by Garry Bryant / Gariadh Ó Briain
[Article 1 of 3]
So intricately intertwined are the stories of the Lia Fáil, Stone of Scone, Jeremiah "the Prophet," and Teia Tephi that to separate them would be having to retell sections of the story each time, but to do so would be over fifty pages; this article is concerning the history of the Lia Fáil
Stone and Jeremiah "the Prophet," but remember that this article is intertwined with the next two articles about Jeremiah and Hebrew princess Tea Tephi.
Great is the controversy concerning the three topics. Many academics and historians consider this story to be a total fabrication of someone's imagination that has derailed many folks from science and true history. On the other side of the debate are those who believe in the scriptures found in the Bible, the interpretation of the passages and the hieroglyphics. That the emphasis on science is a distraction from learning the truth.
Legends and myths have some degree of truth to them, some have more truth then others, but to what percentage is really unknown. Personally I feel there is some truth to these legends and as such I am convinced that there is something here, but . . . I do have reservations. The burial mounds in the Boyne Valley and New Grange have been proven to have been constructed before the Great Pyramids of Egypt. The science of DNA has shown that the Irish and northern Spain have a link; that the Irish are not related with the rest of Europe, this gives support to the ancient legends of having truth in them.
In the end it comes down to one must have faith, and faith is not having a perfect knowledge of things which are none-the-less true. (The most widely accepted translation of the Bible that has been used for this article is the King James Version.) Following is what I have discovered in my research and my advice to the reader is research this topic yourself, meditate on it, if need be pray about it - come to your own conclusion.
The Bethel / Lia Fáil Stone
In mythology, the Stone, and sacred stones in general, were said to provide sacred kingship and it is but a small step to link this “Seat” with the “Perilous Seat” of the Grail legends, as well as with the magical "sword in the stone" that only releases the sword when the righteous king takes hold of it (King Arthur legend). The most infamous of this type of stone is "The Bethel Stone," which has a long history as a witness to historic moments.
Genesis 28: 10-14, 16-21:
10: "And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
11: . . . and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12: And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13: And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham they father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed:
14: And they seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. . . .
16: And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
17: And he was afraid, and said, . . . this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
18: And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
19: And he called the name of that place Bethel: . . .
20: And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, . . . then shall the LORD be my God:
21: And this stone which I have set for a pillar shall be God's house: . . ."
(Jacob's pillow was anointed with oil and set apart as God's House.)
Jacob was fleeing from his older brother Esau for having just received the 'birthright' from their father Isaac. When night fell Jacob gathered together some stones and used one as his pillow. During the night he had a dream of a ladder reaching to Heaven and angels descending and ascending on this ladder from Heaven to earth. Also he wrestled with God, who informed him that his descendants would be as numerous as the dust, and hence changed Jacob's name to Israel, and in time Israel was the father of twelve sons whose descendants would make up the nation of Israel. Jacob setup the stone which he had used as his pillow as a pillar to mark the spot, for surely it was sacred or holy ground, and anointed the stone with oil stating that the stone was the "House of God" on earth.
When famine so stripped the land eleven brothers and their families and servants fled to Egypt where to their surprise the missing brother Joseph was found. The stone seems to have traveled with them. Four hundred years later the Tribe of Israel left Egypt and spent forty years trying to become worthy to enter the Promised Land that God had covenanted with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
After Joshua had conquered the Promised Land and divided it among the 12 Tribes (Israel), he reminded them that they must ever be loyal to God and keep the Commandments, and he set up a stone as a monument of witness:
Joshua 28:26-27 -
26 - ". . . and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak,... 27 - . . . Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, least ye deny your God."
What more fitting witness could there be, but the stone which was "God's House." [NOTE: speculation that this was the Bethel Stone. Garaidh Ó Briain.]
Later at the town of Shechem, Abimelech was crowned king at the "pillar" in 1150 B.C.
