By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
Throughout the years, there has been speculation that the Native American peoples are the descendants of the Hebrews. When Christopher Columbus first “discovered” America, he and his crews found a large population of people already inhabiting the land. Is it possible that these Native Americans are the descendants of the Jews?
In this article, we will notice some incredible evidences which show that this may indeed be the case.
In a recent study (see The Phoenician Empire), we learned that the people of Canaan (especially the city states of Tyre and Sidon) had traveled across the globe nearly two thousand years before the time of Christ. Several evidences documented that these Canaanites had indeed colonized the North American continent, and that indeed, the Phoenician Empire had planted its’ flag on our shores long before the time of Columbus (and indeed, long before the time of Christ).
The Old Testament is quite clear to inform us that there was often a close relationship between Israel and the Phoenicians. For example, when King David died, we are told:
1 Kings 5:1-Now Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, because he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always loved David.
We read throughout the Scriptures of the close relationship between the Hebrews and the peoples of Tyre and Sidon at different times. It was the people of Tyre who helped Solomon build the Temple (1 Kings 5:2-18), an undertaking which took at least seven years to complete (1 Kings 6:37-38). 2 Chronicles 8:7-9 relates that the Hebrews and the Phoenicians worked together on this project, while 1 Kings 5:6 and 18 reveals that the Hebrews often stayed and worked in Phoenician cities during this project, and many Phoenicians stayed and worked in Israeli cities. So close was the relationship between Solomon and Hiram that Hiram (king of Tyre) ceded many Phoenician cities to Solomon as a gift (2 Chronicles 8:2).
There is also strong evidence from other Scripture that during this time, Solomon was establishing and building a strong diplomatic relationship with the nation of Egypt. For example, we read that Solomon had a palace built for the daughter of Pharaoh (1 Kings 7:1-12; 2 Chronicles 8:1-6). While his obsession with foreign women and their gods led eventually to the downfall of Solomon (1 Kings 11), we see that during this period there was a strong relationship being cemented between Egypt, Phoenicia (Tyre and Sidon), and Israel.
Remembering that the Phoenicians had traveled as far as the American continent, it should not therefore come as a great surprise to learn that there has been in America abundant evidence discovered of this alliance. For example:
“So far, we have only scratched the surface of the subject of ancient civilizations being present in North America. Let us examine another aspect of their presence in the ancient New World. Consider the languages of the tripartite alliance spoken of by the historical writers of the Bible. Their languages included the Semitic language shared by the Israelites and Phoenicians (with dialectal differences), Egyptian, and the language of the North African/Libyan sailors of the Egyptian navy. Let us now examine evidence that North America was both widely explored and colonized by people speaking Phoenician/Hebrew, Egyptian, and ancient Libyan. Dr. Fell’s book America B.C. includes much evidence of the exploration of American soil by ancient people with the above language groups. We have already examined evidence from his book that the Phoenicians had a significant presence in North America, and that the Phoenician god Baal was worshipped at an ancient temple site in New Hampshire. Rawlinson cited the habit of the Phoenicians in bringing their religion wherever they went, and building temples in their colonies to honor their deities, 28 so the existence of a temple dedicated to Baal at the ancient New England temple site is consistent with their habits. Apparently, ancient explorations and settlements were concentrated on the major inland waterways of America, as much of the evidence of their presence has been found in such locales. A major archeological find, a stele inscribed with ancient Old World languages, was found in 1874 near Davenport, Iowa. Unfortunately, this New World equivalent of the Rosetta Stone was largely ignored because no one could read it. Also, the false dogma that no Old World explorers prior to Columbus could have been on our continent affected people’s perceptions. If it had been discovered in Europe, it would surely have been recognized for what it was: a trilingual archeological stele of ancient cultures. Since it was found in Iowa of the United States, it had to wait approximately a century to be understood. Interestingly, one of the reasons the stele was initially rejected was that it contained “some signs resembling Hebrew and others resembling Phoenician.” 