Did The Prophet Jeremiah Go To Ireland?

 by Les Aron Gosling, Rebbe (e-mail: info@biblicalresearchinstitute.com.au, of:

Copyright BRI 1996
All Rights Reserved Worldwide

Countless Christians continue to believe that Jeremiah was commissioned by God to travel to Ireland, accompanied by his scribe Baruch. The Bible tells us that this prophet of God did have an astounding mission to perform, and that the world has not been the same since he launched his ambitious program in fulfilment of God's Word. But did he get to Ireland?

This article dares to set the record straight!

Fortunes change, powers falter and are themselves disparaged, dismembered and gathered into the political and territorial clutches of yet another emerging world dominion and kingdom. Judah finally crumbled and fell before the rise to glory of the schizophrenic Babylonian dwarf Nebuchadnezzar. The last legitimate Jewish king, Jehoiachin, the son of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, was carted off to Babylon and an interloper chosen by Nebuchadnezzar put in his place.

The Scriptures tell us: "At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up against Jerusalem, and the city was beseiged...And Jehoiachin, the king of Judah, went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers; and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign...And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land: those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon...And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, his father's brother [Jehoiachin's uncle] KING IN HIS PLACE, and changed his name to Zedekiah" (2 Kgs 24.10,15,17).

Does the present English monarch, Betty Windsor, sit today on David's throne? The British Israel World Federation tells us so in their literature, and in their pamphlets, and they include (at first glance) impressive geneaologies in their (at first glance) impressive charts. If King Jehoiachin, languishing in Babylon, had no children to carry on the royal line, his pedigree exterminated, then Zedekiah as an indirect collateral branch could (within the realm of possibility) have some substance in the continuation of the Davidic line. Of course, the plain truth of the matter is that Matthew Levi totally ignores Zedekiah in his chronological geneaology of the Messiah. Indeed, if you examine the Matthean text you will discover the following statement: "And Josiah begat Jechoniah [Jehoiachin] and his brothers, about the time that they were carried away to Babylon; and after they were brought to Babylon, Jechoniah [Jehoiachin] begat Salathiel, and Salathiel begat Zerubabel" which royal line terminates in Yeshua the Messiah (Mt 1.11)!

Please note! It terminates with the Messiah. It does not continue with a European bloodline of some holy grail.

During the siege of Jerusalem, with the ravaging spread of disease epidemics caused by drought and famine reaching their destructive zenith, Zedekiah, the interloper king nominated by Nebuchadnezzar -- desperate to restore the freedom of his people from Babylonian oppression -- secretly released the prophet Jeremiah from prison (without the knowledge of the princes and elders) to receive from him a prophetic word from the LORD.

For more than thirty years Jeremiah, a Babylonian-sympathiser, had admonished the people of Jerusalem, "Do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood" (Jer 22.3). Daily Jeremiah strode the streets of the nation's capitol warning its population: "I cannot hold my peace, because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war. Destruction upon destruction is cried!" (Jer 4.19-20). For the entirety of his life the prophet remained true to his Babylonian orientation. A hundred years before, Isaiah had consoled Jerusalem with promises of God's intervention when the powerful Sennacherib had threatened the city but to the disbelief of Zedekiah, the seer Jeremiah cried treason in the streets, "Woe unto us! for the day goes away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out!" (Jer 6.4).

Jerusalem had witnessed the titanic struggle of two egocentric personalities for domination of the ancient world -- Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and Rameses II of Egypt -- with the jewel-city of Jerusalem as the prize between them. Jerusalem had continually rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar and therefore Jeremiah was repeatedly imprisoned in order to curtail his subversive activities, and to prevent his influential agitation in the military ranks for the Jewish troops to surrender to the uncircumcised Chaldeans. Jerusalem could not believe that Jeremiah was preaching that this hideous monster Nebuchadnezzar was the servant of God and that as such he had to be revered by priest and king alike. Even the beasts of the field, according to Jeremiah, had to hold this hideous deformity in the highest regard. But Zedekiah was one of the few Jews who secretly held the prophetic antagonist to be a true Spokesman for God (Jer 37.17; 38.2,14-18).

