THE IMPORTANCE OF THE DYNASTIC NAME OF OMRI (GHOMRI)
We have already examined a number of quotations in which we have seen that the Gentiles used different names for the people of Israel than were used by themselves. Notice Dr. Schrader's comments on this subject:
ISRAEL... the usual term for the Kingdom of Israel in the Assyrian inscriptions is not this, as we have already observed. The ordinary designation was rather... "Land of the House Omri," or "Land of Omri," or merely "Land Omri" (The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the Old Testament, Vol. I, p.177).
Dr. Schrader has shown very clearly that such names as "House of Omri," "Land of Omri" and "Land Omri" were the usual appellations which the Assyrians (and others) applied to the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Notice what the Encyclopedia Britannica has to say regarding "Omri."
The Dynasty of Omri. — Omri (q.v.), the founder of one of the greatest dynasties of Israel... Although little is preserved of Omri's history, the fact that the Northern kingdom long continued to be called by the Assyrians after his name is a significant indication of his great reputation (11th ed., Vol. XV, Art. Jews, p.377).
The Northern Kingdom of Israel continued to be called by Omri's name for over two centuries after the death of Omri, until after the final captivity of Israel in 721 B.C.
BIT-KHUMRI (THE HOUSE OF OMRI)
Many historians have recognised that Omri, king of Israel, had founded a great dynasty in the Northern Kingdom. He was known far and wide among the Assyrians, Moabites and other peoples as a great king. The Scriptures also imply that he was a great legislator — not necessarily great in the scriptural sense, however. "The statutes of OMRI are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab..." (Micah 6:16). Notice further what The Encyclopedia Britannica says regarding Omri:
Omri, in the Bible, the first great king of Israel after the separation of the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah, who flourished in the early part of the 9th century B.C. ...and the fact that the land [of Israel] continued to be known to the Assyrians down to the time of Sargon as "HOUSE OF OMRI" indicates the reputation which this little-known king enjoyed (Ency. Brit., 11th ed., Vol. XX, Art. Omri, p.104).
Did you notice the last statement from this excerpt? It mentioned the well-known fact that the land of Israel continued to be known to the Assyrians, even down to the time of Sargon, as the "House of Omri" — indicating "the reputation" which the name of Omri had enjoyed.
Payment of tribute by Iaua (Jehu), the son of Khumri (Omri) who brought silver, gold, lead, and bowls, dishes, cups, and other vessels of gold. The description "Son of Khumri" is thought merely to show that Jehu was an Israelite, because Israelitish territory was called "BIT-KHUMRI" (Luckenbill, The Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, Vol. I, p.46).
Here is another translation of the same cuneiform inscription. Notice the spelling of "Omri" (Humri) is slightly different from the previous spelling as given by Luckenbill. "The tribute of Yaua (Jehu), son of HUMRI (Omri)" (Kinns, Graven in the Rock, p. 494). But to whom did Jehu pay this tribute? This question is answered in the following quotation: "Jehu. On the Black Obelisk 'Jehu' (=Yaua) 'son of Omri' (=KHUMRI), is represented as giving tribute to Shalmaneser II" (Bible Students Handbook of Assyriology, pp.105,106). Following is an interesting statement, showing that the Assyrians became acquainted with the Northern Kingdom of Israel first in the time of Omri.
Omri seems to have been an able soldier and he subdued Moab to Israel. This is acknowledged by the Moabite King Mesha in an inscription which has come down to us... The Assyrians first became acquainted with Israel in the time of Omri, and they call the country of the TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL "the land of the house of Omri" even after the extinction of his dynasty (Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. I, Art., Omri, p.668).
We shall later see that some of the Kelts were called by such names as "OMBRI" and "UMBRI". God has not left us without historical proof to connect this name "Omri" (which we can definitely prove Israel bore before her captivity) with the present-day descendants of the House of Israel. The most important key linking the House of Israel (Bit-Ghomri) with modern-day Israel is the famous Behistun Rock Inscriptions. These inscriptions, written in Cuneiform characters, are of utmost importance in unravelling the history of Israel.
