Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
A personal account of how the author came to know and understand her roots.
by Gerny Marie Gronnestad
Norway -- the land of my forefathers is a peaceful place on earth. The country being located on the west side of the Scandinavian Peninsula, towards the north Atlantic sea, is on the periphery of the European continent. As a nation we are known to be an independent and patriotic people. Our free spirit is reflected in the fact that we have voted "No" twice to membership in the European Union -- and as I write, the poll has never been stronger against it.
Our people have been attached to the coastline as the Gulf Stream secured a mild climate with ice free fjords all year round and thereby livable conditions. The sea has for centuries been the most natural way of communication, commerce, warfare, exploring and the source of our food supply. We have traded with our neighboring countries and brought our goods to the harbors in the North Sea basin -- and even to further destinations.
As a child growing up on the south west coast, on a farm on an island, I remember we would often watch the ships passing by from the cliffs. In my heart there was an ever longing to understand more, to know the truth. My favorite subjects of history, geography and Bible knowledge fascinated me, but little did I know then about the real identity of our people -- who we are and how we got here! Not until around the year 2000 did some of us get a glimpse of this great revelation that we -- together with all the other white Christian nations of Western Europe -- are the descendants of the ten lost tribes of the Bible.
After some years of studying the works of scientists, scholars and Bible teachers in the different arts like history, Bible knowledge, languages, architecture, heraldry, archaeology, folklore and music, we clearly saw our links to Israel, God's Covenant people. This fact brought joy and fulfillment as we saw ourselves as part of God's Plan and His Kingdom. So how did we get to such a revelation, because that is what it is to discover your own identity? I think it is a mysterious combination of things taking place, a divine interaction that causes you to start focusing in a new direction. The time is there, the heart is ready and gradually you start collecting the pieces of information that come across your path. It makes you see yourself and the world in an entirely new light.
Norwegian Coat of Arms
Now I will present a few of the historic aspects, facts and findings that I built my views on.
One important source of information has come from the Chronicles of the Kings of Norway, called Ynglinge-Saga, which is the story of the Yngling family from Odin to Halvdan the Black, father of Harald the Hairfair -- the first king of Norway. This material was written 800 years back in time when the historian Snorre Sturlason, in Iceland, wrote the following:
"It is said that the earth's circle which the human race inhabits is torn across into many bights, so that great seas run into the land from the out-ocean. Thus it is known that a great sea goes in at Narvesund (Gibraltar), and up to the land of Jerusalem. From the same sea a long sea-bight stretches towards the north-east, and is called the Black Sea, and divides the three parts of the earth; of which the eastern part is called Asia, and the western is called by some Europa, by some Enea. Northward of the Black Sea lies Swithiod the Great (south-east Russia).
"The country east of the Tanaquisl (river Don) in Asia was called Asaland, or Asaheim and the chief city in that land was called Asgaard. In that city was a chief called Odin, and it was a great place for sacrifice. It was the custom there that twelve temple priests should both direct the sacrifices, and also judge the people. They were called Diar or Drotner, and all the people served and obeyed them. Odin was a great and very far-travelled warrior, who conquered many kingdoms...
"There goes a great mountain barrier (Caucasus Mountains) from north-east to south-west, which divides the Greater Svithiod (south-east Russia) from other kingdoms. South of the mountain ridge it is not far from Turkland, where Odin had great possessions. In those times the Roman chiefs went wide around in the world, subduing to themselves all people; and on this account many chiefs fled from their domains. But Odin having foreknowledge, and magic-sight, knew that his posterity would come to settle and dwell in the northern half of the world. He therefore set his brothers Ve and Vilje over Asgaard; and he himself, with all the gods and a great many other people, wandered out, first westward to Gardarike (Russia), and then south to Saxland (North Germany). He had many sons; and after having subdued an extensive kingdom in Saxland, he set his sons to rule the country. He himself went northwards to the sea, and took up his abode in an island which is called Odins in Fyen (the city Odense in Fyn/Denmark). Then he sent Gefion across the sound to the North to discover new countries; and she came to king Gylve...(in Sweden)."
