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Title: Are We of Israel?
Author: Reynolds, George W. M. (George William MacArthur)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Are We of Israel?" ***

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"Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the world with





Introductory--The promises of God to Abraham and his Posterity--The
seed of Joseph in America--The Journey of the Ten Tribes
Northward--Ephraim mixed with all Nations--Testimony of Prest. Brigham


Israel a Maritime Nation--Tyre and Sidon--The Lacedemonians claim
relationship with Israel--The Ionians, Etrurians, Danes, Jutes,
etc.--The various captivities of Israel and Judah--Media.


The Land of the North--Jeremiah, Ether and Esdras' Testimonies--The
Course of the Israelites Northward--The Jordan, the Don, the Danube,
etc.--The Land of Mæsia and Dacia-The Getæ Zalmoxes.


Israel's Journey Northward--Esdras and Modern Revelation Compared-The
Testimony of Jesus to the Nephites--Ephraim to be gathered from all
Countries--The Coasts of the Earth--The Ancestors of the Latter-day


The Origin of the Anglo-Saxons--Derivation of the Word Saxon--The
Goths and Vandals--Overthrow of the Roman Empire--The Mythology of the
Ancient Scandinavians--Baldur--Their early Literature.


The Numerous Identifications Considered--Religion and Laws of the
Ancient Northern Races--Free Masonry--Language

CHAPTER VII. Salvation a Gift to all--God's Covenant with
Abraham--Proselytes--The Dispersion--Conclusion.


"Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the world with


_Introductory--The promises of God to Abraham and his Posterity--The
seed of Joseph in America--The journey of the Ten Tribes
northward--Ephraim mixed with all nations-The testimony of President
Brigham Young_.

The belief that the Latter-day Saints hold that the great majority of
their number are of the house of Israel, and heirs to the promises
made to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, like many other portions of
their faith, has received the ridicule of the unthinking and the
contempt of the ungodly. However, it is not our present intention to
answer such, but to seek to adduce evidence outside of the sure word
of modern revelation, to prove that the Latter-day Saints have good
reasons, drawn from history and analogy, for believing the words of
their Patriarchs who, in blessing them, pronounce them of the house of
Abraham and of the promised seed of Jacob.

It is unnecessary to here quote all of the many gracious promises made
by the great Father of us all to His friend Abraham, and to that
Patriarch's immediate posterity, as they are cherished by the Saints
as of more than earthly value, as pearls beyond all price, as sweet
comforters in the day of trial, and as strong towers of defense in the
hour of temptation; yet it may not be out of place to refresh our
minds by the recital of a few of the most prominent, that we may
better comprehend the ideas and statements that follow after.

It is recorded (_Genesis xvii: 4-7_) that the Lord covenanted with
Abraham, saying:

"As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a
father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called
Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations
have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will
make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will
establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in
their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee
and to thy seed after thee."

Again (_Genesis xxii: 16-18_.) Jehovah declares:

"By myself have I sworn saith the Lord, for because thou hast done
this thing, and has not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in
blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy
seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea
shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy
seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."

To Isaac and to Jacob were these glorious promises confirmed if
possible in yet stronger wording. (_Genesis xxvi: 4-10; xxviii: 14_.)
To the latter it was said:

"And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread
abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the
south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth
be blessed."

The blessing of Jacob upon his son Joseph is doubtless so familiar to
the majority of our readers, that we shall simply quote the latter

"The blessings of thy father have prevailed, above the blessings of my
progenitors, unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They
shall be upon the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him
who was separate from his brethren."

We will take but one step further in this direction. Jacob, in
blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, said: (_Gen.
xiviii: 16_.)

"Let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers, Abraham and
Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."

When Joseph reminded the aged Patriarch that his right hand was placed
on the head of the younger boy, he declared:

"I know it, my son, I know it. He (Manasseh) also shall become a
people. And he also shall be great. But truly his younger brother
shall be greater than he; and his seed shall become a multitude of

There are two points in these blessings that are very noteworthy. The
first, that the seed of these Patriarchs should become innumerable,
and grow to be a multitude of nations in the midst of the earth; the
second, that in or through this seed all the nations and families of
the earth should be blessed. With Abraham a covenant was made by the
Most High, that he should become the father of many nations, and when
we have laid aside the descendants of Ishmael--the Arabians and their
fellows, who have grown into mighty multitudes, and not even counted
the posterity of the sons of Keturah and of Abraham's other wives, yet
in the one son Isaac the promise is renewed, his seed also is to
multiply "as the stars of heaven." Once again we will divide the
posterity, and leave unnoticed the dukes of Edom and the other
descendant of Isaac's favorite son. We will speak alone of Jacob. To
him was repeated the divine promise: "Thy seed shall be as the dust of
the earth;" and again, "A nation and a company of nations shall be of
thee." Here let us pause for a moment and ask, are they whom the world
regard as the only representatives of Jacob today--the dispersed of
Judah--all that that holy man has to show as the fulfillment of so
great a promise as the one last quoted? We think not, but believe that
future research will vindicate prophecy, and prove that the promises
of the Eternal are not cut short in their complete fulfillment.

We are well aware, so great is the tendency of the races of the earth
to mix and intermingle, that the Jews, as well as many Christians,
point to their continued existence as a distinct people, as an
unanswerable argument in favor of the divinity of their scriptures and
the inspiration of their prophets. But their history, their
exclusiveness, their dispersion, etc., do not fulfill a vast number of
the prophecies uttered with regard to Israel. Yet when the history of
all Israel is written, of Ephraim as well as of Judah, we are
satisfied that no portion of God's holy word will be found to have
returned to His mouth unfulfilled, and He will be as much glorified in
the hiding up of the Ten Tribes and the mixing of Ephraim among the
nations, as in the scattering of the sons and daughters of Judah.

Jacob had one son (and he not the ancestor of the Jews), to whom these
blessings were not only renewed, but extended. To Joseph it is said
that his blessings have prevailed above the blessings of his
progenitors unto the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills, while of
Joseph's younger son it was declared, "his seed shall be a multitude
of nations." Thus we observe that with each succeeding heir to these
choice blessings the promises seem to have grown, extended and spread
out. To Abraham it was promised that he should be the father of many
nations; to Ephraim, his grandson's grandson, it was said of his seed,
his seed alone, that it should become a multitude of nations. Where is
that multitude of nations today? is a pertinent question, for God has
promised it and they must exist.

The average student of history cannot answer this question. He knows
nothing of the posterity of Ephraim; they are hidden from his sight.
But the believer in the Book of Mormon will point to its record and
declare that in the aborigines of North and South America and of many
of the Pacific isles, we find the seed of Joseph grown into a
multitude of tribes, peoples and nations. We thankfully admit this
truth, we cannot contradict it did we wish to do so. God has so
revealed it, and the external confirmatory evidences are growing
stronger and more convincing every year. Yet another pertinent
question here presents itself. We understand, from the Book of Mormon,
the Lamanites to be of the house of Manasseh; that is their great
father Lehi and his sons, the founders of the Nephite and Lamanite
races, were of that tribe. If so, his greatness does not fulfill the
promises to Ephraim, who was to be greater than he. Surely the Lord,
having so abundantly fulfilled His promise to the one brother, has not
forgotten His covenant with His "first born." But shall we be deemed
inconsistent if we say that we do not think that the whole of that
multitude of nations is found in the descendants of Lehi, of Mulek and
their companions. Is it supposable that the Lord has confined the
fulfillment of the promises to Joseph (whose blessings were to prevail
above those of his progenitors), to tribes who are today and the
majority of which have been for fifteen hundred years--or one-quarter
of this world's existence since mortals dwelt hereon--among the
wildest, the most degraded of mankind? If so, the descendants of those
to whom no promises were made have enjoyed the greater blessings.

We contend that where Israel is not under the ban of God's displeasure
through his sins and follies, he leads the world. His sons are princes
among men and the ministers of God's law to all people, indeed that in
him, according to the oft repeated promise, all the families of the
earth will be blessed. Here we may be interrupted by our readers (for
it is Latter-day Saints we are addressing) with the question if we
have forgotten the Ten Tribes hidden by Divine Providence in the far
off frozen regions of the north, and environed by a belt of snow and
ice so impenetrable that no man in modern days has reached them. No,
we have not forgotten them, and through them, we believe, as through
Lehi and others, have the promises of God to Jacob and Joseph been
partially fulfilled. But we ask further, is it altogether improbable
that in that long journey of one and a half years, as Esdras states
it, from Media, the land of their captivity to the frozen north some
of backsliding Israel rebelled, turned aside from the main body,
forgot their God, by and by mingled with the Gentiles and became the
leaven to leaven with the promised seed all the nations of the earth?
The account given in the Book of Mormon of a single family of this
same house, its waywardness, its stiffneckedness before God, its
internal quarrels and family feuds are, we fear, an example on a small
scale of what most probably happened in the vast bodies of Israelites
who for so many months wended their tedious way northward. Laman and
Lemuel had, no doubt, many counterparts in the journeying Ten Tribes.
And who so likely to rebel as stubborn, impetuous, proud and warlike
Ephraim? Rebellion and backsliding have been so characteristically the
story of Ephraim's career that we can scarcely conceive that it could
be otherwise and yet preserve the unities of that people's history.
Can it be any wonder then that so much of the blood of Ephraim has
been found hidden and unknown in the midst of the nations of northern
Europe and other parts until the spirit of prophecy revealed its
existence? But before proceeding further in our research, it may be
well to insert the words of one having authority, to the effect that
the Latter-day Saints are of Ephraim; to adduce ideas and reasons to
substantiate this statement will be our pleasure as we proceed.

