Could the English be long lost cousins of Jews?

I feel compelled and cannot bring myself to be silent on this subject. As an American who is of primarily both English and Ashkenazi Jewish heritage, I feel that although I am not here to tell anyone what to believe; I have a responsibility to share this (rather compelling evidence) that comes with being a member of both ethnic groups. Before I dive any further into this subject matter, I’d like to make one point very clear: I recognize that I am not the Creator of the Universe and thus do not possess all of the answers; I believe every person should earnestly seek the truth for themselves and be willing to accept it no matter what the truth reveals itself to be. One of the bible verses that has been a great source of inspiration and motivation in writing this article is found in the book of Philippians:

Philippians 4:8-9 NLT –

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

While reading online articles about the British vote in favor of “Brexit”, I was in a state of utter astonishment to read a few articles that stated how this “Brexit” was foretold in biblical prophecy. One of these articles, in particular, provides what appears to be sufficient compelling evidence that the modern-day English people and English descendants throughout the world, including in the United States, are modern-day Israelites. The long-lost cousins of another Israelite tribe – that is, the tribe of Judah. Members of the tribe of Judah are commonly referred to as Jewish people. The article and related book,The United States and Britain in Prophecy, strongly suggests that the ethnic English are descendants of Joseph, brother of Judah who is the father of the Jewish. Joseph and Judah were two of the 12 sons of the biblical patriarch Jacob. Jacob being the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham.

Many readers of this article may or may not be familiar with the biblical narrative of Joseph’s life and his estrangement from his family for many years. The story is, at least for myself, heartfelt because of the themes and lessons that are presented and learned. A few of them being relentless faith in God, reconciliation, forgiveness and the timeless treasure that is family.

In case anyone reading this is unfamiliar with Joseph’s story (Genesis 45) and needs a brief memory refreshment or overview, the bottom line is that Joseph’s older brother’s (he was the eleventh born son) were consumed by jealousy of their younger brother and consequently sold him to Egypt. While estranged from his family, Joseph would go on to become food administrator and prime minister, second in command of the nation only to the Pharaoh. Joseph was able to accurately interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams to be a message that Egypt was to experience 7 years of prosperity, followed by 7 years of famine. Joseph warned the Pharaoh of the impending hardships of the famine and therefore food was stored only in Egypt under the supervision of Joseph.

It was during this time of famine when his brothers would come to Egypt in search of food. To make a long story short, Joseph was able to convince the brothers to bring their father, Jacob, and youngest brother Benjamin to Egypt. When Joseph had finally revealed his true identity to his brothers, there was great reconciliation amidst tears and rejoicing.

Armstrong declares the significance of this dramatic revelation in (the book) on page 45:

“And how prophetic that was! As we shall see, Joseph, in his descendants, shall soon once again have his true identity revealed to his brothers—and to the world. And how hidden from the world is that identity now!”

Since Joseph was one of the 12 sons of Jacob, his father, upon his death bed, gave Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, the blessing of the Birthright that would be passed down to their descendants through an eternal covenant. What this Birthright promised all of the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh is rather striking and has led some, now including myself to highly suspect that these Birthright blessings have been bestowed in modern times upon the modern day English people and English descendants through the world. This is not meant to question or undermine the common Christian teaching that the eternal covenants that God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and promised to their descendants (the Jews). That is not my intention in writing this article. Indeed, there were many blessings to bestowed upon these men of the Bible and their descendants, however there is evidence to suggest that, as many surely do not realize, there was more than one son (or tribe) of Jacob who would carry eternal promises and blessings from the Lord. The two main tribes that, at least this book discusses, are the descendants of two of Jacob’s 12 sons, Judah and Joseph.

The tribe of Judah was to carry the eternal promises and blessings of the Scepter. What many, for reasons the book addresses, have not realized is that there were two parts of the covenant blessings to be forever promised to the descendants of two of Jacob’s sons. One part of the covenant blessings, the Scepter, was granted to the Tribe of Judah (Jewish descendants) and the other part of that covenant, what is called the Birthright in the bible, was granted to the “House of Joseph” which entails the descendants of his two sons (who received Jacob’s blessings) Ephraim and Manasseh. Referred to as the Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.

As we will come to find out, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh share a common ancestry. This common ancestry is important in identifying who these descendants are in the modern world. An important thing keep in mind is this Birthright, that was promised to these two tribes, is passed down through lineage, from parent to child – forever. In the same way, the blessing of the Scepter, is passed down from parent to child and has been promised to the all of the descendants of Judah – forever.

