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The Abduction of Europa by Rembrandt, 1632 (Wikimedia Commons)

Tracing the Origins of Europe, through Goddess Europa, Back to Jeroboam?


The usual derivation of the term Europe recalls the Greek myth of Europa. This origin is no mystery, in fact the Euro, their official coin, depicts the famous virgin seated on her bull-god. A popular etiology but, in my view, totally unsatisfying. A true origin cannot be traced to a myth. Surely, an actual event spawned the myth.

Euro coin depicting a scene from a mosaic in Sparta (third century AD), showing Europa being abducted by Zeus, who has taken the form of a bull.

Euro coin depicting a scene from a mosaic in Sparta (third century AD), showing Europa being abducted by Zeus, who has taken the form of a bull. (

Herodotus (450 BC.) suspected a truth behind it. He assumed Europa really lived but, her story was allegorical; the bull-god actually represented her Cretan kidnappers (Herodotus "Histories" Book 1. 2). However, it could be that the maiden was the allegory. We know that "Phoenicians" worshiped the bull-god "El." And at least one "Phoenician" nation really did use an allegorical "Virgin" as their symbolic figurehead. The “Virgin of Israel” ( Jeremiah 18:13, Amos 5:2).

Nations as virgins

Israelites commonly symbolized nations as virgins. Isaiah alludes to the "Virgin Daughter Sidon" (23:12), and the "Virgin Daughter Babylon" ( 47:1), Jeremiah uses ”O virgin, the daughter of Egypt” ( 46:11). European nations continue this practice today. Rome, founded by Romulus, has a figurative female personification called "Roma," Britain, founded by Brutus (its first king in the " Historia Britonum"), has Britannia, and  America, a European colony discovered by Columbus, has its "Columbia." Conforming to the pattern, the founder of Israel’s Northern Ten Tribes was named "Jeroboam" (“yarobh`am”; The Septuagint has "Hieroboam," from; "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 'JEROBOAM'".).

Origin of the name Europa

"Europa" is a very plausible feminized Greek transliteration of his name (compare "Hieropolis," "Jerablus" and "Europos," all transliterations for the same alternate name for "Carchemish."). Furthermore, Greek mythology didn't use the term "Israel" and, neither do the Scriptures use "Phoenicia" although, both terms described the "land of Canaan." Israel was reckoned "from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates" ( Genesis 15:18), and specifically; "behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession" ( Deuteronomy 32:49). Consequently, the Greek “Phoenicia” could have included Israel, just as the Scriptural “Israel” encompassed Phoenicia.

Map by Fredericus de Wit with a personification of Europa (Wikimedia Commons)

Map by Fredericus de Wit with a personification of Europa (Wikimedia Commons)

Jeroboam and the loss of ‘The Virgin of Israel’

The Hebrews blamed Jeroboam for the loss of "The Virgin of Israel" (The Northern Ten Tribes) among the nations. He committed a famous sin (mentioned over 20 times in the Scriptures) – he promoted the adoration of God in bull form. “So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said '... Behold your gods, O Israel ...” ( 1Ki 12:28-30). "And the Lord ... tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam ... king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and made them commit a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam" ( 2Ki 17:20-22). God took credit for the removal of Northern Israel saying; ”this thing is from me.” ( 1Ki 12:24). “He will uproot Israel from this good land which He gave to their fathers, and will scatter them, ... because of the sins of Jeroboam” ( 1Ki 14:15,16). Therefore, Greek references to the "Maiden of Phoenicia" (as carried away adoring the bull-god and lost among the nations), by a feminized version of the name "Jeroboam," appears as a perfectly logical usage.

Europa riding a bull, depicted in a fresco at Pompeii (Wikimedia Commons)

Europa riding a bull, depicted in a fresco at Pompeii (Wikimedia Commons)

The ‘myth’ of Europa

The ‘myth’ of Europa is much better known (regrettably) than the story of the lost Ten Tribes. Many Greek myths and, modern accounts of it circulate. The history of  Israel’s lost tribes, arguably a main theme of the Bible, is a bit more difficult to ascertain. It can be discovered however, without too much of a Biblical study, in five main components;

1.) God favors Jeroboam and personally intercedes to arrange for the ten tribes to secede from Judah ( 1Ki 11:30-38).

