JEREMIAH IN IRELAND -- FACT OR FABRICATION?
According to Herbert Armstrong in the book "The United States and Britain in
Prophecy," the prophet Jeremiah (in the company of his scribe Baruch) took King
Zedekiah's daughter to Ireland where she founded a line of Davidic kings that
has continued on down to this day. What corroborating evidence can be found in
the Irish annals to back up this assertion? What FACTS can be gleaned from the
ancient sources to show this compelling story to be true? Shocking as it may
sound, there is NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER in either the Irish or the Scottish
annals -- not even a TRACE of Jeremiah, Tea-Tephi and the ever-faithful Baruch!
The TRUTH is, if Jeremiah ever brought Zedekiah's daughter to Ireland, it went
TOTALLY UNNOTICED in the ancient Irish annals.
By John D. Keyser It makes fascinating reading!
As related by Herbert W. Armstrong in the booklet "The United states
and Britain in Prophecy", the story of Jeremiah's journey to Ireland with a
daughter of King Zedekiah of Judah comes to life under the author's pen:
"The real ancient history of Ireland is very extensive, though colored with some
legend. But with the facts of biblical history and prophecy in mind, one can
easily sift out the legend from the true history in studying ancient Irish
annals. Throwing out that which is obviously legendary, we glean from various
histories of Ireland the following: Long prior to 700 B.C. a strong colony
called "Tuatha de Danaan" (tribe of Dan) arrived in ships, drove out other
tribes, and settled there. Later, in the days of David, a colony of the line of
Zarah arrived in Ireland from the Near East.
"Then, in 569 B.C. (date of Jeremiah's transplanting), an elderly,
white-haired patriarch, sometimes referred to as a "saint," came to Ireland.
With him was the princess daughter of an eastern king and a companion called
"Simon Brach," spelled in different histories as Breck, Berech, Brach, or
Berach. The princess had a Hebrew name Tephi -- a pet name -- her full name
"Modern literature of those who recognize our national identity has confused
this Tea-Tephi, a daughter of Zedekiah, with an earlier Tea, a daughter of Ith,
who lived in the days of David.
"This royal party included the son of the king of Ireland who had been in
Jerusalem at the time of the siege. There he had become acquainted with
Tea-Tephi. He married her shortly after 585 -- when the city fell. Their young
son, now about 12 years of age, accompanied them to Ireland. Besides the royal
family, Jeremiah brought with them some remarkable things, including a harp, AN
ARK, and a wonderful STONE CALLED "LIA-FAIL," or "STONE OF DESTINY."
"....many kings in the history of Ireland, Scotland, and England have been
coronated over this stone -- including the present queen. The stone rests today
in Westminster Abbey in London, and the coronation chair is built over and
around it. A sign beside it labels it "Jacob's pillar-stone" (Gen. 28:18).
"The royal husband of the Hebrew princess Tea was given the TITLE HERREMON
upon ascending the throne of his father. This Herremon has usually been confused
with a much earlier Gede the Herremon in David's day -- who married his uncle
Ith's daughter Tea. The son of this later king Herremon and Hebrew princess
continued on the throne of Ireland and THIS SAME DYNASTY CONTINUED UNBROKEN
through all the kings of Ireland; was OVERTURNED and transplanted again in
Scotland; again OVERTURNED and moved to London, England, where this same dynasty
continues today in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II....
"In view of the linking together of biblical history, prophecy, and Irish
history, can anyone deny that this Hebrew princess was the daughter of King
Zedekiah of Judah and therefore heir to the throne of David? That King Herremon
was a descendant of Zarah, here married to the daughter of Pharez, healing the
ancient breach? That when the throne of David was first overturned by Jeremiah,
it was REPLANTED in Ireland, later overturned a second time and replanted in
Scotland, overturned a third time and planted in London? When Christ returns to
earth to sit on that throne, He shall take over a LIVE, EXISTING throne, not a
nonexistent one (Luke 1:32)." -- 1980, Worldwide Church of God. Pp. 99-102.
No References! In preparation for the writing of this
article, and several others on the royal house of Britain, I searched out and
read literally DOZENS of books written by British-Israelites in order to more
accurately understand the BASIS for the Jeremiah/Tea-Tephi legend so eloquently
penned by Herbert Armstrong. I also consulted primary and secondary sources on
the Irish and Scottish annals.
To my surprise, I found that the British-Israelite books all REPEAT the same
Tea-Tephi story (with slight variations), each aggressively claiming that the
story is found in the ancient annals. In my research I have NOT FOUND a single
British-Israelite book that actually gives a REFERENCE to WHERE in the Irish and
Scottish annals the supporting material may be found! Armstrong's booklet does
not -- nor does Joseph Allen's earlier book on the subject.
As also discovered by Greg Doudna (former Ambassador College student,
now with the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Cornell University), "they
all seem to draw from previous British-Israel writings. They speak so
confidently it sounds like there must be something in the annals to which they
refer. The NAMES mentioned in the Tea-Tephi legend appear in the annals, true
enough, but I have discovered they are TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSONS IN THE ANNALS
than the British-Israel legend makes them out to be. The annals simply don't say
what the British-Israel literature, or the Worldwide Church of God, SAY they
say. It is a LEGEND that someone somewhere within British-Israel circles began,
stated it as fact, and it has been repeated as fact within British-Israel
circles ever since, down to the present day in which the Worldwide Church of God
repeats it to millions. It may make an interesting story, but IT IS COMPLETELY
FABRICATED." ("Afterword on British-Israelism", p. 121).
I have to ECHO Greg Doudna in his discoveries: There is absolutely NO
FOUNDATION in the Irish and Scottish annals for the story of Jeremiah and
Tea-Tephi! NONE of the dozens of British-Israelite books I have read give
quotations from the annals themselves, or cite chapter and verse in the annals.
