THE ISRAELITE ORIGIN OF THE SCYTHIANS
BY STEVEN M. COLLINS
The ten tribes of Israel essentially vanished from their former Kingdom of Israel by circa 721 BC. They had been a powerful kingdom in the Eastern Mediterranean region for centuries prior to that time. They had been allied to the city-states of Tyre, Sidon, etc. in what historians now call the Phoenician Empire. Their alliance dominated the ancient world’s maritime trade routes and, from the time of King David onward, became a powerful military power on land as well. They were exceedingly blessed by God during the time of Kings David and Solomon, but a long succession of sinful kings led to a steady decline in the strength and influence of the kingdom of Israel. During an approximately 20 year span between 740-720 B.C., the ten tribes of Israel went into foreign exile in several waves. At the beginning of this period, the Assyrians took captive the tribe of Naphtali and the Gileadite tribes of Gad, Reuben and half the tribe of Manasseh (II Kings 15:29). By circa 721 B.C., all of the ten tribes of Israel who had formed the northern kingdom of Israel had been removed from their lands (II Kings 17:18). While the house of Judah remained in the Promised Land for a time, many have puzzled over the fate and future of the ten tribes of Israel. Where did they go? While the Bible foretold that the tribes of Israel would scatter, literally, to all four directions (Genesis 28:14), the remainder of this article is devoted to connecting many of the exiled tribes of Israel to one largely ignored confederation of tribes which emerged afterward in the region of South Russia: the Scythians.
Clues for Tracing the Exiled Ten Tribes:
The ten tribes of Israel can be traced after their exile via both secular and scriptural evidence. This article will give several of the major pieces of evidence for doing so, but first some pervasive misconceptions about the ten tribes must first be addressed. It is commonly assumed by many that the ten tribes were “abandoned by God,” or that they “died out.” Neither assumption is correct.
The ten tribes of Israel were led by the two tribes which descended from Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh. These tribes were given the Divine “birthright” blessings by Jacob (later called “Israel”) when he died (Genesis 48:8-22). The birthright blessings remained with these tribes from that time forward. These blessings included large populations, material wealth, national power, etc., and God gave them to Abraham and his descendants unconditionally and permanently. National sins and rebelliousness could and did cause God to withdraw these blessings at times, but they could not be permanently lost. This is an important point which God himself made in a prophecy concerning the about-to-be exiled Israelites in Hosea 1. The prophecy in Hosea 1 was written decades before the ten tribes went into exile for their growing sinfulness. Hosea 1:1-9 prophesied that God was about to exile the ten tribes of Israel from their land, but the tribe of Judah would be allowed to remain. Most people think that this prophecy is a grim judgment on the ten tribes that God was forsaking them. However, Hosea 1:10-11 pronounces a Divine blessing that would be poured out on the ten tribes after their exile. Verse 10 prophesies that God would vastly increase the population of the ten tribes after he removed them from the Promised Land. The promise of a large population was part of the birthright blessings given to Abraham (Genesis 22:15-18). Hosea 1:10 repeats the very language of Genesis 22:17 that Abraham’s descendants would be as numerous as “the sand of the sea.” This prophecy confirms that God had not forgotten his covenant with Abraham’s birthright descendants. He affirmed that he would continue to pour out the blessings of the Divine birthright blessings upon the ten tribes after their exile. This promise gives us a major clue about locating the transplanted ten tribes: They must be a numerous people with large populations!
Let us examine another clue. Genesis 21:12 prophesied that Abraham’s descendants would be known by the name of Abraham’s son, Isaac. Since the birthright blessing was given to Ephraim and Manasseh, the name of Isaac would primarily be placed on these two tribes. Genesis 48:16 records that Jacob (called “Israel”) blessed Ephraim and Manasseh with these words: “Let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.” This blessing affirms that these two tribes will bear the name of Isaac upon them throughout history. This had occurred already before the ten tribes were sent into exile. A prophecy in Amos 7:16 refers to the ten tribes of Israel (i.e. the “house of Israel” in verse 10) as “the house of Isaac.” In ancient times, vowels were not written, so the consonants of Isaac’s name would be “S-C” or “S-K” (dependent on the language in which the word appeared). Applying the prophetic clue in Genesis 21:12, we need to look for the exiled ten tribes of Israel by locating tribes which have Isaac’s name attached to them.
