The Fiction of Israel’s TEN LOST TRIBES

From: Arnold Fruchtenbaum [arnoldf@ariel.org]
Sent: Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:50 AM
To: victoranddebbie@paradise.net.nz
Subject: RE: Israel – a multitude of nations?

When I mentioned that the ten tribes were not scattered, what I meant was they were not scattered by the Assyrians because the Bible clearly tells us that the Assyrians assailed them in specific cities within the Land of Assyria.

The first forced worldwide dispersion occurred in A.D. 70 and that is when all 12 tribes were forcefully dispersed. Other Jews lived elsewhere in the world before A.D. 70. For example, after returning from Babylon, most of the Jews chose to stay in Babylonia. As we see in the Book of Acts, everywhere Paul traveled in the world there were Jewish communities there. But again that is a result of a voluntary scattering. With the forced dispersion in A.D. 70 and again in A.D. 132, that is when you see all 12 tribes scattered throughout the world on a mandatory basis.

The Isaiah 11:12 passage is not referring to what Assyria did but ultimately what was done by the Romans.

As far as the prophecy concerning Israel’s multiplication, on one hand, it was centuries of persecution that kept the Jewish numbers down but on the other hand, ultimate fulfillment of that prophecy will be fulfilled in the Messianic Kingdom and not before.

Yours for the salvation of Israel,

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
President/Founder


From: Arnold Fruchtenbaum [arnoldf@ariel.org]
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:18 AM
To: victoranddebbie@paradise.net.nz
Subject: RE: Israel and Judah

The concept of “The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel” is really a myth that began in the Middle Ages because the tribes were never lost per se. There is a counter statement that they were scattered and disappeared but they were not scattered. The text of Scripture points out they were settled in specific cities and areas within the Assyrian Empire and therefore settled in as a unit in these different places. But they were not scattered or dispersed. Then when Babylonia conquered Assyria, all 12 tribes fell under Babylonian sovereignty. When Judah was taken into captivity, the other two tribes were taken into captivity placing all 12 tribes under Babylonian sovereignty.

When Medo-Persia conquered the Babylonian Empire, that placed all 12 tribes under Medo-Persian sovereignty. That is when the Medo-Persian authorities allowed the Jews to return to the Land of Israel, members of all 12 tribes returned but also members of all 12 tribes stayed where they were. Thus the return from Babylonia included members of all 12 tribes joining the Jews who were still in the Land from all 12 tribes that had not actually departed or went into exile.

Thus in the New Testament, for example in Luke 2, you have the prophetess, Anna, who is of the Tribe of Asher. That was one of the so-called 10 lost tribes, but she is not lost and she obviously knows where she is. When James writes his epistle, he wrote it specifically to Jewish believers of all 12 tribes of Jewish believers outside the Land and obviously someone had to know where to take the letters to.

The theory of British Israelism that the Anglo-Saxons make up the ten lost tribes is inaccurate and has no historical basis anymore than claiming Denmark is from the Tribe of Dan has any historical validity. Neither is there any validity that the Scandinavians are members of the ten lost tribes of Israel, these are just different groups trying to find an identity they never had.

My initial response is that those who claim to be members of the ten lost tribes of Israel are at least partially right: They are lost. What they are not is the ten lost tribes of Israel.

Yours for the salvation of Israel,

Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
President/Founder
AGF/dcv 


The concept of the ten lost tribes of Israel is actually a myth, and they were never lost. This is quite clear historically. When the northern kingdom went into Assyrian captivity, they were settled in specific cities in Assyria. When Babylon conquered the Assyrian empire, all ten tribes fell under the Babylonian sovereignty. Babylon also conquered Judah, thus subduing the remaining two tribes. So all twelve tribes were under the same sovereign authority of Babylonia.

When the Medo-Persian empire conquered Babylonia, all twelve tribes fell under Medo-Persian authority. The Persians allowed the Jews to return to their home country, and most members of all twelve tribes did indeed return to the Land. However, other members of all twelve tribes stayed where they were.

Luke 2 refers to Anna as being “of the tribe of Asher,” one of the so called “ten lost tribes.” Quite obviously, Anna was not lost. James addressed his epistle “to the twelve tribes of the Dispersion.” He did not need to look for the “lost tribes” in order to deliver the letter to them.

By later New Testament times, personal identification by once distinguishable tribal names became less prominent. Thus, Paul called himself a Hebrew, and he also called himself an Israelite. In Philippians 3:5, he identified himself as a Benjaminite, but he also called himself a Jew, which became a generic term for the members of all the tribes of Israel. So, all those who call themselves Jews today can come from any of the twelve tribes of Israel and not just two. – Arnold Fruchtenbaum