It has been reported in various sources that the Stone of Destiny, upon which the kings of Ireland, Scotland and Britain have been crowned, was brought to Ireland from Egypt by a certain King Gathelus, son of Cecrops the founder of Athens, and a daughter of Pharaoh called Scota (see Appendix 7: "The Stone of Destiny").
The Irish and Scottish accounts
One recent source, quoting Victorian professor William Skene, gives details from a late medieval Scottish historian: "Hector Boece wrote the Scotorum Historiae in 1537, in which Gaythelus, a Greek, the son either of the Athenian Cecrops or the Argive Neolus, went to Egypt at the time of the Exodus, where he married Scota, the daughter of Pharao, and after the destruction of the Egyptian army in the Red Sea, fled with her by the Mediterranean till he arrived in Portingall [Portugal], where he landed, and founded a kingdom at Brigantium, now Compostella [which is actually on the northwest coast of Spain, some miles north of modern Portugal]. Here he reigned in the marble chair [i.e., calcareous stone seat], which was the ‘lapis fatalis cathedrae instar,’ or fatal stone like a chair [i.e., the stone of fate as the seat of a throne], and wherever it was found portended kingdom to the Scots . . . Simon Breck, a descendant of Gathelus, brought the chair from Spain to Ireland, and was crowned in it as King of Ireland" (Pat Gerber, Stone of Destiny, 1997, p. 31).
Irish historian Geoffrey Keating mentions a Miledh of Scythia as ancestor of the Milesians—Scythia here apparently denoting lands colonized by Greeks of Miletus—who came and settled in Egypt with the permission of a Pharaoh Nectonibus. This Miledh, who is also apparently referred to as Gaedal (evidently the Gathelus mentioned by Boece), is said to have fought battles for Egypt against the Ethiopians: "In these he was so successful that his fame and renown spread through all nations, whereupon Pharaoh gave him one of his own daughters to wife. This lady was called Scota . . . She bore her husband two sons in Egypt" (History of Ireland from the Earliest Period to the English Invasion, 1857, pp. 176-177).
Boece has Gathelus winning "a great victory for Pharo against the Moris," that is, the Moors of North Africa (The Chronicles of Scotland, 1537, Vol. 1, translated by John Bellenden, 1551).
Another version of the story goes like this: "One of the most memorable chapters in the history of the Celtic race deals with Niul, youngest son of Fenius Farsa, King of Scythia. Niul was reputed to have mastered all of the languages of the then-known world. The fame of his learning and wisdom spread worldwide, and King Forond [probably a corruption of Pharaoh], the first-styled ‘Pharaoh Cingris’ of Egypt, invited him to Egypt to instruct Egyptian youth in the sciences. The King gave Niul a large fiefdom on the Red Sea, and gave him, also, his daughter, Scota, in marriage" (The MacGeoghegan Family Society Newsletter, May 3, 1990).
But, according to the account related by Keating, Miledh, again seemingly the same as Gathelus, befriended Moses and the Israelites. "Pharaoh Intur [supposed son of Nectonibus] and the Egyptians, in time, remembered their old grudge to the descendants of Niul and the family of Gaedal [Gathelus], namely their resentment for the friendship the latter had formed with the children of Israel. They, then, made war upon the Gaels, who were thereby compelled to exile themselves from Egypt" (1866, pp.153-156).
A song or poem from 1307, mentioned in Appendix 7, states: "In Egypt Moses preached to the people. Scota, Pharaoh’s daughter, listened well, for he said in the spirit, ‘Whoso will possess this stone [the Stone of Destiny], shall be the conqueror of a very far-off land.’ Gaidelon [again, Gathelus] and Scota brought this stone, when they passed from the land of Egypt to Scotland, not far from Scone, when they arrived. They named the land Scotland from Scota’s name. After Scota’s death her husband took no other wife, but made his dwelling in the land of Galloway [southwest Scotland but earliest version in French has Galway, which is western Ireland]. From his own name he gave Galloway [or Galway] its name. Thus it appears that Scotland and Galloway are derived from their names" (quoted by Gerber, pp. 33-34).