What Direction Did the Ten Tribes Go?
While it is this author’s belief that groups of migrating Israelites went to a number of diverse locations, the Bible does give us evidence that most of the exiled Israelites migrated generally to the north and east of the old Promised Land. II Kings 15:29 states that the Gileadite tribes and the tribe of Naphtali were “carried…captive to Assyria.” The Assyrian Empire was located to the east of the kingdom of Israel, so these tribes were carried eastward into Asia. When the inhabitants of Samaria were carried captive, II Kings 17:6 states they were transplanted to the regions of Halah, Habor and the cities of the Medes. Media was long identified with the region south of the Caspian Sea, which was in a somewhat northeastern direction from Samaria, but it was still mostly eastward. The apocryphal book of II Esdras (13:39-46) records that many members of the ten tribes escaped from the Assyrians and migrated independently to a land called “Arzareth.” Secular evidence indicates that this was in the region of the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains.
A Medieval Jewish historian named Eldad is cited as the source of a report that at the time of the fall of Samaria, the ten tribes of Israel “evaded the calamity, going off with their flocks, and turning nomads, and that the chief…whom they appointed could muster 120,000 horse and 100,000 foot.” To be escorted by 220,000 soldiers, the main body of escaping Israelites must have numbered well over a million people. The Black Sea region to which they are reputed to have escaped is almost straight north of the old kingdom of Israel. The Bible has an account which indicates that Eldad’s report is factual. In Jeremiah 3, God sent a message of reconciliation to the ten tribes of Israel even as he proclaimed that the end of the kingdom of Judah was near. These messages to Israel and Judah were given approximately a century after the ten tribes went into exile. It is most noteworthy that God told Jeremiah that the message to the ten tribes (i.e. “Israel”) should be sent to the north. God knew where the ten tribes were a century after their exile and he told Jeremiah that they lived “to the north” of Jeremiah’s location in Jerusalem. Draw a line northward from Jerusalem and you will come to the Black Sea region, exactly where ancient sources place a large body of migrating Israelites. The people living in that region were known as “Scythian” or “Sacae” tribes. Were these the Israelite tribes?
Origins of the Scythians:
Most of the Israelite tribes scattered into Asia circa 721 B.C. Secular historical records should be consulted to identify related tribes which did not arrive in Asia until roughly that period of time. The Encyclopedia Americana records the Scythians arrived in the region of South Russia “about 700 B.C.” An historian of the Scythians, Tamara Talbot Rice, wrote the following: “The Scythians did not become a recognizable national entity… before the eighth century B.C…by the seventh century B.C. they had established themselves firmly in southern Russia…Assyrian documents place their appearance…on the shores of Lake Urmia [just south of Armenia] in the time of King Sargon (722-705 B.C.) a date which closely corresponds with that of the first establishment of the first group of Scythians in southern Russia.”
These accounts (and others) record that the Scythians “appeared” in South Russia at the very time that the ten tribes of Israel were fleeing from the final Assyrian invasion. Tamara Talbot Rice’s account dates the Scythian arrival in Armenia and south Russia to the very time that the Bible states the Israelites were removed from their homeland (as noted above, some of the tribes were already captive to the Assyrians and they had no choice re: where they were relocated). Rice’s account also notes that the Scythians were firmly established in south Russia by the 7th century B.C. The message of God to the ten tribes (“Israel”) in Jeremiah 3 was given near the end of the 7th century B.C., and it indicates they were located “north” of Jerusalem. The Scythians lived straight north of Jerusalem in the Black Sea region
The Scythians were also known as the “Sacae” or the “Saka.” The Encyclopaedia Britannica states the terms “Saka [Sacae] and Scyths were regarded as synonymous.” The famous Greek historian, Herodotus, wrote that “the Persians call all the Scythians Sacae.” In these accounts, it is apparent that the Scythian tribes are known by a form of the Hebrew patriarch, Isaac. The Scythian tribes known as the “Sacae” or “Saka” bore the name of Isaac upon them, fulfilling the prophecies in Genesis 21:12 and 48:16 that the Israelite tribes would bear that name. If this is all the evidence there was, the similarity could be a coincidence. However, this is much more evidence that the Scythian Sacae were the displaced Israelite tribes.
