The Tender Twig
Below we answer a question concerning the book, “The Tender Twig” by Francis Henking. Despite the issue over the true name of the King’s daughter who arrived with the prophet Jeremiah in Ireland, we highly recommend this beautifully written and classic historical novel, first published in 1963, which has been reprinted by CBIA and is available from us for US$12 plus US$5 shipping.
I’m trying to validate some information on the story of Tephi. There are many researchers who claim to once be believers of this story but when they tried to validate these in the ancient Irish text - found no references to Tephi or Jeremiah etc. I realize the names would not be exact and that folklore has made these writings difficult, but I have never read a book that actually uses quotes of these texts. Do you think the story is pure speculation and theory? The book you sell entitled the “Tender Twig” is fiction so I thought it would not be the more solid evidence that I’m looking for. Any help or advice is appreciated.
We have reprinted for our mailing list of supporters an article which appeared in The Northern British-Israel Review in 1916, and gives some of the background to the connection of Jeremiah and Ollamh Fodhla of Irish history. Francis Henking wrote her book in 1963, before the B.I.W.F. commissioned a scholarly study of this issue and concluded that it was in fact Scota who came with the prophet to Ireland, not Tephi. In addition, Tea and Tephi were two different individuals, not the same person.
The investigating committee who studied the issue and sorted it out included W.E. Filmer, F.M. Nithsdale, T.A. Price, and H.E. Stough. They published the results of their research in a short article in the 1980’s, stating in part: “Tephi, the daughter of the leader of the Celtic settlement in Spain, had been married to Canthon, a British king. She is otherwise unknown to Irish history...Another group of Israelites traveled by way of Egypt. Their leader Gaythelus, or Miletus, went to Egypt and assisted Pharaoh Psammitichus in his war against the Ethiopians, and received in reward Scota, said to be the daughter of Pharaoh, to wife, after which they migrated to Spain. Scota was probably one of the king’s daughters whom Jeremiah had taken to Egypt. Since the kings’s name is not mentioned, she could have been the daughter of either Josiah or Zedekiah.”
“Miletus had six sons by Scota, one of whom was Heremon who married Tea in Spain. It is suggested that Miletus had been among the Cimmerian group of Israelites ravaging Asia Minor at that time. Since these Cimmerians included captives taken by Sennacharib in 701 B.C., some of them would be of the tribe of Judah, for Sennacharib came ‘up against all the fenced cities of Judah and took them’ (2 Kings 18:13). It is possible, therefore, that Miletus could have been a Judahite. This is important, since inheritance through the female line could take place only if the lady married one of her own tribe.”
“The following table illustrates the suggested relationship between the two ladies Scota and Tea:”