The Stone of Destiny
by Rev. Bertrand L. Comparet, A.B., J.D.
In the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey in London is an oblong block of sandstone, upon which all of England's kings have been crowned for several centuries--and before that, the kings of Scotland, and before them the kings of Ireland. This is another bit of evidence of the identity of the Anglo-Saxon people as the Israel of the Bible, and that the House of David still rules over them.
The history of this stone begins in the 28th chapter of Genesis, where we read that Jacob camped overnight in a field, and for his pillow used a stone with his folded cloak over it. During the night, God appeared to him in a vision, and promised to give him the Land of Canaan. When Jacob awoke, he said, "this is the house of God," and named the place Beth-el, meaning "House of God." Then he took the stone he had used as his pillow and set it up as a monument, and dedicated it with an offering of oil. He promised that, if God would help him, "then shall the Lord be my God: and this stone which I have set for a monument shall be God's house."
In Genesis 34, God instructs him to go back to Bethel and set up an altar to God, which Jacob did. It was at this time that God changed Jacob's name to Israel; and Israel again set up and dedicated as a monument of witness the stone pillar which he had dedicated as "God's house." Its sacred character was now firmly established.
We next find mention of it in Genesis 49, when the aged Israel, before he dies, tells his 12 sons what will befall their respective descendants in the last days. Speaking of Joseph, he says, "From thence is the shepherd of the Stone of Israel." We should, therefore, expect to find the Stone in custody of the sons of Joseph in the last days. The English are the Tribe of Ephraim, descended from one of Joseph's sons. Its sacred character having been established, the stone would not be thereafter abandoned.
We next hear of it when the Children of Israel, in their exodus from Egypt, were facing death by thirst in the desert. God instructed Moses, "I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink"; thus they were saved from death. This miracle was repeated later, but this time Moses was instructed merely to speak to the rock, not strike it; because Moses disobeyed God and hit the rock in a "grandstand play" before the people, he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. We must not think that this rock was merely the native rock cliffs of these desert places, for in 1 Corinthians 10: 1-4, Paul says "all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea ... and did all drink the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual Rock THAT FOLLOWED THEM, and that Rock was Christ. " That is, they were given water to drink from a rock which was carried along with them; and as Israel had said, "this stone which I have set up for a monument shall be God's house," so Christ hallowed it with His presence.
After Joshua had conquered the Promised Land and divided it among the 12 Tribes, he reminded them that they must ever be loyal to God, and he set up a stone as a monument of witness to this warning; the Hebrew says he took "the stone of greatness" --and what would that be, or what more fitting witness could there be, but the stone which was "God's house"?
Before God ever allowed Israel to have a king, the rebel Abimelech had himself crowned king beside this pillar or monument (Judges 9: 6). Later, when the lawful monarchy was established in the House of David, we find it was the custom that the king be crowned standing by the "pillar" or monument, for we read in 2 Kings 11: 12-14, "And he brought forth the king's son and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and annointed him; and they clapped their hands and said, God save the king. And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the Temple of the Lord. And when she looked, behold, the king stood hy a pillar, as the manner was and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced. "
The Stone had become a sacred relic, a witness of the mutual promises of God and of the Children of Israel. It would be found close to the Temple and the throne. Upon the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Maccabees 2: 4-8 says that ancient records stated that Jeremiah had taken the Ark of the Covenant and the Tabernacle and had hidden them in a cave on Mount Nebo.
While 1 Samuel 4-5 records the capture of the Ark by the Philistines, and its return, there is no mention of it being taken by the Babylonians, so the ancient record of the Ark being hidden must be correct. Along with the Ark, we may be sure that Jeremiah would also safely hide the sacred Witness Stone, "God's house," which had twice been used to give water to the people to save them from death, and which was now used in the coronation of the kings.
When I spoke to you on "What Jeremiah Planted," I told you how Jeremiah and the daughters of the last King of Judah, Zedekiah, were taken to Egypt with the refugees; but in order to fulfill God's prophecy that Jeremiah was also "to build and to plant," Jeremiah had to leave Egypt and take the princess to where another Israelite kingdom was then in existence--in Ireland. We know that with Jeremiah went Baruch, his scribe, and the king's daughter; and with the princess, he would also certainly take the hidden Stone upon which the kings were crowned.
The ancient Irish records record the coming of "the Great Prophet," "Brugh" his scribe (obviously Baruch), and the daughter of a king, about 583 B.C., which would be the correct date; and that with them they brought the "Wonderful Stone," or "Stone of Destiny." In one of our congregations is a woman whose family genealogy shows that one of their ancestors came to Ireland with Jeremiah, and that this ancestor's duty was that of custodian of the Stonel Tea Tephi, the king's daughter, married Eochaidh the Heremon, or Chief King, of Ireland.
