Guardians of the Grail, Chapter 6
by J. R. Church
Prophecy Publications, 1989
Reproduced by permission of the author.
The Merovingian dynasty ruled France for 300 years -- from the 5th to
the 8th centuries. It is also true that most of Europe's monarchs
have been from the Merovingian lineage from the Middle Ages until
today. We have discussed at length the ancient heresy which
considered the Merovingian bloodline to be the descendants of Jesus
Christ and Mary Magdalene. But, who really were the Merovingians?
Where did they actually come from? Can we trace their history back to
Mary Magdalene? Or does it go back further, to the days of the Old
To find the answer, we must research ancient history and trace the
migration of nomadic tribes. Merovee was king of a Germanic tribe
called Franks. His name "echoes the French word for 'mother' as well
as both the French and Latin words for 'sea'." 1.
According to the legend reported in HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL, Merovee
was born of two fathers. It was said that his expectant mother went
swimming one day in the Mediterranean Sea and was attacked be a
dreadful sea creature who impregnated her with a divine seed. Not
only was Merovee the son of Clodio, King of the Franks, he was also
supposedly the son of a beast of Neptune. It was believed that in his
veins flowed a co-mingling of two different bloods; the blood of a
Frankish ruler and the blood of a mysterious aquatic creature. Since
that, of course is not possible, it was suggested that the story of
the sea creature may have been symbolic of his lineage, leading to
the development of the legend that he was of the offspring of Mary
It is believed to this day by the people in Provence, a district in
southern France, that Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary Magdalene and
Martha, landed there when they sailed across the Mediterranean to
France, escaping the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. 2.
So, the belief that the mother of the Merovingian dynasty came from
the Mediterranean Sea (or from across the sea) may have originated
from this symbolic fairy tale. She is still considered today, by
those who ascribe to the belief of the 'holy bloodline,' to be the
progenitor of Merovee - 400 years removed.
A clue to where the Merovingians possibly originated is found in
ancient Norse mythology. Merovee claimed to be descended from Odin,
one of the gods worshipped by the Teutonic people of northern Europe -
- after whom Odin's Day (also called Woden's Day), or Wednesday, was
named. Note the spelling of the word "Odin." Is it possible - could
this be another way of spelling Dan, or could the name have evolved
from the Israelite Lost Tribe of Dan? We shall analyze the possible
Merovingian/Israelite connection in this chapter.
In order to explore that premise, perhaps we should begin with a
story from Greece -- of the battle between the Spartans and the
Trojans. Keep in mind, the kings of the Merovingian dynasty claimed
to be descendants from those ancient tribes.
According to the ancient Greek treatise, THE ILIAD, by Homer, the
founder of Troy was named Dar-dan-us. 3. The name is strikingly
familiar. It contains the name of Dan! It was said that Dardanus was
the son of Zeus. Dardanus had a son named Erichthonius, who had a son
named Tros, who was the namesake of the ancient Trojans and of their
capital city, Troy.
Tros had three sons, Ilus, Ganymede, and Assaracus. Priam, the
reigning king of the Trojans, was of the line of Ilus. Aeneas,
founder of the Roman Empire, as a prince of the royal house of
Assaracus. Ganymede was the great-grandson of Dardanus, the founder
of Troy. According to Homer's ILIAD (Book V), 4. Zeus kidnapped the
prince, Ganymede. Zeus wanted Ganymede to be a special cup-bearer to
the gods (which may be a clue to the origin of the legend of the so-
called Holy Grail).
The ILIAD does not relate how Zeus carried off Ganymede, but there is
an ancient Roman mosaic showing Ganymede, the Trojan prince, being
carried off by Zeus, who had taken the form of an eagle! Here is a
possible clue to connect the progenitors of the ancient Trojans with
the tribe of Dan, who had adopted the eagle as their insignia.
Zeus was sometimes pictured as an eagle, but at other times he was
pictured as a serpent to whom offerings of honey were made. Here
appears yet another clue. We have the symbol of a snake (the first
insignia of Dan) to whom offerings of honey were made! The honey
could be a reference to the bees in Samson's riddle -- again, it
smacks of the tribe of Dan.
According to Greek mythology, Zeus was the son of Cronus, the sun
god. Zeus was born in Arcadia, near the capital city of the Spartans.
When he reached manhood he overthrew his father Cronus and won the
universe. He then divided it with his brothers according to lots:
Hades drew the nether world, Poseidon the sea and the waters, and
Zeus the heavens.
The Spartans lived in Laconia, near Arcadia, in the southern Greek
peninsula called Peloponnesus. Over the centuries some of the group
migrated northeast across the Aegean Sea to build the ancient city of
Troy. There came a time when Paris, the Trojan prince, fell in love
with Helen, wife of the Spartan king, kidnapped her and removed her
to the city of Troy. By the way, Paris was the one after whom the
capital of France was named. There is also a city in France named
Troyes, after the ancient Trojan capital -- for the Merovingian
French royalty claimed descent from the Trojans.
According to the legend, the battle between the Spartans and the
Trojans raged for 10 years. Then the Spartans hit upon an idea. They
built a huge hollow horse, left it outside the walls of Troy, boarded
their ships and pushed off into the Aegean sea. As they sailed out of
sight, the people of Troy emerged to 106 inspect the horse. They were
warned that it might be a trick, but they wouldn't listen. They
pulled the Trojan horse inside their city, and that night celebrated
their victory over the Spartans. However, inside the horse, Spartan
soldiers had been hidden, and under the cover of darkness, the
Spartan ships returned.
