Hey reader, today we have a very special treat for you. February’s Guest Spotlight! February’s Guest Spotlight is a friend of mine, a Jewish descendant of Israel, and miraculously a believer in Jesus Christ. Remember, he is Jewish and thus knows the name of Jesus as Yeshua. He put this article together just for my readers. Enjoy.
Anyone who has read the Bible, or at least the New Testament, knows that Yeshua/Jesus came back for the Jews, right? Well, that is not entirely correct.
Shalom. My name is Michael Harris. I am a Messianic Jew, or Jewish Follower of Yeshua/Jesus. I am also a Cohaine, or of the Jewish Priesthood from the ancestry of Aaron, brother of Moses. That also means that I am from the Tribe of Levi.
I am here to shed some light on why Yeshua/Jesus was here and for whom He came. You can see that I refer to our Messiah and Savior as Yeshua/Jesus. Why is that? Yeshua is His Hebrew name, which is translated as ‘Salvation’. Imagine that. Our Savior’s name actually means ‘Salvation’. How cool is that?!? Going forward, I will refer to Him simply as Yeshua.
So, most people probably think as I did for many years, that Yeshua came 2,000 years ago to save the Jews first. Well, that is true, kind of. Let’s see what He actually said.
In Matthew 15:24 Yeshua/Jesus is pretty clear. Here is His statement taken in context
(Matthew 15:21-28), as He was talking to the Canaanite woman whose daughter had been
oppressed by a demon…
21 Now Yeshua left from there and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that district came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, O Master, Ben-David [Son of David]! My daughter is severely tormented by a demon.” 23 But He did not answer her a word. And when His disciples came, they were urging Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.” 24 But He responded, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 So she came and got down on her knees before Him, saying, “Master, help me!” 26 And answering, He said, “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 But she said, “Yes, Master, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then answering, Yeshua said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed in that very hour. (TLV, bracketed text [ ] mine)
Did you catch what He said? I will pull it out here…
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Yeshua said that he came to the lost sheep, not even for all the Jews. The Jews at that time were considered the House of Judah. Let’s look at the lost sheep as not only the Israelites as a whole, but the lost tribes. He came for those who are lost and want to come home. He didn’t waste His time on those who want to stay lost.
So, who are these lost tribes of Israel? Were any tribes not lost? Where can we find them? To answer these questions, I will first explain the 12 Tribes of Israel, which started out as the sons of Jacob. In the order of their birth: Re’uven (Reuben), Shim’on (Simeon), Levi, Y’huda (Judah), Dan, Naftali, Gad, Asher, Yissakhar (Issachar), Z’vulun (Zebulun), Yosef (Joseph), and Binyamin (Benjamin). As an aside, of the 12, only Joseph and Benjamin were born directly to Rachel, favored wife of Ya’akov (Jacob).
From the original 12, Levi would be set aside and would not inherit land of their own in Israel, because God would ordain the tribe of Levi, or the Levites, to dedicate their lives to the care of the Tent of Meeting and then the Temple and the Cohaines, or Priests. Their inheritance was assigned to be land holdings amongst the other tribes set aside for the Levites. Also, Joseph’s inheritance went to his sons Manasseh and Ephraim, bringing us back to 12 tribes.
After the death of King Solomon, around 930 B.C., Israel was split into the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom was referred to as the Kingdom of Israel, consisting of the tribes of Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon and Zebulun. Its capital was Samaria. The Southern Kingdom was called the Kingdom of Judah, and included the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Its capital was Jerusalem.
As time went on, both kingdoms were conquered by outsiders. The Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah in 597 B.C. With the conquest, however, they only took soldiers and people with marketable talents. The poor people were permitted to remain on their land in the Southern Kingdom, with Jerusalem as the capital even when its walls were destroyed. Although the Temple, itself, was destroyed, the people remained in the land and continued to worship God. A remnant of the original Israelites has remained there to this day, even after later conquests.
The Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. Being an aggressive people, however, they forced the 10 tribes of Israel be scattered throughout the Assyrian empire. Unlike in past exiles when they were kept together and would eventually return to Israel, these 10 tribes would be scattered throughout the world. In this article, I will not get into why the Lord allowed them to be taken out of Israel to be scattered throughout the world, but we can discuss that in a future article.
Where Are the Lost Tribes of Israel Now?
Dan – The tribe of Dan made their way to Greece as the Spartans around 1200 B.C. In about 1000 B.C, they made their way to Spain, Ireland, England and then to Denmark and later the US. It was prophesied by Jacob that the tribe of Dan would judge other tribes. In the 1960s, 42% of the officers of the New York Police Department (NYPD) were Irish born or of Irish descent. I can tell you that the day the author was born, his mother shared a hospital room with the wife of an Irish NYPD officer, and one of her twins would also serve on the force. The Beta Israel Jews of Ethiopia also claim to have descended from the tribe of Dan, through Eldad the Danite in the ninth century and Danites who accompanied King Menelik as honor guards. The tribe of Dan is still largely steeped in pagan idolatry. But they will come back to the Lord. (Salemi, The Tribe of Dan are the Danes (Denmark) and the Irish, n.d.) (Omer, 2013) (HOIM Staff, n.d.)
