Life of Rev. Dr. Moses Margoliouth
The Messianic Israel movement is growing worldwide, and incorporates an understanding of the Two Houses of Israel as separate branches of God's people. An upholding of Torah (Biblical Law) principles, Hebraic dress and worship rituals, and faith in Yahshua (Jesus) are also distinctives of this Biblical faith.
Dr. Moses Margoliouth (1819-1871)
Author, "THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS IN GREAT BRITAIN"
"Modern Judaism Investigated"
"An Exposition of the Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah"
and other works
Moses Margoliouth was a learned and respected minister in the Church of England of the nineteenth century. As his name might indicate, he was also of Jewish extraction. Born in Suwalki, Poland in 1818 of Jewish parentage, he arrived in England in 1837 and converted to the Christian faith the following year. McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia notes the following:
“In 1840 he entered Trinity College, Dublin, and, after completing his studies, was ordained in 1844. He held various positions in the Episcopal Church, and at the time of his death, Feb. 25, 1881, he was vicar of Little Linford, near Newport Pagnell, Bucks, England. He is the author of many works: Fundamental Principles of Modern Judaism Investigated (London 1843); The Jews in Great Britain (ibid., 1846); A Pilgrimage to the Land of my Fathers (ibid. 1850, 2 vols.); History of the Jews in Great Britain (1851, 3 vols.); Abyssinia, its Past, Present, and Future (1866); The Spirit of Prophecy (1864); Sacred Minstrelsy: A Lecture on Biblical and Post-Biblical Hebrew Music (1863); The Oracles of God and their Vindication (1870); Vestiges of the Historic Anglo-Hebrews in East Anglia (eod.); The Poetry of the Hebrew Pentateuch (1871); The Lords’ Prayer No Adaptation of Existing Jewish Petitions (1876). Besides, he left a great many works in manuscript.”
A very learned churchman, he earned two doctorates (in Philosophy and Letters). The knowledge and learning he possessed shows clearly in this work, The History of the Jews in Great Britain. Following is a copy of lecture one of six lectures given in 1845 on this subject. A synopsis of this work is as follows:
On page 12, he states that Israel was “trained to be a wandering nation” with “a peculiar migratory disposition” (p. 13) in preparation for “their mighty dispersion” over the earth. Israel’s progenitor, Abraham, was “a type of the same,” or example to those who followed after. Not only that, but Israel was “trained to be a maritime nation,” as well, and “the first colonizing expeditions were performed by water, not by land.” These statements have proven true in history. Other scholars (such as Aylett Sammes in the 17th century), have noted the Hebrew-Phoenician language of the early colonists of Britain, yet want to give the Phoenicians all of the credit by saying that the Hebrews were never known to colonize! On pages 16 to 21, Pastor Margoliouth comments on this Hebrew-Phoenician connection with ancient Britain, and says, “...the conclusion is inevitable, the Israelites must have visited the western countries in the days of Solomon.” (see also page 31) Israel and Phoenicia both spoke the same language in ancient times, but since the nation of Israel far outnumbered the Phoenicians, it is obvious that most “Phoenician” colonization was in reality Israelite. An excellent and authoritative discussion of this subject is covered in Stephen M. Collins book, “Israel's Lost Empires.”
A very interesting discussion of two monuments found in Spain begins on page 22. “A Hebrew epitaph” of great antiquity, reads, “This is the grave of Adoniram, the servant of King Solomon, who came to collect the tribute, and died on the day...” (page 23) Also, “a large stone near the gate of the citadel” in Murviedro, Spain “still retains on the front, two lines in the Hebrew language and characters...’The sepulcher of Adoniram, the servant of King Solomon...’” (page 25)
Pastor Margoliouth sums up this issue well in saying, “I see no reason for disbelieving that there were [Israelites] in Spain in the time of David and Solomon - startling as it may appear...there existed colonies of Hebrews all over the world, in the reigns of David and Solomon...” (page 30)
A fascinating discussion of the language connection with ancient Israel appears beginning on page 32. The name “Britain” itself “is a corruption of the Hebrew words Barat Anach,” or islands of tin. We read that “an eminent Cornish scholar of last century, who devoted a great deal of his time to prove the affinity between the Hebrew and Welsh languages, observes, ‘It would be difficult to adduce a single article or form of construction in the Hebrew grammar, but the same is to be found in Welsh, and that there are many whole sentences in both languages exactly the same in the very words.’” Two columns of quotations follow, showing the connection between the Hebrew and Welsh languages, after which Pastor Margoliouth asks, “where could [the early Britons] have got hold of such whole Hebrew, purely Hebrew, sentences?”