Judges 9:1 & 6
1 - "Then Abimelech the son of Jerubbabel went to Shechem . . ."
6 - "And all the men of Shechem gathered together and made Abimelech king beside the terebinth at the pillar that was in Shechem."
It appears that the pillar of stone that the anointed king would stand by continued down to even the period when the House of David was established into a lawful monarchy, it was the custom that the king be crowned standing by the "pillar" or monument:
2 Kings 11: 12 & 14:
12 - "And he brought forth the king's son and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands and said, God save the king.
14 - . . . behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced . . ."
Jeremiah ben Hilkiah
Son of a priest named Hilkiah, Jeremiah was from the town of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. Anathoth was a priestly town, and belonged to the line of Ithamar, who was the fourth son of Aaron (II Chronicles 24: 3 & 6), and Jeremiah resided at Libnah.
2 Kings 24:18 - "Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah."
Jeremiah tends to get lumped in with Isaiah, Ezekiel, and others. He is often called "the complainer" because of his many complaints about Israel's people and life's conditions to God. He was the maternal grandfather of King Zedekiah, and he held a high level position in the kingdom of Judah as an advisor. Most importantly, Jeremiah was God's 'Trustee of the Bloodline' of the throne of David. [Anthony W. Ivins, "Israel in History and Genealogy," The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. Vol. XXIII; January 1932, pp. 1-7. (FHL-USA/CAN 978.2 H25v, v23.) NOTE: hereafter called Ivins.]
Scholars have been puzzled by God's commission given to Jeremiah. One can find where Jeremiah rooted out, pulled down, destroyed, and threw down kingdoms and history makes valid his prophecies about the destruction of kingdoms. What is the meaning to the scripture that Jeremiah is to "build and plant?" The scriptural account doesn't contain any building and planting, and there is some confusion about him being put "over the nations." It would appear that "over the nations" meant his prophesying against them, but this isn't the case, or so it appears.
Jeremiah 1:5 - "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
Jeremiah 1:10 - "See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."
By reading history one can very quickly see the rooting out, and the pulling down of kingdoms and nations that the Hebrew prophet succeeded at; what of the building and planting?
The reigning king of the Kingdom of Judah was Zedekiah, who's reign was but eleven years. Zedekiah and the people of Judah had broken God's Covenant and didn't like the threats Jeremiah was delivering on God's behalf, so God sent king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to lay siege to and destroy Jerusalem. Zedekiah did not like God's message and so decided to punish the messenger and put him in prison, but not before Jeremiah had time to follow God's instructions to save the sacred things of the Temple, which included the 'Ark of the Covenant,' the 'Tabernacle,' and probably 'The Bethel Stone.'
At the end of the eleven year reign of King Zedekiah (584 B.C.), God informs his Prophet that he will travel to an unknown place where he will be safe:
Jeremiah 15:11 & 14
11 - "The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.
14 - And I will make thee to pass with thine enemies into a land which thou knowest not: . ."
Before Jeremiah was born the great Hebrew prophet Isaiah prophesied:
Isaiah 41: 2-3
2 - "Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? . . .
3 - He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet."
A "righteous man from the east" was put over nations and kings, and would not travel by foot (on land).
Jeremiah 41:10 - During this invasion ". . . Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah. . . ." So this verse establishes that Judah's king also had daughters. Was Jeremiah with the king's daughters at Mizpah? The answer is unknown.
The kingdom of Judah and it's king suffered all this because they had betrayed their Covenant with their God who sent Nebuchadnezzar to punish Zedekiah. Babylon's king honored Jeremiah and released him from prison and gave him free rein to do as he was commanded by his God. What God had told Jeremiah that he'd be treated kindly by the Babylonians was true. Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe, is also spared.
With the invasion of the Babylonians into Judea, God told his prophet to gather 'The Ark' and other sacred things and hide them from being captured.