While the people of Troy celebrated, the Spartan warriors crept out
of their hiding place and opened the gates of the city allowing their
army to enter. According to the account, the Spartans rescued Helen,
killed many of the Trojans, and set fire to the city. Here's a side
note: Aeneas, a Trojan prince, escaped the city and went to central
Italy, where his offspring bore the twin boys Romulus and Remus, the
founders of Rome.
Over the centuries some of the Spartans migrated into southern
France, and some of the surviving Trojans moved north and west into
Germany, Belgium and northern France, following the Danube River, and
eventually settled in the region that became known as Austrasia in
the province of Lorraine. 5. The lineage of the Merovingian kings,
therefore, may have been rooted in the Trojans.
In the apocryphal book of I Maccabees there is an account about the
Spartans of southern Greece - claiming that they were related to the
Jewish people and were, in fact, of the stock of Abraham. A letter
from the king of the Spartans to the Jewish high priest in Jerusalem
is most revealing:
"Areus, king of the Spartans, to Onias, the high priest, greetings.
"It has been discovered in a document concerning the Spartans and
Jews that they are brothers, and are of the race of Abraham" (I
Unfortunately, the "document" referred to in the letter does not
exist today. If it did, however, it might have provided the missing
link necessary to connect the Spartans to the tribe of Dan. However,
Flavius Josephus also records the letter in his writings:
"We have met with a certain writing, whereby we have discovered that
both the Jews and the Spartans are of one stock, and are derived from
the kindred of Abraham. It is but just, therefore, that you, who are
our brethren, should send to us about any of your concerns as you
please. We will also do the same thing, and esteem your concerns as
our own, and will look upon our concerns as in common with yours.
Demotoles, who brings you this letter, will bring your answer back to
us. This letter is foursquare; and the symbol is an eagle, with a
dragon in his claws." 6.
The Spartan letter followed the invasion of Jerusalem by Antiochus
Epiphanes, the Syrian general who sacrificed a sow upon the brazen
altar of the Temple. In the course of events, Onias died, but his
successor, Jonathan, wrote a letter of reply to the Spartans of
"Jonathan the high priest, the senate of the nation, the priests, and
the rest of the Jewish people, to the Spartans their brothers send
"In the past a letter was sent to Onias, the high priest from Areus,
one of your kings, stating that you are indeed our brothers, as the
copy subjoined attests.
"Onias received the envoy with honor, and accepted the letter, in
which a clear reference was made to friendship and alliance.
"For our part, though we have no need of these, having the
consolation of the holy books in our possession.
"We venture to send, to renew our fraternal friendship with you, so
that we may not become strangers to you, for a long time has
elapsed since you sent us the letter.
"We may say that constantly on every occasion, at our festivals and
on other appointed days, we make a remembrance of you in the
sacrifices we offer and in our prayers, as it is right and fitting
to remember brothers." 7.
What relation the Spartans were to the Jews is not given. We can only
surmise the possibility that they could have been from the tribe of
King Merovee supposedly possessed magical powers. He and his royal
offspring wore their hair long as a symbol of their magic (similar to
Samson). It was also said that they had the power to heal by the
laying on of hands and that such power could be found in the tassels
that hung as fringes on the bottom of their garments. This indicates
a possible Hebrew heritage, for such power was believed to be in the
fringes of the talliths worn by Israelites. You may recall the woman
at Capernaum who touched the hem (fringes) of our Savior's garment
and was healed of a 12-year infirmity.
Thus, we may consider not only a so-called Christian connection, but
we are told of a more significant Israelite custom as well. These
are two important clues: One, he wore his hair long like Samson, the
Danite, with the belief that it gave him magical power, and two, he
wore a tallith as did the ancient religious Israelite people. Is it
possible that Merovee's forefathers were Israelites, of the stock of
Abraham -- perhaps even from the tribe of Dan? That brings us to
When the tomb of Childeric 1, son of Merovee, was discovered and
opened in 1653, there were found among the items in his tomb, 300
miniature bees made of solid gold. In Chapters 3 and 5 we mentioned
the bees. We said that Napoleon had these 300 golden bees sewn onto
his coronation robe -- worn when he crowned himself Emperor of
France. When he married Marie-Louise (Habsburg) of Austria, she wore
a royal robe with the bees interwoven throughout. The bees may well
represent a very important clue as to the lineage of the Merovingian
dynasty. (See pages 58-59.)
Four symbols are used in the Bible concerning the Danites -- a
serpent, an eagle, a lion, and the bees. In the story of Samson, we
find the famous riddle of the bees who made honey in the carcass of
a lion which had been killed by Samson. 8. The symbolic nature of the
bees could represent the concept that the descendants of the tribe of
Dan would one day try to bring about the destruction of the tribe of
Judah, whose symbol was the lion, and from the carcass of the lion
the tribe of Dan would attempt to produce the golden age of a world
empire, symbolized by the honey. 'The Merovingians claim of coming
from the tribe of Judah (through Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ) is
not true. The lie may have been advanced because the symbol of Judah
was the lion. However, I believe the Merovingians were from the
tribe of Dan.
