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Gozan

In referring to the place of exile of the tribe of Ruben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh, the book of I Chronicles 5:26 states that “Pul ... and Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria carried them away... and brought them to Halah and Habor, and Hara and to the river Gozan.”

The text of II Kings 17:6 also speaks of Gozan is a river: “... the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river Gozan and in the cities of the Medes”— similarly II Kings 18:11. In II Kings 19:12 Rabshakeh speaks in the name of Sennacherib: “How the gods of the nations have delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; (as) Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph and the children of Eden which were in Thelassar?” In this list are included countries, such as Eden (Aden) which were outside of Assyria.

In Isaiah 37:12 Gozan can be understood as a region or a people of a region. The correct translation of II Kings 17:6 and 18:11 is “in the confluence of the river Gozan.”

Biblical scholars looking for the place of exile of first, the 2 tribes of Israel by Tiglath Pileser, and then of all the tribes of Israel by Sargon upon the fail of Samaria, decided that the river’s name was Habor and Gozan was the region. This is a violation of the texts. They identified Habor with the confluent of the Euphrates mentioned in Ezekiel 1:3, “The word of the Lord came ... unto Ezekiel” in the land of the Chaldeans by the river Chebar.

The spellings Habor and Chebar are different, and the river Khvoz (Chebar) is not Habor, and the latter is not a river at all.

When the exiles of Judah arrived in Babylonia ca. 138 years after the inhabitants of Israel were removed from their land, they did not find the Israelites in Chebar (Khvoz). It is also said that the Lord removed Israel out of his sight—or to a country far away and without communication with the motherland.

The Assyrians spread their dominion to the south as far as Ethiopia and Aden (Eden). The Assyrians crossed the Caucasus—this is known from Assyrian inscriptions themselves. In one of the Arab geographer-travellers of the Middle Ages I found confirmation of my view that the Volga was the river Gozan. The confluence of the Volga is where the equally wide Kama joins the Volga. Thus the “confluence of the river Gozan” was at the point where the city of Kazan is located. Not far on the Volga is also a city Samarra. This land had a Jewish kingdom of Khazars in the 6th to 12th centuries, which was visited by Benjamin of Tudela, the Spanish Jewish traveller. He claimed to have found the Ten Tribes. The region of Scythia and Sarmatia abounds in Assyrian relics of the seventh century B.C.E. The Khazars are supposed to have acquired their Jewish religion in the Christian era. However the names of the Khazar kings reveal names found among the Israelites in the days of the Jewish kings of the eighth pre-Christian century, not names of the later periods, like the Hellenistic or Roman (Matathiam, Hillel, Gamliel), It appears that Persian Jews in the Persian time established contact with the Israelites on the Volga.


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