Where did the ten tribes go?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Automatic Transcript Generated:

Speaker 1

So paulette is asking, where did the ten tribes go? One teacher says they went north over the caucus mountains into europe and then spread all over, and that is why we are called caucasian.

Speaker 2

Great. Well, paulette, this is a very fascinating question, and this is something where it seems like there’s so many, many different stories of where did the ancient israelites go? What happened to these ten tribes? And people might try to say, oh, we’re the missing tribe, or we’re of this tribe, and then try to claim special spiritual status or claim they have some special favor with god. But I’m going to sort of disprove any of these theories and show that really the message from the bible is that these people are now lost, like scattered. They’re gone, and we’re not supposed to be able to figure out where they went, what happened to them. The story sort of ends with the scattering. So let’s jump to what we’re told in terms of where do these ten tribes end up? So we have to step back just a little bit. And we know there were twelve tribes of israel initially, and technically there’s twelve tribes. And then joseph was split into two half tribes. And levi is not actually counted as one of the tribes. So it was ephraim and manassa and then ten others. And when we talk about these ten tribes, then levi is kind of split.

Speaker 2

Some of them are in judea, some of them might be with these ten tribes. And we have judah and benjamin that sort of survive with some of the levites with them in judah. And is the ten other tribes that get hauled away because of their unfaithfulness to the lord. So let’s take a look at second kings, chapter 18, starting at verse nine, it says, now, it came to pass in the fourth year of king hezekiah, which was the 7th year of hoshea, the son of elah, king of israel. That shalmenzer, king of assyria, came up against samaria and besieged it. So where’s assyria? This is coming from the mesopotamian region, which modernly would be like around where iraq is today. And it says, and at the end of it, starting at verse ten, and at the end of three years, they took it in the 6th year of hezekiah, that is the 9th year of hoshea, king of israel. Samaria was taken. Then the king of assyria carried israel away, captive to assyria, and put them in hala, and by the habor, the river of gozan, and in the cities of the medis or the medes, because they did not obey the voice of the lord, their god, but transgressed his covenant and all that moses, the servant of the lord, had commanded, and they would neither hear nor do them.

Speaker 2

So god is intentionally scattering them, hauling them away from, taking them out of and away from the promised land that he had given them because of their unfaithfulness. And let’s talk about these landmarks and places that were mentioned. So there was hala. It is a city or district in mesopotamia under assyrian control. This is where the israelites were taking captive. So, mesopotamia. Habor, a tributary of the euphrates river in assyria. And where did we talk about? The euphrates river is in assyria. This is mesopotamia. Goes on. This is a mesopotamian city on or near the middle of the euphrates, where exiled israelites were settled. And then I think these are probably coming from strong’s definitions that I pulled these from. And then the medis, what is that? This is the land inhabited by the descendants of japheth, located northwest of persia proper, south southwest, and of the caspian sea, east of armenia and assyria, and west and northwest of the great salt desert of aram. So where is that great salt desert of aram? That is in kind of north central iran today. So the persians, the medes persians, came out of iran, what is today.

Speaker 2

So basically, this northern part of iran, and if we follow it, parts of turkey, like where syria might be, these people being settled, and probably, I would say the northernmost border of where these israelites are being placed, according to the bible, would be the caucus mountains. That probably represented more the boundary, the northern boundary of where they ended. No, I’m not aware of anything biblical saying that these tribes collectively all moved and crossed the border and went north and went into europe. Now, the idea, though, is that they are being scattered. So once they’re in these countries, we know there’s always movement. They’re going all over. They could have ended up in europe, they could have ended up in china, for all we know. Who knows? The idea is now they’re scattered, they’re no longer a people, and they’ve gone into the masses of the people. And this is a process that traces back to the tower of babel. If you go to genesis eleven, starting at verse one, it says, now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of shinar, and they dwelt there.

Speaker 2

Where is the land of shinar? Mesopotamia. So you have the tower of babel coming out of this land of mesopotamia and genesis one is emphasizing oneness at the beginning. And then we jump to genesis eleven, starting at verse seven, it says, come, or this is god speaking, come, let us go down. And there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of the earth, and they ceased building the city. It says, therefore its name is called babel, because there the lord confused the language of all the earth, and from there the lord scattered them abroad over the face of the earth. And if you look at genesis ten, at verse 32, genesis ten is talking about the descendants of noah. It says, these nations were divided on the earth after the flood. Genesis 1035 talks about eber, and he had two sons, and name of one was peleg. And it says, for in his days, the earth was divided. So again and again, this concept that humanity is divided, god has separated us. And this is kind of language very similar to how the waters in genesis one are surrounding the earth.

