Ten Lost Tribes
Version as of Sept 20, 2010
The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel refers to the tribes of ancient Israel that formed the Kingdom of Israel and disappeared from the Biblical account after the kingdom was destroyed in about 720 BCE by ancient Assyria.1 Many groups have traditions concerning the continued hidden existence or future public return of these tribes.
This is a subject based upon written religious tradition and partially upon speculation. There is a vast amount of literature on the Lost Tribes and no specific source can be relied upon for a complete answer.
When the land of Israel was apportioned among the tribes in the days of Joshua, the Tribe of Levi, being priests, did not receive land (Joshua 13:33, 14:3). However; the tribe of Levi was given cities. Six cities were given to the tribe as refuge cities for all men of Israel and they were to be controlled by the Levites. Three of these cities were located on each opposing sides of the Jordan River. In addition, 42 other cities (and their respective open spaces) totaling 48 cities were given to the Tribe of Levi. (Numbers 35)
On the other hand, Jacob elevated the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh (the two sons of Joseph by his Egyptian wife Asenath) (Genesis 41:50) to the status of full tribes in their own right, replacing the Tribe of Joseph (Joshua 14:4). Each received its own land and had its own encampment during the 40 years of wandering in the desert.
Thus, the two divisions of the tribes are:
Division according to apportionment of land in Israel:
The Kingdom of Israel (or Northern Kingdom) was one of the successor states to the older United Monarchy (also called the Kingdom of Israel), which came into existence in about the 930s BC after the northern Tribes of Israel rejected Solomon's son Rehoboam as their king. Nine landed tribes formed the Northern Kingdom: the tribes of Reuben, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim and Manasseh. In addition, some members of Tribe of Levi, who had no land allocation, were found in the Northern Kingdom. The Tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to Rehoboam, and formed the Kingdom of Judah (or Southern Kingdom). Members of Levi and the remnant of Simeon were also found in the Southern Kingdom.
According to Chronicles 2 15:9, members of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon "fled" to Judah during the reign of Asa of Judah. Whether these groups were absorbed into the population or remained distinct groups, or returned to their tribal lands is not indicated.
In c. 732 BC, Tiglath-Pileser sacked Damascus and Israel, annexing Aram2 and territory of the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh in Gilead including the desert outposts of Jetur, Naphish and Nodab. People from these tribes including the Reubenite leader, were taken captive and resettled in the region of the Habor river system. Tiglath-Pilesar also captured the territory of Naphtali and the city of Janoah in Ephraim and an Assyrian governor was placed over the region of Naphtali. According to Kings 2 16:9 and 15:29, the population of Aram and the annexed part of Israel was deported to Assyria.
Israel continued to exist within the reduced territory as an independent kingdom until around 720 BCE, when it was again invaded by Assyria and the rest of the population deported. The Bible relates that the population of Israel was exiled, leaving only the Tribe of Judah, the Tribe of Simeon (that was "absorbed" into Judah), the Tribe of Benjamin and the people of the Tribe of Levi who lived among them of the original Israelites tribes in the southern Kingdom of Judah. However, other writers estimate that only a fifth of the population (about 40,000) were actually resettled out of the area during the two deportation periods under Tiglath-Pileser III and Sargon II.3 Many also fled south to Jerusalem, which appears to have expanded in size fivefold during this period, requiring a new wall to be built, and a new source of water (Siloam) to be provided by King Hezekiah. Furthermore, Chronicles 2 30:1-11 explicitly mentions northern Israelites who had been spared by the Assyrians in particular members of Dan, Ephraim, Manasseh, Asher and Zebulun and how members of the latter three returned to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem at that time.
The remainder of the northern kingdom was conquered by Sargon II, who captured the capital city Samaria in the territory of Ephraim. He took 27,290 people captive from the city of Samaria resettling some with the Israelites in the Habor region and the rest in the land of the Medes thus establishing Jewish communities in Ecbatana and Rages.
The Book of Tobit additionally records that Sargon had taken other captives from the northern kingdom to the Assyrian capital of Nineveh, in particular Tobit from the town of Thisbe in Naphtali.
