Center for Biblical Theology and Eschatology
The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel
by Tony Warren
There are few mysteries so steeped in controversy today as that of "The 10 lost tribes of Israel." When people use this phrase, they are referring to the ten tribes that rebelled against the Kingly line of David and became the northern kingdom . But to declare them 'still lost' is a myth based on nothing that is biblically substantive. All references today to the lost tribes of Israel as a missing nation of people are extra-biblical. It is through this misnomer that many fables and unfounded theories have emerged about what happened to the people of the northern Kingdom. It seems, everybody wants to get in on the theoretical action. But while these legends and stories are sometimes amusing, and often innovative, it is important to remember they are born of the imaginations of men, and not based upon a sound scriptural exegesis.
A Brief History
Between 1047 B.C. and 931 B.C., the 12 tribes of Israel thrived under Kings Saul, David, and then King Solomon. But toward the end of Solomon's reign, he fell into idolatry and God prophesied of the tearing apart of the Kingdom as judgment for these sins.
1st Kings 11:10-12
And as Prophesied, upon the death of King Solomon in 931 B.C., the Children of the northern tribes of Israel rebelled against Solomon's son Rehoboam and followed Jeroboam. Thus the nation was divided into two kingdoms, north and south.
- "And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded.
- Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant.
- Notwithstanding in thy days I will not do it for David thy father's sake: but I will rend it out of the hand of thy son."
1st Kings 12:20-21
Judah and the tribe of Benjamin were the only tribes that remained loyal to Solomon's son Rehoboam, and these two tribes of the southern area became known as the kingdom of Judah (because Judah was the principle tribe). The 10 tribes to the north who were disloyal to Rehoboam, set up a separate kingdom under Jeroboam (who was not in the kingly line of the House of David). These Northern tribes became known as Israel, or in some instances Ephraim (because it was the principle tribe). For the next two centuries the people were divided into these two Kingdoms, yet almost immediately a remnant of the tribes to the north began to return to the southern Kingdom (because King Jeroboam turned the Northern Kingdom to idol worship). It is clear that the Levites and many of the other tribes who eschewed this evil, returned to what was now called Judah.
- "And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.
- And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
2nd Chronicles 11:14-17
Clearly, a remnant was returning to the house of David from Israel. When King Asa began to reign in 911 B.C., he turned again the hearts of the people to the Lord and did not the evil of his father. By 896 B.C., after Asa put away the idols out of all the land, even those who were not Hebrew came with them to the southern Kingdom out of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon. Again, there was a remnant returning, not the whole tribe.
- "For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons had cast them off from executing the priest's office unto the LORD:
- And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.
- And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.
- So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years: for three years they walked in the way of David and Solomon."
2nd Chronicles 15:9-10
So it is pretty clear that a remnant from Israel was coming back to be under rule of the House of David. But the abomination of the northern tribes of Israel which started with Jeroboam, continued with his children and would not go unpunished by God. God sent the promised judgment to cut them off and cast them out of His sight.
- "And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
- So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa."
2nd Kings 17:22-23
And in 722 B.C., Assyrian King Shalmaneser V, who ruled the vast empire to the north, invaded the Kingdom of Israel and subjugated  them. The Israelite inhabitants were exiled and dispersed into the outlying general area (what is today Syria, Iran and Iraq), as was the tradition of the Assyrians to prevent rebellion or revolt. But again, as prophesied, a portion of the tribes of Israel returned to Judah, as in B.B. 716. King Hezekiah who reigned in Judah now, called for the remnant to return.
- "For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;
- Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day."
2nd Chronicles 30:6
2nd Chronicles 30:10
- "So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, Ye children of Israel, turn again unto the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, and he will return to the remnant of you, that are escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
Quite obviously (according to God) though these tribes were dispersed, they were neither lost, nor unaccounted for in God's Word. The wicked of them dispersed into the nations who mocked. They would not return, thus they were cut off of God and eventually assimilated into the surrounding nations. But the remnant who humbled themselves before Hezekiah's call, did return. One would have to hold an irrational inherent bias in order to agree that portions of the northern tribes (Ephraim, Manasseh, Asher, Zebulon, Issachar) did come to Jerusalem for Passover, yet still insist that the tribes were still lost. As that makes no sense whatsoever. There is no mystery. A 'remnant' was restored (as was prophesied) to Judah. It was never meant for all the people to return. It was never God's plan or word of prophesy, to restore the entire unfaithful people. The tribes returned as God intended, and were thus accounted for. And this can be very easily proven by scripture. As in 633 B.C. in the 8th year of the reign of King Josiah, he walked after the way of the good kings and cleansed the "tribal cities" of the nation Judah.