BEHISTUN ROCK INSCRIPTIONS — KEY TO ISRAEL'S IDENTITY
Darius I had the famous Behistun Rock Inscriptions engraved (in cuneiform) on the steep face of a high rock beside the main road leading from Babylon (Baghdad) to Media. These important cuneiform inscriptions were written in three languages — (1) Persian, (2) Babylonian and (3) Susian (or Elamite).
Above the inscription the picture of the king himself is graven... Nine rebel chiefs are led before him;... the ninth is Skunka, the chief of the Scythians (Sacae) whom he defeated... The inscriptions are composed in the three languages which are written with cuneiform signs, and were used in all official inscriptions of the Achaemenian kings (Ency. Brit., 11th ed., Vol. III, Art. Behistun, pp. 656,657).
It is interesting to note some of the particulars of the Behistun Rock inscriptions. Also notice that this Scythian chief "Skunka" is called "Sacae." The Sacae and the Scythians as we shall later prove, were basically the same people.
In 1835 the difficult and almost inaccessible cliff was first climbed by Sir Henry Rawlinson, who copied and deciphered the inscriptions (1835-1845), and thus completed the reading of the old cuneiform text and laid the foundation of the science of Assyriology (Ency. Brit. 11th ed., Vol. III, Art. Behistun, pp.656,657).
Here follows excerpts from a translation of the Behistun Rock Inscriptions by L.W. King and R.C. Thompson. "Thus sayeth Darius, the king: 'these are the provinces which are subject unto me, and by the grace of Auramazda became I king of them' " (The Inscriptions of Darius the Great of Behistun). This translation translates all of the words on the Behistun Rock Inscriptions in three parallel columns. The first column contains the Persian, the second the Susian or the Elamite, the third contains the Babylonian translation. These inscriptions mention twenty-two provinces. The nineteenth province listed by all three of these parallel columns is called in the Persian language "SCYTHIA (Phonetic: SAKA)," in the second column this same province is called, in the Susian language "Scythia (Phonetic: Sakka)," and the third column, in the Babylonian language, it is translated: "in the land of the CIMMERIANS (Phonetic: Gi-mi-ri)." Professor Rawlinson, however, translated this 19th province as "the SACAE." Keep this in mind, for Saka (Sakka) and Sacae all refer to the same people. Let us notice the three different names which are here used in these different languages to denote this nineteenth province: (1) SCYTHIA (Phonetic: Saka — or according to Professor Rawlinson, "Sacae"), and (2) Scythia (Phonetic: SAKKA), and (3) the land of the CIMMERIANS (Phonetic: GI-MI-RI). The next question confronting us is who were these Scythians, Saka (Sacae), Cimmerians and the Gi-mi-ri? These are the various names which were applied to a people mentioned by Darius I and listed as the nineteenth of the twenty-two provinces which were subject to him.
VARIATIONS OF THE NAME "OMRI"
The Ethnic name of Gimiri first occurs in the Cuneiform records of the time of Darius Hystaspes, as the Semitic equivalent of the Arian name Saka (Sakai)... Whether at the same time these Gimiri or Saka are really CYMRIC CELTS we can not positively say... But... the Babylonian title of Gimiri, as applied to the Sacae, is not a vernacular but a foreign title, and... may simply mean "THE TRIBES" (Rawlinson, History of Herodotus, Bk. IV, Appendix, Note 1).
Notice Rawlinson appeared to believe that these Saka or Gimiri were CYMRIC CELTS. Also note that he says SACAE may mean "THE TRIBES." No nation or people have been spoken of so long and so consistently by the words "the tribes" as the people of Israel. One still hears about the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the "Lost Tribes" and similar expressions. Notice what Rawlinson says regarding these names:
As on the one hand, however, the termination of the name is certainly miri or mirri, while on the other, the identification of the Persian SACAE or SCYTHIANS with the people named by the Greeks KIMMERIOI... would seem highly probable, I venture... to read the entire name GIMIRI... (The Royal Asiatic Society, p.21). Following are some important comments by Dr. Pinches regarding the name "Omri." That Jehu, who destroyed the house of Omri, should be called "son of Omri" in the inscriptions of Shalmaneser II of Assyria is strange, and needs explanation... That Jehu may have been in some way related with Jehoram, and therefore a descendant of Omri, is possible and even probable. That he was not descended from him in a direct line is certain (The Old Testament in the Light of Historical Records and Legends of Assyria and Babylonia, 3rd ed., p.339).
