Yes, Yisra’el was divided way back in around 930 BC.
As a result of that division, the northern faction was called Malkhut Yisra’el, the KINGDOM of Yisra’el. It was called the Northern Kingdom.
That kingdom lasted until about 732 BC. And then, it was invaded and destroyed. Three times. By Assyria. And all three times there was a dispersion of the inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom. [ of the 10 tribes, northern Israelites ] The ten tribes were dispersed into Assyria in three ‘waves,’ by Tigrath Pileser III in 732, by Shalmaneser V and Sargon II in 729, and by Sargon II again in 715, into parts more easterly.
This was the fulfillment of prophecy by Hoshe’ah. But, Hoshe’ah also prophesied the RETURN of the northern tribes, a remnant of them. And that happened in the scriptures, when Khizki-Yahu invited them back for the Pesakh, and many of them came.
Several of the Nevi’im were warning the northern kingdom of their destruction. But, none so much as Hoshe’ah, except perhaps Yesha-Yahu.
But, the portion for the Haftarah for this week is Yekhezkel Chapter 37. And so many people THINK that this is happening today, and the prophesied collection of the northern tribes is the salvation of the gentiles of today, who many today think are the peoples like the Brits, the Danes, the Irish, the Dutch, etc, etc. They believe that these people groups are the ‘lost tribes.’ They completely ignore the prophecy of Hoshe’ah, the fulfilment of it in II Chronicles, and the fact that Yekhezkel ministered to Yisra’el [Judah] a full 100 years AFTER the destruction of the NORTHERN “kingdom”, predicting the destruction of Jerusalem in the SOUTHERN Kingdom, Yehudah, which Yekhezkel called Yisra’el! And they overlook Sha’ul calling himself an Israelite, a Jew, and a Binyemini, and they overlook Kefa and Ya’akov writing to the 12 tribes in their day.
Yekhezkel ministered to Yehudah, the SOUTHERN Kingdom. The ‘lost tribes’ were already SCATTERED. And Elohim told them he would utterly forget them. But, He also said he’d save a remnant. That remnant already returned, and the ‘unification’ already happened. BEFORE Yekhezkel ministered to Yehudah. So, why would Yekhezkel say what he said in that chapter, about the two ‘trees.’ Reading that chapter out of context, we understand how so many can think that there is a rejoining of Yisra’el in our day. On the surface, without a timeline, and a firm understanding of the history, one could easily come to that conclusion. But, we need to be responsible, and set everything in CONTEXT.
Yekhezkel writes, in the twelfth year of the siege of YERUSHALAYIM : ‘Thus says Adonai יהוה , ‘As I live, surely they that are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that are in the strongholds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. And I will make the land most desolate, and the pride of her power shall cease; and the mountains of Yisra’el shall be desolate, so that none shall pass through. Then shall they know that I am יהוה , when I have made the land most desolate, because of all their abominations which they have committed’.'”
Bear in mind, Yisra’el is now the combined TWELVE TRIBES again, living together in the land of Yehudah, and the Navi calls them “Yisra’el“. He is speaking of the future of those living in the land under the kingship of Yehudah. All. Twelve. Tribes.
He then addresses the “Shepherds” of Yisra’el. This is the later greek-translated word ‘pastor,’ and is concerning the kohanim, those tasked with teaching Yisra’el. “So were they scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains [of their OWN land], and upon every high hill, yes, upon all the face of the land were My sheep scattered, and there was none that did search or seek. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the D’var יהוה .” This is an echo of Yirme-Yahu, who is also a Navi to the SOUTHERN KINGDOM. He ministered BEFORE Yekhezkel, concerning the destruction of Yerushalayim. In Chapter 50 he writes, concerning those gathered IN BAVEL, AFTER the destruction of YERUSHALAYIM [which had not happened yet, but is about to, from his context]: “B’nei Yisra’el shall come, they and B’nei Yehudah together; they shall go on their way weeping, and shall seek יהוה their Elohim. They shall inquire concerning Tzion with their faces her way, ‘Come, and join yourselves to יהוה in an everlasting Brit that shall not be forgotten’. My people has been lost sheep [Yisra’el and Yehudah TOGETHER]; their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains; they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting-place. All that found them have devoured them [Assyria AND Babylon]; and their adversaries said, ‘We are not guilty’; because they have sinned against יהוה , the habitation of justice, even יהוה , the hope of their fathers. Flee out of the midst of Bavel, and go forth out of the land of the Kasdim, and be as the he-goats before the flocks. For, lo, I will stir up and cause to come up against Bavel an assembly of great nations [Medes and Persians] from the north country; and they shall set themselves in array against her, from there she [Bavel] shall be taken; their arrows shall be as of a mighty man that makes childless; none shall return in vain. And Kasdim shall be a spoil; all that spoil her shall be satisfied, says יהוה .” This is Yirme-Yahu predicting the destruction of Bavel, BEFORE it happened, which finally happened and is to us history; he called out the destruction of Bavel, before even Yerushalayim was destroyed he predicted it. And Yisra’el AND Yehudah are told TOGETHER to leave Bavel when the Medes and Persians attack it. They would already be unified. And they were lost TOGETHER, just as Yekhezkel said.
