The Lost Ten Tribes and the Return of Messiah
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
I believe the return of Messiah Yeshua is inextricably linked to the identification, location and return of the lost ten tribes of Israel. Christendom seems to focus on the world and its governments and nations going to hell in a hand basket, morally and economically as “THE” signs of Messiah’s eminent return, as well as the abundance and frequencies of natural disasters and warfare; often quoting Matthew 24. This morbid obsession with Armageddon causes them to fail to see who is at the center and focus of His return and that is Israel and all who connect themselves to her through following her God and the Word of her God. Yes, these things mentioned above are prerequisites that must happen for Messiah to return, but so is the identification, location and return of the lost ten tribes of Israel. After all who is Messiah returning for? ISRAEL, physical descendants of Abraham and his 12 sons as well as all who have joined themselves to them by following their God and His Words.
After all, it was Israel and the mixed multitude (Jew/Hebrew and Gentile) that mutually accepted the YHWH and His Torah (Laws/Instructions) at what Judaism calls the marriage of God and Israel at Mount Sinai.
Exd. 12:38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.
Rabbis believe at least one gentile from all 70 nations went out of Egypt with Israel during the Exodus.
Exd. 19:7-8 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.
Verse 8 says, “all the people” which included the mixed multitude that came out of Egypt with Israel, all accepted God’s Law. So, though Israel is the primary recipients and caretakers of Torah, the Law was also given to and equally applies to the Gentiles.
Thus being said we can assuredly say that a Jew is from Judah and a Hebrew or Israelite is from the other 10 tribes as well as gentiles who believe and accept Israel’s God and His Laws is the Bride that Messiah will return for when He comes again. Messiah is not going to return for a partial bride, an incomplete bride or half of a bride, no, He is returning for a whole and complete bride; meaning all 12 tribes must be located and identified.
We know that Israel, after Solomon, was split in to two nations, Judah in the south and Israel sometimes called Ephraim in the north. Judah was taken off into Babylonian captivity and only a portion eventually returned to the Land of Israel while others stayed in Babylon. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was carted off into Assyrian captivity and has never returned and has been “lost,” to man but not to God. This means that there are people scattered all over the world who are Hebrew or Israelite and don’t even know it because in the millennia of captivity they have been scattered and assimilated into the various ethnicities of the world and have lost their Identity as Israelites.
“According to Eliezer Shulman in his book “The Sequence of Events in the Old Testament”, Avraham was born in the year 1948 from creation (aprox. 2050 BCE). His son of promise Yitzchak, (Isaac) was born one hundred years later in 2048 from creation (aprox. 1950 BCE). This places the birth of Yitzchak some 3950 years from the present time. Using 25 years as a generation means that today we are 158 generations removed from Avraham. Using 40 years per generation, still removes us nearly 100 generations.
The number of ancestors for any single person increases exponentially with each generation (two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents, etc.). Going back only 40 generations yields a potential of over one trillion direct ancestors for a single individual. This number far exceeds the total number of people who ever lived on earth since the beginning of time. With such immense numbers involved, it should be no surprise that we are all more closely related than might have been imagined.
Avraham lived nearly four thousand years ago. Surely, if this statistical model is anywhere near correct, every person on earth could conceivably be descended from him, just as Nivrecu Theory suggests. Equally possible is the theory that every person on earth could be descended from the twelve sons of Ya’acov, the progenitors of the children of Israel.” – Hebrew Roots Issue 02-2 pg. 20
It was sometime after the 1st century that we lost touch with who the 10 Israeli tribes were because Yeshua’s brother Ya’akov (James) addresses his letter to the 12 tribes scattered abroad (1:1)
Consider the words of Jeremiah regarding the end days and the finding of the lost tribes:
Jer. 16:14-17 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.
This, “lands of the north” is anywhere above Israel and can thus include North America, Europe and Scandinavia. And “and from all the lands whither he had driven them” could mean anywhere on the globe.
So close to the end of days and close to Messiah’s return, hence today, Jeremiah tells us people will be hunting and fishing for these tribes.
To be sure much speculation has been made on who the lost 10 tribes really are and much in depth and scholarly research must be done to positively identify these 10 tribes but already some lost tribes have been identified and accepted by the Israeli government and other peoples are being able to trace their beginnings back to one of the sons of Jacob. So slowly but surely the lost ten tribes are being found, setting the stage for Messiah’s return for His Bride.
Isaiah 11 has been attributed to being a Messianic prophecy of Messiah Yeshua Himself and indeed I wholeheartedly believe that this is true, but within Isaiah 11 is another prophecy ignored or skipped over by theologians and Bible scholars, and that is the prophecy of the return of the tribes from exile.
Isa. 11: 10-16
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
14 But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
15 And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.
16 And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
Verse 11 speaks of those lost in Assyrian captivity; Pathros is considered to be Upper Egypt while Cush is Sudan and Ethiopia. Elam and Shinar are modern day Iraq. Hamath encompasses Turkey, Lebanon and Syria. Then we have The islands of the sea which surround some of these places or could even hint of the Caribbean Islands where some African slaves who had cultures uncannily similar to Israel, where dumped off on the way to the auction blocks in the Americas.
Verses 12-13 names Israel and Ephraim which indicate the 10 Israeli tribes and we see Judah is mentioned too, possibly referring to the Judeans who remained in Babylon after the others returned to Jerusalem from the exile as recorded in Ezra and Nehemiah.
Now who is the one who will rally, rouse and wake these lost tribes to their true Identity? Messiah Yeshua (v.10)! And this has been done and is being done through world evangelism and missions’ work of Christians and Messianics.
Isaiah chapter 12 is a hymn or psalm of praise that the lost tribes will sing when they are found and return to the Promised Land of Israel.
Let’s look at Isaiah 14:1-2:
For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
Notice how this is specifically referring to the lost ten tribes. Phrases like, “House of Jacob,” “House of Israel,” are mentioned but not Judah. Take note as well that the ambiguous nature of their locals prior to their return to the Land of Israel proper opens the possibilities for the 10 tribes to be scattered is such places as North and South America, Europe and Scandinavia where many believe many of these lost tribes will be found.
Now take the Parable of the Prodigal son:
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
Many Evangelicals will say this is a parable about personal redemption and salvation, but totally fail to see that Messiah was speaking of the salvation and redemption of Israel as a whole. The Father represents God. The Older Son is Judah who even in Babylonian captivity maintained their Identity as Jews and even in Captivity cultivated much of the Rabbinic literature Rabbis read and use today. The Younger (Prodigal) Son represents the ten tribes of Israel who was taken off into Assyrian Captivity and eventually lost their Identity. We see one day the Prodigal Son wakes up in a pig sty, which is symbolic of being in the unclean gentile nations in captivity and decides to return home. Just like today, the lost ten tribes of Israel that are scattered all over the globe are waking up to who they really are and want to come home. The Father is there with open arms wanting through a party while Judah the Older Brother is jealous and questioning the Father’s acceptance of his wayward long lost brother. And today, Judah scrutinizes and even rejects authentic, documented, provable claims of certain lost tribes that have been found such as the Igbo people of Nigeria who can prove they come from the lost tribe of Gad and his sons Eri, Areli and Arodi (Gen. 46:16).
So we see, that we, as we look for the return of Messiah should not engage our entire eschatological focus on the gloom and doom of the end. We should keep our eyes on these things and act accordingly, as one would seek shelter from a tornado when they spot a funnel cloud. But out eschatological attention should be equally focused on Israel. Not necessarily the Land, but more specifically the People, Jew (Judah) and Hebrew Israelite (Israel/Lost 10 Tribes) as well.