ISRAEL: Ten lost tribes theory  


ISRAEL: The Lost Tribes theory
Also see excellent article by Charles Haiff

The theory states that the Northern kingdom of Israel (also known as Ephraim) that contained ten of the tribes of Israel, excluding Judah, Benjamin and half the tribe of Manasseh became "lost" to history as a result of the Assyrian captivity of 722 BCE. The theory further states that these people were scattered throughout the world and have no tribal identification with the current nation of Israel.
It is true that most Jews today are unable to trace their lineage back to these tribes but the Bible indicates that they were all absorbed into the Southern Kingdom of Judah both prior to and during its own captivity to Babylon which occurred from 605 to 536 BCE.
Thus, when the Jews were set free from the Babylonian captivity by Cyrus of Persia in 536 BCE,
ALL the tribes returned back to the geographical area of the Southern Kingdom.
And although all the Jews have been scattered throughout the world both by the "BC" captivities, and also by the Roman dispersal of 70 AD, there is no basis for thinking the "ten tribes" are a special group of people who populated various areas and are to be considered any different than any other person of Israeli descent. Anyone who possesses the genes of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are of Israel and are designated as Jew because of the unification of the tribes that occurred during the "BC" captivities.

1. Judah and Israel are together in Babylon during the captivity.
    Jeremaih 50:33 with 51:5
Jer. 50:33, Thus says the LORD of hosts, The sons of Israel are oppressed, And the sons of Judah as well; And all who took them captive have held them fast, They have refused to let them go.

Jer. 51:5, For neither Israel nor Judah has been forsaken By his God, the LORD of hosts, Although their land is full of guilt Before the Holy One of Israel.

    A. Revivals brought house of Judah and house of Israel together
        and many of the house of Israel stayed in the land of Judah, thus
        all tribes are represented in the land of Judah.
        1. The Hezekiah revival:  2 Chron. 30:1, 5 cf. 31:6
        (Rehoboam:  2 Chron. 11:16-17; Asa, 15:8-9

        2. The Josiah revival:  2 Chron. 35:17-18 w/ 34:5-7, 33.

    B. King of Assyria captured the Northern kingdom and scattered them             throughout the Assyrian kingdom. The king of Babylon captured
        Assyria and took possession of that land area.
        1. King of Babylon captured the southern kingdom (Judah) and brought
            them into the realm of the Babylonian kingdom which now embraced the
            same land area of the former Assyrian kingdom.
        2. Thus, all the tribes were united in captivity and would return
            united. Jer. 50:4
“In those days and at that time,” declares the LORD, “the sons of Israel will come, {both} they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the LORD their God they will seek.
        3. Jeremiah 50:33, “The sons of Israel are oppressed,
           and the sons of Judah as well. And all who took them captive have held them
           fast. They have refused to let them go.

It is the “nation” of the North that was destroyed, not the people. The tribes are all accounted for within the nation of Judah.
Mal. 3:6, “Therefore you SONS OF JACOB are not consumed.”

2. Daniel’s prayer in chapter 9. (prophet during the Babylonian captivity)
    v. 5, we have sinned.
    v. 6, all the people of the land
    v. 7, Jerusalem, Judah and all Israel.
    v. 11, indeed, all Israel sinned.
            so the curse is poured out on us.
    v. 20, My sin (Daniel) and the sin of my people, Israel.
    v. 24, 70 weeks for YOUR people

3. Returning from captivity:
    A. Concerning Israel/Ephraim: Hosea 11:11
“They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, And like doves from the land of Assyria; And I will settle them in their houses, declares the LORD.”
    B. 1 Chron. 9:2-3,
“Now the first who lived in their possessions in their cities {were} Israel, the priests, the Levites and the temple servants.
And some of the sons of Judah, of the sons of Benjamin, and of the sons of Ephraim and Manasseh lived in Jerusalem.”

