It has been over a century since J. A. Goodchild first published his translation of the original Gaeilge of the legend of Queen Tephi as it has been sung by the bards (poet-minstrals) of Ireland for centuries. In the annals and legends of Ireland we find the traditions of the origins of the Irish people and the ancient Irish Kings. This rich history speaks of the early settlement of Ireland by a group called "Tuatha De Danaan" (Tribe of Danaan) . Buried this folk-lore is the tale of a Prophet (Jermemiah?), Princess Tephi and Simon Brug (Baruch?) a Scribe. They Landed in Ireland about the same time that the destruction of Jerusalem took place, bearing with them a great chest and a stone wrapped on a banner. The Princess married the Zarahite King, Eochaidh II. Ard-dath, Ard-righ, or Heremon (horse man of all Ireland), and their son was Irial. This Tephi was the daughter of the king of Jerusalem whom Jeremiah went forth to plant in Ireland after the ROOTING-OUT and DESTRUCTION of Zedekiah, the king of Jerusalem in c. 588 B.C. We find in the official lieage of the Royal House of Britain that the House of Stewart are the decendents of Tea Tephi and her husband Eochaidh the Heremon.
From Tephi and Eochaidh descended all of the Kings of Ireland and Scotland and ultimately Britain. It is for this reason that King David’s harp is the symbol of Ireland. I myself find this history of particular interest, as my great-great-grandmother was Margaret Miranda Stewart of the Stewart Clan from which arises the House of Stewart, the House of the Royal House of Britain, making Tephi and ultiametely King David my own ancestors.
This story begins in the Book of Jeremiah, with the commissioning of Jeremiah:
4 And the word of YHWH came unto me, saying:
5 Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you. I have appointed you a prophet unto the nations.
6 Then said I, Ah, Adonai YHWH! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child.
7 But YHWH said unto me: Say not, I am a child. For to whomsoever I shall send you, you shall go, and whatsoever I shall command you, you shall speak.
8 Be not afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says YHWH.
9 Then YHWH put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And YHWH said unto me: Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.
10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms: to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to overthrow; to build, and to plant.
(Jer. 1:4-10 HRV)
YHWH established Jeremish as a prophet over nations and over kingdoms. On the one hand “to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to overthrow” (Jer. 1:10) and on the other hand “to build and to plant” (Jer. 1:10).
It became Jeremiah’s role to speak out against the wickedness of the priests, kings and people of the House of Judah:.
1 The word which came unto Yirmeyah from YHWH, when N’vukhadnetzar, king of Bavel and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the land of his dominion, and all the peoples, fought against Yerushalayim and against all the cities thereof, saying:
2 Thus says YHWH, the Elohim of Yisra’el: Go and speak to Tzidkiyah, king of Y’hudah, and tell him: Thus says YHWH: Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Bavel, and he shall burn it with fire.
3 And you shall not escape out of his hand, but shall surely be taken, and delivered into his hand. And your eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Bavel, and he shall speak with you, mouth to mouth, and you shall go to Bavel.
4 Yet hear the word of YHWH, O Tzidkiyah king of Y’hudah. Thus says YHWH concerning you: You shall not die by the sword.
5 You shall die in peace, and with the burnings of your fathers, the former kings that were before you, so shall they make a burning for you. And they shall lament you, Ah master, For I have spoken the word, says YHWH.
(Jer. 34:1-5 HRV)
2 Thus says YHWH: He that remains in this city shall die: by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. But he that goes forth to the Chaldeans shall live, and his life shall
be unto him for a prey, and he shall live.
3 Thus says YHWH: This city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Bavel, and he shall take it.
(Jer. 38:2-3 HRV)
16 Go and speak to a slave melech, the Ethiopian, saying, Thus says YHWH Tzva’ot, the Elohim of Yisra’el: Behold, I will bring My words upon this city for evil, and not for
good, and they shall be accomplished before you in that day.
