Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
America and Britain --
The Meaning of Names
What's in a "name"? To YEHOVAH God, names are very important -- He names things -- and people -- what they are. Names portray distinguishing characteristics, either physical, mental, moral or spiritual. There can be great significance to the name of a person, a people, a nation, or a race! What deep, hidden meaning is there in the names "America" and "Britain"? Do our very national "names" identify us as the two tribes of Joseph, in the Bible -- the inheritors of the "birthright promises"?
by HOIM Staff
What's in a name? Some pundits obliquely assume that "America" was named for the Nicaraguan city of Amerrique. Amerrique was a very gold rich city, which was supposedly visited by both Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci. This theory was first proposed by Jules Marcou in 1875. Of course, the only reason for such a conclusion is that they have in reality no idea -- not a clue -- of where the name "America" came from, and why it became the predominant descriptor of the United States of America, or why both continents in the Western hemisphere are called North and South "America"!
What about the names "Britain" and "America"? As we have seen, the Anglo-Saxon race, which settled North America, and became dominant, is descended from the tribe of Joseph, the son of Jacob, whose name was changed to "Israel" (meaning "champion of God," "prince of God," "one who prevails with God." It also has the connotation of "one who fights or wrestles with God" -- see Genesis 32:24-28). Since our nations are Hebrew in origin, then we should look to the Hebrew language for meaning in their names -- something historians haven't even thought of doing!
The British Identified
Consider, first, the name of "Britain." In Hebrew, the word "brit" literally means "covenant," coming from the word meaning "to cut," i.e., "to cut a covenant." Furthermore, the word "ish" -- that is, as in Brit-ish -- means "man." Therefore, the "Brit-ish" are the descendants of the "covenant man," Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom YEHOVAH God made a special covenant. So the "Brit-ish" are the "covenant people."
Furthermore, the term "Anglo-Saxons" is a compound word probably derived from the combination of two peoples -- the Angles and the Saxons. Who are these people? Joseph, we know, had two sons -- Ephraim and Manasseh -- each of whom were prophesied to become a great people (Genesis 48:16-20). They were prophesied to "grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth" (verse 16). Both were to be unmatched in all the world.
The prophecy was that, "In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh" (verse 20). Even so, today, the Jews every Sabbath, at the dinner table on erev Shabbat ("Sabbath eve"), bless their sons saying this blessing!
The word "Saxon," very likely, derives therefore from their progenitor, Isaac. The Saxons were originally known as the Sacae, or the people of Sac, and Sac is merely an abbreviation of the name Isaac, or Itzak, with the initial vowel sound being dropped off. Thus the Saxons are literally the sons of Isaac, even as Robertson, Johnson, Richardson, in English, means literally the son of Robert, John, and Richard, respectively. The Saxons for the most part refer to the children of Ephraim, Joseph's youngest son.
Who Are the "Angles"?
The "Angles," on the other hand, come from the "Aegels." They are basically the tribe of Ephraim. The Hebrew word "Aegel" means "YOUNG BULL" or "bull calf." Of both sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, Moses prophesied, "His glory is like the firstling of his BULLOCK, and his horns are like the horns of a wild ox; with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth" Deuteronomy 33:17, Schofield Reference Bible). Aegel is the diminutive form of Angle and the words are interchangeable in the Nordic dialects. As both Ephraim and Manasseh are characterized as "bulls," or "bullocks," it is interesting that Ephraim -- the "Angles" -- is characterized as the "YOUNG bull," since he is the younger son of the two!
Yair Davidy, a Jewish scholar in Israel, points out in his book The Tribes: The Israelite Origin of Western Peoples (published in Hebron, Israel, 1994):
"The Angles themselves were known as 'Aegli' or 'Bull-Calves' in Hebrew, a nick-name in Scripture for Ephraim....The British Isles contained contingents from most of the Israelite tribes, apart from those of Ephraim and Manasseh....From the west of England and from Wales, Scotland, and Ireland the United States of America received approximately eighty-seven percent (sic. 87%) of its British immigrants in its formative period. In other words, early American society was formed largely by groups associable with the Tribe of Manasseh. Even today, more than half of the white population of the U.S.A. may trace its ancestry back to Britain and Ireland with the British side being slightly larger than that of Northern and Southern Irish origin. These people, descendants of Manasseh, still remain the determining factor in North America" (pps. 392-393).
