These quotes taken from The Secret Empire by Cushman Cunningham illustrate how the Sephardim have intermarried with the Canaanites, Philistines and Perizzites. This book provides a thorough, easy to read overview of the hidden hand behind the major events of the past two thousand years.

"Through their monopoly of metallurgic techniques (Toledo and Damascus steel . . . the finest hardened steel in the world) . . . The Jewish dominance in steel technology in the 14-16th centuries must originally come from the Sea People side of the family (i.e. the non-Semitic Philistines and Canaanites) , whose monopoly in metal working had been symbolized millenniums earlier in the crippled god of Blacksmiths: called Haephastus in Greece, Ptah in Egypt and Daedalus in Crete" (Cushman Cunningham, The Secret Empire, p. 442-443).

Called is identified with Tubal-Cain, Cush and Nimrod and was known to the Romans as Vulcanos.

"How the Sephardic Jews came to be in Spain in the first place is more complicated and obscure. The Moorish records tell that many Jews accompanied the Moorish invasion of Spain in 711 A.D. as army officers, armorors and provisioners. But Spanish legends say that Tariq Ibn Zahid, the Governor of Morocco, and conqueror of Visigothic Spain was invited to invade Spain by the Jews of Spain. There is strong evidence suggesting that Jews resided in Spain long before 711 A.D. In the period of Nebuchadnezzar II's conquest of Jerusalem and the Babylonian captivity that followed, there are references to the Jewish exiles which are in 'Sephard' (re: Obadiah 11). ('Sephard' was the ancient Hebrew name for Spain). There was also Jonah's abortive attempt to sail to Tarshish a few decades earlier. (Tarshish was on the site of present day Seville, in southern Spain). So the Jews of Jonah's day knew where Tarshish was, and Jonah must have known that there were some of his countrymen there who spoke his language and would shelter and protect him, when he made his decision to sail to Tarshish.

Obadiah's lament over the Jewish exiles 'from Jerusalem who are in Sepharad' is intriguing. The period was soon after the destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon's temple by Nebuchadnezzar II, which followed after the Assyrian conquest and captivity. Also earlier, during the Assyrian captivity (around 700 B.C.), the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 23) predicts the fall of Tyre and Sidon, and dwells at great length on the distress this will cause the city of Tarshish ('Merchants of Sidon, pass ye over to Tarshish'; 'Howl, ye ships of Tarshish'; 'Pass . . . oh daughter of Tarshish . . .' etc.).

Later after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and dispersion of the Jews, the Targum of Jonathon refers to the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem who had sailed away to Sepharad.

Where would aristocrats in Jerusalem have gone for refuge when they heard of the mighty, irresistible armies of Babylon (or Ninevah) approaching?

Nearby Tyre was a strongly fortified island, supplied and defended by fleets which were unsurpassed on the seas of the world. Hiram of Tyre had been a close friend of Solomon... had supplied him the great cedar and cypress logs with which Solomon had supported the roof of his Temple . . . he had sent shipwrights to build Solomon's fleet at Ezion-Ghezer, and then sent him the navigators and seamen to man that fleet . . . Hiram had visited Jerusalem and corresponded regularly with Solomon, even playing games with him by correspondence. And this friendship between Solomon and Hiram of Tyre had existed earlier between their fathers and forefathers for many generations.

So it would seem likely that aristocrats in Jerusalem would naturally think of taking refuge in Tyre when vast, hostile hosts approached from the east.