They simply ASSERT, in a convincing style, that these things are so. Frankly, I
was not aware how BASELESS these assertions were until I researched all the
literature for myself. Who Was Ollam Fodla?
The key figure in Armstrong's story is, of course, Jeremiah the
prophet. According to Worldwide Church of God historian Herman L. Hoeh, Jeremiah
the prophet was known in Ireland by the name "Ollam Fodhla." (See "Compendium of
World History", vol. I, p. 432). In Armstrong's booklet a similar connection is
made; and British-Israelite theorists also claim this as fact. E. Raymond Capt
in his book "Jacob's Pillar" makes the SAME assertion: "Many of the ancient
Irish records, when making reference to an 'eastern king's daughter,' also
mention an old man; 'a patriarch, a saint, a prophet,' called 'OLLAM FODHLA'
....Tradition asserts that Ollam Fodhla was none other than JEREMIAH, the
prophet..." (Artisan Sales, Thousand Oaks, CA. 1977. P. 31).
Let me state here and now that I have found NO SUCH TRADITION in the
To further solidify this identification of Jeremiah with the Irish
Ollam Fodhla, E. Raymond Capt makes the following statement:
SOME authorities on Irish history have cited the Annals of the Kingdom
of Ireland by the Four Masters (edited from MSS. in the Library of the Royal
Academy and of Trinity College, Dublin translated by John O'Donovan, M.T.I.A.)
as A LINK BETWEEN IRELAND AND JEREMIAH: "Ollam Fola (Foldha) is celebrated in
ANCIENT HISTORY as a sage and legislator, eminent for learning, wisdom and
excellent institutions, and his historic fame has been recognized by placing his
medallion in 'basso relievo' with those of Moses and other great legislators in
the interior of the dome of the Four Courts of Dublin....(Ibid., p. 41).
Excuse me -- did I miss something here? I might be as blind as a bat
in a London fog but I saw no link between Ireland and Jeremiah in this passage!
If that's all they can base their identification of Jeremiah on, then their
whole theory is extremely tenuous!
Greg Doudna noticed the same paucity of evidence:
"What the originators of the...legend did was simply combine famous,
known figures in the annals, many centuries apart, and splice them together in a
TOTALLY IMAGINARY RECONSTRUCTION.
"For example, who is Olam Fodla? In British-Israel theory, and stated in the
USBP, he is JEREMIAH, the aged prophet. In fact, Olam Fodla appears in the Irish
legends as one of the greatest NATIVE MILESIAN KINGS. Unlike the British-Israel
books I examined, I will now actually QUOTE something from the annals. A poem
quoted in one of the annals called the Book of Leinster, and identified by one
of Ireland's early authorities on the annals, Eugene O'Curry, as written around
the time of the birth of Christ and of a very high degree of authority, has this
to say of Olam Fodla, whom the WCG book, UNCRITICALLY REPEATING BRITISH-ISRAEL
LEGEND, says was "Jeremiah." Does this read like a description of the biblical
'Ollam Fodhla, of furious valour,
Who founded the Court of Ollamh,
Was the first heroic KING
That instituted the Feast of Teamain [Tara].
FORTY sweet musical YEARS
He held the high sovereignty of Erinn [Ireland];
And it was from him, with noble pride,
The Ultonians took their name.
Six kings of valiant career
OF OLLAMH'S RACE reigned over Errin;
For two hundred and ten full years,
No other person came between them...'
"The ancient poem continues with an account of Ollam's six reigning
descendants. OLLAM WAS NOT JEREMIAH. The annals say Ollam FOUNDED A COLLEGE and
was an enlightened ruler, known as "Doctor of Wisdom." This is said of the
famous KING Ollam Fodla. The name "Ollam" thereafter meant a wise man. THE
BRITISH-ISRAELITES ARBITRARILY SAID OLLAM FODLA WAS JEREMIAH, even though the
ANNALS say he was a NATIVE MILESIAN KING. THE JEREMIAH IDENTIFICATION IS A
"Dr. Herman Hoeh, the leading historian of British-Israelism in the Worldwide
Church of God, was aware of the KING named Ollam Fodla. In the Irish kings list
in his Compendium of World History, an Ollam Fodla is dated 714-674 B.C., with
the appended comment, "Not the later prophet Ollamh Fodhla"....In fact, THERE IS
NO "SECOND," LATER OLLAM FODLA IN THE IRISH ANNALS who may be identified with
JEREMIAH. There is only the ONE famous King Ollam Fodla." -- "Afterword on
British-Israelism", pp. 121-123.
One of the leading authorities on Irish history -- O'Flaherty's
"Ogygia" -- makes PLAIN that Ollamh Fodhla was NOT the same person as Jeremiah:
"Ollamfodla, of the HOUSE OF HIR [IR -- a son of Gathelus], the SON of king
Fiach, slew Faldergod in the battle of Temor [Tara], and ascended the throne. He
had FOUR SONS, viz. Finnacta, Slanoll, Ged, and Carbry, the progenitor of the
Rudicians; from his name Ollamh, the name of ULSTER is said to be derived. He
first instituted the assemblies of Temor [Tara], which were held every three
years for enacting and executing laws. Three days before, and so many after the
FESTIVAL, WHICH WE CALL SAMHUIN [ALL-HALLOWS DAY -- pagan Irish
festival]...these solemn assemblies were celebrated with great pomp and
"He, being a man of great literary knowledge, is called Ollam-fodla, i.e.
through Ireland which is called Fodla in our language, he was a great professor
of learning...which he deservedly obtained on account of his extensive learning.
He erected Mur-Ollamhan, i.e. the wall of the learned, at Tara. You may call it
a college...an academy, or a lyceum...." (Vol. II, translated by James Hely. W.
M'Kenzie, Dublin. 1793. Pp. 70-71).
When Did Fodhla Reign?