Yair Davidy points out in that the term "Angle" means corner or edge in some European languages. In France, England was historically known as "angleterre," literally meaning "end of the earth." Biblical prophecy foretold that the "lost ten tribes of Israel" would be associated with "the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 49:6; 41:9).
In Psalm 82:6, YEHOVAH God says, "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the Most High." In the Aramaic-paraphrase attributed to Jonathan, and considered inspired by the Talmud, the expression "children of the Most High" is translated ANGLII, which is plural for Angle. In the Scriptures, YEHOVAH God often refers to the people of "Israel" as His "firstborn" (Exodus 4:22), and also refers to Ephraim, modern Britain, as "Ephraim, my dear son" (Jeremiah 31:20) and says also, "I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn" (Jeremiah 31:9). Great Britain was the first to rise to world prominence when its empire encircled the globe.
The tribe of Joseph was to inherit the "birthright" promises, or the special blessings of the "firstborn." In I Chronicles 5:1-2 we read; "Now the sons of Reuben [modern France], the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph, the son of Israel, and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright; For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the prince [Messiah]; but the birthright was Joseph's" (1 Chronicles 5:1-2).
YEHOVAH God called therefore Ephraim his "firstborn," and as the ANGLII they are "sons of the Most High," and as the Angles, they "dwell at the ENDS of the earth" removed from Palestine! They are largely the peoples of the United Kingdom, and also very likely Canada and New Zealand, today! The New Zealanders have always identified much more with the British than with the Americans.
Originally, of course, England populated both the American colonies and Australia with those accused of being criminals, debtors, and so forth. The Australian "outback" is very similar to the Old West of American fame, and Aussie "cowboys" much like American cowboys. As a result, the Australians and Americans have more in common, with both countries inclined to minimize their origins and associations with the United Kingdom.
Almighty God declares of Israel: "Thus saith the LORD: In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a COVENANT OF THE PEOPLE, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages" (Isaiah 49:8). The Hebrew expression for "covenant of the peoples" here is BRIT-AM. "Brit" means "covenant," and "am" means "people." In Hebrew "Brit-am" in the northern dialects and in later spoken Hebrew would have become "Brit-aN" the final "m" being pronounced as "N." Says Yair Davidy, "Not only that but on the British side the name for Britain itself in old documents was sometimes rendered by the English as "BRITAMMIA" (The Tribes, p. 414).
We now know that the "Brits," or "British," are the people "belonging to the covenant" or "covenant man." We often refer to the British as the "Brits." But what about the AM or AMI? In Hebrew, "am" means people," and the suffix "I" means "my," thus "ami" means "MY PEOPLE" (referring to YEHOVAH's people, of course!). Interestingly, the "Yanks," or Americans soldiers, during both World Wars, were affectionately referred to by the British and Europeans as the "AMIS." Thus the Americans also stand identified by YEHOVAH God as "MY PEOPLE," while the British are the "covenant man" or "belonging to the covenant."
Now, what about the name "America"? Where did it come from? It is an irony of history that the name "America" did not come from Christopher Columbus. That distinction belongs to a German writer of geography. In a further twist of events, America was apparently named after Amerigo Vespucci, a 15th century Florentine merchant who owned a business in Seville, Spain, furnishing supplies for ships, preparing them for mercantile expeditions.
Stirred by the achievements of Columbus and envious of the reputation his discoveries brought, Vespucci endeavored to cultivate Columbus' friendship and trust.
Seven years after Columbus' first voyage and while Columbus was still alive, Vespucci accompanied an expedition that consisted of four ships. They sailed past the eastern coast of South America, and visited Trinidad, which Columbus had named the preceding year. On his return to Europe Vespucci wrote letters with glowing descriptions of the newly discovered countries. He called the lands he had visited a "New World."
Some years later Vespucci's letters were published and read by Martin Waldseemuller, a noted geographer, and Mathias Ringmann, a schoolmaster. Recently arrived from Germany to the province of Lorraine, they were attracted to the town of Saint-Die because of a newly established print shop. Both men were engaged in working on a reproduction of Ptolemy's treatise on geography, to which they were adding a preface.
