Home   |  About This Site    |  Contents   |  Our Banner 

 

 

HISTORY OF THE SPLIT

 

How the United Kingdom of Israel became Two Nations

 

After their miraculous deliverance from abject bondage and slavery in Egypt, the children of Israel ended up wandering through the desert for forty long and hard years. This desert experience combined with the wise and Divinely inspired leadership of Moses forged the twelve different tribal clans of Israel into a cohesive national entity. Then under the subsequent outstanding leadership of Joshua, a scion of the tribe of Ephraim, they were able after a long and arduous campaign, to utterly to defeat the seven nations inhabiting the land promised to them by God through His special Covenant with Abraham. Thus the twelve tribes of Israel conquered the land of Canaan, comprising the territory on both sides of the river Jordan, starting with the city of Jericho. These historical events occurred three and a half thousand years ago.

 

Witness – the United Kingdom of Israel

 

For the first couple of centuries in their new ‘Promised Land’, the Israelites were being ruled by a series of Judges. They were in effect ruled by a theocracy, as the GOD of Israel was their ruler and His Torah was the law of the land. After all, the Pharaoh of Egypt had been told in no uncertain terms that the children of Israel [all twelve tribes] were very special to YHVH, the Creator of the Universe:

 

‘Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My first-born.” (Exodus 4:22)

 

The nation had been given the highest calling, as at Mount Sinai the house of Jacob and the children of Israel were told the following:

 

“And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:6)

 

Nevertheless, the children of Israel also had their own part to play in the sacred covenant which was to live by God’s standards and to forsake the standards of the world. Even before they were given the “Ten Words” (the Ten Commandments) they had been instructed as follows:

 

“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.” (Exodus 19:5)

 

Then all the children of Israel answered together with one voice and said:

 

“All that the LORD has said we will do.” (Exodus 19:8)

 

With those words the people of Israel ratified and sealed the covenant for all future generations. Then under the rule of the Prophet Samuel the people demanded to be ruled by a king just like all the other nations. The people had lost the vision of their special calling, as they hated being different from the other nations around them. A man from the tribe of Benjamin, named Saul, was duly chosen and he was subsequently anointed by the Prophet Samuel as the first ever king over the United Kingdom of Israel.

 

Saul was an able general and strategist and he soon established his authority with brilliant campaigns against Israel’s enemies. However, later on in his reign he departed from his faith, and the enemies of Israel once again were able to make inroads into the nation. The Prophet Samuel pronounced the end of Saul’s dynasty, and after he died in battle, David, the son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah, was anointed as king of Israel. He was a man after God’s own heart, and as such he is ranked as the greatest king Israel ever had.

 

At first it was only the tribe of Judah that was loyal to him, as the tribe of Benjamin and the other tribes found it difficult to accept the dynastic change in leadership and they instead accepted Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, as their king. David established his capital at Hebron and after several years of civil war between the two tribal kingdoms, the other tribes fell into line and submitted to David’s rule. After King David conquered the city of Jerusalem, he moved his court from Hebron to this strategic mountain citadel. Thus Jerusalem became the city of David, who reigned over the once again United Kingdom of Israel. It was during his forty year reign that Israel flourished and became the dominant military and economic power in the Middle East.

 

Then, under the subsequent glorious reign of his son Solomon, Israel became the greatest and wealthiest nation on the earth at that time. It was a time when Israel ruled over all the territory from the river Nile in Egypt to the river Euphrates in Mesopotamia. Solomon’s wisdom and his wealth became the subject of legend, and through his enormous seafaring fleet he was able to project his influence to territories well beyond his empire. Towards the end of his reign Solomon began to compromise his faith in the one true God of Israel. He was being influenced by the many foreign wives and concubines he had acquired during his time in office, as most of them worshipped pagan gods. The result was that, even as Israel reached the pinnacle of her power and influence in the then known world, the seeds of her destruction were being sown.

 

The great split – a most painful divorce

 

After forty years on the throne of the United Kingdom of Israel, King Solomon went the way of all mortal men, and was succeeded by his son Rehoboam. Then in 975 BCE, the northern Ten Tribes of Israel split off from Judah in rebellion against the high taxes levied by the son of King Solomon.