Nebuchadnezzar II overran Syria and Judea and Egypt, destroying Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple and carrying off the Israelites to Babylon, where they remained as slaves until freed by Cyrus the Great and his conquering Persian armies. For over 70 years Judea and Samaria remained an unpopulated wasteland, across which periodically outlaw bands and Babylonian armies raided more prosperous neighbors. But Nebuchadnezzar II never took Tyre. He laid siege to Tyre for 17 years, during which time he organized fleets to try to cut Tyre off from seaborne supplies and food. Probably he was able to maintain effective blockades only intermittently, but never long enough to starve Tyre into submission, nor was his fleet strong enough to mount a seaborne invasion. One Egyptian historian, Megasthenes, said that Nebuchadnezzar's fleet at some point during the siege attacked Cyrene (in North Africa) and Sepharad (Spain), presumably to punish or destroy bases from which besieged Tyre was being supplied. So it seems possible that the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem who had taken refuge in Tyre might have sailed to Cyrene, Carthage or Sephard during the siege on the returning supply ships leaving Tyre outbound. Tyre must have seemed to be a precarious (and hungry) place during Nebuchadnezzar's long blockade. Carthage or Sepharad would have been much safer and more pleasant. The Tyrians could have even encouraged them to go, to diminish the number of mouths which needed to be fed.

There are hints that there may have been Jews in Spain even much earlier than the time of Nebuchadnezzar II. During the Sea People invasion of Egypt (some of whom came from Sardinia and others possibly from Spain) in the times of the Pharaoh Rameses III (about 1200 B.C.), there were many hints of participation by the Jews already enslaved in Egypt by Rameses I after his great victory over the Hittites at Kadesh. Some may have accompanied the Sea People ships returning to Sepharad from Egypt. It even appears that the earlier Hyksos conquerors of Egypt probably departed from Avaris into Gaza and Judea, and may have been the ancestors of the Jews. Even earlier when Abraham sent Hagar and their son, Ishmael, into the desert in Beersheba, they were near the Philistine city of Gaza and Abraham was a guest of the Philistine King Abimelech. Hagar was from Egypt and found Ishmael an Egyptian wife. Later the Philistine city of Avaris (on the eastern mouth of the Nile delta) claimed to be 'the City of Ishmael'. So Abraham had Philistine friends and family who kept in contact (like Hiram of Tyre and Solomon) down through the centuries. Thus the Philistine-Phoenician contacts with Sephard (Iberia) would have been shared with the Jews very early. The later Philistine occupants of Gaza and the Levant coast were a branch of the Sea People society, which also included the Phoenician Semitic seafarers out of Tyre, Byblos and Ugarit. The Sea People culture evidently was assimilative and coexistive, not yet racially nor religiously exclusive. The early history of the Jews constantly hints at close ties to early Sea People. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai (Djebel Musa) with the Ten Commandments he found his people (led by members of his own family) worshiping the Golden Calf. In the caves at the foot of Djebel Musa modern archaeologists have found wall pictures of spreading cattle horns, the same symbol found at Knossos and other Minoan sites on Crete, and in the islands of the lower Cyclades, representing a symbol of the Minoan religion. ('The Horns of Consecration', was the name given it by Arthur Evans). All through the Old Testament the Jews repeatedly had the problem of their people defecting to worship the 'Golden Calf' (Exodus 32:24; Deuteronomy 9:16; I Kings 12:28-30; Nehemiah 9:18; Psalms 106:19; Hosea 8:5-6; etc. to name only a few) . . . which must have indicated an ongoing close contact with the Sea People (Philistines, Phoenicians, etc.) which would also have given them an ongoing contact with Sepharad (Spain). Both the 'horns of consecration' and 'the golden calf' represented the same Sea People religion . . . which was shown in the bull-vaulting frescos at Knossos, and later in bull-fighting in Spain and France. To this day Judaism (as also Christianity) goes through periodic schisms and divergences in belief, leaving winnows of discarded Targums behind. In the biblical period from Moses to David we see frequent intermixings and intermarriages (Samson at Gaza, David seeking refuge from Saul with the Philistines, etc.), which seem to suggest a degree of common language and culture. The phonetic alphabet invented by northwest-Semitic-speaking peoples (linear A at Knossos of Arthur Evans) was carried westward to be used in writing Greek, Etruscan, Tartassian (Tarshish-ian) and Old Norse, indicating a communicative society based on social cultural, and commercial give-and-take, tolerant and co-existive. It would be surprising if such a close relationship as existed between Solomon (and his court) and Hiram of Troy (and his court) was not based on family connections, which was the basis of trust in those days. Building of trust was cemented by marrying sons and daughters to each other's family. This was also true with trade and commerce. A merchant shipping goods to a distant port needed to have someone trustworthy at that destination to be sure he would be paid for his goods. A relative was usually considered to be the most trustworthy, even a son-in-law. So undoubtedly there were many marriages between the Jews of Judea and the Phoenicians of Tyre . . . and also between the Phoenician-Jews of Tyre and their trading partners in Carthage, Tarshish, Cyrene, and elsewhere. This would not have been a one-sided deal. The Jews in Judea, with their great stronghold of Jerusalem, controlled the caravan routes between Mesopotamia (and Anatolia) and Egypt. And so they also must have had relatives to handle their business in Egypt, Babylon, Ninevah and Hattusus. Under these circumstances there must have been a constant competition and compromise in matters of religion, culture, language and customs. The polytheism characteristic of the Middle East and the Mediterranean at that time offered the advantages of compromise: room could always be made on the family altar for the family god of a new son-in-law. What preserved the Jewish faith from the dilution and mixing with other faiths was the uncompromising nature of their one God, Yahweh, enforced by their religious leaders in Jerusalem. But the Jews who had intermarried overseas may have been another matter, being far from the eyes and guidance of the high priests in Jerusalem. Later . . . during the Golden Age of Judaism in Spain (850-1150 A.D. roughly) we know that the rabbis in Spain referred questions of Talmudic law to Talmudic authorities in Baghdad. But in earlier times it is probable that there was considerable religious compromise, concession and confusion between the Jews in the West and their Sea People friends and associates of Tarshish and Iberia. It may have been difficult at times to be sure who was a Jew and who was a follower of the Sea People religions. But from the recurring references in Jewish writings over the centuries, it is clear that there had been an ancient Jewish presence in Spain. One or two references could be questioned, but not so many. If there were Jews in Tarshish, there may also have been Jews in the Balearics and in Cartagena and Almeria. When Roman rule came to Spain after the Second Punic war (the war with Hannibal) the Romans found southwestern Spain populated by a people they called the Turdetanos, whom the Romans soon decided were useless and hopeless. They were (or pretended to be?) stupid and uncomprehending, lazy and completely undependable. Perhaps an early example of 'passive resistance'? Rome never established much of a military presence there, possibly because of the frustration of dealing with such hopeless people.