The eagle's wings detached from the back of the lion in the 7th
chapter of Daniel may also be an ancient symbol for the tribe of
Dan, which broke away from the tribe of Judah in the last chapters
of the book of Judges:
"The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the
wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and
made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it"
On a map of ancient Israel, the territory of Dan appears like a wing
attached to the shoulder of the territory of Judah. Among the
possible interpretations of Daniel's vision one must consider the
story of Dan leaving its original territory and moving north into
When Moses gave his prophecies of the 12 tribes, he said that
Benjamin would "dwell between the shoulders of Judah" (Deuteronomy
33:12), and that Dan, "as a lion's whelp, would leap from Bashan"
(Deuteronomy 33:22). Bashan was located in ancient Lebanon. That
Mosaic prediction came to pass when the tribe of Dan was deprived of
its territory adjacent to Judah, moved north to Lebanon, and
established its territory in Bashan. From there the Danites made a
symbolic leap into obscurity. It is my opinion that they could have
landed in Europe.
To follow the possible migration of the Danites, we must go back to
the early pages of the Bible to the days following the death of
Samson. 9. During those days, the tribe of Dan lived in the territory
west of Jerusalem, over toward the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and
down through the valley of Sorek to the borders of the Philistines.
After the death of Samson, the men of Dan were deprived of their
territory. Not only did Samson's death create a possible difficulty
for the Danites, but the sin of the tribe of Benjamin at about that
time also created a precarious situation for the tribe.
The story is given of the wife of a Levite who had been molested by
the Benjamites. When her husband discovered her corpse, he cut it
into pieces and sent it to the other tribes demanding that they
avenge the rape of his wife. The battle that followed almost
annihilated the Benjamites. In the war, however, the tribe of Dan
also suffered. Flavius Josephus, a first century Jewish historian,
"Now it happened that the tribe of Dan suffered in like manner with
the tribe of Benjamin; and it came to do so on the occasion
following: --- When the Israelites had already left off the exercise
of their arms for war, and were intent upon their husbandry, the
Canaanites despised them, and brought together an army, not because
they expected to suffer by them, but because they had a mind to have
a sure prospect of treating the Hebrews ill when they pleased, and
might thereby for the time to come dwell in their own cities the more
securely; they prepared therefore their chariots, and gathered their
soldiery together, their cities also combined together, and drew over
to them Ashkelon and Ekron, which were within the tribe of Judah, and
many more of those that lay in the plain. They also forced the
Danites to fly into the mountainous country, and left them not the
least portion of the plain country to set their foot on. Since then,
these Danites were not able to fight them, and had not land enough to
sustain them, they sent five of their men into the midland country to
seek for a land to which they might remove their habitation. So these
men went as far as the neighborhood of Mount Libanus, and the
fountains of the Lesser Jordan, at the great plain of Sidon. . . 10.
Thus, we have the migration of the tribe of Dan. Having been pushed
out of their territory west of Jerusalem, they went north into
Lebanon. The story is found in Judges 18. According to the chapter,
the tribe of Dan established an idolatrous religion -- the worship of
the sun and moon. The summation of their move is given in the book of
"And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan,
their father, who was born unto Israel; howbeit, the name of the city
was Laish at the first.
"And the children of Dan set up the graven image; and Jonathan, the
son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to
the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land" (Judges
According to the story, the tribe of Dan moved into Lebanon, where
they lived for at least the next 600 years. In the year 721 B.C., the
Assyrians took the northern ten tribes captive. Though there are no
historical documents to prove that the tribe moved westward into
Europe, the question remains: What happened to the tribe of Dan?
According to THE WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA, the Celts, in 400 B.C.,
divided Ireland into small kingdoms called tuatha. 11. Celtic
mythology claims that the most important race was the "Tuatha de
Danann, or People of the Goddess Danu." Some have suggested that this
name may refer to a connection to the ancient tribe of Dan. The
Tuatha de Danann was "the source of most of the divinities that the
Irish people worshiped before they became Christians in the A.D.
Now, I am not an adherent of "British Israelism." It is not my
purpose to try to promote the idea that the Europeans were the lost
ten tribes of Israel. However, it is not impossible that at least the
tribe of Dan could have migrated northwest -- to eventually establish
the thrones of Europe. I have no hard evidence that the name Denmark
comes from Dan or that the Danube River is so named after the ancient
tribe. I am simply pointing out the possibility, for the tribe of Dan
is considered by Jewish rabbis to be a lost tribe.
The lineage of the Merovingian kings has not been historically
established. But, we are relating in this chapter why we believe they
probably descended from the early Spartans, which, according to the
apocryphal book of I Maccabees, claimed to be of the stock of
Abraham, father of Israel. Could they have come from the tribe of
Dan? Could the name of the Danube River be derived from that ancient
tribe? And could the country of Denmark also be so named? Why
should we be so interested in the tribe of Dan? What part would that
ancient tribe have to play in the fulfillment of prophecy? For the
answer, we must go to the 49th chapter of Genesis and consider the
story of the dying Jacob, who gathered his 12 sons around his bed to
give prophecies of that which would befall each of them in the last
days. He spoke of Judah as a lion and said that the scepter shall not
depart from Judah until Shiloh come -- which is taken to be a
prediction of the coming Messiah. But then he spoke of Dan:
"Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan
shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the
horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward" (Genesis 16-
Here we see the trail of the serpent and are reminded of the prophecy
to Adam and Eve that the serpent shall bruise the heel of the
Messiah - the seed of the woman. The dying Jacob referred to Dan
under the insignia of the serpent.
