France and the Lost Tribes: Evidence of Hebrews in Early Gaul
Please comment on the identity of the people of France and whether they can be considered a portion of the lost house of Israel.
It is true that the people of France are a mixture of various peoples and tribes who settled there during a very long period covering over 2,500 years. Among those tribes, we find evidence that portions of the tribes of Israel were there in ancient times, becoming part of the present make-up of the people.
The famous Roman geographer, Claudius Ptolemy, in his “Cosmographia Tabulae” drew maps of the ancient world about 125 A.D., showing where nations and tribes were located in his day. In his map of Gaul, we find the tribe of “Semnones” listed in south-central France. The similarity of this with the Biblical tribe of “Simeon” is striking. The evidence in Ptolemy’s maps is graphically depicted in color in our film presentation, “The Heritage Of Eber,” a 45-minute color lecture which is available from CBIA ($20 plus postage). This is now available in DVD as well as VHS format.
It is well-known that scholars consider it a certainty that the tribe of Simeon disappeared from Palestine long before the Babylonian and Assyrian conquests. Where did they go? Historian Johannes C. DeMoor of the Netherlands wrote concerning this Israelite tribe: There is “a hidden word-play in Genesis 49:5, ‘Simeon and Levi are brothers, weapons of violence are their trade.’ The derivation of ‘mkrtyhm’ from the root ‘mkr,’ ‘to trade,’ renders it likely that originally ‘makir’ simply meant ‘trader’ (later Hebrew ‘moker’). This would make the Simeonites traveling salesmen which might offer another explanation for their later disappearance” from Palestine. In other words, the Biblical tribe of Simeon engaged in trading expeditions and sailed away from the Mid-East in very early times. Even after several centuries they could still be located on Ptolemy’s map!
There is also very good evidence for the tribe of Reuben settling in France, as shown in an important chapter of author Steven M. Collins’ excellent book, “Israel’s Tribes Today,” which is available from CBIA for $20 plus shipping; see our online bookstore at www.migrations.info.
One of the earliest scholars to trace the lost tribes of Israel to
France was the French Huguenot writer, Jacques Abbadie, who fled French
Roman Catholic persecution and later settled in London, England. In his
important work, “The Triumph Of Providence,” (1723) he wrote, “God opened,
as one might say, the tomb of the Ten Tribes by the conversion of the
Northern Peoples... Certainly, unless the Ten Tribes have flown into
the air, or been plunged into the center of the earth, we must look for
them in the North, and in that part of the North, which at the time of
Constantine was converted to the Christian faith...The Ten Tribes have
since seen conversion into Christian nations, which they are, having
thousands of God-fearing ministers in their midst, a people marked by
physical possession of the Gospel as servants of God, and reunited with
many of their brethren of Judah in the Christian church. This explanation
allows us to see the historical fulfillment of the prophetic picture
in the Gothic warriors, prepared for conquest, destined for empire, and
ancestors of the tribes who inhabit this nation [France].”