Scythia’s Israelite Customs and Names:
One could argue that the emergence of the Scythians in the Black Sea region at the same point in history that the ten tribes of Israel fled the kingdom of Israel was just a coincidence. However, the presence of uniquely Israelite cultural traits and names among the Scythians confirms that the Scythians were, indeed, displaced and relocated Israelites from the ten-tribes of Israel.
It has been noted above that the Scythians were known as “Saka” or “Sacae,” and that this name of Isaac would be imprinted on the ten tribes of Israel throughout history. The Scythians’ homelands were not limited to just the Black Sea region. They began to expand eastward across the steppes quickly as their population burgeoned, and they also established themselves in Asia Minor and the Caucasus Mountains. An early Scythian capital was named “Sakiz,” again proclaiming to the world the significance of the name of the Israelite patriarch, Isaac, to their history.
The Greek story of Xenophon mentions the “Sacians” of Asia who “suffered very severely” at the hands of the Assyrians, and a Roman writer, Pliny, stated the Scythians were “descended from slaves.” These accounts reveal strong linkages between the Scythians i.e. (the Sacians) and the Israelites. The Israelites were, indeed, descended from Israelite slaves in Egypt who were freed by Divine action via the Exodus in the time of Moses. They also had suffered severely at the hands of the Assyrians because Assyria repeatedly waged war against the kingdom of Israel in biblical times until its tribes were either taken captive by Assyria or were driven into forced exile. Herodotus noted the presence of “Sacae” in both the army and navy of the Persian monarch, Xerxes, which marched against the Greeks circa 480 B.C. One can find references to the “Sacae” of Herodotus as the “Sacans.” One writer who uses the term “Sacans” as synonymous with the “Sacae” is Paul Cartledge, who uses that term in his book, Thermopylae.
Herodotus also recorded that the Scythians recoiled from using or keeping swine. He wrote: “They [the Scythians] make no offerings of pigs, nor will they keep them in their country.” Since the Scythians not only refused to allow pigs to be used in sacrificial purposes, but also banned them entirely from their territory, it is evident that the Scythians did not eat the flesh of swine either. This avoidance of swine’s flesh is a characteristic Torah-based, Israelite dietary trait. Also, Herodotus recorded that the Scythians did not tolerate their own people indulging in idolatrous Greek religious ceremonies. Herodotus cited two cases to make his point. The first involved a Scythian named Anacharsis, who secretly celebrated rites honoring “the mother of the gods” and wore “images” (i.e. idols) as part of the rites. Another Scythian saw this and reported him to the Scythian King, Saulius, who personally executed Anacharsis for indulging in an idolatrous Greek custom. Notice that the king who executed Anacharsis bore a characteristic Israelite name: “Saul-ius.” Saul, of course, was the name of the first Israelite King, who was the predecessor of King David. Herodotus also cites the account of the Scythian King, Scyles, who was executed by his own brother after Scyles participated in a hedonistic Greek festival honoring Bacchus.
It must be noted that Herodotus also records bizarre practices and rituals being practiced by various peoples in the “Scythian” region which were not based on any vestigial Torah-tradition among the Israelites. It is also important to note that there were many different ethnic groups and tribes called “Scythians” by historians. Herodotus himself notes there was a difference between the “Scythians” and other tribes who lived in the region dominated by the Scythians. Although Herodotus wrote that the “stupidest nations in the world” lived in the Black Sea region, he exempted the Scythians from this negative classification. The term “Scythian” came to describe a lifestyle as much as a national ancestry, and all the peoples and tribes in the steppe region came to be known as “Scythians.” The term “Saka” or “Sacae” identifies the Israelite tribes in the region as that name preserves an ancestry from the Israelite patriarch, Isaac.