It is well to point out that the Hebrews and other Semitics commonly spoke of one as being a "son of" — not only of the person's immediate father; but this expression was also applied to one who was a grandson, or a great-grandson, or a great-great-grandson, and so on, to any number of generations. Thus, Christ was a "son of David." The word "father" was also applied to one's distant parents as well as to one's own immediate father.
OMRI — PRONOUNCED AS GHOMRI
It is noteworthy that the Assyrian form of the name, Yaua, shows that the unpronounced aleph at the end was called him Yahua (Jehu). OMRI was likewise pronounced in accordance with the older system, before the ghain became ayin. HUMRI shows that they said at that time GHOMRI (ibid., p.339).
The statement just made by Dr. Pinches is of utmost importance. Did you notice that the word "HUMRI" was pronounced, according to the older way of pronouncing the Hebrew, as "GHOMRI"? In other words the names "Humri" and "Ghomri" of the ancient historians, refer to the same people. This is a most important point to keep in mind. The names Humri and Ghomri are synonymous and consequently refer to the same people. According to the Behistun Rock Inscriptions the Gimiri (GHOMRI) were the same people as the Sacae or Scythians, who gave birth to the Saxons, Celts, Cimmerians, Scots, Angles, Gauls, Cymri and other peoples who settled North-western Europe. It is also important to point out that the Hebrew word "BETH" means house. "Bethel" means "House of God," "Bethlehem" means "house of bread." The Assyrian language was also a Semitic language, closely related to Hebrew. But the Assyrian word for "house" is "BIT" — not "beth" as in the Hebrew. The expressions "Bit-Omri" or "Bit-Humri," or "Bit-Humria," or "Bit-Ghomri," (all of which meant the "House of Omri") referred to the Northern House of Israel, the House or Kingdom over which Omri and his dynasty had ruled for many years. On the Behistun Rock Inscriptions we have seen that the words Scythia, Saka (Sakka), Cimmerians, Gimiri, all refer to the same people. Later on we shall see a number of historical sources proving that the Cymry, Khumri, and the Cimmerians were all the same people and were always placed by all historians in the extreme western part of Europe. Today we know the Welsh still call themselves Kymry or Cymry! The Cimmerians according to the ancient historians were located in the extreme western parts of Europe, including the British Isles. For further proof that the Cimmerians (or Cimbri) dwelt in the extreme western parts of Europe, check the following references: (Homer, Odyssey XI, 13-19), (Herodotus I. 6,15,16,103; and IV. 1,11 et seq). (Strabo, I. 20,61; 309; XI 494).
ISRAEL CALLED CIMMERIANS, GIMIRI AND CYMRY
The importance of the dynastic name of Omri (Ghomri) in connection with the later history of the people of Israel has been clearly demonstrated. We have seen Omri and the House of Omri (Bit-Humri) and the land of Omri (mat-Humri) as mentioned by the Assyrians. It has also been pointed out from a number of historical sources that the Assyrians continued to call Israel by the name of Omri for centuries after he had died. They were, in fact, still speaking of the people of Omri and the territory of Northern Israel as "mat Bit-Humri"and as "mat Omri" at the time of the captivity of Israel. From the Behistun Rock Inscriptions, we have seen clearly pointed out that these inscriptions speak of the Gimiri (Ghomri) as being identical with the Cimmerians, who were also the same as the Scythians and the Sacae (Saka). Since the Cimmerians are the same people as the Gimri, and these are the same as the people of Omri or Ghomri (according to Dr. Pinches), let us now trace these peoples from the land of their captivity in South-western Asia to their present lands. Who were the Cimmerians, Gimiri and the Kymry? The Encyclopedia Britannica gives the folowing account of the Cimmerians:
Cimmerii... Herodotus (iv. 11-13), in his account of Scythia, regards them as the early inhabitants of South Russia (after whom the Bosporus Cimmerius [q.v.] and other places were named), driven by the Scyths along by the Caucasus into Asia Minor, where they maintained themselves for a century... Certainly it is that in the middle of the 7th century B.C., Asia Minor was ravaged by northern nomads (Herod. iv. 12), one body of whom is called in Assyrian sources GIMIRRAI and is represented as coming through the Caucasus... [the very region of Israel's captivity]. To the north of the Euxine their main body was merged in the invading Scyths. Later writers identified them with the Cimbri of Jutland, who were probably Teutonized Celts (11th ed., Vol. VI, Art. Cimmerii, p. 368).
