoral people. The Gauls and Germans eagerly swept into Italy, Anatolia, Spain, North Africa and whatever other temperate Mediterranean lands they could get their hands on at the earliest opportunities available to their tribes. When they arrived in Italy Livy called them “a strange new race”.
The Scythia of earlier geographers overlapped substantially with the Germania of the Romans, and so we should not doubt that the Gauls and Germans came out of Scythia from Asia. After the Roman period a variety of tribes migrating across the Steppe took on the title of Scythian based on their occupation of greater Scythia after the genuine Scythians had settled in Central Europe. It is these tribes according to which modern anthropologists generally define what they consider Scythian linguistic and material culture. This is not strictly the group the earliest Greek writers refer to as Scythian.
As they arrived from the East the Scythians came to be known according to further tribal divisions. Scythians became known generally as Gauls/Galatae in the 5th century BC. Some scholars offer a Celtic etymology for Galatae, but there is no evidence the Galatae ever applied that name to themselves. Rather the name was applied to them by the Greeks and so the Greek word gala or “milk” seems a likely source, probably deriving from Galactophagi meaning “milk-fed”, a name sometimes used by the Greeks for the Scythians. The Romans divided from the broader Gauls the Germans. Herodotus states that germanus (meaning “genuine” in Latin) was used to denote them as the most “genuine” Gauls.
Notable Celtic and Germanic descendants who have been said to be of Scythian descent since the Celtic and Germanic people began to write their folklore in the middle ages include the Scots (Scyths), the Goths (Getae, a division of Scythians) and the Cimbri (Cimmerii). This theme is quite consistent in all Medieval European literature of a historical nature produced by the Celtic and Germanic peoples. Earlier writers such as Strabo and Plutarch indicate that the Celto-Germanic Cimbri are one and the same as the Cimmerians. Diodorus Siculus informs us that people in his own time perceived the Gauls in general to have originated with the Cimmerians.
In the cases of certain Western Barbarian tribes such as the Belgae and the Cimbri it is uncertain whether they were culturally Celtic or Germanic or something in between. Some Barbarians such as the Goths and the Bastarnae sat between Celtic or Germanic and Scythian cultures. Of course these tribes all stemmed from the same stock and these differences in language and material culture were the result of isolation from one another as well as contact and intermarriage with other Adamic tribes as they crossed the Steppe and entered into Europe.
All Biblical commentators of any repute have rightly connected the Celts and Germans to Saka and Kimmeroi. Where they err is in connecting the Kimmeroi to the Japhetic Gomer and the Saka to the Japhetic Ashkenaz. These connections are alleged solely on the basis of the vague and coincidental phonetic similarities. This is an old error going back to Flavius Josephus who first claimed the Kimmerians descended from Gomer, but Josephus was only familiar with the entry of the Israelites into the Steppe and not their exit into Europe.
In truth Kimmeroi derives from Khumri and Saka from the Iranic root sak-, but these early commentators were not aware of these names which have been revealed relatively recently through archaeology and linguistic reconstruction. Had the Kimmeroi and Saka descended from Gomer and Ashkenaz they should have appeared in historical records much earlier as the Genesis 10 Adamic nations dispersed to their various homes long before the arrival of the Saka and Khumri in historical records. Instead they arrive in history shortly after the Assyrian captivity and the deportation of the Israelites into Northern Mesopotamia and Media.
Many critics of European Ethnic Nationalism have long disputed the validity of the title of Aryan as applied to the Celto-Germanic peoples of Europe. They do so on the basis of the claim that we have no connection to those Iranic tribes historically known as Aryan. When one realizes that the Celto-Germanic tribes are offspring of the Scythians as our medieval forebears knew, it becomes clear that we truly are Aryans.
Upon their arrival in Western Europe the Gauls encountered the Iberians. While not the direct topic of this discussion suffice to say that the two tribal groups were closely related peoples and upon contact they formed alliances and intermarried. This union gave us the Gallic tribes of Iberia and signifies the reunion of Israel in the West.
‘The Israelite Origins of Europa: the Phoenicians in the West’
The goddess Astarte/Ishtar worshiped by the Israelites in Scripture was associated with fertility and sexual rites in the Near East and the Germanic goddess Eostre too is associated with fertility. Astarte is commonly identified as the Queen of Heaven in Mesopotamian texts and is also mentioned by that title in Jeremiah 7.18 where we find that the Israelite women are making special cakes for Astarte. Something the Germanic women likewise made in celebration of pagan Easter festivities.
Odin was a Germanic war god, and the Assyrians and Babylonians had a war god known as Adon. The Babylonian Adon was the god of wine and in the Norse Elder Edda we are told that Odin ate no food but wine: “The illustrious father of armies, with his own hand, fattens his two wolves; but the victorious Odin takes no other nourishment to himself than what arises from the unintermittent quaffing of wine. For ’tis with wine alone that Odin in arms renowned is nourished forever.”
As Odin had a son called Thor, so the Assyrian Adon had a son called Thouros (Cedrenus, vol. 1, p. 29). The name Thouros seems just to be another form of zoro, or doro, meaning “the seed”. So Odin’s son, Thor, is probably parallel to the Assyrian god Adon’s son Thouros. Of course the pagan Israelites of the Assyrian captivity no doubt were influenced by their captors and so we find Assyrian and Babylonian gods among the pantheons of Europe.
The Celtic god Bel is none other than the Baal of Canaan whom the Israelites worshiped and the Beltane rites reflect those devoted to Baal in ancient Canaan. Even today in some parts of the British Isles Beltane festivals continue the practice of passage through fire.
The British Islands are famous for their megaliths. Particularly cromlechs which are rings of standing stones with an altar or pillar in the centre. These are not unique to Britain and the same structures have been found at Byblos and Gylgal in Palestine.
