(The Tudor Rose)
The Tudor Rose – A Symbol of Israel
In the 15th Century, England was troubled by a ferocious civil war that lasted for the best part of thirty-five years. It became known as the ‘War of the Roses’ that had resulted from the rivalry between the royal pretenders of the Houses of York and Lancaster. Each side had its own emblem. A white rose represented York, whilst the House of Lancaster was symbolised by a red rose – hence the term ‘War of the Roses.’ At the end of the war Henry Tudor united the Red Rose of Lancaster with the White Rose of York through his marriage to Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV. He chose as his symbol a rose with both red and white petals (i.e. a large red rose with a smaller white rose superimposed on top of it), and with five green leaves around it. Paintings from the Elizabethan period show that there was a real variety of roses in existence in those days that looked very much like the Tudor Rose of Henry VII. It is rather interesting to think on the possibility that the royal horticulturists of Henry Tudor’s day worked hard to develop a rose just like it. The astonishing fact is that the Tudor Rose in reality is a variation of one of the most ancient SYMBOLS OF ISRAEL. Was this Tudor king aware of this fact? History indicates that he did know.
The Assemblage of Israel
The ancient Jewish writings of the Zohar speak of a rose of alternate red and white petals, which symbolises Israel. In the beginning of the ‘Zohar’ it says (editor’s emphasis):
“ ‘As the rose among the thorns, so is my love among the maidens.’ ”
“What is the rose? It is the Assemblage of Israel, the Community of Israel. For there’s a rose above and a rose below. Just as the rose which is among the thorns has red and white, so does the Assemblage of Israel have justice and mercy. Just as the rose has thirteen petals, so does the Assemblage of Israel have thirteen measures of compassion encompassing it on all sides. Five strong leaves surround the rose.”
Adin Steinsaltz wrote a book about Jewish mysticism entitled “The Thirteen Petalled Rose,” and he based his title on the above passage in the Zohar.
Is it not extraordinary that an ancient symbol signifying both the Assemblage as well as the Community of Israel should after an interval of over 2,000 years resurface as a Royal Emblem of England? The red and white petalled ‘Tudor Rose’ became the symbol of all subsequent English monarchs, and as such it has become a symbol of England itself. It still is an official symbol of Great Britain. It is a symbol that, like so many of the UK’s other royal symbols, cries out to reveal her ancient Israelite origins. The Tudor Rose is a most unique emblem that represents Great Britain, e.g. – Israel! Yet, in truth logic tells us that a symbol is only able to represent one thing. As a rose very similar to the red and white ‘Tudor Rose’ represented Israel long before it came to represent England or Great Britain, then it follows that England and indeed Great Britain must bear some relation to Israel!
Why the Tudor Rose has only Ten petals
The Tudor Rose too is composed of one rose above and one rose below, a large white rose with a smaller red rose superimposed on top of it. Just like the rose the Zohar refers to as the ‘assemblage and community of Israel’ has five green leaves around it, the Tudor Rose also has precisely the same feature.
So, what is the difference between these two symbolic roses? Is there a difference? Yes, there is a marked difference in that the Tudor Rose has only ten petals, whereas the “Rose of Israel” described in the Zohar has thirteen. To some this may seem like a discrepancy, yet the very opposite is the case, as it only provides further confirmation and proof of Britain’s descent from the Ten Tribes of Israel. The ancient kingdom of Israel, as ruled by King David and his son King Solomon, consisted of thirteen tribes. Remember how the patriarch Jacob sired twelve sons, who subsequently grew into the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Yet, on his deathbed Jacob adopted the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, to whom he gave the blessing of the Birthright. He placed Ephraim the younger son of Joseph above Manasseh, his elder brother, and thus Manasseh became the Thirteenth Tribe of Israel. The ‘Rose of Israel,’ commonly called “The Rose of Sharon,” refers to the ‘whole’ Assemblage and Community of Israel, i.e. all thirteen tribes.
The Tudor Rose on the other hand with its ‘Ten Petals’ symbolises those ‘Ten Tribes’ that rebelled over the issue of taxation without representation. These Ten Tribes split away from the Davidic kingdom in the reign of Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. They set up their own independent kingdom to the north of Jerusalem, and they called their kingdom ‘Israel.’ Thus it can be seen that the ‘Ten Petals’ of the Tudor Rose clearly represent that same kingdom and those same ‘Ten Tribes of Israel.’
Another interesting aspect is that the giant bronze doors of the Eastern Gate of the Temple of Solomon were decorated with the symbol of the ‘Rose of Israel.’ According to authoritative rabbinical sources* there was also a beautiful rose garden within the precinct of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It was situated between the present Western (‘Wailing’) Wall and the actual Temple itself. *Yair Davidy; Rabbi Zvi Kalisher & Rabbi Israel Feld of Susia.
The Amazing Moto of the Tudor Rose
Not many people are aware that the Tudor Rose has its own motto. Henry Tudor, being fully aware of the origins of the symbolism of the red and white rose, almost certainly devised the text himself. The words were considered to be of such significance that it was subsequently adopted as the royal motto of the Tudor family. It conveys a powerful allusion to the throne of David in ancient Israel. Like all mottos of that time it was phrased in Latin. The text reads “Hac Rosa Virtutis de Celo Missa Cereno Eturnu(m) Florens (Fulgens) Regia Sceptra Feret,” and in modern English this reads: “This rose of virtue sent us from on high shall shine in sceptered state eternally.”
Notice it speaks of a rose of virtue, e.g. (the rose of Israel) sent to us from on high, e.g. (by the God of Israel) shall shine in sceptered state eternally – meaning it shall rule for all eternity. This text can only be a reference to the throne of King David of Israel, as it alone was established for all eternity. The patriarch Jacob was the first to prophesy of this sceptered throne on his deathbed when he addressed his son Judah, saying:
As mentioned earlier, ‘Shiloh’ was a reference to the Messiah, the prophesied Deliverer, who would come to deliver and rule over a restored Israel in the end times. The great Patriarch of Israel thus prophesied that this enduring royal line would come from his son Judah and his descendants.
The prophet Jeremiah adds a further dimension to this, as he states the following:
“For thus says the LORD: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel…….’ ” (Jeremiah 33:17a)
Note it speaks of the house of Israel, and Jeremiah omits to speak of the house of Judah! This is highly significant, as history confirms that after the kingdom of Judah was taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Judah has been ruled by usurpers and foreign kings. Even to this present day the modern State of Israel has a President, she does not have a son of David ruling over her.
Yet, the prophet Nathan adds a further dimension to this, as he comes to King David of Israel and, speaking of his son Solomon, he utters the most amazing prophesy about the future of David’s throne:
“When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever… And your house and your kingdom shall be established for ever before you.”
(2 Samuel 7:12-13, 16)
Here we have an immutable promise of the everlasting continuance of the Royal House and throne of David. Remember the clarifying words of Jeremiah, who prophesied that David would never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel! Henry Tudor in devising the motto of the Tudor Rose clearly affirmed that he considered himself to be of the line of those Davidic descendants seated on this prophesied throne of David that was to last forever. The divine promise is further confirmed in the book of Psalms, and its absolute certainty is heavily emphasised once again.
“I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David. Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations. Your seed, your throne and your kingdom will be established forever and to all generations! ”
(Stained glass window showing Tudor Roses)
What could be clearer than that! This is what the Tudor family, being themselves of the line of David, had uppermost in mind when they devised the motto of the Tudor Rose. They considered the Tudor Rose to be ‘that rose of virtue sent from on high’ as a sacred charge in that it represented the throne of David that ‘shall shine in sceptered state (ruling over Israel) eternally.’