After leaving Egypt, Keating’s history has Miledh and his family making a rather long journey, settling for a while in France and later in Spain. The eighth-century monk Nennius says in his British history that Gathelus’ wandering lasted 42 years, after which he lived for a long time in Spain. Keating then has Miledh dying before Scota, contrary to the song above, and Scota accompanying her sons to Ireland. Yet five of her eight sons were killed in a storm-related shipwreck upon their arrival and she herself was supposedly killed in a battle that ensued with the native Irish (Seumus MacManus, The Story of the Irish Race, 1949, p. 10). Yet the stone made it safely. And by some accounts, Scota’s son is identified with Eremon, the first king of the Scots or Milesians in Ireland.
Serious chronological problems
Some, relying on the above information, date the transfer of the Stone of Destiny to Ireland to the time of the Exodus, around 1445 B.C. Yet there are obvious problems with this chronology. First of all, if these events took place around the Exodus, it would place the Milesian arrival in Ireland before the Danaan arrival there—when it clearly came afterward. Indeed, it seems rather clear that the Milesian arrival in Ireland should be dated to around the sixth century B.C., the time of Jeremiah (see Appendix 6: "Dating the Milesian Arrival in Ireland").
Secondly, if Jacob’s stone were carried to Ireland at the time of the Exodus, then it would never have been associated with the later Davidic dynasty in the Promised Land. It would never have served as a coronation stone for the house of David. Adherents of this position might answer that the stone came to represent the royal succession of Zerah through the Milesians. Yet Jesus Christ, the antitypical Stone, was of the line of Perez and David, not Zerah. Strange, then, that the coronation pillar of David’s line—which we know from Scripture existed (see Appendix 7: "The Stone of Destiny")—would pass into oblivion while the stone of Zerah persists. It seems much more likely that the stone that went to Ireland was the stone of David’s house—and yet David himself did not reign until 400 years after the Exodus.
Thirdly, there is clear proof that the aforementioned Irish and Scottish records are not completely trustworthy in relating what happened. The Egyptian pharaoh of Moses’ day is referred to as Nectanebo. Yet while there were indeed two pharaohs by this name, notice when they reigned: "Nectanebo, also called Nekhtnebf, or Nekhtnebef . . . Nectanebo I, first king (reigned 380-363 BC) of the 30th dynasty of Egypt . . . Nectanebo II, third and last king (reigned 360-343 BC) of the 30th dynasty of Egypt" ("Nectanebo," Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, p. 578). That’s about 1,100 years after the Exodus.
So the Irish and Scottish historical information would appear to be rather convoluted. But perhaps there are elements of truth here that can help us in unraveling what actually happened—and when.
Right up front, we should consider that if Gathelus and Scota lived at the time of Nectanebo I or II, they could have had nothing to do with the transfer of the Davidic throne. For much longer than a generation would have passed since the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.—meaning God’s promise that David would have a descendant reigning in "all generations" would have failed, which it surely did not.
It is within the realm of possibility that Jeremiah could have left the Stone of Destiny in Egypt to later be transported by Gathelus and Scota to Ireland 200 years later. But why would the prophet have brought it only to leave it? And why would Gathelus and Scota have later taken it up—or had anything to do with it for that matter? The original explanation was a prophecy Moses delivered to them. Yet Gathelus and Scota, if they existed, almost certainly did not live in Moses’ day.
Frankly, there are many possibilities that are just not worth considering—and Jeremiah dropping off the stone in Egypt to be picked up by others two centuries later would seem to be one of them. We would do better to realize that if Gathelus and Scota were actual people, they did not live at the time of either Nectanebo.
Yet if that’s true, why might later historians of Ireland have linked Nectanebo with Gathelus and Scota? Regarding the reign of Nectanebo I, the Encyclopaedia Britannica states: "A powerful army, gathered by a previous king, Achoris (reigned 393-380 BC), and largely composed of Greek mercenaries, was entrusted by Nectanebo to the Athenian Chabrias" (p. 578). Perhaps Chabrias of Athens was confused with Cecrops, the founder of Athens, who figures in the Irish traditions as the father of Gathelus.
Perhaps the confusion also resulted from the presence of a large Greek mercenary force in Egypt at the time. Yet, as we have elsewhere seen, Greek mercenaries were in Egypt at an earlier time as well—at the time of Jeremiah. Indeed, if we venture to date Gathelus and Scota at the time of Jeremiah, then much of the story appears to more easily slide into place.
