Watchman Willie Martin Archive

Writing From Left to Right

A common objection raised against the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, Scandinavian, Celtic being Israel is that they cannot possibly be Israelites because the Israelites always wrote from right to left, whereas we write from left to right. Thus Mr. George Goodman, in his pamphlet against Anglo-Israel Identity states,

“It is impossible to conceive of a nation changing its method of writing in so radical a manner.”

It is an acknowledged fact that the early Greeks wrote from right to left, but many years later they wrote from left to right as they still do today. At one period between the use of these two methods of writing they wrote alternately from right to left and left to right. This form of writing was known as “Boustrophedon.”

The Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th Edition, vol. III, page 972, states:

“Boustrophedon: A term descriptive of a peculiar form of writing common among the early Greeks. The direction of writing was alternately right to left and right to left. IT WAS A TRANSITION BETWEEN THE EARLIER RIGHT TO LEFT WRITING AND THE LATER LEFT TO RIGHT STYLE. The term was derived from two Greek words meaning ‘ox’ and ‘to turn,’ from the resemblance of the writing to the winding course taken by oxen in ploughing.”

Even more important for the case, however, is the evidence brought to light by archaeological discovery and referred to by Sir Charles Marston. As he states in his book, “The Bible Comes Alive”:

“The Israelites had, from the time of Moses onwards, at least three alphabetical scripts. First, what is known as Sinai Hebrew; next, what is known as Phoenician Hebrew; and lastly, after the captivity in Babylon, what is known as the Assyrian Hebrew.” (The Bible Comes Alive, by Sir Charles Marston, p. 8, 1938 Edn., page 7, 1944 Edn.)

A few years ago examples were discovered by archaeologists of the oldest of these, the Sinai Hebrew Script. The most important of these discoveries was that of a bowl of red pottery found in a tomb at Lachish in 1931. Across the outside of this bowl was an inscription painted in white letters. This inscription, in the Sinai Hebrew Script, was published in The Times of June 24, 1935, by Mr. J. L. Starkey.

Professor Stephen Langdon, M.A., B.D., Ph.D., F.B.A., late Professor of Assyriology at Oxford University, wrote in a letter to The Times on October 5, 1935, with reference to this inscription:

“The inscription as published in The Times should be inverted and read FROM LEFT TO RIGHT; FOR THIS WAS THE ORIGINAL DIRECTION OF WRITING IN THE SINAI SCRIPT.”

Many opponents of our identity as Israel say we cannot be Israelites because we do not speak Hebrew and because we write from left to right, whereas Hebrew is written from right to left. Many add a further claim that English has no similarity to Hebrew.

Pastor Curtis Clair Ewing, in a cassette tape lecture on this subject, destroys all their arguments with the facts of history. His lecture is titled The Hebraic Origin of the English Language, and the following are a few of his deductions:

First: If we can't be Israelites because we don't speak Hebrew, then the Jews can't be Israelites because they don't speak Hebrew either! Many ministers mistakenly think they do, but most European Jews speak Yiddish, which is a corrupted combination of Russian, Polish, and German. They do use the Hebrew alphabet, but that no more proves they are Hebrews than the Norwegian's use of the Roman alphabet proves they are Italians. The Jews in Palestine are attempting to teach Hebrew, but with little success.

Second: The argument that writing from left to right proves we are not Hebrews is specious. Some claim no nation ever changed its writing that way; but if they would took up the term "boustrophedon" in the Encyclopedia or any large dictionary, they would find it means a style of writing where the lines alternate, right to left, then left to right, and that the Greeks used that style in ancient times, as did the Egyptians, and at one time, even the Irish and the Norsemen. Now they have all changed, although opponents of our Israel identity continue to insist no nation ever changed its style of writing!

Third: Most mistakenly believe there was only one Hebrew language, but there were three. The first was known as Sinai Hebrew; then came the Phoenician Hebrew; and then after the Babylonian Captivity, the Tribe of Judah used what is now called Assyrian Hebrew. Form early examples, it appears the earliest was written from left to right, and later from right to left!

So, early in their Palestine sojourn, they changed their language and style of writing; and every Bible translator knows that at the time of Christ, the Israelites in Jerusalem spoke Aramaic ‑ a THIRD change in less than 2,000 years! To insist the English‑speaking peoples cannot be Israelites because they do not speak the ancient Hebrew or write from right to left is an utterly nonsensical argument.

Finally: The English language is still similar enough to the ancient Hebrew that it must be the ancestor tongue of English! Here are a few testimonies given in Pastor Ewing's lecture:

Rev. Jacob Tomlin of England, in A Comparative Vocabulary of 48 Languages, wrote there was a close  affinity between Hebrew and English, not only in words, but in the arrangement of ideas and the structure of sentences.

William Tyndale, one of the great Reformers and a translator of the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts into the English Language, said the Hebrew agreed more closely with the English than it did with the Latin.

Ferrar Fenton, who translated the Fenton Bible, once wrote a letter to the famous Professor Totten in which Fenton stated that while he was yet an unbeliever, his thorough studies of the ancient languages, including Hebrew, had convinced him the Welsh language was closely aligned with Hebrew and that the English‑ speaking peoples must be racially aligned with the Hebrews!