The epoch of Ollam Fodhla, as we shall see, is FAR TOO EARLY to be
associated with Jeremiah. Francis Plowden notes that "the grand epoch of
political eminence in the early history of Ireland is the reign of their great
and favorite monarch OLLAM-FODLAH, who reigned, according to Keating, ABOUT 950
YEARS BEFORE THE CHRISTIAN ERA." ("An Historical Review of the State of
Ireland", vol. I. William F. M'Laughlin, Philadelphia. 1805. P. 13).
Seumas MacManus places the time of Ollam Fodhla's reign a little
later, but still too early for Jeremiah! "All the stories say that the greatest
king of those faraway times was the TWENTY-FIRST MILESIAN KING, known as Ollam
Fodla (Ollav Fola) who blessed Ireland in a reign of forty years, some SEVEN OR
EIGHT CENTURIES BEFORE THE CHRISTIAN ERA." ("The Story of the Irish Race". The
Devin-Adair Co. N.Y. 1949. P. 15).
Even Herman Hoeh, in his Irish chronology, places Ollam Fodhla's reign
as 714 to 674 B.C. -- once again too early for Jeremiah. He gets around this, as
we have seen, by stating that this is "not the later prophet Ollamh Fodhla"!
However, there was ONLY ONE Ollam Fodhla in all of Irish history!
There is, basically, TWO MAIN CHRONOLOGIES of the Irish kings in the
annals of Ireland. Roderic O'Flaherty's chronology in his Ogygia, places the
arrival of the Milesians under Heremon in approximately the year 1,000 B.C.;
while "The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland", compiled by the Four Masters,
places the invasion of Ireland at a time shortly after the Exodus (ca. 1434
B.C.). When you carefully study the history of the Milesians, it soon becomes
evident that "The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland" contain the CORRECT
chronology of the Irish kings.
With this in mind, a remarkable coincidence becomes apparent in the
Irish king-list! The regnal years of Ollamh Fodhla fall at the SAME TIME as the
reign of King David of Israel -- a year or two differential between the two
reigns if the chronology of Ussher is compared with that of "The Annals of the
Kingdom of Ireland"! How much of a "coincidence" this discovery really is will
be examined shortly.
More Than One Tomb?
British-Israelites have pointed to two possible burial places
for Jeremiah in Ireland to justify their claims of the prophet's presence in
this land. But are they burial places of Jeremiah? According to E. Raymond Capt:
"The burial place of OLLAM FODHLA (Jeremiah) is claimed as being in TWO
DIFFERENT PLACES. One is a tomb hewn out of rock in a cemetery on Devenish
Island, in Lough Erne. It has been known from time immemorial as "Jeremiah's
Tomb." The other, and best authenticated is located in Schiabhla-Cailliche, near
Oldcastle, County Meath, in Ireland, not far from Tara. A huge cairn of stones
marks the spot, and a large carved stone is still pointed out as Jeremiah's
judicial seat." ("Jacob's Pillar", pp. 39-40).
In all books on the antiquities of Ireland, these two locations are
known as possible tombs of OLLAM FODHLA -- not Jeremiah! The British-Israelites
(including Capt) ASSUME these tombs to be those of Jeremiah because they ASSUME
Jeremiah went to Ireland, a supposition that is supported by absolutely NO
historical proof whatsoever!
Astonishing New Evidence: Did King David Visit Ireland?
On the Ordnance Survey maps of Ireland can be found an area, three
miles north of Tara Hill, called "Dowd's Town" -literally "DAVID'S TOWN" -- THE
SETTLEMENT OF DAVID! Is it just possible that King David of Israel visited
Ireland and brought the country under his sway? Herman L. Hoeh thinks so:
"Perhaps the enigmatic 29th chapter of Isaiah will take on new meaning in answer
to this question:
'Ah, ARIEL, ARIEL, THE CITY
WHERE DAVID ENCAMPED!
Add ye year to year,
Let the FEASTS come round!
Then will I distress ARIEL,
And there shall be mourning and moaning...' (Jewish translation)
"That this prophecy refers to the House of Israel is made plain from the
context. The climax of the prophecy is the time of divine intervention in all
human affairs. But why should the "CITY WHERE DAVID ENCAMPED" symbolize the
center of government of the House of Israel today? It is not a fitting
expression for Jerusalem and Mt. Zion, for David DID MORE than encamp there. He
dwelt and ruled there! Notice further the name ARIEL. Here is a CITY WITH THE
NAME ARIEL. It symbolizes the same people as does Mt. Zion in prophecy, but it
is NOT Mt. Zion. It is only a place WHERE DAVID ENCAMPED.
"Cities in early times often changed names, or were given names, due to
FAMOUS MEN WHO RESTORED OR REBUILT THE SITES, or to men who established the
priority of their names in a genealogical line. Take for example the change of
the name of Aegialea to Sicyon in Greece....Was there at Tara a FAMOUS KING with
the name of ARIEL whose blood line rules today in the British Royal Family?
Indeed there was. Of four sons of Gede the Heremon, only the line of IRIAL
(Irish for Ariel) continued to rule from Tara. His name was as RARE in Irish
history as the name David was in Jewish history!
"These scant evidences of history are more than mere coincidence. NO OTHER
PLACE ON EARTH bears the names of Eber, of Dan, of David, of Ariel." --
"Compendium of World History", Vol. I., Ambassador College, Pasadena, CA. 1962.
Irial Faidh was the sixth Milesian king of Ireland, ruling from 1414
B.C. to 1404 B.C. The annals point out that he was a great warrior who fought
four major battles during his ten years on the throne. He was the first of the
Irish kings to FORTIFY AND BUILD EMBANKMENTS around the city of Tara, and to
clear the plains and build forts throughout the land. This Irial was none other
than the ARIEL of Isaiah 29; and Tara was named after him for a period of time.