Closing in on the right time
We have seen elsewhere that Pharaoh Psamtik I (reigned 664-610 B.C.), founder of Egypt’s 26th dynasty, allowed Greeks of Miletus (many of whom were actually Israelites) to establish a colony in the Nile Delta around 650 B.C., enlisting many of them as mercenaries in the Egyptian army. This origin (Miletus or one of its 80 colonies) would explain why Gathelus is also called Miledh—this being not a name but a nationality.
He is referred to as the son of Nel, Niul or Neolus (and sometimes Niul himself) as well as the son of Cecrops of Athens. As explained elsewhere, this most likely means that he was the descendant of both of these men. The Milesians of Miletus, it has also been explained, traced their lineage to Neleus of Pylos. (Gathelus himself being called Niul would be like the later Irish name O’Neill—borne by those descended from Neill or Niul.) And the Athenian royal family of Cecrops, who seems to have been the biblical Calcol (a descendant of Judah through Zerah), appears to have been transferred to Miletus.
Incredibly, the fifth-century-B.C. Greek historian Herodotus reported that the Milesian arrival in Egypt was caused by a fluke of bad weather that nevertheless fulfilled a prophecy given to Psamtik about bronze warriors coming to help him (Book 2: Euterpe, sec. 152, translated by George Rawlinson, Great Books of the Western World, 1952). While we can’t place stock in pagan oracles (though God has at times spoken through false prophets—compare the episode with Balaam, Numbers 22–24), God was almost surely involved in bringing the Zarhite Milesians to Egypt, especially considering the role they appear to have played in the transfer of the Davidic throne to Ireland, as we will see.
Getting back to the leading characters in these events, it is sometimes supposed that Niul and Gathelus (or Golamh or Gallam, as his name is also given) were two separate individuals far removed in time—who each happened to marry a Scota, daughter of Pharaoh. That, however, is unreasonable in the extreme. Clearly, there was only one Scota from Egypt if there was one at all—and, if the names Niul and Gathelus denote actual people, they are thus one and the same.
Yet Gathelus was probably not this man’s actual name. Also given as Golamh, Gallam, Gaidelon, Gaedal, and Gede (a.k.a. Heremon), this name, as mentioned elsewhere in this publication, is an eponym for the Goidels, Gaels, Gauls or even Celts. As explained in our booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy, these names denote wandering Israelites—as did the term Scythian ("Linguistic Links: What’s in a Name?," p. 30). Indeed, Scythian, as other sources show, may even have denoted wanderers into the sundown—the west. No surprise then that this particular Gathelus or Miledh was also referred to as a Scythian. Indeed, the same name could perhaps have applied to any of the Israelites dwelling in Egypt.
And yet there was surely an actual person behind these stories who was clearly special, being of royal lineage—we, again, just don’t know his actual name. (For purposes of this publication, therefore, he will continue to be referred to by the eponyms already mentioned.)
Reconciling with known history
Regarding the Scythians, it is interesting to find that there was a 28-year period about this time during which, according to Herodotus, the Scythians were "masters of Asia" (Book 1: Clio, secs. 103-106)—Asia meaning Medo-Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine and Asia Minor. Herodotus describes Pharaoh Psamtik pleading with the Scythians at Egypt’s frontier with Philistia not to invade his country (sec. 105). The 28 years have not been exactly pinpointed in time but, as is widely acknowledged, they must have been in the late 600s B.C. Thus, Greek settlers from Asia Minor during this period, particularly those who were ethnically related to the Scythian overlords, would have been considered Scythians. And Scythian was a Greek name for the Israelites.
Are there any more parallels from history? As we’ve seen, Niul, or Gathelus, is said to have mastered language and taught the youth of Egypt. With that in mind, notice this from Herodotus: "To the Ionians and Carians [i.e., Milesians] who had lent him their assistance Psammetichus . . . made good all the splendid promises by which he had gained their support; and further, he entrusted to their care certain Egyptian children whom they were to teach the language of the Greeks. These children, thus instructed, became the parents of the entire class of interpreters in Egypt" (Book 2: Euterpe, sec. 154).
And there is more to harmonize accounts. Take, for example, Gathelus fighting for Egypt against the Ethiopians. Can that fit historically? It is interesting to find that Milesian settlement and mercenary involvement continued through a succession of pharaohs. Psamtik’s son was the famous Pharaoh Necho of the Bible during the reign of Josiah of Judah. And Necho’s son was Pharaoh Psamtik II, "king (595-589 BC) of the 26th dynasty of Egypt, who conducted an important expedition against the kingdom of Cush [Ethiopia], Egypt’s southern neighbor.
