THE DISPERSION OF THE TRIBES
In Genesis 12:3 Yahweh said top Abraham when He originally called him to separate himself from his own people in Ur of the Chaldees and follow Him, "I will make you a great nation" "And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed."
The great nation was Israel, Yahweh's first-born son and in Abraham all the families (or ethnic groups) would be blessed.
In Genesis 15:14-17 Yahweh gives to him the actual promise of the land for the nation that would come forth from his natural descendants who would be as the "dust of the earth", which was Israel. Yahweh re-affirmed the promises to Abraham as he went on in his walk and expanded on them.
When He entered into covenant relationship with Abram, his name was changed to Abraham, which meant, the father of many nations. He said to him, "As for Me, see, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of MANY nations." "Neither shall your name be anymore called Abram, but your name shall be called Abraham, for the father of MANY nations have I made you. "And I will make you fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you." Genesis 17:4-6
Yahweh again refers to this promise in Genesis 18:17-18, that Abraham will become a great nation. His descendants did become a great nation in the land of Ca'anan, as promised and for a period of time they were divided into two nations, but the promise of "many nations" is not fulfilled in what happened during their occupation of the promised land, the land of Israel.
His descendants were also to become as the "sand of the seashore" for number (Genesis 22:16-18), as well as the "stars of heaven". The Biblical account follows the thread of Yahweh's dealings with them in regard to His primary plan of redemption and the establishment of His kingdom upon earth but its focus does not include all the events in their history for which we must look at other sources.
Yahweh is faithful to His Word and none of His promises are made in vain - they are fora purpose. And so, there has to be many nations that have come forth from Abraham, seeing that the time has elapsed for the fulfillment of this promise to have taken place.
THE TIME OF THE EXODUS
There are many records from many different sources which fill in the blanks on this issue and the fact is that there has been a dispersion of the children of Israel by immigration and by exile going right back to the time of the exodus.
Instead of staying with Moshe, and completing the journey which they began, many groups and portions of tribes left the main camp in their rebellion against his leadership and in their willfulness and unbelief in the promises of God to them; and they were led by their carnal nature to separate themselves and seek another land for themselves.
The wilderness journey, in effect, separated the rebels from those willing to be chastened and have their fleshly nature dealt with (Hebrews 12:3-8).
The easiest route by which they could leave Egypt was by the Mediterranean sea. A series of canals existed at that time which linked the Nile to the Red Sea. Historians A.W. Thayer in "The Hebrews in Egypt and their Exodus" presents evidence that on the night of the exodus, a Hebrew force seized boats on the Nile and on the canal system of the Red Sea. These boats could have been used by those who left the camp, even before the exodus began. They were taken and Moshe had no use for them in the divine instructions given to him, so it would seem that this is a logical conclusion to account for migration by sea of the Israelites at this time.
Historians date the arrival in Greece of the Israelites at the same time as the Exodus, in 1450-1490 BC. Greek tradition has it that their ancestor was Danaos, who migrated from the Nile Delta to Argos in the Peloponnese of Greece and for centuries they called themselves Dananoi (Before Columbus p108.111 & Antiquities of the Greeks).
Hecataeus of Adera in Egypt under Ptolemy recorded in 4BC that under the leadership of Dannus and Cadmus, they went to Greece and that the rest of the Israelites went to Judea.
Greece was not the only place where the tribe of Dan, in particular went, they also went to Troy, Cyprus (called the island of Dan), Cilicia, the Etruscan colony in Italy, Spain, Scotland, Denmark and Ireland.
Dan and Zarah (second-born son of Yehudah) were two tribal groups who were particularly rebellious. Both had a contention that they had the right to be the first-born. Dan had been a first-born son into the family of Rachel's household until Yosef was born many years later and it appears he grew up in that expectation and resented Yosef's arrival as the true first-born son of Rachel. He was the leader of the other sons of the concubines who all were a grief to Ya'acov (Gen.37:2)
Zarah was the son of Yehudah who resented himself first from Tamar's womb, but was actually born after his twin Pharez, and there is little Biblical record of his descendants after the exodus, giving credence to them leaving the camp. There are records of them having settled in Greece, Troy, Spain and Ireland.