In medieval Rabbinic fable the concept of the ten tribes who were taken away from the House of David (who continued the rule of the southern kingdom of Judah) becomes confounded with accounts of the Assyrian deportations leading to the myth of the "Ten Lost Tribes". The recorded history differs from this fable: No record exists of the Assyrians having exiled people from Dan, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun or western Manasseh. Descriptions of the deportation of people from Reuben, Gad, Manasseh in Gilead, Ephraim and Naphtali indicate that only a portion of these tribes were deported and the places to which they were deported are known locations given in the accounts. The deported communities are mentioned as still existing at the time of the composition of the books of Kings and Chronicles and did not disappear by assimilation.
The Jewish tradition held until modern times that all the population of the kingdom was deported by Assyria, never to be heard of again. They are considered the Ten Lost Tribes.
Some evidence exists of a continuing identification in later centuries of individual Jews to the Lost Tribes. For example, in Luke 2:36 of the New Testament, an individual is identified with the tribe of Asher. In recent years many group have claimed descent from these Lost Tribes, some of which have been upheld by Israel's rabbinic authorities.
The Hebrew Bible does not use the phrase "Ten Lost Tribes", leading some to question the actual number of tribes involved. However, Kings 1 11:31 states that the LORD will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give ten tribes to Jeroboam:
And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee.
—Kings 1 11:31
But I will take the kingdom out of his son's hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
—Kings 1 11:35
However, it is not clear which tribes should be counted as lost. Lost tribes are those that formed the northern Kingdom of Israel after the dissolution of the united Kingdom of Israel in c. 930 BC. The tribes of Reuben, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim, and Manasseh were parts of the northern kingdom, a total of nine.
It has sometimes been said that the Tribe of Simeon was a part of the northern Kingdom of Israel and was therefore part of the "Ten Lost Tribes." However, the Tribe of Simeon was never located in the Northern Kingdom, but was located entirely within the land of Judah. (Joshua 19:1) In addition, the territory of the tribe of Benjamin was part of the kingdom of Judah at the time of the Babylonian Exile and after, and the tribe of Levi continued to serve in the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Exile, making four tribes (Judah, Simeon, Benjamin and Levi) who were not actually "lost".
The concept of the "Ten Lost Tribes" originally began in a religious context, based on Biblical sources, not as an ethnological idea. Some scientists have researched the topic, and at various times some have made claims of empirical evidence of the Ten Lost Tribes. However, religious and scriptural sources remain the main sources of the belief that the Ten Lost Tribes have some continuing, though hidden, identity somewhere.
There are numerous references in Biblical writings. In Ezekiel 37:16-17, the prophet is told to write on one stick (an ancient reference to scrolls) (quoted here in part) "For Judah..." and on the other (quoted here in part) , "For Joseph..." (the main Lost Tribe). The prophet is then told that these two groups shall be someday reunited.
Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.
—Ezekiel 37:16-17, HE
There are also discussions in the Talmud as to whether the Ten Lost Tribes will eventually be reunited with the Tribe of Judah, that is, with the Jewish people.
17th- to mid-20th-century theories
Since at least the 17th century both Jews and Christians have proposed theories concerning the Lost Tribes, based to varying degrees on Biblical accounts. An Ashkenazi Jewish tradition speaks of these tribes as Die Roite Yiddelech, "The little red Jews", cut off from the rest of Jewry by the legendary river Sambation "whose foaming waters raise high up into the sky a wall of fire and smoke that is impossible to pass through".4
The Portuguese traveller Antonio de Montezinos brought back reports that some of the Lost Tribes were living among the Native Americans of the Andes in South America. In response to this, Manasseh ben Israel, a noted rabbi of Amsterdam, wrote on December 23, 1649:
... I think that the Ten Tribes live not only there ... but also in other lands scattered everywhere; these never did come back to the Second Temple and they keep till this day still the Jewish Religion ...
In 1655, Manasseh ben Israel petitioned Oliver Cromwell to allow the Jews to return to England. (Since the Edict of Expulsion in 1290, Jews had been prohibited by law from living in England.) One of the reasons for Cromwell's alleged interest in the return of the Jews to England was the abundance at the time of theories relating to the end of the world. Many of these ideas were fixed upon the year 1666 and the Fifth Monarchy Men who were looking for the return of Jesus as the Messiah who would establish a final kingdom to rule the physical world for a thousand years. They supported Cromwell's Republic in the expectation that it was a preparation for the fifth monarchy - that is, the monarchy that should succeed the Assyrian, the Persian, the Greek, and Roman world empires.