President Young delivered a discourse in the Tabernacle, Salt Lake
City, April 8th, 1855, from which the following are extracts:

"The set time has come for God to gather Israel, and for his work to
commence upon the face of the whole earth, and the Elders who have
arisen in this Church and kingdom are actually of Israel. Take the
Elders who are now in this house, and you can scarcely find one out of
a hundred but what is of the house of Israel. It has been remarked
that the Gentiles have been cut off, and I doubt whether another
Gentile ever comes into this church.

"Will we go to the Gentile nations to preach the gospel? Yes, and
gather out the Israelites wherever they are mixed among the nations of
the earth. What part or portion of them? The same part or portion that
redeemed the house of Jacob and saved them from perishing with famine
in Egypt. When Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph, 'guiding his
hands wittingly,' he placed his right hand upon Ephraim, 'and he
blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and
Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads,' etc.
Joseph was about to remove the old man's hands, and bringing his right
hand upon the head of the oldest boy, saying, 'Not so, my father; for
this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.' And his
father refused, and said, 'I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall
become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger
brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a
multitude of nations.' Ephraim has become mixed with all the nations
of the earth, and it is Ephraim that is gathering together.

"It is Ephraim that I have been searching for all the days of my
preaching, and that is the blood which ran in my veins when I embraced
the gospel. If there are any of the other tribes of Israel mixed with
the Gentiles we are also searching for them. Though the Gentiles are
cut off, do not suppose that we are not going to preach the gospel
among the Gentile nations, for they are mingled with the house of
Israel, and when we send to the nations we do not seek for the
Gentiles, because they are disobedient and rebellious. We want the
blood of Jacob, and that of his father Isaac and Abraham, which runs
in the veins of the people. There is a particle of it here, and
another there, blessing the nations as predicted.

"Take a family of ten children, for instance, and you may find nine of
them purely of the Gentile stock, and one son or one daughter in that
family who is purely of the blood of Ephraim. It was in the veins of
the father or mother, and was produced in the son or daughter, while
all the rest of the family are Gentiles. You may think that is
singular, but it is true. It is the house of Israel we are after, and
we care not whether they come from the east, the west, the north or
the south; from China, Russia, England, California, North or South
America, or some other locality; and it is the very lad on whom father
Jacob laid his hands, that will save the house of Israel. The Book of
Mormon came to Ephraim, for Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite, and
the Book of Mormon was revealed to him, and, while he lived he made it
his business to search for those who believed the gospel. * * *

"You understand who we are; we are of the house of Israel, of the
royal seed, of the royal blood."


_Israel a Maritime Nation--Tyre and Sidon--The Lacedemonians Claim
Relationship with Israel-The Ionians, Etrurians, Danes, Jutes,
etc.--The various Captivities of Israel and Judah--Media_.

The idea, though not until lately widely diffused, that many of the
races inhabiting Europe are impregnated with the blood of Israel, is
by no means a new one. Many writers, in their researches into the
early history of that continent, have been forcibly struck with the
similarity that existed between the laws, manners, customs, etc., of
the ancient inhabitants of its northern and northwestern portions and
those of ancient Israel. These writers have endeavored to account for
this peculiarity in two ways. First by the supposition that
Israelitish colonies for various causes, left the land of their
inheritance and gradually worked themselves north and northwestward
over Europe; and second, by the argument that remnants or branches of
the lost Ten Tribes had emigrated from Media into Europe, and through
the ignorance of historians, disguised under other names, they had
remained unknown until the present, their habits, customs, traditions,
etc., having in the meanwhile become so greatly changed by time and
circumstance, as to render them unrecognizable at this late day.

We will take up the first of these ideas, and present a few of the
arguments advanced by those who support it. It is asserted by them
that Israel early became a maritime nation, that its location on the
Mediterranean Sea admirably adapted its people for such pursuit. By
means of the Red Sea in its rear, it also had undisturbed access to
Africa, India, and the isles beyond. As early as the days of the
Judges (say B. C. 1,300) we find that Deborah and Barak, in their song
of triumph, complain that Dan came not up to the aid of Israel in the
hour of need, but remained in his ships while his fellows were
contending with Sisera and his hosts. "Why did Dan remain in ship?"
(_Judges v: 17_) is the exact question asked. This shows that thus
early in Israel's history it had commenced to hold commercial
relations with its neighbors.[A] The tribes whose inheritances
bordered on the Mediterranean, commencing at the north, were Asher,
Manasseh, Ephraim, Dan and Simeon. Asher's inheritance lay contiguous
to the great ports of Tyre and Sidon, while Simeon's bordered on
Egypt, and contained within its confines other seaports of the
Philistines or Phœnicians, to whom, we think, profane writers have
given credit for many of the commercial ventures undertaken by the

[Footnote A: We have seen a translation of an ancient Danish history,
in which it is asserted that Angul of Issacher, a brother of Tola, who
judged Israel about 1,225 years B.C., invaded England, and was
assisted by Tola in so doing. In the name of Angul we find another
derivation of the word Angleland (England).]

It must not be supposed that these maritime tribes were the only ones
that would be found spreading abroad. The members of the various
tribes did not strictly confine themselves to the boundaries assigned
their tribe by Joshua, but they intermingled for trade, etc., and many
men of other tribes resided within the borders of Judah's inheritance,
and _vice versa_. We have a notable example of this (B. C. 600) in the
case of Lehi and Laban, who were of the seed of Joseph, yet were
residents of Jerusalem, and Nephi incidentally remarks that his
father, Lehi, had dwelt in that city "all his days." The children of
Ephraim, from their great enterprise and force of character, seem to
have early spread, not only among other tribes, but also into foreign
nations, notably to Egypt, and the anger of the Lord is repeatedly
expressed through His prophets at His people's disregard of His law in
mixing with the heathen. In Isaiah's time, Ephraim had, like a "silly
dove," mingled himself among the people to the displeasure of his God.

But it was not only for trade and commerce that Israel spread abroad;
her children were sometimes forced to foreign lands against their
will. Two hundred years before Lehi left Jerusalem, the Lord upbraided
Tyre and Sidon through Joel his servant (_Joel iii: 6_), telling them,
among other things, "The children also of Judah, and the children of
Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians" [or Gentiles], "that ye
might remove them far from their border." Here we obtain a glimpse of
the policy of these two cities; they sought to weaken Israel by
deporting her children as captives to other nations afar off, and with
true commercial instincts endeavored to make the transaction a
profitable one. And if Judah and Jerusalem, at the other end of the
land, thus suffered at the hands of Tyre and her sister city, is it
not a certainty that other tribes, living nearer, would suffer from
this same cause, and probably more severely?

We are of the opinion that this wholesale slave trade of the
Phœnicians is greatly under-estimated as a factor in the diffusion of
Israelitish blood throughout the world. So great was the number of
slaves held by these people, that at one time in their chief city, the
slaves exceeded the freemen in number, and their maritime enterprise
was such that they established colonies or depots on all the islands
of the Mediterranean Sea, in France, Spain, Italy, Britain, and
probably in Germany. The whole coast of northern Africa was studded
with their colonies, which they carried south as far as Timbuctoo and
the Niger, while by way of the Red Sea they reached eastern Africa,
Persia, India, and some suppose China; in fact, they traded with, and
established colonies all over the then known world.[B]

[Footnote B: "Although the ancient Jews were mainly an agricultural
nation the geographical position of Palestine and the contiguity of
some of the tribes of Israel to the Mediterranean Sea, induced the
Jewish people to make common cause of their friendly neighbors, the
sea faring Phoenicians. There were two causes which conduced to render
the Jews well acquainted with navigation on high seas. Many of them
were carried away as captives in their frequent, and often
unsuccessful, warfare with more powerful nations. The prisoners of war
were forced to serve on land and sea. Allusions to redeemed prisoners,
returning from the Islands of the Sea and from the "four corners of
the earth," occur in many parts of the Hebrew Scripture and the
experiences of the Jews in sea voyages are graphically depicted in the
Bible (Psalm 107). Then there were missionary voyages of the Jews for
the inculcation of monotheistic teachings. The Jewish missionaries
visited many lands across the sea, as is attested in many parts of the
prophetic writings. Allusions to a life on the ocean and to the
unpleasant experiences of sea-sickness occur in several places in the
scriptures together with magnificent representations of the wondrous
sights of mid-ocean. Such descriptions were not borrowed from alien
and pagan nations for the simple reason that the admirers of God's
marvelous work on the sea are mentioned as coming home from their
perilous expeditions and praising God's glory in the midst of their
own people. The distribution of the Jews in many sea-girt places of
the Gentiles is often mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and bears evidence
to the sea-faring habits of many Jewish families; David's conquest of
Ezeon-Gaber; the greatest sea-port in Southern Arabia, was followed by
other kings, Jewish and non-Jewish, who coveted the possession of that
harbor. The history of King Solomon's alliance with the Phoenician
King Hiram is given in the Book of Kings. The building of merchant-men
in Ezeon-Gaber and the voyages undertaken by the Jewish mariners could
not be merely legendary seeing that even in the latter days when the
Romans attacked the Jews the latter had numerous ships and seamen on
the inland seas. On this subject we find many notices in the works of
Josephus and in parts of the New Testament."--Dr. Lowry.]

