What I'm Reading - The History of the American Indians

The History of American Indians by James Adair Overview and Quotes | Land of Honey

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American Indians have a ton in common with ancient Hebrew culture.

Before I came across this book that was an unknown idea to me. As you guys know I've spent some time studying and considering the Lost Tribes of Israel, and even heard of a few mentions of Hebrew culture showing up in South America, but never here in my own country. I've even read about the possibility of King Solomon sending out workers to what is now Michigan's Upper Peninsula to harvest enormous of copper (see 1 Kings 10:22), but I hadn't really thought about Hebrews staying here. If you grew up being told that Native Americans had somehow arrived in North America from Asia, it is startling to realize, as Adair points out, the Native tribes have almost no similarities to the cultures of Asia. What is even more shocking is just how many strong connections some of these tribes have to the culture of ancient Israel

Who is James Adair?
Born in Ireland around 1709, Adair lead an adventurous life coming to the American colonies where he traded and practiced medicine. He spent something like forty years of his life living among Native American tribes in the south, primarily the Chickasaw. He clearly was convinced that the tribes he interacted with descended from the tribes of Israel, devoting about half the pages of his notes to his observances on this. The book was supposed to teach the English how to interact with the Indians.

According to Adair, American Indians:
-do not bow to others, but bow in religious practice
-call deceitful people snakes
-do not consider the bear as clean as the deer
-priests wear breast plates, a wreath around the head, and an ephod
-paid 10% of their produce to rainmakers
-have a celebration called 'feast of the new-sanctified fruits'
-insult others with the phrase, "you resemble those beaten in Canaan"
-observe ritual washings, even in cold water
-practice marital separation during the woman's menstrual cycle
-married couples stay have a separation of forty days after the birth of a child
-are separated from the tribe for three days after funeral duties
-separate wounded warriors from the camp the same way YHWH instructed Israel to separate the lepers
-had the unmarried brother of the husband marry the widow
-refered to rabbits with a form of the word, "not to meddle with"

Are these tribes observing the instructions of YHWH or are all of these things just coincidental? Perhaps the people living in this country when the Europeans arrived were not as pagan and heathen as we have been told to believe. According to Adair, "The American Indians are so far from being Atheists....that they have the great sacred name of God that describes his divine essence, and by which he manifested himself to Moses." He confirmed that tribes refer to the Deity as Yo He Wah and that name is used in their religious ceremonies. Isn't that incredible?!

Similarities between Native Americans and Hebrew Israelites | Land of Honey

One of the downsides of this book is that it is tough to read. It is written in a more formal, academic way and the 200+ years it's been since the book was written make some passages difficult to understand. He seems to use 'Indian' as a blanket label for the Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Muskogee tribes, but it is not always clear which specifically he is talking about. Something else to be aware of is the word 'Jew' is used incorrectly in place of 'Hebrew.' Since this type of reading is not everyone's cup of tea I thought I would share a few of quotes from the book that I found most interesting as an introduction to a couple of things. Firstly, that the Lost Tribes of Israel are not lost at all to YHWH. He has been faithful to preserve his people through the ages. And also that true history is more connected with Scripture than we realized in middle school social studies.

Quotes from The History of the American Indians:

They flatter themselves with the name hottuk oretoopah, "The beloved people," because their supposed ancestors, as they affirm, were under the immediate government of the Deity who was present with them, in a very particular manner, and directed them by prophets; while the rest of the world were aliens and out-laws to the covenant. -89

The Indian language, and dialects, appear to have the very idiom and genus of the Hebrew. -93

They say, "Yah" at the beginning of their religious dances, with a bowing posture of body. -101

Let us now turn to the copper colour American Hebrews. 141

While dancing they never fail to repeat those notes; and frequently the holy train strike up Halelu, Halelu; then Haleluiah, Halelu-Yah, and Aleluiah and Alelu-Yah. -142 (Whoa! Native Americans knew the phrase hallelujah and used it to praise YHWH!)

And may we not reasonably suppose, that they formerly understood the psalms, or divine hymns? at least those that begin with Halelu-Yah. -142

After which, they go to some convenient deep water, and there, according to the ceremonial law of the Hebrews, they wash away their sins with water. -143

The Indians formerly observed the grand festival of the annual expiation of sin, at the beginning of the first new moon, in which their corn became the full eared. -144 (Compare that with Vayikra 23:39, which tells us celebrate Sukkot to YHWH after the corn has been gathered in.)

...annually observed their festivals, and Neetak-Yah-ah, "days of afflicting themselves before the Deity." -144 (Sounds like Yom Kippur)

He charges them to be sure not to give the children a bad example of eating any unsanctified, or impure food. -150

When the Indians meet at night to gladden and unite their hearts before Yohewah, they say Yohewa-shoo, Yohewa-shoo, Yohewahshee Yohewashee, and Yohewahshai", with much energy. -156 (Very similar to our modern pronunciations of Yahusha or Yahushua.)

That these red savages formerly understood the radical meaning, and emblematic design, of the important words they use in their religious dances and sacred hymns, is pretty obvious, if we consider the reverence they pay to the mysterious divine name Yo He Wah. -156

Indian women always throw a small piece of the fattiest of the meat into the fire when they are eating. -157

They commonly pull their new-killed venison (before they dress it) several times through the smoke and flame of the fire, both by the way of a sacrifice, and to consume the blood, life, or animal spirits of the beast, which with them would be a most horrid abomination to eat. -159

Robert Williams, the first Englishman in New England, who is said to have learned the Indian language, in order to convent the natives, believed them to be Jews...that their language bore some affinity to the Hebrew. -227

Indian women of Canada purify themselves after travail, thirty days for a male child and forty for a female. -238

Isn't it amazing to think that the Native Americans knew the god of Israel? It's important to know that Adair wasn't saying any of these tribes did everything perfectly or had it all of Scripture figured out. Throughout the book he pointed out that some tribes had compromised and defiled themselves by eating unclean animals and so on. He was saying that there is a lot of evidence that suggests these tribes descended from the Twelve Tribes of Israel. 1 Kings 10:22 tells us that King Solomon sent people very far out to collect fine things from all over the world, and it even mentions these journeys took three years, so there is a possible hint of this in Scripture as well.

Have you ever heard of Israelites settling in North America? Which of the quotes really strikes you?
The American Indians knew the set apart name of YHWH! | Land of Honey

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