It came to pass that with the final fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar's battering-rams and storming machines, that the young Zedekiah was captured, brought before the Babylonian king in Riblah at the upper end of the valley of Lebanon and there, before his eyes, his little sons were slain. It was the last thing the Jewish king ever saw. Then his eyes were burnt out of his head. In contrast the prophet Jeremiah was freed from his prison and rewarded well for his efforts in undermining Jewish national security (Jer 40.2-5).

Ezra, in editing the canon of Jewish Scripture after the days of the Babylonian Exile piously regarded that Zedekiah "did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet" (2 Chron 36.12). The Talmud disagrees with the sanctimonious opinion of Ezra, pronouncing Zedekiah righteous and his tormentor Nebuchadnezzar vicious

(Tractate Shabbat 149a; Sanhedrin 103a).

Zedekiah was just 32 years of age when his little sons were so cruelly despatched (2 Kgs 24.18) and we have the testimony of Josephus that his children were still under the care of their mothers at the time of the Babylonian invasion and seige of Jerusalem (Josephus, Antiquities, X, VIII, 2). Zedekiah later died in Babylon (ibid, sect.7).

Still, it has to be admitted that the biblical revelation did not regard the Babylonian-appointed interloper Zedekiah with any degree of divine favour or recognition. Thus was fulfilled the proclamation by God that with the removal of Jehoiachin the legitimate Davidic Dynasty would come to an abrupt end. All that would be left would be the stripping of the crown from the would-be Pretender Zedekiah. "Thus says the LORD God! Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: nothing will be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will RUIN [Heb. avah], RUIN [Heb. avah], RUIN [Heb. avah] it [the royal crown of Israel] and it shall become EXTINCT, until he come whose legal right it is [to rule] and I will give it to him" (Eze 21.27 Hebrew).

The New Berkeley Version has outdone tself when it comes to a close relation to (or transliteration from) the Hebrew, "Thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban, and take off the crown; change is in process. Let the low be exalted and the lofty abased. Ruin, ruin I will make it; only ruin will remain; there shall not be a trace left of it until he comes, whose right it is; to him will I give it."

Thus with the rapid exit of Jehoiachin and his family to Babylon, and the termination of the rule of the surrogate Zedekiah, accompanied by the subsequent tragic slaughter of his sons, came the abrupt end of the ruling power of the throne of David. Notice again the emphasis concerning the throne of David: thrice we are told "ruin, ruin, ruin" and then..."extinction." The rabbis understood the threefold emphasis as referring to the three conquests of Jerusalem during which Jehoiakim, Jeconiah and finally Zedekiah were overthrown. The number 3 in Hebrew numerology represents God making His will known! So much for the theory that the present Royal family of Britain is the European continuation of David's Throne. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nevertheless, there is internal biblical evidence that apart from an extended Ethiopian Solomonic Dynasty, via Solomon's son by Hatshepsut, and the continuation of the seed of Jehoiachin in Babylonian captivity culminating in the Messiah Yeshua's birth in Bethlehem, Zedekiah's pedigree continued, in secrecy. For Jeremiah was given a commission which involved rescuing the descendants of King Zedekiah. We have just read that the sons of this last reigning Davidic "king" were butchered before the eyes of their frantic, helpless father (2 Kings 25.6,7). This was to ensure political permanence and stability for Nebuchadnezzar.

It is written, "Then went Jeremiah unto Gedeliah [Nebuchadnezzar had made this man governor over the Jewish survivors]...and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land" (Jer 40.6). The king of Ammon in the meantime had plotted with a Jew called Ishmael to successfully assassinate Gedeliah and many of these Jews were consequently slain. But the charmed prophet Jeremiah escaped.

"Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard [from Babylon] had committed to Gedeliah...and carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites" (Jer 41.10).