It is also a remarkable fact that a few hundred years after Joel had
delivered his message of condemnation to Tyre and Sidon, that the
people of one of these Grecian states, the Lacedemonians or Spartans,
claimed relationship with Israel as children of Abraham, and had their
claim allowed, and still more remarkable in the light of poetical
justice, that these Lacedemonians were the ones used by Alexander the
Great in the destruction of Tyre, and in the fulfillment of the words
of the Lord through Joel: "Behold I will raise them out of the place
whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your
own head" (_Joel iii:7_). It would appear that the sons destroyed the
cities that had sold their fathers into captivity. The fact that these
Lacedemonians did claim kindred with Israel, is narrated both by
Josephus and the author of the First Book of Maccabees. The writers of
both histories give a synopsis of the letter sent by Oreus, king of
the Lacedemonians, to Onias, the High Priest of Israel. The two
accounts agree very closely. Josephus gives the opening clause of the
king's letter in these terms: "We have met with a certain writing
whereby we have discovered that both Jews and Lacedemonians are of one
stock, and are derived from the kindred of Abraham." In the book of
Maccabees it runs as follows: "It is found in writing that the
Spartans and Jews are brethren, and come out of the generation of
Abraham." (_I Mac. xii_.) The Jews admitted the relationship in a
letter full of sentiments of friendship and brotherhood, sent by a
special embassy to the Spartan court. This letter is given in full in
_I. Maccabees, chap. xii_. In neither history is any hint given as to
which branch of Abraham's family the records showed that the
Lacedemonians belonged, but from their rigid virtue and honesty, and
their near approach to the united order in their daily lives, it is
presumable that they had not been long separate from a people in whose
midst the law of the true God was known and observed.

It being thus admitted that the people of one Grecian state were of
the family of Abraham, students of history have endeavored to trace
Israel to other parts. The inhabitants of the Ionian commonwealth, one
of the most enterprising communities of ancient Greece, are claimed to
have been of Israelitish stock, the most weighty argument used in the
advocacy of this idea is the great similarity that existed between
their laws and customs and those of the Jews. Attention is especially
drawn to the fact that the Ionians were divided from choice, and not
from the force of circumstances or geographical position, into twelve
communities, corresponding with the twelve tribes of Israel. The same
argument is advanced regarding the Etrurians who were among the
earliest settlers in Italy, and who, tradition states, emigrated from
Tyre or its neighborhood. They also were divided into twelve
communities or states, but all under one king. Admitting that these
two nationalities were of the outcasts of Israel, there is no
difficulty in understanding how the children of Jacob spread abroad
over all the coasts of Europe and northern Africa, as they were
(especially the Ionians) renowned for enterprise at sea, the last
named being the first people among the Greeks to undertake long

More than one author has advanced the idea that the Welsh are of the
tribe of Manasseh, some vague traditions of that people being thought
to point in that direction; it has also been asserted that the Irish
are of that tribe. From this idea we differ. With greater show of
reason it has been claimed that Denmark was colonized by the tribe of
Dan (in Danish it is Danmark, or Dan's land, to this day), so,
according to this, a Dane is simply a Danite. Jutland, adjoining, is
regarded as Judah's land, Jute being considered merely another form of
the word Jew; while a little further north we find Gottland, Gothland,
or Gad's land, as these writers believe, thus tracing in immediate
proximity the homes of three prominent tribes of Israel through the
names given to the regions they settled in.

Some who, of late years, have made the subject of Israel's
"identification" their study, have gone almost to the verge of the
ridiculous in the minuteness with which they have endeavored to fix
the boundaries of the lands which, they assert, were occupied by
descendants of the different tribes. Our position is the Biblical or
prophetical one, that Ephraim has mixed himself with the nations;
theirs, that remnants of all the tribes can be localized and their
descendants determined with the same certainty as the posterity of
those races who have never in God's providences, and for the
accomplishment of His purposes, been "lost." One set of these
enquirers claim to have made the following discoveries. They have
traced the tribe of Dan to the north of Ireland and of Scotland;
Simeon to Wales; Naphtali, as Jutes, to Kent; Gad and Asher, as Angles
and South Angles, to Mercia and East Anglia in England; Ephraim to
Northumberland and as far north as Edinburgh; Manasseh to the north of
England; Reuben as East Saxons, to Essex; Zebulon, as West Saxons, to
Wessex; Issacher, as South Saxons, to Sussex; all these last named
places being in England.

There is another cause that many believe led to the migration of
certain families of Israel and Judah. Before the final captivity of
either kingdom was brought about there were several partial
deportations of the people to Assyria and Babylon, or local
captivities. Assyria commenced by carrying off the inhabitants nearest
her dominions and gradually extended her incursions. The captivity of
Judah was still later. In the interval, it is argued, that many
Israelites, believing in the words of the prophets and seeing the
evils that were coming upon them, migrated to Egypt, Greece, or other
convenient lands; some, doubtless, led, as were Lehi and the son of
Zedekiah, by the revelation and commandment of God, others simply
following the inclinations of their own feelings.

As abundant proof that many were led by God from the land of promise
before the days of the captivity we have the words of Nephi:

"For it appears that the house of Israel, sooner or later, will be
scattered upon all the face of the earth, and also among all nations,
and behold there are many who are already lost from the knowledge of
those who are at Jerusalem. Yea, the more part of all the tribes have
been led away; and they are scattered to and fro upon the isles of the
sea; and whither they are, none of us knoweth, save that we know that
they have been led away. And since they have been led away, these
things have been prophesied concerning them, and also concerning all
those who shall hereafter be scattered and be confounded."

Also the testimony of his brother Jacob:

"And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given
us so great knowledge, concerning these things, let us remember Him,
and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not
cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our
inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has
made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea. But great
are the promises of the Lord unto they who are upon the isles of the
sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this,
and they are inhabited also by our brethren. For behold, the Lord God
has led away from time to time from the house of Israel, according to
His will and pleasure. And now behold, the Lord remembereth all they
who have been broken off, wherefore He remembereth us also."

That we may better understand the various partial and subsequent
general captivities of Israel and Judah, the following short statement
thereof is here inserted. The dates given are those of the commonly
accepted chronology:

Pul, or Sardanapalus, imposed a tribute on Menahen, king of Israel,
about 770 B. C.

Tiglath Pileser carried away the tribes living east of the Jordan and
in Galilee, B. C. 740.

Shalamaneser twice invaded the kingdom of Israel, took Samaria, after
three years' siege, and carried the people captive to Assyria B. C.

Sennacherib (B. C. 713) is stated to have carried 200,000 captives
into Assyria from the Jewish cities that he captured.

Nebuchadnezzar, in the first half of his reign (B. C. 605-562),
repeatedly invaded Judea, besieged Jerusalem and carried its
inhabitants to Babylon.

The next question that presents itself is, to what portion of the land
of Assyria were the Israelitish captives taken. Scripture has not left
us in the dark on this point. Both the book of Chronicles (_I Chron.
v: 26_) and the book of Kings (_II Kings xxvii: 6_) give us the needed
information. In the latter book it is stated (and the statement in the
book of Chronicles is almost identical therewith), that the king of
Assyria "carried Israel away captive into Assyria, and placed them in
Halah, and in Harbor, by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the

Media, the land of the Medes, lay to the north of Assyria proper,
embracing the country lying on the southern border of the Caspian Sea,
as far west as the River Araxes. The exact location of Halah and
Harbor has long since been lost sight of and the only river that
to-day, in name, bears any affinity to the Gozan is the Kuzal Ozan,
which empties into the Caspian Sea to the south-east of the Araxes.


_The Land of the North--Jeremiah, Ether and Esdras' Testimonies-The
course of the Israelites Northward--The Jordan, the Don, the Danube,
etc.--The Land of Mæsia and Dacia--The Cetae--Zalmoxes_.