But we know from other sources elsewhere that during the early Roman period ships were still sailing out of southwest Iberia, probably at night, to ports around the Atlantic unknown to the Romans and beyond Roman control . . . carrying on the commerce of the Sea People. A secret seafaring society.

We also know that early in the Christian era in Aragon (northeast of Spain and the Balearic Islands) there were many Jews who enjoyed prominent positions in Aragonese society. Fernando of Aragon (husband of Isabella the Catholic, the 'Catholic Kings') had a number of converted Jews in the highest positions in his court. In Granada (actually at their court outside of Granada at Santa Fe de la Vega) Fernando had a number of high officials who were 'convertidos' (converted Jews) who were instrumental in helping Columbus (Cristobal Colon . . . 'colon' was a common Jewish name in Genoa) get royal support for his exploration west to the Indies. It is interesting that it was the men of Aragon with ancient Sea People ties who were most encouraging towards Columbus's Atlantic project. The Jewish colony in Aragon and Majorca (and in Ibiza) may have had very ancient roots.

Here we are going back to the earliest periods of history. But precisely in Spain is where the people of the earliest recorded history (in the Mediterranean) met and overlapped the pre-history of the Sea Peoples in the Atlantic. From carbon 14 analysis of organic material found just under the megaliths (and from other newer dating techniques) we know that many of the megaliths were built 5-7 thousand years ago . . . and built by people with highly sophisticated scientific methods: astronomy, engineering, metal working, seamanship and celestial navigation. This makes them contemporary with the very beginnings of civilization in Egypt and Mesopotamia . . . or even earlier.

