Long before Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt (Exodus-1453 BC) there had been continuous migration of Semitic Hebrews to Greece and other parts of Asia Minor and Europe. There are numerous references by classical writers to the “Egyptian” origin of the Greeks. Hecataeus of Abdere (sixth century BC) quoted by Diodorus Siculus (50 BC) tells us that the Egyptians “Expelled all the aliens gathered together in Egypt, The most distinguished of the expelled foreigners followed Danaus and Cadmus into Greece: the greater number were led by Moses into Judea.” (British History Traced from Egypt and Palestine, Rev. G.A. Roberts, p. 122).
Diodorus gives us another version of the same story: “Now the Egyptians say that also after these events a great number of colonies were spread from Egypt all over the inhabited world…They say also that those who set forth with Danaus, likewise from Egypt, settled what is practically the oldest city in Greece, Argos, and that the nation of the Colchi in Pontus and that of the Jews, (remnant of Judah) which lies between Arabia and Syria, were founded as colonies by certain emigrants from their country; and this is the reason why it is a long established institution among these people to circumcise their male children, the custom having been brought over from Egypt. Even the Athenians, they say, are colonists from Sais in Egypt.” (Diodorus of Sicily, G.H. Oldfather, 1933, vol. 1 bks. I-II, 1-34 pg. 91)
According to Euripides and Strabo: “Danaus having arrived in Argos made law that those who had borne the name of Pelasgiotae throughout Greece should be called Danai.” (Strabo v.ii.4) Compare this with the act of the people of Dan. (Judges 18:29) We further learn from Strabo and others that this Argos soon spread it’s name to the Peloponnesus and afterwards to all Greece, for he says, “Homer calls the whole of Greece Argos, for he calls all Argives, as he calls them Danai and Achaei.” (viii.6,3)
Argos is said by the Greeks to have been the birthplace of Hercules, but Herodotus, who went to some trouble to find out who Hercules really was, made a special voyage to Tyre (Strabo ii,44) and found an older Temple to Hercules. The daring adventures and exploits of the Grecian Hercules (Heracles) is probably those of semi-traders and buccaneers of Tyre and Dan. In Hebrew, “rakal” means to “trade” and “Heracleem” means “traders.” Those who went forth from Argos and subdued other parts of Greece are spoken of as “Heraclidae” or “descendants of Heracles.”
In the confusion caused by the Trojan War, apparently the “Heraclidae” were driven northward out of Peloponesus. Some years later when they made a re-conquest, they were called “the return of the descendants of Hercules.” (History of the Dorians by Muller) From the descendants of Hercules came the Lacedaemonians, whose capital was Sparta. Thus Agamemnon, who was chosen Commander-in-Chief of all the Greeks proceeding to the siege of Troy, was King of Argos and Mycenae, and his brother, Menelaus, was King of Sparta, capital of Lacedaemon.
It is noteworthy that the Lacedaemonians claim descent from Hebrews. It is recorded in 1 Maccabees 12, and Josephus’s Antiquities xii, iv 10, that about 180 years BC, the King of the Lacedaemonians sent the following letter to the Judahites in Jerusalem:[LIST]
]"Arius, king of the Spartans, to Onias, the high priest, greeting. It is found in writing concerning the Spartans, and the Jews , that they are brethren, and that they are of the stock of Abraham. And now since this is come to our knowledge, you do well to write to us of your prosperity." - 1 Maccabees 12:20-22[/LIST]The Judahites in Jerusalem are reported to have replied as follows: [LIST]
]“We joyfully received the epistle, and were well pleased with Demoteles and Araeus, although we did not need such a demonstration, because we were well satisfied about it from the sacred writings.”* - Josephus xiii. v.8[/LIST]Josephus called attention to the ‘seal’ upon he letter from Arius, “This letter is four-square, and the seal is an eagle with a dragon in it’s claws.” Such an emblem can be traced to the tribe of Dan. The letter of reply mentioned “sacred writings.” This could refer to Ezekiel 27:19 where Dan is represented, in company with Greece, trading to Tyre.
Latham, in his “Ethnology of Europe, p. 157, says that eponymus of the Argive Danai was none other than that of the Israelite Tribe of Dan, only we are so used to confine ourselves to the soils of Palestine in our consideration of the Israelites, that we treat them as if they were ‘adscrïpti glebae’, and ignore the share they may have taken in the ordinary history of the world…What a light would be thrown on the origin of the name Peloponnesus and the history of the Pelop-id family if a bona fide nation of Pelopes, with unequivical affinites and contemporary annals, had existed on the coast of Asia! Who would have hesitated to commect the two? Yet with the Danai and the Tribe of Dan this is the case, and noone connects them!”