Shimeon was another who was also easily stirred into conflicts and there are records of a huge civil war that resulted from the incident of harlotry with the Moabites and Midianite women. It was a Shimeonite (Zimri) that flagrantly brought a Midianite women into the camp in defiance against Moshe and it seems this incited many others into rebellion and to leave the camp.
Phineas of the tribe of Levi executed judgment in that instance (Numbers 25:6-7) and the Levitical judges were called upon to quell Yahweh's judgment upon the nation as a result of the sin, but this provoked further rebellion.
A census which was taken at the beginning of the Exodus and also one at the end. The numerical decline indicates that many Shimeonites departed from the camp as well as other tribal groups.
Researchers have discovered several instances of Shimeonite migration, the most evident being the Spartans whose historical records and warlike characteristics all bear record to the tribe of Shimeon and they are contrary to the other Greek states. The Spartans regarded themselves as kinsmen of Judea and 1 Maccabees 14:16-23 indicates they kept in contact with the homeland and its affairs in the knowledge that they were blood brothers. They had another colony in Tara in Italy and close relationships with another Israelite colony in Carthage. They kept the newmoons and a Sabbath observance. And had another colony called Tara in Italy and a close relationship with Carthage which was an Israelite colony.
The Melinesians that came to Ireland from Spain are identified as Simeonites and the date that they record for departing fro the Exodus was after the incident of the serpents biting them in 1400 BC which is the actual date of that event.
The tribal census of Benjamin when they went down to Egypt recorded ten sons (Genesis 46:21). When they were numbered prior to going into the land, only five are listed (Numbers 26:38-40). These same five tribal groups of Benjamin are not recorded afterward in Biblical history after the Exodus. The historical records of an ethnic group in Pakistan fills in the blanks. They claim to be Benjaminites of the children of Israel who escaped for their lives in a civil war that broke out among the tribes. They were unaware at the time of contact that any others had survived and that any at all had made it to the promised land. They ended up after a long and arduous journey in what is known today as Pakistan and Chinese Turkistan.
A comparison of the census taken at the beginning of the wilderness journey in Numbers 1 to that taken at the end of the journey in Numbers 26 after the rebellion of the Israelites with the Moabites, reveals that there is not the population increase that would normally occur if all had remained in the camp and finished the journey. Simeon had 37,000 less than he began with, Reuven, Gad, Ephraim and Naphtali had in excess of 40,000 to begin with and had a significant number less at the last census. The other tribes,Dan, Zebulon and Judah had only a minimal increase and this suggests a big departure of their population over the 40 years. Asher, Issachar, Benjamin and Manasseh were the only tribes that had a significant increase in their next generation.
After arriving in the land, there were many expeditions undertaken by sea from the Mediterranean. There are many evidences of early trade routes to Britain, particularly to Cornwall for tin, stopping off at ports of call which they made into settlements along the way. Dan, together with Asher and Zebulon were sea-faring tribes. See Judges 5:17; Genesis 49:13
Britain itself was settled by descendants of the line of Zarah (one of Judah's sons) who had migrated from Troy after its fall, as well as Danites from Greece after their incursions with Assyria. The Danites in Cornwall were known as Danmonii. The Tuatha de Danaan of Ireland came originally from Greece also, going to Spain first. They sailed to Denmark (Dan-mark -land of Dan) The Welsh language is basically Hebrew and they possessed copies of the 10 commandments and other Biblical books from a very early period.
Later, the Phonecians who dwelt in Tyre and Sidon, made an alliance with the Israelites. They supplied the boats and maritime skills, while Israel supplied the man-power. They virtually spoke the same language with only minor variations and together they established trade routes and made many conquests and found many colonies wherever they went.
Britain, Scotia (Scotland) and Hibernia (Spain) were known as the “Isles afar off” (Jer.31:10). Carthage was a major Israelite settlement that was established about 850 BC.