Mixed in with all of this was a background of general belief that the Lost Ten Tribes did not represent ethnic Jews who partially formed the ancient Kingdom of Judah, but tribes who maintained a separate capital at Samaria. Some have attempted to dismiss this complicated saga by stating that it is nothing but Supersessionism. However, the ideas behind these various competing theories are far more complicated, especially when Sabbatai Zevi, the "messiah" claimant and his supporters postulated that he represented groups in addition to those identified as being Jews. However, Zevi lost his credibility to all but the Donmeh when he converted to Islam and became an apostate to Judaism in 1666.
During the latter half of the 18th century, variations on this same theory were advocated by some who believed that the British Empire of nations was a manifestation of ancient prophecies recorded in the Book of Genesis predating both the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah.
Others believe that the Lost Tribes simply merged with the local population. For instance, the New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia states "In historic fact, some members of the Ten Tribes remained in Palestine, where apart from the Samaritans some of their descendants long preserved their identity among the Jewish population, others were assimilated, while others were presumably absorbed by the last Judean exiles who in 597-586 BC were deported to Assyria...Unlike the Judeans of the southern Kingdom, who survived a similar fate 135 years later, they soon assimilated..." 6. Part of this article and a similar article can be read online at Roads to Dystopia
Nasranis of Kerala (ancient Malabar)
The Nasranis of Kerala, India, are of Hebrew or Israelite heritage but not much is known of their past, making it difficult to be certain that they are also descended from the 'Lost Tribes'. (Ref. Dr. Asahel Grant's 'The Nestorians or the Lost Tribes of Israel' for more about the Nazarenes and Nestorians). However, recent DNA analysis results suggest significant Middle Eastern / Israelite components among the Nasranis, also known as Mar Thoma (St. Thomas) Syrian (Syriac) Christians, of Kerala (ancient Malabar) (http://www.familytreedna.com/public/SyrianChristiansOfIndia/default.aspx). Dr. Avigdor Shachan, in his book ‘In the Footsteps of the Lost Ten Tribes’(translated from the Hebrew, Devora Publishing, Jeusalem, New York) refers to this ancient Christian community and their faith as follows: “One could label the Christianity which Thomas introduced in Taxila, Malabar and other Israelite communities in central Asia and along the eastern and western coasts of India, “Israelite Christianity”, an offshoot of the Jewish religion, for the language, culture, ritual and spirit that prevailed in this ancient church until the western missionaries arrived was a hybrid of Aramaic-Syrian-Eretz Israel and Eastern...”
Bene Israel of South Asia
The Bene Israel (Hebrew: "Sons of Israel") are a group of Jews who live in various Indian cities, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and in Pakistan such as in Karachi, Peshawer and Multan. Prior to their waves of emigration to Israel and still to this day, the Bene Israel form the largest sector of the subcontinent's Jewish population, and constitute the bulk of those sometimes referred to as Pakistani Jews. The native language of the Bene Israel is Judćo-Marathi, a form of Marathi. Most Bene Israel have now emigrated to Israel. Some researchers believe that the Bene Israel are descended from the Ten Tribes.7
In 2010, Amir Mizroch in the Jerusalem Post referred to the theory that even Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan could be descending from the lost tribe of Efraim. Shahnaz Ali, a senior research fellow at the Indian National Institute of Immunohaematology in Mumbai, has started studying the blood samples that she collected from Afridi Pathans in Malihabad, in the Lucknow district in Uttar Pradesh, India, to check their putative Israelite origin.891011.
Bnei Menashe of India
The Bnei Menashe (from northeast India) claim descent from the lost Tribe of Manasseh. Their oral traditions depict them as originally going from the Persian Empire into Afghanistan. (They may have been in the Persian Empire because it occupied the lands of Assyria when it conquered Babylonia.) According to their traditions, they then went to China, where they encountered persecution, then pressed on to India and Southern Asia.12
Beta Israel of Ethiopia
The Beta Israel (also known derogatorily as Falashas) are Ethiopian Jews. Some members of the Beta Israel as well as several Jewish scholars believe that they are descended from the lost Tribe of Dan, as opposed to the traditional story of their descent from the Queen of Sheba.