    C. Ezra
        2:1, people of Israel
        2:28, Bethel and Ai (Northern kingdom cities)
        2:70, All Israel in their cities.
        3:1, Now, no designation of Southern Kingdom and no king.
        6:16-22, the feast of unleavened bread - sons of Israel.
        7:6-7, 13; Sons of the people of Israel

4. Post-captivity status = one nation
    A. Zech. 8:9-13
    B. Malachi 1:1; 2:11 (3:4-6 = all 12 tribes).

5. No lost tribes at the first advent of Messiah
    A. Jesus was sent to the “house of Israel.”
Matt. 10:6  but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matt. 15:24  But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

They are called “lost” because they are spiritually dead, not “lost” in some other part of the world. The house of Israel includes ALL 12 TRIBES.
They do not need to be individually mentioned.

    B. Acts 26:7, “{the promise} to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve {God} night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews.”
Seems like Paul is not aware of any LOST TRIBES.
In fact THEY (all 12) right now, as Paul is speaking - -

    C. Luke 2:36, “And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.”
Hey - here is one of the “lost tribes” - so that means there are only NINE MISSING.
They do NOT all need to be mentioned.

    D. James 1:1, “James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus
        Christ, to the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad, greetings.”

    E. Hosea 5:14-15; This passage refers to the first advent of the Messiah. When He comes, He will judge both Ephraim and Judah and then return to His place with the Father.

This is a first advent context. When the Messiah comes to the earth and presents himself to Israel - that nation of Israel (the lost sheep of the house of Israel) includes BOTH EPHRAIM AND JUDAH.
Ie, the tribes historically associated with Judah
and the tribes historically associated with Ephraim.

6. The theory claims that  Jew and Israelite refer to two different groups of people. The Jews are the people of Judah and the Israelites are the lost tribes. But the two terms are interchangeable.
    A. Jew = 174 times in NT
    B. Israelite = 75 times in NT
    C. Examples:
        1. Acts 21:39; 22:3, Paul calls himself a Jew.
        2. Romans 11:1; 2 Cor. 11:22 - Paul calls himself an Israelite
            and calls Jews, Israelites.
        3. Hope of Israel:  Acts 26:6-7
          cf. Rom. 11:7 cf. 1:16, to the Jew first and then the Gentile.
        4. There are only 3 categories of people: 1 Cor 10:32, Jew, Gentile
            and church of God.
        5. Rom. 9:1-5 = Israelites
        6. Luke 2:36, Anna from the tribe of Asher.

7. All of Israel is present on the earth at the time of the rapture.
    Rev. 7:1-7

8. All Israel (Not every individual, but all that constitutes Israel; ie, the 12 tribes) will be re-gathered during the Day of the Lord and enter into Messiah’s kingdom.
    A. Isaiah 11:11-16; 14:1-3; Hos. 1:11
    B. Ezek. 34; Jer. 23:7-8; Ezekiel 34; 37:15-27;
        36:8-30, (v. 10, “all the house of Israel, all of it.”);

    C. Jeremiah 3:18, “In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.”
Opp: 1. 2nd kings tells the end of the northern kingdom with the assyrians taking them captive and that's were the bible leaves us with this great mystery.<

It is no mystery and that is NOT where the Bible “leaves us.” I have demonstrated that the Northern tribes were “represented” in Judah and assimilated into Judah. It is the “nation” of the North that was destroyed. The tribes are all accounted for within the nation of Judah. It is the NATION that is destroyed - NOT the “people.” Mal. 3:6, “Therefore you SONS OF JACOB are not consumed.”

Opp: 2. the promises made to abraham pass to isaac then to jacob and then to ephriam and manasseh the adopted sons of israel aka jacob.
3. the promise of gen 24.60 says that they would become a nation of 1000's of millions.<<

Wrong translation. It literally says, thousands of 10 thousands. It is hyperbole to indicate an innumerable amount of people, and is not intended to be taken as a literal number. Just another way to amplify “stars of the sky” and “sand on the shore.” And it is FULFILLED through the children of Jacob. There is no biblical evidence that the children of Jacob are anything other than the PEOPLE OF ISRAEL who were living at the time of Jesus.