 

Leah and Rachel, the two wives of Jacob, were each to produce a son through whom a special blessing was to be passed on. Joseph, the son of Rachel, was to receive the ‘Promise of the Birthright', whereas Judah, the son of Leah, was to receive the ‘Promise of the Sceptre.’ Through the promise of the Sceptre it was indicated that the descendants of Judah were to become the progenitors of a great royal dynasty from which the Mashiach was to emerge. Prior to this catastrophic separation between the two Houses of Israel, the 'Sceptre' family of Judah and the 'Birthright' family of Joseph had lived side by side, first under the rule of the Judges and then under the rule of three kings. It was this shared history over many centuries that made their separation like the most painful divorce.

 

Both the children of Leah and of Rachel suffered under the heavy yoke of slavery in Egypt. Together they served those unjust taskmasters. Together they experienced their miraculous deliverance at the Red Sea and their families had travelled together to forty-two separate encampments in the wilderness. Together they crossed the river Jordan, marched around Jericho and drove out seven nations stronger than they. Together they experienced the establishment of the monarchy and lived within one United Kingdom of Israel under three kings, Saul, David and Solomon, as each of them ruled over the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

 

“My coat for a Kingdom!”

 

The big division of the nation which caused the two families that held the Covenant blessing of the Sceptre and the Birthright, Judah and Joseph, to go their separate ways occurred immediately after the death of King Solomon. We find the account of the great split written in the First book of Kings, chapters 11 & 12. Please be sure to read the account in your own Bible, as there we find recorded the division of the tribes of Israel into two kingdoms, with a son of the royal family of Solomon as king over one kingdom, and a son of the house of Joseph as king over the other and much larger kingdom. All of this had been prophesied by God after King Solomon had taken on no less than a thousand wives and concubines, many of whom were into paganism, witchcraft and the occult. This is the prophecy Solomon was given:

 

Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and have not kept my covenant and statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days, for the sake of your father David; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away the whole kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of my servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen” (1Kings 11:11-13).

 

The promise here is that the kingdom will be torn out of the hands of his son and given to Solomon’s servant. The servant's name was a man called Jeroboam, who was from the tribe of Ephraim, and Solomon had put him in charge of all the labour force of Joseph, i.e. the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. One day when Jeroboam was on his way out of the royal capital of Jerusalem, wearing a brand new cloak, he was approached by the prophet Ahijah. The prophet asked him to hand over his new garment only to see him tear it into twelve pieces. Ahijah then said to him:

 

 “Take for yourself ten pieces, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and will give ten tribes to you.’”  The prophet’s final words to him are: “And you shall be king over Israel (1 Kings 11:31,37).

 

No doubt, after that encounter, Jeroboam’s ears must have been burning and the loss of his brand new coat would have been nothing to him. We have all heard Shakespeare’s famous play where Richard III exclaims: “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” Jeroboam could go one better than that, as in his case he would have been able to reverse the saying to, “My coat for a Kingdom!” Who would not willingly sacrifice a coat for a kingdom? The emphatic promise contained in this prophecy was that Jeroboam, a descendant of Joseph through his son Ephraim, would reign over the ten tribes, and be king over Israel. The point about these prophecies is that they were absolutely true, as in every detail they were completely fulfilled by the subsequent events.

 

‘No taxation without representation’

 

Solomon was dead, and his young and inexperienced son, Rehoboam, succeeded him. Before his coronation a formal petition was presented to the young king-designate by Jeroboam, on behalf of the whole assembly of Israel, with the request for lower taxation, as the people were groaning under the weight of Solomon’s tax burden. The young heir asked for three days' respite before giving his answer. First of all he consulted the elders and counsellors of his father, and they recommended that he give way and make some concessions. He rejected their sound advice, as it was not what he wanted to hear. He then consulted his own contemporaries and they told him just what he wanted to hear. He was going to show those ‘insolent’ Israelites who was in charge! After the three days were up and the representatives of Israel came before him, the arrogant king showed that he had not listened to the voice of the people. Rehoboam addressed them very harshly, and by the way he gave his answer he effectively poured petrol on the flames. These are his very words: “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions” (1 Kings 12:14).

 

This was really not the way to win friends and influence people! The response was immediate:

 

"Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: 'What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now, see to your own house, O David!'” (1 Kings 12:16).