These symbols take us back to the ancient zodiac. To Judah was given
the insignia of Leo, the Lion, and to Dan was given the insignia of
Scorpio, the seed of the serpent. The reference by the dying Jacob
could be a prediction that the offspring of Dan may one day produce
Mr. 666, who will attempt to sit upon the throne of this world.
In Revelation 7 the 144,000 Israelites are listed. All of the tribes
are given but the tribe of Dan. By the time we reach that point in
world history (the time of Revelation 7), the tribe of Dan is
missing. The implication is that Dan will produce the great usurper,
I have long believed that the tribe of Dan would somehow be involved
with the rise of the antichrist -- even while other theologians were
suggesting that the future man of sin would be a Gentile -- perhaps
from Syria, Egypt, or even Rome.
I had no concrete proof to support my theory. I could not pinpoint
the whereabouts of the offspring of Dan, for the ancient tribe
slipped into obscurity some 3,000 years ago. Further, there is no
scripture which specifically states that the future world ruler will
be from that ancient Israelite tribe. I based my theory upon the
implications of a few prophetic Scriptures.
The prophet Daniel predicted the coming of a future usurper,
indicating that he could be an apostate Israelite, who would forsake
the traditional religion of his forefathers:
"Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of
women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all"
Daniel indicated that the future world ruler would not regard the God
of his fathers. That may be a reference to his lineage. He will have
no regard for the God of the rabbis. Furthermore, it may be more than
a coincidence that the Lord chose a man named Daniel to write one of
the greatest prophetic books in the Bible. His very name, Dan-i-el,
may, in itself, be a clue concerning this one about whom Daniel
wrote. More than any other Old Testament Book, Daniel describes the
coming world ruler who will persecute the Jewish people with a
vengeance. It just might be a man from the tribe of Dan who will try
to eliminate the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
If the predictions that "Dan shall judge his people" and "Dan shall
be a serpent" are accurate, most of the suffering of Israel down
through the centuries has been plotted and perpetrated by the lost
tribe of Dan. The question is, can we prove it? Were the leaders of
imperial Rome the offspring of the tribe of Dan? Was the Syrian
general, Antiochus Epiphanes, who sacrificed a pig upon the brazen
altar (168 B.C.) an offshoot from the tribe of Dan? Was Alexander the
Great a Danite? And what about the thrones of Europe who persecuted
the Jewish people over the past 1,600 years? Do they belong to that
In these prophecies of the dying Jacob we can see the trail of the
serpent who beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden. God placed a curse
upon the serpent and his seed. He said:
"I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed
and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his
heel" (Genesis 3:15).
It is quite remarkable that the dying Jacob gave the symbol of the
serpent to Dan and declared that he would judge his people.
There is an ancient apocryphal writing called the "Testaments of the
Twelve Patriarchs" in which Dan was supposed to have made certain
predictions concerning his offspring. The writing is apocryphal, and
has been dated by scholars to have been written around 150 B.C.
Fragments of the apocryphal writing were found in the Qumran caves,
and are a part of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.
The "Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs" are purported to be the
final utterances of the twelve sons of Jacob -- modeled after Jacob's
last words in Genesis 49. Just prior to death, each of the sons is
depicted as gathering his offspring around him and prophesying those
things which would befall each tribe in the future. According to
the testament of Dan, he gathered his sons around him when he was 125
years old. Among the many things he had to say were these startling
"I read in the Book of Enoch, the Righteous, that your prince is
Satan. . ." 13.
Because of this statement, Jewish scholars, some 150 years before
Christ, linked the tribe of Dan with the antichrist -- "your prince
is Satan." Furthermore, in the apocryphal writing, Dan was made to
say, "I know that in the last days you will defect from the Lord, you
will be offended at Levi, and revolt against Judah; but you will not
prevail over them." 14.
Finally, upon Dan's death, the writer concluded, "Dan prophesied to
them. . .that they would go astray from God's law, that they would be
estranged from their inheritance, from the race of Israel, and from
their patrimony; and that is what occurred." 15.
As the ancient writing indicated, the Danites lost their inheritance
of territory after the death of Samson. Migrating north into Lebanon,
they eventually lost their identity. Dan became a lost tribe.
When Moses built the Tabernacle, he was instructed to choose two men
to head up the project. They were Bezaleel of the tribe of Judah and
Aholiab of the tribe of Dan (Exodus 31:1-6). These two men were
chosen to do the design work with the gold, silver, brass, stone,
wood, and fabric. In choosing these two men, I believe God was laying
out a prophecy of those two tribes who would eventually fight over
the possession and disposition of the sanctuary. Just as the Messiah
has His roots in the tribe of Judah, the antichrist may have his
roots in the tribe of Dan.
When the Tabernacle was completed, it was placed in the center of the
camp. Each of the tribes were positioned around it -- three to the
east, three to the south, three to the west, and three to the north.
Furthermore, each tribe was instructed to display their insignia:
"Now the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron saying,
"Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard,
with the ensign of their father's house; far off about the tabernacle
of the congregation shall they pitch" (Numbers 2:1,2).
The symbols of the tribes were given according to the constellations
in the ancient Egyptian zodiac. The tents of the tribe of Judah were
pitched to the east of the Tabernacle under the symbol of the lion.