When we read this old text you get the impression that the author Snorre had a firsthand knowledge of the network of seaways, geography and history of the known world. He even speaks of the earth's circle! The historian Snorre tells us that Odin (Voden) was no mythical god, as we're been told, but a real person, a chieftain who lived south of the Caucasus Mountains and who led his people northwest as the Roman Empire expanded, around 100 BC. The Swedish historian, Olof Rudbek (1630-1702), says the same thing in his work Atland Eller Manheim: The Nordic People Was the Asa- and Van-people From the East.
Historians used to call the area of the Ukraine and South Russia Scythia and in old-Nordic it is called Svithjod the Great by Snorre. Even today, in Icelandic, Sweden is called Svithjod. The Swedish historian Olof Rudbeck called Sweden Scythia and the Swedish language was called Scythian. Different names for the same people. Like Germany is called Tyskland by the Scandinavians, Deutchland by the Germans, Germany by the English-speaking, Alemania by the Spanish and Allemagne by the French.
The Ukrainian history professor OmilJan Pritsak (1919-2006), with his unique access to the many languages on the border between Asia and Europe, confirms the existence of an Asa- and Van-people south of the Caucasus Mountains. According to the Danish historian, Peter Friederich Suhm (1728-1798), it was a great honor to the old Norse people to be called Turk. This cannot be understood unless one knows that our forefathers came from these regions. Snorre tells us that Odin was of the Asa-people, a brother people of the Van-people -- not unlike how we today in Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark and Sweden) look at each other as broderfolk (brother people).
In the chronicles Snorre has written down the oral traditions going back more than 300 years before his time. Scholars have, until around 1990, considered the sagas as mere myths and fairy tales -- as unreliable sources of historic information -- and therefore the radical saga critic that we have seen through the twentieth century has damaged our ability to understand our early history, early Middle age and Viking times. Now another wind is blowing: several works of historic research have shown the value of the chronicles and some scholars argue for the rehabilitation of the old sagas as reliable sources. This development might be the case in other countries too?
The art of bringing large amounts of history from generation to generation was, in the early days, done through skaldic lays, poems, rhymes, songs, storytelling, tales and they learned lots of the subject by heart. After sunset, in the twilight, the families gathered together and the scald would bring up the old sacred history. The Icelandic historian Tormod Torfaecus (1636-1719) says about the time before the sagas were written down:
"People were much more able to remember stories and tales than what we are now, and this (oral tradition) is the most admirable summary of all ancient history. The Norwegians knew these old histories by heart, and when they left their land, they brought this tradition with them to Iceland and there they told it to their descendants."
(Many of the elite, mighty men and chieftains of the Norwegian people, fled by boat to Iceland and other islands of the North Sea when Harald the Hairfair gathered Norway under one central power in 872 AD).
An interesting thing is that Snorre, in his work Edda (Grand, grandmother) lists Odin's descendants as coming from Troy, as does the author of the English Canterbury manuscript. The time came when Troy was found to be more than a myth, proven to exist by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schlieman (1822-1890) who excavated the ruins of Troy in 1870 -- and proved to the world that the legends of Troy were more than fantasies in the mind of Homer. This reminds me of Jesus' words in Matthew 10:26,
"...for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known."
Thor Heyerdahl, the Norwegian biologist, geographer, explorer and scientist (1914-2002),
"But I remember from my childhood that the mythology started with the god named Odin. From Odin it took 31 generations to reach the first historic king. The record of Odin says that he came to Northern Europe from the land of Aser. I started reading these pages again and saw that this was not mythology at all, but actual history and geography" (Scandinavian Ancestry, Tracing Roots to Azerbaijan, Thor Heyerdahl).
In his last book The Hunt for Odin (2001) Thor Heyerdahl tells how the old writing of Snorre inspired him to do excavations in Asov in Krimea. Asov city, being located on the east side of the Don river, was an important harbor in ancient times, being one of the destinations on the silk road to China. He and his crew met with local historians and archaeologists at the university in Rostov, and in Asov museum and found that among scholars the link between Scandinavia and the northern shores of the Black Sea were well known. Their museums showed artifacts similar to our Nordic ways and customs: long, narrow swords, knives, coats of mail, arrowheads, jewelry, bracelets, the typical ring needles etc. When Heyerdahl, and his men dug in Asov, they also found artifacts resembling what we find in the north.
The Russian experts having great insight into source material, written in Greek, Latin, Persian, Arabic and Russian seemed to have a good overview of the identity of the many ancient tribes and people that lived in the Caucasus regions. What a good idea to work with the expertise in Asov and how warmly our people were welcomed. It hit me as I was reading Heyerdahl's book that the testimony of these East European experts has not really been heard in our countries.
