Contrary to popular opinion, ancient Jewish sailors circled the globe long before the landmark voyages of Columbus and Magellan.
This new book includes appendices such as:
Appendix 1 Discourse on the Evidences of the American Indians being the Descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes; M.M. Noah; 1837
Appendix 2 Discourse on the Restoration of the Jews; M.M. Noah 1845
Appendix 3 A Table of Various Hebrew Scripts
Appendix 4 Report of the Archaeopetrography Investigation Of the Bat Creek Stone
Many civilizations had weird myths about the nature of the earth. Some thought it was carried on the back of an animal such as an elephant or turtle, and most thought the earth to be flat. Yet the ancient Hebrews knew better. Our prophet Isaiah wrote:
“It is He that sits above the circle of the earth...”
The Hebrew word for “circle” here is KHUG (Strong’s 2329) which refers to a “circle or sphere” and is also used to describe the arched domelike shape of the sky (Prov. 8:27; Job. 22:14).
The ancient Hebrews were well aware of this spherical shape of the earth. Additionally the book of Job told them that the earth is not sitting on the back of some animal, but is suspended in the void of space by nothing:
“He stretches out the north over the empty space,
and hangs the earth over nothing.”
When we compare Luke (17:34-36) with Matthew (24:40-41) we see that at the instant of the return of Messiah two will be lying in one bed (Luke 17:34-36) while two will be at work in one field and two will be grinding in the mill (Luke 17:34-36 and Matt. 24:40-41). In other words the ancient Hebrews were well aware that is night and day on different sides of the planet at the same instant!
The ancient Hebrews were sea faring peoples from very early times. For example when Ya’akov blessed Zebulon he said:
“Z’vulun shall dwell in the shore of the sea,
and he shall be a shore for ships,
and his flank shall be kept by Tzidon”
And when the Hebrews celebrated their victory over the Cananites with a song, they sang of the victories of the Danite navy:
“Gil’ad abode beyond the Yarden;
and Dan, why does he sojourn by the ships?
Asher dwelt at the shore of the sea,
and abides by its bays.”
There is evidence that the tribe of Dan, as one of the Ten Lost Tribes, migrated to Europe and became the Danes. Is it a coincidence that the Danes are known as the world’s top seafarers?
Not only were the ancient Hebrews sailing the Mediterranean Sea, but it may also be demonstrated that King Solomon’s ships sailed the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as well. King Solomon had a navy of ships capable of making the voyage to Tarshish:
For the king had at sea, a navy of Tarshish, with the navy of Hiram; once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
(1 Kings 10:22)
Tarshish was a land rich in silver, iron, tin and lead :
Tarshish was your merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches: with silver, iron, tin, and lead, they traded for your wares.
Where was Tarshish? The Scripture tells us that Yahushafat king of Y’hudah and Achazyah king of Yisra’el worked together to build a fleet of ships also capable of sailing to Tarshish. They built these ships at the Red Sea port of Ezion-Geber:
35 And after this, did Yahushafat king of Y’hudah, join himself with Achazyah king of Yisra’el; the same did very wickedly,
36 And he joined him with himself to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion-geber.
Tarshish could also be reached from the Medituranian port of Jaffa:
But Yonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of YHWH, and he went down to Yafo, and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of YHWH.
This would place Tarshish somewhere in the Atlantic or Indian Oceans.
Years earlier Solomon’s navy was sailing to Tarshish as well. Solomon’s navy went on regular voyages that had them away for three years:
For the king had at sea, a navy of Tarshish, with the navy of Hiram; once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
Magellan’s voyage around the world (1519-1522) lasted almost three years. Thus Solomon’s navy were gone long enough to circle the globe.