So, when Yeshua sent his Talmidim to the ‘lost sheep of the house of Yisra’el’, he did NOT send them to the ‘ten lost tribes.’ In context, that Brit Khadashah passage makes this very clear: Matt 10:
“These twelve Yeshua sent out, and charged them and said, “Keep away from pagan practices, and do not enter a city of Shomron; but above all, go to the sheep which are lost from Beit Yisra’el. And as you go, declare and say that Malkhut HaShamayim is near. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; freely you have received, freely give. Do not accumulate gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses; nor a bag for the journey, nor two shirts and shoes, nor a staff; for a laborer is at least worthy of his food. Whatever city or town you enter, ask who is trustworthy in it, and remain there until you leave. And when you enter into the house, ask for shalom for that house. And if the house is worthy, your shalom shall come upon it; but if it is not worthy, your shalom shall return to you.” When Yeshua finished commanding them concerning their temporary journey, he departed [chapter 11]. All the gospels bear out that the twelve went out, TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, the JEWISH people in the land of Yehudah! and then rejoined Yeshua. In very similar fashion He later sends out 70 in another episode that is recorded in Luka 10, and we then read, “So the seventy whom He had sent returned with great joy, and they said to Him, “Adoneinu, even the demons have submitted to us in Your Name.”
Understand this: ALL TWELVE TRIBES WERE LOST, BECAUSE THEIR ‘PASTORS’ WERE NOT TEACHING THEM THE TORAH! This was not a ‘physical scattering,’ but “LOST” in the sense of NOT KNOWING TRUTH. This was true of ALL TWELVE TRIBES in Yirme-Yahu’s day, and in the days of Yekhezkel, AND in the days of Yeshua! They were LOST TOGETHER. Yeshua called the Jewish People of His day, “Yisra’el“. Having been reunited in the land, and yet going into error. This is why Abba destroyed Yerushalayim! AFTER Yirme-Yahu predicted it. It was true in Yeshua’s day, when the P’rushim’s Rabbis taught men’s commandments in the place of Torah, as if they were teaching Torah. This is true of our Jewish people today. If they do not follow Messiah, they are LOST! The Rabbis and all of Israel that do not believe and trust in Yeshua, ARE LOST. Yeshua sent out the 12 to JEWS…. people of all twelve tribes living in the land of Yehudah! Our Jewish people TODAY are comprised of people from ALL TWELVE TRIBES. Just because one might be from another tribe, does NOT mean he is not a JEW. Sha’ul was of the tribe of Binyamin, but he called himself both a Jew and an Israelite. Yehudah bears the scepter, just as predicted. Those who rebelled against Yehudah’s kingship, and against G-d, are FORGOTTEN. Israelite and Jew are two terms that are not mutually exclusive, but synonymous.
To further prove this, lets consider. Today’s ‘two house’ people like to say that Danes, Brits, and Irish, and others of European xtian stock are the descendants of the ten lost tribes, ie, “Ephraimites.” Well, the scriptures called the land of Efrayim “Shomron.” When Yeshua was sending out the 12, He specifically told them, “do not enter a city of Shomron; but above all, go to the sheep which are lost from Beit Yisra’el.” Please ‘hear’ His word. Yeshua sent HIS TWELVE, 2000 years ago, to Beit Yisra’el, and specifically said DO NOT GO INTO SHOMRON! Shomron had inhabitants who could PROVE they descended from the 10 northern tribes… the ‘woman at the well’ was a Shomronit, and she tried to legitimize her faith as a descendent of Ya’akov. But, Yeshua told His twelve Jews, from several of the tribes, NOT to go to their ‘half brothers.’ If THEY are not candidates to be “Beit Yisra’el,’ HOW in the wide world are today’s Danes and Brits? The Shomronim were certainly closer kin than European xtians.
Next in Yekhezkel, after admonishing the ‘Shepherds’ and warning Edom, he speaks to all nations trampling His people, and says to Yisra’el, “For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and you shall be tilled and sown; and I will multiply men upon you, all Beit Yisra’el, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built; and I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited after your former estate, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings; and you shall know that I am יהוה .” The context tells us that this is ALL TWELVE TRIBES He is addressing here. Remember, Yekhezkel is a minister to the SOUTHERN kingdom, 100 years AFTER the ten northern tribes were dispersed. Scattered.