Alongside Judah were the tribes of Issachar and Zebulon. On the south
side lay the tents of Reuben, Simeon and Gad. On the west side
Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin pitched their tents. And on the north
side were Asher, Naphtali, and Dan:
"The standard of the camp of Dan shall be on the north side by their
armies, and the captain of the children of Dan shall be Ahiezer"
This specific position of the Danites on the north side of the camp
may be prophetic of their eventual location at the extreme north end
of the nation -- at the Lebanon border. It may also be connected to
the prophecy given by Isaiah concerning the fall of Lucifer:
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how
art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For
thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will
exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the
mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north" (Isaiah 14:12-
The notes of the Open Bible say the north side means, "in the place
of control." Could it be that the tribe of Dan, who was situated on
the north side of the congregation was the target of Lucifer?
To Dan was given the symbol of Scorpio, which, in the ancient
Egyptian zodiac was a snake. However, when the time came to hoist the
symbol of the snake, Ahiezer refused and chose instead the symbol of
an eagle. According to Unger's Bible Dictionary:
"Dan's position in the journey was on the north of the Tabernacle,
with Asher and Naphtali. The standard of the tribe was of white and
red, and the crest upon it, an eagle, the great foe to serpents,
which had been chosen by the leader instead of a serpent, because
Jacob had compared Dan to a serpent. Ahiezer substituted the eagle,
the destroyer of serpents, as he shrank from carrying an adder upon
his flag." 16. It may prove worthwhile to consider the possible
connection to the tribe of Dan whenever an eagle is used as the
symbol of subsequent leaders or nations.
Here are the clues which could connect the tribe of Dan with the
political leaders of the Greeks, the Romans, the Germans, the
French -- all of the thrones of Europe, including the leaders of
ancient Czarist Russia. Not only have those nations displayed the
symbol of the eagle, but their colors have primarily been white and
red, the colors of the Danites. It may be more than coincidence that
the Knights Templar wore white uniforms displaying a red cross on the
Dan was the largest tribe in Israel in the days of the Tabernacle.
Their population numbered 157,600. After conquering Canaan, Dan was
the last tribe to receive any land. Though they were the largest
tribe, they received the smallest amount of territory -- west of
Jerusalem, down to the Mediterranean coast. After the death of
Samson, however, they were deprived even of that, and had to migrate
north into southern Lebanon. There, they captured the city of Laish
and changed its name to Dan. Thus, we have the term in the Old
Testament -- "From Dan to Beersheba."
The ancient name "Laish" means "a lion,"which fulfills the prophecy
of Moses in Deuteronomy 33:22 when he said:
"Dan is a lion's whelp: he shall leap from Bashan."
The city of the lion (Laish) was located in the ancient province of
Bashan, in the territory of Lebanon. From there, however, according
to the prediction of Moses, Dan was to make a historic leap. In fact,
the tribe vanished over the next 400 years.
In I Chronicles 1-8, the Israelite tribes are listed -- all, that is,
but the tribe of Dan. The date for writing the first eight chapters
of the Chronicles has been placed at 1056 B.C. By then, Dan had
become a lost tribe. They were not listed among the tribes of Israel.
We do not have to wait until we get to Revelation 7 to eliminate the
tribe of Dan. It was apparent in the first of the Chronicles. The big
question remains, what happened to the tribe of Dan? Where did they
go with their symbol of an eagle as a killer of snakes? We
previously mentioned a letter, written by the king of the Spartans to
the high priest in Jerusalem, wherein he claimed to be of the "stock
of Abraham." We also related a similar statement written by the
historian, Flavius Josephus.
According to Josephus, the symbol of the ancient Spartans was an
eagle with a dragon in his claws. The dragon, by the way, was
synonymous with the snake among the early cultures. This is an
incredible clue linking the tribe of Dan with the Spartans of
southern Greece. It is curious to note that the Spartans claimed to
be brothers to the tribes of Israel, of the stock of Abraham --
displaying the symbol of an eagle and its enemy, the snake.
When Herod the Great built the magnificent temple in the years before
the birth of Christ, he placed a huge eagle above the gate. Flavius
Josephus wrote of it:
"Herod had caused such things to be made, which were contrary to the
law, of which he was accused by Judas and Mathias; for the king had
erected over the great gate of the temple, a large golden eagle, of
great value, and had dedicated it to the temple." 17.
Herod the Great had placed an eagle (a symbol of the tribe of Dan)
above the temple in the years just prior to the birth of Christ. How
significant! For the mysterious tribe of Dan appears to have laid
claim to the temple, just as they may again, someday, when the
antichrist commits the abomination of desolation. When Herod the
Great became extremely ill, a group of patriotic Jews pulled down the
golden eagle. Josephus wrote:
"And with such discourses, as this did these men excite the young men
to this action; and a report being come to them that the king was
dead, this was an addition to the wise men's persuasions, so, in the
very middle of the day they got up on the place, they pulled down the
eagle, and cut it into pieces with axes, while a great number of the
people were in the temple." 18. Needless to say, they were arrested
and executed for destroying what may have been a Spartan eagle.
Now, the question remains, how do we know the Spartans were the
offspring of the tribe of Dan? Even though they admitted to being
brothers to the children of Israel, of the stock of Abraham, what
further clues can we gather to help detemine their lineage?