2 Maccabees, 2:4-7 - “It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet [Jeremiah], being warned of God, commanded the Tabernacle and the Ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God. And when Jeremiah came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it. Which, when Jeremiah perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that ‘God’ gather His people again together, and receive them unto mercy.”
Jeremiah, as the girls grandfather would certainly have assumed the position of guardian, obtained the release of his granddaughters captured at Mizpah. King Solomon who had built the Temple, where it is believed 'The Ark of The Covenant' was hidden along with Jacob's Pillow/Pillar, aka the Bethel / Lia Fail Stone. The Ark of The Covenant is the sacred box inside which The Torah and The Stone Tablets of The Ten Commandments were written, are kept, along with Aaron's rod that budded, and a bowl of manna.
What of the building and planting question mention earlier? This charge of God to Jeremiah had nothing to do with things physical, but spiritual. To ensure that the promise made to king David was kept, a planting and rebuilding of the Davidic line or House of Israel was the final call given to the Hebrew prophet. Jeremiah was God's 'Trustee of the Bloodline' of the throne of David. [Anthony W. Ivins, "Israel in History and Genealogy," The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. Vol. XXIII; January 1932, pp. 1-7. (FHL-USA/CAN 978.2 H25v, v23.) NOTE - Hereafter referred to as Ivins.]
The probable number in Jeremiah's traveling band was five: Jeremiah, Baruch, Teia/Tamar Tephi (translated her name means 'beautiful palm'), her sister and hand maiden (some versions have an Ethiopian named Ebed-Melech to make six), and forced by Jonothan into a caravan of escaping Jews to Egypt where they settled at Taphpanhes (Tanis) for safety (which is why; in the famous film, made by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, called "Raiders of The Lost Ark;" they say that Tanis is the last-known resting-place of The Ark and that is why they start to look for The Lost Ark, in Tanis). [John E.Wall, "Jeremiah in Ireland: Proof from the Bible and the Irish Annals." http//www.originofnations.org/books,%20papers/jeremiah_in_ireland.htm, accessed 29 Jan 2004. NOTE - hereafter referred to as Wall.]
At Tanis in Egypt appears an old man, a scribe, and young ladies of whom the old man said were his granddaughters, and a large box which the old man guarded jealously. [Ivins, p.6.]
In Egypt the pharaoh adopted Zedekiah's dau-ghters as his own daughters and gave them a palace at Tanis, still called today, "Quasr bint el Jehudi" (Palace of the daughters of Judah/Jew's daughters), where they stayed for some time, until Jeremiah was warned by God that Nebuchadnezzar was going to attack Egypt and that they must leave and proceed back to their homeland. [Ivins, p.7.]
After some time the Prophet was contacted again with a message to those who took refuge in Egypt:
24 - "Moreover Jeremiah said unto all the people, and to all the women, Hear the Word of the "I AM", all Judah that [are] in the land of Egypt:
25 - Thus saith the "I AM" Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.
26 - Therefore hear ye the Word of the "I AM", all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by My great name, saith the "I AM", that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord "I AM" Liveth.
27 - Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that [are] in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them.
28 - Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah,* and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, Mine, or theirs.
29 - And this [shall be] a sign unto you, saith the "I AM", that I will punish you in this place, that ye may know that My words shall surely stand against you for your evil [in worshipping the queen of heaven (verse 25 above)]:
30 - Thus saith the "I AM"; Behold, I will give Pharaohhophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life."
Jeremiah 46:14 - "Declare ye in Egypt, and publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph and in Tahpanhes (Tanis): say ye, Stand fast, and prepare thee; for the sword shall devour round about thee."
In another version two of the granddaughters and a handmaid died at Tanis, "for they loved the fleshpots of Egypt more." [Wall.]
The Prophet of Judah and company returned to their homeland.
Although it would appear that the patriarchal lineage of Zedekiah came to an end and thus a line that ascended to King David had ended, yet God's promise to David that his seed would last forever and Isaiah's prophecy needed to be fulfilled.
Psalm 89:36 - "His (David's) seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the 'sun' before Me."