Pastor Ewing gave much more information to prove the amazing similarity between Hebrew and English and then concluded his lecture with the statement that since English was rapidly becoming the official trade and political language of all nations, the English language may well be the fulfilling of the promise of God to Israel in Zephaniah 3:9.

For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent. If it is God's purpose to make English the universal language, that would explain the desperate attempts of the enemies of God and America to make our nation bi‑lingual by bringing in Spanish, French (in Canada), even Indian languages, and Swahili for the Blacks. They are attempting to frustrate God's purpose, but they will not be successful, just as their attempts to destroy America SHALL FAIL.

One final comment on language. Some years ago the American networks televised the investiture of Prince Charles of England as the Prince of Wales. At one point a TV commentator asked Sir Richard Burton of Wales a question about the Welsh people and in his answer Sir Richard included this phrase, "the ancient Welsh language is almost pure Hebrew." Millions of Americans heard that ‑ further testimony to God's Saxon Race of their Hebrew ancestry

.       After Israel went into captivity, they were to lose their language and take or form another.

“For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people.” (Isaiah 28:11)

We will all agree that the English language is not the Hebrew; and if we are Israelites, then indeed, God is speaking to us in another tongue, for few of us read His Word in Hebrew.

It is read to the millions in the English; hence the millions hear God speak to them in another tongue than that of Hebrew. Between the English and Hebrew languages there is an intimate relation, especially back a few years, before the English had Grown so much. The Hebrew was a very limited language; not numbering more than 7,000 words. The English is now said to number about 80,000. The most lavish writer does not use over 10,000; the common average is about 3,000. In the English we have not less than 1,000 Hebrew roots. This, comparing the languages of a few years back, is a large percentage . In names of persons and places the Hebrew is very prominent in England.

     Therefore, it would appear, that the English language is of Divine origin. Men have written on the origin of language from every standpoint; the majority of them trying to account for its existence without allowing so noble a source.

The first man, Adam, many believe, could talk as easily and naturally as he could see, and hear, and taste. Speech was a part of his endowment. There is nothing more wonderful to a man talking than a bird singing, save that speech is a higher order of utterance. Dumb nature performs marvels every day as mighty and wonderful as man’s talking.

The honey-bee builds its cells, ignorant of the fact that such construction is the solution of a problem which had troubled men for centuries to solve. At what point shall certain lines meet so as to give the most room with the least material and have the greatest strength in the building?

This problem is said to have been worked out by a Mr. McLaughland, a noted Scotch mathematician, who arrived at his conclusion by laborious and careful calculation. To his surprise and to  the surprise of the world, such lines and such a building were found in the common bee cell. Now we hold that the same Creator who gave to the bee the mathematical instinct could endow man with the instinct of speech.

Even to animal instinct we find a certain variation and permitted latitude in what is called adaptive instinct. So in man we find this same instinct of adaptation in a higher sense. The instinct comes into play when we suppose a number of persons separated from others, each living in different quarters of the globe.

In such a condition, though of the same language when first separated, they would not remain so long; that is, in the primitive state of society. Thus among the tribes of Africa, at this day, languages are widening and varying from a once common center. So Israel in captivity would lose the Hebrew gradually.

The language of the people among whom they settled was the Sanskrit, from which a score of languages have come; the German, French, and Italian, Saxon and others. The Saxon of today, compared with the Saxon of 2,000 years ago, is very different; so much so that for us to learn and speak it would be equal to learning a new language.

Thus the English language is a thing of growth. In the year 1362 the Saxon was made the court language of England. From that time onward its growth has been great and wonderful. The English is derived from the Hebrew. (The Word, The Dictionary That Reveal The Hebrew Source of English, by Isaac E. Mozeson)

The prophetic outlets and Divine place of this language may be seen in the German foundations, which give to it such vigor, tenacity, and capabilities of expansion. All the features of this language go to show that it has become the medium of the world’s intercourse, and it very suitably belongs to Israel, in whose hand will be the destiny of the world.

It is the lion of languages. It will grow anywhere, and by reason of its tenacity when once it gets a foothold it abides. It is peculiarly suited to the humanities of every race, clime, and condition; there is no limit to its expansive adaptability. It is in a special manner voracious in the destruction of other languages; wherever it goes, it sounds the death-knell of all the rest.

Thus it appears that not only the Greeks, but also the Israelites changed the direction of their writing. The fact that the Greeks changed their method of writing in this radical manner would provide a sufficient answer to the objection raised. How much more weighty still is the fact that the Israelites did actually change their method of writing in this radical way, but also changed to an entirely different language altogether.

If they thus altered their method of writing in this way once, while still using the same language, how many less impossible is it to conceive of their having again changed their direction of writing after they had lost their Hebrew language and adopted the languages of the peoples among whom they moved during their banishment from Palestine. Thus a knowledge of the historical facts clearly solves this apparent but oft-repeated difficulty.

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