Both Ollamh Fodhla and King David reigned for FORTY YEARS; and of ALL
the Milesian kings from Heremon down to Queen Elizabeth II only FOUR in 3,500
years had reigns of 40 years in length. BOTH kings were noted warriors; BOTH
kings were poets and sages; and BOTH kings died natural deaths at home. Of ALL
the Milesian kings from Heremon to Ederscel (time of Christ) ONLY EIGHT died a
natural death; and of these FOUR DIED AT TARA (i.e. AT HOME). Most of the others
died in battle. King David faithfully kept God's annual festivals; and the Irish
annals show that King Ollamh Fodhla faithfully kept a seven-day feast in the
fall of the year -- the FEAST OF TABERNACLES!
O'Flaherty records in his work that "from his name OLLAMH, the name of ULSTER
[northern province of Ireland] is said to be derived." (P. 70). This is very
significant! The flag of Northern Ireland (Ulster) has a white background with a
red cross. In the center is a SIX-POINTED STAR, and in the center of this white
star is "the BLOOD-RED RIGHT HAND OF ULSTER." Immediately above this six-pointed
"STAR OF DAVID" is the royal crown.
Why does Northern Ireland or Ulster have the STAR OF DAVID on its flag
(symbolic of David and the Pharez line of Judah) AND the Red Hand (symbolic of
the Zarah line of Judah)? Because the Red Hand represents the line of Zarah
which has ruled Ireland from the time Heremon established himself in the land
(1434 B.C.); and the star of David indicates the presence of David in Ireland
some 400 years later! It does NOT, however, necessarily indicate a healing of
the breach that occurred in Genesis 38:27-30!
"Why," some say, "should this strange story of the scarlet thread be
recorded in Bible history unless this BREACH was to be healed between the sons
or their descendants at some future date?" True -- but it never occurred during
the lifetime of Pharez and Zarah. How, then, (or when) was this breach healed?
The British-Israelites and a number of churches believe the breach was
healed when the prophet Jeremiah supposedly traveled to Ireland with a daughter
of King Zedekiah (of the line of Pharez). This daughter, so they claim, married
Heremon the son of Gathelus (of the line of Zarah), thus healing the breach.
Unfortunately, as we have seen, this never occurred! Jeremiah NEVER set foot in
Ireland with Zedekiah's daughter. Instead, the breach was healed at a much later
date in the person of King Arthur -- who himself was a type of Christ! Send for
our article "Joseph of Arimathea and David's Throne in Britain" for the exciting
The Arrival of Lia-Fail Another so-called "link" between
Jeremiah and Ireland was investigated by Doudna. Notice:
"I finally was able to find a reference in a British-Israel book
identifying WHERE in the Irish annals the Tea-Tephi/JEREMIAH story is supposed
to be found. The reference is cited as from the Chronicles of Eri (at Trinity
College, Dublin), II, 3 (p. 89). The relevant passage comes in a narrative
account of the legendary wanderings, thefts, and counter-thefts of the Lia-fail
stone (which had a mystique surrounding it -- whoever possessed it would rule).
The passage reads: 'For being but few to journey on the land, they would move on
the face of the waters in search of their brethren, led by TWO OF THE RACE, to
the extremity of the world of land to the sun's going, as they had heard. And
they were driven from their course. The vessel was borne to this land [Ullad]
and here was broken, but all the men came safe with Lia Fail.' Then on page 90,
'Chiefs of Iber, Gaal of Sciot, look on this stone...Be thus: guard well this
blessed gift; and in what land this messenger shall stay, a chief of Iber shall
"British-Israelites ARBITRARILY say, WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE BEYOND THEIR
SAY-SO, that the "two of the race" are Jeremiah and Baruch. "To the sun's going"
means they came from the east, which means they came from Palestine. "A Chief of
Iber" means a Hebrew Prince.
"This is, apparently, the TRUE BASIS claimed in the annals for the story of
Jeremiah/Zedekiah's daughter's transfer (combined, of course, with separate
accounts drawn from elsewhere of the great KING Ollam Fodla, the king Simeon
Brach, Princess Tea, and Queen Tephi of Spain, all separated widely in time).
This is the "TRUNK OF THE TREE" (even though the dating of this incident
involving anonymous personages is MANY HUNDREDS OF YEARS EARLIER THAN WHEN
JEREMIAH LIVED). Are there ancient records or legends of any people on earth --
in most of which references can be found somewhere to "two people traveling" and
"west" and names with syllables in them -- from which the same kind or genre of
conclusions could not be generated?" -- "Afterword on British-Israelism", note
25, p. 138.
A good question indeed -- I have never found so much based on so
little by so many! The idea that the Stone of Destiny, or
Jacob's Pillar-stone, was also taken by Jeremiah to Ireland does NOT stand up to
the records of history. The Irish and Scottish annals show that this famous
stone was taken to Spain by GATHELUS, the son of Calcol, and then to Ireland
(after his death) by his wife SCOTA and son Heremon. Heremon was the first
Irish-Milesian king to be crowned upon it in their new land.
Notice: "In the capital of the Scottish kingdom [Scone]
was a venerable fragment of rock, to which, at least as early as the fourteenth
century, the following legend was attached: The STONY PILLOW on which Jacob
slept at Bethel was by his countrymen transported to EGYPT. Thither came
GATHELUS, son of Cecrops [Calcol], King of Athens, and married Scota, daughter
of Pharaoh. He and his Egyptian wife, alarmed at the fame of MOSES, fled WITH
THE STONE to Sicily or to SPAIN. From Brigantia, in Spain, it was carried off
by...the favorite son of Milo the Scot [Gathelus], to Ireland...On the sacred
Hill of Tara it became 'Lia Fail,' the 'Stone of Destiny.' On it the Kings of
Ireland were placed." ("Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey", by Arthur
Penrhyn Stanley. John Murray, London. 1876. P. 57).