The book of Isaiah declares in the eleventh chapter in verses 12 and 13 that Ephraim (the English) and Judah (the Jewish) will one day, when the time comes, be reconciled to each other upon the return of the remnant of Israel and Judah:

“He will raise a signal for the nations,
    and will assemble the outcasts of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
    from the four corners of the earth.
The jealousy of Ephraim shall depart,
    the hostility of Judah shall be cut off;
Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah,
    and Judah shall not be hostile towards Ephraim.” – Isaiah 11:12-13 (NRSV)

English heritage and culture in the United States has been referred to by some as America’s “default culture.” – I would agree with this notion and firmly argue that the United States is far more culturally similar and ethnically influenced by England than many modern Americans realize or are willing to acknowledge. Many would be doing our earliest settlers and Founding Fathers and injustice to pretend or convince others that we have more cultural ties to any other (namely European) country than we do to our, yes I will say it, motherland – England. The American Founding Fathers and most of those who lived in the American Colonies did regard themselves to be Englishmen and women. And therefore, out of the tribe of Ephraim comes the tribe of Manasseh. To deny history and blatantly ignore the truth is to be ungrateful of the tremendous role the English have largely played in shaping the United States of America and is thus, lying beyond belief.

The truth of the matter is that we cannot erase nor deny history.

In the book Armstrong argues for some compelling and intriguing facts about the British people. On page 99 he discusses what he refers to as “Britain’s Hebrew Names.” He explains:

“The Hebrew word for “covenant” is beriyth, or berith. After Gideon’s death, Israel followed the false pagan god Baal. In Judges 8:33 and 9:4, the word “covenant” is used as a proper name coupled with the name “Baal.” This is quoted in the English text, Authorized Version, without being translated, as “Baalberith,” meaning (margin) “idol of the covenant.”

Some readers may be thinking that this word beriyth, or berith, sounds awfully similar to Brit. And indeed, Armstrong further expands on this subject:

“The Hebrew for “man” is iysh, or ish. In English, the ending “-ish” means “of or belonging to (a specified nation or person).” In the original Hebrew language vowels were never given in the spelling. So, omitting the vowel “e” from berith, but retaining the “I” in its anglicized form to preserve the “y” sound, we have the anglicized Hebrew word for covenant, brith. The Hebrews, however, never pronounced their “h’s.” Many a Jew, even today, in pronouncing the name “Shem,” will call it “Sem.” Incidentally, this ancient Hebrew trait is also a modern British trait. So the Hebrew word for “covenant” would be pronounced, in its anglicized form, as brit. And the word for “covenant man,” or “covenant people,” would therefore be simply “Brit-ish.”

Some may be wondering why an Israelite tribe doesn’t know their true identity as Israelites. As Armstrong explains and the bible teaches, the House of Israel would lose its identity and its name. Perhaps the common phrase “I don’t even know who I am anymore” has more truth in the world than some may realize. And indeed, pages 99 through 100 elaborate on this:

“The house of Israel not only was to lose its identity, but its name. It was to be called by a new name, since they no longer were to know their identity as Israel, as God said plainly in Isaiah 62:2, referring to these latter days, and to the Millennium. To Abraham God said, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called,” and this name is repeated in Romans 9:7 and Hebrews 11:18. In Amos 7:16 the Israelites are called “the house of Isaac.” They were descended from Isaac, and therefore are Isaac’s sons. Drop the “I” from “Isaac” (vowels are not used in Hebrew spelling), and we have the modern name “Saac’s sons,” or, as we spell it in shorter manner, “Saxons”!”

If this isn’t shocking enough, Armstrong further addresses a common misconception in regard to the Anglo-Saxons:

“Dr. W. Holt Yates says, “The word ‘Saxons’ is derived from the ‘sons of Isaac,’ by dropping the prefix ‘I.’” Many confuse the Anglo-Saxons with the German or Old Saxons who still live in Germany. The German Saxons derive their name from an Old High German word, Sahs, meaning “sword” or “knife.” These sword-carrying Germans are an entirely different people from the Anglo-Saxons who migrated to Britain.”

It should never be any person’s intention to suggest that those who are descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, whether they are Jewish or of any other Israelite tribe, are somehow superior to all other peoples. And indeed, the Lord has an opinion on arrogance and pride and will not leave those who exercise these feelings unpunished:

“The Lord has made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of trouble.
All those who are arrogant are an abomination to the Lord;
    be assured, they will not go unpunished.
 By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
    and by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.” –  Proverbs 16:4-6 (NRSV)

Likewise, jealousy is equally detrimental and poisonous. We must never forget that these feelings of arrogance, pride and jealousy are sinful and sin will ultimately destroy everything around it. This applies to both Israelites and Gentiles. There should be none of these feelings from anyone given the fact that every person is created equal in the sight of the Lord. May we consider what the book of James in the Christian Bible has to say about jealousy and how it is the essence of selfishness and lack of respect for one’s neighbor:

“Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.” – James 4:1-3 (NRSV)

I am not merely suggesting that English descendants are possessors of the Birthright blessing without any evidence, the book provides a multitude of evidence to suspect this.