29 This ancient stele contains joint inscriptions in three ancient Languages: Iberian- Punic (a language related to and descended from Phoenician and Hebrew), Egyptian, and ancient Libyan. 30 These are the language groups of the tripartite alliance which the Bible reveals began in the reign of Solomon! Since the ancient lowan stele shows these groups were traveling and working together as far from the Mideast as the interior of North America indicates that this alliance clearly did have the international power and impact the Bible attributes to it. Indeed, Dr. Fell described this stele as “one of the most important steles ever discovered.” 31 Why then, is this priceless evidence of ancient explorations in North America not proclaimed in textbooks everywhere? Again, we are confronted by the fact that modern academia has an almost superstitious attachment to the false dogma that nobody could have discovered America before Columbus….That these language groups were acting in such close concert with each other that they left a trilingual inscription in approximately 800- 900 B.C. indicates that they had been cooperating together for a considerable period of time. As the Bible reveals, an alliance of these linguistic groups was established under King Solomon during the tenth century B.C. The terms “Iberian” and “Punic” indicate languages which are closely related to and descended from the Phoenician/Hebrew language of King Hiram’s and King Solomon’s navies. Indeed, the term “Iberian” comes from the name “Eber,” the forefather of the Hebrews. The term “Iberian” proclaims Hebrew roots. Dr. Fell specifically noted the “Phoenician character” of the Iberian inscriptions. 33 If the Egyptian text on the stele was a copy from an earlier Egyptian original dating as early as 1400 B.C., we are well within the period of time when the Bible states that Egypt joined itself to the Israelite/Phoenician alliance (the tenth century B.C.).” (Steven Collins, The ‘Lost’ Ten Tribes Of Israel…Found! 1040-1085 (Kindle Edition); Boring, Oregon; CPA Books).
When the twelve tribes erupted into civil war (1 Kings 12), the ten northern tribes (the nation of Israel) would continue this friendship with Phoenicia and Egypt. Undoubtedly, during the time of Elijah the Prophet when a drought brought terrible devastation to the land of Israel, many from the northern ten tribes would have migrated to Phoenician controlled and dominated lands. Further, during the Assyrian invasion of 722 B.C. (2 Kings 17), the ten northern tribes were taken captive back to the land of Assyria. What happened to them after this? When the Babylonians overthrew Assyria in the seventh century B.C., we find an interesting historical note from the Apocrypha about the ten northern tribes:
2 Esdras 13:39-46-And whereas you saw that he gathered to him another multitude that was peaceful;
40 these are the ten tribes, which were led away out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmananser the king of the Assyrians led away captive, and he carried them beyond the River, and they were carried 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 lived,
42 that they might there keep their statutes, which they had not kept in their own land.
43 And they entered by the narrow passages of the river Euphrates.
44 For the Most High then wrought signs for them, and stayed the springs of the River, 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 Arzareth.
46 Then lived they there until the latter time; and now when they begin to come again,
Thus, it seems clear that many of the Israelites fled to America at different times and under different circumstances. It is also fascinating to learn that the Native American tribes contain ancient stories of their being descended from the Hebrews.
One man, Joseph RiverWind, was commissioned to write down many of the Indian legends that had been handed down for centuries among the Native American tribes (many of which predate any exposure to Christianity). In discussing the legend found among many tribes that the Native Americans are the descendants of the Hebrews, he writes:
“PipeCarrier looked at me intently across the fire and said with a commanding voice, “You need to write these stories down so they don’t get lost. The People need to know these stories. They cannot die with our generation.” I replied while wondering if I would ever sit down long enough to write. “Several books have been written about the possible origins of the Cherokee with a few researchers being convinced they are of Hebrew or at least mixed origin. Have you heard of anything like that?” PipeCarrier nodded his head in agreement….I recalled having researched many different perspectives and arguments for the theory of the Cherokee being of Israelite descent. I can only speak from my experiences and memories of when this subject came up around Cherokee elders. Several Cherokee elders from Quallah boundary told me they were descendants of Israelites….In the early 18th century James Adair, a Hebrew scholar, lived for forty years among the Cherokee. He