The Scottish historian Hector Boece recorded the same events in his book
"Chroniklis of the Scots" (1531): "GATHELUS, a Greek, the son of...the Athenian
Cecrops...went to Egypt AT THE TIME OF THE EXODUS, where he married Scota, the
daughter of Pharao, and after the destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red
Sea, fled with her...till he arrived in PORTUGAL, where he landed, and founded a
kingdom at Brigantium, now COMPOSTELLA. Here he reigned in the marble chair,
which was the 'lapis fatalis cathedrae instar,' or FATAL STONE like a chair....a
descendant of Gathelus [actually his son Heremon] brought the chair [and stone]
from Spain TO IRELAND, and was crowned in it as King of Ireland."
These are just two of NUMEROUS references in the annals regarding the arrival
of the Stone of Destiny in Ireland. NOWHERE is there any mention of Jeremiah in
connection with the stone. The stone arrived in Ireland ALMOST 1,000 YEARS
before the time of Jeremiah! Once again, this is just another flight of fancy by
Herbert Armstrong with absolutely NO CORROBORATING PROOF in the history of
Ireland. Jeremiah's trip to Ireland is pure fabrication -- NOT fact!
The same thing happened with the Tea-Tephi story in Armstrong's book and
British-Israelite literature: The originators simply combined famous, known
figures in the Irish annals -- figures that were many centuries apart -- and
spliced them together in a totally IMAGINARY RECONSTRUCTION.
Let Greg Doudna explain:
"Likewise, there is no second Tea-Tephi. TEA appears in the annals as
the wife of one of the original Milesian brothers, Heremon. British-Israel
theory said this was Zedekiah's daughter. But this doesn't fit chronologically,
since this Tea would be dated at either 1,000 B.C. or 1,500 B.C. (depending on
which of TWO CHRONOLOGIES in the annals is preferred). But Zedekiah's daughter
and Jeremiah lived in the mid-500's B.C. The USBP therefore says there was a
"SECOND" Tea-Tephi in the mid-500's B.C. who was Zedekiah's daughter. As Hoeh
said,...The Annals of the Four Masters reads: "TEA, the daughter of LUGAIDH, SON
OF ITHA, who Eremhon married IN SPAIN." This Tea is an altogether different
person from the Tea who came more than four centuries later to the Irish Isles.
The British Israel World Federation...is unwilling to believe the history of
Ireland as it is plainly recorded. The Tea who married Ghede the Heremon was a
daughter of Lughaidh, the son of Ith, uncle of Miledh [Milesius]....These events
occurred in David's reign, not Zedekiah's.
"But the "SECOND" TEA-TEPHI proposed by Hoeh and in the USBP book is a SHEER
FABRICATION, since THERE IS NO "SECOND" TEA-TEPHI IN THE IRISH ANNALS which,
after all, are supposed to be our sources.
"Admittedly, a problem occurs EITHER WAY Tea Tephi is interpreted. The
problem with the British-Israel Tea Tephi being the daughter of Jewish king
a) she is the COUSIN of Milesian founding king HEREMON,
b) her father is said to have been LUGAIDH, A MILESIAN, NOT ZEDEKIAH, A
c) she comes from SPAIN, not Palestine, and, finally,
d) she is about FIVE HUNDRED YEARS TOO EARLY.
"The problem with the WCG's "SECOND" Tea-Tephi in the time of Jeremiah
a) primarily, that SHE DOESN'T EXIST. "The "second" Tea
Tephi, like a "second" Ollam Fodla, HAS BEEN COMPLETELY INVENTED." -- "Afterword
on British-Israelism", pp. 123-124.
Not only that, but there NEVER was a Tea-Tephi to start with! The
original wife of the Heremon in question was named, simply, "TEA," NOT
"Tea-Tephi." Doudna notes that a much earlier "Tephi" does appear in the Irish
annals; however, she was the daughter of a LEADER OF A CELTIC SETTLEMENT IN
SPAIN. She evidently married a British king by the name of Canthon and had
absolutely nothing to do with the Irish royal line.
"How the "Tea-Tephi" name came about is recorded by Doudna: "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, et al. 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), J. H. Allen (1902), and of course,
Herbert W. Armstrong, whose book circulates to the whole world by the millions
today. [It has now been dropped by the Worldwide Church of God]. The story of
Glover's origination of 'Tea-Tephi,' with documentation, is told in Filmer,
Nithsdale, Price, and Stough, 'Tea-Tephi or Scota,' The Message, Issue 5
(London: Covenant Publishing Co., [1982?])." (Ibid., note 22, p. 138).
In a rather bizarre twist of circumstances, Doudna wrote to the Worldwide
Church of God in 1987 for further information about the Tea-Tephi/Jeremiah
"I also asked WHERE in the [Irish] annals the story of Tea-Tephi and
Jeremiah was found. To that, I received this response: "You also asked for
information regarding Princess Tea-Tephi. This information is available in
booklet form from: The Covenant Publishing Co., Ltd., 6 Buckingham Gate, London,
SW1E6JP, United Kingdom." "I wrote the Covenant Publishing Co., and, TO MY
ASTONISHMENT, received back a letter dated March 11, 1988, from the Secretary,
Richard Hall, with an enclosure giving a policy statement from six years earlier
REFUTING BEYOND ANY DOUBT THAT THERE EVEN WAS A TEA-TEPHI. (As explained in an
earlier note, there was a Tea, and there was an earlier Tephi, which had been
WRONGLY COMBINED INTO ONE PERSON in 1861 by Rev. F.R.A. Glover, but there is NO
"Tea-Tephi" in the annals at all.)
