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Who Are the Scots?

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It is widely understood that the ancient Israelites crossed the Red Sea in the fifteenth century bc—which would date the Scots' migration from Greater Scythia to the third century bc!


From time to time you have one of those moments. I was traveling to Hastings in Kent, listening to BBC Radio 4. My ears could not believe what they were hearing. "From Our Own Correspondent," is a weekly compilation of vignettes by BBC reporters from all over the world. This particular report, "Ossetia's Connection to Scotland," was from Tim Whewell, who covered the August 2008 skirmish between the Georgians and South Ossetians in Asia's Caucasus region.

The report began, "When the nights draw in, in the high Caucasus… there is nothing the people like better than to settle down on the settee to watch an old DVD of Braveheart." Why? The Ossetians told Whewell their stories of migrations from their home. He continued, "Centuries ago, possibly during the great migration of the Dark Ages, some of their ancestors went down from the Caucasus and set sail through the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and arrived eventually in a landscape they recognised: Caledonia."

He continued, "But the Ossetians are not just like the medieval Scots. As far as they are concerned, they are the Scots. And the Scots are them."

Whewell's information from his hardy Caucasian friends is not as far-fetched as some might like us to think. Much of what we learn about the origins of the people of Europe is skewed toward a Greco-Roman bias. What does that mean?

Students of European history—especially those who try to understand where the Friesians or Germans or Lombards came from—are often directed exclusively to Greek and Roman historians. Caesar's Bella Gallica, with its observations of the Celts, is informative—but it is biased toward a Roman perspective. And we note that Strabo, the Greek geographer, held a rather jaundiced view of Britons. He wrote that they were "tall and bandy-legged."

Who, then, can tell us who the Scots were? Well, how about the Scots themselves?

Soon after England's King Edward II subjugated the Scots, 38 of the Scottish lairds wrote the "Declaration of Arbroath"—an impassioned plea to the Pope, asking him to call the English off. This document, dating to 1320ad, is preserved in a hermetically sealed case at the Scottish Archives in Edinburgh. In the Declaration's preamble, we find the noble Scots in possession of their historic roots, which they proclaim boldly and confidently. Note their clear wording as to their origins:

"We know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients, we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian [Mediterranean] Sea and the Pillars of Hercules [Straits of Gibraltar], and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes… Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today."

It is widely understood that the ancient Israelites crossed the Red Sea in the fifteenth century bc—which would date the Scots' migration from Greater Scythia to the third century bc! This equates well with other information that we can find, showing that there were successive migrations of people from the region of Scythia, which today comprises southern Ukraine.

Scythian Migration

Who were the Scythians? According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Most writers think the Scythians who troubled Asia were Sacae from the east of the Caspian" (11th edition, article: "Scythia"). This is the region where, in the eighth century bc, the Assyrians had settled the ten tribes of Israel whom they had taken captive (see 2 Kings 17:23). The Israelites were named after their father Jacob, whose name God had changed to Israel. Israel's father was Isaac—from which the name Sacae is derived. That name in turn became "Saxon" (son of Isaac). These "Saxon" people have left their name in northern Germany (Saxony) and amongst the people of southeast England: Sussex, Essex and Middlesex.

The name Scot is also derived from "Scyth." The Scyth traveled to Scotland via Spain and Ireland. Prior to the Dalriadic migration of the Scots from Ireland to Scotland, the northern area of Ireland was known as "Scotia" (note the similarity to "Scythia"). These people simply carried their name with them into the highlands of Scotland.

What else has been carried through these nations? If you are familiar with the bagpipe, a characteristically Scottish musical instrument, you may be surprised to learn that bagpipes are found in every country mentioned in the Declaration of Arbroath and in BBC correspondent Whewell's report. Bagpipes are played in a total of 25 nations in the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. Notice this definition, from The New Bible Dictionary, of the word dulcimer used in Daniel 3:5, "It is now generally supposed to have been a form of bagpipe." This most famous of Scottish instruments has left a musical footprint wherever the Scots have traveled on their journey, from Israel to Assyria and on through the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea, to Spain, and finally to their present home by way of Ireland.

Other Links

It is true that many Scots, particularly those on the east coast around Aberdeen and Inverness, have a link with the Vikings. The Normans also came into Scotland at about the time of William the Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066ad. Robert the Bruce's family name was "de Bruys" from Brittany, while the name Sinclair is a corruption of "St. Clair."

The Normans (Norse men) and the Vikings both have their roots in Scandinavia. Vikings also settled in Iceland after marrying Irish women whom they had captured. On a recent trip to Iceland, I asked my taxi driver where the Icelanders came from. He answered, "We believe we are from the tribe of Benjamin [the youngest of the Israelite tribes]" This may be just anecdotal, but it bears out the fact that many northwestern Europeans have long held to the idea that they are descended from the so-called "lost ten tribes of Israel."

God speaks to us through the prophet Jeremiah: "Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night… If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me for ever" (Jeremiah 31:35, 36).

Yes, the descendants of Israel (not just the Jews who descend from Judah and part of Benjamin) can be identified!

If you would like to know more about the descendants of ancient Israel, please request a copy of our free booklet, The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. You will discover that the United States and the British Anglo-Celtic people—and their descendants in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa—are in fact the ancient people of Joseph. They have not been lost as many people claim, but can be discovered, and this discovery will open your eyes to Bible prophecy as never before!

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