Bukharian Jews of Central Asia
Bukharian Jews claim ancestry from the Tribe of Naphtali and the Tribe of Issachar. It has been suggested that the Bukharian Jews are related to the Tribe of Issachar because a common surname among them is Issacharoff.13
Persian Jews claim descent from the Tribe of Ephraim. Persian Jews (also called Iranian Jews) are members of Jewish communities living in Iran and throughout the former greatest extent of the Persian Empire.
Igbo Jews of Africa
All Samaritans, in one form or another, see themselves as descendants of the original Hebrews. The Samaritan community in Israel and the Palestinian territories numbers about 600. These people, who still struggle to keep their ancient traditions, live in what was the capital of Samaria - Nablus and the town of Holon. They claim to be authentic descendants of the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh that were not exiled.
Groups claiming descent from a non-specific Lost Tribe
Some groups believe that they are descended from one of the Lost Tribes, but don't know which one. These include:
Pashtun people, ethnic Afghans traditionally claim descent from the Lost Tribes.
The Makuya sect of Japan believes that parallels between ancient Japanese culture and Biblical practice indicate a Lost Tribes origin for many aspects of Japanese religion and culture.
The Bakwa Dishi of the Republic Democratic of the Congo claim to be one of the Lost Tribes of Israel.
Lemba people of Africa
The Lemba people (Vhalemba) from Southern Africa claim to be descendants of a lost tribe that fled from what is now Yemen and journeyed south.141516 DNA testing has genetically linked the Lemba with modern Jews.1718 They have specific religious practices similar to those in Judaism and a tradition of being a migrant people with clues pointing to an origin in West Asia or North Africa. According to the oral history of the Lemba, their ancestors were Jews who came from a place called Sena several hundred years ago and settled in East Africa. Sena is an abandoned ancient town in Yemen, located in the eastern Hadramaut valley, which history indicates Jew inhabited in past centuries. Some research suggests that "Sena" may refer to Wadi Masilah (near Sayhut) in Yemen, often called Sena, or alternatively to the city of Sanaa, also located in Yemen.19
Pashtuns of the Afghanistan and Pakistan region
The Pashtuns are a predominantly Muslim people, native to Afghanistan and Pakistan, who adhere to their pre-Islamic indigenous religious code of honour and culture Pashtunwali. They started claiming descent from the Lost Tribes in 19th and 20th centuries. The Yousafzai (Yusafzai) are a large group of Pashtun tribes. Their name means "Sons of Joseph".20 There are also similar names in other areas of the region, such as the disputed land of Kashmir. There are a variety of cultural and ethnic similarities between Jews and Pashtuns.2122 A visit by a Western journalist in 2007 revealed that many currently active Pashtun traditions may have parallels with Jewish traditions.23 The code of Pashtunwali is strikingly similar in content and subject matter to the Mosaic law and the Hindu Code Manu Smriti.
A book that corresponds to Pashtun historical records, Taaqati-Nasiri, states that in the 7th century a people called the Bani Israel settled in Ghor, southeast of Herat, Afghanistan, and then migrated south and east. These Bani Israel references are in line with the commonly held view by Pashtuns that when the twelve tribes of Israel were dispersed, the tribe of Joseph, among other Hebrew tribes, settled in the region.24 Hence the tribal name 'Yusef Zai' in Pashto translates to the 'sons of Joseph'. This is also described extensively in great detail by Makhzan-i-Afghani, a historical work from the 17th Century by Nehamtullah, an official in the royal court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. A similar story is told by Iranian historian Ferishta.25
This account is also substantiated by the fact that the Bnei Menashe of India also have traditions that trace their wanderings as going originally from the Persian Empire to Afghanistan. In their case, they then went to China, then pressed on to India and Southern Asia.26
The Bani-Israelite theory about the origin of the Pashtun is based on Pashtun traditions; the tradition itself is documented in a source titled Makhzan-i-Afghani, the only written source addressing Pashtun origins. It was written in 1612, by Nematullah Harvi, a scribe at the court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir of Mughal Empire. Nematullah compiled his book on the order of Khan Jehan Lodhi of the Lodhi dynasty, a Pashtun noble and a courtier of the Emperor Jehangir.27