He is talking to the remnant. This is a concept that every believer needs to understand. There is and always has been only a remnant, a group of people within ALL Yisra’el, all twelve tribes, that know and trust יהוה for Salvation [Yeshu’ah, ie, Yeshua]. It is the remant that will grow and sprout.
Then, Yekhezkel turns to prophesy again, this time of later events: 36:17
“Ben Adam, when Beit Yisra’el dwelt in their own land [ONE HOUSE, all twelve tribes], they defiled it by their way and by their doings; their way before Me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. Therefore, I poured out My fury upon them for the blood which they had shed upon the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols; and I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. And when they came unto the nations, wherever they came, they profaned My kadosh Name; in that men said of them, ‘These are the people of יהוה , and are gone forth out of His land’. But I had pity for My kadosh Name, which Beit Yisra’el had profaned among the nations, wherever they came.'” “Therefore say unto Beit Yisra’el, ‘Thus says Adonai יהוה , ‘I do not do this for your sake, O Beit Yisra’el, but for My kadosh Name, which you have profaned among the nations, wherever you came. And I will consecrate My Great Name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am יהוה , says Adonai יהוה , when I shall be consecrated in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean; from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Ru’akh within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your Elohim. And I will save you from all your uncleannesses; and I will call for the grain, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations. Then shall you remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sake do I do this, says Adonai יהוה , be it known unto you; be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O Beit Yisra’el, thus says Adonai יהוה . In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built. And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, ‘This land that was desolate is become like Gan Eden’; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. Then the nations that are left round about you shall know that I, יהוה , have built the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate; I, יהוה , have spoken it, and I will do it; thus says Adonai יהוה . I will yet for this be inquired of by Beit Yisra’el, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Yerushalayim in her Mo’edim, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am יהוה “.
And from here we turn to chapter 34. But, let’s reason a bit. Is he REALLY telling ONLY the northern kingdom that He would put HIS RU’AKH in their hearts, and SAVE them? Really? That is how and what many people teach. But that is NOT the heart and the way of Elohim. He only has ONE YISRA’EL. And ‘Salvation is of the Jews’. So, what is this prophecy about, and to whom is it written?
Again, Yekhezkel is a Navi to Yehudah, the SOUTHERN KINGDOM, calling the SOUTHERN KINGDOM “Yisra’el”, for several reasons. The twelve tribes were re-unified in the days of King Khizki-Yah. The twelve tribes were scattered together to Bavel. Elohim is promising to bring them BACK to the land, and THEN put His Breath in them and SAVE them.
One must learn something when studying the Nevi’im and Nevu’im. Abba says something, and it sounds like it will happen in one fell swoop, but then, it happens over a course of years and in several stages. This is true of the destruction and expulsion of the ten LOST tribes. This is true of the destruction and captivity of Yehudah to Bavel. This is true of the return and the rebuilding of the Beit HaElohim. This is also true of the saving and return of ALL YISRA’EL into the land. It is also true of the final dispersion, which began in 70 AD and was completed in 150 AD. Our Jewish people, all twelve tribes together, have roamed the earth together for 2,000 years. Yekhezkel is predicting their return in the LAST of the LAST days, and it has not happened yet, and is not happening yet. Our Jewish people, ALL TWELVE TRIBES, are still lost: apart from the REMNANT: those who trust in Yeshua.
We cannot forget history from 586 BC to the late 1st century. In summary, all twelve tribes were banished to Bavel; they returned. They rebuilt the House. They were again conquered, and then took back the land from the Seleucids. Then the Romans occupied the land. And then Messiah came and ministered to all twelve tribes. And then HE put His Ru’akh into the hearts of all twelve tribes. [Acts 2] But, He is NOT DONE. Because ALL TWELVE TRIBES were again SCATTERED, and LOST doctrinally. They still are, to this day. First, some of them remained “jewish” in the lands near Yisra’el. Sha’ul goes into those lands, into the synagogues, and SAVES them, ALONG WITH GENTILES. Did Sha’ul call THOSE GENTILES ‘Efraimites’? NO! He called them STRANGERS! But Ya’akov writes to ALL TWELVE TRIBES! Why would Ya’akov [James] write a letter to people, if he did not know who and where they were? [James 1:1] Further, the TWELVE TRIBES have since been scattered! In waves/stages again, from 70 AD to 150 AD. And it is to THAT group of people, JEWS, that Yekhezkel is now writing.