After reading the account of Vespucci's travels in Quatre Navigations d' Americ Vespuce, they decided to incorporate Vespucci's voyage into the treatise. Ringmann, acting as editor, wrote in his introduction:
"There is a fourth quarter of the world which Amerigo Vespucci has discovered and which for this reason we can call 'America' or the land of Americo."
Apparently ignorant of the discoveries and achievements made by Columbus fifteen years earlier, Ringmann continued:
"We do not see why the name of the man of genius, Amerigo, who has discovered them, should not be given to these lands, as Europe and Asia have adopted the names of women."
Their work was published on April 25, 1507 under the title Cosmographiae Introductio. It marked the first time the word AMERICA appeared in print.
In a map of 1515 -- taken from Johannes Schoner's Globe -- the name "America" was first applied to South America and what was then known of the Northern continent (North America).
According to Yair Davidy,
"the Amyrgio Scythae and the Mercians derived their names from permutations of MACHIR. An interesting possibility is that the name MACHIR is also recalled in that of AMERICA! The Phoenicians are believed to have visited AMERICA and named it 'The Great North Country' and the Hebrew prophets predicted that in the end-time the Lost Ten Tribes would return from the 'North Country' (e.g. Jeremiah 31:8) and they certainly were well acquainted with the Phoenicians. The Vikings attempted to settle in North America and named it 'MARKLAND' which is believed to mean 'Land of Darkness.' Even so, Maruk (= Machir) and Mark (in 'Markland') are not dissimilar. After the Vikings, the existence of America was realized by people in Britain including fishermen from the port of Bristol. Richard Ameryk, a British merchant of the 1470s is now claimed to have given America its name. Ameryk was of Welsh ancestry and his family name originally was 'Ap Meryk,' possibly denoting 'Son of Machir.' The more commonly accepted explanation is that the name 'America' comes from that of the explorer, Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512) also called 'Americas' and (after 1507) 'America' is said to have been named in his honor.
"At all events, the name Amerigo or 'Americas' is similar to Medieval appellations (Aimerico, etc.) for a Jewish Prince of southern France whose proper Hebrew name (from which the appellations were derived) was MACHIR. It follows, that the name AMERICA may well be understood to mean 'Land of Machir,' son of Menasseh....From the Menasseh-dominated areas in Britain came a predominant proportion of the early settlers of the United States of America who determined that nation's guiding characteristics. Prophecies and traditions concerning Menasseh were to become applicable to the U.S.A. Britain, on the other hand, was to remain the province of EPHRAIM" (ibid., pps. 369-370).
The Wave Sheaf of Joseph
One of the symbols of ancient Joseph was a sheaf of wheat or grain. In a prophetic dream, Joseph related, "For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf" (Genesis 37:7). Joseph was later used by YEHOVAH God to save the world from starvation, by storing the grain produced during seven abundant years in Egypt to use during seven years of harrowing famine (Genesis 41:14-44). Now notice. Joseph's sheaf was the greatest, tallest. It was the "firstfruits." It was an "OMER" of grain, which YEHOVAH God commanded to be harvested and waved before the LORD, as the firstfruits of the harvest. Thus a "sheaf" or "omer" of grain is a SYMBOL of JOSEPH, with Canada, Australia and the United States producing most of the world's grain supplies.
Now let's notice the name "America" again. In Hebrew, "omeri" or "ameri" means literally "MY OMER," or by interpretation, "MY SHEAF." The suffix "ca" in Hebrew refers to a superlative adverbial form not found in English, and which cannot be translated precisely, but its meaning is, "none so great as," or "the greatest."
The same root "ca" or "ka" is found in the words "Kaisar," "Caesar," "Tzar," meaning "chief or chiefs," or "lord of lords," ie. "greatest king, prince, lord, or chief." In other words, when used with the expression "MY OMER," it means, "my omer is greatest," "my sheaf is best," unparalleled, superlative without equal -- there is none like it, it is the GREATEST by comparison! Thus the very word "AMERICA" literally identifies our great nation as one of the GREAT NATIONS OF JOSEPH -- MANASSEH whose "omer" is the greatest! And, we are the world's single greatest agricultural nation BY FAR, outstripping and out-producing all other nations!
The North American continent, with the tremendous agricultural productivity of the Midwest, the "bread basket of the world," Kansas wheat, Nebraska corn, with rich farmland throughout the drainage basins of the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri rivers, not to mention the Colorado, Sacramento, and Columbia rivers, has created the world's greatest agricultural miracle -- the wonder of nations. As the song says, "corn as high as an elephant's eye," American agricultural productivity is the envy of the world.
