The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel
This story goes back to the times of the Israelites taken into captivity by Assyria in 721 BC. This relates to the 10 northern tribes who settled in Halah and Habor (2 Kings 17:6).
Note: all bible quotes are from the kjv unless otherwise stated.
The Twelve Tribes of Israel
The twelve tribes were from the descendants of Abraham. In 1868 BC Abraham had a son named Isaac by his wife Sarah. In 1807 BC Isaac and his wife Rebekah had twins, Esau and Jacob. Between 1723-1710 BC, Jacob (God later changed his name to Israel) had twelve sons. Eleven of these sons, along with his son Joseph’s son, Ephraim, Moses appointed land to after conquering Canaan. These became the 12 tribes of Israel. Ephraim, adopted by Jacob, became one of the 12 tribes. Ephraim became a powerful leader and head of the northern tribes. This led to the adoption of the name Ephraim to represent the northern tribes.
Now that makes 13 tribes in all. But the Levites didn`t get a portion of land, Moses appointed them the priesthood of the tribes.
The Levites gained cities. They lived among all the tribes of Israel. They also gained the city of Jerusalem and authority over the holy temple.
The southern kingdom (known of as the House of Judah), comprised Judah and Benjamin and part of the Levites. But always noted as the two tribes of Judah, or just Judah.
The northern kingdom was The House of Israel or Ephraim. This comprised the tribes of Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Issachar, Asher, Zebulun, Joseph and Levi.
They separated into two nations after the death of king Solomon. Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, became king, and the northern tribes didn`t follow the harsh rule he imposed over them. This caused the nation to split into two separate states. Rehoboam, the king of Judah, planned to war against the northern state. To bring all the tribes back under a one king leadership, but God relayed a message to him not to fight, and he backed off.
Here is how the bible describes the event:
ll Chronicles 11: 1-4
1 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin and a hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam.
2 But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
3 Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, King of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,
4 Thus saith the LORD, ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me, And they obeyed the words of the Lord, and returned from going against Jeroboam.
1 Kings 12:24
Thus saith the Lord, ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is of me. So they hearkened unto the word of the Lord, and returned and went their way, according to the word of the Lord.
As we can see in the two passages above, this was part of God’s plan.
The northern tribes conquered
Assyria conquered Israel in 721 BC. Israel comprised two nations. Split into a nation of the ten-tribe house of Israel (Ephraim) and the two-tribe house of Judah.
The northern nation of Israel became captive. This was the House referred to as the Jews. This is the separation that still lasts until today. They parted from Judah, later referred to as the lost tribes of Israel.
When the Assyrian kingdom fell into decline, the ten tribes then migrated. They started their long and arduous migration, which took several hundred years. In the passage below, we see God told them to mark their way.
Set thee up way-marks, make the guide-posts: set thine heart toward the high way. Even the way by which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to thee thy cities.
Archaeology can attest to the Israelites migration of this period. The landmarks and cultural artefacts unearthed. The various forms of written stone records discovered. These all relate to the period, thus providing evidence
In Genesis 48 we see Jacob speak to Ephraim, the leader of the ten northern tribes. He tells him he will become a nation, comprising of a series of nations whose people will be so vast that it would be difficult to number.
Genesis 48: 17-19
And when Joseph saw his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put the right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: howbeit his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
So, we see in this passage that the ten lost tribes migrate and become many nations somewhere in the world. They have not disappeared from existence. Instead, they have grown into a mighty nation or group of nations related.
Babylon the new world empire
Some years later, in 612 BC, Babylon became the next world empire. In 597 BC the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered Jerusalem. He plundered and destroyed the temple. The Jews went off into Babylonian captivity.
When the Assyrians took the house of Israel into captivity, the Israelite nation comprised the House of Judea only, referred to as the Jews.
The Persian Empire
In 538 BC, Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians. The Persian Empire became the second great empire in the ancient world. During this period, Cyrus, the king of Persia, let the Jews go back to their homeland. This was to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem that the Babylonians destroyed. From the destruction to the start of rebuilding of the temple, the period of exile was 70 years. (Jeremiah 29:10)
But the bible states that the returning exiled Jews comprised only descendants of the southern tribes. The house of Judah. Nothing mentioned of descendants of the ten northern tribes, the house of Israel. The returning Jews were of the house of Judah only. The number of the returnees was 42360. (See Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66).
So, what became of the house of Israel?
Hosea gives some specific information on the matter.
Hosea 1: 6-11
6, She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the Lord said to him, call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, that should in any wise pardon them.
7, But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and I will not save them by bow nor by sword nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.
8, Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.
9, And the Lord said, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.
10, Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass that, in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people, it shall be said unto them, ye are the sons of the living God.
11, And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint themselves one head, and shall go up from the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.
What does Ezekiel say about the northern kingdom?
Ezekiel chapter 37: 11, 16, 17, 21, 22, 26.
Verse 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.
Verse 16 And thou, Son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions.
Verse 17 And join them for thee one to another into one stick, that they may become one in thine hand.
Verse 21: And say unto them. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
Verse 22: And I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
Verse 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them: it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
Ezekiel is proof that the ten lost tribes of Israel exist by the fact of their unification again at the end times. The dry bones represent the nation of Israel.
The two sticks clearly show that God is referring to the whole twelve tribes of Israel. The two divided nations that will again come together as one.
They gather the children of Israel from all the nations. Meaning all around the world, but they will come home to the holy land.
The house of Judah came home to the holy land in 1948, three years after the second world war had ended. In that year David Ben Gurion, the future prime minister of Israel, declared a new state of the house of Judah, entitled the state of Israel. (More information on this later).
The house of Israel (the ten lost tribes) is yet to come home to reunite with the two southern tribes.
In the future, this will happen and they will have one king, or one prime minister rule over them. Ezekiel verse 22 above states: they shall become one nation again and never again divided into two nations. This refers to the end times because they shall become one nation again forever.