Yeshua made the statement that certain Pharisees would “compass the sea and land in order to make one proselyte” (Mt. 23:15). The Hebrew word for “compass” in the Hebrew here is SABIBOT (Strong’s 5437) meaning to circle completely around. It is the same word used in the Hebrew of Joshua (Josh. 6:3, 13, 14) to describe the children of Israel circling Jericho seven times before the walls fell. The Aramaic of Matthew has K’RAK which has the same meaning and which is the same Aramaic word the Aramaic Peshitta text of Joshua uses in these verses. Yeshua was saying that Pharisaic “missionaries” were circling the globe seeking converts all over the world.
Further evidence may be found in the apocryphal book of 2nd Esdras. Columbus quoted this book to Queen Isabella of Spain in order to obtain financial support for his voyage. The passage in question reads:
Upon the third day you did command that the waters should be gathered to one of the seven parts of the earth: six parts have you dried up, and kept them, to the intent that of these some being planted of Eloah and tilled might serve you.
(2nd Esdras 6:42)
The first believers in Yeshua were a Jewish sect known as "Nazarenes" or in Hebrew "Netzarim" (Acts 24:5). The "church father" Jerome (4th Cent.) described these Nazarenes as those "...who accept Messiah in such a way that they do not cease to observe the old Law." (Jerome; On. Is. 8:14).
Elsewhere he writes:
Today there still exists among the Jews in all the synagogues of the East a heresy which is called that of the Minæans , and which is still condemned by the Pharisees; [its followers] are ordinarily called 'Nazarenes'; they believe that Messiah, the son of God, was born of the Virgin Miriam, and they hold him to be the one who suffered under Pontius Pilate and ascended to heaven, and in whom we also believe."
(Jerome; Letter 75 Jerome to Augustine)
The fourth century "church father" Epiphanius gives a more detailed description:
But these sectarians... did not call themselves Christians--but "Nazarenes," ... However they are simply complete Jews. They use not only the New Testament but the Old Testament as well, as the Jews do... They have no different ideas, but confess everything exactly as the Law proclaims it and in the Jewish fashion-- except for their belief in Messiah, if you please! For they acknowledge both the resurrection of the dead and the divine creation of all things, and declare that G-d is one, and that his son is Yeshua the Messiah. They are trained to a nicety in Hebrew. For among them the entire Law, the Prophets, and the... Writings... are read in Hebrew, as they surely are by the Jews. They are different from the Jews, and different from Christians, only in the following. They disagree with Jews because they have come to faith in Messiah; but since they are still fettered by the Law--circumcision, the Sabbath, and the rest-- they are not in accord with Christians.... they are nothing but Jews.... They have the Goodnews according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew. For it is clear that they still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written. (Epiphanius; Panarion 29)
Yeshua had said certain Pharisees would “compass the sea and land in order to make one proselyte” (Mt. 23:15). But Yeshua complained that these Pharisaic missionaries fell short, saying “when he is made, you make him twice more the son of hell than you are” (Matt. 23:15). Certainly when Yeshua sent his own followers out saying:
19 Go you therefore, and teach all the Goyim, And immerse them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, And the Ruach HaKodesh:
20 And teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And here am I with you, all the days, to the end of the world.
(Matt. 28:20-19 HRV)
15 And He said to them: Go into the entire world, and proclaim My Good News in all of creation.
16 Whoever believes and is immersed, will live: and whoever does not believe, is condemned.
(Mark 16:15-16 HRV)
They took the phrases “all the Goyim ” and “the entire world” and “all of creation” to mean that they should “compass the sea and land” just as the Pharisees had in seeking their converts.
...Could Nazarene missionaries have brought their message of Torah and Messiah to the New World? ... it seems certain that Hebrews did reach Ancient America and teach them many customs, perhaps even making many converts to Judaism from among them.
Ancient Hebrew merchants, explorers and missionaries (Pharisee and Nazarene) left several artifacts behind which have been found and which testify to the fact that ancient Hebrews came to America long before Columbus.