The scripture records that Solomon made voyages from Ezion Geber and in conjunction with the Phonecians of Tyre and Sidon, they made journeys which took three and a half years to complete, going to foreign lands by established trade routes. See 2 Chr.8:17-18; 1 Kings 9:26-28.
In the book called The Ark of the Covenant by Johnathan Gray, there is given the evidence of the trading routes with the evidence of these voyages. They traded in USA for silver and in South America for gold. Colonies were established in both places and there are relics today in monuments, plaques and pictographs which bear record of these colonies. These were written in Hebrew and Phonecian scripts. Some are historical account of the voyages. Others are copies of the Sinai tablets of Yahweh's laws. There are also mummies, tools, artwork and various other artifacts, all which bear evidence to Israelite origin. In Peru and also in USA there are red-haired long-faced skeletons which are not local to the area.
Rabbi Manasseh ben Israel says that Colombus found the ten lost tribes in America.
THE DISPERSION OF THE NORTHERN KINGDOM OF ISRAEL
In the 8th century BC, YHWH pronounced judgment on the ten-tribed northern kingdom for their sins against Him and the main dispersion of the children of Israel came through the exile that was brought about through Assyria taking them captive. At the time of the dispersion, there were six million who were taken captive, apart from those who escaped beforehand. This number was a small proportion of the total population of the whole northern kingdom.
The Assyrians began invading the eastern side of the Jordan in 740BC and the tribes which were on that side of the river were the first to go which were Reuben, Gad and the half of Mannaseh. They also penetrated in to the other side of the Galilee and took most of the tribe of Naphtali and Issachar. These tribes of the House of Israel were all placed on the east side of Assyria's kingdom, south of the Caspian sea in what today is northern Iraq and Kurdistan.
At this time, seeing the impending threat from Assyria, many of the Israelites (a large number of the population) migrated north by land toward the Black Sea which was west of Assyria's territory. These became known as Scythians by some nations, or Cimmerians by others. The Jewish Universal Encyclopedia records that the first migration of Israelites into the Trans-Caucasus region was in the 7th century BC. This is also recorded by the Georgians themselves who claim that they were taken by Shalmenezer of Assyria in 726-722BC (Jewish Encyclopedia)
As well as the migrations by land, many who had access to shipping on the Mediterranean went by sea and they fled to known Israelite colonies, many going by sea to Spain, France and Britain. It is recorded tin the Jewish Encyclopedia that because Britain was known to the Israelites, many sought refuge there between 762-676BC (Vol.1: p316). This early date indicates that many saw the impending invasion years before it took place.
These Israelite/Scythians had a vital part in assisting the attacks made upon Assyria by the Babylonians and the eventual fall of the Assyrian empire. They launched massive attacks on the Assyrian empire. This Scythians group came into repentance and a spiritual revival resulted and they went as far as an attempt to return to the land, but ...... with the fall of the Assyrian empire Babylon invaded Judea (the southern kingdom) and the House of Judah was taken captive by the Babylonians in 586BC and the temple was destroyed and there was not much hope of a future for them in the land of Israel, so they looked elsewhere and proceeded further north so as to not come under the Babylonian empire as they advanced on the western side of the Caspian sea.
Later, as the kingdoms of Persia and Greece took over these areas, they kept moving on into Georgia and Armenia. Cyrus is recorded as invading these tribes in 528BC, the primary tribe of which was called, Massagetae (the half tribe of Mannaseh from the west side of the Jordan.
In 512BC, Darius led an army into the Balkan region and attacked the Scythians. Darius Hystaspes (Darius the Great) made an inscription on a rock-face at Behistun which is on the western frontiers of Media and listed 223 provinces which were subject to him in three languages – Persian, Susian (Medean) and Babylonian in 516BC.
They were termed Scythians in Persian and Medean, but in Babylonian they were termed as Gimri and termed “land of the Cimmerians”. So the two terms are interchangeable. Gimri is the same as Khumri by which name they were known to the Assyrians.e Assyrian name for Israel on Shalmaneser's obelisk was Khumri and there fore the Babylonian equivalent was Gimri.