- So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them.
- Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem."
2nd Chronicles 34:5-7
2nd Chronicles 34:9
- "And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
- And so did he in the cities of Manasseh, and Ephraim, and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about.
- And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols throughout all the land of Israel, he returned to Jerusalem."
Again, the tribes neither lost nor unaccounted for in God's Word. Israel that transgressed were 'cut off,' but 'the remnant' returned. And likewise when Judah transgressed the laws of God as her sister Israel had, God also sent judgment against her and the land was invaded and conquered by the Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar some 136 years later. He destroyed their house and carried the people away captive into Babylon. The Temple was destroyed and they were subjugated until 539 B.C. when Babylon itself fell to King Cyrus of the Medes and Persians. Under Cyrus, again the remnant of exiled 'Jews and Israelites' returned to Jerusalem and construction on the Temple started. And later in 458 B.C., Ezra returned to Jerusalem with more of the exiled Jews to reestablish the law. Both the house of Israel and Judah were represented in the remnant reestablished in Judah. Israel and Judah were now one people.
- "And when they came to Hilkiah the high priest, they delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the doors had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin; and they returned to Jerusalem."
A False Dichotomy of Continuing Distinction
This remnant returning had to occur because the scripture prophecy was that the tribes of Israel and their southern brethren Judah would be reunited. This freeing by Cyrus  and reuniting to build again the temple prefigures the coming Messianic age when Christ would come and free the captivity, the 'true' deliverer of the lost sheep of Israel.
It has been falsely taught by some Theologians that there is a continuing distinction made in the scriptures between the Jews and the Israelites. The little ditty that is often quoted is, 'All Jews are Israelites, but all Israelites are not Jews.' This may be a catchy phrase, but it is simply a demonstration of a lack of thorough study of scripture. It is true that there was a distinction in the original splitting apart (as we obviously saw) of the kingdoms, but this distinction did not continue. The people were called Jews because the land in the south was Judea, for it principally encompassed Jerusalem. The word Judah is derived from this word Judea, and because of the division between the northern tribes and Judah (or Jerusalem) in the south, it was spoken of by God in this contrast of Kingdoms. i.e., Judah or Jerusalem, and Israel. However, when the remnant returned, they again became one body.
Artaxerxes' decree specifically states that 'all they of the people of Israel' were free to return to Jerusalem, so why would anyone even attempt to argue that anyone from Israel was either excluded, or that they were somehow lost? A remnant assuredly returned, while the rest who were assimilated into other nations never did. Nor were they prophesied to. It is amazing that some Theologians surmise that because only a small portion or 'remnant' of people ever returned, that this somehow implies that the prophesy is not fulfilled. As if they all had to come back to qualify as a restoration. A remnant is what was prophesied. That is the 'all' which Ezra 7 spoke about. An analogy would be like saying, 'because the promises were made to Israel, but only a remnant obtained it, the promise is made of non effect.' That's not true as God doesn't work like that. The fulfillment is as God defines, not as man supposes. And the fact is, God for His own purposes chose a remnant, that the type would prefigure the anti-type. It was ordained that only a remnant would return, the like figure fulfilled in Christ's coming to bring back a remnant.
- "Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time.
- I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.
- Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;"
After the fall of Babylon and the restoration of the remnant (of both) to Judah, that previous distinction is reconciled, as the nation Judah then became synonymous with Israel. One body, one stick joined from two! By 458 B.C. when Ezra returned to Jerusalem to establish the law, God (not man) was now not making any distinction between Israel and the Jews. If God is obviously not making a distinction, then why would man "insist" on continuing to do so?
The fact is, God made it clear in scripture that the northern Kingdom was still identified with the southern Kingdom, even in the midst of the time of division.
- "And there went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king."
2nd Chronicles 11:15-16
2nd Chronicles 21:1-2
- "And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.
- And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers."
The Israelites identified themselves with the House of David (of Judah), and God makes sure that we understand this, for it was always meant to be. Theologians who insist that the division between Israel and Judah never ceased, or that it is continuing still in our day, are ignoring the scriptures that clearly show otherwise. It was never meant to be an ongoing division. Moreover, the God fearing kings from the southern Kingdom, like Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah, spoke of the 12 tribes and offered up sacrifices for them all . This is God's doing and an indication that this separation was for God's own purposes.