Having traced the Ten Tribes to Media, the next question is, what has
become of them, for they are not to be found in that land today. Many
attempts have, at various times, been made to discover the Ten Tribes
of Israel as a distinct community, but all have failed. Josephus
(_Antiquities xi_) believed that in his day they dwelt in large
multitudes somewhere beyond the Euphrates, in Asareth, but Asareth was
an unknown land to him. Rabbinical traditions and fables, committed to
writing in the middle ages, assert the same fact, with many wonderful
amplifications. The imaginations of certain Christian writers have
sought them in the neighborhood of their last recorded habitation.
Jewish features have been traced in the Affghan tribes; statements are
made occasionally of Jewish colonies in China, Thibet and Hindostan
(the Beni-Israel), while the Black Jews, of Malabar, claim affinity
with Israel. But none of these people would, in any but the slightest
degree, fill the place accorded in the prophecies to Ephraim and his

The fact that James the Apostle opens his epistle with the following
words, has been adduced as an argument that the condition of the Ten
Tribes was known to the early Christians: "James, a servant of God and
of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes who are scattered
abroad, greeting." But it would rather convey the idea to our mind
that the epistle was addressed to those of the houses of Israel and
Judah, who, for the various reasons before cited, and which by that
time had multiplied, had wandered into Egypt, Greece, Rome and other
parts of the earth, and not to those whom God had hidden to fulfill
more completely His promises to the Patriarchs.

We have before stated that the Latter-day Saints believe that the Ten
Tribes still exist, and that their home is in the far north. That they
still exist is absolutely necessary to fulfill the unfailing promises
of Jehovah to Israel, and to all mankind. The presence of the remnants
of Judah, in every land today, is an uncontrovertable testimony that
the covenant made with Abraham has not been abrogated or annulled. The
vitality of the Jewish race is proverbial, and can we reasonably
expect that when one branch of a tree shows such native strength, that
the other branches will not be proportionately vital? Is it not more
consistent to believe that, as the Jewish race under the curse of the
Almighty and suffering centuries of persecution, still survives, so is
it with the rest of Jacob's seed, rather than that they, ages ago,
were blotted out of earthly existence?

The belief that the Latter-day Saints hold that these tribes are
residents of the northern regions of the earth, is sustained by a
cloud of scriptural witnesses of _ancient_ and _modern_ days, to whom
we now appeal. Our first witness shall be the Prophet Jeremiah. In the
third chapter of his prophecies we find the Lord rebuking both Israel
and Judah for their treachery and backsliding, yet still proclaiming
His long-suffering and mercy to His covenant people. He then gives
command to the Prophet, saying:

"Go and proclaim these words towards the north, and say, return thou,
backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, and' I will not cause mine anger
to fall upon you; for I am merciful saith the Lord and I will not keep
anger forever. * * * In those days [the latter days] the house of
Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come
together _out of the land of the north_ to this land that I have given
for an inheritance to your fathers."

Again, in speaking of the mighty works accompanying the final glorious
restoration of the house of Jacob, the same prophet declares:

"Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no
more say, the Lord liveth which brought up the children of Israel out
of the land of Egypt, but the Lord liveth which brought up and which
led the seed of the house of Israel out of the _north country_, and
from all countries whither I had driven them, and they shall dwell in
their own land." (_Jeremiah xxiii_). Again it is written (_Jeremiah
xxxi_): "For thus saith the Lord, Sing with gladness for Jacob, and
shout among the chief of the nations; publish ye, praise ye, and say,
O, Lord save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold I will bring
them from the north country and gather them from the coasts of the
earth * * * I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first born.

We will turn for a moment from the Asiatic to the American continent.
There we find Ether, the Jaredite, about 600 years B. C., prophesying
of the latter days: "And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and
the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed
in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and
gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the _north
countries_ and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which
God made with their father Abraham."

But the most definite word on this subject given by any of the ancient
writers of the Asiatic continent is contained in Esdras, a book of the
Apocrypha (_II Esdras xiii_). Therein is given a dream and its
interpretation showing forth the works and the power of the Son of
God. It is to Him and His gathering of the people together that the
Prophet refers. The verses more particularly bearing on our subject
read as follows:

39. "And whereas thou sawest that He gathered another peaceable people
unto Him. 40. "Those are the Ten Tribes which were carried away
captives out of their own land in the time of Oseas the king whom
Salmanaser the king of the Assyrians took captive, and crossed them
beyond the river; so were they brought into another land. 41. "But
they took this counsel to themselves, that they would leave the
multitude of the heathen, and go forth unto a further country where
never man dwelt, 42. "That they might there keep their statutes which
they never kept in their own land. 43. "And they entered in at the
narrow passages of the River Euphrates. 44. "For the Most High then
showed them signs, and stayed the springs of the flood till they were
passed over. 45. "For through the country there was great journey,
even of a year and a half, and the same region is called Arsareth (or
Ararath). 46. "Then dwelt they there until the latter time, and when
they come forth again, 47. "The Most High shall hold still the springs
of the river again that they may go through; therefore sawest thou the
multitude peaceable."

The statements of Esdras throw considerable light upon the reasons why
the captives in Media preferred not to return to their ancient home in
Canaan; supposing always that that privilege had been accorded to them
as well as to the captives of the house of Judah. In their home of
promise they had seldom kept the counsels and commandments of God and
if they returned it was probable they would not do any better,
especially as the Assyrians had filled their land with heathen
colonists whose influence would not assist them to carry out their new
resolutions. Hence they determined to go to a country "where never man
dwelt," that they might be free from all contaminating influences.
That country could only be found in the north. Southern Asia was
already the seat of a comparatively ancient civilization. Egypt
flourished in Northern Africa and Southern Europe was rapidly filling
with the future rulers of the world. They had, therefore, no choice
but to turn their faces northward. The first portion of their journey
was not however north; according to the account of Esdras, they appear
to have at first moved in the direction of their old homes, and it is
possible that they originally started with the intention of returning
thereto, or probably in order to deceive the Assyrians they started as
if to return to Canaan, and when they had crossed the Euphrates, and
were out of danger from the hosts of the Medes and Persians, then they
turned their journeying feet toward the polar star. Esdras states that
they entered in at the narrow passage of the river Euphrates, the Lord
staying the "springs of the flood until they were passed over." The
point on the River Euphrates at which they crossed would necessarily
be in its upper portion, as lower down would be too far south for
their purpose.

The upper course of the Euphrates lies among lofty mountains and near
the village of Pastash, it plunges through a gorge formed by
precipices more than a thousand feet in height and so narrow that it
is bridged at the top; it shortly afterwards enters the plains of
Mesopotamia. How accurately this portion of the river answers the
description of Esdras of the "narrows," where the Israelites crossed!

From the Euphrates the wandering host could take but one course in
their journey northward, and that was along the back or eastern shore
of the Black Sea. All other roads were impassable to them, as the
Caucassian range of mountains with only two or three passes throughout
its whole extent, ran as a lofty barrier from the Black to the Caspian
Sea. To go east would take them back to Media, and a westward journey
would carry them through Asia Minor to the coasts of the
Mediterranean. Skirting along the Black Sea, they would pass the
Caucassian range, cross the Kuban River, be prevented by the Sea of
Azof from turning westward and would soon reach the present home of
the Don Cossacks. It is asserted, on good authority, that along this
route and for "an immense distance" northward, the country is full of
tombs of great antiquity, the construction of which, the way in which
the dead are buried therein, and the jewelry, curiosities, etc., found
on opening them, prove that they were built by a people of similar
habits to the Israelites. Dr. Clark, a well-known traveler, states
that he counted more than ninety such mounds at one view near the
Kuban River.

We will here digress, and give some of the ideas of a writer on the
Israelitish origin of the nations of modern Europe (Mr. J. Wilson),
though in our own words. He endeavors to prove that Israel traveled
north-westward from the neighborhood last spoken of, and claims that
the names of all the principal rivers, in the regions round about,
show that colonists from the Holy Land gave them. The Jordan was
distinctively the River of Canaan as the Nile was of Egypt. The word
Jordan is by some claimed to mean flowing, by others the River of
Eden. There was also the Dedan or Dan (el Leddan) flowing into it;
which would lead to the supposition that the word Dan had some
connection with Israelitish rivers not now understood. Suffice it, the
exiles doubtless carried with them many hallowed recollections of
their ancient river, which it was but natural they should seek to
perpetuate as they journeyed farther and farther from its waters and
from their long-cherished home. As a result we find in south-eastern
Europe the Don, the Daniz or Donitz, the Daneiper and Daniester (now
contracted to Dneiper and Dniester) and the Danube. The conclusions of
the writer already referred to are that Israel gradually drifted
westward to the region known to secular history as Mœsia and Dacia,
the one north and the other south of the Danube, and called by modern
English speaking people, Roumania and Bulgaria. To further strengthen
his theory he claims that Mœsia means the land of Moses, and Dacia the
land of David (after Israel's shepherd king), and that the people of
the latter kingdom were called the Davi. In this country dwelt also
the Getæ (a Latinized form of Gad) who, some historians assert, were
the forefathers of the Goths, of whom we shall speak again hereafter.
The historian Herodotus, in recounting the conquest of his people by
Darius states, that the Getæ "believed themselves to be immortal; and
whenever one dies, they believe that he is removed to the presence of
their god Zamoxis (Zalmoxis) * * * and they sincerely believe that
there is no other deity." He also states that this god left them the
institutions of their religion in books. Mr. Wilson directs attention
to this idea of only one God, so different to the Pantheism of the
surrounding peoples, and that of man's immortality as tending to prove
the Israelitish origin of the Gatæ, particularly as in analyzing the
word Zalmoxis he finds it to be composed of Za, el, Moses. If his
facts be correct, his conclusions are warranted, but of his facts we
express no opinion.


