Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH God):
Which Way Did Israel Go?
There are numerous prophecies, yet to be fulfilled, which include each of the twelve tribes of Israel. If these people are truly "lost" forever, how can these prophecies be fulfilled? But the veracity of YEHOVAH's Word demands that these tribes do exist. So they have got to be out there somewhere! They may be lost to the world, lost to the present day theologians, and even lost to their own selves (for "blind is my servant"), but YEHOVAH God says that He will not "lose" His people. He has guided their path all these many years and if we will look, and study history and the scriptures, we will know where they are too!
by Dr. Kenneth C. Kemble
The outstanding monarch when the Saxons were ruling England was Alfred the Great. He was a great leader, a great statesman, a great historian, a great scholar and a great Christian.
It was he who gave England the common law which was based upon the laws that YEHOVAH God gave to Moses at Mt. Sinai! He also gave us the sacred measurements of the inch, the pint and the pound -- all three of which are still being used today. The most remarkable thing about Alfred is, that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that after giving to the people all these laws he said: "Be kind to strangers because your forefathers were strangers for four hundred years in the land of Egypt"! Obviously Alfred knew he was an Israelite!
After the death of Queen Elizabeth I, when James VI of Scotland came down to be James I of England and before he entered London through the city wall, he gave a public proclamation as follows: "Israel's king has come to take Israel's throne." Obviously King James I knew he was an Israelite!
Also, the first man accredited to have compiled a concordance of the Bible -- Alexander Cruden -- recorded, in the earliest editions of his work, an address he gave King George III in which he addresses the king as a Hezekiah to our British Israel! Obviously Alexander Cruden knew he was an Israelite!
In the fourteenth-century (1377) the Bishop of St. David's in England, in his speech in the British Parliament, distinctly recognized England as YEHOVAH's heritage Israel, for he said: "And so you may embrace your noble King...for there is through him that peace over Israel which the Scriptures name -- Israel being the heritage of God and that heritage being also -- England. For, in good truth, I believe that God would never have honored this country by victories such as had given glory to Israel, had He not intended it for His heritage also." Obviously the Bishop of St. David's knew he was an Israelite!
Then, in his second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1805, President Thomas Jefferson of the United States said: "...I need, too, the favor that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life...." Obviously Thomas Jefferson knew he was an Israelite!
In Michael Clark's book, The Integrity of British Culture, he records the following on page 5, "He [Winston Churchill] had also been acquainted with the Kingdom truth by Admiral Jackie Fisher in 1915 during the First World War, after the disastrous naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign. One day, upon finding Churchill extremely depressed over the great losses, it is related that Fisher encouraged him by saying 'cheer up, man, don't you know we are the Ten Tribes?'" Obviously Admiral Fisher knew he was an Israelite -- and apparently Churchill too!
During World War II Washington State Congressman Martin F. Smith (1933-1943) made the following statement:
"In this hour of supreme crisis in human history, mankind needs to listen to the voice of God, for all other voices have failed. The Divine Voice speaks to us through the prophecies of the Christian Bible and the facts of history. Bible prophecy and history presents the sublime truth that Great Britain and the United States of America are the modern Israel of God and as such have been chosen to administer the coming New Order of the Ages, which God has planned and fore-ordained for the righteous government of this earth."
Obviously Congressman Smith knew he was an Israelite!
So why do Anglo-Saxons around the world not believe this?
Others of note, like Queen Victoria and King George VI, when he was known as Prince Albert, made a similar connection. It is, therefore, quite astonishing that the Israel Truth is not widely accepted -- and even more baffling that it is looked upon almost as a cult. Since a little study would demonstrate its validity there must be a reason it is discouraged, beside the Bible gathering dust in the homes of Israelites. Why aren't our theologians studying it -- is something discouraging them?
In the 1930s the National Message highlighted the number of prominent people embracing the Israel Truth. The list included 35 members of Royalty, Lords, Ladies and Knighted individuals, 169 Ministers of the Cloth, including Archbishops, Bishops, an Archdeacon and Canons, high level political leaders, a Prime Minister of New Zealand being one of the most prominent, and high ranking military men, including 4 Admirals, 15 Generals, 3 Commanders, 1 Brig. General, 36 Colonels, 9 Majors and 18 Captains. There were also high level members from the fields of Education and Medicine, including 1 Chancellor, 6 Professors, 23 Doctors and 2 Surgeon Generals.
So why isn't the Israel Truth more widely known today?
It has been asserted, by many historians over a period of several centuries, that the Royal House of David was transplanted to the "Isles of the sea," meaning Great Britain. If this is true (and research verifies that it is), we are faced with some interesting questions...
Why there? Why would YEHOVAH God move King David's throne -- an Israelite throne -- to the British Isles? What possible reason could He have for doing such a thing? Is it even feasible? David's descendants were to rule over the House of ISRAEL (Jeremiah 33:17; also Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32, 33)!
But just where was Israel in the time of Jeremiah?
In 2 Samuel 7:10, in the time of David (quite some time before the time of Jeremiah), the LORD said "I will appoint a place for my people Israel...and will plant them [in that place]." The Israelites were already in Palestine when this promise was made, so this indicates that the place where the LORD would plant His people Israel was a place other than Palestine. Another "Promised Land," if you will.
But where was this place? And how would Israel get to that place from their home in Palestine? And what would cause them to move in the first place?