 

Notice, how these ancient Israelites rebelled against their high levels of taxation some three thousand years ago, and without knowing it, they thus set a pattern that was to recur again and again in their subsequent history. One important aspect we can glean from the words, “What share have we in David?,” is that  with these words the Israelites were in effect complaining about taxation without representation, as in those days only the royal tribe of Judah was represented through their king.

 

Isn’t it amazing how history repeats itself? This issue is very significant because this was exactly the complaint of the American colonists when King George of England wanted to levy his Stamp Tax on them.

 

‘No taxation without representation’ became the emotive rallying cry of the revolt of the 13 Colonies, which led to the American War of Independence. In Britain in the 1980s Margaret Thatcher also came a cropper over her Poll Tax being imposed upon the people by the central government. Her Poll Tax was designed to replace a local tax based on the rateable value of property. Local councils determined the rates each year and the point is that the councillors could be voted out of office at the local council elections. The whole nation was in uproar and the avalanche of protest that followed forced the ‘Iron Lady’ to change direction back to local government taxes and the rateable value of property. Essentially this dispute too was about ‘no taxation without representation’. It is interesting to see how the modern nations of America and Great Britain, much like their ancient Israelite counterparts, also get very worked up and excited about the issue of taxation. It seems that they, much like the ancient Israelites, are imbued with a very strong sense of justice, as they tend to get especially upset when taxes are deemed to be arbitrary and unfair. Might this shared characteristic per chance be another clue as to the true origins of these people?

 

The Chief Collector of Taxes – murdered!

 

To go back to the situation in ancient Israel: King Rehoboam’s next move was to send his Chief Collector of Taxes to gather in the taxes, and the Israelites responded by stoning him to death. The young king was furious and was determined to bring those obstinate Israelites into line. King Rehoboam then mobilised his army throughout the territory of Judah and Benjamin and got together a force of some 180,000 warriors to fight against the House of Israel. Here we see the House of Judah, the holder of the Royal Sceptre, and the House of Israel, the inheritor of the Birthright, at the brink of civil war, and all of this over the matter of taxation! Is this not extraordinary?

 

The separation of the Sceptre and the Birthright

 

It very much looked like a terrible bloodbath was in prospect, with brother fighting brother. At this point God intervened by sending a prophet called Shemaniah with a message for Rehoboam, the king of Judah. This was the message he gave to the king:

 

“You shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is from me (1 Kings 12:24). 

 

By saying ‘this thing is from me’, God was saying that it was His will that this split and division of the tribes occurred. In the division of the twelve tribes into two separate kingdoms, God also fulfilled the prophetic warning he gave to King Solomon that the kingdom would be torn out of the hands of his son and given to his servant. The promise was that He would not tear away the whole of the kingdom but that he would leave him one tribe for the sake of his oath to Solomon’s father, King David.

 

As it happened, much of the tribe of Benjamin stayed loyal to Rehoboam, and thus the kingdom of Judah was composed of the tribe of Judah, the tribe of Benjamin and some from the priestly tribe of Levi. Also the prophecy of Ahijah to Jeroboam was fulfilled in every detail, as he became king over the ten tribes of Israel. Thus by divine appointment the Sceptre of Judah and the Birthright of Israel were separated then and there. This is how the SCEPTRE family of Judah and the BIRTHRIGHT family of Joseph each became the head and representative of a distinct nation, or commonwealth.

 

The two parts of Israel separate, enabling each part to fulfil its preordained destiny

 

The Birthright tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh went with the Ten-Tribed Kingdom, and Jeroboam, a princely son of the Tribe of Ephraim reigned over that kingdom. At the same time a son of the Royal House of David, which holds the Sceptre, reigned over the kingdom of Judah. Each nation was now free to go forward independently of the other to fulfil their respective destinies:

 

One was to fulfil the spiritual ‘Sceptre’ element of the Covenant God had made with Abraham, that of bringing forth the Messiah from the royal line of David, and being the Lawgiver by preserving the Torah on behalf of all of mankind. Thus Judah would become a source of ‘spiritual’ blessing to all the nations of the earth.

 

The other was to fulfil the physical ‘Birthright’ element of the Covenant God had made with Abraham, that of becoming many nations and a source of ‘physical’ blessing to all the nations of the earth.

 

Each nation thus had its own distinct role and purpose in the world.