17 But I will deliver you in that day, says YHWH: and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid.
18 For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword: but your life shall be for a prey unto you, because you have put your trust in Me, says YHWH.
(Jer. 39:16-18 HRV)
So what happened to Jeremiah when Jerusalem fell? The Scripture tells us:
11 Now N’vukhadnetzar king of Bavel, gave charge concerning Yirmeyah to N’vuzar’adan the captain of the guard, saying,
12 Take him and look well to him, and do him no harm, but do unto him even as he shall say unto you.
13 So N’vuzar’adan, the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushazban Rab-saris, and Nergal-Sar’etzer Rab-mag, and all the chief officers of the king of Bavel,
14 They sent and took Yirmeyah out of the court of the guard, and committed him unto G’dalyah, the son of Achikam, the son of Shafan: that he should carry him home, so he dwelt among the people.
(Jer. 39:11-14 HRV)
2 And the captain of the guard took Yirmeyah, and said unto him, YHWH your Elohim pronounced this evil upon this place,
3 And YHWH has brought it and done according as He spoke. Because you have sinned against YHWH, and have not hearkened to His voice, therefore this thing is come upon
4 And now behold, I loose you this day from the chains which are upon your hand. If it seem good unto you to come with me into Bavel, come, and I will look well unto you. But if it seem ill unto you to come with me into Bavel, forbear. Behold, all the land is
before you; where it seems good and right unto you to go, there go--
5 Yet he would not go back. Go back then to G’dalyah, the son of Achikam the son of Shafan, whom the king of Bavel has made governor over the cities of Y’hudah: and dwell
with him among the people, or go wheresoever it seems right unto you to go. So the captain of the guard gave him an allowance and a present, and let him go.
6 Then went Yirmeyah unto G’dalyah, the son of Achikam to Mitzpah, and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.
(Jer. 40:2-6 HRV)
More details of Jeremiah’s escape from the destruction of Babylon can be found in 2Maccabees:
1 It is also found in the records, that Jeremy the prophet commanded them that were carried away to take of the fire, as it hath been signified:
2 And how that the prophet, having given them the law, charged them not to forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, when they see images of silver and gold, with their ornaments.
3 And with other such speeches exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their hearts.
4 It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God.
5 And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door .
6 And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it.
7 Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy.
8 Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honourably sanctified.
(2Maccabees 2:1-8 KJV)
Zedekiah’s sons were all killed, and Zedekiah himself died in Babylon:
9 Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Bavel, to Rivlah in the land of Hamat, and he gave judgment upon him.
10 And the king of Bavel slew the sons of Tzidkiyah before his eyes; he slew also all the princes of Y’hudah, in Rivlah.
11 And he put out the eyes of Tzidkiyah: and the king of Bavel bound him in fetters, and carried him to Bavel, and put him in prison till the day of his death.
(Jer. 52:9-11 HRV)
Now we have seen how Jeremiah had been commissioned “to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to overthrow” (Jer. 1:10) but how did he also go on “to build and to plant” (Jer. 1:10).
5 But Yochanan, the son of Kareach and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Y’hudah, that were returned from all the nations where they had been driven, to sojourn in the land of Y’hudah:
6 The men, and the women, and the children, and the king's daughters, and every person that N’vuzar’adan, the captain of the guard had left with G’dalyah, the son of Achikam, the son of Shafan, and Yirmeyah the prophet, and Baruch, the son of Neriyah.
7 And they came into the land of Egypt, for they hearkened not to the voice of YHWH , and they came even to Tahpanhes.
(Jer. 43:5-7 HRV)
Notice that while the king’s sons were all killed. Now Jeremiah had also prophecied:
David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne
of the House of Israel
(Jer. 33:17 HRV)
David’s royal lineage was to be preserved through his daughters. Notice that Jeremiah does not say “House of Judah” but “House of Israel”. YHWH did not make a mistake here, but how was this prophecy fulfilled?