_Israel's Journey Northward--Esdras and Modern Revelation
Compared--The Testimony of Jesus to the Nephites--Ephraim to be
Gathered from all Countries--The Coasts of the Earth--The Ancestors of
the Latter-day Saints_.

Having considered the causes that led the outcasts of Israel to
determine to seek a home in a new and uninhabited land, we may be
excused if we endeavor to follow them in fancy in their journey
northward. We have no way of accurately estimating their numbers, but
if the posterity of all those who were carried into captivity started
on this perilous journey, they must have formed a mighty host.
Necessarily they moved slowly. They were encumbered with the aged and
infirm, the young and the helpless, with flocks and herds, and weighed
down with provisions and household utensils. Roads had to be made,
bridges built, and the course marked out and decided by their
leaders.[A] Inasmuch as they had turned to the Lord and were seeking a
new home wherein they could the better serve Him, they were doubtless
guided by inspired leaders, who, by Urim and Thummim, or through
dreams and visions, pointed out the paths ahead. Perhaps, as in the
days of the deliverance from Egypt, a pillar of cloud by day and of
fire by night guided their footsteps; no matter the means, the end was
accomplished, and slowly and gradually they neared the frozen regions
of the Arctic zone. The distance in a direct line from the conjectured
crossing of the Euphrates to the coasts of the Arctic Ocean, would be
about 2,800 miles, or a seven months' journey, averaging fifteen miles
a day. But according to Esdras, one year and a half was consumed in
the journey, which is an evidence that they were encumbered with
families and cattle, who could only travel slowly and for whom many
resting places had to be found where they could recuperate. It is
highly probable that, like modern Israel in its journey westward to
the valleys of Ephraim, they planted temporary colonies by the way.
Where the weary rested and crops were raised for future use.

The length of the journey had its advantages as well as its drawbacks.
The slow rate at which they traveled enabled them to become
acclimatized to the rigors of the frigid zone. We must recollect that
we are dealing with a people cradled in the burning sands of Egypt,
and who, for many generations, had dwelt in one of the most balmy and
genial climates on this globe. Their temporary sojourn in the bleaker
regions near the Caspian Sea had partially prepared them for that
which was to come, but it required time to give them the capability to
endure the rigors of a northern climate, as they were, by ancestry and
location, distinctively children of the sunny south.

[Footnote A: Jesus distinctly states to the Nephites, that these
tribes were led "by the Father out of the land."]

No doubt, as the hosts of Israel advanced, the change in the climate,
the difference in the length of the days and nights, the altered
appearance of the face of the country, and the newness, to them, of
many of its animal and vegetable productions, struck them with
amazement, perhaps with terror, causing some of the weak-kneed to
falter and tarry by the way. These defections probably increased as
the changes became more apparent and the toils of the journey grew
more severe. But what must have been their sensations when they came
in view of the limitless Arctic Ocean, if the climatic conditions were
the same as those which exist today; of which, however, there is
perhaps some reason to doubt. No matter whether they drew nigh unto it
in winter or in summer, the prospect must have been appalling to the
bravest heart not sustained by the strongest and most undeviating
faith in the promises of Jehovah. Supposing they reached the northern
confines of the European continent in summer, they were in a land
where the snow is almost perpetual, and scarcely else but mosses grow.
Before them was a troubled ocean of unknown width, every step they
advanced took them further north into greater extremes of cold. Well
might they question, if so little is here produced for the food of man
and beast, how will it be yet further northward? Must we perish of
hunger? If, on the other hand, they approach the frozen shores of this
unexplored waste of waters in the gloom of the long night of an Arctic
winter, with the intense cold freezing to their very blood, their
feelings of dread must have been yet more intense. No wonder if some
turned aside, declared they would go no further, and gradually
wandered back through northern Europe to more congenial climes. Again
it may be asked, how did this unnumbered host cross this frigid ocean
to their present hiding place? On this point both history and
revelation are silent. The Arctic Ocean was no narrow neck of the
great waters like the Red Sea, with the mountains of the opposite
shore full in view. No, it spread out before them eternally--north,
east and west, with no inviting shore in sight beyond. Yet despite all
this, they did cross it, but how, we know not--perhaps on the ice of
winter, perhaps the Lord threw up a highway or divided the waters as
he did aforetime, that they passed through dry shod. But we must abide
His time, when this and other secrets of their history shall be

Since penning the foregoing ideas, we have been informed that certain
ancient Scandinavian legends entirely agree with our theory. We
understand that these legends state that the Ten Tribes, in their
journey northward, erected at various points, on prominent mountain
heights and such like, monuments or heaps of stones, so that if they
determined to return they might have some guides on the road back to
the Euphrates. These same traditions state that colonies of the very
young and infirm, as well as of the wayward and rebellious, were left
by the wayside, and from these colonies the fathers of the Norsemen
sprang. These legends, in time became crystalized, and make their
appearance as verities in the traditional histories of the nations of
northern Europe.

Esdras says that he was shown that they abode in this north country
until the latter time, when they were to come forth again, a great
multitude, to add to the glory of Messiah's kingdom. This statement
agrees with the word of modern revelation to which we now draw

More than half a century ago the Lord, through Joseph Smith, in
speaking of the lost Ten Tribes, says: (Doc. and Cov., Revelation
called the Appendix). "They who are in the north countries shall come
in remembrance before the Lord, and their prophets shall hear His
voice, and shall no longer stay themselves, and they shall smite the
rocks and the ice shall flow down at their presence. And an highway
shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep.[B] Their enemies
shall become a prey unto them, and in the barren deserts there shall
come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no
longer be a thirsty land. And they shall bring forth their rich
treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants. And the
boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.
And they shall fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by
the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim."

[Footnote B: Query-The Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans.]

It is very evident from the above quotation that Ephraim, or at least
a large portion of that tribe, had at some period of his history,
separated from the rest of the tribes of Israel, and at the time of
this restitution was to dwell in a land far from the north country in
which the residue were hidden. These tribes are to have the frozen
barriers of the north melted, so that the ice shall flow down, then a
highway is to be cast up for them, in the midst of the great deep,
next they cross barren deserts and a thirsty land and eventually
arrive with their rich treasures at the home of Ephraim, the first
born of God of the house of Israel, to be crowned with glory at his

We must now draw the attention of our readers to certain extracts from
the Book of Mormon, which show that at the time of our Savior's visit
to this continent, Ephraim and the Ten Tribes dwelt neither on this
land nor on the land of Jerusalem. Jesus says: "Verily, verily, I say
unto you, I have other sheep which are not of this land nor in the
land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land, round about
whither I have been to minister. But they of whom I speak have not as
yet heard my voice, neither have I at any time manifested myself unto
them; but I have received a commandment of the Father that I should go
unto them and they shall be numbered among my sheep, and there shall
be one fold and one shepherd, therefore I go to show myself unto them.
And I command you that ye shall write these sayings, after I am gone,
that if it be so that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me,
and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name that
they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the
other tribes that they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall
write shall be kept, and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that
through the fullness of the Gentiles the remnant of their seed who
shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth, because of their
unbelief, may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer. And
then will I gather them in from the four quarters of the earth; and
then will I fulfill the covenant which the Father hath made unto all
the people of the house of Israel." (III. Nephi, chap. xvi.)

The statement of Jesus above cited, that the Ten Tribes did not dwell
in the land of Jerusalem _either in any parts of that land round
about_, effectually disposes of the theory of Josephus and others,
that they dwelt near the river Euphrates. The reason why the Jews had
lost sight of their brethren of the house of Israel is explained by
Jesus in the same chapter of the Book of Mormon as that from which the
above quotation is taken. He states: "The other tribes hath the Father
separated from them [the Jews]; and it is because of their iniquity
that they knew not of them."

Some have imagined that it was unscriptural to look for Israel except
in three places: The scattered Jews in all the world, the Lamanites on
this continent, and the Ten Tribes in Azareth. But we claim that we
have abundant reason from scripture to expect to find the seed of
Joseph as well as that of Judah in every nation under heaven. The
prophecies recorded in the Old Testament expressly state that Israel,
especially Ephraim, was to be scattered among all people.

How completely they were to be scattered is shown by the following

Hosea (xiii: 3) in rebuking Ephraim's idolatry in the name of the
Lord, says:

"Therefore they shall be as the morning cloud and as the early dew
that passeth away, as the chaff that is driven by the whirlwind out of
the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney."