Secular reports that the Black Sea Scythians avoided the use of swine for any purpose and forbid idolatrous customs substantiates Jeremiah 3:11’s record wherein God stated: “backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.” This is dated to approximately 620 B.C., the time when the Scythians had settled into the Black Sea regions. Since Jeremiah 3 records that Israel was then located “toward the north” of Jerusalem, and the Scythians lived to the north of Jerusalem in the Black Sea region, it is apparent that the Scythians were the ten tribes of Israel addressed by God in Jeremiah 3.
The rivers emptying into the Black Sea formerly had names such as the Ister, Tyras, Borysthenes and Tanais. After the Scythians entered that region, these rivers were given new Israelite names based on the name of the Israelite tribe of Dan. The new names of these rivers were the Danube, the Dniester, the Dnieper and the Don. The Israelite tribe of Dan had a tendency to re-name geographical locations after its own tribal name (Joshua 19:47). Collier’s Encyclopedia confirms there is no doubt the Scythians gave these rivers their modern names. It states: “The names of the…rivers Danube, Dnestr, Dnepr and Don are Scythian…” These rivers are known by these Scythian names to this day on modern maps, and all these Scythian names are based on the Israelite tribe of Dan.
The “Iberians” of the Caucasus:
As noted above, the Scythians lived in the region of the Black Sea and Caucasus Mountains. By the time of the first century B.C., a Caucasus Mountain kingdom was named “Iberia” and its kings routinely bore the dynastic name of “Pharesmenes.” The Iberians were known to be Scythians or Scythian allies. The term “Iberia” is based on the name of “Eber,” the namesake of the Hebrews. This same name, “Iberia,” had previously been placed upon the modern region of Spain and Portugal, which were formerly part of the Phoenician Empire of Israel, Tyre and Sidon. The name “Pharesmenes” includes the exact name of Phares, the ancestor of King David, to whom the promise of royal descendants was given.
The Massagetae and Queen Tomyris:
When Cyrus the Great reigned over the Persian Empire, he invaded Scythian tribes living near the Caspian Sea circa 528 B.C. The primary Scythian tribe was named the Massagetae, and they had a Queen named Tomyris. Consider these names. The leading Scythian tribe known as the Massa-getae bore a striking similarity to the name of the leading Israelite tribe of Manasseh. Also, King David was promised in I Kings 8:25 that his progeny would perpetually include rulers over the people of “Israel” (i.e. the ten tribes of Israel). In Genesis 48:14-16, the term “Israel” was primarily placed on the leading tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Tamar was a common and famous name among females in King David’s lineage. The mother of Pharez (David’s ancestor) was named Tamar (Genesis 38:6-29), David’s own daughter was named Tamar (II Samuel 13), and a granddaughter of David was also named Tamar (<a class="rtBibleRef" href="https://biblia.com/bible/esv/2%20Sam%2014.27" data-reference="2 S ” data-version=”esv” data-purpose=”bible-reference”>II Samuel 14:27).
If the Massagetae were the Israelite tribe of Manasseh, a leading tribe of the ten tribes of Israel, biblical prophecy regarding King David’s descendants being rulers over Israel would argue that this tribe would have royalty descended from King David. At the time of King Cyrus’ invasion of the Massagetae and other Scythian tribes, the Massagetae’s Queen was named Tomyris. The first two syllables of her name are: “Tomyr-” followed by a final syllable. The similarity of the Israelite name “Tamar” and the Scythian/Massagetae Queen named Tomyris is obvious and striking. When the vowels of the names are removed, the consonants are identical: “T-M-R.”