Thus is recorded the major reason why Jeremiah went to Gedeliah at Mizpah, and that was to grant the protection of God to the daughters of the deposed Zedekiah. There is biblical and secular evidence that Jeremiah later left Egypt on a worldwide commission to the nations, and that he took the daughters of Zedekiah with him for at least part of the journey. As a result of this commission men in various nations were raised up teaching social reform, under Jeremiah, leading to the rise of powerful societal paridigms and religious systems of worship. We shall discuss this unique period of historical development in other research studies.

Suffice to admit, at this juncture, that Jeremiah's commission to overturn existing social systems during what has now been termed "the Axial Period of history" did not fail to produce fruit for the religious and philosophical wisdom that suddenly blossoms forth in Asia and the ancient Orient around 500 BCE, and the cultural revolution that took place worldwide at that time, came as the direct result of Jeremiah's commission from God (Jer 1.10). He was to "root out," "pull down," "destroy," and to overthrow nations and kingdoms, as well as to institute new systems -- "build" and "plant." And God's prophet obeyed God's Word implicitly (25.15ff). As a result of his efforts the world as we know it now emerged. Historians claim it as a miracle!

"The Axial Period is in the nature of a miracle, in so far as no really adequate explanation of it [the author is ignorant of the biblical answer] is possible within the limits of our present knowledge" (Karl Jaspers, The Origin and Goal of History, 1949, 18).

But happen it did! It is no coincidence that during Jeremiah's travels Zoroaster, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Gautama (the Buddha), king Numa of Rome, and the philosophers in Hellas "made their appearances... SIMULTANEOUSLY as reformers of the national religion" (Lasaulx, quoted in Jaspers, ibid.,8).

Concerning Jeremiah, we ought to pause at this juncture to reflect on a story that has circulated for well over a century which has the Jewish prophet arriving in Ireland, accompanied by at least two eastern princesses, and which account is supposed to be included in the ancient Irish Chronicles. This modern, exciting narrative (with its slight variations) reads a lot like the amazing escape from the Bolsheviks of the Czar Nicholas and his wife Alexandra from Russia with some of his kids, including the princess Anastasia. It's highly riveting stuff, and like the Jeremiah account, utterly worthless and without foundation. It is said that the Chronicles refer to the arrival of the prophet Jeremiah into Ireland during his commissioned travels by God, and that he was accompanied by at least two of the usurper Zedekiah's daughters. Known to the Irish as Ollam Fodhla (which they interpret as "wonderful seer" or "prophet"), Jeremiah held a position of some significance for 40 years, and is buried in Ireland, again (according to the Chronicles), in a rock tomb on a little island today called Devenish, in the vicinity of Enniskillen. He arrived during the early reign of Eochaidh II, who had taken to himself the title of Heremon. According to the Irish, the story goes, Ollam Fodhla presented the princess Tamar Tephi to the Heremon and they were wed at Tara around 583 BCE.

I was first alerted to the nonsense of this myth some years ago by my wife's Irish penpal who insisted the story had no basis in fact. As an educated woman, certainly as far as the history of Ireland is concerned, she was completely ignorant concerning it. For the sake of intellectual honesty and historical accuracy, I must ask our readers to finally desist in believing this Anglo-Israel rubbish. Why? Simply due to the fact that the Irish Chronicles are utterly silent on Jeremiah ever touching Irish soil, with or without "eastern princesses." The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, O'Flaherty's Ogygia, and even Chroniklis of the Scots (by Scottish historian Hector Boece) are silent on any incident involving Jeremiah, under his own name or any other. The entire story is an absolute fabrication from start to finish without any foundation in fact. Indeed,

According to Greg Doudna of the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University, who has personally studied the historical phenomena we have been spotlighting:

"In 1861, a British-Israel expositor named F.R.A. Glover combined 'Tea' and 'Tephi' into one person, in the first book to promote the 'Tea-Tephi' theory. Glover is the inventor of the story of 'Tea-Tephi' and Jeremiah...Glover's slipshod scholarship was adopted by other British-Israelites, including C.A.L. Totten's first five volumes of Our Race (1890-92), followed by W.M.H. Milner, The Royal House of Britain an Enduring Dynasty (1902), [and] J.H. Allen [Judah's Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright] (1902)" (G. Doudna, Afterword on British-Israelism.,138, note 22).

