>An article published in Arutz Sheva argues that it is possible that Solomon’s sailors traveled to America many years before Christopher Columbus.
The same article also argues that Cherokee legends say that some of the Jews who escaped from Masada became the Cherokees. One example cited in the article for Jewish presence in the New World is a coin from the time of the Bar Kochba revolt found at a site along the Ohio River.
The following is an excerpt from the article:
There are many similarities to Judaism in some Native American tribes, specifically the Cherokee nation. The Cherokees were monotheistic, believing in one G-d, as opposed to other Indian tribes who believed in several gods/spirits. Some of the words in the Cherokee’s language are similar to Hebrew words of the same meaning, and the name of their G-d was similar to the Hebrew name of G-d. The Cherokee Indians also celebrated their holidays akin to some Jewish holidays. They also had one day a week of rest from work, and observed fasts. They reportedly practiced circumcision, had a city of refuge for man-slayers, and they didn’t eat the meat of the hollow of the thigh of an animal. In addition, their appearance also hints of a possible Jewish ancestry; their 2 braids at the side of their head resembling long sidelocks (payot), the fringes on their clothes resembling TzitTzit (the ‘ritual fringes’ a Jewish man wears on his 4 cornered garment), and some Cherokees clearly had semitic facial features.
Read the article in its entirety here.
Personally, I do not believe that Solomon’s sailors visited the New World. The information in the article can be explained in other ways, without resorting to the theory of ancient Jewish sailors traveling the Mississippi River or the Sicarii who escaped from Masada coming to America.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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