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The Tents of Shem

22nd July 2005, hej

 

2) Tents of Shem, Vikings & Kings of North & South

There is one example of the Northern Gentiles being persuaded to enter the tents of Shem or come to the Middle East. It is contained in the history of the Vikings. It is worth recounting here as their role had a decisive effect on both the development of the king of the North and the king of the South.

The Vikings

Unfortunately the Viking age has been romanticised. In terms of their direct effect on Europe they were minor participants in normal warlike activity. They just happened to like raiding monasteries, were pagan and unbeatable in sea warfare. Their impact could not, for example, be compared to that of the earlier Hun invasions. Compared to the contemporary effect of the Mohometians and Saracens activity they had no real effect on the Holy Roman Empire and they are not mentioned in Revelation.

In Revelation Chapter 9 the fifth Angel sounds and the ‘Star’ Mahomet descends as Allah’s message to the ‘earth’ or people, and the way of the deep of people is opened and ‘smoke’ comes out to darken the ‘sun’ or Byzantine Authority. The locusts (arbeh) have power as scorpions for five months(verse 5) and five months (verse 10). Where ten Lunar months is 300days. This fits the period from 632 AD to 932AD where these ‘Locusts’ torment Europe, as men on horses with crowns like gold, hair of women and tails like scorpions (Saracen artillery) who have a king over them called “destroyer”, identified as the Caliph.

In 800’s AD as the Saracens were harassing Adriatic coasts to Venice and Rome (846AD) fulfilling Revelation chapter 9, the Vikings were plundering Europe’s edges. Though in some ways their role seems similar to the Saracen’s, as their target was mainly the corrupt ecclesiastic system, they should not be associated. The Saracen attack was ordered, directed and based on religious grounds. The Vikings were sporadic and motivated by the gain of plunder. Rather than killing ecclesiastics, the Vikings demanded ransoms.

The Vikings do not fit the Revelation prophecy (in fact they fought in the Byzantine and Franks armies on occasion as mercenaries). Instead their activity was a catalyst for the development of the King of the North and the King of the South. The King of the North is quite clear as the Rus or Russians. In the late 1800’s England established itself in the role of the King of the South by its dominance of Egypt, which was augmented by the construction of the Suez canal as a trade route (to India among other places).

Just over a 1000 years ago the Vikings raiding and then trading came in conquest of the disorganised Angles and Saxons. In this situation King Alfred came to power and was able to use the Viking threat to ensure unification and enlarge the power of the monarchy. This gave the English a sense of common identity. The most significant aspect for the later emergence of a strong Protestant movement out of England was Alfred’s view that the Viking raids, targeted as they were at monasteries, were a result of God’s displeasure with the English people. Though Alfred personally interpreted God’s services as service to Rome, he also introduced a revival of religion and instituted translation of books. In doing this, King Alfred introduced a revival of learning, which is shown in his establishment of a school for the noble youth. As the Word is written, teaching the people to read and learn has a significant effect. As an aside, when later the Scandinavians converted to Christianity they refused (for political reasons) Rome’s power through Bremen (Germany) and sought Bishops from England. The King who first united all England, Canute, is credited with respect of the Creator in two places: a mural in a church and in an account written 100 years after his death. In that account Canute shows the power of the tide to his nobles and takes off his crown and says, “be it known to all inhabitants of the world that the power of kings is empty and superficial, and nobody is worthy of the name of king except for Him whose will is obeyed by heaven, earth and sea in accordance with eternal laws.” The story shows that by 1130AD the English nobility had the attitude that there was only one King. The unprecedented Viking activity was a catalyst for two things: an environment of value for learning the word of God and the beginning of the growth of power and identity of England, the future King of the South. Magnusson (The Vikings, 2000) dates the end of the Viking age with the victory of the Normans (North men or Vikings) in 1066, noting it as the conquest and permanent occupation of a major nation. Their job was done.

In parallel to these developments in the early to mid 900’s AD Viking trading activity was helping establish Rus trading ports along the Volga and Dneper rivers. The Vikings were not there to colonise, and the ones that did were assimilated rapidly. They were there purely because it was a way to access the wealth of the Saracens. In Gotland they have found 50,000 silver Arabic coins of the 8th to 10th centuries and this is despite the majority of silver being melted into artefacts. Gold objects found in Oslo dating in the same period came from Arabia, Byzantine, England, France and Russia. In Gotland an ordinary whetstone has a runic scrawl that shows the range of travel and trade by the general population. It says Ormiga and Ulfar (have been to) Greece, Jerusalem, Iceland and the land of the Saracens (possibly Baghdad). The motivation seems to have been an unusually large quantity of silver found and mined by the Saminid’s in Central Asia. In early 900’s AD many Islamic coins with a high sliver content were reaching Scandinavia but by 965 very few were, and this may have been in part because the silver was running out. By the late 900’s the trade routes had been established as had the Rus state based at Kiev, and just as in England its early rulers had Viking names. It is also interesting as we believe the unification of Europe is a combining of the Western and Eastern Roman Empire, that this trade through the Byzantine Empire gave a Byzantine character to the Rus state. As an aside Scandinavians made up an elite contingent of the Byzantine army at that time, which continued until the Crusades. It seems from the evidence that the trade of the Vikings took them through Russia to the Middle East (and also to Jerusalem), which fostered trading cities, which in turn formed the Rus state. This Rus state then continued trade with the Saracens. And it was all possibly due to a temporary exploitation of silver desired by the Vikings. One could say they were “persuaded”. Again, as in the case of England, the Vikings ceased abruptly trading in late 900’s AD. Their job was done. The Rus, with the aid of the Vikings then are the Japhethites of the isles ‘persuaded’ by the hope of gain into the tents of Shem.

This is only one instance of Japheth expanding or being persuaded to dwell in the tents of Shem. Shortly after the Vikings ceased to trade came the Crusaders, where Japhethites come again to Jerusalem and on a few occasions subjected the Canaanite. Then much later there was Napoleon, who attempted to conquer Jerusalem, which brings us to consider Japheth’s relationship to Shem in our day.

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