Another interesting point to make is in verse 26 above. God says he will set his sanctuary (temple) amid the Jewish community forevermore. Solomon’s temple must be built again, for a third time, in the holy city of Jerusalem.
God makes a new covenant.
Jeremiah 31: 31-34
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Jeremiah is about the end times here. A time when all the tribes of Israel will come together and never separated again. There will be no need to preach about God anymore because this event will happen after the tribulation. The entire world will have witnessed proof of who God is. There will be no doubt.
Hebrews 8: 10-12
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Here in Hebrews we see the same prophecy repeated. It’s understood that the apostle Paul wrote the book on AD 67, around 700 years after Jeremiah first prophesied. Paul was reiterating what was to come in future events. As this prophecy is not fulfilled, it relates to in the future.
Where are the lost tribes now?
From 721 BC, when the Assyrians took the northern tribes of Israel into captivity, until the present day (2020) there are 2741 years.
So, where are they now? We know they are still around because the scriptures tell us they will reunite. Some later time in history, a time not yet reached. The scriptures also tell us they will have grown. So vast that they are too many to number and that they will comprise many nations.
From the point of migration, after the fall of Assyria, they verged West. They settled in various countries.: Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, North Africa and other parts of western Europe.
As these nations grew, they migrated to various places, including America. The British Commonwealth formed and expanded. It took in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries. This correlates to them becoming many nations. Too difficult to number because of their masses.
Modern day Israel
On the 14th of May 1948, in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion declared a Jewish state known as the State of Israel.
Over the following years, the Jews gathered from around the world. The Jews that had kept their identity as being from the southern tribes, the nation of Judah.
There was much debate on what name to use. They suggested Judea instead of Israel. They rejected it because it referred to the territory that was not covered in the treaty. Even though Judea was the original birthplace of the Jews. The name Jew became accepted as a recognizable name for the nation that survived even when in exile. They had formed a new state for the first time in almost 2000 years. The State of Israel once again jumped out of the history books and came back into existence, even without the lost northern tribes. Maybe the name Israel is for future times when all tribes are united again under one leader.
D. Marsden © 2020
Gargoyles are architectural structures as carved statues. Made of stone, protruding from buildings and monuments of historical interest. Built with a channel of some type formed into them. This is along the top and through the head to divert rainwater from the building. Thus protecting the mortar joints and masonry from erosion.
Gargoyles protrude outward This is to send the water spouting away from the face of the building, from the mouth of the mythical creature that the gargoyle represents.
The famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has many gargoyles. All seen protruding from the roof area. Or at least this was the case before fire ravaged it in 2019.
The medieval churches are the principal residences of these stone artefacts. Much work went into these buildings. In such forms as their stone carvings. The elaborate columns, pillars and lintels. The intricate shapes and aesthetics of the buildings are an appreciation. As are the wooden structures. Such as vaulted ceilings and internal ornate corbels. Stone corbels that the timber roof structure sat upon. The vaulted ceilings lay open and engineered to carry the heavy load and stresses. Designed to look pleasing to the eye, so also incorporated much craftsmanship into their making and appearance. Look up inside any church and you’ll see the results.
Gargoyles have many variations. A lion’s head with its mouth open was a common feature. This varied from cathedral to cathedral, and many took on a distorted form. Later gargoyles became a mix match of many creatures and forms. In medieval times, their appearances morphed into many forms. They always seemed to take on a sinister or terrifying look.
Another form of gargoyle is the chimera. These were not for diverting water from the building, but for ornamental. Referred to as grotesques but classed as gargoyles because of certain similarities.
The authentic form of a chimera comes from the description in Greek mythology:
· Chimera: a monster from Greek mythology that is fire breathing, has a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a snake’s tale.
In ancient Greek mythology, they fear the chimera as a bad omen when sighted. The term “chimera” came to symbolise any mythical creature with two or more mixed body parts. Taken from various animals.
Gargoyles often lent themselves to the chimera or variations of that form.
· Sometimes carvings of gargoyles take on the image of mixed animals (chimeras). Sometimes carved as half human and half animal.
Apart from diverting water away from a building, they also supported another purpose. Some say to ward off evil.
It’s strange to think that the image of such a grotesque figure could do this. When the figure itself seems to err on the side of evil. With its unusual shape and contortions. It’s unnatural hybrid configuration, and it’s medieval demonic looks that some gargoyles portrayed. With so many despotic looking stone statuettes staring down at the congregation. From high above their heads, it’s a wonder they didn’t refuse to enter the churches of that era.
Church hierarchy of the time sort various ways to coheres their flock into repenting. The church, as a building, offered spiritual security to the people of the middle ages, for those willing to seek it. Outside the church lurked temptation of all the evil and sin. Religion and the church represented a sanctuary to the masses, a haven.
Gargoyles reminded them of the evil in the outside world. It sent out a message that it is better to be inside the sanctuary of the church. Rather than on the outside where temptation, sin and wickedness lie. A means to sway the pagans over to Christianity.
A ploy adopted by the Christian church in medieval times. One that put fear into the hearts of the people in the hope of them attending church en-mass.
Gargoyles go back long before Christianity, though.
In Olympus, in ancient Greece, The Temple of Zeus has many lion shaped water spouts. The ancient Egyptians build and carved many gargoyles as lions.
Built between 470 BC – 456 BC, the Temple of Zeus comprised limestone and had much marble used also to incorporate the finer finishes. Many sculptures of marble included its 102 lion – headed gargoyles.
The ancient Egyptians preferred the lion form also, although they constructed other forms. Such were as hooded snakes and demon types. The Egyptian gargoyles were to keep their temples safe from Seth, a god of chaos. They were not for diverting rainwater from the buildings. This would have been less important in a desert climate.
More modern gargoyles, seen on our churches and such, came into being round about the 12th century AD.