The greatest irony is that the Jewish nation today is called Israel, whilst the actual Nation and Kingdom of Israel goes by a number of other names. It surely has the whole world confused, but the fact is that the Jewish State we see in the Middle East today does not constitute all of Israel. As we have already seen, the Jews are merely one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The name Israel belongs to the descendants of the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, as in the Birthright blessing which Jacob pronounced over the two lads, he said: “and let my name be named on them” (Gen.48:16).  God previously had changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and in this deathbed blessing Jacob is formally adopting Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph, and he is categorically stating that his name be named upon them. Thus the two sons of Joseph have inherited the name Israel. This does not in any way mean that the Jews are not part of Israel, because the Jews, just like any of the other twelve tribes, are all Israelites, descended from the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

 

After the ‘great split’

 

After the two parts of the formerly ‘United’ Kingdom of Israel have gone their separate way, the Ten Tribes of Israel set up a rival kingdom to the north of Jerusalem. From that moment on, Israel’s History Book [the Bible] refers to this Northern Kingdom as Israel, with its capital city being called Samaria (1Kings 11:26-37 & 1Kings 12).

 

A new king by the name of Jeroboam, who was from the Tribe of Ephraim, then commenced his rule over these Ten Tribes. This king felt rather insecure in his new kingdom, the reason being that Jerusalem was the focus of his subjects’ religion, along with the glorious Temple of Solomon in which all the grand ceremonies of the High Holy days of Israel were celebrated seven times a year in three major festival seasons. He did not want his subjects to go to Jerusalem for their solemn High Days and Festivals, as he did not want them to be influenced by his rival Rehoboam, the king of Judah. His solution was to erect two Golden Calves and instructed his people to worship them instead. His very words were:

 

“It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem to worship. Behold your gods O Israel, which brought you out of Egypt (1Kings 12:28).

 

It so happened that the Ox or Bull was also one of the main emblems of the tribe of Ephraim, and it was therefore in a twisted kind of way a logical choice that Golden Calves should be set up. After all, Ephraim, as the inheritor of the Birthright blessing, had become the Chief of the Tribes of Israel, and King Jeroboam, who made the decision to set these calves up, was himself from the tribe of Ephraim.

 

The big divorce occurred around 975 BC, and from this time onwards we have two separate kingdoms completely independent of each other and known as:

 

A) – THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL – IN THE NORTH

                             Eventually with Samaria as its capital

 

B) – THE KINGDOM OF JUDAH – IN THE SOUTH

                             With Jerusalem as its capital

 

From here onwards, the Scriptures do not refer any more to the descendants of Judah as Israel. Ever since that time Judah and Israel have gone their separate ways. The Bible more than once even records the two nations going to war against each other.

 

The Assyrians’ invasion and deportation of Israel

 

During the 250 years of Israel’s independent existence she was ruled by a succession of evil kings. Without exception these wicked rulers had departed from their original faith and therefore they were in direct breach of the covenant relationship with the God of Israel. The nation consequently experienced a toboggan slide into a moral abyss through the worship of false pagan gods who led them into occult practices and witchcraft of every conceivable kind. Their land became lawless and was filled with violence, and they practised the most grisly rites in which they even sacrificed their own children to those false gods. God had exhorted them to repentance countless times, by sending his prophets to warn them of his impending judgement upon their nation.

 

The mighty and warlike Assyrian Empire had already attacked the kingdom several times and taken the tribes dwelling to the east of the Jordan River into captivity. As the situation progressively deteriorated over the years, many inhabitants – the vast majority – left the country for other lands, as they could see the ‘writing on the wall’. Some of these founded new empires such as Carthage on the North African coast. In fact the original Hebrew name for Carthage was Kirjath-Hadeschath, which historian Alfred Church translates as “New Town” (Steve Collins Israel’s Lost Empires p.133).

 

Other Israelite groups founded the Scythian Empire north of the Black Sea, whilst others migrated to Israelite colonies in around the Mediterranean Sea, as well as to Spain, Ireland and the British Isles. Then finally in 721 BCE the armies of the Assyrian Empire invaded the Northern Kingdom for the third time and in a final blow took the entire remaining population of the Kingdom of Israel into captivity. The Scripture clearly states: “there is none left but the tribe of Judah only!” (2 Kings 17:18).