The Behistun rock identifies the Gimri people as the Sak or Sacae (Scythia comes from the root word Sacae or Saka) – i.e. the House of Isaac. Historians identify the Sakae as Scythians who overspread into Europe. Hey also identify the Gimri as Cimmerians who also spread into the same region., causing us to understand that they were one and the same people. By that time they had broken up into many minor tribal divisions within the larger collective group.
By the first century this area was called Iberia (from Eber the Hebrew), the second place so-called; the other being Spain. Their artwork shows them to have Semitic features and they were bearded. Paul mentions them and classes them as civilized, by comparison to Barbarians in Colossians 3:11.
The fall of Assyria gave opportunity for those who had been placed in the eastern part of their empire in the first invasion to escape toward the east. Their route of escape was to go further to the east, both north and south up by the side of the Caspian sea and also up into Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Khazakistan and into the other areas south of Russia. Others moved south toward Tibet, Hindustan, Kashmir and India and east toward China, Burma (Karen peoples) and Pakistan. There were many reports of Israelites who had settled along the eastern border of Persia, north, north-east of India and west of China with the vast majority of them in the mountainous region along the western border of Afghanistan as far as the eastern border of Burma, Myanamar. They came here after they had rebelled against Assyria and were driven into this small corner and settled here, as it was sparsely populated at the time. In a document called “Ancient Afghan Writings”, their history is traced back to Jacob and Esau and the Exodus, together with other aspects of Israel's history lastly, and their exile. They are known as Bnei Israel (children of Israel) or Bnei Afghan (one of their ancestors), a Benjaminite who descended from Pithon (1 Chron.8&9)
The Apocryphal book of Ezra 4 supports this account that they originally settled in east Persia and fled to Ae-Seret (NW Afghanistan). Many other accounts exist that validate that they were/are Israelites. In the nineteenth century, senior British Intelligence officers made a thorough investigation of all the records, culture, customs and historical facts and concluded that they were indeed the ten lost tribes.
The Encyclopedia Britannica also records their origin as being from the nation of Israel.
In 1 Chron.5:26, Halah, Habor and the Gozan river are mentioned. Habor is now called the Kyber Pass and Halah and Gozan is in this same region. Harat is the second-largest city in Afghanistan.
In this area there is a representation of all the various tribes of the twelve tribal clans. - Reuben, Simeon, Naphtali, Gad, Issachar, Zebulon, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin Judah and Levi (None of Dan). The Benjamintes in this area are those who migrated here from the Exodus. They have a complete list of their genealogy and have preserved Hebrew names. They wear Tzitzit, beards and peyot (long side-burns) and amulets. They practice circumcision, Shekita slaughter, Levirite marriage. They have cities of refuge and use Challah loaves for Shabbat. Some of the people-groups in this area, still use the name of Yahweh and pronounce it correctly, as it was done prior to the Babylonian captivity.
THE HOUSE OF JUDAH
After the southern kingdom of Judah was taken captive by Babylon, they were settled in Babylon itself. After 70 years, in 516BC, a remnant of the House of Judah was returned to the land with the consent of the Persian monarchy under Ezra and Nehemiah, but the remainder were comfortable in the Persian empire with the liberty that was given to them after the decrees of Mordecai and Esther, and they stayed there. Many like Daniel, rose to positions of prominence in their new land of exile and had great spiritual influence upon the leaders under whom they served and upon the whole nation in which they lived. Daniel recorded that the Israelite peoples were scattered both near and far at the time of his writing (Daniel 9:7).
VARIOUS ISRAELITE NATIONS
Many of the Israelites from the northern kingdom were trapped in the central region to the north-east of Israel and remained there in the successive take-overs of Persia, Greece and Rome and their descendants were still there in that region of Galatia, Cappadocia and Bithynia etc..at the time of Yeshua and Paul's ministry.