In Herodotus’ time, the story of the Egyptian origin of the Greeks was so well recorded that he did not go into details, in his history. However, he did write: “If we ascend from Danae, the daughter of Acrisius, we shall find the ancestors of the Dorian princes were of Egyptian origin. Such is the Grecian account of their descent.” (Herodotus, Book VI, 1v.) The migrations out of Egypt led by Danaus and Cadmus are not the only ones on record. Another Grecian colony was founded by Cecrops (an Egyptian and an Israelite) who became the first “legendary” king of Attica.
A migration by sea (cir. 1296 BC) is indicated when the King of Canaan afflicted Israel while Dan abode in ships and Asher his seaports. (Judges 5:17) Apparently, most of the tribe of Dan must have left Palestine prior to the time of Jeroboam II (I Chron, 5:17-26) which would account for them not appearing in this genealogy. Many ancient Greek writers agree that the Danaans came to Argos from Egypt. (See Hesiod, fr. 24, Rzach) Most dates given fall around the first half of the sixteenth century BC. One early history of Ireland links the Danaan or Tuatha Dé Danann (People of God) invaders of Ulster with the Greek Danois and Spartans, who as roving bands of sea warriors controlled the Aegean Cretan civilization in the first millennium BC. Later Irish historians trace part of the tribe of Dan to Ireland as early as the twelfth century BC. This would have been after the Exodus when the Israelites were established in Palestine.
The largest wave of Israelites into Europe happened after the northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by Assyria and the Israelites were taken into captivity starting in 740 BC and culminating in 721 BC. The Assyrians called the Israelites “Humri” or “Khumri”, however this name soon disappears from the Assyrian records. Within 15 years of the deportations of the Israelites to Assyria, in precisely the identical area into which Israel had been placed, there is the first appearance of a people called “Gimira” in the Assyrian records. This name “Gamira” or “Gamir” is evidently a corruption of the Assyrian “Khumri,” formed by reversing some of the letters, in this case IR for RI. Such inversions were common in the writings of the time. It is believed that the Israelites escaped Assyrian captivity through the Euphrates gorge. They later became notorious in Asia Minor when they overthrew King Midas of Phrygia. These were the western group of Gimera or Cimmerians, called Kimmeroi by the Greeks - another version of the Assyrian Khumri. These tribes escaped to the Black Sea in 679 BC. Most of the western Cimmerian group migrated up the Danube valley and settled there becoming the Celts of central Europe between 500 BC and 100 BC. Small numbers of Israelites followed Phoenician trade routes from the port of Miletus on the south-west coast of Asia Minor. Some settled for a time in Spain then moved on to Ireland. Others moved north and west into the sparcely inhabited regions of the Baltic, where they were given yet another name by the Romans - Cimbri, a name derived from Cimmerians. These people were the ancestors of the Picts and Jutes.
The Eastern group of Israelites were still dominated by the Assyrians. This eastern part of the Israelites, although known as Gimira, was also known to the Assyrians as Iskuza, a name derived from the name Isaac. One of the names the ancient Israelites used to describe themselves was “sons of Isaac.” In 573 BC, the Iskuza are mentioned for the first time in any historical document, locating them in Media in the very place where some of Israel had been put in captivity. The Greeks called the Iskuza the Scuthae or Scythians. After the fall of the Assyrian capital Nineveh in 612 BC, the main body of Scythian Israelites came under such pressure from the Medes that they were forced northwards through the Dariel Pass in the Caucasus mountains and into the steppe region of southern Russia. As wave after wave of these people were forced through the Caucasus, the leaders in the west crossed the rivers Don and Dniper and came into contact with Cimmerians Israelites who had earlier moved across the Black Sea, thus pushing them westward along the valley of the Danube into Central Europe. Although the Scythians established themselves in the area of southern Russia from the 6th to the 3rd centuries BC, they found themselves confined between a people known as the Sarmatians, advancing from the east and the Celts, who were already occupying Central Europe to the west. Consequently, they were forced northward towards the North Sea and the Baltic. This group formed the last of the migrating Israelites to arrive in the British Isles. The Anglo-Saxon group from the area now called Germany arriving between 400 and 600 AD. Others moving northwards through Jutland became known as Danes and Vikings. Others settled for a time in northern France and were known as Northmen or Normans.*