Book Write-Up: Judah’s Scepter and the Sacred Stone

D.A. Brittain.  Judah’s Scepter and the Sacred Stone.  First Edition Design Publishing, 2016.  See here to buy the book.

Judah’s Scepter and the Sacred Stone is a novelization of an Anglo-Israelite view promulgated by J.H. Allen, and later popularized by Herbert W. Armstrong.  This view is that, after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 587 B.C.E. by the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah took Teia, the daughter of King Zedekiah of Judah, to Ireland, where she married Eochaid, an Irish prince.  Eochaid himself was descended from the Israelites: from Zarah the son of Judah and the tribe of Dan.  Teia and Eochaid became the basis for the Irish, the Scottish, and the English monarchies.  As a descendant of David, Teia continued the Davidic reign, thereby fulfilling God’s promise that the Davidic dynasty would be perpetual.  Accompanying Jeremiah and Teia was the stone on which the patriarch Jacob slept on the night that he had a vision (see Genesis 28:18), the stone that provided the Israelites with water in the wilderness after the Exodus.  This stone would play a significant role in British coronation ceremonies.

This is just a summary of the view, not an endorsement of it.  There are arguments that can be made against it.  To quote Malcolm Nicholson’s informative and thorough blog post, “The Case Against British Israelism”:

“British-Israelites have butchered the Irish legends. Tea was the daughter of Lughaidh, son of Ith, not Zedekiah, son of Josiah. Her mother-in-law was the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh. Tea married Erimon in Spain, not Ireland and he was a descendant of Magog, son of Japheth, not Judah’s son Zarah. This is supposed to have taken place around 1300 BC, not after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC.”

That said, while D.A. Brittain appears to be a believer in the Anglo-Israelite scenario regarding Teia, she still acknowledges in an Afterword that the evidence is not air-tight.

Brittain’s book begins and ends with the coronation of Prince Charles in England.  In the middle of the book is the story of Teia.  Babylon is destroying Jerusalem, and Judahites are pressuring each other to flee to Egypt, against Jeremiah’s advice.  Jeremiah goes there with Teia, and not all of the Judahites successfully maintain their commitment to the God of Israel amidst Egyptian paganism.  Teia eventually meets Eochaid and the two form a strong connection.  Jeremiah informs Eochaid of Eochaid’s Israelite heritage, of which Eochaid has a vague knowledge.  Eochaid is a worshiper of the pagan god Baal, however, and the Druids are a powerful force in his country.  Jeremiah encourages him to forsake paganism for the worship of the God of Israel.

As far as stories go, this one was all right.  It is not “meh” enough to get three stars, but it was not dazzling enough to receive five stars.  The book is not incredibly deep, but it had a comfortable feel to it. It somewhat had a dramatic “Ten Commandments” (the Cecil B. Demille version of the 1950’s) feel to it.

Although the author draws a lot from Anglo-Israelite literature, some of what she says about the Druids may be based on ancient sources, as Julius Caesar claimed (correctly or incorrectly) in De bello gallico. 6.13–18 that they performed human sacrifice. 

Brittain depicted religious tension in the book, as different religious beliefs dialogued and even clashed, and she appears to have tried to do so in an empathetic manner.  That made the book interesting. 

At the end of the book, characters set in the modern day allege that Christ will return in 2033, a Jubilee year, after the blood moons.  Brittain may believe this, but, through her characters, she acknowledges that the evidence (if one can call it that) is not totally iron-clad.  Brittain also refers to rabbinic eschatological references, which may be worth checking out (at least for educational or intellectual purposes, to see what others believed).

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Bookcrash.  My review is honest.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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