Some sources state that the Makhzan-i-Afghani has been discredited by historical and linguistic inconsistencies. The oral tradition is believed to be a myth that grew out of a political and cultural struggle between Pashtuns and the Mughals, which explains the historical backdrop for the creation of the myth, the inconsistencies of the mythology, and the linguistic research that refutes any Semitic origins.28 Other sources disagree strongly with the hypothesis that the Pashtuns have Israelite origins.29
Chiang Min people of China
According to some historical sources, a Jewish community has existed in Kaifeng, China from ancient times until the present day.30 In 2009, Chinese Jews from Kaifeng arrived in Israel as immigrants.31
According to historical records, a Jewish community with a synagogue built in 1163 existed at Kaifeng from at least the Southern Song Dynasty until the late nineteenth century. A stone monument in the city suggests that they were there since at least 231 BC.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Bedouin tribe of “Bedul”, living in the caves of Petra, Jordan, captured the imagination of Zionist pioneers. Among them was the historian, explorer and second president of Israel, Yitzhak Ben-Zvi. Ben Zvi discovered traces of ancient Hebrew customs in the lifestyles of some Palestinian villagers and Bedouin tribes. He speculated that the inhabitants on both sides of the Jordan river may be descendants of the original Hebrew population, which never left the area, despite numerous exiles. Although 100 years ago they presented themselves to British historians as the “Sons of Israel”, the Bedul of today deny the legend concerning their Hebrew origin and claim that they are descendants of the Nabateans who built Petra.
Speculation regarding other ethnic groups
Scythian / Cimmerian Theories
Several theories claim that the Scythians and/or Cimmerians were in whole or in part the Lost Tribes of Israel. The theories are generally based on the belief that the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which had been deported by the Assyrians, became known in history as the Scythians and/or Cimmerians. Various points of view exist as to which modern nations these people became.
George Rawlinson wrote:
We have reasonable grounds for regarding the Gimirri, or Cimmerians, who first appeared on the confines of Assyria and Media in the seventh century B.C., and the Sacae of the Behistun Rock, nearly two centuries later, as identical with the Beth-Khumree of Samaria, or the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel.
It should be made clear from the start that the terms 'Cimmerian' and 'Scythian' were interchangeable: in Akkadian the name Iskuzai (Asguzai) occurs only exceptionally. Gimirrai (Gamir) was the normal designation for 'Cimmerians' as well as 'Scythians' in Akkadian.
The archeologist and British Israelite, E. Raymond Capt, claimed similarities between King Jehu's pointed headdress and that of the captive Saka king seen to the far right on the Behistun Inscription.34
Critics of the Israel / Scythian theory argue that the customs of the Scythians and Cimmerians contrast those of the Ancient Israelites3637 and that the similarities and theories proposed by adherents stand in contradiction to the greater body of research on the history of ancient populations, which does not provide support for the purported links between these ancient populations.38
British Israelism variant
British Israelism (also known as 'Anglo-Israelism') is the theory that people of Western European descent, especially Britain and the United States, are descended from the lost tribes of Israel. Adherents argue that the deported Israelites became Scythians / Cimmerians who are ancestors of the Celts / Anglo-Saxons of Western Europe.39 The theory arose in England, whence it spread to the United States.40 During the 20th Century, British Israelism was promoted by Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God.41 Armstrong argued that this theory provided a 'key' to understanding biblical prophecy, and that he was called to proclaim these prophecies to the 'lost tribes' of Israel before the coming of the 'end-times'42. The Worldwide Church of God no longer teaches the theory43, but some offshoot churches such as the Philadelphia Church of God and the United Church of God continue to teach it even though British Israelism is inconsistent with the findings of modern genetics.