To find the answer let us turn to another prophecy addressed to the House of Israel, this time in the Book of Ezekiel:
1 And the word of YHWH came unto me, saying:
2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable unto the House of Yisra’el,
3 And say, Thus says the Adonai YHWH: A great eagle with great wings and long pinions, full of feathers, which had divers colors came unto the L’vanon, and took the top of the cedar;
4 He cropped off the topmost of the young twigs thereof, and carried it into a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants.
5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful soil: he placed it beside many waters; he set it as a slip.
6 And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose tendrils might turn toward him, and the roots thereof be under him: so it became a vine and brought forth branches, and shot forth sprigs.
7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers. And behold, this vine did bend its roots toward him, and shot forth its branches toward him, from the beds of its plantation, that he might water it.
8 It was planted in a good soil by many waters, that it might bring forth branches, and that it might bear fruit--that it might be a stately vine.
9 Say you, Thus says the Adonai YHWH: Shall it prosper? Shall he not pull up the roots thereof and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither--yes, wither in all its sprouting leaves? Neither shall great power or much people be at hand, when it is plucked up by the roots thereof.
10 Yes behold, being planted, shall it prosper? Shall it not utterly wither when the east wind touches it? In the beds where it grew, it shall wither.
11 Moreover the word of YHWH came unto me, saying:
12 Say now to the rebellious house: Know you not what these things mean? Tell them: Behold, the king of Bavel came to Yerushalayim, and took the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and brought them to him to Bavel.
13 And he took of the seed royal and made a covenant with him, and brought him under an oath, and the mighty of the land he took away--
14 That his, might be a lowly kingdom: that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant, it might stand.
15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper, shall he escape that does such things; shall he break the covenant, and yet escape?
16 As I live, says the Adonai YHWH: Surely in the place where the king dwells, that made him king, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke, even with him; in the midst of Bavel, he shall die.
17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company, succor him in the war, when they cast up mounds and build forts, to cut off many souls,
18 Seeing he has despised the oath, by breaking the covenant: when behold, he had given his hand, and has done all these things, he shall not escape.
19 Therefore thus says the Adonai YHWH: As I live, surely My oath that he has despised, and My covenant that he has broken--I will even bring it upon his own head.
20 And I will spread My net upon him, and he shall be taken in My snare. And I will bring him to Bavel, and will plead with him there, for his treachery that he has committed against Me.
21 And all his mighty men in all his bands shall fall by the sword, and they that remain shall be scattered toward every wind: and you shall know that I YHWH have spoken it.
22 Thus says the Adonai YHWH: Moreover I will take, even I, of the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs, a tender one: and I will plant it upon a high mountain, and eminent.
23 In the mountain of the height of Yisra’el will I plant it, and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a stately cedar. And under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing, in the shadow of the branches thereof, shall they dwell.
24 And all the trees of the field shall know, that I YHWH have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I YHWH have spoken, and have done it.
(Ezekiel 17 HRV)
The Book of Tephi describes in great detail this journey Jeremiah took with one of the daughters of Zedekia, Teia Tephi. Also on the voyage Jeremiah brought with him the Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny) and The Ark of The Covenant then on to Gibraltar. There she is proclaimed queen of the Gadite Israelites who lived there. They continued to Breogan in Spain, Cornwall and eventually landed at Howth, near Dublin, in Ireland on the 18th. of June 583 B.C.. The Book of Tephi also describe many of the significant events which occurred at that time in history and are related to her journey from Jerusalem to Ireland. Finally the book contains many prophecies concerning major events which have occurred in 2,500 years since Tephi’s time.
In closing, while the Book of Tephi is not canonicle, I have no hesitation in presenting this tale long sung by the Irish bards as an account of great antiquity and interest, and a book that is entitled to great circulation among those who take pleasure in studying the Word of YHWH.
One final note: The Book of Tephi is presented here just as it was translated by J. A. Goodchild in 1897. Sacred Names have not been inserted, as doing so would in places disrupt the poetry and Rhyme schemes laid out by Goodchild.
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