According to the above account, the Cimmerii lived anciently in the vicinity of the Black Sea. They early had an encounter with the Scyths. It was about 650 B.C. — 100 years after Israel's captivity — that this occurred. Remember, some of the tribes of Israel went into captivity south of the Caucasus in 741 B.C.! Also note carefully that at least one body of these Cimmerii were called by the Assyrians Gimirrai, and also that they are represented as "coming through the CAUCASUS." This is the same area where Israel was taken captive. We are informed by this article that their main body was merged to the north of the Black Sea (Euxine) in the invading Scyths. We shall later see some of the Scythians were called Celto-Scythians. These Cimmerians were also later "identified with the Cimbri of Jutland" and we are further told that they were "probably Teutonized CELTS." Observe that the names of Cimbri, Cimmerii and Celts are all inextricably connected and are in turn closely allied to the Scythians whom we shall later study in much greater detail. We are further informed by the Encyclopedia Britannica that these Cimmerians or Cimbri wandered along the Danube for many years, and that the Cimbri later had an alliance with the Teutoni, and that they invaded northern Italy (ibid., Vol. VI, Art. Cimbri, p.368). Robert Owen says:
In leaving the far east, they [the Kimmerians or Kymry] must have occupied a country south of the Caucasus, extending from the river Araxes to the Palus Maeotis or Sea of Azof, where Herodotus remarks on the many places yet bearing the name of Kimmerian in his time (The Kymry p.11).
Did you notice that these Kimmerians had formerly occupied a country "south of the CAUCASUS"? This is the very territory to which Israel had been taken captive. So we see that these people must have moved northwards through the Caucasus Mountains about one century after going into captivity!
I have sought in the nomenclature of rivers and mountains some grounds for inferring the occupation of the country east of the Euxine Sea [Black Sea] by Kelts or traces of their presence, which any temporary irruption in later times will never suffice to explain (ibid., p.12).
Owen then shows that the Kymry had long occupied this territory. He mentions some tribal displacements, so common in barbaric Asia. The Massagetae invaded the Scythians, and they in turn threatened the Kimmerioi, who chose to avoid an unequal conflict by fleeing. Thus early began the inveterate duel between the Kelts and the Teutons, the Kymry and the Saxons. "This established historic event occurred B.C. 635" (ibid., pp.14,15).
I avoid dwelling on France or Gallia, because its Keltic origin is incontestable; the proofs are abundant; and my aim is to illustrate only a portion of the race, the Kymry, as the Welsh still call themselves. To them their Amorican brethren are still Britons (Brython) (ibid., p.25).
He then mentions that "The account of themselves rendered by the Kymry of Britain makes them to consist of three tribes of the same stock..." (ibid., p.26). These three tribes were the (1) the Kymry, (2) the Lloegrwys, and (3) the Brython.
I cannot resist concluding that either the Kimbri were Kymry, or else that in remote times the tongues of Kelt and Goth agreed... It is not impossible that some of the Kimmerioi, who retired from their Asiatic home before the onset of the Scythians, took a northern course, which the pursuers afterwards followed under the conduct of Odin from the Sea of Azov to the shores of the Baltic" (ibid., pp. 26,27).