Noise of water rushing through the gargoyle resembles a gargling sound.
The word gargoyle is from the French word Gargouille, which means throat.
Putting the two together, we get the image of someone with their head thrown back. Their mouth represents the shape of a funnel. And blowing air from their lungs through a liquid at the back of their throat, to ease a sore throat. What they are doing is gargling. Hence the word gargoyle.
D. Marsden © 2020
The scriptures give a reference to a nuclear war several times. I take the quotes in this blog from the King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible. Some bible passages can tax your brain trying to understand them. But they become clearer after years of reading and studying them.
What is not so clear is that is this God using his power and bringing the elements of nature into play? We know he often does so. Or is God letting man use his own destructive power?
The first reference I’ll talk about is in the book of Zechariah. This describes the “end times” when the Jews are back in their homeland.
Zechariah 14: 12-15
12, And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13, And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other. 14, Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance. 15, And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever beasts may be in those camps.
Here is an interesting passage from Zechariah. “Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.”
What power known to humankind do we know that would cause such a horrific effect? This will happen while the armies in question (The enemies of Israel) remain standing. This means before their skeleton hits the ground. A nuclear explosion would cause this effect. Zechariah states that all the animals in and around the area will perish likewise. Nothing escapes a nuclear explosion.
Taking Hiroshima as an example. The city destroyed with one bomb and thousands of people killed in an instant. Today’s nuclear warheads are many times more powerful.
Israel has had the atom bomb since the 1950s. Although under secrecy and not publicised to the world. Certain friendly and allied countries know this, but avoid the issue. At present they are the only country in the middle East with nuclear capabilities.
When did Zechariah write these predictions of the future?
In the book of Zechariah, chapter 7, verse 1, king Darius is in his fourth year. This places the date at 519/518 BC. Chapters 9-14 has no specific reference to date. But since it was in Zachariah’s lifetime, it is around 40 years later in 480 BC. Thus, he wrote this prophecy around 2500 years ago. The usual weapons a soldier had to fight with then were swords. Zechariah must have found this vision from God strange and frightening. He must have found it hard to contemplate. Hence the unusual description. Try to imagine someone from that era in ancient times describing a view of a future nuclear war.
let’s now have a look at what Isaiah said.
(Isaiah lived around 700 years before Christ).
Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. 9, For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light. 11, I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.
This verse speaks of the earth not receiving any light. Science understands the implications of a world plunged into a global nuclear war. The devastation would be so vast that the world would be in darkness or semidarkness. Science even states that the world could suffer a lack of sunlight for up to two years. This would cause a type of temporary ice age, (nuclear winter). This condition is because of the effect of the masses of dust clouds in the atmosphere. Clouds created by the “mushroom” effect. All from many nuclear explosions blocking out the sunlight.
What about Damascus?
17: 1-3 An oracle concerning Damascus.
Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. 2, The cities of Aroer are deserted; they will be for flocks, which will lie down, and none will make them afraid. 3, The fortress will disappear from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus; and the remnant of Syria will be like the glory of the children of Israel, declares the Lord of hosts.
Damascus goes back to a time before recording history. Many scholars believe it is the oldest city in existence. A city inhabited from ancient times to the modern day. Aroer is a town to the East of the Dead Sea, on the bank of the River Arnon, in present day Jordan. In biblical times occupied by the Moabites.
The city of Damascus has seen much destruction through history, right up to today. Indeed, the modern Syrian civil war has seen vast swathes of the city destroyed by bombing. Making the city uninhabitable, but they have not yet destroyed it. Damascus has not yet ceased to be a city. This being the case, the prophecy relates to a future event.
At evening time, behold, terror! Before morning, they are no more! This is the portion of those who loot us, and the lot of those who plunder us.
This verse shows an incident that will be swift, in less than a full day. Destruction before the next day arrives. Israel’s enemies destroyed in such a short time.
66:15-16 Final Judgement and Glory of the Lord
For behold, the Lord will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire will the Lord enter into judgement, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the Lord shall be many.
That element “fire” keeps repeating itself in the scriptures. A destructive force used in the end times.
Now let’s look at What Jeremiah says:
(Jeremiah began prophesying in 627 BC).
31, The clamor will resound to the ends of the earth, for the Lord has an indictment against the nations; he is entering into judgement with all flesh, and the wicked he will put to the sword, declares the Lord. 32, Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, disaster is going forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth! 33, And those pierced by the Lord on that day shall extend from one end of the earth to the other. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall be dung on the surface of the ground.
In this prophecy Jeremiah mentions many nations, from one end of the earth to the other. The whole earth at war, not just a particular area or continent. Another point to make is the number of dead. It will be so great, and in such a short time, that mourning and burying will be impossible. Bodies left to rot in the open.
49: 23-27Judgment on Damascus
Concerning Damascus: “Hamath and Arpad are confounded, for they have heard bad news; they melt in fear, they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet. 24, Damascus has become feeble, she turned to flee, and panic seized her; anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her, as of a woman in labor. 25, How is the famous city not forsaken, the city of my joy? 26, Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day, declares the Lord of hosts. 27, And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall devour the strongholds of Ben-hadad.”
We have the “fire” element again on Damascus. To destroy a city by fire almost in an instant would take a mighty force. Nuclear warheads are that fiery force.
Ben-Hadad was the title of hadada, the Armenian king in ancient times. Later claimed as a title for further kings. The Aram kings had attacked Israel during biblical times. A judgement brought on to the Israelites. But a reversal of judgement came from God and He punished Israel’s enemies by “fire.”
Ben-Hadad became a title for a leader of a deity, just as Pharaoh was for the Egyptian rulers. Ben-Hadad: ruler of Damascus.
Now for the prophesies of the NT
Matthew 24: 21-22
21, For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22, And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Mark 13: 19-20
19, For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20, And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.
These two passages taken for Matthew and Mark. They are of Jesus talking to his disciples of the end times, referred to as the tribulation in the bible.