The stone, called "Lia Fail" or "Stone of Destiny" was kept at the capital city of Tara for some three centuries, and all the kings, descendants of Eochaidh and Tea Tephi, were crowned on it. Then, about 350 B.C., it was sent to Scotland for the coronation of Fergus, King of Scots, who was a descendant of the Milesian kings of Ireland. It remained in Scotland, and all Scottish kings were crowned on it, until 1297 A.D. when King Edward I of England invaded Scotland and captured the Stone, which he took to England, where it was placed in Westminster Abbey, its home ever since that date. It was built into the Coronation Chair--the oldest piece of furniture in England still serving its original purpose--and all English kings have been crowned on it ever since.
Its origin was well known during the entire time it has been in the British Isles, and from practically the first it was called "Jacob's Stone. " William of Rislanger, writing in the 13th century, records the coronation of John de Baliol as King of Scotland in the year 1292 "upon the stone upon which Jacob placed his head. "
While the ten-tribed nation of Israel had to "abide many days without a king" as God prophesied in Hosea 3: 4, yet there must always be a royal family of David's line on the throne over some Israelite people, for God promised through Jeremiah (33: 17) that "David shall never lack a man to sit upon the throne of the House of Israel."
We know that Eochaidh the Heremon was of the Milesian line of Kings of Ireland, and that the Milesians in Ireland were descendants of Zarah, a son of Judah; and that Tea Tephi was a descendant of David, who was also of the Royal Tribe of Judah through Judah's son, Pharez. So the two royal lines of Judah were united with the marriage of Eochaidh and Tea Tephi, and a descendant of David was always on the throne over Israelite people, as God had promised.
The Ark of the Covenant belonged in the Temple; and the Temple was not to be a continuous institution like the Throne of David; so it is not surprising that the Ark has disappeared from history, and probably will not be revealed again until Jesus Christ returns to reign upon the Throne of David, as is prophesied in Isaiah 9: 7.
But the Throne was to be a continuous throne
(Jeremiah 33: 17); therefore, it is only logical that the Coronation Stone,
which the Hebrews had called "The Stone of Majesty" and "The Pillar of
Witness," should be found where the Throne of David had its continued
existence. After all, it was "The Pillar of Witness" for it had been made
witness to both Israel's promise to be God's People and God's promise to be
their God. It should be there, as a witness that God always makes good His
promises, and "David shall never lack a man to sit upon the Throne of the
House of Israel."
According to the older tradition, the daughters of Zedekiah were Tamar Tephi (known to her family and friends as Tea Tephi or Tea), and her younger sister, Scota; and this Tamar Tephi, or Tea, was married to Eochaidh in Ireland. The new evidence mentioned by Mr. Capt is discussed on pages 6465 of his book, "King Solomon's Temple," in which he quotes Ezekiel 17. 22, which says: "Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent." Mr. Capt then says: "This was fulfilled when Scota, King Zedekiah's daughter (the tender twig), was taken to Egypt by Jeremiah and then to Spain where she married 'ane Greyk callit Gathelus, son of Cecrops of Athens, King of Argives' (The Chronicles of Scotland by Hector Boece). In due time a son was born and was named 'Eochaidh' (Eremhon or King).
"There is a tradition that when Jeremiah brought Scota to Spain, he also brought the 'stone' upon which Jacob laid his head, at Bethel, when he had the vision of a ladder extending to heaven (Gen. 28: 12-19). This -was the 'stone' used as a Coronation Stone in Solomon's Temple. Second Kings 11: 11-14 tells of the anointing of a king, after which all the men around the king 'clapped their hands' and said, 'God save the King' while 'the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the kin ."
'From the 'Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters,' we find the following statement: 'Tea, the daughter of Loghaldh, son of Ith, whom Eremhon married in Spain was the Tea who requested of Eremhon a choice hill as her dower, in whatever place she should select it, that she might be interred therein. The hill she selected was Druimcaein, i.e. Teamhair (in Ireland)' (Vol. 1, pg. 31).
"This is only one of many historical records that place, not only Tea in Ireland, but her husband Eochaidh, 'the Heremon' (chief or King). At this same time there appeared, with Eochaidh (brought by Dedannans and set up at Tara as the inauguration stone of Irish Kings - Encyclopedia Britannica 14th ed.) a stone of red sandstone, a type found in Palestine. It had iron rings fastened at each end which could have been used for porter poles. The stone became known by the name 'Lia Fail' and 'Stone of Destiny.' It is not unlikely that Jacob's Stone and the 'Stone of Destiny' were one and the same. " By whatever course the throne of David may have been carried to Europe, it is nevertheless a fact that it was eventually transferred to Ireland, then Scotland, and then England.