Aside from the fact that the Spartans wore long hair as a symbol of
their power (like Samson) there is a legend written about the son of
Belus, king of the Spartans -- in which is given the story of one
named "Danaus," who arrived in Greece with his daughters by ship.
According to the legend, his daughters called themselves Danades.
They introduced the cult of the mother goddess, which became the
established religion of the Arcadians and developed over the years
into the worship of Diana. . .The Spartans so loved their king that
they called themselves Danaans -- long before they adopted the name
Also in the legend is a record of the arrival of "colonists from
Palestine." Please note, the man who headed the expedition was named
Danaus. He may well have been of the tribe of Dan, and thus would
have been the progenitor of the ancient Spartans.
In 1928, the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit was discovered in
northern Syria, about a half-mile inland from the coast of the
Mediterranean. In the years following, a team of archaeologists,
digging at the site, uncovered hundreds of cuneiform tablets dating
from about 1200 B.C. One of the tablets recorded a legend. It told of
a king called Aqhat, the son of a man named Danel and his wife
Donatiya. The names of these two parents may well be a clue to the
ancient tribe of Dan which lived in the area in the 12th century
According to the legend, Kothar-wa-Khasis (the god of crafts) made a
beautiful bow for Aqhat, which drew the attention of Anath, the
goddess of war. Anath desired the bow for her arsenal, but Aqhat
rejected her offers for it. In the story, Anath had Aqhat killed by
one of her cohorts, Yatpan, who assumed the form of an eagle. In the
ancient legend, the eagle ate Aqhat. His father, Danet, retrieved
Aqhat's remains from the stomach of the eagle, and buried his son.
Aqhat's sister, Pigat, then went to Yatpan the eagle to revenge her
brother's death. Meanwhile, Danel entered a seven year period of
mouming for Aqhat. " 19. In the cuneiform text, the story ends here,
but many scholars feet there is probably more to the legend.
And why was the legend written? No one is certain. But it could
possibly be symbolic of the tribe of Dan, consumed by the eagle, who
sets out to get revenge, looking forward to that future day when they
will enter a seven year period of mourning. The overtones are
apocalyptic. The story seems somewhat prophetic of that future seven
year period when the tribe of Dan will seek revenge upon the children
of Israel for letting them be driven from their land.
Is it possible that the Danel of the Canaanite legend is the same as
Danaus in the ancient Spartan legend? If they are not the same man,
they may still be of the same tribe.
By the way, not only did the Spartans wear their hair long like
Samson, ascribing a special magical significance to it, but even
Alexander the Great, the youthful king of Macedonia, wore his hair
long. When Alexander approached the city of Jerusalem with his army,
the Jewish high priest welcomed him with open arms. Jerusalem was the
only capital city which did not come under the sword of Alexander. Is
it possible that Alexander the Great was of the tribe of Dan? Was he
perhaps an Israelite of the stock of Abraham?
After the death of Alexander, his world kingdom was divided by his
four generals. One hundred fifty years later, Antiochus Epiphanes,
leader of the Greek province of Syria, invaded Jerusalem and
sacrificed a pig upon the brazen altar. Josephus called him
the "little horn" of Daniel's prophecy -- a prophetic type of the
antichrist. 20. The designation has led many scholars to believe the
future antichrist will be a Syrian. But, though Antiochus Epiphanes
may have been a Syrian general, his lineage goes back to the Greek
general who fell heir to part of Alexander's kingdom. Antiochus
Epiphanes may have been from the tribe of Dan.
The father of Alexander was Philip II, who, in 359 B.C., became the
king of Macedonia and quickly conquered the entire Greek peninsula.
In later years, Philip called a meeting at Corinth of
representatives from all the Greek city states (with the exception
of Sparta). And the delegates to this league of Corinth sat on a
council called the "Synhedrion." As incredible as it may seem, the
parliament of ancient Greece was called by the same name as the
parliament of ancient Israel. They were called the "Sanhedrin."
Is it any wonder that though the Old Testament was written in Hebrew,
the New Testament was written in Greek? It may be more than a
coincidence that the Hebrew alphabet, with its Aleph, Beth, Gimmel is
remarkably similar to the Greek alphabet with its Alpha, Beta, Gamma.
Though the Greeks were a mixture of ancient tribes (as was all of
Europe for that matter), their political leaders may well have been
Danites who migrated from the land of Israel over a thousand years
before the birth of Christ. Perhaps from the ancient Spartans came
the rulers of most of the thrones of Europe -- who carried with them
the symbol of the eagle.
The symbol of imperial Rome was a single headed eagle, but after
Constantine divided the empire in the 4th century A.D., and moved his
throne to Constantinople, a two headed eagle evolved as the symbol of
the Byzantine Roman Empire.
In the ninth century, most of the thrones of Europe were established,
including a huge Jewish kingdom, known as Khazaria - kingdom of the
Khazars. It was located above the Black Sea and offered a refuge for
all of the tribes of the Diaspora. Could the Khazars have been
Danites? Strangely enough, there are four major rivers that ran
through the kingdom of the Khazars emptying into the Black Sea.
There is the Danube, the Dnister, the Dnieber, and the Don. It
appears to have been a common thing for the people of Dan to name
their rivers by their ancient forefather. Even the Jordan river that
weaves like a snake along the eastern border of the land of Israel
is named after the ancient tribe of Dan. Jordan means "the going down
of the Dan."