We sing the song, "O beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain; for purple mountain majesties, ABOVE THE FRUITED PLAIN. AMERICA, AMERICA, God shed His grace on thee; so crown they good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!"
Truly America -- the land of Joseph's unsurpassed "omer" -- is blessed by the Great God of Heaven! And so, too, is Ephraim -- Canada, New Zealand and the British Isles!
Bit Omri -- the House of Omri
Another fact we should bear in mind, is that the northern kingdom of Israel, led by Ephraim with its capital at Samaria, came to be known by the surrounding nations as the people of Omri, and the nation or kingdom of Omri, the name of one of the greatest kings of Israel. We read of Omri:
"He seems to have been a vigorous and unscrupulous ruler, anxious to strengthen his dynasty by intercourse and alliances with foreign states...He united his son in marriage to the daughter of a principal Phoenician prince , which led to the introduction into Israel of Baal worship. Of Omri it is said: 'Omri wrought evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all that were before him. For he walked in all the ways of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities' (I Kings 20:25, 26). This worldly and irreligious policy is denounced by Micah (6:16) under the name of the 'statutes of Omri.' He died B.C. c.869, and was succeeded by his son Ahab..." (Unger's Bible Dictionary, p. 809).
After the northern kingdom was taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 718-721 B.C., and transported beyond the river Euphrates, into the land of the Medes and Persians, they retained the name "Omri," and came to be known by the Greeks and classical writers as Cimmerians, Cymbri, from which we later get the name Scyth, Scythians, Celts, Sacae. The people were generally called after the name of this famous, idolatrous, paganistic king of Israel -- Omri. The name stuck, for generations, and became a major, principal identifying mark.
Writes Sharon Turner in History of the Anglo-Saxons -- "The Kymbri [Cymbri] swore by a brazen bull, which they carried with them" (vol. 1, p. 3). We read, in Jeremiah 31:18, "I have surely heard EPHRAIM bemoaning himself thus: thou hast chastised me and I was chastised, like an untrained BULL-CALF." In Hebrew a bull-calf is an "Aegel" and "Aegel" was, as we have seen, an alternate name for Angle. The Angles were a MAJOR PART of the Anglo-Saxon forces that invaded Britain in the 450s A.D. Adds Yair Davidy:
"The Saxons of England often called themselves 'Angles' or at least did not object to being subsumed under the Anglo-name. The whole country was later called 'Angle-land' or 'ENGLAND' as it is called today. The diminutive of Angle was 'Aegel' meaning 'Bull-calf' in Hebrew and applied in the Bible as a diminutive for the Tribe of Ephraim" (The Tribes, p. 301).
Later, in page 392, Davidy elaborates on the descendants of EPHRAIM:
"The descendants of Ephraim were paramount amongst the Anglo-Saxon invaders and seem to have been also present amongst the Celtic British natives, apart from Eran in Ireland and Scotland. The four sons of Ephraim (Shutelach, Eran, Becher, and Tahan) became peoples in the Anglo-Saxon host:-- Shutelach produced the Skioldings from Scandinavia; Eran -- the Arri amongst the Saxons; Tahan -- the Teutons whom the Angles absorbed in Europe before the invasion; Becher -- the Boroctuari and Bogari who joined in the conquest. The Angles themselves were known as 'Aegli' or 'Bull-Calves' in Hebrew, a nickname in Scripture for Ephraim" (ibid.).
Both Ephraim and Manasseh received the status of full tribes in their own right. "...Ephraim and Menasseh...are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine" said Jacob (Genesis 48:5) meaning that they should be counted as tribes amongst the brothers of JOSEPH. Jacob blessed Ephraim and Menasseh, "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth," (Genesis 48:16). "And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Menasseh: and he set Ephraim before Menasseh" (Genesis 48:20).
The prevalence of Ephraim is repeated in Jeremiah 31:9, "I am a father to Israel, and EPHRAIM is my firstborn."
The promised blessings were unconditional -- "By Myself hath I sworn, saith the LORD...that in blessing I will bless thee and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed..." (Genesis 28:15). "God is not a man...neither the son of man that He should repent...He hath blessed and I cannot reverse it" (Numbers 23:19-20).
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