Why is the Behistun Rock Important?

The Behistun Rock is an important monument in Iran created by Darius the Great (Darius Hystaspes) in 515 B.C. to proclaim his great accomplishments. It is significant because it reveals the names used to identify the Lost Tribes of Israel. The incription records in three languages -- Persian, Babylonian, and Elamite (Median or Susian) -- the names of twenty-three provinces subject to him. In the Persian and Susian versions one of these provinces is called Scythia, the root of which is, phonetically, Sak. In the Babylonian text this province is called “(matu) Gi-mi-ri”, translated “land of the Cimmerians.” The Behistun Rock inscription establishes that the Sacae lived in the land of the Cimmerians (modern north-west Persia) and that they formed part of the agglomeration of peoples known to the ancients as Scythians.

Listed are the nations and peoples he conquered and ruled as the king of the Medo-Persian empire. Sir Henry C. Rawlinson is mainly responsible for the decipherment of the inscriptions. It's interesting that Rawlison accomplished the feat of scaling the rock face while copying the inscriptions, and in 1840 deciphering the texts, all by the age of thirty! The text contains many references that link Darius' subjects with the Israelites. The name "Kana", which is Canaan, appears 28 times. We also have a man named "Sarocus the Sacan who wears a hebrew hat. Included in the nations listed is the Sakka. The term Sakka in Persian and Elamite becomes Gimri in Babylonian. Let me add here that Assyrian and Babylonian are virtually the same. In the sculpture we see King Darius facing nine captives, which are secured by the neck with a rope. A tenth is under the King's foot. Each of these men is differently dressed. Across the bottom and up one side are many panels containing the story of Darius' conquests. There is also a large section of supplementary text.

The Behistun Rock inscriptions are confirmed in two other places: Darius' tomb, and a gold tablet. The gold tablet again mentions the conquering of the Sakka, while the tomb inscription expands the evidence by talking about three different kinds of Sakka. In all cases, the same name in Babylonian was Gimri. The Sakka comes from Isaac and becomes Saxon. Gimri comes from Khumri (out of the Biblical name Omri) and goes through Gimmira and the Greek Kimmerioi to Cimmerian. Almost all those names we learned in European history are traceable to the Sakka, Gimri and Scythians. George Rawlinson, Sir Henry Rawlinson's younger brother, connected the Saka/Gimiri of the Behistun Inscription with deported Israelites:

"We have reasonable grounds for regarding the Gimirri, or Cimmerians, who first appeared on the confines of Assyria and Media in the seventh century B.C., and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock, nearly two centuries later, as identical with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel." - George Rawlinson, note in his translation of History of Herodotus, Book VII, p. 378. The inscription connects the people known in Old Persian and Elamite as Saka, Sacae or Scythian with the people known in Babylonian as Gimirri or Cimmerian. This is important because the Assyrian's referred to the Northern Kingdom of Israel in their records as the "House of Khumri", named after Israel's King Omri of the 8th century BCE. Phonetically "Khumri", "Omri", and "Gimiri" are similar. The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser, now in the British Museum, calls the Israelites of the ten-tribed House of Israel Beth-Khumri, or "The House of Omri" (Omri was pronounced Khumri, the initial vowel being gutteral), after Omri, one of the most notorious of their kings (I Kings 16:16). It is well known that our Anglo-Saxon ancestors at one time inhabited the region now known as the Crimea. The Bible Research Handbook also points out that, “The name ‘Gimiri’ …is phonetically close to ‘Khumri’, the name by which the Ten Tribes were known to the Assyrians… According to [Assyrian scholar] Pinches the kh was pronounced -g.”

