Iceland: the tribe of Benjamin

By Mikkel Stjernholm Kragh


The Icelanders are the descendants of the Israelite tribe of Benjamin.

God’s protected favourite

When Moses blessed the 12 tribes of Israel, we read:

”And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.” (Deuteronomy 33:12)

Iceland has thus not been invaded since the first Icelandic parliament (the Alting) was formed in 930 AD. The same can hardly be said of any other North-West European people!

The smallest of the tribes of Israel

After the 12th century BC, the tribe of Benjamin was numerically the smallest of the tribes of Israel. The tribe’s territory was also one of the smallest, but also one of the most important.

Likewise are the Icelanders one of the smallest North-West European peoples. They must, at least, be the smallest North-West European people with an independent country of their own. (The Faroe Islanders are numerically smaller, but do not have full independence.)


Above: Iceland’s flag


Icelandic men and women of different origins

In 874 AD the Norwegian chief Ingolfúr Arnarson was the first to settle permanently on Iceland. The later Norse settlers were primarily Norwegians, but there were also Danes, Swedes, and Norse-Gaels among them.

Geneticists from Oxford University have shown that the Icelanders, by and large, descend from Norse men and Celtic women. These geneticists write that

”numerous slaves were captured by the Vikings in their raids on the coastlines of the British Isles, and many of the slaves were taken to Iceland. The majority of these slaves seem likely to have been female.” (See here.)

Benjamite men and women of different origins

Like the modern Icelanders, the tribe of Benjamin’s men and women also descended from different tribes.

In the 12th century BC, when the tribe of Benjamin was at war against the rest of the tribes of Israel, all the Benjamite women were killed, and only 600 Benjamite men survived (see Judges chap. 19-21). In order that the tribe of Benjamin would be able to survive, the 11 tribes fetched 400 young female virgins in Jabesh-Gilead, and let the Benjamite men take them for wives. Thus the tribe of Benjamin survived (see Judges chap. 21).

When the patriarch Israel blessed his 12 sons, he said of Benjamin:

”Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” (Genesis 49:27)

This prophecy was both fulfilled in the tribe of Benjamin in the 12th century BC, and also in the formation of Icelandic people in the 10th century AD, because they are one and the same tribe!

Benjamin and Joseph

The patriarch Benjamin had only one full brother, Joseph. Their mother was Rachel. The other 10 patriarchs had the same father, but different mothers.

Those that study the tribes of Israel almost all agree that Great Britain is of Joseph, and of the Ephraim branch of Joseph in particular. (Ephraim was Joseph’s son.)

A Swiss DNA analysis institute which compares the DNA of modern indigenous European peoples with the DNA of antique people has shown that the United Kingdom is 75% Celtic, 13% Germanic[i], and 12% Viking, while the Irish Republic is 88% Celtic and 12% Viking.

The Icelanders, who, as mentioned above, are of Norse-Celtic ancestry, are thus closely related to the peoples of the British Isles. In fact Iceland seems to be genetically as closely related to the United Kingdom as to Norway (88% Viking and 12% Germanic) and Denmark (60% Viking and 40% Germanic). (See here.)

Geography of Benjamin and Iceland

When the 12 tribes of Israel lived in the land of Israel, Benjamin’s territory was around Jerusalem, which was the main city in Benjamin’s territory. Benjamin shared borders with Ephraim, Dan, Judah, and Reuben.


Above: the 12 tribes of Israel at the time of the Old Testament


Like Benjamin shared borders with Ephraim, so is one of Iceland’s closest neighbours the United Kingdom, which is the tribe of Ephraim. Like Benjamin shared borders with Dan and Judah, so was Iceland a part of the Kingdom of Denmark between 1380 and 1944. Denmark consists of the tribe of Dan through the Danes, and the tribe of Judah through the Jutes.

Benjamin and Dan

Not only were Benjamin and Dan neighbouring tribes, but in the Biblical lists of the tribes there sometimes is a special connection between Benjamin and Dan. When the 12 tribes are listed in the Bible, the tribes which have a common mother are usually listed together, i.e. Joseph & Benjamin, Dan & Naphtali, Gad & Asher, etc.  But in some places Dan is mentioned together with Joseph and Benjamin. In Ezekiel’s description of the gates of the New Jerusalem, there are three gates on the east side:

“and three gates; and one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan” (Ezekiel 48:32)

Here Gad, Asher, and Naphtali are listed separately (Eze. 48:34).

In 1st Chronicles, Dan is again listed along with Joseph and Benjamin, while Naphtali, Gad, and Asher are mentioned separately:

“These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.” (1 Chronicles 2:1-2, my underlining)

This is another Biblical parallel to Iceland's special relationship with Denmark.

Adam Rutherford’s Iceland book

Adam Rutherford, a scholar on the tribes of Israel, wrote in May 1937 the book Iceland’s Great Inheritance, where he identified the Icelanders as the descendants of the tribe of Benjamin. By calculating “the seven times”, Rutherford calculated that Iceland would gain complete independene around 1941.

The seven times are 2520 years (7 x 360 years) where Israel, after having sinned, was liable to be oppressed by other nations. Rutherford counted 2520 years from the fall of Jerusalem in 603 BC, and arrived at 1918 AD, and 2520 years from the final deportation of Benjamin in 580 BC, and arrived at 1941 AD.

In 1918 Iceland gained independence within a personal union with Denmark.

Adam Rutherford wrote in his book from 1937 (!):

“The black clouds of trouble are gathering fast over the nations of Continental Europe and Asia and it is but a short time till the terrible holocaust foretold will be precipitated, but Iceland will be ‘the bright spot’ on Earth, for the Creator has arranged for Iceland to be free from militarism and from religious controversies in order that this little nation may be a Christian example to the great nations of the World. Through the deliverance of Iceland the Almighty will demonstrate to the World His great love and care over a defenceless nation who worship Him in sincerity and truth.” (Adam Rutherford: Iceland’s Great Inheritance, p. 13)

Some prophetic words from 1937! Note that Rutherford actually used the word “holocaust”!

When Germany occupied Denmark in 1940, the United Kingdom occupied Iceland. In 1941 the British forces were replaced by American troops, within an agreement with the Icelandic Home Rule. In 1944 Iceland completely seceded from Denmark and became an independent republic.


October 2009



The Authorized King James Version of the Holy Bible

Adam Rutherford: Iceland’s Great Inheritance (London, UK: Institute of Pyramidology, 1937)

Agnar Helgason, Sigrún Sigurðardóttir, Jayne Nicholson, Bryan Sykes, Emmeline W. Hill, Daniel G. Bradley, Vidar Bosnes, Jeffery R. Gulcher, Ryk Ward, and Kári Stefánsson: Estimating Scandinavian and Gaelic Ancestry in the Male Settlers of Iceland (The American Journal of Human Genetics, 2000) (6 Oct., 2009)

iGENEA (Zürich, Switzerland) (6 Oct., 2009)


[i] iGENEA uses ”Teutonic” and ”Germanic tribesmen” interchangeably.




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