Isaiah again helps with a last bit of confirmation:
Isaiah 37:31 - "And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward."
Only one country's history tells of an old man, and his scribe Baruch/Brug bringing a king's daughter from Egypt with a box he guarded jealously - Ireland.
To the Emerald Isle
The company boarded a ship from Tyre and sailed to Spain [some versions state specifically Gibraltar] of an old man, his secretary of the name Baruch, Tamar/Tea/Teia Tephi [aka "the tender twig"], and a younger sister [some versions name her as Scotia]. Here they would remain for a short period of time, Scotia married into the House of Spain. This traveling company was now reduced to four, and again set sail for the western most isle where they arrived with a large box that was guarded jealously. [Ivins, p.7.]
Although, due to the bards embellishing the story, accounts of Jeremiah's arrival and work in Ireland differ in some details, the basic elements of each tale are the same.
The Stone, known as the "Stone of Destiny" came from Spain,
High-King of Ireland at this time was Eochaidh II Ollothair mac Duach, and he solicited the hand of the young maiden in marriage. The old man agreed under one condition, the king would accept the religion the old man would teach. The king agreed, the ceremony performed, and the religion, which was nothing but the 'Mosaic Law' was established in Ireland. Today their bodies are believed to lay in the Mound of Hostages burial mound at Tara (Tara is Gaelic version of Tamar). [Ivins, 7.] [Wall.]
Arriving at the Emerald Isle, Ulster legends relate that Jeremiah's party landed at Carrickfergus in north-east Ireland, before travelling to the royal county of Meath, where the High-King resided. [Wall.] [another version gives their landing place as Howth outside of Dublin.] The year was 583 B.C..
At this time the island was ruled by ten kings, and one of the kings was appointed High-King, under who's banner the other kings and warriors fought when the island was threatened by outside forces. No threat, the kings warred with one another.
What is important to understand is that this union between Ireland and Israel, enabled the blood-line of King David of Israel, to continue throughout history. This bloodline flows through the royal House of Scotland, Wales, England, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands to this day.
The Lia Fáil Stone
From the time of 583 B.C to circa 500 A.D. the High-Kings of Ireland were anointed and crowned upon The Bethel Stone or Jacob's Pillar/Pillow. The name ‘The Stone of Destiny’ has come about from a poor English translation of the Gaelic words ‘Lia,’ a great stone, and‘Fáil,' meaning fatal; hence ‘fate’, and subsequently ‘destiny’ (pronounced Leeha Faul). However, the ‘Lia Fáil’ was originally known to the Irish as the ‘Lia Faileas and Faileas doesn’t mean fate at all, but rather spectral, or spiritual shadow. It appears that this confusion has come about from a perfectly simple word contraction made a very long time ago by an Irish scribe, and the error of mistaking ‘fáil’ for‘faileas’ has continued without question ever since. [http://www.thesonsofscotland.co.uk/thestoneofdestiny.htm]
A tradition is told that when the anointed king placed his hand/foot upon the stone and he was of the Mileasian Race, the stone would roar, or speak his name.
[NOTE: The Mileasians was a tribe from northern Spain that in mass invaded the isle known as "Inis Fáil," and defeated the ruling tribe known as the Tuath-de-Danans. A treaty was made between the two groups and the Mileasians would rule above ground, and the Danans [aka sidhe/fairies] would live underground.]
To confuse things there are several different ancient versions of how the Lia Fáil came to Ireland, but they all are similar. In the Sca-lacronica, compiled in 1355 A.D., mentions one Simon Brec, youngest son of the King of Spain, who brought the stone from Spain, where it was used for coronations. Brec “placed it in the most sovereign beautiful place in Ireland, called to this day the Royal Place (Tara), and Fergus, son of Ferchar, brought the royal stone before received, and placed it where is now the Abbey of Scone [Scotland].” In this account, there is no stop-over in Dunstaffnage, but the story does identify the Stone of Scone with the “Lia Fáil,” “the speaking stone,” which [stone] named the king who would be chosen. [Philip Coppens, http://www.philipcoppens.com/stone_destiny.html ; accessed 2 Jul 2015. Hereafter referred to as Coppens.]
