by Alberta Parish
Before the Romans burned Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple of Solomon in 70 A.D., much of the original inhabitants of Israel fled into the mountains, and made their way into Africa and Asia. When the apostle Paul began to preach the gospel, Judeans/Judites were already scattered throughout the world, living in surrounding countries like Parthia (i.e., present Iran), Libya, Asia, Crete, Rome, Arabia. Paul had written that on the day of Pentecost when the outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred, “there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven . . . Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”
After Titus and his armies laid siege to Jerusalem, those Israelites who remained were severely wounded, killed with the sword, died of famine, sold into slavery, and crucified. Hundreds of years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, there were “ten” tribes of Israel that went into a land where no man ever dwelled before, and according to the Judean priest and scribe Esdras, he wrote, “These are the ten tribes of Israel who were taken away into captivity in the time of King Hoshea. King Shalmaneser of Assyria captured them and deported them to a foreign land east of the Euphrates River. But the ten tribes decided not to stay in that land among the many Gentiles, so they moved farther east to a country where no human beings had ever lived before. There they hoped to keep their laws, which they had failed to keep in their own country” (2 Esdras 13:40-42).
In 93 CE, the historian Josephus had written that “there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe, subject to the Romans: while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now; and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers” (The Antiquities of the Jews, Book XI, Chapter 5). Where did those ten tribes go? According to Esdras, the ten tribes went to a far country called “Arsareth” that took them a year and a half to reach after traveling through the Euphrates River. These are among the lost “ten” tribes whom Christopher Columbus saw when his ship landed in the Bahamas. They were completely native to the land, the original occupants of the New World, which today consists of North America, Central America, South America, Mexico, Canada, and the Bahamas.
Since the Hebrew Israelites had been scattered into the four corners of the earth, they exists in all nations wherein they were and are currently captive. To claim that the Hebrew Israelites have returned to their homeland generations prior to the fulfilling of Joel’s prophesy who prophesied that in the end time the Lord will “bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem . . . whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land” (Joel 3:1-2) is to perpetuate falsehoods, because the Lord’s heritage Israel is not currently dwelling in the land. The Lord will indeed bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, but not until the end of days.
The two tribes of Israel – Judah and Benjamin – which made up the Southern Kingdom of Israel after the death of King Solomon, will be brought back into the land of Israel along with the lost “ten” tribes (i.e., Northern Kingdom of Israel) as prophesied in 2 Esdras 13:40-48, which says, “Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea 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 places 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. Then dwelt they there until the latter time; and now when they shall begin to come, The Highest shall stay the springs of the stream again, that they may go through: therefore sawest thou the multitude with peace. But those that be left behind of thy people are they that are found within my borders.”
Today, the two tribes are in living throughout the Americas, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands including Jamaica. Many also live in other parts of the world. In the 15th Century, the two tribes were brought to the New World from Africa by way of cargo ships as prophesied in Deuteronomy 28:68. Their descendants, which are the children of slaves, are known today as African Americans, Jamaicans, and West Indians or Caribbeans. But they were first called “Niger” or “Negro” by their captors. The territory of the West Indies encompass “the Greater Antilles, comprising the islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and Puerto Rico; the Lesser Antilles, including the Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, and Grenada; and the isolated island groups of the North American continental shelf—The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands—and those of the South American shelf, including Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Curaçao, and Bonaire” (Encyclopaedia Britannica 2). The lineage of the Messiah (Yeshu’a/Jesus) can be traced directly to the tribe of Judah (i.e., Yehuda). As scriptural evidence points us to the lineage of Christ being from the house of David, which says, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Isaiah said in like manner, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
The Old Testament scriptures concerning Messiah, written hundreds of years before His birth in Bethlehem, is a living testament to the authenticity of the holy book of the law and covenant bestowed upon the scribes, priests, and prophets from the time they fled Egypt under Moses’ leadership to the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in 70 CE. Within its pages contain the writings of the prophets who spoke of Messiah’s death and resurrection as well as His everlasting salvation and kingship. Moses, Daniel, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Nathan, David, Micah, Job, Jeremiah, Hannah, Zechariah; they all prophesied of Him. Daniel spoke of Him saying that he saw “one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14). Isaiah also prophesied these words saying, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”