2.) There's an initial struggle between Judah and Israel over the possession of the "Virgin" ( 1Ki 12:21-24), until God steps in and decides the issue in favor of the separation.

3.) Jeroboam institutes the adoration of God in the form of a bullock ( 1Ki 12:28-30).

4.) The "Virgin" gets "carried away" ( 1Ch 5:26) and is lost, "scattered" amongst the nations ( Ezekiel 36:19).

5.) An heir to the throne (My servant David) is sent to "regather" her ( Isaiah 11:10-12, Ezekiel 37:21-25). Jeremiah ( 31:21) implores her to come back home again; "... return, O virgin of Israel," and Ezekiel, "I’ll gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you’ve been scattered," ( Ezekiel 11:17).

Now, compare these with similar points culled from Greek myths;

1.) Zeus saw Europa the daughter of Phoenix ... and fell in love with her. (Scholiast on Homer, Il. xii. 292). "I had passion for Europa's embrace! With these words Zeus passed away in the shape of the horned Bull" (Nonnus "Dionysiaca" Book 1. 408).

2.) "The maid Europa slept in her bower under the roof, she dreamt that two lands near and far strove with one another for the possession of her. Their guise was the guise of women, and the one had the look of an outland wife and the other was like to the dames of her own country. ... the outland woman laid violent hands upon her and haled her far away; nor went she altogether unwilling, for she that haled her said: “The Aegis-Bearer hath ordained thee to be mine.” (Moschus "Europa" 8-15).

3.) " Jove laid aside his glorious dignity, for he assumed the semblance of a bull ... When she beheld his beauty and mild eyes, the daughter of Agenor was amazed." (Ovid "Metamorphoses" 2. 846).

4.) "Zeus loved her, and turning himself into a tame bull, he mounted her on his back and conveyed her through the sea" (Apollodorus "Library" 3.1.1).

5.) "her father bade her brother Cadmus search through all the world, until he found his sister" (Ovid, "Metamorphoses" Book 3.1).

Coming next in Part 2: Is Europe connected to Israel’s Lost Ten Tribes?

Featured image: The Abduction of Europa by Rembrandt, 1632 (Wikimedia Commons)

By John R. Salverda



Hi All,

That's an intriguing comparison in relation to Europa an Jeroboam.

Adopting an understanding as a Bible Student is beneficial for me; studying The Greek Stories of The Ancient World, not as much, I'll say this though, I did believe at one time or another that Europa and Zeus were Myths.

Due to specific Biblical Apocryphal Books dated older than the entire Scriptures within The Bible, I can't declare them Myth's any longer seemingly admittedly in my opinion bizarre story never happened.

Bear with me where the discussion is headed due to the Apocryphal Books it's lead me to go back re-read Genesis an to read the stories classified traditionally as Myth's.

It's not definitive proof it's more like a possiblity.

I think Europa's story took place during the Pre-Flood Era; and how exactly did the story of Europa, and Jeroboam, got tied in together, I've No clue.

The answer I've come away with is and again, I must say, I know it's not definitive is Tower of Babel.

What is the significance The Tower of Babel?

First these were in the Days After The Flood.

Second Noah's family were the only living witnesses to The World that had previously existed.

Third the families of Noah would have taught their children The History of that World they'd experience.

Now an Apocryphal identifies the Universal language spoken since Adam which no surprise this is the General area of
The Bible, Hebrew (King Jeroboam may have spoken Hebrew, Aramaic an Egyptian since He fled there to escape King Solomon's wrath).

Finally the name's of the people and yes cultures who lived before The Flood originally would have been in Hebrew.

The point is after Tower of Babel those name's, Being's, and persons were all changed. I'm aware that Herodotus has been deemed the Father of History and couldn't pin point the Europa story which existed before He was even born.

Hesiod and Homer came before Herodotus so this seemingly can be traced back to The Tower of Babel.

Now this is my take on Europa's story and where it possibly originated.

How Jeroboam got caught up in that peculiar mess is unknown but, the Bull-Calf he set up in The Northern Kingdom that actually tells me Europa and The Bull had been heard of from most People living in close proximity to one another.