Owen explains that before the Bretons reached England, they had invented or inherited the essentials of an earlier civilisation. "SOME OF THEIR TRADITIONS RESEMBLE SEMITIC RECORDS OF ANTEDILUVIAN PATRIARCHS" (ibid., p.33). He continues: "Few of the modern Kelts, Kymry, Brezonet, and Gael, are aware that the apostle S. Paul addressed an epistle to a people of their blood and kindred" (ibid., p.43). Yet such is indubitably substantiated by the facts. It will be more appropriate to cover this subject in greater detail in a later chapter, but it is interesting to note that Robert Owen, in the preceding statements, mentioned that the Kelts, Kymry, Brezonet and the Gael are all the same people! Lysons makes this very interesting statement:
I confess but for the universal tradition which assigns our [BRITISH] descent to Japheth, I should have been rather inclined to attribute to the British Celts a SEMITIC origin, which we find in Britain, and also on account of the Ianguage, the traces of which we find still attaching to the names of those places where they carried on their religious ceremonies (Our British Ancestors, p.18).
In other words, what Lysons admits is that the facts prove that the British are, after all, Semitic in origin, and not Japhetic as tradition would have us believe. Lysons remarks:
The Cimmerians seeming to be the same people with the Gauls or Celts under a different name; and it is observable that the Welch, who are descended from the Gauls, still call themselves Cymri or Kymry (ibid., p.23). And on page 27 we read: The identity of the Cymri of Wales with the Cymbri of the Romans, seems worthy of being accepted as an historic fact, upon the ground stated by Niebuhr and Arnold (ibid., p.27).
Notice how Lysons identifies all of the following peoples, and makes them come from Armenia — the very place where Israel was first taken into captivity. Armenia is located in the area just south of the Caucasus Mountains. Lysons says:
The chain of evidence seems to be complete. Appian (De Bell. Illyr., p.758) says the Cimbri were Celts. Diodorus says that the Cimbri were Gauls or Celts; the GAULS were GALATAE per syncope GELTAE or KELTAE: The names are synonymous (Caesar de Bell, Gall., lib. i). The way in which Mr. Rawlinson, in the Essay from which I have quoted, brings the Cymric Celts from Armenia to Britain is most masterly; it confirms all the traditions of the Welsh, the views of Nennius and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and all our earliest histories, and to anyone who has studied the question, seems most convincing (ibid., p.27).
Notice that Lysons shows that the name Geltae is the same as Keltae, and this name is related to Galatai, Galli and other cognate names. These points all show conclusively that these are all basically the same people. It is interesting to note that according to Lysons the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle also shows that some of the early inhabitants of Britain had come from ARMENIA. Here is the actual wording of this as it is found in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:
The island Britain is 800 miles long, and 200 miles broad, and there are in the island five nations; English, Welsh (or British), Scottish, Pictish, and Latin. The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from ARMENIA, and first peopled Britain southward (p.21, translated by James Ingram).
This statement clearly shows that the British (or the Britons) had their origin in Armenia. Bear in mind that the Lost Ten tribes were deported from the land of Israel into the district immediately south of the Caucasus Mountains, or to the vicinity of Armenia. Lysons also shows that Gimiri were the same people as the Cimmerii (Our British Ancestors, p.26). Sharon Turner, in his History of the Anglo-Saxons, mentions the following points regarding the Kimmerians. He shows that the Keltic language was the same as the Kimmerian language (ibid. Vol. I, p.23). He says the Kelts were the same people as the Kimmerians, and that they inhabited the far west of Europe (ibid., p.24). The Kimmerians and Kelts were the same as the Kimbri, or to be more exact, he says:
That the Kimmerioi of the Greeks were the Kimbroi of the Greeks, and the Cimbri (Kimbri) of the Latin writers, was not only the opinion of Posidonius, whom Strabo quotes, Lib. VII, p.293... Diodorus Siculus expressly says, that to those who were called Kimmeriois, the appelation of Kimbron was applied in the process of time... Plutarch, in his life of Marius also identifies the Kimbri with the Kimmerioi (ibid., fn. p.28).
