Recently, I began studying a topic that had bewildered me for many years. It is a topic I found so daunting that I was unmotivated to take up the challenge of researching it. It is the story of the ten lost tribes of Israel and what became of them. Every time the topic came up, I always pushed it away with the conclusion that it did not really matter. After all, salvation is come to both Jew and Gentile and besides, the church does teach that the body of Christ is the new Israel.
In the last three months however, it has become almost impossible to navigate the subject of the tribes without running into all manner of claims online. Every race on the planet lays claim to being the ten lost tribes and all state historical and cultural proof to back their claim. From the Japanese, to the English, from the Celts, to the Irish and lets not forget the African American Hebrews who claim that Israel comprises the Negro African Americans and the Latinos only. I even came across one group that claimed that the Israelites are all the Western and Northern European states from Sweden all the way down to Italy. This latter group are unshakeable in this belief despite scriptural clarity on the difference between the Hebrews and the Greeks or the fact that the Romans destroyed Jerusalem. Naturally, every group backs its claim with Bible passages with multiple groups sometimes using the same Bible reference to state their case. Common to them all however is their passion, their disdain for other groups, and their absolute hate for the Ashkenazi who they now scornfully refer to as Kazarians.
After weeks of perusing articles on the subject, I finally decided to do my own scriptural search. One of the first things I decided to revisit was the issue of ancient writings. I do confess at this point that I am an absolute proponent of the authorized King James Version of the Bible as THE version to read. However, even I am painfully aware that all the modern day (post-1769 Oxford reprint) versions of the KJV are different from the 1611 version, which contains the Apocrypha. The removal of these books pricked my curiosity like a child given a stern warning not to climb the bookshelf. Why did the first Bible translators add books that later revisers decided were not fit to be canonical? The conspiracy theory loving side of me literally took over from there. In my mind I asked if someone was trying to hide something since I was pretty much aware about the big fight the church of Rome put up to stop the initial printing of the KJV. Furthermore, since 1989, multiple versions of the Bible are released annually in the English language. Each new version is designed to modernize the language of an older version even though the English language has undergone no real fundamental change in the last 30 years. So, why is there a sudden onslaught on the Bible? I decided therefore that the Apocrypha was as good a place as any to start my search. And while I’m at it, I might as well add the Books of Enoch, Jasher and the conflict of Adam and Eve with Lucifer to my study list. However, I chose not to dabble into the more ‘dangerous’ books like the Wisdom of Solomon. That book, I was told would ‘fry my brains’ and open me up to such demon possession that would make the mad men of Gadarenes (Matt 8:28) look tame in comparison.
So began my search, and needless to say that I was unprepared for the shock of what I found. I quickly realized that something was terribly wrong with the world, as we knew it. Everything seems to be turned on its head and confused. Someone somewhere appears to have spun an intricate web of deceit and forgery. Someone was deliberately pulling the wool over peoples eyes to prevent us from seeing the truth. History, Art, religion, all have been fundamentally corrupted, there is a power at work fully committed to drawing peoples attention from the one true God. As the book of Adam and Eve implied, someone has been seriously messing with the books to ensure that the people of the book could not tell who they were or where they came from. If the Identity of the Hebrews was as unimportant as we thought, why then has someone gone to great lengths to hide them?
Todays post is therefore aimed primarily at provoking your thoughts on the true identity of the lost Hebrew tribes.
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. – 2 Esdras 13:40-46.
This is a very common passage quoted by all tribe seekers. There are a few points I will like to highlight however.
1. Mode of Transportation
The Hebrew mode of transportation was walking and not sailing as some have speculated. How do I know this? Firstly, they always walked or rode on Asses when migrating at the time. Abraham and Isaac did, so did Israel when they left Egypt as well as Joseph with his wife Mary when fleeing from Herod. Secondly, there were no boats built at the time that would have been strong enough to navigate either the Indian or Atlantic ocean. Sailing on the Mediterranean is not the same as sailing on the Atlantic. Even the Europeans could not conquer the ocean waves until the 15th century. Mass migrating via the ocean therefore would have made no sense and would have been potentially lethal for a nation. The closest such migration is the colonization of the new world, which was gradual over a long period of time on massive ships that were not available in 722 BC. Besides, the passage indicates they passed THROUGH that country for one and a half years. To the best of my knowledge, no ocean has ever been referred to as a country. Thirdly, this passage in Esdras says that they entered into the Euphrates by the narrow places of the river. You only look for the narrow part of a river when you are crossing on foot. Note also the part that says that the Most High held still the flood till they were passed over. That sounds almost exactly like the crossing of the red sea, which they did on foot by the way (Ex 14:21-29). If you were sailing by boat, you would look for the widest part of the river, and sail right down the middle of it.
2. Direction of travel.
When this migration began, the ten tribes were in Assyria, which is modern day Northern Iraq. To cross the Euphrates from Halah and Habor, they would have had to be travelling westward towards Saudi Arabia or Egypt. If they were travelling eastward as some of the European Israelites claim, they would have had to cross into Iran via the Tigris river, not the Euphrates as shown in the map below.