The above examples show that names of King David’s lineage were found among the rulers of the Scythians, whether they were in the Scythians’ western regions (the Caucasus Mountains by the Black Sea) or their eastern regions where the Massagetae lived east of the Caspian Sea. The presence of names from King David’s lineage among the Scythian tribes confirms that the Scythians were descended from the ten tribes of Israel, as God’s promise indicated David’s progeny would specifically rule over the ten tribes of Israel throughout history.
Scythian Artwork Reveals Them to be Semites:
It is assumed by some that the Scythians migrated into the Black Sea region from Central Asia. Historical evidence easily shows that assumption to be incorrect. The Scythians were famous in the ancient world for their magnificent gold artwork. If the Scythians originated in Central Asia, their self-portrayals should show Scythians with Mongol or Oriental faces. This is not the case. On this gold artwork, the Scythians uniformly depict themselves as Semites who are often bearded. Illustrations of Scythians in the McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature uniformly depict Scythian men, women and youth as Caucasian (or Semitic) individuals.
The Scythians were hardly wild barbarians from Central Asia. Like the Israelites of old, they were skilled agriculturalists who not only tended herds and flocks of livestock, but also grew crops. Indeed, they were grain exporters to other peoples in the ancient world. The Scythians exported 600,000 bushels of grain to Athens on an annual basis just decades after the time of Herodotus. Wild barbarians from the interior of Asia would hardly cultivate and harvest row crops, negotiate and fulfill international trade contracts, etc. The Scythians were quite civilized people.
Georges Charriere, author of the book, Scythian Art: Crafts of the Eurasian Nomads writes this observation about the skilled artwork of the Scythians: “There is no ground for concluding that this style of art had its birth in the Altai or in any other region of Siberia. Along with the other elements of Scythian culture, it…originated in the peripheral regions of Assyria, among the Iranian-language tribes settled in the north of Iran” (Emphasis added). This is an important observation! It has long been known that many of the Israelites went into captivity into Assyrian regions or the Medo-Persian region of Iran (II Kings 15:29, 18:11). Charriere notes that the Scythian artwork (and “other elements of Scythian culture”) had its origin in the very regions into which the captive Israelites were first placed. Therefore, the Scythian artwork, their physical appearances and other aspects of their culture show that the Scythians migrated to their Black Sea/ Russian steppe regions from the south, not from the more northern recesses of Central Asia or Siberia.
The Christian New Testament also includes a comment by the Apostle Paul that confirms the Scythians were not barbarians. In Colossians 3:11, Paul lists a series of dichotomies in which he lists “Scythian” and “barbarian” as opposites! His account indicating the Scythians were civilized peoples dates to the first century A.D.
Brief History of the Scythians:
Many students of history have heard or read much about the history of the Assyrian and Persian Empires. However, few have been taught that the Scythians fought three major wars against Assyria and Persia and won them all.
In approximately 624 B.C., the Scythians launched a massive invasion of Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Syria, Media, etc. They marched through the Holy Land and reached Egypt, but spared the Egyptians who paid tribute money to the Scythians. The Assyrian Empire, however, was “inundated” and conquered by Scythian armies. As the descendants of the ten tribes of the kingdom of Israel who were driven from their homeland by Assyrian armies, the Scythians (i.e. the “Sacae” who bore the name of “Isaac” upon them) had every reason to want revenge upon Assyria. The Scythians were allied to the Babylonians in this war, although the main burden of the war apparently was borne by the Scythians, whose massive armies invaded and occupied the entire Middle East. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states simply; “Nineveh was captured and destroyed by the Scythian army.”
The Scythians did not stay very long in their conquered regions. Historical sources record they stayed 10-25 years and then returned to their homelands to live. It is noteworthy that although they destroyed Assyria with great violence, Herodotus wrote that the Scythians marched through the Holy Land on their way to and from Egypt “doing no harm to anyone.” Indeed, the city of Beth-Shan in the Holy Land was renamed Scythopolis apparently in their honor, but certainly in their memory. It is at this juncture when they had entered the Holy Land in large numbers and marched as far as Egypt that the Scythians resurfaced in the Bible’s accounts. However, the Bible refers to them by their historic, Israelite tribal names instead of the Greek name of “Sacae” or “Scythians.”