The early Jewish writings frequently boast of the great antiquity of the Jewish people. Flavius Josephus, the Romanised Jewish historian who wrote detailed accounts of the Jewish Wars, also wrote the most complete history of the Jewish people we have. He claimed great antiquity for the Jewish people. He claimed the nation of the Jews to be 5,000 years old . . . at the time he wrote (which was at the beginning of the Christian era -- so that would now be about 7,000 years). Early historians often used considerable license in estimating dates in earlier antiquity. But Josephus was a stickler for exact dates, usually quoting several sources to justify his choice of a certain date (or period of time). He quoted intervals of time down not only to the exact year, but also to the month and day when dealing with events as far back as the time of Moses. Many of his dates and time intervals were tied to the building of Solomon's Temple. But before Moses his timing becomes more vague (which is understandable). He does not quote supporting references for dates before Moses, but simply follows the accepted Talmud account. So we have no way of confirming or denying his estimate of 5,000 years. Inasmuch as the time of Abraham was about four thousand years ago, leaving Josephus's estimate about three thousand years short, is it possible that the early historical sources used by Josephus became confused with references from the even earlier Sea Peoples? (Through Ishmael and his descendants?) It could have been that those poor landless nomadic sheepherders of Abraham's time were proud to claim as their own some share of the heritage of the cultured, powerful, and aristocratic kings of the sea which we know today as the 'Sea People'.

In any case it seems clear that in ancient times there was a continuing contact between the Jews of Judea and those of Sepharad. There was an ongoing Jewish presence in Spain long before Jonah and Obadiah. And undoubtedly this contact was maintained by ships on the sea down through the centuries.

But what was it that made the Jews of Spain a recognized aristocracy, while the Jews back in Judea were hardly able to survive the string of catastrophes that continuously befell them? ( . . . the captivity in Egypt, the Assyrian conquest and captivity, the Babylonian captivity, the conquest and oppression by Alexander and the descendants of his Hellenic generals after him, the Roman conquest and dispersal [diaspora] by the Romans, the Islamic conquest . . . etc., etc. down to this century).

It is not too difficult to deduce what may have made the Sephardic Jews the aristocracy they emerged to be in the 15th and 16th centuries.

First, they probably started as aristocrats. It was the aristocrats and royal family who fled to find refuge before the approach of powerful armies. They were the ones the conquerors would have put to death or carried off as hostages for the good behavior of their people. The early conquerors just slaughtered the common people. And we know that other early ventures on the sea and colonizations overseas in the Mediterranean were led by members of royal families with their court of aristocrats. . . such as the founding of Carthage by the sister of the King of Tyre . . . the founding of Greek colonies in Etruria (at Rome?) under the leadership of Tyrrhenus, the son of the King of Lydia (in Asia Minor the Corinthian colony at Syracuse, and many other early colonizations, always westward.

Also the life around them in Spain must have been stimulating for their mental and intellectual development. The world of the Sea People in Spain opened new and exciting vistas they had never dreamed of back in Judea. The Sea People navigation all around the shores of the Atlantic brought back fantastic tales of exotic lands and new peoples. The Sea People science of engineering, astronomy, navigation, metallurgy and mining must have challenged their minds and stimulated their thinking. The Sea People way of dealing with foreigners must have won their admiration and set their imaginations racing. Rather than always waging war, the 8ea People artfully won the respect of invading barbarians and accommodated them (the Celts of Tartassos [Tarshish] and, later, the Vandals and Visigoths) and co-existed with them while harnessing them for their own purposes. For fugitive Jews from the Middle East, where vast barbarian armies constantly slaughtered one another, this must have been food for thought.