Jesus is speaking of a disaster that has not been before, even greater than the two world wars. A disaster so great that the world won’t see again. A disaster as another world war, but this time using nuclear weapons. This time the world is heading towards total annihilation.
Jesus says that if not stopped, then all human life will end, humanity will wipe itself out. But there is hope for humankind. Jesus says that “I will shorten those days” before the end comes. The only one who can stop this destruction is Jesus himself. He is speaking of his second coming. He will come back to earth at the height of a nuclear world war and stop it before it’s too late.
The book of Revelation is an entire book of twenty-two chapters about the end times. The world’s destruction in the stages leading up to the return of Christ. Satan’s, the Antichrist’s and the false prophet’s imprisonment and destruction. It then goes beyond into another world set up by God, judgement day and a new beginning. It is a book written symbolically and can be difficult to understand. Much study and careful judgement needs implying. The more time spent studying the book, the clearer it becomes. We should read it with the book of Daniel. In Daniel lies the key to understanding the prophesies in Revelation. The book of Revelation is a separate subject for coverage at a later date.
D. Marsden © 2020
The front line is fighting hard
Nightingales every one
tending to the sick
not knowing when time’s done
braving every day the enemy
until the day will come,
when we’ll rejoice
and thank them every one
the Nightingales on the wards
in homes and all, bar none
we’ll thank them for their valour
by them the war is won.
we owe them everything
those that risk their life
their selfless acts for strangers
saving, child, man and wife
they have but one focus
keeping us well is their drive.
Pin the medals on their chests
for they had no orders
they did their lot willingly
they went past the borders
gave so much love and care
nothing did they hoarder
Indebted to them, so many
volunteers every one
left their homes to fight
a light of love they shone
we pray God keeps them safe
till the nightingales have won.
©D Marsden 2020
The leaves are turning brown
they’re falling on the ground
autumn has come around
the mushrooms are rising.
The missiles are off the ground
the bombs are raining down
there goes another town
the mushrooms are rising.
The Persecution of the Jews
I believe if you want to know the truth, go to the earliest source. Not the info of some latter-day professor who has to feed his ego. Not the Darwinian who wants to change history. The books of the old testament are some of the oldest historic writings available. They tell the story of a nation through their generations. These writers didn’t want fortune or fame from their writings. They weren’t after producing a best seller, although that’s what they achieved. They aimed to document events as they happened about their nation’s existence. The pain and suffering as a nation. The trials and tribulations of their lives and relationship with God. Their times in exile. Punishment for turning away from God. Glory and fruitfulness when living with God; their rewards for obeying God’s law. It is all written as a document for preservation. Not for financial gain, but knowledge for future generations. It is a testament to all the nations of the world. To all those that will listen and understand. If you want to know the unbiased truth, read the holy scriptures, read them as a history book. Learn the truth. There are many lies written in various forms of literature, but there can only be one truth. Seek it. The writers of the holy bible were documenting events. The old testament isn’t about converting people to religion but more about events that happened to a nation, and other nations around them. About the people, their relationships, their wars, their travels and migration. It’s about history first hand.
The Jews` persecution is a phenomenon, a mystery why the Jewish race has suffered persecution throughout history. They have endured harsh times by their oppressors, even to the brink of extermination. Yet they survived against all the odds. Here is an overview.
This story takes us back in history over 4000 years. The forming of the nation of Israel at the times of the patriarchs (the heads of the Hebrew people). The leaders here referred to are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, three of the patriarchs. Abraham, (Abram) known as the father of all the nations, the first patriarch was born in 1967 BC. Abraham had a wife, Sarah (Sarai). They and several family members moved out of their country. They migrated to Canaan, under God’s command, and during this time God gave them their former names the year was 1892 BC. God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants to inherit the entire land of Canaan forever. Abraham was born in 1967 BC and moved into Canaan when he was 75 years old. He had a son when he and his wife, Sarah, were old. They both assumed that Sarah would never carry a child, but God blessed her. In 1868 BC they had a son and named him Isaac. Years later, Isaac married Rebekah and in 1807 BC they had twins, Esau and Jacob.
The wives of these leaders are all known as the matriarchs. Sarah (wife of Abraham), Rebekah (wife of Isaac) and Leah (a wife of Jacob). These three father figures and the three wives now rest at the Hebron holy site. The Cave of Machpelah, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
Jacob had another wife named Rachel. Leah and Rachel were sisters. Rachel couldn’t conceive at first, and Leah gave Jacob six sons and a daughter. Rachel gave him two sons at a later date.
12 sons and 12 tribes
Jacob, also named Israel by God, was Abraham’s grandson. He had twelve sons (all patriarchs). Born between 1723 and 1710 BC. They each ruled over a part of the twelve Hebrew tribes that came together as a nation. These twelve tribes became known as the twelve tribes of Israel. (The Israelites).
Judah was one of the most prominent of the twelve tribes and covered the city of Jerusalem. King Solomon and David were from this tribe and the bloodline passed down to Mary and Jesus. Jerusalem became the capital of Israel. King Solomon builds the holy temple in the city of Jerusalem.
The twelve tribes comprised ten of the Northern Kingdom and two of the Southern Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom was: Simeon; Reuben; Gad; Ephraim; Issachar; Naphtali; Manasseh; Asher; Zebulin; Dan. The Southern Kingdom was Benjamin and Judah.