- "Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead.
- And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel."
All agree that the tribes have to return to Israel. Even those who take the position that the tribes are still out there understand that without fulfillment of the return, we make scriptures void. Because biblically speaking, if the tribes of Israel have disappeared, then the fulfilment of the prophecies cannot take place. So we must conclude that only two options exist. That they either have returned as noted, or that scripture is wrong and they don't exist anymore as a Jewish race. For there are not 10 unknown Jewish tribes out there in our day to return, or to joined as that one stick that God spoke of. But there is no mystery because they already have returned.
The prophesy is clear, both Judah and Israel would be joined again as one. So where are these 10 tribes now? In reading Theological material you are likely to come upon every myth concerning the 10 'alleged' lost tribes of Israel that you can imagine. They are purported to be everyone from the British, Japanese, Africans, Scots, American Indians to the Mormons. But the claim that the tribes of Israel are now literally some other race or ethnicity is ludicrous. Biblically as well as rationally, for Jews are Jews. And what happened to these 10 tribes is a matter of biblical record. We can read what the Bible has to say concerning Israel and Judah.
- "Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
- And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand."
Clearly, God at the fall of babylon prophesies of both Israel and Judah returning as lost sheep to the fold (a type, prefiguring Christ's gathering the children out of bondage at His coming). It is also clear that both Houses were restored, and thus for any theologian to argue that only Judah was restored is to make a mockery of the plain text of Scripture. God is letting us know that all the tribes of Israel (without loss) are represented here. The Remnant as prophesied, not the whole body 'as imagined.' Even as also Ezra clearly illustrates.
- "In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.
- They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.
- My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace."
- "And offered at the dedication of this house of God an hundred bullocks, two hundred rams, four hundred lambs; and for a sin offering for all Israel, twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel."
This was not a split israel, sacrifice was offered for all of Israel that were there. Twelve bullocks, one for each tribe of the 'children of those who were carried away,' They have come out of captivity. After the Babylonian captivity the terms "Jew" and "Israelite" are used inter-changeably. That is not rhetoric, that is a biblically illustrated fact! This was a portrait, a shadow prefiguring Christ's coming to deliver Israel from bondage in His freeing the captivity. He came to seek and to gather the lost sheep of the House of Israel.
- "Also the children of those that had been carried away, which were come out of the captivity, offered burnt offerings unto the God of Israel, twelve bullocks for all Israel, ninety and six rams, seventy and seven lambs, twelve he goats for a sin offering: all this was a burnt offering unto the LORD."
The type Prefigured the True which was to Come
One of the primary questions is, why is it important to know what happened to the 10 northern tribes of Israel? Well, there are many reasons, not the least of which is that the lost tribes of Israel prefigures the lost sheep of Israel, who when Jesus Christ (the greater Cyrus) would come, would seek and return them to the restored kingdom, fulfilling the prophesy of the throne of David.
They were asking Jesus when Israel would again become a restored Kingdom. Unlike man today, they understood the literal Israel was not lost. And Indeed Christ had promised the 12 Apostles that they would sit judging the 12 tribes of Israel in the regeneration. They could hardly sit judging these tribes of Israel, if the 12 tribes were lost or not accounted for.
- "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?"
It is pretty clear Jesus is declaring that when He sits to rule on the throne of His Glory, the apostles would also sit as Kings and priests unto God to rule. And Christ clearly identifies the time of His sitting to rule in His Glory as, "in the regeneration." The question then is, biblically speaking, when is the regeneration? ..when does Christ reign in His Glory?
- "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
- "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he Saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
1st Corinthians 15:25
- "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
- And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."
This is when "the regeneration" occurs, according to God. What is the Regeneration? This is the Greek word [paliggenesia] taken from the root words [palin] meaning again or repeat, and [genesis] meaning a birth or nativity. In other words, to be born again. A spiritual nativity where they are made new by the Holy ghost. This is 'when' these apostles would reign as they sit on thrones in Christ to rule Israel. It is in this regeneration, or after being born again from the dead, that they would reign with Him. Did they become kings and Priests unto God to sit and rule with Him when they were raised up with Christ by the Holy Ghost? The answer (according to scripture) is obvious.
- "For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet."