Speaker 2

And they’re just chaotic waters. And god can gather the waters and he could separate the waters. It’s the same very analogy. And in fact, you jump forward to revelation, and revelation is talking about many waters. And what does the angel say these represent? It says, these are peoples, nations, languages, tongues like people. So the masses of the nations are kind of this chaotic scattering. And what happened is god is taking the israelites back to that state of being chaotic with the nations. And he’s undoing what he started with, abraham. Genesis 15 seven says, I am the lord. Who brought you out of, or god speaking to abraham, or of the chaldeans. God brought abraham out of. Like, we keep hearing this theme, right? We keep coming back to babylon, we keep coming back to mesopotamia, because it’s this kind of civilizing, this origin of where the rebellion of god started after the flood and israel was called out through abraham. And then we go down to what happened with moses, and god calls them out of egypt. And god uses that language. He says, I have called you out of egypt and he says, I’ve made you a nation when you were not a nation.

Speaker 2

And in fact, there’s 70 nations that are listed in genesis. And how many people went down into egypt with jacob, we’re told it’s 70. This is a reason god is trying to emphasize here. I’m making a new nation and he builds israel out of nothing, just abraham, right? And then isaac and jacob, and boom. Now suddenly we have a huge nation that comes out of egypt under moses’s leadership. And god warns them, he says, you need to be faithful. Deuteronomy 14 two says, for you are a holy people to the lord, and the lord has chosen you to be a people for himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. And that word holy actually means set apart. We think holy means usually like glory, and we think of light shining and all these things, but it really at its core means set apart. God pulled you out from this group of people. Just like god could separate light from darkness and waters from waters and land from waters. God could create people and separate them from, from other people. And he did that. But because of their unfaithfulness, they get scattered.

Speaker 2

Deuteronomy 30, verse one. Now it shall come to pass that when all these things come to pass, the blessing and the curse which I set before you, and you call them in mind among all the nations where the lord drives you, and you return to lord and obey his voice according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the lord your god will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where the lord your god has scattered you. So he has this promise that I will gather you back. How does he do this? How does god go about doing it? Matthew ten five to six, jesus speaking. It says that these twelve, jesus set out and commanded them, speaking to his disciples, do not go into the way of the gentiles and do not enter the city of the samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of israel. And then we go to acts starting at verse chapter one, verse eight, jesus says, but you shall receive power from the holy spirit when the holy spirit has come upon you.

Speaker 2

And you shall be witnesses to me in jerusalem and in all judea and samaria. And to the end of the like, god is sending his new disciples, his new followers, the christian church, out to the world. And on jesus’s heart, right, is judea. I mean, those are closest to his faithful people. And then samaria, samaria was the land where the ten tribes were. But now they got intermingled, and they weren’t really the original ten tribes anymore. Maybe some of the descendants there, but not very few. And then you get to the end of the earth, and this is where the ten tribes have been scattered. And through the gospel going out and by god converting on a one on one basis, god is hoping to regather the descendants of the twelve tribes in fact, even the jews themselves, when eventually are scattered and dispersed throughout. And again, it’s through accepting christ and the real gospel that they can be gathered again. And now we create a new spiritual church, a new israel, as romans two, verse 28 says, for he is not a jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision, but that which is outward in the flesh, or sorry, nor is a circumcision that which is outward in the flesh, but he is a jew who is one inwardly.

Speaker 2

And circumcision is that of the heart in the spirit, not the letter, whose praise is not from men, but from god and one peter, two, nine to ten. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, speaking to his christians, his own special people. This is similar language from deuteronomy. We read earlier that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness, separated you from darkness, language from genesis into his marvelous light, who once were not a people, but are now a people of god, who had obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Or sorry, first have not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. So god has created a new people that we today call the christians. And the ten tribes can be a part of it. We have no idea who traces back to them. But what matters is where are we spiritually? Are we spiritually descendants of abraham by faith? And if so, we are part of the twelve tribes in a sense. And this is what we see listed as a different listing of the twelve tribes in the book of revelation. So hope that is helpful.

Speaker 2

Maybe it’s disappointing because, yeah, we’re not going to find them. We’re not going to find the ten tribes, but we can, a sense, be a part of them.

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