The kingdom of the Khazars may have been a refuge for all of the
tribes, but their political leaders ruled under the symbol of the two
headed eagle. With all of that evidence, one is tempted to conclude
that the lost tribe of Dan has thus been found. Some scholars believe
that the prophet Ezekiel was referring to the prophet Daniel when he
dampened the hopes of his people for deliverance, in Ezekiel 14:12-
23, by saying that an individual will be saved only if he is
righteous. To stress the point, Ezekiel wrote:
"Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in the land, they
should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness."
Scholars have no problems identifying Noah and Job in the Bible, but
who is the Daniel mentioned by Ezekiel? Is he the great prophet
contemporary with Ezekiel? Or is he the Danel of the Canaanite
legend? In the book of Daniel, the prophet's name is spelled in the
Hebrew, Dny'l. But in Ezekiel's passage, Daniel is spelled Dn'l -
exactly as the name Danel is spelled in the ancient Canaanite legend.
It is possible, then, that Ezekiel made reference not to his
contemporary, but to the ancient tribe of Dan who was predicted to
judge the children of Israel. Ezekiel, nevertheless, declared that
his people would not escape the judgment meted out by the
In Revelation 4:7, a description of four living creatures is given --
each seeming to represent a quarter of the ancient zodiac:
"And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a
calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast
was like a flying eagle."
The lion, calf, and man seem to represent the constellations of Leo,
Taurus, and Aquarius, but the eagle has replaced Scorpio. The
symbolism is powerful. Aquarius, the water bearer, may be a picture
of the first coming of Christ to pour out the Holy Spirit (symbolized
by the water) upon his people. Leo appears to be a picture of the
second coming of Christ to judge the offspring of Dan (symbolized by
the snake, Hydra).
On the other hand, Taurus, the bull, and Scorpio, the transformed
eagle, may represent the tribe of Dan and its quest for the throne.
The name Taurus means "the coming Judge." That is the description
given of Dan by his dying father, Jacob, in Genesis 49:16, "Dan shall
judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel."
The symbol of the eagle has replaced Scorpio in the book of
Revelation, which may be another indication of the tribe of Dan who
refused the symbol of the snake and adopted the symbol of the eagle
in the days of Moses.
On the Gabbatha, or pavement at the fortress of Antonia, where our
Savior stood before Pilate on the day of his crucifixion, there is
an inscription carved in stone. It was discovered in the
archaeological dig made at the site in the early 1930's, and is
considered to mark the spot where our Savior was mocked by the Romans
as "King of the Jews."
Among the pictures carved in the pavement, there is a symbol of
Scorpio -- used as an insignia of the brutal Roman army. The symbol
may have been used interchangeably with the Roman eagle. Both may be
a clue to the progenitors of the Romans, who came from the Trojans,
who came from the Spartans, who admitted to being brothers to the
Jewish people (and of the stock of Abraham) 150 years before the
birth of Christ.
There is an ancient prophecy given in the apocryphal book of II
Esdras which has baffled scholars for hundreds of years. The book was
written during the Babylonian captivity and was published between the
Old and New Testaments for many years. However, it is not regarded as
an inspired part of the Bible. We cannot consider the validity of its
doctrine, but can get a glimpse at early Jewish theology from a
reading of it.
In chapter 11, Esdras, a captive rabbi in Babylon, dreams a dream --
which enlarges upon the eagle plucked from the back of the lion found
in Daniel's vision:
"Then saw I a dream, and, behold, there came up from the sea an
eagle, which had twelve wings, and three heads. 21.
In the vision, the prophet is told that the wings represent a dynasty
of kings who would rule in succession and that the three heads
represented the development (worldwide expansion) of the empire, with
its various divisions. Verses 29 through 35:
"... behold, there awaked one of the heads that were at rest, namely,
it that was in the midst; for that was greater than the two other
"But this head put the whole earth in fear, and bare rule in it over
all those that dwelt upon the earth with much oppression; and it had
the governance of the world more than all the wings that had
"And after this I beheld, and, Io, the head that was in the midst
suddenly appeared no more, like as the wings.
"But there remained the two heads, which also in like sort ruled upon
the earth, and over those that dwelt upon the earth, and over those
that dwelt therein.
"And I beheld, and, Io, the head upon the right side devoured it that
was upon the left side." 22.
The passage is remarkable in view of the history of the Roman Empire.
The head in the middle could be a prophecy of Imperial Rome, which
ruled the world for 666 years. Please note: the head disappeared on
its own. It was not killed. Such was the demise of Imperial Rome. The
empire simply disintegrated in the fourth century.
The other two heads of the eagle could represent the succeeding Holy
Roman Empire which was split under the leadership of Constantine. The
division destroyed its imperial power and weakened Roman rule. Over
the centuries, the Church at Rome devoured the Eastern Orthodox
Church, which ruled from Constantinople. For nearly a thousand years,
the power of the Holy Roman Empire was unchallenged.
The implications of the visionary eagle are incredible. It may well
represent the historical development of the Roman Empire. May I point
out that the Habsburg Dynasty provided most of the emperors of the
Holy Roman Empire from 1273 to 1806. And before that, in A.D. 496,
King Clovis, the grandson of Merovee, was crowned emperor of the
Western Roman Empire following the death of Constantine, and the
division of the government. As incredible as it may seem, the family
crest of the Habsburg Dynasty is a two-headed eagle.