A similar account can be found in the Scotichronicon, compiled in 1386 A.D., which repeats that Gaythelus married Scota and led those that survived the disaster to Spain. Simon Brec then went to Ireland, setting up the stone in Tara, before the Stone was removed to Scotland. [Coppens.]
But the story of the Stones removal has been examined by a Dr. Petrie, who shows that it is flatly contradicted by native Irish authorities; that it is nothing better than a fabrication; and that the Lia Fáil was never removed from Tara at all, only in Scottish records is this mentioned. [http://www.libraryireland.com/Wonders/Lia-Fail-1.php, from The Wonders of Ireland, by P.W. Joyce, 1911 ; accessed 1Jul 2015]
Around 500 A.D., three brothers of the Dál Riata tribe in north-east Ireland, removed themselves and followers across a twelve mile stretch of water to the islands to the east. These three brothers were Fergus, Lorn and Angus, sons of Chief Erc. Fergus, was the first King of the Scots in Alba, crowned by St. Columcille, and brought the Coronation Stone from Ireland to Argyle with the permission of the High-King, and was crowned in it (not a rectangular stone). He built a town in Argyle called Beregonium, in which he placed the Stone. The twelfth king, Evenus, built a town near Beregonium, called after his name Evonium, now called Dunstaffnage, to which the stone was removed. Dunstaf-fnage is near Oban, on the West coast of Scotland, and the same legend states that Fergus mac Erc built a church on the island of Iona, and commanded it to be the sepulcher of the future kings. It should no longer come as a surprise that some argue that the “real stone” never came to Scone, but instead remained “somewhere” in or near Dunstaffnage. [Coppens.]
Iona was indeed a sacred island, “in the West,” of pagan religious importance, for it became one of the key objectives of early Christianity to have as a power base. As funerals of kings and coronation ceremonies go hand in hand, the stone’s location in Dunstaffnage would make great sense, because of its proximity to Iona. [Coppens.]
A rectangular block of sandstone is considered by a great many people to be the very stone which Kenneth mac Alpin reportedly brought with him from Argyle to Scone (pronounced Skoon), in the ninth century. By 906 A.D., Scone was a royal city. Here like the Irish kings, the Scottish kings were crowned while seated upon the Stone. From this time on the Lia Fáil Stone would be called the "Stone of Scone." Yet, compare this coronation stone with the stone’s early descriptions, one get's quite a surprise.
According to an old chronicler, “no king was ever wont to reign in Scotland unless he had first, on receiving the royal name, sat upon this stone at Scone, which by the kings of old had been appointed to the capital of Alba.” [Coppens.]
Supposedly there is an old prophecy concerning the Stone of which the Scottish writer, Hector Boece, using the Rhythmical Chronicle as his source, recites in Latin:
"Ni fallat fatum, Scoti quoteunque locatum
Invenient lapidem regnare tenenter ibidem;"
The sense of which is conveyed well enough in the following translation:
"If fate tells truth, where'er this stone is found,
A prince of Scotic race shall there be crowned." [Joyce.]
Author P.W. Joyce mentions of one named Cambray in his Monuments Celtiques claims to have seen the stone when it bore the inscription: “Ni fallat fatum, Scoti quocumque locatum Invenient lapidiem, regnasse tenetur ibidem”: “If the Destiny proves true, then the Scots are known to have been Kings wherever men find this stone.” There is no such inscription on the official Stone today.
Irish author Geoffrey Keating in the 17th century in writing his work on the History of Ireland, writes about the Lia Fáil and its traditions using Boece as his source. Problem with this is that modern academics consider the works of Boece and John of Fordun as being fables of Scottish history. [Joyce.]