Others who had moved out of that central region, congregated together where they went and settled to form prosperous nations and people-groups. There was a contingent of the tribes that moved under Dan's banner (Asher, Naphtali and Dan) that moved north below Russia and became a strong nation. A large number of the tribe of Naphtali, formed a very independent, prosperous nation which spanned many centuries with their own king. They were peace-loving, but fiercely protected their independence. It was widely documented as extending from Hindu-Kish mountains, including Kurdistan to the Pamirs on the east. They had great cultural, economic and military achievements, greater than others in the area which are better known, historically. They are described as “white and tall, well-mannered and unlike the Indians”
The Bactrians and the Eranians were descendants of Ephraim from Bachrites and Eranites (Numbers 26:35-36) and were recorded to be Scythians. The Tahanites were another clan of Ephraim that lived in this area. The Nephalites and Machirites were from Gilead.
Parthia was another Israelite nation south-east of the Black sea that revolted against the Medes and were liberated by the Scythian/Israelites. It rose to power in 64BC and continued until 225AD. Both Scythia and Parthia had kings that were of Davidic lineage and there are records of communication between Parthia and Israel at the time of Yeshua and even with Yeshua Himself. It is recorded that Parthians came to Jerusalem to worship in apostolic times (Acts 2:10).
Records of the Parthian kingdom in the 3rd century, cite it as a rival to the Roman empire whom it often subdued in various battles. They attributed their victories to divine Providence but in time, the kingdom went into a spiritual decline through idolatry and the worship of false gods.
The Jewish historians, Josephus declared in his time that “while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude and not to be estimated by number” Josephus Antiquities 11, 5,2
THE EASTERN TREK TO ISRAEL
A large contingent of the displaced tribes from the northern kingdom who had been placed toward the east of the Assyrian empire made a determination to return to their covenant relationship with YHWH and go back to the land. The route back to Israel was westward and impossible to navigate as it was occupied territory through the regimes of Persia and Greece. And so, these tribes which included Reuben, Zebulon, Gad, Simeon, Asher and Dan formulated a plan to go eastward, believing that a map they had which showed an outline of a coastline off the eastern coast of Asia, was the coast of Egypt. It was however, the coastline of Japan.
They organised themselves under the leadership of some Levities and Ephraimites and made long-term plans for the journey. They divided into two groups. One was to take a northern route and the other was to go south. The northern group set off first to test the viability of this course while the others waited for news from them before setting off on their southern route.
The northern route was through the Gobi desert and although shorter it was disastrous and many died and their numbers were badly decimated. The hardships of this groups were so bad that only a small group made it through the desert to their destination, into China and Korea. Many stayed at stopping off points where they rested along the way and did not complete the full journey and as a result, colonies of Israelites were established along this route. Those who did finally reach Korea and Japan gave up hope of ever reaching Israel with the realization that it was a futile attempt to go from Japan to Egypt (and thereby to reach Israel), and so they intermarried and settled in those regions.
There have been some down through the centuries since who have retained the knowledge of their Israelite heritage. The Imperial dynasty was initiated by Israelis and the Shinto religion is the remnant of Israeli traditions mixed with some paganism.
The southern route was undertaken after a report came back from the northern group of the hardships they were experiencing. Although this was longer, it was less rigorous and it was through populated areas along the southern edge of Tibet, the lower area of the Himalayas and Nepal, northern Burma and then veering north to the Korean peninsula.
They paused in Nepal and the larger part of the group crossed the Suleiman mountains and went into the Indus and Ganges river regions and settled along the Tibetan highlands in NW India and from there, later on over to the west coast of India. The Talmud contains reports from travelers of the ten tribes in this area. Interestingly, those in this area, keep the Feast of Tabernacles and there is a trail of etrog trees along he route which they planted along he way in order to celebrate the Feast.
Those in this area had never heard of Channukah or of the destruction of ht temple in 70AD which bears record to the time period which they arrived here before they were separated from the rest of the Israelite tribes. Those in north India eventually intermarried and they died out in time as a distinct people-group. As a result of the later dispersion after the Roman exile, more Israelites came to India and were evangelised by the apostle Thomas. He came to these areas of he Dispersion starting from Scythia through central Asia, along the eastern and western coasts of India and went as far as China in his mission to these places.
