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King Solomon vs. Christopher Columbus

By Tamar Yonah
10/19/2010, 12:00 AM
Did King Solomon Discover America Way Before Columbus?
Could it be that Jews were in the 'New World' long before the European settlers?  
Historians and Biblical scholars say that Jews were indeed in the 'Americas' in Biblical times. 
Biblical scripture records that King Solomon had a sophisticated navy which voyaged the world in exploration, looking for iron, gold and other materials to build Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.
  
1Kings 9:26-28  "And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. 27 And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. 28 And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon."  

These naval fleets of King Solomon embarked on voyages that sometimes took 3 years before they returned to Israel, bringing back riches and exotic plants and wildlife. 
Naval fleets of King Solomon embarked on voyages that sometimes took 3 years before they returned to Israel.

1 Kings: 10:22 "For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram; once every three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks."
     
 
Many ports, settlements and colonies were established in places all over the Mediterranean, North Africa, as well as Europe  -and the Americas!  Ancient Hebrew inscriptions of the Ten Commandments on the Los Lunas rock, and coins from ancient Israel that were found in the Ohio river basin lead some experts to believe that the first settlers to America were not the Pilgrims, but the Jews and Phoenicians.  The Ohio river was used as a trade line within the continent, which could explain the coins from the time of Bar Kochba, found there.

  
Knowing this well traveled route to the 'new world', did some of the 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom escape on ships to these distant lands to escape the Assyrian onslaught and subsequent exile? Did other Jews fleeing the Roman Empire escape to the New World as well?  Are ancient Jewish people the ancestors of some native American tribes like the Cherokee?

"The story has been kept alive among our Cherokee people that the Sicarii who escaped from Masada, are some of our ancestors who managed to cross the water to this land, and later became known as Cherokees."
There are many similarities to Judaism in some Native American tribes, specifically the Cherokee nation.  The Cherokees were monotheistic, believing in one G-d, as opposed to other Indian tribes who believed in several gods/spirits. Some of the words in the Cherokee's language are similar to Hebrew words of the same meaning, and the name of their G-d was similar to the Hebrew name of G-d.  The Cherokee Indians also celebrated their holidays akin to some Jewish holidays.  They also had one day a week of rest from work, and observed fasts.  They reportedly practiced circumcision, had a city of refuge for man-slayers, and they didn't eat the meat of the hollow of the thigh of an animal.  In addition, their appearance also hints of a possible Jewish ancestry; their 2 braids at the side of their head resembling long sidelocks (payot), the fringes on their clothes resembling TzitTzit (the 'ritual fringes' a Jewish man wears on his 4 cornered garment), and some Cherokees clearly had semitic facial features.
 
Hebrew inscriptions on Los Lunas rock, the Bat Creek stone, ancient Jewish coins found in Ohio along the river basin, the Cherokee Indians, ....all point to some type of Jewish presence and influence, and that needs to be researched  more.
 
Listen to this re-broadcast from 2007, as I interview author and historian, Steve Collins. Hear about the fascinating historical facts that few know, and explore the possibility that Jews arrived and settled in the New World, long before Columbus discovered America.