Sir Henry Rawlinson comments on the final column above as follows: “Of the thirty-five lines which compose a supplementary half column, divided into 6 paragraphs, it is impossible to give a complete translation, one side of the tablet being entirely destroyed. From such portions as are decipherable it appears to contain an account of two other revolts; one in Susiana, conducted by a man named, …..imim; and the other by Saku’ka, the chief of the Sacae, who dwelt upon the Tigris.” To summarize, it is a well-proven fact that the people known in Assyrian as Khumri (which is phonetically the same as Gimiri or Cimmerian) were the House of Israel. The Behistun Rock further proves that these ‘Gimiri’ were the same people as the ‘Saka’ (which is phonetically the same as both ‘Isaac’ and ‘Scythians’). Therefore, all five of these ancient tribal names, Saka, Scythian, Cimmerian, Gimiri, and Khumri are identified as Israelites, as they were known in other languages. Following is an important excerpt from Darius’ long inscription.


Assyrian name for Israel on Shalmaneser’s Black Obelisk was KHUMRI
Babylonian equivalent pronounced similar to Assyrian Khumri was GIMIRI
Behistun Rock inscription identifies the people called Gimiri (1 Ki. 16:16) as the SAK or SACAE
Bible refers to Israel as the House of Isaac (Amos 7:16), phonetic equivalent to SAK or SACAE
Historians identify the Sak or Sacae who overspread Europe as the SCYTHIANS
Historians identify the Gimiri who overspread Europe as the CIMMERIANS


History of the Anglo-Saxons


The following extract from The History of the Anglo-Saxons, 6th edition of 1836, pages 96-102, by Sharon Turner, F.A.S. & R.A.S.L. is given below:

The first appearance of the Scythian tribes in Europe may be placed, according to Strabo and Homer, about the eighth, or according to Herodotus, in the seventh century before the Christian era. Herodotus likewise states, that the Scythians declared their nation to be more recent than any other, and that they reckoned only one thousand years between Targitaos, their first king, and the aggression of Darius. The first scenes of their civil existence, and of their progressive power, were in Asia, to the east of the Araxes. Here they multiplied and extended their territorial limits, for some centuries, unknown to Europe. Their general appellation among themselves was Scoloti, but the Greeks called them Scythians, Scuthoi or Nomades.

To this judicious and probable account of Herodotus, we add the information collected by Diodorus. He says, that the Scythians, formerly inconsiderable and few, possessed a narrow region on the Araxes; but, by degrees, they became more powerful in numbers and in courage. They extended their boundaries on all sides; till at last they raised their nation to great empire and glory.

One of their kings becoming valiant and skillful in the art of war, they added to their territory the mountainous regions about the Caucasus, and also the plains towards the ocean, and the Palus Maeotis, with the other regions near the Tanais. In the course of time they subdued many nations, between the Caspian and the Maeotis, and beyond the Tanais. Thus, according to Diodorus, the nation increased, and had kings worthy of remembrance. The Sakai, the Massagetai, and the Arimaspoi, drew their origin from them.

The Massagetai seem to have been the most eastern branch of the Scythian nation. Wars arising between them and the other Scythic tribes, an emigration from the latter took place according to the account which Herodotus selects, as in his opinion the most authentic, which occasioned their entrance into Europe. Such feuds and wars have contributed, more than any other cause, to disperse through the world its uncivilized inhabitants.

The emigrating Scythians crossed the Araxes, passed out of Asia, and invading the Kimmerians, suddenly appeared in Europe in the seventh century before the Christian era. Part of the Kimmerians flying into Asia Minor, some of the Scythian hordes pursued them; but, turning in a direction different from that which the Kimmerians traversed, they missed their intended prey, and fell unintentionally upon the Medes. They defeated the Medes, pressed on towards Egypt, and governed those parts of Asia for twenty-eight years, till Coaxers, the king of Media, at last expelled them.

The Scythian tribes however continued to flock into Europe; and, in the reign of Darius, their European colonies were sufficiently numerous and celebrated to excite the ambition of Babylon; but all his efforts against them failed. In the time of Herodotus, they had gained an important footing in Europe. They seem to have spread into it, from the Tanais to the Danube, and to have then taken a westerly direction; but their kindred colonies, in Thrace, had extended also to the south. Their most northward ramification in Europe was the tribe of the Roxolani, who dwelt above the Borysthenes, the modern Dnieper.

