Has Jeremiah Become Known As "Ollam Fodhla"?
Was "Ollam Fodhla", mentioned in the Irish annals, the name by which Jeremiah the prophet became known in Ireland? This article details the research on this question, looking at Irish history and chronology.
It has been claimed that Ollam Fodhla was not Jeremiah. Ollam was of known Milesian descent in Irish history. He is also a known descendent of Scota. “Baruch” Jeremiah’s “scribe” is also further down the lineage from Ollam (about 400 years).
One critic wrote that “Ollam Fodhla is well known in the Irish Annals and was considered (and documented) as one of the Milesian race, having ancestral heritage (not suddenly turning up in a boat). Ollam Fodhla is sometimes referred to as the 21st King. Some National Israel writers seem to miss the obvious problems linked to the idea that Ollam Fodhla (Jeremiah) is actually descended from Scota / Milesius. The approximate times of Ollam Fodhla’s descent and reign, were dated about 400 years after Milesius, based on the Annals of the Four Masters …
We are working with the Irish annals as our main source, therefore it must be noted that they are written as poetry, and cannot be taken as very accurate historical accounts of the past. However, some research sheds a bit of light on this age and a possible course of events emerges for us to see.
Ollam Fodhla has not been suggested as the Irish name for Jeremiah without detailed consideration of the attempts to date and organise the information contained in the Irish annals. We should however be aware that these annals sometimes contradict each other in the details and also that their chronologies are often flawed. For example, many scholars agree that THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY KINGS IN THE IRISH LINEAGE AND THAT SOME HAVE, EITHER OUT OF IGNORANCE OR PURPOSE, BEEN ADDED.
The “Annals of the Four Masters” place the first year of Ollam Fodhla at A.M. (anno mundi) 3883. But we can see immediately that the assertion that this corresponds to the year 1317 BC does not agree with Biblical chronology. They assumed, adopting the Septuagint chronology, that it took 5200 years from Adam to Christ, some 1200 years too many! A better way to date the arrival of Ollam Fodhla is described in the book “The Royal House of Britain - an Enduring Dynasty” (available through The Covenant Bookshop, http://www.covpub.co.uk/), which is highly recommended to those interested in the details of this subject). Here we read that King Cimboath lived during the founding of Emania as the provincial capital of Ulster. His reign helps to determine the arrival of Ollam Fodhla through some ancient manuscripts attributed to the old-time poet Fortchern, which place him eight generations before Emania. We quote: “The ‘Book of Invasions’ is also cited as giving the names of the seven kings between Ollam’s time and Cimboath.” So we have a second witness. Scholars have concluded that Ollam may thus have lived about 240 years before Cimboath, who lived up until 346 BC. THIS YIELDS A DATE FOR OLLAM’S ARRIVAL ON THE IRISH SCENE OF 586 B.C., right at the time when Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadrezzar!
Here’s what can be said about Ollam Fodhla:
- From the Annals of the Four Masters, p. 412: “Amongst the most celebrated kings of Ulster, who also reigned as monarchs of Ireland, was Ollamh Fodhla, or Ollav Fola, the famous legislator, whose reign is placed by Tigernach, O’Flaherty, and others about seven centuries before the Christian era. He founded the Conventions of Tara.”
- The Nine Laws were established at this time, against murder, theft, false witness, perjury, and neglect of parents; and that every one should do to others as they would wish others to do to them, etc., by the authority of the great Ollam, together with a house and endowment for the order of Ollams.” (Chronicles of Eri, vol. ii. pp. 2. 100. 102. 108 (note). 112. 114-5. 140.) The name of TARA, adopted at that time, is, in itself, an evidence that the Law of the Two Tables, called by the Hebrews TORAH, (pronounced taw-ra) was there set up at that time.
- F.R.A. Glover writes that “Ollav Fola” was NOT A KING BUT MERELY AN OFFICIAL (1). This is confirmed by the Chronicles of Eri, as quoted in (2), telling us about the inauguration of Ollam’s School of Prophets (called Mur Olamain): “And when they arrived at the door of Mur Olamain, the Olam made way that the king may go therein” - showing that THE KING AT THE TIME AND OLLAM FOLA WERE TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE and suggesting that the two have often been combined into one in other accounts. Another confirmation of this is found in The Four Masters (3): “It was he (Ollam Fodhla) also that appointed a chieftain over every cantred, and a Brughaidh over every townland, who were all to serve the King of Ireland.”