There is a portion of the Bible that critics have attacked as “proving” that the Bible has internal contradictions. In fact, this very section offers profound evidence that the Bible is historically accurate. The supposed contradiction comes from the fact that while II Kings 17:18 states that all the tribe of Israel were removed from the Promised Land except for the tribe of Judah circa 721 B.C., the Bible also states that people from the expelled tribes were again present in the land approximately a century later in the reign of King Josiah of the kingdom of Judah. King Josiah led a revival in the kingdom of Judah, restoring the observance of God’s laws. II Chronicles 34:6-9 records that in Josiah’s reign, there were again present in the Promised Land people from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, Simeon, Naphtali and Benjamin. II Chronicles 35:17-18 clearly states that “children of Judah and Israel (i.e. the ten tribes of Israel) were both “present” at a Passover which was sponsored by King Josiah. How does one reconcile these seemingly irreconcilable passages? Easy!
Herodotus and secular history record unequivocally that the “Scythians” (the “Sacae”) invaded Mesopotamia and the Mideast from their homelands in the Black Sea region circa 620 B.C. They also record the Scythians entered the Holy Land at that time and stayed for 10-25 years. This Scythian presence in the Holy Land occurred during the reign of King Josiah of the kingdom of Judah, whose Passover celebration was attended by members of the tribes of Manasseh, Ephraim, Naphtali, Simeon, etc. who were again “present” in the territory of the former kingdom of Israel. The connection is obvious. The very people called the Scythians or Sacae by Herodotus were the same people called by their Israelite tribal names in the Bible! Far from demonstrating a biblical contradiction, the combined accounts of Herodotus and II Chronicles clearly demonstrate that the Scythian Sacae were the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel because the Bible calls these Scythians by their Hebrew tribal names! The Scythian/Israelites did not remain long in their historic tribal lands in the Holy Land, and they migrated back to the Black Sea region perhaps two decades later.
The history of the Scythians is as remarkable as it is overlooked in history texts. They were a major world power in ancient times, yet they are scarcely mentioned in historical accounts. Besides crushing the Assyrian Empire, the Scythians also twice defeated massive invasions of their homelands by the Persian Empire. The first Persian invasion occurred circa 528 BC when the famous Persian monarch, Cyrus the Great, invaded the eastern Scythian tribes who lived east of the Caspian Sea. The dominant Scythian tribe to be invaded was the Massagetae, whose ruler was the aforementioned Queen Tomyris (whose name was a form of the Israelite name “Tamar”). The Persian army was crushed and Cyrus the Great lost both his army and his head.
The second Persian invasion of Scythian territory occurred in 512 B.C when King Darius marched an army of 700,000 soldiers into Balkan Europe and attacked the Black Sea Scythians by marching into their territory via Eastern Europe. King Darius was repulsed by the Scythians, but at least Darius and most of his army survived their retreat back to Persia.
The forgotten but fascinating history of the Scythians is revealed in much greater detail in this author’s book, Israel’s Lost Empires, which can be ordered on-line at www.bibleblessings.net.
This article has offered convincing evidence that the Sacae Scythians were the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel which were relocated to Asia. The history of the Scythians, who inhabited and ruled a territory much larger than many other “empires,” is an important, but oddly missing, element of world history. The important role of the Scythians in world history has been all but omitted from history text books. Could it be that the Scythians are largely ignored in modern history texts because if their history and culture was examined in any meaningful detail, their Israelite origins would become evident?
Modern secular mankind is much more comfortable with a worldview which allows it to think that there is no Creator God who not only made them but also will hold them accountable for their actions in this life. The theory of evolution is so pervasive in modern academic and educational systems that most people assume this anti-biblical world view has been proven to be true. Nothing could be further from the truth. Atheistic and evolutionary writers adopt a biblically “minimalist” view of world history which assumes that the Bible is unscientific and that the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah were small, insignificant kingdoms on the eastern Mediterranean coast.