It would be impertinent to the great subject of this history, to engage in a minuter discussion of the Scythian tribes. They have become better known to us, in recent periods, under the name of Getae and Goths, the most celebrated of their branches.

As they spread over Europe, the Kimmerian and Keltic population retired towards the west and south. In the days of Caesar, the most advanced tribes of the Scythian, or Gothic race, were known to the Romans under the name of Germans. They occupied all the continent but the Cimbric peninsula, and had reached and even passed the Rhine. One of their divisions, the Belgae, had for some time established themselves in Flanders and part of France; and another body, under Ariovistus, were attempting a similar settlement near the centre of Gaul, which Caesar prevented. It is most probable that the Belgae in Britain were descendants of colonists or invaders from the Belgae in Flanders and Gaul.

The names Scythians and Scoloti were, like Galli and Kimmerians, not so much local as generic appellations. The different tribes of the Scythians, like those of the Kimmerians and Gauls, had their peculiar distinctive denominations.

The Saxons were a German or Teutonic, that is, a Gothic or Scythian tribe; and of the various Scythian nations which have been recorded, the Sakai, or Sacae are the people from whom the descent of the Saxons may be inferred, with the least violation of probability. Sakai-suna, or the sons of the Sakai, abbreviated into Saksun, which is the same sound as Saxon, seems a reasonable etymology of the word Saxon. The Sakai, who in Latin are called Sacae, were an important branch of the Scythian nation. They were so celebrated, that the Persians called all the Scythians by the name of Sacae; and Pliny, who mentions this, remarks them among the most distinguished people of Scythia. Strabo places them eastward of the Caspian, and states them to have made many incursions on the Kimmerians and Treres, both far and near. They seized Bactriana, and the most fertile part of Armenia, which, from them, derived the name Sakasina; they defeated Cyrus; and they reached the Cappadoces on the Euxine. This important fact of a part of Armenia having been named Sakasina, is mentioned by Strabo in another place; and seems to give a geographical locality to our primeval ancestors, and to account for the Persian words that occur in the Saxon language, as they must have come into Armenia from the northern regions of Persia.

That some of the divisions of this people were really called Saka-suna, is obvious from Pliny; for he says, that the Sakai, who settled in Armenia, were named Sacassani, which is but Saka-suna, spelt by a person unacquainted with the meaning of the combined words. And the name Sacasena, which they gave to the part of Armenia they occupied, is nearly the same sound as Saxonia. It is also important to remark, that Ptolemy mentions a Scythian people, sprung from the Sakai, by the name of Saxones. If the Sakai, who reached Armenia, were called Sacassani, they may have traversed Europe with the same appellation; which being pronounced by the Romans from them, and then reduced to writing from their pronunciation, may have been spelt with the x instead of the ks, and thus Saxones would not be a greater variation from Sacassani or Saksuna, than we find between French, Francois, Franci, and their Greek name, Phraggi; or between Spain, Espagne, and Hispania.

It is not at all improbable, but that some of these marauding Sakai, or Sacassani, were gradually propelled to the western coasts of Europe, on which they were found by Ptolemy, and from which they molested the Roman Empire, in the third century of our era. There was a people called Saxoi, on the Euxine, according to Stephanus. We may consider these also, as a nation of the same parentage; who, in the wanderings of the Sakai, from Asia to the German Ocean, were left on the Euxine, as others had chosen to occupy Armenia. We may here recollect the traditional descent of Odin preserved by Snorre in the Edda and his history. This great ancestor of the Saxon and Scandinavian chieftains is represented to have migrated from a city, on the east of the Tanais, called Asgard, and a country called Asaland, which imply the city and land of the Asae or Asians. The cause of this movement was the progress of the Romans. Odin is stated to have moved first into Russia, and thence into Saxony. This is not improbable. The wars between the Romans and Mithridates involved, and shook most of the barbaric nations in these parts, and may have excited the desire, and imposed the necessity of a westerly or European emigration.”

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