"In other words, not only is the WCG UNABLE to quote from the annals
themselves to support assertions in the USBP, but the SOURCE to which a
questioner is referred mails back evidence COMPLETELY BLOWING THE THEORY OUT OF
"(The Covenant Publishing Co. believes the connection of the Irish royalty to
David happened instead through a "SCOTA," wife of Miled. This is not an
improvement to the theory, however. "Scota" appears in the annals as A DAUGHTER
OF PHARAOH, NOT ZEDEKIAH or any other Jewish king. Also, SHE IS AT LEAST 500 OR
1200 YEARS TOO EARLY, according to Irish chronology. Hence, Scota WAS NOT a
means of transfer of the Davidic line to Ireland. See MacManus, Story of the
Irish Race, p. 8.)" -- (Ibid., note 35, p. 140).
In an extract from the booklet "Co-Incidences? Pointers to Our Heritage", by
Brigadier G. Wilson, the author ADMITS the shortcomings in the Tea-Tephi story.
Unfortunately, he follows this admission by including another error that is
UNTRUE! Notice: "The account given here concerning ZEDEKIAH'S DAUGHTER is
that which is generally accepted [the Tea-Tephi legend]. However, RECENT
RESEARCH suggests that the Princess was NOT Tea or Tea Tephi as previously
thought, but SCOTA, Zedekiah's eldest daughter [?]. In accordance with royal
Egyptian custom this princess had, on coming to Egypt with Jeremiah, been
adopted by Pharaoh Hofra as HIS daughter. This explains why she was thought to
be an Egyptian princess when she arrived in Ireland. Research suggests that
Eochaidh -- Heremon of all Ireland, was SCOTA'S SON and NOT her husband, and
that EOCHAIDH MARRIED TEA, DAUGHTER OF LUGHAIDH. Lughaidh was grandson of
Breogan who was Eochaidh's great grandfather also thus they were all DESCENDED
FROM CALCOL, SON OF ZARAH-JUDAH, and were all 'Judahites.' " (Pp. 13-14).
Well, it seems like necessity is the mother of invention! When you have to
discard one theory because of a total lack of corroborating evidence, you just
INVENT another one to avoid facing the ultimate reality that the daughter of
King Zedekiah and the prophet Jeremiah NEVER set foot on the soil of Ireland!
Nowhere in the Irish or Scottish annals is SCOTA remotely connected with King
Zedekiah! The idea that Scota was adopted by Pharaoh Hofra as his daughter is
ludicrous -- Scota was a daughter of the pharaoh CONTEMPORARY WITH MOSES, as all
the records show!
I personally wrote to the Covenant Publishing Company in London, and received
a rather defensive letter from them declaring that they no longer propound the
Tea-Tephi scenario. They claim to follow the Scota/Jeremiah idea instead. To
back this up, they sent me a reprint article from "The National Message" which
states practically the same thing as Brigadier Wilson's booklet.
The bottom line is, ALL the annals and histories of Ireland and Scotland
place SCOTA in the same epoch as Moses, so there is NO WAY she could have been a
daughter of Zedekiah!
Breck, Berech, Brach or Baruch?
Let us now turn our attention to Jeremiah's scribe Baruch. "The United States
and Britain in Prophecy", as quoted earlier, says, "With him [Ollam
Fodhla/Jeremiah] was...a companion called "Simon Brach," spelled in different
histories as Brech, Berech, Brach, or Berach...can anyone deny...that his
companion was Jeremiah's scribe, or secretary, Baruch?"
Well, yes, I can deny that -- and I DO deny it, because it is simply another
Notice what Greg Doudna discovered:
"In the FIRST place, nothing in the annals links Ollam Fodla with
Simon Brach. SECOND, Simon Brec is identified in the annals, according to
Britannica (11th ed.), as a famous ancient warrior BEFORE the Milesians ever
arrived in Ireland. Other records in the annals spell his name "Breas" and say
he was a leader of sea-robbers. This name WAS LIFTED OUT OF ITS CONTEXT in the
annals nearly 1000 years earlier and arbitrarily said to be "Baruch, the
scribe," who accompanied Jeremiah to Ireland in the 500's BC.
"Actually, there is a SECOND tradition of Simon Brec in the annals.
O'Flaherty's Ogygia has "Siomon Breac" as a Milesian king in the 400's BC. It is
surprising that both the Compendium and Joseph Allen's Judah's Sceptre book,
have "Simeon Breac "which they already identified with BARUCH [Jeremiah's
scribe] listed in the line of kings SEVERAL GENERATIONS AFTER TEA TEPHI, without
comment or a hint of embarrassment. The Compendium lists Siomon Breac's reign as
"The anomaly can be stated another way: One publication, The United States
and Britain in Prophecy, authored by Herbert Armstrong, says Simeon Breac was
Jeremiah's scribe who came over with Tea-Tephi.
"But another Worldwide Church of God publication, Les Pays de Langue
Francaise Selon La Prophetie (France in Prophecy), authored by evangelist Dibar
Apartian, long-time head of the WCG's French Department, says Simeon Breac was
an IRISH KING at least FOUR GENERATIONS LATER, descended from Tea-Tephi. Since
this booklet is offered only in French, it is safe to say that few
English-reading Worldwide Church members are aware of this CONTRADICTION in two
current pieces of literature, both offered freely to the public to this day.
"It is evident that if Simeon Breac was an IRISH KING generations after the
alleged arrival of Jeremiah and Tea-Tephi, and if he was descended from earlier
Irish kings, then HE CANNOT BE THE BIBLICAL BARUCH WITH JEREMIAH. -- "Afterword
on British-Israelism," pp. 124-125.
Geoffrey Keating, in "The History of Ireland", verifies the existence
of the early SIMEON BREAC, who was the grandson of Neimheadh and the
"sea-robber" mentioned in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
(See Vol. I, pp. 179-191. The Irish Texts Society.) The second Simon -- called
SYMON BREK -- is verified by Hector Boece in "The Chronicles of Scotland" as
being a later KING OF IRELAND and far removed from the time of Jeremiah. (See
Vol. I., pp. 27-30. William Blackwood & Sons, Ltd. Edinburgh. MCMXXXVIII).
