A Biblical Basis for Brexit

(First published herein on 17 Nov 2016) A possible identity of the British Isles in the Bible is something I was aware of long before becoming a Christian, as in the legend of Joseph of Arimathea visiting Glastonbury and history of the early British Church.

Thank you Jonathan Ely at Why Leave the EU? for your link to this article, and for the kind permission of The Emmaus Group, which presents a lucid case for Britain being the ancient land of Tarshish.: 


Grateful thanks to the unknown creator of this splendid illustration


It is written that God establishes the boundaries of nations and for those who understand the times we are in, you realise we’re getting close to the end of days. So in light of the Referendum outcome, we decided to publish this article as we believe Britain could be the ancient nation of Tarshish, as referred to in Old Testament biblical prophecy. Tarshish is listed as one of the nations that challenges the Gog- Magog confederacy that sets itself up against Israel. Tarshish is also one of the first nations to bring offerings (tribute) to the God of Israel therefore could not be part the Gog-Magog confederacy.

The Emmaus Group believes our deliverance from Europe was God’s will for this nation, for His word does not return void but will perform what He purposes, in the thing for which He sent it (Isaiah 55:11). So be encouraged, but also understand such revelation highlights the times we’re in. Time is now very short and Britain will soon be humbled. What we are witnessing before our very eyes reflects both prophecy and the list of nations in Ezekiel 38.

The Descendants of Noah

As with all good stories we must start at the beginning. In Genesis chapter 10 it lists the nations that descended from the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth. Japheth himself had seven sons: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras. The sons of Javan, Noah’s great-grandsons, were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim. From these, the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations. (Gen 10:1-4)

According to Josephus, a well-respected Roman-Jewish scholar, the sons of Japheth went north and west into what we know to day as Europe, Scandinavia and Western Russia. The sons of Shem went to the Middle East and Asia, and the sons of Ham to North Africa. Josephus was one of the first of many to assign known ethnicities to some of the names listed in Genesis 10.

The name Gaul lies at the root of the word Galatian, which was the name the ancient Greeks gave the Gauls, in what we know today as the French-Belgian region. In ancient times the Gauls were also known as Gomerites, because they had descended from Gomer. Jophesus also listed Tubal as the Iberes, the root of the word Iberian, aka the Spanish-Portuguese-Andorran region. Meshech was identified as the father of Cappadocian people, i.e. Turkey and today the Armenians still identify themselves as the ‘House of Togarmah’.

Josephus identified Magog as being Scythia and in 450BC, Herodotus listed the rivers of Cythia, which included the Danube in the West as far as the Don in East. Therefore the region of Magog extends from what we know as Germany into Russia.

In the West

Now one of the sons of Javan is Tarshish, and if we study scripture carefully we can find many clues to help identify who Tarshish is. He is a grandson of Japheth, therefore it is fair to say the ‘people of Tarshish’ are descendants of Japheth, thus ‘European’ in origin. We know from scripture that Tarshish is located in the West relative to Israel.

For example, in Jonah 1:3 we read how Jonah got on a boat at Joppa (modern day Jaffa south of Tel Aviv) to go to Tarshish to try to get as far away from God as possible. From Joppa you can only sail west. In the British Museum there is a boastful quote by an Assyrian king, Esarhaddon (681-691BC) stating, “all the kings from the lands surrounded by the sea (i.e. islands) from Iadanana (Cyprus) and Iaman (Ionian Islands) even as afar as Tarshish, bow to my feet.” This quote, mentioning first the closest islands, demonstrates by comparison Tarshish was a long way off to the west: “even as far as…”

Maritime Power/Global Trading

Tarshish is clearly a maritime country that traded in global markets. We see this evidenced in 2 Chronicles 9 where it speaks of Solomon’s wealth. “For the kings ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. Once every three years the ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks.” These are commodities that would have been collected as they travelled with the servants of Hiram. Hiram was in Tyre, a major Phoenician shipping and trading port that established global trade routes. Tyre is in what we know today as Lebanon and was then the capital trading post of the Phoenicians. In Ezekiel 27:3 it is written, “Tyre, who dwells at the entrances to the sea, merchant of the people to many coastlands.” Notably in verse 12 it says “Tarshish did business with you because of your great wealth of every kind; silver, iron, tin, and lead they exchanged for your wares.”

Silver, iron, tin and lead are all metals found in Britain. According to Roman trading records these metals were only found in three places: Persia, Iberia and Britannia. Of these three places, only one was an island afar off – Britannia aka Tarshish.

Isaiah 23 speaks of a transfer of maritime power and influence from Tyre to Tarshish. The passage is titled an oracle concerning Tyre in which its fall from global influence is lamented. The East India Trading Company, who dominated trade in the east and west during the British Empire, used trade routes remarkably similar to those of the Phoenicians. Thus it could be said the power and influence of Tyre was passed to Britain using trading routes we still ply today. We too were a colonial power with all the commonwealth nations with connection to Britain, yet independent.