"The Greek historian Herodotus, writing in the 5th century BC, refers briefly to an Ethiopian war of Psamtik, an expedition that contemporary records prove to have been of great importance. Perhaps suspecting a Cushite threat to Egypt, Psamtik sent a large force against it. The army consisted of native Egyptians led by Ahmose, who later became pharaoh, and mercenaries (Greeks, Phoenicians, and Jews) led by another general.
"A contemporary stela from Thebes dates the venture to the third year of his reign  and refers to a great defeat that was inflicted on a Cushite force . . . Greek participants in the expedition left graffiti on the colossuses at Abu Simbel, the temple of Ramses II, claiming to have advanced beyond Kerkis . . . near the Fifth Cataract of the Nile, which stood well within the Cushite Kingdom" ("Psamtik II," Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol. 9, p. 756, emphasis added).
This, then, lends credence to the Irish histories—that is, they apparently contain many correct facts but have them in the wrong chronological setting. Placed in the right setting, the recorded events make far more sense.
What are we to make of Scota, daughter of Pharaoh who was given in marriage to Gathelus? As with Gathelus, Scota was probably not her real name. This eponym denotes the mother of the Scots, which was another name for the Milesians who came to Ireland from Spain. Indeed, the word Scot shares the same origin with the word Scythian (Greek Skuth), a word that originally denoted a descendant of Isaac but came to mean wanderer. It is interesting that the name of the Irish princess Tea, believed to have been the daughter of Zedekiah, meant "wanderer" in Hebrew.
But was Scota a Scythian princess, and thus an Israelite? She is referred to as the daughter of Pharaoh. Yet Egyptian rulers almost never gave their daughters in marriage to foreigners—and doing so would have made it a huge event, of which we see nothing in history. Again, we must consider the time frame and what was happening. Psamtik II reigned for only a short time, dying soon after the Ethiopian campaign in 589 B.C. His son Apries, called Hophra in the Bible, then became pharaoh. It was during Hophra’s reign that Jerusalem fell and Jeremiah accompanied the daughters of King Zedekiah of Judah to Egypt. Hophra, as we’ve elsewhere seen, provided them refuge at a palace in Daphne—the ruins of which were still referred to as the "palace of the Jew’s daughter" as late as the 1800s—under guard of the Milesian mercenaries.
There are three obvious ways in which the daughter of Zedekiah could have been reckoned as the daughter of Pharaoh: 1) Hophra may have actually adopted her, which would not be at all surprising considering the fact that her father, Hophra’s ally, was dead and she and her sister or sisters (we don’t know how many there were) were the remaining heirs of the Jewish throne. 2) She may have been cared for and treated as if a daughter by Hophra even though she was not one in fact. Or 3) later Irish historians may have seen or heard her described as a princess who came from Egypt and concluded she was a pharaoh’s daughter—an understandable mistake.
Hophra (Hebrew Chophra) may be the Pharaoh Cingris or Chencris of Irish tradition. However this name from Irish records could perhaps denote any pharaoh. Cenchris was the Greek word for the kestrel or falcon, which represented the falcon-headed god Horus. And the Egyptians believed all living pharaohs to actually be Horus.
What about Hector Boece of Scotland’s statement that Gathelus won a military victory for the pharaoh against the Moors? This seems rather problematic since there were no Moors at the time. "The word derives from Mauri, first used by the Romans to denote the inhabitants of the Roman province of Mauretania, comprising the western portion of modern Algeria and the northeastern portion of modern Morocco" ("Moor," Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol. 8, p. 301). This could, of course, have been a mistake made over the course of centuries of information transmission—perhaps the aforementioned victory over Ethiopia was meant instead.
However, there is another possibility. A while after the fall of Jerusalem, Pharaoh Hophra, or Apries, "took the Phoenician port of Sidon" ("Apries," Vol. 1, p. 496). Some Sidonians may have then migrated to the Phoenician Mediterranean port of Carthage in northwest Africa. "During the long years of Phoenician decline, Carthage was strengthened by a constant stream of refugees, people who fled their troubled home cities [such as Tyre and Sidon] and sailed west to the new colony" (TimeFrame 1500-600 BC: Barbarian Tides, Time-Life Books, 1987, p. 112). Thus, Hophra took a city whose surviving citizens then or later migrated to Northwest Africa—territory that was eventually associated with the Moors. In fact, Hophra later launched a failed attack on Cyrene in Libya to the west, which may also have factored into the confusion.