"Is there a "THIRD BREAC" in the annals answering to the biblical
companion of Jeremiah named Baruch? Absolutely not! "The story of Jeremiah [and
Baruch] bringing Zedekiah's daughter over to Ireland is an OBVIOUS CUT-AND-PASTE
JOB, taking prominent names in the Irish annals SEPARATED BY MANY CENTURIES and
making the most superficial, gullible identifications. If anyone checks the
story of the annals themselves and stumbles across these things, the WCG
explanation is that there were 'SECOND' Ollam Fodlas, Heremons, Tea-Tephis, and
Brachs -- these 'SECOND' personalities all just happening to have such famous
names and of whom, strangely, THE IRISH LEGENDS KNOW NOTHING -- and all
conveniently at the right time, unlike their inconveniently dated famous
namesakes." ("Afterword on British-Israelism", pp. 125-126).
What About Prince Heremon?
Another problem with the Jeremiah/Tea-Tephi story is the AGES of King
Zedekiah's daughters. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, the king's
daughters were still under the care of their mother; and, since Zedekiah was
just 32 at the fall of Jerusalem (II kings 24:18), his daughters must have been
quite young. Says Doudna, "was the Irish prince just hanging around in these
unappealing conditions waiting for one of them to grow up so he could marry her?
And how did he escape death or captivity after Jerusalem fell -- when King
Zedekiah was blinded and most of the rest of Jerusalem's leadership executed?"
It does seem strange that an Irish prince would choose to be in Jerusalem in
the middle of a devastating siege; and the Book of Jeremiah makes NO MENTION of
anyone remotely resembling an Irish prince accompanying Jeremiah. Aside from all
of this, Heremon was the founder of the Irish-Milesian kings, which took place
around 1500 B.C. according to the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four
Masters. This, obviously, is centuries too early for Zedekiah's daughter to have
married him. How Herman Hoeh and the Worldwide Church of God overcame this
obstacle is revealed by Doudna:
"British-Israel theory says Zedekiah's daughter was Heremon's wife
Tea-Tephi. But since the WCG version and the Compendium have already ruled out
this Tea-Tephi in favor of an IMAGINARY "later" Tea-Tephi, they simply go down
the list of kings until one is found five hundred years later [1,000 years if
you go by the chronology of the Annals of the Four Masters] at approximately the
right time, and ARBITRARILY say, "Here! This one must have been the 'Heremon'
we're looking for that Zedekiah's daughter married!" It happens that his name
isn't Heremon, but this was solved by suggesting that Heremon became a TITLE
that could be applied to ANY KING descended from Heremon. (But this does not
appear in the annals.) Thus a "SECOND" HEREMON is added to the "second
Tea-Tephi" and "second Ollam Fodla" to make the British-Israel legend work.
Strangely, NONE of these figures, who just happen to have duplicate names to
known leading figures in the annals, appear THEMSELVES in the annals." --
"Afterword on British-Israelism." P. 124.
The Ark of the Covenant
Armstrong insists, as do the British-Israelites, that "Jeremiah brought with
them [to Ireland] some remarkable things, including a harp, AN ARK, and a
wonderful stone called 'Lia-Fail,' or 'STONE OF DESTINY.'" The ark referred to
here is none other than the ARK OF THE COVENANT -- kept in the Holy of Holies of
the Temple in Jerusalem. According to the story, Jeremiah was able to remove the
Ark from the Temple before the Babylonians overwhelmed the city and the Temple
Mount. Is this true, or just another flight of fancy taken by the author?
Some Christian and Jewish scholars believe that, just prior to the burning of
the Temple by the Babylonians, Jeremiah secretly hid the Ark and the altar of
incense in a cave in Mount Pisgah in Jordan. This tradition, however, seems to
contradict the fact that the Bible mentions the Babylonian army capturing
thousands of Temple artifacts and transporting them to Babylon. Other scholars
have suggested that the Zealots took the Ark to Herod's fortress of Masada in
A.D. 70 to escape the Roman armies. This idea is confounded by the fact that
part of the Jewish oral law-- the Mishna -- states clearly that the Ark was not
in the Second Temple.
A popular viewpoint today is that the Ark is located in one of the many
tunnels underneath the Temple Mount. According to Grant R. Jeffrey: "A respected
source told me in confidence that Jewish archaeologists had in fact seen the Ark
at a distance in one of these tunnels but were prevented from examining it
because the Muslim authorities immediately sealed up the tunnel entrance."
("Armageddon: Appointment with Destiny", p. 122).
The Jewish sage Maimonides, in an account called "The Laws of God's Chosen
House", gives this remarkable story: "When Solomon built the Temple, he was
aware that it would ultimately be destroyed. He constructed a chamber in which
the Ark could be entombed below the Temple in deep, maze-like vaults. King
Josiah commanded that the Ark be entombed in the chamber built by Solomon, as it
is said (2 Chronicles 35:3), 'And he said to the Levites who were enlightened
above all of Israel, Place the Holy Ark in the chamber built by Solomon, the son
of David, King of Israel. You will no longer carry it on your shoulders. Now,
serve the Lord, your God.' When it was entombed, Aaron's staff, the vital manna,
and the oil used for anointing were entombed with it. All these sacred articles
DID NOT return to the Second Temple." (Hilchos Bais HaBechinah).
Is this the Ark of the Covenant that sat in the Holy of Holies in the
Temple of Solomon?
There is another tradition that the Ark resides in the country of Ethiopia in
Africa. In the September, 1935 issue of the "National Geographic magazine", an
article appeared regarding interviews with different priests in various parts of
Ethiopia. These priests consistently stated that when the Queen of Sheba visited
King Solomon in Jerusalem, she had a child by him called Menelik I.