The truth is that the kingdoms of Israel and Judah both emerged from the break-up of the global Phoenician Empire which had previously also included the city-states of Tyre and Sidon. The two greatest kings of this global Phoenician Empire were the biblical Kings, David and Solomon. When the Israelite kingdom fell, many of its people were either taken into captivity or migrated to other parts of the far-flung Phoenician Empire to preserve their independence. This fact is attested to by the prophet Daniel who, while confessing the sins and scattering of the people of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, refers to the people of Israel (the ten tribes) as being both “near and far off” from the Persian location in which he lived (Daniel 9:7). Many of the overseas colonies of the Phoenician Empire were, indeed, “far off” from Persia. This article has shown; however, that the greatest portion of the exiled people of the ten tribes of Israel migrated to the Black Sea region and became known as Scythians or “Sacae.”
In order to successfully trace and locate the ten tribes of Israel in history, one must apply a “maximalist” approach to the Bible and world history. Such an approach takes the Bible literally as the inspired Word of a Creator God. A dispassionate examination of world history confirms the maximalist approach to the Bible is the correct one because biblical narratives do coincide with secular accounts. The Bible declares in Hosea 1:10 that the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel would not “die out,” but would rather grow in population to the point they could scarcely be numbered. Genesis 21:12 also prophesied that they would perpetually be known by the name of their progenitor, Isaac. Classical historians confirm that the Sacae Scythians were both incredibly numerous and bore the name of Isaac. An examination of their history and culture also confirms the presence of many Hebrew names and customs amongst the Scythian tribes. It is also noteworthy that the Scythians were divided into strong tribal units; they did not have a central Emperor ruling over all their many tribes. This is a typical trait of Israelite history, which often featured the individual tribes acting independent of each other.
The reality that the Scythians were the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel radically alters the standard paradigm via which world history is understood in the modern world. The modern view of world history ignores or downgrades the history and proper role of the many kingdoms and empires which have descended from the combined twelve tribes of Israel. Scythia is not the only Israelite world empire or major power whose role in world history has been ignored or understated. For a full history of the nations, empires and kingdoms which have descended from the tribes of Israel from the time of the patriarchs to the modern era, readers are referred to this author’s 4-book series which unveils the true role of the tribes of Israel throughout world history. Israel’s Lost Empires, which examines the origins and history of the Scythians, is the second book in the 4-part series. The remaining books in this series document the true history of the ten tribes of Israel, and identify their descendants in the modern world. Many other articles by this author can be read or previewed at the following websites: www.stevenmcollins.com, www.bibleblessings.net, www.israelite.info and www.britam.org.
Col. J.C. Gawler, Our Scythian Ancestors Identified with Israel, p. 9
Encyclopedia Americana, 1988 Ed., Vol. 24, p. 471
Tamara Talbot Rice, The Scythians, pp. 19-20, 44
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1943 Ed., Vol. 20, p. 238
Herodotus, The History, 7. 64
Tamara Talbot Rice, The Scythians, p. 45
Xenophon, Cyropaedia, V. ii. 23-26
Pliny, Natural History, IV, xii, 80
Herodotus, The History, 7. 64 and 96
Paul Cartledge, Thermopylae, pp. 232 and 239
Herodotus, The History, 4. 63
Ibid, 4. 76
Ibid, 4. 78-80
Ibid, 4. 46
Collier’s Encyclopedia, Vol. 17, p. 434
George Rawlinson, The Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy, p. 232
Boris Piotrovsky, Liudmila Galanina and Nonna Grach, Scythian Art, plates 118-119, 126-129,158-159,166-173184-187, 196-198, 202, 267-268
John McClintock and James Strong, Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, Vol. IX, see “Scythian,” pp. 489490
Zenaide Ragozin, Media, p. 414
Georges Charriere, Scythian Art: Crafts of the Eurasian Nomads, Introduction, p. 13
Werner Keller, The Bible as History, pp. 272-273
Ibid, p. 272
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1943 Ed., Vol. 2, p. 857
Herodotus, The History, 1. 105