Why am I certain they did not go north into Turkey? Those who make this claim use the statement ‘Where never mankind dwelt’ as their reason. Two arguments I have against this are: Firstly, as figure 1 above shows, the not so friendly Hittite empire was there, so Israel was jumping from the pan into the fire. Secondly, Noah’s ark rested on Ararat in Turkey, so it is safe to assume that some people would have settled in and around the region. Thirdly, There is a place in Western Africa called Ouidah (also known as Whydah or Juda), which was incidentally the place where slaves where shipped from during the transatlantic slave trade. Naturally, my interest was pricked by this fact. Being a Bible student, I am sadly aware that slavery is almost a trademark of the Hebrews.
3. Distance /duration of the trip
The book of Esdras does not tell us the mileage covered but does give us the next best thing – the duration. To do a calculation of the distance covered, we have to make several assumptions, which are listed below.
- The migration was on foot. Unfortunately, there were no cars or planes back then.
- There were women (maybe some Pregnant ones) and children in their ranks.
- They were a very large group, both human and livestock, so transportation via boats was out of the question (it would take years to build enough of them to ship everyone).
- They always rested on the Sabbath day. Their reason for leaving was to keep their laws in a peaceful place, so it is logical to assume they were already keeping those same laws.
- It takes a really fit guy 6-7 minutes to walk a kilometer. The rest of us will take up to 15 minutes to do so (might take 20 minutes with some kids).
- They would walk for maybe 6 hours a day (as much as a kid could perhaps tolerate).
So lets do the maths.4 (15 minutes in an hour) X 6 (hours walk per day) = 24 kilometers a day
24 (kilometers a day) X 6 (working days a week) = 144 kilometers a week
144 (kilometers a week) X 78 weeks (1.5 X 52 weeks/year) = 11,232 kilometers over one and a half years.Since they were walking, they would have been slowed down further by the presence of the young children and the elderly. In my estimate, they could still have travelled up to 9,000 kilometers in that time.This would still be almost twice the distance from Northern Iraq (such as Al Badi) to Dublin in Ireland (assuming they could cross the Alps on their way). It’s also twice the distance to Stockholm in Sweden and four times the distance to Moscow (assuming these middle eastern people would brave the frigid temperatures in the latter two destinations). Besides, they would need to cross several major seas on some of these trips and the book of Esdras said nothing about such.To those who claim that Arsareth is America, from the calculation I made above, it is physically impossible to move children and elderly from Northern Iraq to America in one and a half years in 722 BC. Teleportation of course is not an option.
If you think my calculations are unrealistic, consider the 2012 story about a man who walked 5,700 kilometers to mecca in 9 months. He had a 2 months and 2 weeks customs stop and was carrying a 20-kilo backpack during his trip. At his rate, he would have travelled 11,400 kilometers in 18 months (one and a half years) with 5 months break in between.
Now take a look at the map below:
By crossing the Euphrates at its Northern end, they would have walked 8,000 km through Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Libya and Niger bypassing modern day Israel to Ouidah/Juda (blue route in map) without having to cross any Ocean. That is 3,000 km short of the Muslim pilgrim walk mentioned above. This route would have taken them through the territories of Ammon, Moab and Edom (heathen?).
But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country. – 2 Esdras 13:41
It is possible the passage is telling us they passed through and beyond these heathen nations (further?) to uninhabited territories. Interestingly, this migratory pattern for the most part overlaps with the historical migration of the Bantu people into West Africa. The center for the study of political islam further estimates that the distance from Egypt to Nigeria was about a year during the Roman era.
Now why is all this important? It is now widely accepted that the Jews in current day Israel are converts and not Hebrew. The children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are still in diaspora and will only return to Israel when the time of the gentiles is fulfilled (Lk 21:24). When the Hebrews begin to recognize who they are, then we know that the end is upon us. I think if the Hebrew is who I think he is, it could potentially provoke the global rage and arrogance that culminates in the much-discussed clash at Armageddon. I believe the Sons of Jacob will return to the worship of the true God and reject the Luciferian form of worship prevalent today. They will reject the mark of authority of the antichrist thus provoking the ire of the end-time beast. Then the beast will make war on the sons of Israel and only then will the Messiah return.
But then, what if my calculation is wrong? What if the Celts or the British are the true Hebrews? And what if the queen of England is truly a descendant of King David and ruling in his stead? What if the children of Shem are not colored as numerous historians have born witness? But what if they are? What if the Lapps are truly Canaanites and the Hittites truly Chinese? It’s all so confusing, just as the hidden powers want it to be.
I decided therefore to seek God’s face on the matter, and the response he gave me was very brief:
‘Each tree is known by its fruit’. – Lk 6:44
If you know the ways of the Canaanite, then you can find him. Now I suddenly have clarity, I see the fruits of Canaan which helps me to identify him, but that is a discussion for another day. Until then, I have a word for anyone who thinks he/she is a Hebrew Israelite. The Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt for centuries working outdoors for 12 hours a day without sun block lotions. If you are Hebrew, discard your sun tan lotion, take off your hat, strip down to your shorts and work in the sun for 10 hours a day for one month. Then thank the God of your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who has chosen to make known his Grace and Mercy towards you. Peace be to you all.