Amos (ix: 8, 9) states:

"Behold the eyes of the Lord are upon the sinful kingdom [of Israel],
and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I
will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the Lord. For, lo,
I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations,
like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall
upon the earth."

Could any scattering be more complete?

We are directly told that the Lord will bring His sons (Ephraim still
being His first-born) from afar and His daughters from the ends of the
earth. It is further said that He will gather His Israel--not from the
north alone--but from the north and from the south, from the east and
from the west, and bring them to Zion; and that He (the Lord) will
gather them from all countries (not America nor the polar regions
only, but all countries) in which He had scattered them; among other
places from the coasts of the earth. How apt a description is this
last sentence of the lands from which the great bulk of modern Israel
have been gathered. From the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, from the
coasts of the North and Baltic Seas, they have come to Zion by tens of

President Brigham Young stated in the discourse quoted in a previous
chapter, that ninety-nine out of every hundred of the Elders of the
Church of Jesus Christ were of the blood of Israel. The people whom he
was addressing were men of various nationalities, but by far the
greater portion of them were descendants of those races that in the
fourth and succeeding centuries of the Christian era swarmed in
myriads out of that mother of nations, Scandinavia, and filled central
and western Europe with a new civilization; the people, in fact, who
overthrew the great Roman empire and laid the foundation of the
majority of the nations of modern Europe. It was to the descendants of
the Goths, the Danes, the Jutes, the Angles, the Saxons, the Normans,
the Franks, that he was talking, and in our next chapter we shall
bring forward some of the historical arguments used by Gentile writers
to prove the Israelitish descent of these races, more particularly of
that dominant one known today as the Anglo-Saxon. We do not this
because we think the word of God's servants requires proving by
Gentile evidence, but because it is a satisfaction to many minds, not
only to know that a thing is so, but to be able to give a reason, or
advance an argument to demonstrate _why_ it is so.


_The Origin of the Anglo-Saxons--Derivation of the Word Saxon--The
Goths and Vandals--Overthrow of the Roman Empire--The Mythology of the
Ancient Scandinavians--Baldur--Their Early Literature_.

As the question, "What became of the Ten Tribes?" still remains to the
world an unanswered historical enigma, so also is the question
unanswered, "Whence originated the vast hosts of so-called barbarians
who, descending from the frigid regions of Scandinavia, filled Europe
with new races, new laws, new ideas, new languages and new
institutions?" Some have traced a connection between the loss of the
one people and the advent of the other, and one author of repute--Mr.
Sharon Turner--extensively quoted in this connection, claims that the
original home of the Anglo-Saxons was in the very country where Israel
is historically lost, and further states that these people commenced
their migration therefrom about the same time as the tribes of Jacob
must have taken their journey northward.

Mr. Turner, in his valuable history of the Anglo-Saxons, while
discussing the Teutonic descent of many of the nations of modern
Europe, says:

"It is peculiarly interesting to us, because, from its branches, not
only our own immediate ancestors, but also those of the most
celebrated nations of modern Europe have unquestionably descended. The
Anglo-Saxons, Lowland Scotch, Normans, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes,
Germans, Dutch, Belgians, Lombards and Franks have all sprung from
that great fountain of the human race, which we have distinguished by
the terms, Scythian, German or Gothic. The first appearance of the
Scythian tribes in Europe, may be placed, according to Strabo and
Homer, about the eighth, or according to Herodotus, in the seventh
century before the Christian era. The first scenes of their civil
existence, and of their progressive power were in Asia to the east of
the Araxes. Here they multiplied and extended their territorial limits
for some centuries, unknown to Europe." With regard to the Saxons, Mr.
Turner writes, "They were a German or Teutonic, that is a Gothic or
Scythian tribe; and of the various Scythian nations which have been
recorded, the Sakai or Sacae are the people from whom the descent of
the Saxons may be inferred, with the least violation of probability.
They were so celebrated that the Persians called all the Scythians by
the name of Sacae. * * * That some of the divisions of this people
were really called Sakasuna (from which we have our word Saxon or
Sacson) is obvious from Pliny; for he says that the Sakai who settled
in Armenia were named Sacassani which is Saka-suna, spelt by a person
who was unacquainted with the meaning of the combined words; and the
name Sacasina, which they gave to that part of Armenia they occupied,
is nearly the same sound as Saxonia. It is also important to remark,
that Ptolemy mentions a Scythian people sprung from the Sakai, who
resided near the Baltic Sea, by the name of Saxones."

Mr. Turner was not advocating the Israelitish ancestry of the Saxons,
hence those who believe in that theory put the greater stress on his
two most important statements: that the forefathers of this race dwelt
in the region east of the Araxes, the exact spot to which Israel was
carried captive, and that they began to spread out therefrom some six
or seven hundred years before Christ, answering to the very period
that the children of Jacob dwelt captives in that country. One author
has assumed a very unique derivation for the word Saxon. He says: "We
suppose it is derived from Isaac, by which, we find from Amos, this
house of Israel had begun to denominate itself, just before the
captivity. It was usual to contract the commencement of the name,
especially when they combined it with any other word, or when it came
to be familiarly applied. Saxon is, literally or fully expressed, the
son of Isaac." Just as Dickson in modern English was abbreviated to
Dixon.[A] Such abbreviations, we may remark in passing, in familiar
talk are also common with our neighbors, the Shoshones, also a remnant
of the seed of Jacob, One writer on this portion of the subject sees
in this explanation of the word Saxon a fulfillment of the promise
made to our father Abraham, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called," and
goes as far as to advance the argument that Cossack is another
expression of this same idea, or that a Don Cossack is literally and
truly a son of Isaac, of the tribe of Dan.

[Footnote A: It is claimed by some that the word Brahmin is an
abbreviation of Abraham in fact that the god Brahma is the patriarch
himself deified.]

The ferocity of the northern races, who overthrew the Roman empire, is
thought by some to argue against their Israelitish origin. But we must
recollect that the pictures of the Goths and Vandals, which have been
handed down to us, were painted by their enemies. Nor would the
argument, however true, have any weight with us were the rest proven.
If they were of Israel they had been wandering, fighting and
colonizing for a thousand years since they left Palestine before they
overwhelmed Rome. And as far as ferocity is concerned they cannot
equal the seed of Joseph on this continent, who but three hundred
years after the fullness of the gospel was proclaimed to their fathers
by the crucified Redeemer, committed atrocities that no Goth or Vandal
ever exceeded. A very pretty theory has been advocated in connection
with this portion of their history, to the effect that as the Roman
empire was used by the Lord to destroy the house of Judah and slay
millions of that devoted race, so the Lord chose a portion of the
house of Israel (unknown to both themselves and their enemies) to
destroy the Gentile rulers of the world who had slain and scattered
their brother's house.

The mythology of the northern races of Europe may also be noticed in
connection with these inquiries. Those learned in the mythologies of
ancient Rome and Greece say that it bears no likeness to them: its
peculiarities would rather tend to the idea that it was of Persian
origin (British Encyclopaedia). Some of the early Christian fathers
fancied they discovered a great resemblance between one of their
deities, named Baldur or Balder, and our Savior.[B] This god is
represented as the son of Odin and Frigga, youthful, beautiful and
benignant, the dispenser of kindness, the bringer of joy and
blessings, who loves to dwell with men, and whom all men love. But he
is killed by the wicked. (The manner of his death is surrounded with
mythological nonsense.) All men mourn the loss of their friend, and
search through the world for some remedy to bring him to life; but in
vain; stern death has taken him away to the realms of the dead, and he
cannot come back. His wife Nanna, that she may not be separated from
him, has gone to dwell with him there. At last Frigga, his mother,
sends a messenger to obtain his release. He leaps the gate of the
gloomy world, sees Baldur, and speaks with him, but no, Baldur cannot
be released, here he must remain, and his wife Nanna must dwell with
him forever.

[Footnote B: "The early Saxons." American S. S. Union, Philadelphia.]

From some of the details not here inserted, we incline somewhat to the
opinion that the above narration is a confused tradition of the way
death was brought into the world through the transgression of Adam and
Eve, rather than that it bears relation to the life of the Savior.

We draw attention to the way Baldur's death was brought about. The
tradition runs (American Cyclopædia), Baldur having long been troubled
by dreams and evil omens, indicating danger to his life, his mother
traveled through the whole universe, eliciting from every created
thing a promise not to injure the god. But she neglected to ask it
from the apparently harmless mistletoe. Loki, the most deceitful among
the gods, an enemy of Baldur, noticed this omission, and cut from the
mistletoe a piece for the point of a dart. The other gods, surrounding
Baldur, made proof of his invulnerability in sport, by casting at him
their weapons, with stones, etc.; but nothing injured him. Loki
approached and induced the blind god Hodur to throw the dart he had
made from the forgotten mistletoe. Baldur was pierced by it and
killed. In this tradition Loki takes the place of Satan, Hodur
typifies the serpent, and the mistletoe the tree of knowledge of good
and evil. It is also noticeable that they represent, in this
tradition, that man could do nothing, of himself, to overcome the
power of death.

