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Redeemed Sinner. Deep Roots. Southern Heart.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weak Counfounds Mighty: Cultural Similarities Between Israel And Scotland

I read in the news earlier this month that Israel celebrated her 60th anniversary as a nation.

Christians share a common bond with the people of Israel because we have both experienced God's blessing as His chosen people. I have studied the history and culture of Scotland for several years and have found some very interesting similarities between the two cultures.

R.J. Rushdooney once pointed out that whatever part of the world you travel to, the first person to discover it was either a Jew, or a Scot. The fundamental building-block of these two cultures, is the idea of covenant theology. Several other similarities include: Music, family, theology of the land, and method of conducting war. Music was important. If you listen to Scottish and Jewish music, the similarities are striking. First, the minor tone or key, is notable. Also, a form of the bagpipes were played by Hebrew musicians, known as the Halil.
The family units were much the same, the tribe in Israel, and the clan in Scotland. Both had a reverence and honor for the patriarch or head of the family and a strong devotion to family members.
Theology of the land was also key. This can be seen in the agrarian heritage of both cultures. The two civilizations have made noteworthy contributions to warfare. Capt. Patrick Ferguson created the first breech-loading rifle. Uziel Gal invented the Uzi, which bears his name. I have always appreciated the "no quarter" fighting style of both cultures. The Scots were well known for their fierceness in battle. The Israelis demonstrated their fighting prowess during the Six Days War. It seems that both societies also had an recurring enemy: the Scots vs. the English and the Hebrews vs. the Philistines.

Geography shows us that these are tiny nations. Scotland is about the size of Maine and Israel is about half that size. God could have chosen stronger nations to accomplish His means, but "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the mighty things". - I Cor. 1:27

What do you think? Please comment on any other parallels you observe.

Bible verses taken from the 1599 Geneva Bible
Photos courtesy of

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Blogger Mike said...

I found this website.

It's mostly comparisons of the Celts and the Iraelis, but there are a number of very interesting things, like how the Celts had a servere disliking of scaleless fish shellfish and even pigs for a long time.

The article is attempting to prove that the Celts were one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, which is a vey interesting concept.

Great Post!


May 23, 2008 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Stephen Boyd said...

Thanks for the info. The Scottish Covenanters were well known for their refusal to eat pork. Since most Southerners are Scotch-Irish descendants, where did the pork ribs and catfish come from? Probably the Irish so you should do a post on that. :p

May 24, 2008 at 10:13 AM  

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