Joyce has written as to why the fable story about the Lia Fáil or Stone of Scone being fabricated and circulated. The story of the Stone being removed from Ireland to Scotland was to give validation to the Scot claim to the English Throne during the time period of great debate. The tale was adopted by Keating and other Irish writers to support the Stuart claim to the throne. To support Joyce's statement several accounts of the ruins of Tara are described having been written in the tenth and early eleventh centuries and state that the Lia Fáil was there at that time. Joyce goes' on to mention the distinguished poet and scholar Kineth O'Hartigan, who died in the year 975 A.D., visited Tara with the object of describing it. After mentioning in detail the several monuments, he states that he was actually standing on the Lia Fáil:
"The stone which is under my two feet, From it is called Inis Fail; Between two strands of strong tide,"
Another distinguished scholar by the name Cuan O'Lochan, Arch-Poet of Ireland, who died in 1024 A.D., left a poem in which he describes with great minuteness the positions of the various objects at Tara including the Lia Fáil Stone. And a prose account which follows the poem is even more circumstantial:
"Fal lies by the side of the Mound of Hostages to the north, i.e. the stone that roared under the feet of each king that took possession of the throne of Ireland." [Joyce.]
In his book The History of Ireland, Joyce states why he doesn't believe that the stone that is erected at Tara is not the true stone:
"Fifty years ago I had a talk with one of the men who helped in the removal [of the Lia Fáil Stone], and I have good reason to believe that the pillar-stone now on the Forradh was brought by the people in 1821, not (as Petrie states, writing many years after 1821) from the Mound of Hostages which lies about 50 yards off, but from the bottom of the trench surrounding the Forradh itself, where it had been lying prostrate for generations. . . . the present pillar-stone at Tara is 12 feet long by nearly 2 feet in diameter. It would be very unsuitable for standing on during the ceremonies of installation and coronation; and seeing that the stone weighs considerably more than a ton," not very portable for traveling.
Eyewitness description of the "Stone of Scone" was made by an Englishman, Walter de Hemingford (also known as de Guisborough), who attended the coronation of John Baliol in 1292 A.D. He depicted it as “Concavus quidem ad modum rotundae cathedrae confectus”, i.e. “hollowed and made in the form of a round chair.” The 14th century English Chronicles of Melsa also describe the Stone of Scone as being “hollowed out, and partly fashioned in the form of a round chair.” William of Rislanger, writing in the 13th century, records the coronation of John de Baliol as King of Scotland in the year 1292 "upon the stone upon which Jacob placed his head."
Robert of Gloucester (1240-1300) wrote that the first Irish immigrants brought the stone with them into Scotland, stating it was a “whyte marble ston.” So rather than sandstone, or black basalt, the stone is then said to be white marble. As Robert of Gloucester wrote at a time when an official stone was still in residence in Scone, his account of the nature of the stone carries much weight – and would indeed indicate that the official Stone is a fake. [Coppens.] Finally in 1314, a piece of the Stone was broken off and given by king Robert the Bruce to Cormac MacCarthy in token for the Irish backing of his army at the Battle of Bannockburn on 25 June 1314. MacCarthy took the bluish stone and incorporated it in the battlements of Blarney Castle located outside of Cork, Ireland.
Using a fake stone makes a lot of sense. Why didn't the Scots demand the return of the Stone to Scotland? The most valid answer is that they didn't care because it was a fake!