 

The Babylonians take Judah into captivity

 

Over a century and a quarter later, the Kingdom of Judah suffered the same fate as her northern neighbour, the reason being that its people too had departed from their sacred covenant with God by embracing pagan gods and consequently sinking into a hedonistic morass of depravity and lawlessness. Once again, the prophets of God warned them numerous times, all to no avail. Then during the years 604-581 BC the Kingdom of Judah is invaded several times and finally overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar – the King of Babylon, which was the successor empire to the Assyrians. This time around, almost the entire population of the Kingdom of Judah is transported to Babylon.

 

Judah returns to her ancestral land

 

On the face of it, and judging by the events of the time, the Kingdom of Judah is finished for good. The royal family has been killed and all the inhabitants have been taken as slaves to Babylon. The reality on the ground appears to indicate that both the kingdoms of Israel and Judah are totally eliminated. It really does not seem possible that either of them can be restored. Yet, if this were true, the covenant promises of the Sceptre and the Birthright God swore by an oath to Abraham cannot be fulfilled. This is obviously not possible. So what does history tell us? The Jews, just as was prophesied, suffer seventy long years of captivity in Babylon, but their plight is considerably eased after the Persians defeat Babylon and become their new rulers. Then, by special dispensation of King Cyrus of the Persians, some 50,000 Jews return to rebuild the Temple and the walls of Jerusalem. The House of Judah is brought back to the land in order that they can fulfil their spiritual’ commission of becoming a source of ‘Spiritual’ blessing to all the nations in the world.

 

 

 

 

The House of Israel never comes back!

 

Israel’s History Book [the Bible] does not record the House of Israel ever returning to their tribal lands to the north of Judah, and neither does secular history! Thus the Ten Tribes of Israel have become known as THE LOST HOUSE OF ISRAEL, or as some people would say, THE LOST TEN TRIBES! The reason they are not permitted to come back to their ancestral lands is because in fulfilment of the covenant, they are to become an innumerable multitude that are to walk in their ‘Birthright’ destiny to bring untold ‘physical’ blessings to all the nations and families in the world.

 

The lost sheep of the House of Israel

 

In the New Testament, when Yeshua sent his disciples out preaching, he specifically told them not to go to the Gentiles; “but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 10:6). By this most precise instruction to his disciples we have a clear indication that in his day both Yeshua and his disciples were well aware where those ‘lost sheep of the house of Israelcould be found! This same Yeshua or Yahshua – whose name in Hebrew literally means ‘Yah is my Salvation’ – when accosted by a Gentile woman who sought deliverance for her daughter, said to her: I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel(Matthew 15: 24).

 

Josephus, the famous Jewish historian, who lived in the days of Christ, wrote about the whereabouts of the ‘Lost Ten Tribes’. The staggering fact is that this great historian wrote the following words nearly 800 years after the House of Israel had been transported to Assyria:

 

The Ten Tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude.”

 

Flavius Josephus also wrote in 100 CE that: “The entire body of the people (the ten tribes) of ISRAEL remained in that country, wherefore there are but Two Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans.”

 

There we have it from the horse’s mouth! Surely, this should settle it! More than 600 years after the return of the Jews to their Promised Land from their exile in Babylon, the Ten Tribes of Israel had still not returned from the lands beyond the Euphrates River. History records that they never did, and the Bible, Israel’s consummate history book, completely confirms the fact; although it does prophesy of a yet future day when the Lost House of Israel will return to take up its rightful place in the Land of Promise. The Bible thus speaks of the ultimate reunification of the two houses of Israel in the age of Messiah.

 

One sure sign that the time is approaching when all of the Twelve Tribes will reassemble in the Land of Promise is the miracle of 1948. The miracle was the establishment of a Jewish State in the Holy Land.  From the ashes of the Holocaust new life has sprung forth. This Jewish State mainly consists of members of the Tribe of Judah – 80% of the population with most of the balance being Arabs. Nevertheless, the Jewish leaders have called it ‘Israel’, although the Lost House of Israel is still lost and the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel have not returned. It would therefore have been more accurate if they had named their country Judah. Yet some of the founding fathers of the modern State of Israel had a prophetic vision. Some few of them were inspired to look forward to the time of Messiah, when, according to the Scriptures, all of the Twelve Tribes of Israel will be reunited once again. Not since the days of King Solomon has this occurred, yet every religiously observant Jew knows that one day it will be a glorious reality.