When the apostles were regenerated, born again from above, they were raised up in Christ to sit and rule with Him on His throne in heaven. When Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of David to rule the kingdom, this fulfilled the prophesy of the restoration of the Kingdom of David, and Christ sitting on that throne of Glory. As is clearly illustrated also in Acts:
- "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"
The Prophesy did not speak of an earthly reign on the throne of David, but spoke of the resurrection of Christ to sit in on His throne in heaven, and the apostles as being raised up with Him to also sit in heavenly places. The gathering of 'the remnant' of the tribes of Israel. The Old Testament restoring of the twelve tribes to the land of their fathers was the "type" not the "anti-type," and Cyrus fulfilled this. The Restoration of the Kingdom of God which the Apostles asked about, was accomplished in Christ being the seed of David who reconciled the dispersed to God in one body, "one Israel," one stick, united by the Lion of the tribe of Judah. This was accomplished by His death, resurrection, and ascension to the throne. The regeneration has the 12 sit to rule with Christ. And this anti-type of the preceding type is made clear in such verses as Matthew chapter 15:
- "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
- Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
- He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption."
A very open testimony to the fulfillment of scripture in this Messiah, that He came to fulfill the prophesy of restoring the Kingdom of Israel. Not in literal Israelites lost in some foreign land, but a Spiritual Israel lost and being brought home. This is what the lost northern tribes merely prefigured. Some of them 'cut off,' but a remnant returning. This also seen in the angel speaking to Mary of His purpose and His reign.
- "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Just as Acts 2 said that this prophesy spake of the resurrection of Christ ascending into Heaven to sit on the throne of David. And note, the reign is not a 1000 year earthly reign, but was prophesied to be a reign that lasts forever over the house of Jacob. Only a reign in spiritual regeneration, Glory unto the throne of God, qualifies. This is the 'only' kingdom of which there shall be no end. The fulfillment of the prophecy of the restoration of Israel.
- "And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
- He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
- And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
One may ask why the tribes are so important? It is because without knowledge of who they were, and how some were cut off while others returning (a remnant only), and of how the Temple is built again, and how the nation is restored as one people, etc., etc. We do not really understand the anti-type in Christ where the lost sheep of the house of Israel (a remnant only) return, the Temple is rebuilt in Him, and God's true Kingdom restored.
Were the tribes present in Israel when Jesus Came?
A good question. Because according to biblical prophecy, the return of the lost tribes of Israel signals the coming of the Messianic Kingdom. And when Christ came, he restored Israel by freeing the captivity from spiritual Babylon, and brought the lost sheep of Israel home. For this anti-type to take place (Matthew 12:29), the type had to have taken place (Jeremiah 50:4-6). The lost of Israel had to be delivered from bondage and restored.
Was Jesus Looking all over the world for a lost race of Jews? Was He saying He came but for the house of Britain, of the house of Japan, or but for the house of Ethiopia? No, it is quite obvious that the lost of Israel are not another particular group or nation, they were right there in that Jewish nation. Others were considered dogs and swine in the Biblical vernacular. Yes, they eat of the crumbs off the masters table, but Israel was of the Jews. Christ came to the Jew first, and then to the Gentiles. That's also not an insignificant doctrine.
- "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
- Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
- But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
- And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
- Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour."
So then, how are the tribes of Israel lost, when God identifies the lost as the people of that nation? They were lost in that they were separated from God, 'not' that they were a people who were not yet accounted for. He has come to restore the Kingdom to the lost sheep of Israel, not to Gentiles and not the dispersed in Samaria, but it's plain Christ is addressing the Jews as Israel, his lost people. Jew and Israel were synonymous.
- "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
- But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
- And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Why is something so clear, so difficult for the indoctrinated to receive? The New Covenant was promised to Israel and Judah , and when Christ established the New Covenant Church, He brought that promise to it's fulfillment. Jesus Christ came into the world to redeem Israel and bring the restoration of the Kingdom, and that is precisely what He did.
- "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
- And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people. There is no distinction anymore. When the remnant from those 10 tribes returned with the remnant of Judah with Ezra they continued as the nation, and we see that there is not again that distinction. Judea and Jews have become totally synonymous with Israel. This could not be true if God wanted Israel different from Jews. The terms are used inter-changeably, as Jesus plainly illustrates all through His ministry.
The only real question about their fate is the one which man invents to satisfy his appetite for mystery, fables, legend and tradition. Any conquered land has it's inhabitants subjugated, killed, deported or they are absorbed into the populace. There is absolutely no reason to suspect that it was any different in this case. The 10 tribes were likewise dispersed after their captivity, and the remnant of them returned and were again made one nation under God.