- As the Prophet-Restorer of the Monarchy of Judah, the Ollam Fodhla of Tara, Chronicler, Sage, and Lawgiver, divested of both Pentarchy and Royalty, is venerated in the Irish annals and has been honoured by being depicted in the Dome of the Four Courts in the Irish Capital. However, the true knowledge of the real man became lost to the generations which succeeded him.
- According to the chronicles of Eri, Ollam Fodhla has been brought up by the Ollam (prophets) (The Royal House of Britain. p.10) - suggesting he was a prophet himself.
- In Hebrew, "OLLAM" MEANS A POSSESSOR OF HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE, “Fodhla” means wonderful in Hebrew, or “revealer” in the Celtic language. WE CLEARLY SEE EVEN HIS NAME DESCRIBES HIS OFFICE, and links him to his Israelite heritage.
- Moreover, the names of many other kings listed in the ancient chronologies have Hebrew meanings. Starting with Mileadh (Milesius), “given a charge by” (the next in line) Heremon, “The Most High”. Furthermore, Irial is “appointed by God” in the Hebrew language, Eithrial means “God’s remnant”, Eanbotha, “he prophesied”, L’Abrahim, “God’s covenant with Abraham”, etc. These names actually tell a story about Jeremiah’s mission and some assert these names are titles, attributed to Ollam Fodhla, that have actually been misinterpreted as separate kings in the lineage of ancient royalty, stretching the time frame by adding kings that never existed.
The correctness of Glover’s research has been confirmed by W.M.H. Milner, who took the pain to spend two weeks to verify all his findings line by line (see also our reply to point 5 on this).
Sceptics have claimed that "According to the “Annals of the Four Masters”, Miletus (married to Scota) was around 1700BC, Ollam Fodhla was around 1317BC and Simon Breac (Baruch), supposedly Ollam / Jeremiah’s “scribe” does not appear in the Annals until 400 years later in 909BC). One cannot be certain of the accuracy of these dates, but it does show the relationship between the main players. It is impossible that could have been part of the same party."
There is a web page on the Milesians called “THE LINE OF HEREMON” (www.araltas.com/features/heremon.html) where Heremon is actually dated at A.M. 3,500, coinciding rather perfectly with Jeremiah’s departure from the orient. This source asserts that Simeon Breac was his son, which would make him a contemporary of Heremon right away. But to be honest, this may be as it may be. Whether the chronicles have got it wrong or whether this Breac is actually not Jeremiah’s scribe does not seem relevant at all. Maybe Baruch was not important enough to be mentioned in the Irish annals.
TO CONCLUDE, all the evidence brought up in this response may have to be corrected as more details become available, and in general one can always find one version that contradicts another. We will stand corrected when new evidence is brought forth and will be happy to embrace the truth as it is revealed to us. But all these details as to who Ollam Fodhla really was, whether his person was mixed up with a king or two in the Irish annals, does not jeopardise the general concept of Jeremiah coming to the British Isles and carrying out his divine commission (more on this in the next article). Please consider that after Jeremiah’s death the history books may have been rewritten by the Celtic druids that were forced to give up their heathen practices and tried to regain the influence they had lost due to the introduction of the law of Moses in Ireland at the time.
We can see the fulfilment of God’s promises to Israel fulfilled in the Anglo-Saxons in virtually hundreds of ways (see more on this in our answer to point 9) and we do not have to depend on the annals and traditions to make our point.
Continued in article 7B “Summary of the Historical Articles 5-7.”
- Glover, F.R.A. (1861): “England, the Remnant of Judah, and the Israel of Ephraim”, available from: http://www.abcog.org/glover.htm
- Chronicles of Eri, Volume II, pp. 109-114, as quoted in Milner, W.M.H., The Royal House of Britain - An Enduring Dynasty, The Covenant Publishing Co. Ltd, London (UK) 1991, p.14.
- Annals of the Four Masters (Author: Unknown), Annal M3922.2, available at http://www.ucc.ie/celt