Asher – The tribe of Asher made its way to South Africa, Belgium, and Luxemburg. It is
interesting to note that when Moses blessed the tribes of Israel, his words to Asher in
Deuteronomy 33:24 were, indeed, prophetic. 24 For Asher he said, ‘Most blessed of sons is Asher— may he be the favorite of his brothers, and may he dip his foot in oil. Luxemburg is the smallest member of the European Union as well as of the Economic and Monetary Union. But it is one of the wealthiest nations of the world. Its Gross Domestic Product per capita in 2016 was over $100,000 US. As is always the case, when the Israelites turned to God, He rescues them. But when they turn back away from Him, bad stuff returns to them. So has been the case in South Africa. We do know that they will turn again to Him. (Salemi, n.d.) (A.M. Best, 2017)
Ephraim – The tribe of Ephraim began making its way to England, India, and Puerto Rico
beginning around 536 B.C, thanks to the Persian captivity. Later, they were taken to Spain and Hawaii as slaves. (Coppenger, 2014), (Williams) (Flaks, 2016) (Staff, n.d.)
Manasseh – The tribe of Manasseh went to Cuba and the United States. Around 536 B.C.,
Ephraim and Manasseh led the migration of the Tribes of Israel to the Americas during the days of the Persian captivity. If Manasseh made it to the United States 2500 years ago, I guess that makes them at least part of the American Indians. (Staff, n.d.)
Gad – The tribe of Gad made its way to Switzerland, North America and worldwide. Depending on the translation used, Gad could mean ‘fortune’ or ‘troop’. Switzerland has continued to maintain neutrality and independence in Europe and the world stage and has been blessed as a result. at the return of Yeshua, 12,000 members of the tribe of Gad from Switzerland will rule with The Lord. They are also thought to have come to America with other tribes during the 536 B.C. Persian captivity. (Salemi, The Tribe of Gad is Switzerland, n.d.) (Staff, n.d.)
Issachar – The tribe of Issachar went to Finland. There are many similarities between the prophecies regarding Issachar and the country of Finland. Like the 12,000 of Gad in
Switzerland, 12,000 of Issachar from Finland will likely be the representatives of the 144,000 ruling with the Lord. (Salemi, Modern Day Issachar is Finland, n.d.)
Naphtali – The tribe of Naphtali made its way to Sweden and Norway. The Tribe of Naphtali became known as the Naphtali-Huns, or Hephtalitesas. (Salemi, The Tribe of Naphtali is Sweden and Norway, n.d.)
Reuben – The tribe of Reuben went to France. (Salemi, The Tribe of Reuben is Northern France, n.d.)
Simeon – The tribe of Simeon went to Wales. (Salemi, The Tribe of Simeon are Scattered within Israel, Welsh and the Jews, n.d.) (Salemi, Holland Identified with the Tribe of Zebulon, n.d.)
Zebulun – Holland.
Ezekiel Foresees the Re-Uniting of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms
God has always spoken through His prophets. He told the prophet Ezekiel that one day the whole House of Israel would return to the Land and live as one.
15 The word of Adonai came to me saying: 16 “You, son of man, take one stick and write on it, ‘For Judah’—for Bnei-Yisrael [House of Israel] joined with him. Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph’—the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel joined with him. 17 Join them one to another for yourself, as one stick, so they may become one in your hand. 18 “When the children of your people speak to you saying, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by these?’ 19 say to them, thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph—which is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel joined with him—and I will put them together with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick. They will be one in My hand.’ 20 The sticks that you write on will be in your hand before their eyes. 21 “Then say to them, thus says Adonai Elohim: ‘Behold, I will take Bnei-Yisrael from among the nations, where they have gone. I will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and one king will be king to them all. They will no longer be two nations and never again be divided into two kingdoms. 23 They will never again be defiled with their idols, their detestable things or with any of their transgressions. I will save them out of all their dwellings in which they sinned. I will purify them. Then they will be My people and I will be their God. (TLV)
While you can get the point in those verses, to really put it into context read the entire chapter of Ezekiel 37.
This rundown of the location of the lost tribes of Israel is certainly not complete. It is impossible to know where individuals and families chose to move or stay in while the other moved in the centuries after their tribes moved to a new home outside of Israel. But I tried to give you a good idea as to where the main bodies of the lost Israelite tribes went.
You are blessed in that we are now in those days when the Lord is awakening the whole House of Israel and the tribes are waking up to the truth of who they are – and the truth of who Yeshua is. Not only are the Jewish people waking up from their slumber, but the Christian Church as well is waking up to the Jewishness of their Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus. Praise God and pray that the Israelite brethren seek the Lord’s truth. If you have a sincere heart for the Lord and for the Israelites, it may well be that you have Israelite blood in your veins. Keep your eyes focused on Him and He will guide you.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Yours in Him,
Michael Harris, God’s Plan for Mankind
God’s Plan for Mankind—A Virtual Messianic Congregation
Bringing the Jewishness of Yeshua/Jesus to the World
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