The Pitsfield Phylatery
In 1815 buried in a field which had once been a Mohican settlement the Pitsfield Phylactery was discovered in Pitsfield Massachusetts. The discovery was made by Joseph Merrick, Esq. who was described by the local minister as “a highly respectable character.” The strap contained parchments with Hebrew writing on it. It was taken to Professor Abiel Holmes, a scholar at Cambridge University, authenticated the scrolls as Hebrew.
in June of 1860 an armature archaeologist by the name of David Wyrick found a wedge shaped stone buried in twelve to fourteen inches of dirt in a pit adjacent to some Hopewell earthworks in what is now known as Newark Ohio. The most fascinating thing about this stone wedge is the fact that it had Hebrew inscriptions on each of its four sides.
The Ohio Decalogue
Several months later that same year Wyrick found another stone. This stone was found some ten miles south, underneath a Hopewell structure called “The Great Stone Stack”. This structure of stone had a base of 500 square feet and a height of 55 feet. Early settlers drew pictures of it and wrote detailed accounts of it. The stones were removed in 1831 or 1832 and used to reinforce a dam. A number of small mounds and been buried beneath the Great Stone Stack. Wyrick and five of his associates excavated one of the mounds. They found what they called a “coffin” buried in the mound, it was more like a funeral pier. They dug beneath this and found several artifacts, two of which have survived. The first of these was a stone box which contained the Decalogue Stone”. They also found a stone bowl and “two beautiful plumb bobs, but instead of being round (or oval) they are eight square”.
The Los Lunas Decalogue
In the rugged terrain of the Southwest United States, near New Mexico’s Rio Puerco River, New Los Lunas, there is a mountain known commonly is “Hidden Mountain”. Perched atop this mountain are the ruins of an ancient Anasazi city. The Anasazi were a cultural group in ancient America centered on the present-day Four Corners area of the United States, comprising southern Utah, northern Arizona, northwest New Mexico, and a lesser section of Colorado. They flourished for over 2,000 year between 1,200 BCE and to have eventually left their cliff top cities abandoned around 1,300 CE.
However this Anasazi settlement has one major difference from all other Anasazi settlements. This Anasazi settlement has a large bolder with the Ten Commandments inscribed on it in a form of the ancient Paleo-Hebrew script at the base of the mountain.
The Bat Creek Stone
Flowing through the Tennessee valley Bat Creek flows into the Little Tennessee River which flows down from the Appalachian mountains. In the 1880’s a Smithsonian Institution burial mound survey team led by John W. Emmert and overseen by Cyrus Thomas, conducted several excavations in the valley. These were actually bonafide excavations by any meaningful definition of the term, with the full credibility of the Smithsonian Institute.
When Emmert excavated one of the mounds he found nine skeletons. Immediately under the head of one skeleton were found a number of artifacts: an inscribed tablet (the Bat Creek Stone), two “copper” bracelets (which have since been determined to be brass), a small drilled fossil, a copper bead, a bone tool and two pieces of polished wood (ear spools?).
John Emmert and Cyrus Thomas both represented the stone upside down and later determined that the characters were a Cherokee inscription. It was not until 1971 1971 Dr. Gordon having turned the photograph of the artifact right side up, verified that the characters were indeed Paleo-Hebrew and not Cherokee. At this point the Bat Creek Stone gained worldwide attention.
In recent years the stone itself and the other artifacts that were found with it have been tested. These tests have verified the validity of the stone itself and dated the artifacts to as old as the first century.
I have just finished a new book on these very interesting ancient artifacts (which I have been researching since 1993) which will be published very soon. I will let you all know when the book is out.
* I stated at the top, this is not a Book of Mormon thing. By this I mean that the scripts used on all but one of these artifacts is written in a Script that dates to post-exile times. The alleged account of the Book of Mormon is supposed to involve Hebrews that supposedly came to the New World at the beginning of the Babylonian Captivity. Therefore these inscriptions could not relate to the claims of the Book of Mormon.
I often ask the question, is this work worthy of your support? Ask yourself, have you learned anything from this ministry? If so then chip in and do your part to help spread this truth.