In his June 2016 article Bible Prophecy Foretold a Brexit!David Vejil, explains how it could very well be the case that the bible has prophesied a “Brexit” and how the British would not ultimately be a part of what has come to be known as the European Union:

“Bible prophecy explains what God’s plans are and the purpose He is working out. Some 2,500 years ago, biblical writers preserved prophecies describing what would happen in the 21st century. In fact, about one third of the entire Bible contains prophecy, and most of these are for our time now. In these prophecies, the Bible names every important city and nation on Earth and forecasts what will happen to them.”

Some may be thinking that many names of modern-day countries are not mentioned in the bible. However, as Vejil states, if one truly wants to understand and unlock the mysteries of bible prophecy, it is absolutely necessary to know what modern-day countries are identified as in the bible:

“Even if you believe Bible prophecy is true, to unlock what it prophesies, you still have to know who the prophecies are about. The Bible does not use the names Britain, the United States, Russia or Germany. But it absolutely prophesies about these nations in this time period. To unlock the true significance of the Brexit vote—and what will happen next—you need to know how the Bible identifies these world powers.”

Something that may well be worth noting is the fact that according to the Anti-Defamation League‘s annual reports (2014 and 2015) of the percentage of people throughout the world who ignominiously possess antisemitic views towards Jewish people is at a shameful 26% or 1, 090, 000, 000. When taking a look at the individual rates for each country that has been given a rating, one might notice that the countries who make up the British Commonwealth or have been formally a part of the British Empire, and who have a large ethnically English population, with the exception of South Africa, received among the lowest ratings of antisemitism in the entire world. The United States was given a percentage rating of 10% (2015), Canada – 14% (2014), Australia and New Zealand – both had 14% (2014) and the United Kingdom settled at just 12% (2015), respectively. Now shall we compare those percentages to those of, say, Western European countries. Perhaps the ratings of Ireland – 20% (2014); Italy – 29% (2015); Poland – 37% (2015); Hungary – 40%; and Romania at 47%. Could these statistics mean that the English descendants have regard and respect for their Jewish brethren? It should be worth considering.

It is regrettable, especially at this point in time, that so many would still harbor antisemitic attitudes, ignoring the harsh lessons of history altogether. What a world it would be if the antisemitism percentage for all countries would miraculously be zero percent.

Unlike many (it seems) of Americans or any people around the world who are unrealistically ashamed or altogether non-accepting and have felt demoralized when it comes to celebrating their English and/or Jewish ethnic heritage, I have always embraced my ethnic background and continually remind myself that non-acceptance of one’s heritage does a tremendous disservice to the people who’ve come before you and if it was not for their lives, then you, yourself would not have been granted life. To let others treat or convince you that you should not embrace your heritage, and I believe this especially applies to Jewish heritage, is allowing injustice and hatred to prevail. Especially in cases where others are exercising arrogance of their own heritage and using that as a means of degrading and belittling another person is evil in itself. There is absolutely no reason why people of English and/or Jewish heritage should not embrace their heritage and recognize the English and Jewish contributions to humanity. And believe me, there is a plentiful multitude for both ethnic groups. They are not hard to come by.

As I previously mentioned, all people are created equal in the sight of the Lord and arrogance and jealousy will ultimately lead to discrimination and corruption which may lead to death. We must never forget the harsh lessons the world should have learned from the horrors of the Holocaust.

Ultimately, this book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, is worth reading given that it draws on abundant evidence (from the bible) that the English descendants will one day realize and reveal their true identity to their fellow Israelite brothers and sisters (the Jewish). I am not dismayed or hesitant in regard to writing this article because of the potential for ridicule or harassment. I have arrived at the conclusion that the benefits of writing this article outweigh the costs. As previously stated, I recognize that I am not the Creator of the Universe and thus do not possess all of the answers. I believe every person should earnestly seek the truth for themselves and be willing to accept it no matter what the truth reveals itself to be.

“He must indeed have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below.” Winston Churchill

About the Author
Allison Barksdale is a senior convergence journalism major at Abilene Christian University who has a heart for Israel and enjoys writing about Israel's numerous contributions in her spare time.
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