Egypt is World Power
Israel came out of Canaan into Egypt because of a famine in 1677 BC. Jacob was 130 years old. After dwelling in Egypt for 135 years, the tribes of Israel prospered, they multiplied and grew strong. Pharaoh saw they were growing and becoming a large nation. He feared that someday they would become a threat to him and Egypt. So, in 1382 BC, he took them into slavery. They remained so for another 80 years. They built cities and monuments while in captivity, and life was cruel. In the scriptures it mentions that they also built the city of Ramses. Later, the king of Egypt ordered all the male babies born to the Hebrews cast into the river. Moses survived and brought up by Pharaoh’s daughter. The adult Moses had to flee Egypt after killing a guard. While in a foreign land, God called upon Moses to return to Egypt and lead the Israelites out of slavery…
Continued in part 2…
Exodus to Canaan
Moses led the Israelites out of bondage from the land of Egypt through the desert unto the land of Canaan. He sent 12 spies into Canaan, one out of every tribe. He instructed them to stay 40 days and gather information on the inhabitants. They were to report back anything of significance. After 40 days, they reported their findings to Moses. God told the Israelites that they will dwell in the desert for 40 years. A punishment for disobeying him while passing through the desert. 1 year for each of the 40 days that the spies went into the land of Canaan. The generation that disobeyed him will not see the promised land. Only their descendants will.
Joshua conquers Jericho.
The Israelite army prepares for war. Priests carry the Ark of the Covenant into battle as a mighty weapon empowered by God. After the seventh and last trumpet sounded, the walls of Jericho fell, making way for the mighty army of Israel. They destroyed the city and its inhabitants, and they took the spoils of gold and silver and all precious items back to the Israelite’s camp and into the treasury. The Israelites take all the land of Canaan by fighting many battles in the following years.
Israel’s Fall from Grace
Israel appointed a series of Judges to rule over them. During this era, they turned away from God several times and worshipped idols. God punished them by delivering them up to their enemies. God favoured them again and restored their status after they repented.
1372–1332 BC 1st Apostasy
Israel in captivity for eight years under the rule of the king of Mesopotamia.
Judges 3:7 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God, and served Baalim and the groves. 8 Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim for eight years.
1332–1314 BC 2nd Apostasy
Israel again in captivity, this time for eighteen years under Eglon the king of Moab.
Judges 3:12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord. 14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
1252 – 1232 BC 3rd Apostasy
This time it was twenty years in captivity for their sins. Their oppressor was Ja`bin the king of Canaan.
Judges 4:1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead. 2 And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin King of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. 3 And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.
1212–1205 BC 4th Apostasy
Seven years in captivity under the rule of the Midianites.
Judges 6:1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. 6 And Israel was impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.
Israel is World Power
1172 BC 5th Apostasy
With God’s favour, Israel conquers the Midianites under the leadership of Gideon. They become a world power. Gideon dies in 1172 BC, and Israel once again turns away from God and worships the false god Baalberith.
Judges 8:32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim and made Baalberith their god.
1145–1127 BC 6th Apostasy
Eighteen more years of oppression for disobeying God
Judges 10:6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the Lord, and served not him, 7 And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon. 8 And that year the vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.
Reign of Saul,
The birth of Saul was around 1105 BC, and in 1065 BC he became king. He ruled until 1025 BC. During his Reign in 1036 BC; the Philistines slaughtered the Israelite army. They then carried off the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark became a curse unto the Philistine’s while in their possession. They moved it among their people and suffered much destruction. Turmoil fell on them wherever it went. They had possession of the Ark for seven months before returning it. They took it back to the Israelites for fear of further deaths.
Reign of David: 1025–985 BC
And Solomon: 985–945 BC
David was born in 1055 BC and becomes King of Israel in 1025 BC, the year that Saul dies. He ruled over Judah from 1030 BC. He remains king of Israel until 985 BC. He was thirty years old when he became king and reigned for forty years. Under David’s rule, the nation of Israel grew in power and prosperity. King David fought many wars and battles and defeated many enemies. He spilled much blood on the battlefields. In 1015 BC King David and one of his wives, Bathsheba, had a son named Solomon.
Israel anointed Solomon as King in 985 BC, and he ruled for 40 years until 945 BC. They planned a temple for building in Jerusalem; it was God’s house and a place for the Ark of the Covenant. King David prepared the design. He gathered all the materials for the temple in readiness for his son Solomon to take charge. David wanted the job of building the temple, but God told him that his son was to be the builder. David’s had soiled his hands with the blood of too many wars.
Chronicles 22: 7 And David said to Solomon, my son as for me it was in my mind to build a house unto the name of the Lord my God. 8 But the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build a house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.
So it was that Solomon built a magnificent temple as the house of God. In 985 BC work started on the temple and it finished in 962 BC. They placed the Arc of the Covenant in the temple in 974 BC. Solomon becomes a great and wise ruler. God granted him great wisdom from God and recognised as the wisest man on earth. Solomon dies in the year of 945 BC.
945 BC–721 BC
After the death of Solomon, the nation split. Jeroboem ruled the ten tribes, the Northern Kingdom (Israel). And Rehoboem (Solomon’s son) ruled the southern Kingdom (Judah). The two now separate kingdoms wared against each other. For many years this carried on.
Assyria World Power
750 – 612 BC
In 721 BC the Assyrian army took Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom. Israel had once again fallen from grace through idol worship of the heathen gods. So God delivered The Northern Kingdom (Israel) into the hands of the Assyrians and into slavery.
Fall of Israel to Fall of Judah
In 586 BC the Babylonian army, under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, captured Jerusalem. This was the capital of the Southern Kingdom of the tribes of Judah. The Babylonians destroyed the holy temple in Jerusalem and burnt it to the ground. The army knocked the walls of the city and burnt the houses. They slaughtered many of the citizens, men young and old, women and children all fell by the sword. They carried the treasures of the temple off to Babylon. Rich nobles of the tribes of Judah were and taken into slavery. They left the remaining poor in the city. Once again, God had punished his people for turning to worshipping false gods. And now their holiest place of worship is destroyed.
Babylon is World Power
After conquering Assyria, with the aid of the Medes and Persians, Babylon becomes a world power. The first great empire of the ancient world. Also known as the Chaldean Empire. It had several leaders. During the time of Jerusalem’s destruction, King Nebuchadnezzar ruled. Babylon was a nation of idol worshippers. During his reign Nebuchadnezzar had the Etemenanki Ziggurat rebuilt.