Proper names are next referenced. Kings of ancient Britain often had Hebrew names, such as Solomon (three different kings!), Daniel, Abraham, Asaph, and Adam, “from which circumstance some antiquarians attempted to prove that the Welsh are descendants of the children of Israel.” Pastor Margoliouth expresses that he is being “very moderate” in establishing that at the very least, ancient Israelites had been “mixing with the Britons” in forming the foundation of the modern British people.
Biblical prophetic references to Britain are discussed beginning on page 37. “The command is to declare the Lord’s purpose concerning Israel” in “The isles afar off,” in Jeremiah 31:10 These “were supposed by the ancients to have been Britannia, Scotia, and Hibernia (Ireland).” Again, in Jeremiah 31:7, “For thus saith the Lord, sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations...save thy people, the remnant of Israel.” Pastor Margoliouth avers that, “The prophet seems to behold Britain in his vision. There can be no doubt that Britain is now the chief of the nations. Her monarch’s territory is one upon which the sun never sets.” Yet a third Biblical term is also tied to the British isles. “The expression, ‘The end of the world,’ mentioned in Isaiah 62:11, is also supposed to mean Britain, which was a common appellation for this island in remote ages.”
In the year 1670, a contractor digging the basement for a house in Mark-lane, London, came across an old underground Roman-era vault beneath the pavement. The vault was sealed with a large old Roman-style brick “of curious red clay, and in bas-relief on the front hath the figure of Samson putting fire to the foxes’ tails, and driving them into a field of corn.” An antiquarian of the time, writing about the find, asked, “How the story of Samson should be known to the Romans, much less to the Britains, so early after the propagation of the gospel, seems to be a great doubt, except, it should be said, that some Jews, after the final destruction of Jerusalem, should wander into Britain...”
Lastly, the spread of the Gospel into Britain during the time of the Apostles, is a matter of historical record. “As to St. Paul’s being one of the first heralds of salvation in this island, there can scarcely be any doubt on the subject. Indeed, if we do not believe it we must make up our minds to reject all the hitherto authentic historians.” Dr. Burgess, late Bishop of Sarum, has shown that St. Paul laid the foundation of Britain’s national church. Clemens Romanus, “who was an intimate friend and fellow-laborer of St. Paul, declares in his Epistle to the Corinthians, that ‘St. Paul having been a herald of the Gospel both in the east and in the west, he received the noble crown of faith, after teaching righteousness to the whole world, and gone even. to the utmost bounds of the west’; an expression, well-known to every scholar, that always designated, or at least included, the British Islands.” Theodoret, a learned church historian of the fourth century, ‘mentions Britain among the nations which had received the Gospel.’ He states that “Paul carried salvation to the islands which lie in the ocean.” Jerome soon after said that “St. Paul’s diligence in preaching extended as far as the earth itself.” Venentius Fortunatus, fifth century Bishop of Poitiers, said, “Paul having crossed the ocean, landed and preached in the countries which the Britons inhabit.” Pastor Margoliouth observes that “the greatest men...who spent a great part of their lives in such researches... the learned Ussher, Parker, Stillingfleet, Cave, Camden, Gibson, Godwin, Rapin, and a great many others - have clearly shown that St. Paul was the founder of the British church...yea, the government of the British Christian Church was established and set in proper scriptural order by [Israelites] themselves, be they who they may - Peter, Paul, Simon Zealotes, Joseph of Arimathea.”
Christians owe a debt of gratitude to men like Pastor Moses Margoliouth, who so clearly and correctly show us our relationship to the ancient covenant people, that we may correctly see our responsibilities as that people. –Pastor J.S. Brooks