recorded the similarities within the Cherokee culture, traditions, laws, feast days and more that are similar or identical to the Torah that was given to the Jews and Gentiles at Mount Sinai. A few of the things that Adair recorded go beyond the realm of coincidence in regard to Hebrew influence. The following are some examples of what he witnessed: ● The Cherokee name for God: YoHeWaH (Yo- Heh- WaH).This is amazing because in Hebrew the name of God is written YHVH and is often pronounced Yehovah, Jehovah, and Yahweh. ● Cherokee name for the Holy Spirit: Loak- Ishtōhoollo- Aba, “the great, beneficent, supreme, Holy Spirit of fire” ● The Cherokee God is a triune that is One being named: El- o- HeyM ● In Cherokee, Au- Do- NiV- Du is the word for “Lord.” There is some similarity with the word “Adonai,” used by Hebrew- speakers. ● According to the Cherokee story, Creation took seven days and man was made from red clay and woman made from first man’s rib. The Hebrew account tells the same, even calling first man “Adam” which means “red earth” in the Hebrew language. ● In Cherokee accounts, there was a great flood which killed the giants but YoHeWah said He would never flood the earth again. ● The Cherokee site the existence of a Patriarch named Aquahami (sounds similar to the Biblical Patriarch Avraham/Abraham). ● The Cherokee kept no idols per their ancient religious laws. ● Six days of work with one commanded day of rest. ● Cherokee considered eating pork unclean. ● Cherokee ceremonial songs often began with singing “Hallel, Hallelu- yah!” ● Cherokee did not practice divination. Being a witch or bad medicine person was punishable by death. ● Cherokee carried a sacred ark before them into battle. ● He states the Cherokee linguistic structure is almost identical to the Hebrew language. ● The Cherokee word for wife is Havah or Avah. “Chavvah” is the Hebrew word commonly translated as “Eve” and means “Lifegiver.” ● The Cherokee word for earth is “Yahkane” which means “Yah’s footstool.” ● New Moon assemblies with the new year beginning at the first sighting of the New Moon during the Spring Equinox. ● In both Hebrew and Cherokee cultures, days are counted from sundown. ● Both cultures had a daily sacrifice of fat including Peace Offerings, Sin Offerings, and Trespass Offerings. ● High Priests of both cultures wear white cotton cloak, 72 bells, a sleeveless jacket, and a breastplate set with 12 stones. ● The Cherokee have Feast Days that closely resemble Passover (Pesach), Feast of First Fruits (Bikkurim), Pentecost (Shavuot), The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot).During the Cherokee Feast that is similar to Passover, the songs include the words – YoHeWahsho Mashi- yo which means The Anointed Ruler in Cherokee. These are just a few of the examples that show us what could be ancient Hebraic influence among the Cherokee, as enumerated by James Adair. Other accounts that also attribute Hebraic influence of Cherokee society include explorer and botanist William Bartram, James Mooney, John Payne, and Daniel Butrick (who lived with the Cherokee for several decades), to name a few. While the similarities are so striking between the Cherokee and the Hebrew, there are other tribes in the Southeast who also shared some Hebraic similarities in their traditional ways like the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek, and Haliwa- Saponi. (Adair, 1775) (Starr, 1984) (Payne- Butrik(1830), 2010) Their commonalities were not as detailed as with the Cherokee.” (Chief Joseph RiverWind, That’s What The Old Ones Say: Pre-Colonial Revelations Of God, 93-97 (Kindle Edition); Marble, Nc; Word Branch Publishing)
Whatever the origin and lineage of the Native American peoples, we may take great comfort in knowing this:
2 Timothy 2:19-Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
Being one of God’s people today is not based upon bloodline or ethnic descent; instead, it is based upon whether or not one is a Christian, a member of the church of Christ. The Apostle Paul, in discussing how Christians are the true descendants of Abraham, wrote these words:
Galatians 3:7-Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.
We become a “son of Abraham” when we are baptized into Christ as believers who repent of sin:
Galatians 3:26-29-For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
If you have never become one of God’s children, why not be born again today? As a believer who has heard God’s Word (that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins, be buried, and rise again the third day-1 Corinthians 15:1-8), why not today believe in Him (John 8:24), repent of your sins (Luke 13:3), confess your faith in Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:12), and be baptized this very hour (Acts 2:38-41)? If you are a child of God who has left the Lord, wont’ you please repent and confess your sin to Him, being restored this very hour (Galatians 6:1; 1 John 1:9)?
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.