The Jews without a temple
During this period of the Jews in exile, the Medes and the Persians were on the rise. An army of two nations joined to fight common enemies. Darius was the king of the Median empire and Cyrus the Great ruled the Persians. In 539 BC, Darius the Median took the Babylonian kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar’s son, Belshazzar, the then king of Babylon, was slain the night the empire fell.
Persia is World Power
After the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians, in 538 BC, Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their land of Judah. To build their temple again. 50,000 Jews returned to their home, albeit under the rule of the Persian empire.
Restoration of the Temple
Work started on the temple, and it took until 516 BC to complete under the reign of Darius the Mede. A celebration, the Passover, took place to mark the occasion. The Jews had come home once again, to their land, given to them by God. But still under foreign rule.
Greece is World Power
Greece became the next world power, the third of four great empires in the ancient world. They conquered the Persian empire under the leadership of Alexander the Great. They took control of Jerusalem but let the Jews govern themselves. As did Cyrus the Great. They were still under the rule of the Greek Empire but allowed to practice their religion. In 168 BC the Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, desecrated the temple. He erected a pagan alter inside the temple and sacrificed a pig to the Greek God Zeus. Referred to in the bible as `the abomination of desolation, ` spoken of by Daniel. This led to a revolt and Judah became an independent state within an empire, but only for a short while. Again they were subdued, and Antiochus IV stopped all Jewish worship. He implemented worship to the Greek pagan God Zeus.
Rome is World Power
63 BC–AD 476
Rome was a republic from the 6th century BC until it became an empire in the 1st century BC and had its first emperor. In 63 BC it became the fourth great empire of the ancient world, the mightiest of them all. The Jews came under Roman rule, but they still practiced their own laws and religion. In a way controlled by the occupying Romans.
Rome had been fighting wars with Greece on many fronts and for centuries. Rome defeated them when in 168 BC at Pynda, at the battle of Cynoscephalae, Greece fell.
Destruction of the second temple
Under Roman occupation, the Jews had several skirmishes with the Romans. Not enough, though, to be a threat to the might of the Roman Empire.
In AD 66, 33 years after Jesus’ crucifixion, the Jews once again revolted. The Emperor Nero sent Vespasian to restore order. In AD 68 this succeeded in the province. The Romans then concentrated their efforts on Jerusalem. Nero committed suicide. Vespasian was the new Emperor and returned to Rome. His son, Titus, then leads the army in Jerusalem. By AD 70, they had penetrated the city and began the systematic slaughter. The Roman soldiers murdered everyone they came into contact with in a bloody frenzy. Men, women, children, all innocent bystanders, fell under the sword. They made their way to the temple and in a fit of madness they slaughtered the Jews trying to save it. The Romans set fire to the temple, climbing over dead bodies in their attempt to loot for treasure. Destruction of the temple, for the second time in history, was imminent. The romans slaughtered thousands of Jews. Thousands that survived the onslaught went to Egypt to work as slaves. Others dispersed throughout the Roman empire. Persecuted, sometimes as entertainment in the arenas.
The romans carted the holy relics of the temple off to Rome. They put on celebratory display as a mark of their victory.
Again the Jews part from their holy land into slavery and dispersed all over the Roman Empire.
AD 70 to AD 1967
After Jerusalems` destruction, and through the centuries, the Jews wandered. They settled all over the globe. Anti-Semitism followed them wherever they went, but very few remained in the holy land. In the first two centuries, many settled in Babylonia.
The age of the prophets had gone and God no longer spoke to the Jews, Christs` rejection was their major stumbling block. God chose not to speak to them anymore. But the old testament prophets predicted the future of the Jews right up to the end of the modern world.
The Spanish Inquisition saw many Jews murdered. Led by the Catholic Christian movement. They opposed the Jews in disbelief of Christ and opposition to Christianity.
Nazi Germany, under the rule of Adolph Hitler, saw the worst atrocities on Jews in modern times, the worst time in the 4000-year history of the Jewish people. Over six million Jews murdered by the Nazis between 1939 and 1945.
Of course, there were many incidents of anti-Semitism in modern History.
Jewish rebellion against Roman rule ended in what it described as a massacre. The romans slaughtering thousands of Jews at Betar. A Jewish settlement about six miles south of Jerusalem.
During the first crusade, the crusaders killed tens of thousands of European Jews. As they passed through Europe on their way to the holy land, they left a trail of dead in their wake. The crusaders were brutal and murdered all Jews, men, women, children, sick and old. Around 12,000 Jews slaughtered in the Rhyme Valley alone.
The second crusade struck Jews in Germany and France again. Many more Jews slaughtered.
During the third crusade, many Jews massacred in England. 150 Jews murdered at York Castle by a mob enticed by the start of the third crusade.
Around 3000 Jews massacred in France by the crusaders.
In Paris, by order of the pope and the French king, they burned all copies of the Talmud.
In May of this year, pope Innocent IV (now there’s an irony) authorised the use of torture by the inquisition. This was to get confessions from accused heretics. The Jews suffered under this order.
During this year, all Jews expelled from England.
Several thousand Jews in Germany murdered by the unofficial Armleder bands. The pope stopped the senseless killings.
Widespread anti-Semitism in Spain led to thousands of Jewish massacres. One of the worst attacks on the Jews in the middle ages.
Jews attacked in Vienna, and across Austria. 300 trapped in the Or-Santa synagogue in Vienna. Some committed suicide. The rest burned to death when they torched the synagogue from inside. They rounded up around 200 remaining Jews and burnt them at the stake.
The pope issued a decree condemning the Jewish religious writings. He ordered it all burnt. Authorities collected all books from the Jewish community and an enormous bonfire ensued.