The Irish used to call the altars Bothal, and in North-West Semitic languages they are called Bethel. They are mentioned several times in Scripture and God foretold that the dispersed Israelites would build such structures in Jeremiah 31.21.
It is commonly thought that Saxon derives from the Old English word seax meaning “knife” thought to be derived from a reconstructed proto-Indo-European root *sekH- meaning “to cut”. In Hebrew the word for knife is sakkin (Strong’s H7915) and so I think it probable that *sekH-, seax and Saxon share a root with the Hebrew word sakkin.
The names Goth and variations like Gutan, Geat and Gutar as well as Getae lack a widely agreed upon etymology and so I would propose the Hebrew word gud (H1464) meaning “to invade” or “to attack”. Gud is also the root of the name of the tribe of Gad and so perhaps the Goths named themselves according to this tribal name.
Dane (Danir in Old Norse) is thought to come from the proto-Indo-European root *dʰenh₂ meaning “to run”, “to flow” or “to set in motion” which I would propose is related to the Hebrew word din (H1777) meaning “sail, direct” which is also the root of the name of the tribe of Dan. Thus it may be that Dane and Danir mean “Danite” or “sailor”.
An astounding affinity exists between the Northwest Semitic languages and the Celtic languages. Many scholars have noted this over the years including J. Courtenay James, Karel Jongeling, E. Raymond Capt, R. Govett, Beale Poste, Dr. Davies, Dr. Duncan McDougall, Samuel Lysons, Morris Jones, Theo Vennemann, Julius Pokorny, Heinrich Wagner, and Orin Gensler, to name just a few.
Both Celtic and Semitic languages are generally verb-subject-object in their default syntax. The two groups of languages feature extensive use of prepositions inflected for person and number. In both languages prepositions can be used to express obligation or possession. Celtic and Semitic languages both make use of resumptive pronouns in relative clauses.
Both families have a definite article but no indefinite article. Both use the construct state genitive in which two nouns are placed one after the other with the first noun modifying the second. Semitic and Celtic tongues both use the word for “and” to subordinate one clause to the previous clause.
There are many proto-Germanic words with likely Hebrew cognates. This aligns with Theo Venneman’s work Germania Semitica where he demonstrates a Semitic superstratum in the Germanic languages. Here we will look at a small sampling of these cognates.
PG *bautaną (giving us English beat) meaning “to push” or “strike” from PIE *bʰewd- meaning “to hit” or “strike”. Compare to Hebrew baat (H1163) meaning “kick” from a primitive root meaning “to trample down”.
PG *ders- (giving us English dare) meaning “to be bold” or “have courage” from PIE root *dhers- meaning “bold”. Compare to Hebrew addir (H117) meaning “gallant”, “excellent” or “powerful”.
PG *beranan (giving us English bear) meaning “to bear” or “carry” from PIE root *bher- meaning “carry a burden”, “bring” or “give birth”. Compare to Hebrew abar (H5674) meaning “bring over”, “carry over” or “deliver”.
PG *leukhtam (giving us English light) meaning “light” or “brightness” from PIE root *leuk- also meaning “light” or “brightness”. Compare Hebrew lahat (H3857) meaning “flaming” from a primitive root meaning “to blaze”.
PG *grap- (giving us English grab, grasp and grapple) meaning “to grab” or “seize” from PIE *ghrebh- “to seize” or “reach”. Compare to Hebrew garaph (H1640) meaning “to sweep away” from a primitive root meaning “to bear off violently”.
PG *brennanan (giving us English burn) meaning “to set on fire” of uncertain derivation. Compare to Hebrew ba’ar (H1197) meaning likewise “burn”, “heat” or “kindle” from a primitive root meaning “set on fire”.
PG *ertho (giving us English earth) meaning “earth” or “soil” from an extended form of PIE root *er- meaning “earth” or “ground”. Compare to Hebrew erets (H776) meaning “earth” or “land”.
PG *askon (giving us English ash) meaning “ash” from PIE root *as- meaning “to burn” or “glow”. Compare to Hebrew esh (H784) meaning “burning”, “hot” or “fiery” and Hebrew ashan (H6225) from a primitive root meaning “to smoke”.
PG *buron (giving us English bore) meaning “to bore through” or “perforate” from PIE root *bhorh- meaning “hole”. Compare to Hebrew bowr (H953) meaning “pit”, “cistern” or “well”.
PG *dumbaz (giving us English dumb) meaning “dumb” or “dull” of uncertain derivation. Compare to Hebrew damah (H1820) meaning “to be brought to silence” from a primitive root meaning “to be dumb” or “silent”.
PG *brekanan (giving us English break) meaning “to break apart” from PIE root *bhreg- meaning “to break”. Compare to Hebrew perek (H6531) meaning “fracture” from an unused root meaning “to break apart”.
PG *kall- (giving us English call) meaning “to cry out” from PIE root *gal- meaning “to call” or “shout”. Compare to Hebrew qol (H6963) meaning “cry out” or “noise” from an unused root meaning “to call aloud”.
PG *bannan (giving us English ban) “to speak publicly”, “command” or “forbid” from a suffixed form of PIE root *bha- meaning “to speak”, “tell” or “say”. Compare to Hebrew bin (H995) meaning “direct” or “discern” from a primitive root meaning “inform” or “instruct”.
PG *gel- (giving us English yell) meaning “to yell” or “to resound” from PIE root *ghel- meaning “to call”. Compare to Hebrew yalal (H3213) meaning “be howling” from a primitive root meaning “to howl”.
‘The Linguistic Developments of the Shemites, Hebrews and Israelites’