According to the priests author L. Roberts interviewed, Solomon educated the
young boy in Jerusalem until he was nineteen years of age. The young man then
returned to Ethiopia with a large group of Jews, taking with him the TRUE ARK OF
THE COVENANT. As the story goes, King Solomon wanted to give Menelik a REPLICA
of the Ark to take with him since the distance between Jerusalem and Ethiopia
was such that Menelik would be prevented from ever again worshipping at the
"However, Prince Menelik was concerned with the growing APOSTASY of Israel
and the fact that his father, Solomon, was now allowing idols to be placed in
the Temple to please his pagan wives. King Solomon gave the prince a going-away
banquet and after the priests were filled with wine, Menelik and his loyal
associates SWITCHED ARKS AND LEFT THE REPLICA in its place in the Holy of
"A group of priests with some representatives from several of the tribes of
Israel reverently took the TRUE ARK OF THE COVENANT to Ethiopia for safekeeping
until Israel should turn from idol worship and return to the pure worship of
God. Unfortunately, Israel never wholly returned to following God exclusively
and suffered a succession of mostly evil kings until both Israel and Judah were
finally conquered four hundred years later. Thus, the Jewish descendants of
Menelik I. of Ethiopia NEVER RETURNED the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem."
("Armageddon: Appointment with Destiny", by Grant R. Jeffrey. P. 115).
The TRUE ARK now sits in the historic Church of Zion of Mary in AKSUM,
ETHIOPIA, while the REPLICA, built by Solomon for Menelik, sits entombed beneath
the site of the Temple in Jerusalem. NOWHERE is there ANY MENTION of an ark
(original or replica) being taken by Jeremiah to Ireland! This, once again, is
PURE FANTASY on the part of Herbert Armstrong and the British- Israelites.
The Final Bombshell!
All of this research into Jeremiah and the so-called Tea-Tephi is
actually made superfluous by one core truth -- only a SON, NOT A DAUGHTER, could
perpetuate the royal line of David!
If you study the genealogies in the Bible, you will find that they pass down
through the MALE LINE without exception. The only time females are named in the
genealogies is when there is something remarkable about them that needs to be
recorded. Examples of this are found in Gen. 11:29; 22:23; 25:1-4; 35:22-26; Ex.
6:23 and Num. 26:33. This is why Josephus could say: "And after this manner have
the kings of David's race ended their lives, being in number twenty-one, until
THE LAST KING, who altogether reigned five hundred and fourteen years, and six
months, and ten days: of whom Saul, who was their first king, retained the
government twenty years, though he was not of the same tribe with the rest."
("Antiquities of the Jews", chap. VIII, 4).
During an interesting dissertation on the anointing oil used by certain royal
lines, Roderic O'Flaherty comments "that David and his posterity were anointed
with the same oil that is used in the ordination of priests: the Rabbis
unanimously believe it: and they also confirm, by traditions which they hold in
the highest veneration, that the blessed oil, with which Aaron was anointed
priest, was providentially and miraculously preserved without the smallest
diminution, UNTIL THE LINE OF DAVID WAS EXTINCT.... " ("Ogygia, or, a
Chronological Account of Irish Events." Vol. I. W. M'Kenzie, Dublin. 1793. P.
This is not to say that DESCENDANTS of David no longer carried on the
line, but that descendants of David SITTING ON THE THRONE in Jerusalem came to
an end. David's blood-line continued and there are people today, on this earth,
descended from David!
Obviously O'Flaherty, a leading authority on the Irish annals, KNOWS
NOTHING of David's line being transferred to Ireland by Jeremiah!
Lack of Evidence
In "The United States and Britain in Prophecy", not the slightest attempt at
documentation appears within its pages. This is also true for Allen's "Judah's
Sceptre and Joseph's Birthright." In spite of the tone of authority in
Armstrong's book, citing the legend of Jeremiah/Tea-Tephi as fact, it is very
evident the tale did not come from Ambassador College researchers consulting the
Irish and Scottish annals DIRECTLY and summarizing them for public consumption.
WHOLE PASSAGES were simply lifted from Allen's book -- even down to details! An
example of this can be found on page 99 of Armstrong's work. Allen wrote that
Jeremiah was "a patriarch, a saint." "The United States and Britain in Prophecy"
says Jeremiah was an "elderly, white-haired patriarch, sometimes referred to as
'a saint.' " The adjectives "elderly" and "white-haired" were obviously added by
Herbert Armstrong for effect -- a minor embellishment, a touch of artistic
"Perhaps the forger or forgers of the Jeremiah legend would have been better
off if they had invented totally fictitious names, rather than taking famous
characters in the annals (one from here, one from there...), and so obviously
revealing WHERE they got the names. But whatever names might be chosen for
Jeremiah and a daughter of Zedekiah, they would still FAIL TO RELATE to anything
in the annals, despite what British-Israelites and the WCG tell the public."
("Afterword on British-Israelism").
If Jeremiah brought Zedekiah's daughter to Ireland, it went TOTALLY UNNOTICED
in the ancient Irish annals. Don't you think such an event as a prophet of God
bringing a royal princess of Judah from the Middle East to Ireland would have
been recorded, and re-recorded, throughout the annals, and legend upon legend
generated around this event? It would have been a MOMENTOUS EVENT in the long
and illustrious history of the Irish people. But, British-Israelite and Church
of God literature notwithstanding, the history and legends of Ireland are
ENTIRELY BLANK when it comes to Jeremiah and the so-called Tea-Tephi.
Let me make it perfectly clear that although the royal house of Britain is
NOT directly descended from King David of Israel through the MALE LINE, it is,
in all likelihood, descended from King David through a wife or female descendant
of this king who married into the line of Brutus. If this was the case, Queen
Elizabeth is descended from Judah through BOTH the lines of Zarah and Pharez.
The line of Zarah was brought to Ireland by Heremon the grandson of Calcol; and
the line of Pharez came to Britain when Joseph of Arimathea founded the Church
of God at Glastonbury. Read our article "The Stone That
Roared: The Incredible Story of Lia Fail" for further details of the line of
Zarah arriving in Ireland.