The Stone of Scone measures approximately 26 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches (670 x 420 x 265 mm). It is acknowledged by geologists as being of Scottish sandstone, and may have been quarried in the region of Scone near Perth. The stone weighed 990 kilos [about 430 pounds] and Edward I had iron rings fixed to each side for its journey South. [http://www.thesonsofscotland.co.uk/thestoneofdestiny.htm]
In Coppens' essay on the Stone he mentions author Pat Gerber's belief that a fake stone was given to King Edward I, with the real stone secreted somewhere nearby. It may explain why Edward I sent a raiding party of knights back to Scone on 17 August 1298 A.D.. The troops ripped the Abbey apart in a desperate search. But for what? The real Stone? Coppens states, "Whatever they were looking for, it is known that they returned empty-handed. Furthermore, Gerber and others point out that the Treaty of Northampton in 1328 included the offer of return of the Stone. But the Scots did not ask for the insertion of that clause. Edward III offered it again in 1329, even suggesting the Queen Mother could take it to Berwick. Offered a final time in 1363, again, the Scots did not seem to want their talisman back. Did they know the 'real one' was false?"
In the late 19th century, Seton Gordon stated that the Earl of Mansfield, whose family have owned the lands of Scone for more than 300 years, had told him of a tradition, which had been handed down through several generations. It stated that somewhere around the dates 1795-1820, a farm lad had been wandering with a friend on Dunsinnan Hill after a violent storm. The torrential rain had caused a landslide, and as a result of this, a fissure, which seemed to penetrate deep into the hillside, was visible.
“The two men procured some form of light and explored the fissure. They came at last to the broken wall of a subterranean chamber. In one corner of the chamber was a stair which was blocked with debris, and in the centre of the chamber they saw a slab of stone covered with markings and supported by four stone ‘legs’. As there was no other evidence of ‘treasure’ in the subterranean apartment the two men did not realise the importance of their ‘find’ and did not talk of what they had seen. Some years later one of the men first heard the local tradition, that on the approach of the King Edward I, the monks of Scone hurriedly removed the Stone of Destiny to a place of safe concealment and took from the Annety Burn a stone of similar size and shape, which the English King carried off in triumph. When he heard this legend, the man hurried back to Dunsinnan Hill, but whether his memory was at fault regarding the site of the landslide, or whether the passage of time, or a fresh slide of earth, had obliterated the cavity, the fact remains that he was unable to locate the opening in the hillside. It may be asked why the monks of Scone, after the English king had returned to England, did not bring back to the abbey the original Stone of Destiny, but the tradition accounts for this explaining that it was not considered safe at the time to allow the English to know that they had been tricked, and that when the days of possible retribution were past, the monks who had known the secret were dead. This tradition, it is held, explains why the Coronation Stone in Westminster Abbey resembles geologically the sandstone commonly found in the neighbourhood of Scone.” [Coppens.]
It does appear that the stone in Westminster Abbey/Edinburgh Castle is sandstone [not quartz, not white marble, not black basilisk, nor blue] and is thus perhaps local to Scone. And if so, it may be the official “Stone of Scone, ” but not the real one. For according to legend, the Stone of Scone did not come from Scotland, but from Ireland, and before that Spain, and before that Egypt, and before that… the Holy Land.
Scottish kings since the 9th century have been crowned at Scone, on Moot Hill, the Ancient Crowning Place, seated upon the Stone of Scone, and not Scotland’s modern capital of Edinburgh. The place has been known by many names: Moot Hill, Omnis Terra (every man’s land) and Boot Hill. Another name is the Hill of Credulity (or Hill of Belief), which dates from 710 A.D., when the Pictish King Nectan came to Scone to embrace the customs of the Church of Rome. And as mentioned, the name by which it is best known today, is the Moot Hill.
Even after the Stone’s removal by King Edward I in 1296 A.D., the Moot Hill continued to be the crowning place of the Scottish Kings. Probably the greatest historic event to take place at Scone was the coronation of Robert the Bruce, who declared himself King of Scots upon the Moot Hill on 25 March 1306 A.D.. That the “official” Stone of Destiny was already south of the Border, may have made the coronation all the more emotional. The last coronation held at Scone was that of King Charles II as King of Scots on 1 January 1651 A.D., some nine years before he was restored to the English throne. Since 1707 A.D., there has been a Union between Scotland and England. In Scone, the land was symbolized by the combined earth, carried in the boots of the vassals, making the Moot Hill into a primordial hill.