But most of all, what made the Sephardic Jews so powerful was their network of other Sephardic Jews spread out across the western world. And this was the direct result of their expulsion from Spain by the Catholic Kings, Ferdinand and Isabella. They could communicate with friends and relatives from Spain whom they trusted all across the world. This was similar to the earlier network of dispersed Jews created by the Roman diaspora, but the contacts were fresher by more than a dozen centuries.

And what is absolutely certain is that the contact between the Jews in Judea and the Jews in Sepharad was continuous down through the centuries. It was not only because of the periodic flight from some occasional disaster which overwhelmed Jerusalem from time to time. Over the years the merchant ships plied east and west continuously in the Mediterranean, carrying Jewish cargoes, Jewish passengers and Jewish messages. The prosperity generated by their commerce made them indispensable to each new conqueror.

Without the luxuries and spices they carried from distant lands, daily lives of the kings would have lacked zest and distinction. Without the latest superior metals for weapons of warfare, the conqueror might have ended up instead being conquered.

The legendary 'Ships of Tarshish' mentioned so frequently the old Testament (often with just a hint of jealousy) apparently wet, immense. There are hints suggesting that they were often used as ore ships, or transports for metal ingots (tin from Cornwall and copper from Corsica and Sardinia). The high sides and bow, combined with a quantity of heavy metal ballast: have made them very seaworthy in heavy seas. Mining and smelting early industries in the Guadalquiver basin of southern Spain (in the Sierra Morena).

There is a striking resemblance between drawings and description the ancients 'ships of Tarshish' the giant Sea Gaul ships which a destroyed Caesar's fleet of war galleys off the mouth of the Loire the summer of 55 B.C.

Caesar not only describes the battle in the third book of his 'De Bello Gallico', but he also spends many pages describing the ships he captured and personally inspected after the battle. He was clearly very much impressed by those ships. He tells how captains captured with their ships told him that they were accustomed to sailing for weeks out of sight of land across the broad Atlantic on those great ships without concern for storms or heavy seas. The Roman sea captains, like all Mediterranean seafarers of those days, were accustomed to put in to land every night, and never sailed in bad weather. None of them understood how the Phoenicians (and their ancient forefathers, the Pelasgians [in Greek], Peleset [in Egyptian] and Perizzite [in Semitic]) had been able to sail through all kinds of weather on the high seas and arrive exactly at their proposed destination, as they were reputed to be able to do.

Caesar had brought up a large fleet of Roman war galleys from the Mediterranean to crush the Sea Gauls and drive their ships away from the coasts of northern and western France, where they had been landing and stirring up local revolts against Rome for years. Caesar positioned his fleet to meet the approaching Sea Gaul fleet, then he himself went ashore onto a small island from which he watched the sea battle. . .

Several centuries later the Jewish banking system secretly financed (and helped to organize several major events which changed the direction of world history). They organized and financed the Moorish invasion of Spain in AD 711, which destroyed the Visigothic Empire, and this reshuffled the power alignments of all of western Europe. It also made the Mediterranean for a time an Islamic lake, and ignited forces which led to the Renaissance and the supremacy of Lombard bankers in northern Italy. The Sephardic Jewish bankers also financed (and thus made possible) the invasion of England in 1066 by William the Conqueror.

And in the 14th through the 16th centuries they were the essential element behind the expansion of the Ottoman Turks into the Middle East, Asia Minor; the Mediterranean, the Balkans and. eastern Europe. They assembled Jews from all over Europe for the Turks to re-populate conquered Constantinople, and they provided the administration, coordination and financing for the Turkish conquests in the Balkans an the Turkish invasions of Eastern Europe.

Of course those anonymous Jewish bankers profited mightily from the conquests they financed.

But how (when and where) did the Jewish bankers become so powerful?

Ironically it seem to have been the diasporas themselves (which are so bewailed by the Jews) which first created the Jewish banking network." (Cushman Cunningham, The Secret Empire, p447-465). sephard.htm