Today’s Jews are in NO WAY ‘united’. There are as many factions and schisms in Judaism as there are in some streams of xtianity. Geographically they are not united, but scattered among the nations, still. It may be precisely because they are from separate tribes that they quibble so much over even their Talmudic doctrine and practices! But, the chapter in question, the chapter of our Haftarah, is indeed written concerning END TIMES. But, it is NOT about ‘gentiles’ who are the ‘house of Efrayim.’ Efrayim is forgotten! Only a remnant of Efrayim, and of the other tribes, survives today. And they are Jews. [Rev 12] In the first part of the chapter, 37, we read:
“Prophesy unto HaRu’akh, prophesy, Ben Adam, and say to HaRu’akh, ‘Thus says Adonai , יהוה ‘Come from the four winds, O Ru’akh, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live’.'” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and HaRu’akh came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceedingly great army. Then He said unto me, “Ben Adam, these bones are the whole Beit Yisra’el; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off’. Therefore prophesy, and say unto them, ‘Thus says Adonai יהוה , ‘Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Yisra’el. And you shall know that I am יהוה , when I have opened your graves, and caused you to come up out of your graves, O My people. And I will put My Ru’akh in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land; and you shall know that I, יהוה , have spoken, and performed it, says יהוה “‘.’
The passage above immediately precedes our Haftarah portion this week. Yekhezkel is assuring future Israelis that the REMANT who trusted would be resurrected. Nothing in this passage is about a mysterious morphing of Efrayim into ‘gentiles’. The portion about the two trees/sticks is NOT independent of this passage concerning the dried bones. The two ‘trees’ or ‘sticks’ that Yekhezkel joins together are indeed representative of Efrayim and Yosef, and Yehudah. But, the WHOLE POINT of it is that there is ONE TREE…. ONE HOUSE….the promise given to the WHOLE HOUSE is the same as the one given above, AFTER THE RESURRECTION, which I would assume EVERYONE would agree has NOT HAPPENED YET. Do you not get it? Yisra’el coming into the land as a unified, single house, does NOT HAPPEN until AFTER the resurrection. Consider, Yekhezkel, who lived in circa 600 AD, is speaking about DEAD MEN. And only FAITHFUL dead men. He is speaking to the remnant from ALL TWELVE TRIBES, in HIS day, telling them that those dead prior to 600 AD would one day rise again. And of course, this is ‘The Resurrection,” so the remnant of the future would also participate in that.
But, further, in our Haftarah, we also see that when Yisra’el does become unified, AFTER THE RESURRECTION, that Messiah Ben David will be the ruler of Yisra’el. THIS IS of course MESSIAH YESHUA! He will one day rule IN THE LAND, with ALL TWELVE TRIBES living in the land in safety. Today, the twelve tribes are scattered all over the world: and they are called Jews. The re-unification has not happened yet. And according to the first part of the chapter, does not happen until after The Resurrection. And then ALL JEWS will be ‘saved.’
Yekhezkel spoke, once again, 120 years AFTER the complete destruction of the northern kingdom and the scattering of the northern ten tribes. They are forgotten. When he referred to Yisra’el, he referred to the believing/trusting remnant, all twelve tribes. The REMNANT of Efrayim has already been returned to Yehudah. The 30th chapter of Divrei HaYamim Bet [2 Chron] bears this out, just as Hoshe’ah prophesied. That REMNANT, made up of Messianic Jews, is awaiting the Resurrection. Today, any Gentile that says they directly descend from Efrayim or Dan or Yosef is fooling himself. There is simply no proof whatsoever. And they are putting a measure of their hope for salvation in their DNA. This tramples the blood of Messiah, and betrays a lack of trust in that blood ALONE for salvation. Sha’ul was from the tribe of Binyamin, yet called himself an Yisra’elite AND a Yehudi [Israelite/Jew]. There is NO DISTINCTION. “A House that is divided SHALL NOT STAND.” There is ONLY ONE house in the Kingdom of Elohim. Efrayim and Dan were guilty of creating ‘two houses’ in the northern kingdom, because they did not want to follow Yehudah’s King. These two tribes are conspicuously missing from the census of tribes in the book of the Hitgalut [Revelation]. This matches the prophecies, that they would be destroyed AND FORGOTTEN. [minus the remnant, that would unify with Yehudah and become Jews]. They became Jews; just the opposite of what ‘two-house’ teachers teach, that they became gentiles. A Jewish person cannot become a Gentile, EVEN IF he forgets he is descended from Avraham, Yitz’khak, and Ya’akov. But, it is NOT our DNA that saves us, but ONLY our trust in the blood of Messiah, whether we are Jewish OR Gentile.
“There is neither Yehudi nor Arami, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Yeshua HaMashi’akh. So if you belong to Mashi’akh, then you are descendants of Avraham, and his heirs according to the promise.”
Identity religion is sin.