Opp: 4. the promise of gen 15.5 decendents as many as the stars of heaven. 5. gen 35;1 nation and company of nations and kings. 6. gen 16.10 un-numerable seed. 7. gen 17,4-6 father of nations many kings come out of thee.<<

This is all fulfilled through the physical descendants of Abe without “seeking” some other meaning.
A. The descendants of Ishmael: Gen. 17:20. (nations and kings)
B. The children of Keturah: Gen. 25:1-4.  (nations and kings)
C. Even the descendants of Esau: Gen. 37:40-43. (nations and kings)
D. And of course, the children of Jacob produced many “kings.”

Opp: 8. hosea 1:4 god will scatter house of israel. 9. hosea 1:10 they (the house of israel) will become like the sand of the sea.<<

The “nation” will be thus scattered so that it NO LONGER can be considered a nation. But this does not alter the fact that ALL THE TRIBES were still IN JUDAH.

Opp: 10. hosea 1:10 the will become know as sons of the living god.<<

This APPLIES to the SPIRITUAL offspring that will be ADDED to Abe’s “family,” along with the “physical” offspring. Those who are OF FAITH are the seed of Abraham. These “spiritual” heirs do not DISPLACE the “physical” heirs. They simply enter into the spiritual blessings directly through salvation (blessing, Gen. 12:3) and into the physical blessings INDIRECTLY through association with the Messiah in His reign OVER the “physical” descendants during the 1000 year kingdom.

Godet writes: The words, “as also” evidently refer to the last words of ver. 24: "but also of the Gentiles."  To facilitate the exposition of the following quotation, Hofmann has thought it best to apply this “as also” to the first words of ver. 24:  “not of the Jews only." But this reference is not in keeping with the apostle's thought for when he really passes to the prophecies relating to Israel, ver. 27, he expressly indicates this transition.  The difficulty which has driven Hofmann to his view is this  Hosea, in the two passages quoted, ii.23 and i.10, is certainly speaking of the Israelites of the ten tribes scattered in distant lands, and not of Gentiles  how can the apostle apply them to the latter?  St. Peter does exactly the same thing (1 Pet. ii.10).  Hodge remarks that the ten tribes having relapsed into idolatry, were thus in the same state as the Gentiles, so that what was said of the former could equally be applied to the latter.  Then he cites the fact, as Tholuck does, that in Scripture a general truth enunciated in regard to a particular class of men is afterward applied to all those whose character and position are found to be the same. And, indeed, in the mouth of God the expressions:  “that which is not of my people;"  “her which is not beloved;" “I will call them my people . . ., beloved," express a principle of the divine government which comes into play everywhere when circumstances reappear similar to those to which they were originally applied.  This was the case with the Gentiles yet more completely, if that is possible, than with the inhabitants of Samaria. . . . . . . . . Ver. 26. The second saying quoted (Has. i. 10) is attached to the preceding as if it followed it immediately in the prophet.  More than once in the following chapters we find this combination of originally distinct sayings.  Some apply the expression in Hosea: “in the place where,” to the land of Samaria, in the meaning that God there pronounced the rejection of the people.  In that case, Paul, in applying this saying to the Gentiles, would have perverted it entirely from its meaning.  But is it not more natural to apply this word the place where, to the strange land where the Jews were long captive, and as it were abandoned of God?  Was it not there God said to them by the voice of fact during long ages  "Ye are not my people"? Is it not there that they will begin anew to feel the effects of grace when God shall visit them, and recall them as well as the Gentiles, with whom they are at present confounded? (Romans, page 365).

Opp: 11. jer 3:15 will be given pastors. 12. jer 3:16 no rememberance of the ark.<<

This is talking about the re-gathering of ALL of Israel into the land during Messiah’s physical reign on the earth. It is yet future, and does not indicate a thing about 10 lost tribes. It refers to those OVER WHOM the Messiah will reign - NOT those who reign with Him.