He was well received and the communities received the Gospel and walked in the truth until “Christian” missionaries reached them. Because of the pagan elements in what they preached in this form of the “Gospel”, they rejected Christianity and returned to their previous practices in Judaism. In the 16th century they were overpowered by Islam, although many communities kept some of their Israelite traditions.
Manuscripts of old Hebraic script have been found on the Silk Road on paper which was only produced in China in the time period of the dispersion of the House of Israel. There are documents dating to the 6th-7th centuries BC of large cities where Israelites settled for a while in their journey eastward, written in Aramaic. There are also archaeological remains of these same settlements.
Many Israelites formed communities in China and retained their identity as Israelites. These were contacted at a later time by Jews who taught them back to the observance of the customs and traditions of their fathers. They subsequently became known as “Jews” although they were actually members of the exiled ten tribes. Many synagogues were built in China by these communities, the last remaining stronghold of Israelite identity in China was in Kaifeng and the remains of their synagogue and some families are there still to this day. A stele erected in Kaifeng tells how the Jewish religion came there that originated from Miah-Sha (Moshe) approx. 610BC. More migration came later with 70 families during the time of the Sing dynasty, recorded as being from 960BC and further migration continuing through to 1279CE. The Chinese people were very hospitable to the emigrating Israelis through good trading relations having been established with them in previous times. They established large communities all along the Silk Road, in Kaifeng (as mentioned), Peking, Shinkiang, Hangchu and Canton. They maintained their Hebrew names well into the 13th century and continued their worship according to the pre-temple era of altars on raised earthen platforms. The temple in Kaifeng was a replica of Solomon's temple.
The first group arrived here in 660BC and formed the Imperial dynasty. Their blood type matches those in the Pamir mountains from where they came in Afghanistan. The Japanese language dies not match any other known language, but it does match Hebrew and Aramaic when read backwards. Modern Japanese is not read backwards and so the meaning of these ancient manuscripts only becomes understandable by reading them right to left, as in Hebrew. These ancient accounts tell the history of the emigrating Israelis to the land of Japan.
There are many similarities in their religions practices which are a carry over from traditions of their fore-fathers. The Shinto priests wear linen garments with tassels on the corners as do the Jews. They also enact a ceremony similar to the Ark being brought back to Jerusalem by David. They also have a ceremony of the Akeidah in a symbolic offering of Isaac. They make three pilgrimages a year to the Shinto Shrine and have many traditions associated with Rosh Hashanah. Their shrines are constructed according to the pattern of the Tabernacle and many customs and traditions can only have their origin in Israel in the Temple period and these people were obviously unfamiliar with later developments in Judaism during the second Temple period, which goes to establish the time of their arrival in this area. Unfortunately, their worship bear the marks of the sun-worship and other aspects of the idolatry of the northern kingdom which they also retained.
THE FINAL DISPERSION OF THE HOUSE OF JUDAH
When Judah rejected Yeshua as their Messiah, judgment came upon them 40 years later and they were exiled from the land. All records of tribal identity were lost in the destruction of the Temple and so in time, the knowledge of their genealogy was forgotten although Levites passed the knowledge down father to son that they were priests and some retain that knowledge even today.
Many Messianic believers from the early church lost their Israelite identity in time also because they separated from their brethren after the proclamation of the false Messiah Simon bar Kochba and they existed under the nationality of their country of residence as believers or Christians.
A fresh wave of migration of these displaced Jews occurred to places that were already established as Israelite colonies. Many went to Spain, France and Britain by sea. Some went north by the same route which their brethren of the northern tribes had gone in the previous migrations.
Germany was outside the Roman empire at that time and so many went there and established themselves and became strong communities of religious learning. Some continued up into the regions of the Caucasus to the north-east which had been settled by Israelites previously. And so many Jews came to the areas settled by the ten tribes and exercised a spiritual influence over them, resulting in them taking on “Jewish” identity and not being recognisable later as members of the ten tribes. And so, present-day “Jews” in these areas are a mixture of the 12 tribes – i.e. the whole of Israel and not just the tribes of Judah and Benjamin with some Levites interspersed among them as could be expected.