Edward O'Reilly, author of Irish Dictionary, stated, ". . . Edward I of England invaded that country, A.D. 1296, and carried off into his own country down to the present day it has remained in England; and ever since the reign of James I has continued to serve the purpose for which it was so long used in Ireland and Scotland; the kings of England from his time down to the present sovereign having been crowned on it.” [http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/liaphail.html] Well sort of present day . . . or that is until 1950 A.D., when the Stone was stolen from Westminster, on Christmas morning 1950. Though often perceived as a student prank, one of the protagonists, Ian Hamilton, has always tried to make clear that he did it for political motivations. When the police believed the Stone would make his way back to Scotland, the border between Scotland and England was closed, for the first time in 400 years. But despite these efforts, the stone made it into Scotland, where it was “left to be found” shortly afterwards, upon which it was taken back to Westminster. The Scottish Nationalist students were never charged. Some believe that the real Stone was substituted with a copy in 1951 A.D..
asked Philip Copperns to some of those Knights who were involved, but he perceived the implication that no-one wanted to disclose the Stones present location.
Until recently, the Stone of Jacob (Israel) has sat under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, in silent testimony to the dual promises made by Almighty God to the descendants of Abraham. After 700 years at Westminster Abbey, the stone was returned to Scotland 14 Nov-ember 1996, and on St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 1996, the stone went on display in Edinburgh Castle, with the intention to shuttle the stone to Westminster Abbey for future coronations of the British monarch.
The British queen or king is, of course, even without the Stone, one of the few remaining heads of State that is also the Head of the Church [Church of England/Anglican/Epicopalion]. And thus, the Stone, whether real or merely symbolic, continues to play a key role in a tradition of sacred kingship, which in the 21st century has become extremely rare.
Such is the story of the Lia Fáil Stone, The Bethel Stone, or Jacob's Pillar/Pillow, the Stone of Scone. Research the topic for yourself, meditate on what is found, pray about - and come up with your own conclusion about "God's House in Stone."
The Sleeping Stone
by Patience Strong
I stopped to call a taxi in the heart of Babylon.
At the pavement’s edge I stood - the traffic writhing on
Leftward to the Whitehall turning like a lustrous snake
Or rightward to Westminster Bridge, the southbound road to take,
There to pass proud Boadicea set towards the tower
Where Big Ben in his solemn grandeur booms the passing hour
As if to warn the seething crowds that Time brooks no de!ay
As he sifts the minutes of the unforgiving day.
While I across the street looked out towards the Abbey wall -
Afloat behind a spray of limpid light that seemed to fall
Veiling the secret features of the Abbey’s ancient face
That houses Jacob’s Bethel stone in its appointed place...
Where Israel’s holy treasure lies for every eye to see:
Safe in our keeping. This, the very Stone of Destiny.
The taxi came. Again we plunged into the turgid stream -
And glancing back, the Abbey seemed remote as in a dream.
Sculptured in its frozen calm it stood apart, alone,
Sharing with God the hidden knowledge of the sleeping stone.
My name is Garry Eugene Bryant, or in Irish, Garaidh Eóghan Ó Briain. My O'Bryan family emigrated from Ireland to Canada around 1830. They were devout Catholics and my 2nd great-grandfather, William, was informed by his parents that he was to become a priest like his two older bro-thers. He ran away changed his name by dropping the O' and adding a 't,' and ended up at Black Hawk, Col-orado about 1861. But this story was family tradition, no paper doc-ument to that gives the name change. To the rescue came Family Tree DNA and the O'Brien Surname Project which confirmed that I was not only of the Dál gCais Tribe with the R-L226 & FGC5659 snp marker's, but a distant cousin to Sir Conor M. E. O'Brien, Chief of the O'Brien Clan. So I'm not an English Bryant, but an Irish O'Brien! I have three children, all grown and married, and two grandchildren. I'm a retired photojournalist, am passionate about family history and heraldry.