Then how does one factor in where the Zeus or Jove angle comes into play to quote and Old adage "It's Complicated".

I have and inkling where Zeus comes from but, for reasons known only to me; I'll keep it too myself, for now, if interested then I extend an invitation to go ahead and ask me, so that's all I have with regards to Zeus.

This is where I end my discussion on the Topic of Origins Europe feminine deity Europa an Jeroboam.

So I'll trace Jeroboams Sin with these Bull Calves.

He wasn't the first person in Bible History to practice what today's church commonly refers to as Apostasy.

It had gone back even when Jacob/Israel Son's were called to re-dedicate their lives to Worship; The Living God of Abraham, of whom they were Ascended.

God summoned Israel to return too Bethel when he first fled Esau's wrath for his children were developing unhealthy Spiritual relationships with idolators.

God was attempting to make A Covenant with Them like He'd done with Abraham, turns out Joseph was the winner hands down during his duration as a Slave in Egypt he maintained The Covenant of Abraham with God.

The Covenant between God and Abraham is brought up throughout The Bible, I'd mistakenly thought it would End in the New Testament turns out I was wrong.

They loss their Spiritual Wellness as Slaves in Egypt.

They had constantly compromised Themselves as God's chosen people; linking up with practicing idolators around Them.

Jeroboam merely followed in the steps of his fore-fathers in Egypt.

God addresses these factors through his Prophet Ezekiel,
in chapter 23; God literally maps out the long winding road involving Israel, Judah, an Samaria's backsliding, guess you'd call that Cheating on God.

It's so bad during that Timeline in The Bible; where Israel & Judah is concerned that God has to tell Ezekiel, that if
Noah, Job, and Abraham were the only one's around Israel; only their Righteousness could save Them.

Such is the language of God. I'm only bringing up principle points regarding The Bible, because Ezekiel and Jeroboam are mentioned in this article on Origins of Europe through goddess Europa, linked with Jeroboam.

Make sure to Read Ezekiel chapter 23; The Whole Chapter, I'd begin with King James or NIV Bible.

Okay, so this all I have to share with everybody so
Happy New Year and until next time Everyone, Goodbye!

Phoenicia was lebanon. And israel is forcibly in palestine.

IronicLyricist's picture

thank you muchly salverda.. then that does give credence to the theory posited in these articles.. it seems like history keeps getting passed down and rewritten from culture to culture

infinitesimal waveparticles comprise what we call home the earth
manipulatable by thought ability supressed in humans since birth

Consider this quote from Herodotus; "but whence the several gods had their birth, or whether they all were from the beginning, and of what form they are, they did not learn till yesterday, as it were, or the day before: for Hesiod and Homer I suppose were four hundred years before my time and not more, and these are they who made a theogony for the Hellenes and gave the titles to the gods and distributed to them honours and arts, and set forth their forms: but the poets who are said to have been before these men were really in my opinion after them." ("The History of Herodotus" 2.53). Now Herodotus lived around 450 BC. And, by his best guess the origins of Greek mythology was no earlier that about 850 BC. 100 years after King Jeroboam had lived. However of the Greek mythographers, whose works have come down to us, were even more recent and, lived after 650 BC.

Modern historians who believe that the "age of Greek Mythology" ran from about 1500 BC. Through about 1200 BC. Are relying on a hypothesized 500 year "Dark Age" for which they can cite no history, and of which the ancient historians make no mention. However most will admit that the myths were not "written" (The Alphabet, brought by Cadmus, himself a character from the Europa myth, has been dated to about 750 BC.) until after the Kingdom of Israel existed.

IronicLyricist's picture

it  certainly sounds like a valid hypothesis.. but does anyone have an accurate dating for the creation of these greek myths that keep being associated with biblical stories? if indeed the bible story came first then it would grant more validity.. like a previous article associating sampson n the foxes with canis major n minor and sampson himself with heracles.. but no mention is made of the DATES!

infinitesimal waveparticles comprise what we call home the earth
manipulatable by thought ability supressed in humans since birth


John Salverda's picture

John Salverda

John R. Salverda is a researcher and author of several articles relating to the Hebrew origins of Greek mythology, many of which can be read at . His main areas of research include ancient history, comparative religions, and mythology. 

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