Turner shows that the Kimbri were a branch of the Kimmerians (ibid., pp.28,30). The Kumri were the same according to Turner, as the Cymry, and they were the same people as the Kimbri. The Kymry were the "first inhabitants of Britain" (ibid., p.32). He mentions that the Welsh Triads show that Hu Cadarn or Hu the Strong (or Mighty) led the people of the nation of Kymry through the Hazy, or the German Ocean, into Britain, and to Llydaw (Amorica) in France. Turner mentions that the Cymry came from the eastern parts of Europe — the regions where Constantinople now stands. This is mentioned also in Triad 4, p.57. Another interesting point mentioned by Turner is that "The Kymbri swore by a brazen bull, which they carried with them" (History of the Anglo-Saxons, Vol. I, p.34). Keep this fact in mind because a number of historical sources show that the early inhabitants of Britain swore by the brazen bull, and used the symbol of an ox or a bull commonly, as a representative figure for their people. This all ties in with the early history of Israel, who, even in the time of Moses and Aaron, set up the golden calf and worshipped it. At the time when the Ten Tribes of Israel revolted from the leadership of the throne of David, the first thing that Jeroboam, the ruler of the Northern Kingdom did was to set up two golden calves, one in Dan, and the other in Beersheba (I Ki. 12:28) The tribal emblem of Joseph was a bull and/or heifer according to various accounts. The people of Britain still use this symbol on the coat of arms. It is there called a unicorn. Also "John Bull" is symbolical for the nation or people of Britain. Turner mentions that the Keltoi were the same people as the Galatai, and that the Galatai were the same as the Galli, and that the Keltoi were "one of the branches of the Kimmerian stock (ibid., p.36). Grant says that the northern one-third of France in Caesar's time was inhabited by the Belgae, who were a Nordic people of the Cymric division of Celtic speech (The Passing of the Great Race, p.194). He mentions that the Cimmerians, the Sacae and the Massagetae all sprang from the Scythians (ibid.). He also points out that the CIMMERIANS were Nordics who entered Asia Minor by the CAUCASUS ABOUT 650 B.C. (ibid., pp. 214, 258). Again note that the Cimmerians came into Asia Minor by way of the Caucasus Mountains about 100 years after the first segment of Israel had been deported into that very region in 741 B.C. Grant says:
The Nordics [referring to Cimmerians etc.] also swept down through Thrace into Greece and Asia Minor, while other large and important groups entered Asia partly through the Caucasus Mountains, but in greater strength they migrated around the northern and EASTERN sides of the CASPIANARIAL SEA (ibid. p.214).
Notice how this indicates the very territory to which Israel had been deported about 100 years earlier. When the Assyrian power was beginning to wane, these captive peoples availed themselves of the opportunity to flee from under the oppressive yoke of their Assyrian overlords. That the Cimbri and the Cimmerii were identical is also clear from the following statements: "Cimbri, A Celtic people, probably of the same race as the Cymry... They appeared to have inhabited the peninsula which was called after them Chersonesus Cimbrica (Smith, Smaller Classical Dictionary, Art. Cimbri, p.150). Speaking of these people, Smith says: "Cimmerii... The historical Cimmerii dwelt on the Palus Maeotis (Sea of Azov), in the Tauric Chersonesus, and in Asiatic Sarmatia" (ibid., Art. Cimmerii, p.150,151). In this instance, the Cimmerii are mentioned as living north of the Black Sea. If we carefully piece together all of the various points which are clearly brought out by the different historians concerning the Cimmerians, the Gimiri and the Kymry, we are brought to the following conclusions: (1) The Cimmerians appear in history in the same general vicinity to which Israel had been taken captive. (2) They appear about one century after the first tribes of Israel were deported into the regions south of the Caucasus Mountains, near the Black and Caspian Seas — about 741 B.C. (3) All of these peoples are closely related i.e. the Cimmerians, Gimiri, and the Kymry. (4) They leave the area of Armenia, or the Caucasus regions, and arrive in North-west Europe. In fact, as we will see later, branches of these Cimmerians penetrated into Central Europe, North Italy, Spain, and into many countries of Europe, as well as into Britain and Scandinavia. (5) We have also observed that these Cimmerian or Kymric peoples are also closely related to the Gauls and Kelts, but this particular phase will be covered more thoroughly in a later chapter. (6) All of these peoples were sprung from the Scythian hoard, and mixed freely with them. The fact that they fought with the Scythians does not mean they were not close relatives of the Scythians. We have previously observed that the tribes of Israel even while still living in the Promised Land were continually warring among themselves, as is also mentioned in James 1:1; 4:1. (7) The Cimmerians were the same as the Gimiri who were also the same as the Ghomri or the people of Omri. These peoples were different branches of Dispersed Israel.