Dear Editor,

Please allow me some space in your paper to share some historical information about the above heading.

[After Mr. Johnny Koanapo’s (MP for Tanna) article on ‘Yumi 40: Vanuatu-Israeli Relations’ on Daily Post Issue Saturday 15 August, 2020, may I support by contributing this article. I think this may help seal the junction between the two countries which is not by mistake or a coincidence].

Yes, we are now 40 years. Our founding fathers changed the name, New Hebrides to Vanuatu. This is fine and okay, as the word ‘Vanu’ or ‘Vanua’ means ‘islands or land’ and the word ‘atu’ means ‘go forward’ and ‘tu’ means ‘stand’.

But let us just go back again to history and re-consider this former name – ‘New Hebrides’. Who named it? And what does it mean? Well, it was named by a British Explorer, Captain James Cook way back around the year 1774 (second voyage). He also drew the first map of the country. When he saw the group of islands in the archipelago, they look like the ‘Hebrides Islands’ to the North-West of the British Isles, so he named it as the ‘New Hebrides’.

But let us just go back further to find out how and where this name, ‘Hebrides’ originally came from? To find the answer, we must look back to the roots in scripture (bible), and this may give some proof (explanation), which is interesting. But we will only be brief on this.

Jacob’s (or Israel) fourth son was Judah, who was born from Leah. (Genesis 29: 35). Now later, Judah had twin sons (2 boys) born from Tamar (a widow) — Perez first and then Zerah. (Genesis 38: 27-30). (Later, the name Perez was re-phrased as Pharez, and the name Zerah was re-phrased as Zarah).

We read in I Chronicles 2: 6, that the sons of Zerah were: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol and Dara (five of them in all).

Zerah’s lineage was not documented much in scripture, but in other historical (religious) documents (e.g.: The Plain Truth (Tomorrow’s World)/ Encyclopedia Britannica/ The Larne Times (Irish Newspaper)/ Etc.). The following are not recorded in scripture, but in other historical documents by Bible Scholars such as in the above. (It is a long story, but we cut it down brief and short and to the main points):

(This is talking about the period of around 3,500 years ago, or 1,450 B.C. – not exact, but around that period).

Historical Religious Scholars re-affirm that during the 400-year period of the hard slavery of the Israelites in Egypt i.e. 200 years before Moses grew up, the descendants of Zerah (Zarah), and in particular his fourth son, Calcol with his group left the slavery of Egypt prior to the Exodus. This is due to their father/ grandfather, Zerah/ Zarah’s disillusioned attitude towards his older brother Perez/ Pharez as the leader of the Royal Tribe and also the hard and cruel treatment of their Egyptian masters. The descendants fled to Greece, then to Spain naming three places there as: Zaragossa (name originating from Zerah/ Zarah), Ebro and Hiberi-the river and land there (originally Hebrew names). Still carrying their names with them, the descendants voyaged north-ward to Ireland, originally being named Iber-land/ Hiber-land by them, deriving from the name, Hebrew. Whenever they went, they left their names like a footprint marking their journey to distant lands.

Some religious historians (scholars) re-affirm that some of these descendants of Zerah/ Zarah (plus others like the descendants of Zebulun (one of Jacob’s sons)-who were sea-farers) continued their fortune north-ward and founded the group of islands which they named – ‘Hebrides’ whilst to Scotland. The name ‘Hebrides’ originates from the name: ‘Hebrew’, which they claimed to be another ‘Hebrew-land’. There was an early Hebrew inscription having been discovered on one of those Hebrides islands. So these five places: Zaragossa, Ebro, Hiberi, Hiber-land and Hebrides are all named after the Hebrews.

When Captain James Cook saw our group of islands (the archipelago), they look like those Hebrides islands to the north-west of Scotland, so he named it, the ‘New Hebrides’. This is very significant, which means that we are also the ‘New Hebrew-Land’.

I think God has been at work through history, through Explorers like Captain James Cook, and had directed his mind to name our country – the (former) New Hebrides. I think we should be proud of this because God still remembers us in history, and we are not far from him. I think many interesting things will be unfolding yet in future.

Hebrew(s): is the ancient name used, referring to the Israelites.

Jew(s): is or are the descendants of the ancient Hebrews.

(NB: Two other explorers who came before Captain James Cook were: French Explorer Captain Louis-Antoine de Bougainville in 1768 and Spanish Explorer Captain De Quiros in 1606. Interesting stories, but because of limited space we will not talk about them now.)

During the 40th Independence Anniversary Sunday Service 26 July by V.C.C. at the Independence Park, the MC and a Pastor during that Service also mentioned about this Explorer, Captain James Cook who named our islands before as the ‘New Hebrides’, and elaborated to some extent.

Although we have changed our name to Vanuatu (as an Independent State), which is just fine and okay – we can still reflect back or keep at the back of our minds that we have been or are also the ‘New Hebrew-Land.’ After 40 years through the wilderness…………the Promised Land is just on the other side........? (my opinion).

I think our Vanuatu is special! God bless.

[This article is only straight-forward and genuine in its entity – after a little research. It should not confuse some].

Thank you to Daily Post for allowing this space.

From Genuine Ni-Vanuatu Citizen – T.T.

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