 

One day, when Mashiach Ben David returns, He will reunite the House of Judah with the House of Israel (see Ezekiel 37:15-22), when He shall establish His government, ruling from Jerusalem over the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Just as King Saul, King David and King Solomon formerly ruled over the Twelve Tribes of Israel, so will Mashiach Ben David, no less, rule over the United Kingdom of Israel comprised of those same Twelve Tribal Sons of Jacob. He will rule from Mount Zion and through His reign all the nations of the earth will be blessed.

 

Lost for ever?

 

The well-known Victorian Jewish historian, author and Bible scholar, Alfred Edersheim, who had embraced the Christian faith and was ordained into the Church of England in 1875, stated in one of his books: “No notice has been taken of those wanderers of the Ten Tribes, whose “trackless footsteps” seem as mysterious as their after-fate. Josephus describes them as an innumerable multitude beyond the Euphrates River…. Still, the great mass of the Ten Tribes was, in the days of Christ, as in our own, lost to the Hebrew nation.” (Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, pp. 14-16).

 

It is a common assumption in Christian circles to refer to the Northern Kingdom of Israel as having become lost in time having somehow become absorbed and assimilated, not to say swallowed up, by the rest of humanity. Others assume that the Jews represent all of the tribes of Israel. Whichever way people like to look at it, they have become known as the Lost Ten Tribes. The subject has become a matter of the wildest speculation.

 

Yet the ancient Jewish rabbis and sages were fully aware of the status and whereabouts of the House of Israel. In their minds there was no question of the Lost Ten Tribes having left “trackless footsteps” which could not be traced by anyone. For them there was very little mystery surrounding the Lost Ten Tribes, Sadly, this not the case today. These Jewish sages understood that the house of Joseph, also known as the Ten Tribes, not only were never lost, but actually knew exactly where they were. The very idea that God could not trace his own people was anathema to them. These sages based their understanding on the Scriptures, such as found in Psalm 60:9; “Ephraim also is the helmet for my head”. Other translations put the word ‘strength’ or ‘stronghold’ in place of ‘helmet’. Ephraim is the collective term used for the Ten Tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel, which were led by Ephraim. Here Ephraim is called the strength of God’s head. In order for the Ten Tribes to be lost, God would in essence have to lose his strength, or possibly even his very head! As we have already seen, even Yeshua knew exactly where they were, as he sent his disciples to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”.  According to the Gospel account in Matthew 10:6, his disciples did not ask him where to go, which indicates that they too knew where their fellow Israelites were to be found.

 

Prior to the Assyrian invasion of the Ten-Tribed Northern Kingdom of Israel, when the entire remaining population was taken as slaves into captivity, the prophet Amos made a remarkable prophecy. He prophesied, saying:

 

Behold the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom [Israel], and I will destroy it from the face of the earth” (Amos 9:8).

 

The kingdom was indeed destroyed, as it ceased to exist, as even all its people were transported to Assyria, somewhere south of the Caspian Sea. The territory of the Ten Tribes was occupied and the Assyrian overlords transported foreign tribes into the land of Israel. No more land or territory, no more kings, no more subjects, no more independence – God surely had made good His word that he would destroy the sinful kingdom of Israel from the face of the earth! You can always trust the Holy One of Israel to keep His word. But this is not the end of it, as the prophecy itself did not end there. The same verse of Amos continues: “‘Yet, I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,’ declares the Lord.Though God’s judgement was that he would completely destroy the kingdom of Israel because of their sins, he promised he would not wipe out the people of Israel.

 

Once again, in confirmation of God’s faithfulness, we have that wonderful secular authoritative testimony from the Jewish historian Josephus, who said that: “The Ten Tribes are beyond Euphrates till now [approx. 100 CE], and are immense multitudes!” The sinful kingdom of Israel had certainly had ample warning, as for centuries God had sent His prophets to them proclaiming what would befall them if they did not return to Him. Moses himself, shortly prior to his death had spelled out the consequences of disobedience to God because of the unique covenant relationship they had with Him.

 

Moses prophesied: “And it shall be, that just as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to nothing; and you shall be plucked from off the land which you go to possess. Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other” (Deuteronomy 28:63-64).