The Cossacks, under the rule of Chmielnicki, slaughtered thousands of Jews. This took place in the polish ruled eastern region. Hundreds of communities destroyed. About 100,000 Jews murdered in many forms of death, from the sword to drowning.
The Haidamacks, in the East polish region, slaughtered thousands of Jews. All ages and both men and woman killed. They showed no mercy. It is said that in one city clearing of the bodies took priority. This took place to clear the streets for the soldier’s horses to pass.
Anti-Jewish riots took place throughout Germany.
2000 Jews killed in Russian attacks over several areas of Russia. Up to 2500 killed in Odessa by organised mobs.
There was much anti-Semitism in Russia. after WW1. They organised many pogroms, resulting in around 150,000 Jews murdered.
In Nazi Germany, an event known as “Kristallnacht” took place. The Nazis murdered 100 Jews, burnt down their synagogues and ransacked their homes. Around 30,000 Jewish men arrested and deported to the death camps. This was the start of the “final solution” and set the well-oiled killing machine in operation. What resulted was the final death toll of over 6,000,000 Jews.
Germany starts WW2 by invading Poland. The roundup of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto takes momentum. Mass executions of Jews follow.
The biggest single massacre of the Jews, during the holocaust, to the said date takes place in Kiev, Russia. In a place named Babi Yar. On 30 September 1941, the Nazis executed over 33,000 Jews.
In that same year, in October, known as the “Odessa massacre”, over 50,000 Jews slaughtered.
Around 400,000 Jews rounded up in the Warsaw ghettos and deported to the death camps.
Around 300,000 Hungarian Jews rounded up. Then transported by train to Auschwitz concentration camp for execution.
By the end of WW2, The Nazis had exterminated over 6,000,000 Jews.
The United Nations set out a plan that divided Palestine into two states, a Jewish and an Arab state. This was unacceptable by the Arabs, and fighting broke out between Arabs and Jews.
They declared Israel a state. It was the first time since 70 BC (1847 years) that the Jews had a recognised home again. The Arab / Israeli war started with Arab nations attacking Israel.
The war of independence for Israel ended. It saw over 6000 Israelis killed and around 1500 wounded.
Jews allowed to leave Iraq (modern day Babylon). But only provided they gave up Iraqi citizenship. Over 100,000 Jews evacuated from Iraq between the years of 1949 to 1951. The evacuations named Ezra and Nechemia, after the leaders of the Jews from 597 BC. The two who led the Jews back to Jerusalem back from Babylonian exile. Another 49,000 Jews brought from Yemen and surrounding area between 1949 and 1950. It went under the name Operation Magic Carpet.
Israel invaded Egypt. Forcing other foreign nationals and Jews to leave Egypt. Around 25,000 Jews fled the harsh regime and their assets seized by the Egyptian government.
When the Jews advanced into Jerusalem, it seemed like suicide. All the surrounding Arab nations attacked them. The Arabs sustained heavy losses, but after six days the war was over. Israel had won. They captured the holy part of the city, (the old city) up to the remains of Solomon’s temple, (the Wailing Wall). The Israeli general, Moshe Dayan, stated the Jews had come home, never to leave again.
Egypt made war again against Israel in the “Yom Kippur War.” In retaliation for the 1967 six-day war, Egypt was hoping to regain back lost territory. The Jews fought back and won the war at a cost of 2500 Jewish soldiers dead.
The Dome of the Rock
In the holiest part of Jerusalem is the Muslim holy mosque, ” The Dome of the Rock. ” This is one of the holiest places in the Muslim world. Built where the holiest temple of the Jewish religion stood, “Solomon’s Temple.”
Jesus was the last “live” messenger from God. From AD 33, after Jesus’ ascension, they document no more direct contact with God. Although the scriptures have many passages from the prophets about later events. Several of those revelations came directly from Jesus. These events refer to the times when the Jews come back home to their holy land after almost 2000 years of exile.
One prophesy stated that the Jews will have their land back in the end times, this happened in 1948. In 1967, they retook the holy part of the city of Jerusalem.
Another prophesy states the building of Solomon’s Temple again for a 3rd time. Watch this space.
D. Marsden © 2020
The Secret of Rennes-le-Château
Rennes the Village
Rennes-le-Château lies near the foot of the Pyrenean mountains in Southern France.
It is a small village with a sparse population. At the heart of this community is a church, dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. This is the church that stands on the site today and built round about the eleventh century. Here is where a mystery lies.
In 1885 the catholic church appointed Father Bérenger Saunière, the position of Parish Priest of Rennes. The church of Mary Magdalene was in a rundown condition and Saunière was a simple poor priest. But what followed soon after was astonishing. He spent a vast amount of money renovating the church to a magnificent standard. Far above such extravagance that befits a village church. Sauniere refurbished the inside with gained statues, fine paintings and elaborate decorations. He also built several orangeries, had a tower built attached to the church, and named it Tour Magdala. The name refers to an ancient village in Israel in the North of the country on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. In Hebrew, Magdalene means Tower Magdala. Said to be the birthplace of Mary Magdalene. Her name suggests this: Mary of Magdalene. A villa built some distance away that the tower by a walkway. Saunière added a sacristy (also known as a vestre) for keeping church equipment. Such as sacred vessels, church parish records and specific furnishings. Saunière also renovated the run-down cemetery. He built a wall encompassing it and a set of wrought-iron gates set in pillars on each side. These had a lintel stone above, running across the gate head. It had a stone pediment on top with a skull and crossbones carved into it.
The Mysterious Inheritance
A mystery remains to this day on where Saunière acquired such wealth to carry out all this work. These renovations took ten years to complete. This also included the cemetery and Saunière’s living quarters. All this work required carpenters, stonemasons, labourers and many other tradespeople. These people needed paying for their labours. Materials and fittings needed payment as the work progressed. The accounts and invoices relating to the works have survived. They confirm the amount to be over 11,500 Frank’s, which inflates to around £4,000,000 in today’s money, in 2020.