Opp: 13. jer 3:18 judah will walk to israel. (were britain and america involved in this historical fact.<<

Still referring to the re-gathering IN THE KINGDOM. And it says, “the house of Judah will walk WITH (not to) the house of Israel.” it is STILL FUTURE and not a “historical fact.”

Opp: 14. is 54:17 no weapon shall prosper, condemn those who judge.<<

This is talking about Israel IN THE KINGDOM, and has nothing to do with Israel prior to that physical kingdom over which Messiah will reign. In PRINCIPLE it applies to divine protection over God’s servants - and in no way should it be TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT and applied to the military prowess of Britain and the US.

Opp: 15. gen 27.29 cursing and blessing (this is not to the jews.)<<

It is to the physical offspring of Jacob which just so happens to be the Jews.

Opp: 16. 1 chron 5:1 birthrite go's to joseph passed to ephraim and manasseh. 17. gen 49,10 sceptre and laws to judah. 18. 1st chron 5:2 judah rule birthrite to joseph. 19. gen 48:15 jacob gives the name israel to eph/man not judah.<<

None of this PROVES or even hints that M. and E. are Britain and the US.

Opp: 20. gen 48:19 manasseh great nation eph. multitude of nations.<<

This does not say “multitude” but it says a FULLNESS of nations. The Hebrew, melo, does not communicate NUMBER, but magnitude of blessing. Even the “plural” of nations does not mitigate against this, because it is a COMPARISON issue. Comaparing Ephraim with “nations.” The promise to Abe at Gen. 17:5 uses the word, hamon, for multitude - so we have two entirely DIFFERENT ideas. The KJV is wrong here by translating it “multitude.” Everywhere, melo, should be rendered as fullness. For example, the same word, melo, is translated at Ps. 24:1 by the KJV as “the fullness,” demonstrating once again the inconsistency of ANY human translation.

Opp: 21. hos 2:18-23 god to remarry israel<<

This refers to ALL of Israel IN THE PHYSICAL KINGDOM. It has “application” to the church because God’s dealings with the church through the new covenant is the “spiritual” fulfillment of these things - which PRECEDE the physical fulfillment in Messiah’s kingdom.

Opp: 22. no more moon feasts, and sabbaths.<<

You conveniently leave out a reference. But even though these things are “set aside” during God’s dealing with the church, they are to be RESTORED when Messiah sets up His earthly kingdom.

Opp: 23. is 49.6 israel a light not judah to the gentiles of the earth.<<

The “you” who is a light is the MESSIAH! It is not Judah and not Israel. The Messiah is “speaking” through Isaiah the prophet - so that Isaiah actually becomes a representative of the Messiah. It is the Messiah who is a light to the nations. It is Jesus who is The light of the world.

Opp: these are some of the many promises that are given in scripture.<<

All misapplied and stretched to line up with a false theory. There is clear and simple application of all of them totally apart from the fantasy of finding “phsyical” fulfillment in the US and Britain. Thus, all your following conclusions are wrong.

Opp: the house of israel will become 1000 of millions they will be a butt kicking people who have been given the job of being a light to the gentile people of the earth by preaching the gospel message to the world.<<

The MESSIAH is that light of the world (first) and then Christians are lights of the world - but not someone who is in Britain and/or US.

Opp: They will be walk with judah into the land of israel. (this is history folks)<<

Your claim that it is history does not make it so. It is NOT history. The passage is prophetic of Messiah’s kingdom.

Opp: no weapon formed against us shall prosper and we will become many nations with many kings coming out of us. (kings of england)<<

And you just ignore all the KINGS of both Israel and Judah. 

