Lands of Iberia

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Lands of Iberia

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Notes Microsoft Encarta: "Iberia, ancient name for both the Iberian Peninsula and the country lying between the Greater Caucasus and Armenia, approximately coextensive with present-day Georgia [which is south of Russia]" ("Iberia," 1994). The Encyclopedia of Religions states: "The Iberes of the Caucasus were Georgians . . . In Sicily the Iberes were on the west . . . Spain was Iberia . . . [And the Roman historian] Tacitus speaks of Iberes in the west of England [in Cornwall], who may have come from Spain" (1964, Vol. 2, p. 259).

Why would Iberia be the name of places and people so far removed from each other? It is probably because the Israelites—the Hebrews—migrated through both Spain and the Caucasus and also went to Britain! Iber is almost identical with the name of Abraham’s ancestor Eber or Heber, father of the Hebrews (Genesis 11:15-16).

Furthermore, the name Hebrew appears to have taken on an added meaning. McClintock & Strong’s Encyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature adds that the word came to mean "one of the other side, i.e. . . . immigrant" (Vol. 4, p. 128). Bible translator Ferrar Fenton noted that in 1 Samuel 4:6, "Eberim, if translated, means ‘Colonists’—a fit term to be used by the Philistines of the Israelites, who were really Colonists in Palestine." And it would be a fit term for Israelite colonists in other lands to apply to themselves.

Considering the Hebrew migration through Spain, the name of the River Ebro there would appear to be of the same origin. And the same may go for Ireland—or at least one of its earlier names. The word Ireland derives from Eire-land—Eire being the nation’s Gaelic name. Traditionally, Ireland is also called Erin. The Romans called it Hibernia or Ivernia.

Harvard professor Barry Fell wrote: "One of the ancient names of Ireland is Ibheriu, pronounced as Iveriu, a fact that suggests the word is derived from a still-earlier pronunciation, Iberiu. Now this is very interesting, for the Gaelic histories assert that the ancestors of the Gaels came to Ireland from Iberia, the old name of Spain. Could Iberiu be the same as Iberia, the name of the older homeland having been transferred to the younger? Many people, including some linguists, think this may well be the case" (America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World, 1976, p. 43). The connection between Iveriu and Hebrew is even stronger when we realize that the Hebrew word for "Hebrew" is actually pronounced Ivri.

However, it should be noted that while Iber is a likely root for Iberiu and the Roman names Hibernia and Ivernia, it is possible that the particular names Erin and Eire derived from another source, as we will later see. In any case, there is still a strong identification with the Iberians of Spain.

Let us, then, consider the influx into Ireland of people from the Iberian Peninsula. Northwest Spain is called Galacia, apparently after the Gaels. Likewise, Portugal may mean "Port of the Gaels."

Thomas Moore, in The History of Ireland, states: "In process of time, the Tuatha-de-Danaan [in Ireland] were themselves dispossessed of their sway; a successful invasion from the coast of Spain having put an end to the Danaanian dynasty, and transferred the scepter into the hands of that Milesian or Scotic race, which through so long a series of succeeding ages, supplied Ireland with her kings. This celebrated colony, though coming directly from Spain, was originally, we are told, of Scythic race" (1837, Vol. 1, p. 61).

This is truly remarkable for, as proved in our publication The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy, the Gaels (or Celts) and Scythians were, by and large, Israelites—just like the Danaans. And apparently the ensuing conflict between the Milesians and Danaans in Ireland subsided rather quickly when it was realized that both sides were related peoples.