The very earliest literature of the Scandinavian people, preserved on
the island of Iceland, adds many testimonies to the Scandinavians'
Israelitish origin. On this point, the Encyclopaedia Britannica says:
"On entering on these ancient books, we are immediately struck with
the corroborative evidence which they furnish of the eastern origin of
the Goths, the fathers of the Scandinavians. As all languages, so all
mythologies run in lines, which converge in one common center, * * *
Central Asia. And little as we might expect it, no sooner do we open
the ancient religious books of Scandinavia than we are carried back
thither. Our northern people are a people of eastern origin. Odin [C]
and his Asar, are Asiatics, declare themselves to be from the great
Svithiod, a country which appears to have been the present Circassia,
lying between the Black and Caspian Seas. The whole of their memoirs
abounded with the proofs of it. They brought with them abundant
eastern customs, those of burning the dead, and burying under mounds.
They practiced polygamy, looked back with imperishable affection to
the great Svithiod, to the primitive district of Asgord and the city
of Gudahem, or the home of the gods. They transferred a religion
bearing the primal features of those of Persia, India and Greece, to
the snowy mountains of Scandinavia." In reading the above we were
strongly impressed with the geographical idea there expressed. Without
any great stretch of the imagination we could easily consider the
traditions regarding the great Svithiod, to refer to Media, the
primitive district of Asgord, to be the dim remembrance of their first
home in the land of promise, and Gudahem, the home of the gods, to be
Jerusalem, the city of the great King. The parallel we consider to be
very significant.

[Footnote C: Rev. A. B. Grimaldi, M. A., states; "The Saxon kings
traced themselves back to Odin, who was traced back in his descent
from David, as may be seen in a very ancient MSS. in the Herald's
College, London, and in Sharon Turner."]


_The Numerous Identifications Considered--Religion and Laws of the
Ancient Northern Races--Free Masonry--Language_.

It would be almost impossible to enumerate the multitude of likenesses
that have been found, by authors predisposed in that direction,
between the habits, manners, customs, personal appearance, etc., of
the Israelites and the Anglo-Saxons. To give even a cursory glance at
these "identifications" would occupy more space than we feel would be
desirable. We will simply mention a few that have been advanced by
various writers, and then proceed to a short consideration of their
laws; it may be observed, however, that some of their identifications
are very remarkable, while others, in our opinion, are puerile, and
would be advanced by none but zealots. Great similarity has been
claimed between the form of the Jewish and Saxon heads, and the great
beauty of both races has been advanced as a proof of common ancestry.
The style of dress of the early northern European nations has also
been claimed to be distinctively Israelitish. The care with which both
people kept their records or chronicles has also been largely
commented upon. One author claims connection between the two in the
manner that they mustered their forces in battle, and their love of
distinctive or tribal banners, giving rise in Europe to the system of
heraldry and the development of chivalry. Their division of the people
into tithings, hundreds and thousands, has been a strong argument in
favor of the Saxon's Jewish descent. The three great yearly
convocations of the people are also said to have taken place on the
same dates as the three great feasts of the Jews. The Saxons' marriage
ceremonies, their respect for women, and the great misfortune which
the latter esteemed it to be without children, are also adverted to as
links in the chain of evidence. One author (Mr. Ed. Hine) pursues a
different line of argument and makes the history of the English
nation, its constitution, laws, insular position, etc., fulfill the
varied prophecies of the ancient servants of God with regard to the
Ten Tribes. To our mind, however, these fulfillments of ancient
prophecy are often strained and frequently untenable.

In the religion of the ancient Scandinavians, terrible and
bloodthirsty as were many of its rites, students have found striking
analogies to the religion of ancient Israel, so much so that it is
considered one of the strongest proofs of the ancestry of this people
in Jacob. And it is claimed that the further we trace the matter back
through the centuries, the greater does the likeness become. Least we
shall be considered as straining this point we will quote the language
of another: "They (the Anglo-Saxons and their brethren of the north of
Europe) are described as having been acquainted with the great
doctrine of one supreme Deity, the Author of everything that existeth;
the eternal, the living, the ancient, the living and awful Being; the
searcher into concealed things; the Being that never changeth; who
liveth and governeth during the ages; directeth everything that is
high, and everything that is low; of this glorious Being they had
anciently esteemed it impious to make any visible representation, or
to imagine it possible that he could be confined within the walls of a
temple. These great truths, the same as we know were taught to Israel,
had in a great measure become lost or obscured before the people's
coming into Britain. But this very obscuration itself, speaks of their
origin; it having chiefly taken place, it is said, in consequence of
their receiving a mighty conqueror from the east as their god in human
nature, correspondent to the expectation of Israel with regard to the
Messiah. This supposed god incarnate is thought to have presented
himself among these people about the same time as the true Messiah
appeared among the Jews." (Is it probable that tidings of Jesus' visit
to the Ten Tribes could have been conveyed to them or have reached
them in a vague or adulterated form?) "The name of this pretender was
Odin or Woden, and he was esteemed the great dispenser of happiness to
his followers, as well as fury to his enemies. When Woden was removed
from them they placed his image in their most holy place, where was a
kind of raised place or ark, as if in imitation of that at Jerusalem,
where, between the Cherubim, the divine presence was supposed to
abide. * * * Before this elevation or ark, in this most holy place on
which the symbols of their worship were placed, they had an altar, on
which the holy fire burned continually; and near it was a vase for
receiving the blood of the victims, and a brush for sprinkling the
blood upon the people; reminding us again of what was done in ancient
Israel. They had generally one great temple for the whole nation, and
in one of these, it is particularly noticed, they had twelve priests
presided over by a high priest, and having under their charge the
religious concerns of the whole people. This temple is said to have
been of the most splendid description--of incredible grandeur and
magnificence. It was at Upsala, Sweden."

As nearly related to this branch of our subject, it has been remarked
that Free Masonry was first known in Europe among these people, a fact
that will have its weight among Latter-day Saints. In the middle ages
these lodges of free masons built the cathedrals of Europe, and it is
asserted that "the English cathedrals appear to have been built after
the fashion of the temples that they frequented previous to their
conversion to Christianity. And these cathedrals, it has been
observed, seem evidently to be built after the design of the temple at
Jerusalem. Like this, they have their most holy place, the altar, and
their holy place, choir; and the court outward from thence for the
body of the people." It is also somewhat remarkable that the only
Gentile people of old, among whom anything like Free Masonry was
found, were the Ionians, for whom we stated in a previous chapter some
claim an Israelitish ancestry. Their temples dedicated to Bacchus and
other heathen deities, were built by lodges, who had secret signs,
etc., and conducted their affairs much after the manner of the masons
of the middle ages.

But the strongest of all the supposed identifications of the two
races, stronger even than the religious phases of the subject, is the
peculiar Mosaic tendency of the ancient Norseman's laws. So great is
the similarity that most writers on this subject have been greatly
puzzled to account therefor. It is written, "To those who have
attentively studied the institutions of Moses, and compared them with
the Saxon, there must appear a similarity as will be apt to lead to
the conclusion that the Saxon commonwealth was thus framed, after
their becoming acquainted with Christianity. This, however, does not
appear to have been the case. They brought these institutions with
them into England, and left similar institutions among the people in
the north of Europe, with whom they had been from time immemorial.
Limited monarchy, constitutional law, and representative government,
an efficient civil police, and trial by jury, are among the most
important legacies left the English nation by their Anglo-Saxon
forefathers, and these may all be easily traced to an Israelitish
origin. And to this origin they have been traced * * * even by those
who were obliged, in rather an unphilosophical way, to account for the

Among the Anglo-Saxons the theory of their constitution seems to have
been, that every ten men or heads of families, should choose one from
among them, to act for them in the council of their little community,
consisting generally of ten such compartments or wards. Ten of these
wards formed a tything or parish. And ten of these tithings formed a
hundred, the elders of which, thus chosen, were supposed to meet for
the management of matters belonging to the ten tithings in general;
while each tything took charge of the affairs that especially belonged
to itself. The county which was still more extensive corresponded to
the tribe in Israel. The word county or compte seems to be derived
from the Hebrew word signifying to rise up, to stand--and refers to
the rod or ensign of the tribe to which they congregated themselves in
the large assemblies of the people. * * * The nation of Israel we have
seen, were, at an earlier period of their history, given proper rules
for their association, such as were equally adapted for a small
society or for a large one. The people were given to have a mutual
oversight of each other in tens; each ten had one who represented and
acted for them. See 1st chapter of Deuteronomy: "So I [Moses] took the
chiefs of your tribes, wise men and known, and made them heads over
you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds and captains
over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes."

The law of primogeniture, so prevalent in different degrees among the
nations overrun by the Goths and Vandals, and their kinsmen, strikes
us as being a relic of Mosaic law. According to Hebrew law, the first
born son received a double portion of his father's estate. The English
law greatly resembles this. It would almost appear that this double
portion was conferred, among the Hebrews, on the oldest male child, to
compensate in some degree for the loss of the Priesthood held by him
of right in patriarchal days, but under the Mosaic dispensation vested
in the house of Aaron, so far as the lesser Priesthood called after
his name is concerned, while the higher or Melchizedec Priesthood
appears, after the days of Moses until the coming of Christ, only to
have been held by a certain favored few, who because of their
righteousness were endowed with this special measure of Divine favor.