Regarding the Bat Creek Stone Frank Moore Cross, at that point the Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages at Harvard is famous for his work on the Dead Sea Scrolls, being one of only two Americans on the scroll-publishing team disputed Gordon's claims.
Cross’ verdict is that of the eight characters on the stone, six cannot be identified as paleo-Hebrew script. Faced with that, the most probable conclusion is that the Stone is a fabrication, rather than evidence of Hebrew contact with the New World or the preexistence of the Cherokee alphabet. Since there are no photographs or reports from the dig, it is impossible to say with any certainty that the stone wasn’t placed by Emmert or someone else at the time.
Actually there are reports from the dig, extracts and photos of which appear in my book. New tests were conducted on the stone this last Summer with the permission of the Smithsonian Institute. This test report (which is included in its entirety in Appendix 4 of my book) confirms Emmet's notes from the dig in every detail. The tests concluded that the stone was in the same clay as the rest of the artifacts and skeletons for the same amount of time as they had been. The veracity of the dig was confirmed in every detail, even Emmet's account in his notes of having lightly struck the the stone with his pick when he discovered it under the skull.
Surely you are not claiming that the results of an official dig conducted by the Smithsonian Institute were unreliable and fraudulent?
As for Cross, he was just plain wrong. My old friend and mentor Dr. Cyrus Gordon verified that the Inscription is Hebrew. I can see that it is Hebrew by looking at it. Few deny any more that the inscription is Hebrew, in fact most detractors today claim it was copied out of a book. However this theory cannot be supported because of the recent tests on the stone, as well as tests done on the other artifacts found with the stone.
All of this is covered in detail and documented in my book. You might want to actually read it and then comment,
The ‘keystone’, the first of the so-called Holy Stones to be discovered
In 1860, amateur archaeologist David Wyrick (1806-1864) discovered a number of unusual objects while excavating a series of Native American mounds 16 km (10 miles) south of Newark (Ohio, USA). The first object to be found, today known as the ‘keystone’ was found in a pit some 3.7 to 4.3 m (12 to 14 feet) deep (although the stone itself was said to have been found near the surface) and was encased, apparently deliberately, in a clay ball; it is carved fromnovaculite, 152 mm (6 inches) long and 41 mm (1.625 inches) thick and is inscribed on each of its four faces with standard Hebrew letters. Wyrick took the stone to his friend Israel Dille (1802-1874), a local judge. On the day that Wyrick called, Dille was entertaining the geologist Charles Wittlesey (1808-1886), also an amateur archaeologist with an interest in the mounds of North America. The three men agreed that the lettering was Hebrew but as none of them could read it, they took the stone to Reverend John Winspeare McCarty (1832-1867), who was known to be able to read Hebrew.
The four faces of the ‘keystone’ (which are displayed clearly here) read קדשקדשים (QDŠ QDŠYM, “Holy of Holies”) | מלךארץ (MLK ’RṢ, “King of the Earth”) | תורתיהוה (TWRT YHWH, “The Law of God”) | דבריהוה (DBR YHWH, “The Word of God”). These letters are of a form that was current in the nineteenth century, which ought to raise suspicions.
Harper’s Weekly, 1 September 1860, dismissing the ‘keystone’ as a fraud
The discovery was reported in Harper’s Weekly (1 September 1860, 545-6) by David Francis Bacon, whose story ‘The Ohio “Holy stone”’ included illustrations of the four sides of the object. It was dismissed as a fraud, Charles Wittlesey having pointed out that the Hebrew letters were modern, while a Newark Mason had suggested that the object was a Masonic keystone (which is how it derived its name). In his article, Bacon commented “no stone, whether novaculite or any thing else (even granite), can be buried in that soil for so much as half a century without becoming covered by a calcareous incrustation… or acquiring a ferruginous or other stain from the earth which encloses it. And yet this Newark Holy Stone comes up from its entombment of some thousand some hundreds and some odd years as clean and bright and slick as a new whistle!”