Where did Jeremiah take the daughters of Zedekiah? It was quite common (and still is) for royal blood lines to intermarry with the royal families of surrounding nations, and we know from the contents of historical records (including the Bible and secular sources) that Israelites, Egyptians and the (Aryan) Edomites (Phoenician Canaanites) mixed bloodlines. Jeremiah secured the princesses' passage to safety, probably to the continuing Davidic Dynasty (through the Hatshepsut bloodline) in Ethiopia, ultimately returning to Egypt proper (where we lose sight of him), the land of his father's exile, where he died as he had lived, at the murderous hands of his fellow countrymen (Mt 23.29-32,35 cf Ac 7.52).

But, further, British-Israelites also insist that Jeremiah was actually the father of Hamutal, the mother of Zedekiah, continuing the line through one of his daughters (whom they claim was a Tea Tephi or Nephi). We have demolished the "Tea party" story, but has this forceful claim concerning Jeremiah's bloodline any merit? Or is it yet another Anglo-Israel myth?

Listen! There were eight Jeremiah's in the biblical record.

Jeremiah of Anathoth was the prophet of God not Jeremiah of Libnah! Indeed, Jeremiah himself plainly states that there was absolutely no connection between himself and Zedekiah. He was decidedly NOT Zedekiah's grandfather (see Jer 1.1)!

Zedekiah was not an heir to the throne of David. Further, he could not convey the throne to any of his descendants, including a mythical "Tea." The powerful prophet Ezekiel denounced him as an appointed stooge of Nebuchadnezzar and as a Davidic would-be king (Eze 21.25-27). The last legitimate king of Israel was Jeconiah, who was also called Coniah and Jehoiachin.

Jeremiah was explicit in his prediction that as far as the throne of David was concerned, he would die childless. "Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? Is he a vessel wherein is no pleasure? Wherefore are they cast out, he and his seed, and are cast into a land which they know not? O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord, Write you this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days; for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah" (Jer 22.28-30).

In reality he was not rendered childless, for the record says he had sons, but he was rendered childless inasmuch as the throne was concerned! Zedekiah did not occupy the throne of David in God's consideration. He was the "profane prince" who had a human -- Nebuchadnezzar -- appoint his rule and we have seen that God overturned that appointment.

I must also insist that by inserting Zedekiah into their version of the chronological genealogies of Matthew and Luke (refer to Anglo-Israel charts if you possess any) and jettisoning Jehoiachin and Jehoiakim from the sacred records (in order to give recognition to Zedekiah's daughter to a continuing Jewish throne in the British Isles and thus to ultimately legitimise Betty Windsor's place in sacred history) British Israelites have shown themselves to be blatantly dishonest. British Israel tables grant only thirty-two generations from Luke 3.32-38 and from verse 33 they conveniently jump to Matthew 1.7-10 to the forty-eighth generation. As we have bluntly stated, kings Jehoiachin and Jehoiakim are then omitted and Zedekiah insidiously inserted. Anglo-Israelites seemingly fail to grasp that if Zedekiah is legitimised Yeshua haMashiach is dislodged from His rightful accession to the "Throne of his father David" (Lk 1.32). The entire deal is suspect. Our readers can check for themselves.

The throne of David came to an end with Jehoiachin as we have witnessed. The only legitimate continuation of that ruling bloodline was found, until recently, in Ethiopia. With the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974 that Solomonic throne, too, came to an end. That this had to be the case is evident for, according to the biblical revelation, the throne of Judah is soon to be restored just YEARS before the return of the Messiah whose right to rule will be then unquestioned -- even by the Jews themselves.

Jeremiah did not languish through his final years enjoying the green tranquility and safety of Irish shores and a debauched life of economic prosperity. In fact, most biblical historians believe he was finally stoned to death in Egypt. Considering his horrendous prophetic mission, and the character of the man, it begs intellectual assent to accept the highly questionable proposition that he personally preferred to spend his final years in comparitive peace and comfort.

Its high time we did away with myths, fables, "old wive's tales" and "nice stories" and got back to the task of restoring the authentic biblical revelation