When a family relocates today, there could be a variety of reasons. Our job may move us, health reasons may warrant a change in climate, or you may just like to travel. But back then, as a general rule, people didn't jump around like we do today. And this prophecy is not talking about just one family, or even a number of families; we're talking about the relocating of an entire NATION!
How would YEHOVAH God move His Israel to this new place?
In the 8th Century before the Messiah, YEHOVAH God began to chastise His beloved people for their awful disobedience in serving other gods; first with the Assyrian Captivity of Israel, and later with the Babylonian Captivity of Judah. The Assyrian Captivity, which is what we will deal with here, came in waves beginning around 771 BC, and coming to a climax with the siege of Samaria, 723-721 BC. Samaria was the capital of the kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 16:23, 24).
In 721 BC, Israel was taken captive into the land of Assyria by Shalmaneser. We read about it as follows:
"And it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah [king of Judah], which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes: because they obeyed not the Voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed His covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them" (2 Kings 18:9-12).
Again we read: "In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria [Shalmaneser] 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...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..." (2 Kings 17:6, 22-23).
The Israelites had heroically withstood Shalmaneser three years, but it was now YEHOVAH's Plan to turn them over captive to Assyria.
So, the entire ten-tribed nation of Israel (along with 200,150 of the people of Judah a few years later) was moved from their own land into Assyria because of their disgraceful wickedness and disobedience toward YEHOVAH God. They were used by the Assyrians as a "buffer" around their kingdom against any outside attacks. YEHOVAH God had begun the moving of His people.
But they did not stay in Assyria.
After their captivity, the Israelites left Assyria. They could not go back to their own land, however, because when the King of Assyria took Israel away captive, he filled the area where the Israelites had dwelt with the heathen. We read:
"And the King of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof" (2 Kings 17:24).
So where did the Israelites go?
Scholars are variously divided on this question. There is such controversy over this issue, that the people of this Assyrian Captivity (all of the House and Kingdom of Israel, along with a great portion of the House and Kingdom of Judah) are called the "Lost Tribes of Israel".
They are believed by many to be gone forever, having become amalgamated together with the people of Assyria, and mongrelized. But I do not believe this to be the case.
The LORD had said of the northern ten tribes (those thought to be "lost") and their kingdom: "Behold, the eyes of the LORD God are upon the sinful kingdom [the northern kingdom -- Israel], and I will destroy it [the kingdom, not the people] from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the House of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth" (Amos 9:8, 9).
He also said: "I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me..." (Hosea 5:3); and that "...the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice or sacred pillar, without an ephod or teraphim: [but] afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days" (Hosea 3:4, 5).
There are numerous prophecies, yet to be fulfilled, which include each of the twelve tribes. What about these prophecies? If these people are truly "lost" forever, how can these prophecies be fulfilled? They can't be fulfilled! But the veracity of YEHOVAH's Holy Word demands that these tribes do exist. The book of James, written eight centuries after the Assyrian captivity, is addressed to "the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad." So they have got to be out there somewhere! I refuse to believe the scholars who say that these ten [plus] tribes were lost! They may be lost to the world, lost to the present day theologians, and even lost to their own selves (for "blind is my servant"), but I believe YEHOVAH God when He says that He will not "lose" His people. No, they're not lost. YEHOVAH knows where they are, for He has guided their path and fed them all these many years! And if we will look, and study history and the scriptures, we will know where they are too!
Josephus, writing in the first century AD, knew where his kindred were. He wrote:
"...there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates [west from Palestine] till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimate by numbers" (Antiquities Bk. xi, ch. v, 2).
So they have still got to be out there somewhere! And they have got to be a great people! The prophet Ezra writes more specifically:
"And whereas thou sawest that He gathered another peaceable multitude unto Him; those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea [Hoshea] the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, that they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land.
"And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river. For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth" (2 Esdras 13:39-45).
The area referred to is near the headwaters of the Euphrates, in the Caucasian Mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. That area has a ravine or "gate," if you will, called "the pass of Israel" in early writings.
The fascinating thing is that according to classical history, this was the point of origin of the Kimmerians, or Cimmerians; and the area referred to as Arsareth is the same area where the Scythians emerge on the scene of history. Who were these Cimmerians and Scythians? There stands in the British Museum an Assyrian monument called the Black Obelisk. This monument refers to the Assyrian captivity of Israel, but does not call the Israelites "Israelites." The Black Obelisk refers to the Israelites, whom the Assyrians had taken captive, as "Bit Khumri," meaning "House of Omri." Among the many variations of this name, Khumri, we find Kimmerians, Kymry, Gimmiri. The Kimmerians, or Cimmerians, were also called Sakai. But these same Sakai are also called Scythians. This fact is established by the best known inscriptions which have furnished the key to Assyriology.
So we see that the vast majority of Israel became "lost" to her original identity and became known as the Cimmerians, Scythians, Kymry, Gimmiri, Sakai, etc. These peoples were all the same people in reality (Israelites), but were known by different historians at different periods by different names. Archeology and anthropology bears this out. These people went northward and westward and later in history became known as the Celts, Vikings, Angles, Normans and Saxons of history. And they were already in the "Isles of the Sea" (Isaiah 24:14,15; 49:1; 51:4,5; Jeremiah 31:10) in large numbers by Jeremiah's time.
-- Edited by John D. Keyser.
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