Next, we must address the issue of Gathelus befriending Moses and the Israelites. This is clearly a chronological mistake. Yet he probably did befriend the Israelites—the Jews—whom he and the Milesians were guarding. And we should not be too quick to dismiss all mentions of Moses. In referring to the Torah or Law, the Jews often used the name of its author, Moses—as in, "According to Moses, this is what should be done," etc.
Gathelus is said to have been healed of a snakebite by Moses. This could be complete falsehood or perhaps it means that he was healed when he became an adherent of the Mosaic religion as laid down in the Torah. (If he was truly bitten and then healed by a specific person, the person was likely Jeremiah.)
Here we also have an explanation for this particular part of the song quoted earlier: "In Egypt Moses preached to the people. Scota, Pharaoh’s daughter, listened well, for he said in the spirit, ‘Whoso will possess this stone [the Stone of Destiny], shall be the conqueror of a very far-off land.’" Scota’s listening well to Moses may simply mean that she heeded what Moses wrote in Scripture—which was preached to her by the priest and prophet Jeremiah.
Did Moses write down anything like what is mentioned here? In essence yes—when he recorded an end-time prophecy of Jacob about the tribes of Joseph in Genesis 49: "Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall. The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone [or the shepherd stone] of Israel), by the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you" (Genesis 49:23-25 Genesis 49:23-25  The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
 But his bow stayed in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
 Even by the God of your father, who shall help you; and by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
American King James Version×).
God’s strengthening of Joseph’s hands for military victory and expansion appears related here to the possession of the stone. No doubt Jeremiah would have explained the importance of the stone, including this prophecy, to those royal family members who became its bearers with him.
Speaking of Moses, we might wonder how Irish and Scottish history came to associate these events with the time of the Exodus, which occurred almost 1,000 years earlier. "In 1866 Joseph Robertson of Register House, Edinburgh, enumerated a few facts he had gleaned from Scottish chronicles, written at various periods from the tenth century . . . Robertson explained how ‘events which may have really happened are frequently misplaced and transferred to a wrong epoch, very often owing their misplacement to a wish to build up the fame of some favourite hero, by attributing to him the merit of every important action of several different periods. Scottish history abounds with such misplacement’" (Gerber, p. 29, 35).
Consider that medieval chroniclers had mistakenly arranged the king lists of Ireland in such a way that stretched the beginning of the Milesian dynasty back to around 1700 B.C.—nearly 1,200 years before it appears to have actually begun. Seeing in their ancient records and traditions that Gathelus and Scota, the founders of the Milesian dynasty, came from Egypt amid some turmoil, these chroniclers, who were Roman Catholic monks, decided to connect the departure of the illustrious ancestral figures to the greatest event in the biblical history of Egypt—as it seemed to generally fit their time frame (even though it was still around 250 years out of sync).
The word "exodus," we should bear in mind, was simply the Greek word for exit or departure—leaving. Thus, Gathelus and Scota had made an "exodus" from Egypt. And this apparently occurred in the midst of calamity and upheaval. "Apries’ [i.e., Hophra’s] army was . . . defeated in Libya when it attacked the Greek colony at Cyrene; this led to an army mutiny and to civil war in the [Nile] delta. A new Saite king, Ahmoses (Amasis), usurped the throne" ("Egypt," Encyclopaedia Britannica, Macropaedia, p. 164).
Though Ahmose (II, reigned 570-526 B.C.) wanted to continue to use the Milesian forces as mercenaries, he no doubt expelled some whom he considered loyal to Hophra. Furthermore, an anti-foreign nationalism rose up among the Egyptian populace at this time (p. 165). As explained elsewhere in this publication, God had promised that most of the Jews who fled to Egypt following Jerusalem’s fall would be killed or die of starvation (Jeremiah 42:15-16 Jeremiah 42:15-16  And now therefore hear the word of the LORD, you remnant of Judah; Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; If you wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there;
 Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which you feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof you were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there you shall die.