With a certain class of scientists, the language of a people has great
weight in determining its origin. This test has been applied to the
language of the Anglo-Saxons, and it has been found that a number of
Hebrew words exist almost unaltered in our modern English tongue. On
this point, the author of "Our Israelitish Origin" writes: "As to
language, it is granted, that this, of itself could not identify a
people, or distinguish Israel, for example, from the Canaanites. * * *
Still it may be expected that a sufficiency would remain of the
Hebrew, to tell of this people's (the Saxon's) acquaintance therewith;
and such is the case. It has been observed by linguists, that a very
great deal of the ancient language of Israel exists in the modern
languages of Europe, and that it is through a Gothic medium that this
plentiful supply of Hebrew has come. So much have these languages been
thrown into a Hebrew mould that a French abbe has lately proposed to
make use of the Hebrew as a grand key to these languages."

Another writer, referring to Mr. Wilson's statements, remarks: [A]
"There is no reason to doubt that in common with the wave of nations
speaking the Indo-Germanic dialects, which overflowed Europe on the
breaking up of the Roman empire, the Anglo-Saxons came from the
Zend-speaking districts of Asia. And while Mr. Wilson adduces reasons
from the language of the Anglo-Saxons and Danes, for believing that a
long and intimate association had existed between these people and the
Persians before the former moved westward, he also proves the
existence of a large admixture of Hebrew words in the language of the
Anglo-Saxons, and not the least in the Scottish branch of that people.
In this he sets a proof of the descent of these people from the
Israelitish tribes that were removed by the kings of Nineveh, from
their native land, and planted in the cities of Media and Persia. They
had retained, in their new abode, much of their Hebrew mother-tongue,
while gradually adopting the Zend as the body of their new language.
An additional and most important confirmation of Mr. Wilson's idea has
been supplied by Prof. C. P. Smyth. This is seen in the circumstance
that the Anglo-Saxons possessed a metrology [B] corresponding exactly,
as far as it extended, with the metrology common to the temple of
Jerusalem and the great pyramid."

[Footnote A: "Ethnic Inspiration" by Rev. J. T. Goodsir.]

[Footnote B: Metrology--the science of measures]


_Salvation a Gift to All--God's Covenant with Abraham-Proselytes-The

Before proceeding further we wish to remark that we trust no one will
imagine, from reading these chapters, that we believe that the literal
descendants of Abraham will be the only ones saved in the kingdom of
God. To the contrary we are fully aware that God has made of one blood
all the nations of the earth, and realize that all men of every clime
and age, may be partakers of the priceless blessings resulting to
fallen humanity from the infinite sacrifice on Calvary. We also firmly
believe that within the scope of the gospel covenant are provisions,
and ways and means, by which the obedient of all races become the
recognized children of Abraham, and heirs, by adoption, to all the
God-given promises to that Patriarch. John the Baptist told the
degenerate Jews of his day who were boasting of their Abrahamic
descent, that of the very stones in the roadway, if it so pleased Him,
God could raise up children unto Abraham. All we claim for Israel, no
more, no less, is the fulfillment of God's covenant with the father of
the faithful, which covenant modern revelation lays before us in the
following language:

"My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from beginning; therefore my
hand shall be over thee [Abraham] and I will make of thee a great
nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great
among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after
thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood
unto all nations, and I will bless them through thy name; for as many
as receive this gospel, shall be called after thy name, and shall be
accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee,
and in thee (that is in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy
Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall
continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the
literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the
earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the gospel, which are the
blessings of salvation, even of life eternal." (Book of Abraham.)

From this we learn that it has been covenanted by the Eternal One,
that Abraham's seed shall bear the message and ministry of God's grace
to all nations, and that through him and his seed all the families of
the earth shall be blessed with the blessings of the gospel which,
through obedience, brings salvation and eternal lives; also as many as
receive the gospel shall be called after his (Abraham's) name, shall
be accounted his seed, and shall rise up and bless him as their

This last mentioned portion of the covenant was well understood by the
Jews and acted upon by them, even though they had cringed from
obedience to the fullness of the gospel, and were living under a
lesser law of bondage and carnal commandments. The manner in which the
Israelites received and treated proselytes is certainly not one of the
least interesting features of their policy and history, and may here
be glanced at, without wandering far from the question under

There appears to have been two classes of proselytes recognized among
the ancient Jews. The first, known as Proselytes of Righteousness, or
Proselytes of the Covenant, became perfect Israelites, and, according
to the Talmud, were admitted to the household of Abraham by
circumcision and baptism. The other class were termed Proselytes of
the Gate ("the stranger that is within thy gate.") It is said converts
of this class were not bound by circumcision and the other special
laws of the Mosaic code. It was enough for such to observe the
precepts against idolatry, blasphemy, bloodshed, uncleanness and
theft, and of obedience, also, to that precept against eating "flesh
with the blood thereof." Of this latter class were converts who
embraced Judaism for other than the purest motives; for instance, for
the sake of a lover, a husband or a wife, to court favor and
promotion, or in dread of some calamity or threatened judgment. Such
converts were regarded by the Jews of old very much in the same manner
as their counterparts are regarded among the Latter-day Saints. Again,
the Jews sometimes spread their faith with the same weapons as those
with which they had defended it. The Idumeans, after their conquest by
John Hyrcanus, had the alternative of death, exile or circumcision
offered to them. They chose the latter. The Iturians were converted
(?) in the same way by Aristobolus. In the days of Jesus, when the
light of truth shone but dimly in the Jewish creed, and the vices of
the degenerate Jews had been engrafted on those of the profligate
heathen, the Savior cried, "Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and
when he is made, ye make him two-fold more the child of hell than
yourselves." (_Matt. xxiii: 13_.)

There is one factor that tended greatly to the diffusion of
Israelitish blood, that we have scarcely noticed, as it relates far
more largely to Judah than to Ephraim. We refer to those who remained
settled in foreign countries after the return of the Jews from the
Babylonian captivity, and during the period of the second temple. At
the beginning of the Christian era the dispersed were divided into
three great sections, the Babylonian, the Syrian, and the Egyptian.
From Babylon the Jews spread through Persia, Media and Parthia. The
Greek conquests in Asia extended the limits of this dispersion. Large
settlements of the children of Judah were established in Cyprus, and
on the western coast of Asia Minor. These latter, to a very
unfortunate extent, adopted the Greek language and Greek ideas. In
Africa, Alexander and Ptolemy I. established large colonies of Jews at
Alexandria, not far from which place a temple was erected to Jehovah
after the order of that at Jerusalem. From Alexandria the Jews spread
out over the coasts of northern and eastern Africa. How greatly the
Jews had become scattered in the time of Christ, may be judged from
the devout men who came up to worship and keep the passover at
Jerusalem, and who listened to the preaching of Peter on the day of
Pentecost. They are stated to have been Parthians, Medes, Elamites
(Persians), dwellers in Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia,
Phrygia, Pamphilia, Egypt, Cyrene (Tripoli), Cretes, Arabians, Romans,
Jews and proselytes.

There is also another view of the subject, which we are not prepared
to enlarge upon in this article, but which bears the weight of
abundant proof. It is, that the Latter-day Saints have been, and are
today, fulfilling the work that it has been oft foretold Ephraim and
his fellows should do. Then, if we are doing the work, and claim that
we are they who should do it, and it being impossible to invalidate
our assumption, is not our claim worthy of thoughtful consideration
and average respect? God has declared that He will make of His
latter-day Israel a nation of kings and priests. In former
dispensations (except that lesser authority among the Jews given to
the house of Aaron) the Priesthood was conferred upon the few, it was
an honor of the highest kind; but in the dispensation of the fullness
of times, the whole people are to be a race of kings and priests, and
not less honorable because of the multitude. To our mind this is a
great proof that that people will be of Ephraim. There is a cause for
all God's promises--there is one for this. In the order of the higher
law, the Priesthood belongs to the first-born. Ephraim is God's
adopted first-born in all the races of mankind, therefore, by right of
that adoption, they are a nation of priests--priests of God after the
order of Melchisedek, under Jesus our Redeemer, the Savior of the

To conclude, we believe that there is scarcely a people or nation
under heaven in which is not to be found some of the blood of Abraham,
leavening with the promised seed all the families of the earth. And
this chosen generation will, by right of kindred, administer to all
people the word of God, and as saviors will they stand upon Mount
Zion, drawing all men unto the great Savior of our race, who will
stand in their midst, on the right hand of the Father, crowned and
exalted as King of kings, and Lord of lords, the great Apostle and
High Priest of our salvation. Truly the Lord is fulfilling His
promises, Israel has blossomed and budded and filled the earth with
fruit, but in the great future He will do it yet more abundantly and

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