Asmodeus the Master Demon
There is a Latin inscription over the entrance to the church, terribilis est locus iste. This translates to “this place is terrible.” There are other inscriptions. One reads: “this is God’s house, the gate of heaven, and it shall be called the royal court of God.”
A figure inside the church, installed by Saunière, is of the demon Asmodeus perched holding up the font. Above are four angels. Asmodeus is in many ancient writings as a master demon, sometimes referred to as the king of demons. Could it be that the whole statue is portraying a message of good? Represented by God’s angels, subduing evil represented by Asmodeus underfoot? Ancient writings denote demons, bound as slaves, and powerless. Working on God’s temple under the command of Soloman. God gave power to Solomon over the demons through the archangel Michael by the possession of a ring.
Saunière embedded many symbolic references in the church for reasons unknown.
There are many theories about Saunière and the mystery surrounding Rennes-le-Château. too many to put into such a brief blog, but what follows are some more popular ones.
Buried treasure has been one theory for Saunière’s wealth. One such theory is that Saunière found a hoard of buried treasure somewhere within the church or grounds, hidden in a hidden vault underground.
King Dagobert II
There are several tombs below the church. One tomb refers to the last resting place of King Dagobert II. (Although other evidence suggests the burial of Dagobert at the St Dennis Basilica). It could have been that Saunière found the passage to this crypt. Then finding the king’s treasure buried along with him. Dagobert II was from the Merovingian dynasty. They ruled Austrasia (the Franks, Gaul, Germany and Northern Italy) during the 7th and 8th century AD. Dagobert II had the royal title of King of Franks. He was born in 652 and died in 679 and ruled for 3 years before his death by assassination. Dagobert reintroduced the minting of gold coins. After an earlier ruler suspended the act. He was the last king to have coins minted in his name in Marseille.
The Goths and Solomon’s Treasure
Another theory is that it was King Solomon’s Treasure that he came upon. About 37 years after the crucifixion of Jesus, in AD 70, Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem, and raised Solomon’s temple, and the treasures carried off to Rome. The Visigoths later looted this in AD 410 after they sacked Rome. There is evidence that Rennes was once a stronghold of the Visigoths. They could have hid their spoils on the site for safekeeping, when the Romans and the Goths were at war with each other.
The Goths were a Germanic race of people. Comprised the Visigoths from the West and The Ostrogoths from the East. They drove the Romans out of much of Europe. and took over a large area from Germany and across the Eastern part of the continent. They settled in Southern Gaul, now France, to the Pyrenees and into Northern Spain. After the Goths had plundered Rome, they took the treasures of Solomon’s Temple back to Rennes, and hidden them away for safekeeping. The Goths later converted from German paganism to Christianity. They would have considered the treasures of Solomon as sacred.
Cathars also had a stronghold in the region. They were a branch of Christianity but had differing views from the Catholic church. This later led to their demise when persecuted and overrun by the Catholics, somewhat violently. The Cathars occupied the regions of Northern Italy and Southern France. From the 12th to the 14th century AD. Maybe they hid their treasures during their time of persecution. This was to protect them from the invading Catholics. It is said that they were the keepers and guardians of the Holy Grail. And that they gained many other religious artefacts. Centuries later, Saunière may have discovered their vast number of hidden treasures.
The Knights Templar
Another guardian of the treasures of Christ and Solomon was The Knights Templar. A Christian charitable order that had great input during the crusades. They were a military organisation and a powerful fighting force. They received authority from the pope and grew to a large order. First founded in 1119, they were active until 1312. The pope of that time, Clement V, set out to destroy them. The Templars accrued massive amounts of wealth and religious artefacts.. They considered it their duty to guard the sacred treasures of Solomon. There is speculation that The Templars had Solomon’s treasures in their possession. This also includes the Arc of the Covenant. They set up a headquarters in a wing of the royal palace in the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They build the Temple Mount on the old site of Solomon’s Temple. This is how they gained their name, the Templar Knights. They also had a stronghold near Rennes-le-Château. Another reason for the possibility of a great wealth buried at the site.
The Jesus and Mary Myth
Another theory, one that has had much debate and at least one best seller written about it. It is the theory that Jesus bypassed the cross and emigrated to France with Mary Magdalene. Later, Bérenger Saunière came across some documents, hidden away in his church. Showing the relation of the bloodline of Jesus’ family and the Merovingian Dynasty. As the story goes, the Vatican paid Saunière a vast amount of money for his silence on this matter.
Was this the case? If so, the Vatican would have carried out a less costly way of keeping this poverty-stricken priest quiet. What would have been the risk to the Catholic Church? To let a massive secret such as this left in the hands of a lowly priest. This theory seems to be one of the most farfetched of them all. But remember, the book in question is a fiction novel, so we assume poetic licence.
Saunière was at Rennes as Parish Priest for 32 years until his death in 1917. During that time, Saunière appointed a housekeeper. Marie Denarnaud, who was about 20 years younger than himself. She became his trusted confidant and, on his deathbed, he passed the secret of Rennes-le-Château to her. Denarnaud herself had instructions to convey the secret before her passing. In 1953 she suffered a brain haemorrhage. This left her paralysed and speechless. So the secret remains that for future interested parties to ponder.
Many experts in various fields have studied this strange story. Journalists and authors have indulged their passion and much ink spread across the white paper canvas. Film crews have contributed their part. But no-one has ever come up with a cast iron explanation, only theory after theory. So, the mystery carries on and the same old questions keep coming up. Where did this peasant of a priest get such vast wealth? How did he become rich beyond his wildest dreams? What form of wealth or currency did he stumble upon? How did he get such wealth almost overnight? He spent the equal of four million pounds in today’s value, on renovating a village church and grounds? What are all those symbolic gestures about that he placed in and around the church? What happened? We’ll never know the truth.
D. Marsden © 2020