American King James Version×). And that very likely happened around this time. (The mention of Pharaoh Intur in the Irish records may be simple confusion with the uprising of Inaros, which occurred shortly after Ahmose’s reign.)
Thus, it seems rather likely that Gathelus and Scota, though not their real names, were actual people. Gathelus was a Milesian leader who was apparently of the royal line of Zerah, son of Judah. And Scota was evidently the daughter of King Zedekiah. They left Egypt with the Stone of Destiny. And, it is reasonable to conclude, the prophet Jeremiah went with them. They all finally ended up in Spain or Portugal, from where we see Simon Brec (elsewhere identified with Jeremiah’s secretary Baruch) taking the stone to Ireland. (This is further evidence of when Simon Brec lived.)
Since the names Scota and Tea both seem to indicate a wanderer, and both are reckoned to have been the daughter of Zedekiah, it is possible that they are one and the same. Yet it is also possible that Scota was confused with another Tea who was actually the daughter of a person named Lugaidh, especially if this daughter were named after her. However, as explained elsewhere, Lughaidh may not have been an actual person—as this name, apparently meaning "God’s House" or "Oath," could have simply applied to the Davidic dynasty.
In the traditions laid out here, Scota herself never actually sits on the throne of Ireland as Tea does—but her son Heremon does. This would be within the limits of God’s promise to David of a continuing dynasty as long as her son assumed the Irish throne before a generation had passed since the fall of Jerusalem. Indeed, God’s promise would actually seem to allow a lot of time for the throne to be transferred—a lifetime from the fall of Jerusalem, which could have been a century or so.
However, it was surely accomplished in less time than that. We should consider the age of Jeremiah. Since he was a "youth" when his ministry began in the 13th year of Josiah’s reign around 626 B.C. (Jeremiah 1:1-2 Jeremiah 1:1-2  The words of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin:
 To whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign.
American King James Version×; Jeremiah 1:6 Jeremiah 1:6Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child.
American King James Version×), we assume him to have been about 17. He would thus have been 58 at the fall of Jerusalem in 586 and 74 at the time of Hophra’s overthrow in Egypt around 570.
Nennius, we earlier saw, said that Gathelus wandered for 42 years before settling in Spain or Portugal, living there for seven more years, as others record, before the throne was finally transferred to Ireland a few years after that. Yet this would make Jeremiah 126 when he first arrived in Ireland. And consider that Jeremiah is said to have been Ollam Fodhla, who is reputed to have reigned 40 years.
Clearly we have problems here. It is likely that the figure of 42 years is just wrong or is reckoned from the wrong starting point. Ollam Fodhla reigning for 40 years may actually refer to Jeremiah living 40 years from the fall of Jerusalem or from the expulsion from Egypt, which would place his death at either age 98 or 114—neither of which is unreasonable for an ancient prophet of God. It is also possible that since Ollam Fodhla was often confused with the ruling high king referred to as Heremon, the 40 years should be applied to the king who was contemporary with Jeremiah and not to Jeremiah himself.
Considering known historical events, it could be that the Milesian settlement of Ireland did not commence until around 535 B.C., when the Carthaginians and Etruscans destroyed the Phocaean (Milesian) fleet in the Western Mediterranean (see Appendix 6: "Dating the Milesian Arrival in Ireland"). Jeremiah would then have been 99. Invigorated by the power of God to carry out his commission, he may well have lived several years after that in Ireland, establishing there the throne of David (through either the son of Gathelus and Scota or through Scota herself) and directing many of the Israelites to return to the ways of God.
Of course, Scota by this time would have been in her 50s—so it may be that the story of the beautiful young princess Tea-Tephi applied to what had transpired in Egypt or, as already postulated, to another young woman from Milesian Spain who may also have been of royal lineage. Yet it is also possible that Jeremiah and the Milesians arrived much earlier in Ireland—when Scota was still young.
In any case, while there is certainly confusion over exactly what happened, the gist of the story is sound. Jeremiah saw to it that a princess of the royal line of David married a man of the Milesian royal line of Zerah. The prophet guided the transfer of the monarchy of David from the land of Judah to Ireland—accompanied by the coronation stone of David’s house—the Stone of Destiny. And from the union of the two royals sprang the kings of Ireland, then Scotland, and later of all Britain.
What an amazing history God has worked out.