Opp: the house of israel was divorced from god and according to the law of moses the divorced woman could not re-marry until the husband DIED. read romans chap 7 where paul picks up on that law of moses and applies it to CHRIST. In a nutshell the jews were punished by god but not divorced like israel who was divorced by god jer chap 3 and bought back the death of jesus on the cross, read the parable of the husbandry please. the promises to abraham were passed on to the sons of joseph and not to the jews, because the jews never fullfilled any of the promises.<<

You fail to realize that the term “jew” was applied to ALL the “Israelites” who returned from Babylon to the land of Israel. All the tribes are represented in that return.
Ezra 2:1, people of Israel        
2:28, Bethel and Ai (Northern kingdom cities)        
2:70, All Israel in their cities.        
3:1, Now, no designation of Southern Kingdom and no king.        
6:16-22, the feast of unleavened bread - sons of Israel.        
7:6-7, 13; Sons of the people of Israel Afterwards the terms, “jew” and “Israelite” are used interchangeably and refer to exactly the same category of people - Those who are physically related to Abe, Isaac and Jacob. Jew vs. Israelite: The two terms are interchangeable.    
A. Jew = 174 times in NT    
B. Israelite = 75 times in NT    
C. Examples:        
1. Acts 21:39; 22:3, Paul calls himself a Jew.        
2. Romans 11:1; 2 Cor. 11:22 - Paul calls himself an Israelite
and calls Jews, Israelites.        
3. Hope of Israel:  Acts 26:6-7
cf. Rom. 11:7 cf. 1:16, to the Jew first and then the Gentile.        
4. There are only 3 categories of people in the world:
1 Cor 10:32, Jew, Gentile and church of God.
(Jew and Israelite - being the SAME thing).        
5. Rom. 9:1-5 = Israelites        
6. Luke 2:36, Anna fo the tribe of Asher.

Opp: So somewhere in the world must be 1000;s of millions of people who have been redeemed by CHRIST who have the attributes of the promises given which are scattered throughout scripture.<<

Total misapplication of the promises. The church is the “spiritual” fulfillment of those promises. The church is comprised of both Jew and Gentile who have trusted in Christ as savior. There is no PHYSICAL correlation to the physical promises given to Abe, Isaac and Jacob. All of these are yet to be fulfilled to the PHYSICAL heirs - not the church.

Opp: Why does the 1 dollar bill have the 13 arrows of blessing and cursing with the olive branch in the mouth of an eagle. why does the dollar bill have the 13 stars that dan chap 12 calls an everlasting covenant.<<

Masonic imagery that’s all. You provide nothing that anyone with an objective mind could find compelling - but I am glad you took the time to put up your flimsy evidence so it can fall on its own merits. The information I provide also stands or falls on its own merits - and I will let others be the judge as to the validity of the two claims. I believe I have adequately exposed the errors of this very evil theory - but let everyone become convinced in his own mind.

Opp: >I have a few questions I could ask that I've never gotten a satisfactory answer to. In Jer. 3:8 God gives Israel a bill of divorce because of their "adultery" with idols. According to Deut. 24:1-4 it is an "abomination before the Lord" for a man to remarry his ex wife after she has been with another man. In this case Israel has joined herself with idols and God gave her a bill of divorce. How can God remarry Israel as long as the Law of Moses is still in effect and not violate His own standard of righteousness?
There's no mention of the divorce being annulled in the OT. It could only be annulled at the Cross, not before. The divorce was still in effect when Ezra & Nehemiah returned. <

The northern kingdom is divorced. It is final. There will never again be a NORTHERN KINGDOM. It is gone, gone, gone. That is the significance of the divorce. The divorce is NOT of the PEOPLE. Further on in Jeremiah 3, God pleads with the PEOPLE to return. He is pleading with the PEOPLE - not with the nation. The people do in fact return - and had been returning all throughout the time period since the division of the kingdom - during those periods of revival as I pointed out.

Opp: >To find a few members of the northern kingdom returning with the Jew's after the Babylonian captivity is no surprise, that proves nothing. I  read somewhere that about only 5% of the Jews returned from Babylon...and some claim that all of the ten tribes were are in that 5%?...while 95% of Judah remained in Babylon!? I find that hard to believe.<

You say that it proves nothing. Does it not prove that within the kingdom of Judah that was established under Cyrus after the Babylonian captivity - all tribes of Israel are represented? The Bible makes it perfectly clear that all of the 10 tribes are REPRESENTED in the return from Babylon.


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