Nicolay Fomitchov, a historian at the local museum in Asov quoted a well known German linguist, H. J. Klaproth, who explored the Caucasus region in the beginning of 1880. Klaproth is the only source to several Caucasian languages that are now extinct. He found the connection between the name Asov and the Asa-people, or the Assenians. According to him they were the ancestors of the Ossetians. In Norwegian and Swedish we say oss, meaning us in English, os in Danish and uns in German. I have read that the old English word os is the singular of Ese or Aesir in old-Nordic.
A Norwegian botanist called Helge Irgens Hoeg has shown in his research that hemp was brought to our land long before Viking times and its origins was in the Caucasus regions. Herodotus in the fifth century writes about hemp. It was grown by the Scythians and the Thracians, and as it resembled linen it was also used for cloth.
In the earliest days the horse was just as important to our people as the ships were to the Vikings later in time. The small strong Icelandic horse resembles the Old Norwegian horse type and has good qualities, suitable to be transported by boat, enduring a cold climate and hardships in the north. The Icelandic horse is known for having a "5. pace," in our language called tolt. The Mongolian horse has the same ability and looks almost identical to the Icelandic horse. The Mongolians call the "5. pace" tult! I think that is fascinating and it shows that certain keywords are not changed as the centuries go by, but remain in the language and help us uncover hidden secrets of the past.
The Old Testament records that Israel, the twelve tribes, was divided in two after the time of King Solomon, when his rebellious son Rehoboam ruled the kingdom. Ten tribes in the north, called the House of Israel, with Samaria as their capital and the other two tribes in the south, called the House of Judah, having Jerusalem as their headquarters. The ten northern tribes soon fell into pagan worship, including sacrifices to heathen deities. The Bible tells us that in the time period 740-721 BC the Assyrian kings, in several raids, forced the 10 northern tribes of Israel away from their land and brought them to what today is northwest Iran, south of the Caucasus Mountains. In II Kings 17:6-7 we read,
"In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God."
Secular records tell of this event and how this captive people, being harshly subdue by the Assyrians, turned to the LORD their God and finally left this region and moved, by different routes, into the areas around the Caspian and Black Seas. They lost their original name Israel, and were later called by different names in the places where they settled down. Eventually they became the most influential kingdoms in Europe. Our people are not as Nordic as we like to think we are. In our language there are words, names and place-names that witness to the connection to the Hebrew language -- not the least the old runic letters that are said to be of Hebrew/Phoenician origin.
The lion symbol in our heraldry has followed us from a more southerly latitude and reminds us of Jesus as the lion of the tribe of Judah. Matthew witnesses that Jesus said: "I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel" (Matthew 15:24). The people of Asia Minor and Europe were the first to welcome the teachings of Christ brought to us by his disciples. Jesus himself prophesied and said: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" (Matthew 10:27). The prophet Isaiah speaks of "the islands of the west," "They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry from the sea" (Isaiah 24:14).
Norwegian Parliament Building
When I first knew about our identity I could hardly believe that a great people wandering through many regions could possibly avoid being absorbed into other races, brought into slavery by hostile enemies or simply annihilated. In fact I did not know who was Israel of the Bible, and I did not know the promises and words spoken about this people. King David said,
"O Ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth... when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; He suffered no man to do them wrong, he reproved kings for their sakes" (1 Chronicles 16:13, 14, 20-21).
You could ask "why is it important to know your identity?" There are many good reasons for that, and one is to create respect and peace between nations. If we saw ourselves as brother people with similar cultures and a common past it would harmonize our regions instead of exhausting each other by war and conflicts as seen in the past. We should not at all sink into some sort of violent and destructive nationalism that bears no positive fruits, but rather be a constructive force in the world.
As the World becomes more and more global, many people, not the least the indigenous people, seek to find their roots and their identity. This is all good, and it is my belief that the white nations also will awaken to these important questions. This search for one's origin is the most basic of our human needs and should lead to a deeper understanding of our own lives. It should make us humble and loving, but also strong and intelligent to be true servants of God, and true servants to our people and the world.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Proclaiming the Good News of the Soon-Coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God Here On This Earth!
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