Now the sons of Jacob were twelve: the sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun; the sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin; the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s maidservant, were Dan and Naphtali; and the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s maidservant, were Gad and Asher.
One of the sure ways to tell if a particular church or other religious group, such as the Mormons or British Israelism, is a cult rather than an orthodox Christian denomination is if they claim to be the “lost tribes” of the nation of Israel. The idea is that God exiled the ten northern tribes back in 722 BC and these folks wandered around with their hands in their pockets looking for a new home. Finally, they settled in some distant land and became an offshoot of “Christianity.” Peanuts heads…
In Daniel 1:3 it says,
Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles.
This was around 605 BC and is long after the exile of the northern tribes. In fact, three categories are mentioned in this one verse:
(1) children of Israel,
(2) king’s descendants, and
(3) some of the nobles.
The fact that "children of Israel" is mentioned indicates God’s preservation of members of each tribe. In other words, the idea of ten "lost tribes" is fallacious here as elsewhere in the Bible. The exile of northern Israel occurred just as the Bible relates, but a remnant from all the tribes remained. The Bible specifically mentions people from each of these tribes after the northern exile – Asher, Manasseh, Zebulon, Ephraim, Issachar, Naphtali, Benjamin, Judah, Levi, and Simeon. Even in the New Testament people from many of the “exiled tribes” are mentioned.
In 2 Chronicles 11, it mentions faithful Levites as well as members from “all the tribes of Israel” that went and strengthened Judah because of the apostasy of Jeroboam. If this account seems too remote to claim there are no lost tribes, the book of Acts confirms the truth. Paul says in Acts 26:7:
This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. O king, it is because of this hope that the Jews are accusing me.
The verb tenses in this verse indicate that all of the twelve tribes were intact even in Paul’s day and were awaiting the hope of the Messiah. A remnant was saved from each tribe for God’s good purposes. That hope which Paul spoke of was the realization of life in Jesus Christ and which came to all men, including those of all the tribes of Israel. In a future fulfillment of prophecy, we need to remember also that in Revelation 7:4-8 it mentions the sealing of the 144,000 from “all the tribes of Israel” and then lists the number from each named tribe. It never says, “from the Mormons” or some other nutty cult.
Don’t be led astray by every wind of doctrine which seems to sound good but fails to meet the biblical account. Rather accept what the Bible teaches and stay away from these crazy cults that try so desperately to steal precious souls away for their own odd purposes. The ten "lost tribes" were never lost and God has faithfully preserved a remnant of all the tribes according to His promises and His good purposes - they are the collective people Israel who again dwell in their promised possession.
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