Relationship with Gulf States

Ezekiel 38 speaks of the time in which the Gog-Magog confederacy comes against Israel and her God. However, Sheba and Dedan with the merchants of Tarshish, and its young lions, challenge them (38:13). Sheba and Dedan are the modern day nations of the Arabian Peninsula, what we know as the Gulf States. This implies an alliance will be forged between Tarshish and the Gulf States in trading sanctions against the Gog-Magog confederacy. But who are the young lions?

emmaus-group-tarshishEzekiel 19:2-3 [A lament re princes of Israel – RB] gives us another clue by telling us of a Lioness rearing her cubs to become young lions able to fend for themselves. The picture of a lioness rearing cubs pertains to a nation rearing colonial offspring who are taught to fend for themselves and become independent, which is exactly what happened to the British commonwealth. Of note, the lion features heavily in British symbolism. It’s on our crest, many coats of arms and in much national symbolism, even our football and rugby shirts! The picture is of a wartime poster and speaks for itself.

Tarshish is a maritime nation with global trading influence and as if to prove the point, the world’s oldest boat was recently discovered off Dover, which was 3000 years old. The report, featured in the Daily Telegraph was titled; “3000 year old shipwreck shows European trade was thriving in the Bronze age” – i.e. throughout biblical times.

Britain has a well known anthem; Rule Britannia, usually sung with great gusto at the proms! The words speak a lot: Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the waves, Britons never never never shall be slaves (even to Europe). It’s well evidenced we are a maritime nation who traded with the Mediterranean even 3500 years ago. Mediterranean skeletons were found in Stonehenge and in the far north of Scotland, on the Shetlands and Outer Hebrides, historic digs have uncovered many artefacts and designs, which are clearly Middle Eastern in origin. Britain was certainly trading with the Middle East thousands of years ago. So did those feet in ancient times walk upon England’s mountains green, and was the holy Lamb of God, on England’s pleasant pastures seen?i

Continuing with the theme of maritime power, something that Tarshish is identified as having, it’s notable that Britain today still has a strong relationship with the Gulf States through major trade deals. ‘The British Navy has a permanent presence in the gulf to ensure the safe flow of trade and oil in the area.’ (RN Website). On 26th March this year, a news item appeared titled: “UK to lead gulf maritime force,” reflecting what is written in Ezekiel 38, that Tarshish will have a strong relationship with Sheba and Dedan.

Tarshish in the Last Days

That this relationship exists and will ultimately challenge the Gog-Magog confederacy demonstrates that Tarshish is on an opposing side, not part of the confederacy. Therefore, if Britain is Tarshish, it could not remain in Europe for prophecy to be fulfilled.

This might also account for why many believers sensed, in the run up to the Referendum, that God wanted us out, because He still has plans for this nation, His hand is upon us and ultimately we will bring tribute to the King of Kings, the God of Israel.

Isaiah 2 says that in the latter days God will humble the nations, that He will humble all that is proud and lofty and bring them low. In verse 16 it specifically names the ships of Tarshish. Britain will be humbled too. The dissolution of the European Union following Brexit may trigger exactly this?

Isaiah 60:9 says; “for the coastlands shall hope for Me, the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your children from afar.” Did not Britain bring the Jews from afar? Was not the Balfour declaration a British/Tarshish initiative? Verse 9 continues by saying, “their silver and gold with them, for the name of the Lord your God and the Holy One of Israel.”

If correct, that England is Tarshish, God has not finished with us. He has a work for us to do which is why He needed us to leave the EU. We could not work against the Gog-Magog confederacy if we were ‘in’ it.

Isaiah 66:19. “And I will set a sign among them (all nations and tongues v18). And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish…and they shall declare my glory among the nations.” Those who witness God’s glory will speak of it in Tarshish, will Britain have a role in declaring the glory of God among the nations at the end of time?

Psalm 72:10 “May the kings of Tarshish and the coastlands render Him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts!” This prophetic prayer echoes Ezekiel 38, that after the Tarshish-Sheba-Dedan trade sanctions are enforced against the Gog-Magog confederacy, to hinder their efforts to trample Jerusalem, Tarshish and Sheba will bring tribute to the King of kings in Jerusalem.

In Conclusion:

Can we use the Bible to identify who Tarshish is, and does Britain fit the description?

  • Are the British people descendants of Japheth, in the region of Europe – yes.
  • Is Britain located in the West relative to Israel – yes.
  • Is it a source of iron, tin, silver and lead – yes
  • Did it trade with Tyre and global markets in the Bronze age – yes
  • Is it a maritime power – yes
  • Can it be said that it took over the trading influence of Tyre – yes
  • Is it a colonial power with young lions – yes
  • Is it a trading power in the gulf – yes.


If Britain is indeed the nation of Tarshish, as identified in the scriptures, then it’s easier to understand why we had to come out from under the influence and control of the very confederacy we may soon come against under God’s divine plan for the last days. It would also explain why our relationship with the Gulf States is strengthening and why our Royal Navy has a permanent presence in the gulf. Such a notion would also reaffirm our understanding of the times in which we are living, as we witness the realignment of nations in accordance with biblical prophecy for the end game scenario.

Watch therefore and pray dear friends for your redemption draws near. These final days will be troubled times as we will be humbled by God, but in the end, according to prophecy, there will be a revival as the survivors are sent by God, to Tarshish, to declare the glory of God.

If however we humble ourselves before God, He will lift us up. Pray the nation humbles itself that God does not have to do it for us!

Emmaus Group 6th July 2016

i Jerusalem: William Blake.

Note: On 12th Feb 2019 I discovered link to Emmaus-group.org is ‘suspended’.