In November 1860, just a few months after the first discovery, a sandstone box was found, containing a carved black limestone slab 175 mm (6.875 inches) long, 73 mm (2.875 inches) wide and 44 m (1.75 inches) thick. It depicts a man surrounded by a inscription, again in Hebrew letters, although of an eccentric form. Nevertheless, these letters were of an archaic type, unlike those on the ‘keystone’. The inscription, which runs covers the entire surface of the stone, with the exception of the human figure (labelled משה, “Moses”), is a contracted version of the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. A sandstone bowl, this time uninscribed, was also found, apparently associated with the box.
It is known that the Newark mounds had been dug over during the early nineteenth century in a search for the reputed treasure of the Scottish pirate William (“Captain”) Kidd (1654-1701). Although the box, the inscribed slab it contained and the cup were said to have been found under a stack of stone forty feet (12.2 m) high, the stack had been completely removed before 1832. In 1850, a group of farmers digging on the site discovered a wooden coffin embedded in clay, which Wyrick excavated ten years later. Clearly, the site was not undisturbed.
The ‘Decalogue’ stone
Wyrick is said to have been a believer that the so-called “Moundbuilders” were of Israelite origin (one of the so-called “lost tribes”), although no evidence has been produced to show that this was the case. Indeed, he failed to mention this idea in an 1861 pamphlet that he published about the discoveries. However, Charles Wittlesey believed that Wyrick was the fraudster and this has long been the accepted explanation. As Wyrick overdosed on laudanum (which he was taking to relieve the severe rheumatoid arthritis that had led to his early retirement as County Surveyor in 1859) on 16 April 1864, it has been thought that his suicide was in prompted by his shame at engaging in the fraud. This seems grossly unfair: it seems more likely that Wyrick was driven to this extremity by the pain of his arthritis.
More recently, Rochelle Altmanhas suggested that the objects are of late medieval type and belonged to a Jewish settler in North America during the early nineteenth century. Her reconstruction of the circumstances of deposition connects the surviving objects with another found by the banker and amateur archaeologist David M Johnson (1837-1914) in 1867, which was apparently found attached to a damaged skull. This object, now lost, is identified by Altman as a head phylactery; the ‘Decalogue’ would be a hand phylactery, with carrying case to prevent it becoming ritually tainted, the cup a special vessel for ritual ablutions and the ‘keystone’ a water flow detector. Their owner was murdered and thrown into a pit that contained Native American remains disturbed by the earlier digging around the Newark mounds.
This is intriguing. It would explain many of the anomalous features of the inscriptions, but it does not explain why the second inscription answered the objections raised by the first. Nor does it explain various anachronisms in the second inscription, such as letter forms apparently borrowed from Greek and Sabataean, or the presence of a blasphemous image of Moses.
Instead, the work of Brad Lepper and Jeff Gill has pointed the finger of suspicion at the Reverend McCarty. He certainly had the knowledge to create Hebrew inscriptions and was in the right place to plant objects for discovery. They suggest that he was influenced by the 1839 prediction of his Bishop, Charles Petit McIlvane (1799-1873), that ancient Israelites had built the mounds of North America and that it was only a matter of time before artefacts proving him right would be found. McCarty was young and ambitious; he was also deeply involved with the abolitionist cause. As Lepper and Gill point out, proving his bishop correct in the view that Native Americans were descendants of the ancient Israelites would undermine the idea that they, along with negroes, were a separate creation from European humanity, and could be enslaved or exterminated.
The Newark “Holy Stones” are thus not evidence for an ancient Israelite migration to the New World, as envisaged by those who believed that the mounds could not have been constructed by Native Americans. They are irrelevant to the mounds of the Adena-Hopewell culture complex (a purely indigenous phenomenon), whether one accepts Rochelle Altman’s ingenious explanation or that of Brad Lepper and Jeff Gill. Given the discovery of marks on the ‘keystone’ that appear to have been made with a mechanical grinding wheel, the objects can hardly have been made before the nineteenth century.