 

Ever since Moses’ original warning recorded for them for all time in the Torah, they were warned over and over again in each succeeding generation. The people were constantly being asked to keep their part of the bargain of the solemn covenant they had made with their GOD at Mount Sinai.

 

Almost immediately after the Ten Tribes had seceded and split away from Judah to set up their own kingdom, God sent the prophet Ahijah with an awesome message:

 

“For the Lord will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water. He will uproot Israel from his good land which he gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the [Euphrates] River” (1 Kings 14:15). 

 

The prophet Amos tells us what God would do next:

 

“For surely I will command, and will SIFT the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve, yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground!” (Amos 9:9).

 

Here we have a cast iron promise that God would SIFT the Israelite tribes through the nations of the earth, but that He would preserve them intact as a people. They might lose their identity but they would not be amalgamated with other peoples. Moreover, not one of them would be lost to God. Those scholars who study the Scriptures know that in Bible prophecy Israel features as a key player in end-time events. This begs the question: Where are these mysterious Israelites today?

 

In the meantime, the Ten Tribes of Israel remain in their lost state, sadly unaware of their true God-given ancestry; they consider themselves to be Gentile nations. However, whereas man is prone to lose things, God by definition cannot lose anything, and in His word He has left very clear indications as to what we should look for if we want to identify and locate the whereabouts of the Lost House of Israel today. The fact is that the tribes can be located, if we use the clues and signposts listed in Israel’s History Book – the Bible.

 

The blessing of the Birthright

 

The Bible makes it plain that the “Birthright blessing” would not go to Judah, as the patriarch Jacob passed this blessing on to the two sons of Joseph. It was the descendants of the two sons of Joseph, who became identified as the HOUSE of ISRAEL. They were to become the primary inheritors of the Birthright blessing, with the other tribes also benefiting. The Jewish people therefore do not fit the prophetic “Birthright” covenants God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Jews themselves will be the first to confirm this, as their own Tanakh (Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures) makes it very clear. The book of Chronicles is the last book of the Hebrew Scriptures and in it the inspired chronicler records that Reuben, the firstborn son of Israel, had disqualified himself from the birthright inheritance that would have come to him. His birthright was given to the sons of Joseph, the eleventh son of Israel. 1Chronicles 5:2 states:

 

“Yet Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came the ruler, although the birthright was Joseph’s.”

 

Ask any religiously observant Jew who the recipient of Israel’s birthright was and they will all say it went to Joseph. Therefore if we want to identify the birthright people of Israel, it really is no good looking for them amongst the Jews, who are of the tribe of Judah.  If we want to identify where Israel is today, then, according to the words of the patriarch Jacob, we need in these ‘last days’ to look for a ‘Company,’ ‘Commonwealth,’ or a ‘Fullness of Nations,’ and a ‘Great Nation.’ Does this not sound somewhat familiar?

 

 

LET US EXAMINE SOME OF THESE AMAZING ‘BIRTHRIGHT’ PROMISES WHICH GOD MADE TO ABRAHAM, ISAAC & JACOB:

 

1.       I will make you a Great Nation! (Genesis 12:2).

 

2.       “Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies (Genesis 22:17).

 

3.       “Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you and blessed be those who bless you!”  (Genesis 27:28-29).

 

4.       “Your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and to the south (Genesis 28:14).

 

5.       “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body” (Genesis 35:11).

 

6.       JACOB/ISRAEL BLESSES JOSEPH’S SONS:  “And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine . . . . Let my name [Israel] be named upon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth (Genesis 48:5&16).

 

7.       Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall. The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel). By the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers (Genesis 49:22-26).

 

What a stupendous list of blessings this truly is! What we need to do now is engage in some match making to see if there are any nations who fit the bill. We are looking for nations that in these ‘latter days’ exhibit these fantastic birthright blessings of power, prosperity, health and superabundance.

 

The House of Judah and the House of Israel have been living apart now for some three thousand years. The prophets of Israel unanimously announce that in these end times there will be an emotional and most wonderful reunion, when the ‘prodigal’ sons of Israel will finally return to their Father’s House.

 

Baruch Hashem!

 

Stephen Spykerman

Extracts from: The Hidden Ancestry of America and Great Britain

Mount Ephraim Publishing

 

Back to the Top