Moreover, isn't it literally ridiculous to claim that the 10 tribes are still lost when the Bible itself unambiguously demonstrates the absurdity of this, by naming people living then who are from these tribes?
Here we have God himself speaking of a tribe in Israel, which man in his 'arrogance' denies was in Israel and declares lost, and is yet to return. Asher was one of the 10 tribes of Israel. How then is the tribe lost? Obviously not in God's eyes, but only in man's fables is the tribe lost. Does this man Phanuel of the tribe of Aser not exist? Does his daughter Ana come from a tribe that in but a memory? It makes no sense. Quite obviously by the word of God the tribes were still in Israel. Else the passage is nonsensical, and we cannot believe anything.
- "And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;"
Even the Apostle Paul spoke of a united 12 tribes in the present, when he spoke of the promise of Christ.
Paul is speaking of Israel, and there is not the slightest hint of a lost portion, or tribe. Only in the minds of men were these tribes mysteriously lost. ..and that for their own self-serving purposes.
- "And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers:
- Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews."
Here again we have a man Joses who is of the tribe of Levi, while man claims this tribe is still lost. Paul himself is of the tribe Benjamin, so how many tribes are there? God numbers the tribe of Levi (revelation 17) as one of the 12 tribes sealed of God. Obviously not lost according to the 'authority' of God's Word, and one of the twelve. Likewise Aser, clearly one of the 12 as demonstrated in Revelation chapter 7. That is to say, if we receive the word of God as authority over secular myths and legends.
- "And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
The indoctrinated retort, 'that's all is well and good, but what about the distinction between the Jews and Israel?' ..the moral of the story being, some things people want lost, even when they cannot be lost. As God (not I) clearly shows, after the restoration of the dispersed from captivity we find the terms 'Jews and Israel,' are synonymous. They are used to identify the exact same people, and this would be biblical confusion if we are to believe these theories. The New Testament writings call the same people Jews and Israel. A distinction is ludicrous. In Ezra after the restoration, the exact same people are called of God "Jews" and "Israel," and the exact same thing in Nehemiah . And so, truly, where is the mystery? These Theologians are missing the point. Judea is a figure of Christ, without which none of them are Jews in God's defining of the term. And Christ being the Lion of the tribe of Judah, is what restores the kingdom and makes men Jews. It's not in their blood line, but in His.
The fact of the matter is, the New Testament gives no hint of alleged lost tribes of Israel. And the terms "Hebrew," "Jew," and "Israelite" were and are used synonymously for the same people, as Paul himself so clearly demonstrated in his ministry . We can only say, What distinction? Shall man put asunder what God has joined? Therefore we must conclude that by the preponderance of biblical evidence, there is no continuing distinction made today between Jews and Israel, and that the tribes of Israel were present in Israel when Jesus came to her.
- "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
- But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God."
The end of it all? God's Israelites are by Grace, not Race! The unconditional promises made to Israel have been fulfilled in Abraham's Seed! Not seeds as of many, but Seed as one one, Christ (galatians 3:16). Those who are in Christ are the blood-bought Israel of God, and these are those who constitute God's Elect, or Chosen people. Lost, but now found. Bound, but now free. Brought out of captivity in the Son Israel, called out of Egypt. This Son is not a geographical area nor a race, but Christ Jesus.
The Gift which is Salvation, freedom from bondage to Satan, freedom from serving sin, restoration of the Kingdom to Israel by the making of Christ to ascend on High, a King, reconciling the lost sheep of the house of Israel to God. The fulfillment of the prophesy of the eternal restored Kingdom, which has no end.
- "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."
. 1st Kings 11:35-37
. 2nd Kings 17:5-6 "Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes."
. The Second Temple was partially rebuilt and rededicated in 515 B.C.
. King Cyrus was specifically identified in Isaiah chapter 45 as the anointed servant of the Lord (a type of Christ). He being the anointed King, set free the Jews and sent them to rebuild Jerusalem as a house for the Lord prefigures Christ (acts 15:15-17).
. (2nd Chronicles 15:8-15; 19:4; 29:24; 35:18)
. (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
. In the book of Nehemiah the word "Jew" is used eleven times and "Israel" twenty-two times, referring to the same people.
. The Apostle Paul calls himself a Jew in Acts 21:39 and 22:3, an Israelite in Romans 11:1, and a Hebrew in Philippians 3:5.
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Copyright 2000 Tony Warren
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