Could the vision of Esdras be accurate after all? His three headed
eagle appears to be an uncanny portrayal of the history and
development of Roman rule -- or perhaps we should say, of Merovingian
rule, for the Roman Empire was started by Aeneas, a Trojan prince,
whose ancestors were Spartans, who claimed to be of the stock of
In the vision of Esdras, he saw a lion come out of the woods and
declare that the last head of the eagle represented the fourth
dreadful beast of Daniel's vision. You may recall, Daniel's fourth
beast had 10 homs, representing a ten nation European confederation
which would attempt to establish the final world government, and
whose leader would be the antichrist.
In chapter 12 of the ancient prophecy, the destruction of the eagle
is described. A lion came out of the woods to proclaim an
interpretation of the eagle. According to the prophecy, the lion
represented the Messiah.
"And it came to pass, whiles the lion spake these words unto the
eagle, I saw,
"And, behold, the head that remained and the four wings appeared no
more, and the two went unto it, and set themselves up to reign, and
their kingdom was small, and full of uproar.
"And I saw, and, behold, they appeared no more, and the whole body of
the eagle was burnt, so that the earth was in great fear..." 23.
In the final stages of the eagle, two leaders are predicted to reign
over a small kingdom full of uproar. That may be a picture of the
proposed world government during the short seven years of the
Tribulation Period. Finally, the eagle will be burned, and all the
world will be in great fear. Could that be a prediction of nuclear
war? The description seems to fit with the other prophecies of the
The symbol of ancient Spartan Greece was an eagle. The symbol of
ancient Trojan Rome was an eagle. The symbol of Germany, which also
claimed descent from the Trojans, was an eagle, and the symbol of
the Habsburg dynasty, which provided the emperors of the Holy Roman
Empire for 500 years was an eagle. In fact, the name Habsburg
means "hawk's castle." The hawk is a part of the same family as the
eagle. There are 260 kinds of eagles. Furthermore, the type of eagle
which lives in the Middle East is called the "hawk eagle." This may
be one of the most important clues to tie their dynasty back to the
ancient Israelite tribe of Dan.
Under Roman domination, the Jewish people suffered unmercifully. But
the leaders of the cruel Roman oppression may have been from the
tribe of Dan. The Jew has suffered in the various countries of
Europe down through the centuries, but those European kings may well
have ben from the tribe of Dan.
They also suffered under the pograms or massacres of the Russian
Czars who came from an ancient tribe known as Varangians, whose
symbol was the double headed eagle. The ninth century Varangians, who
established the Czarist throne of Russia may well have ben
Merovingians of the ancient tribe of Dan. In fact, the symbol of the
Russian bear may have come from the ancient Spartans who lived in the
province of Arcadia in southern Greece. The Word Arcadia means "the
people of the bear."
Perhaps, one day, a descendant of the tribe of Dan will surround
Jerusalem with an army, enter the Jewish sanctuary on the Temple
Mount, commit the prophetic abomination of desolation, establish a
throne on the sacred site and declare himself to be god!
Yes, the prophecy of dying Jacob may be ultimately fulfilled -- as he
said, "Dan shall judge his people."
The Lost Tribe of Dan
1. Baigent, et al., HOLY BLOOD, op. cit., p. 235.
2. Gurney, KINGDOMS OF EUROPE, op. cit., p. 52.
3. Homer, THE ILIAD, Trans. W.H.D. Rouse (New York: Mentor Books,
1960), p. 62.
5. Baigent, et al., op. cit., pp. 238-239.
6. Flavius Josephus, THE WORKS OF JOSEPHUS, Trans. William Whiston,
A.M. (Lynn, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1980), Antiquities of the
Jews, Book XII, Chapter IV, par. 10, p. 256.
7. THE APOCRYPHA (London: Oxford University Press), I Maccabees 12:6-
8. THE HOLY BIBLE, King James Version, Ed. Rev. C.I. Scofield, D.D.
(New York: Oxford University Press, 1945), Judges 14:8.
9. Ibid., Judges, Chapters 16-21.
10. Josephus, WORKS OF JOSEPHUS, op.cit., Antiquities, Book V,
Chapter 111, verse 1, p. 113.
11. "Ireland," THE WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA, op. cit., p. 336.
12. "Mythology/Celtic Mythology," WORLD BOOK, op. cit., p. 822.
13. H.C. Kee, "Testaments Of The Twelve Patriarchs," in THE OLD
TESTAMENT PSEUDEPIGRAPHA, Vol. 1, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Garden
City, NY: Doubleday, 1983), p. 809.
15. Ibid., p. 810.
16. Merrill F. Unger, UNGER'S BIBLE DICTIONARY (Chicago: Moody Press,
1966), pp. 235-236. 17.Josephus,op. CiL,Antiquities,Book XVII,
ChapterVl, par. 2, p. 364.
18. Ibid., par. 3, p. 364.
19. "Ugarit," ZONDERVAN PICTORIAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE BIBLE, Ed.
Merrill C. Tenney (Grand Rapids, NU: Regency Reference Library,
1976), Vol. 5, p. 840.
20. Josephus, op. cit., Antiquities, Book X, Chapter XI, par. 7, p.
21. THE APOCRYPHA, op. CiL, 11 Esdras11:1, p. 38.
22. Ibid., pp. 38-39.
23. Ibid., 11 Esdras 12:1-3, p. 39.