Those “Jews” who migrated into these Israelite lands found an acceptance there and many Jews went further north into the Baltic and to Russia, Poland etc..
In the region of the Caucusus, after the Scythians had moved out of this area over into Europe, another wave of Israelites that were forced northward to avoid domination by the successive Gentile kingdoms that were making further conquests, came here and established a community which they called Iberia (Spain and Ireland were also called Iberia). This group had kings that were descendants of King David.
The Encyclopedia Britannica notes that the Khazars were first in Armenia in 198AD, twenty-eight years before Parthia fell and also after that event, Israelites flooded into this region. Numerous Jews as well as Israelites, had also had also lived in the Parthian empire and they accompanied these migrating Parthians. By the time of the invasion by Persia in 360AD, there was a large population of Jews there are they took 75,000 of them captive into southern Persia.
In the 5th and 6th centuries other Israelite groups migrated from northern Persia and Mesopotamia (Babylon) to the north-east Caucasus under the Persian Sassasid persecution and they were resident in the region at the time of the conversion of the ruling class of those who were known as Khazars in the 8th and 9th centuries. This ruling class of Khazars were Israelites and this was known to the Jews who were invited to instruct them in the traditions of their fathers which they had not been keeping properly. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that the Khazars were part of the white race of the Russian steppes.
When Arabs conquered Dagestan in the 8th century, there was a large Jewish population there and many who were identifiable of the tribes of Issachar, Mannaseh and Simeon. Today in these areas there is not much recognition of their actual tribal origin although they have retain a knowledge of being descendants of Israelites. Some who identify as “Jews”, are actually members of the other ten tribes. So among those who identify as “Jews” from these regions today, are a mixture of all the tribes. Therefore those known as Ashkenazi Jews who are different in features from the Sephardic Jews, include many from the ten tribes.
DNA testing has revealed that these Ashkenazi Jews bear the same genes as do the Sephardic Jews and are as authentic in their claim to Israelite origin, as are the Sephardic European Jews.
Most of the tribes of the northern kingdom however, lost their identity eventually although some of them retained some Israelite traditions. Wherever these migrating Israelites went, the peoples around them acknowledged their superior laws and social structure and their knowledge of the One true God was again dispersed among mankind. There are many people groups today who know their Israelite origin. It was common knowledge in Britain, for instance, until a century and a half ago, that they were descendants of the children of Israel.
Historians and Jewish Rabbis have been able to trace the movement of the northern tribes under the identification of Cimmerians, Khumri-Goths, Scythians into all parts of Europe and then up into the various areas of Britain, arriving in successive groups such as the Vikings, Normans, the Saxons (Scythian-Sakae,'saac's-sons).
So Europe became heavily populated with the descendants of the ten tribes which included parts of Germany and Italy, although the eastern areas in Germany were populated with descendants of Assyria and Edom/Esau and Italy was founded by two brothers who were descendants of Esau. The Roman Empire was therefore Edomiite, as was the Herodian lineage of kings in Yeshua's time who gave allegiance to the authority of Rome.
The western nations today are predominately to almost exclusively, the descendants of the ten tribes. Of these natural descendants, scripture prophecies that only a comparative remnant will embrace their heritage and become part of His called out people who walk in His ways as His priesthood nation upon earth.
[An interesting fact is that the first world war was the Edomite kingdom of Turks against Israelite nations and the second one was an alliance of Edom in Germany and Italy against the allied Israelite nations.]
“Hear the Word of YHWH, you nations, and declare it in the isles afar off; and say, 'He that scattered Israel will gather and keep him, as a shepherd does his flock.” Jeremiah 31:10
The Jewish Encyclopedia says, “If the ten tribes have disappeared, the literal fulfillment of the prophecies would be impossible; if they have not disappeared, obviously they must exist under a different name”. (Lost Tribes 1925 edition)
The ten tribes, as prophesied, became swallowed up among the nations, but will emerge again in the Messiah to fulfill their calling along with their 'brother' Judah as His Witnesses upon earth; and the two branches of the Olive tree shall become one in His Hand in their divine calling as His kingdom of priests upon earth (Ezekiel 37).