Brit-Am, sometimes confused with British Israelism, is an organization centered in Jerusalem, and composed of Jews and non-Jews. Brit-Am, like British Israel, identifies the Lost Ten Tribes with peoples of West European descent, but does so from a Jewish perspective quoting both Biblical and Rabbinical sources. The evidence that Brit-Am relies upon is Biblical in the light of Rabbinical Commentary but is supplemented by secular theories that posit the Lost Tribes / Scythian / Cimmerian connection, which they then believe to have become various Western European nations.44 An example of Brit-Am scholarship may be seen from its treatment of Obadiah 1:2045 where the original Hebrew as understood by Rabbinical Commentators such as Rashi and Abarbanel is referring to the Lost Ten Tribes in France and England.46 Brit-Am also believes that "Other Israelite Tribes gave rise to elements within Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Wales, France, Holland, and Belgium" and that "The Tribe of Dan is to be found amongst part of the Danish, Irish, and Welsh." Brit-Am also believes that the Khazars were descended from the Ten Tribes and quotes Jewish and non-Jewish sources that were contemporaneous with them.47
Other organizations teach other variants of the theory, such as that the Scythians / Cimmerians consisted in whole or in part the Lost Ten Tribes. One such theory posits that the lost Israelites can be defined by the Y-DNA haplogroup R, which consists of much of Europe and Russia,48 which is in contrast to British Israelism and Brit-Am, which believe the Israelites became only Western Europeans. It should be noted that the genetic findings postulated by this and other theories are typically inconsistent with the findings of generally accepted research in archeology, anthropology and population genetics.
Some have promoted the notion that the Kurds represent a Lost Tribe. Some claims have been made regarding a genetic relationship between the Kurds and the Jews on the basis of a similarity between Kurdish Y-DNA and a Y haplotype that is associated with the Jewish priesthood. However, in genetic testing of the Y chromosome of 95 Muslim Kurds, only one sample (1.05% of the Kurds tested) matched the so-called Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH), consisting of six specific Y-STR values.49
Various misleading statements have associated typical Kurdish Y-DNA with that of the Jews. However, these attempts are based on several sources of confusion:
The Cohen Modal Haplotype in its original form includes only six Y-STR markers, which with the scientific advances since that time, are now understood to be far too few to adequately identify a unique, closely related group that shares common descent from one relatively recent paternal ancestor. The same six marker values can be found by random mutations in other populations that are only remotely related. They are thus identical by state, but not Identical by descent. The 6-marker CMH cannot be used as a clear indicator of Cohen genetic ancestry, without additional data. Thus its presence should not be used as grounds for probable Jewish ancestry in a population.
It is touted as a fact of great significance that the most common (modal) 6-marker haplotype of the Kurds is only one step from the CMH, but in fact, these same six marker values that were found to be the "Kurdish modal haplotype" can be seen in the data, in numerous sources, to be the most common haplotype amongst a wide variety of J2 Y chromosomes, wherever they may be found, in ethnic groups of the Middle East or in Europe5051 -- thus, it is hardly an indication of a close relationship with the Cohanim priesthood, or with the Jews.
The fact that the 2001 paper by Nebel found a somewhat greater similarity between the Y-DNA of the Kurds and the Jews than between the Jews and the Palestinians does not point to a uniquely close relationship between the Jews and the Kurds. This study did not compare Jews with other non-Kurdish Iraqis, or with the people of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, or other nearby lands. The available data indicates that these peoples are all closely related, with the Jews and Kurds making up just two per cent of a diverse family of Middle Eastern peoples in this region.
Some writers have speculated that the Japanese people themselves may be direct descendants of part of the Ten Lost Tribes. There are some parallels between Japanese and Israelite rituals, culture, traditions, and language, which provide some evidence for this possibility.5253 An article that has been widely circulated and published, entitled "Mystery of the Ten Lost Tribes: Japan" by Arimasa Kubo54 (a Japanese writer living in Japan who studied the Hebrew Bible), concludes that many traditional customs and ceremonies in Japan are very similar to the ones of ancient Israel and that perhaps these rituals came from the religion and customs of the Jews and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel who might have come to ancient Japan.
Joseph Eidelberg's "The Biblical Hebrew Origin of the Japanese People" makes a similar case:
Late in his life, Joseph Eidelberg began analyzing ancient traditions, religious ceremonies, historical names, haiku poems, Kana writings and Japanese folk songs, discovering thousands of words with similar pronunciations, sounds and translations between Hebrew and Japanese. These discoveries are history in the making, giving credible new information on the meanings of many unknown Japanese words, numbers, songs and cultural traditions – and this book is the first time that these remarkable similarities are combined into a single consistent theory.
There is a theory that the Irish, or that Insular Celts as a whole, are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. Proponents of this theory state that there is evidence that the prophet Jeremiah came to Ireland with Princess Tea Tephi, a member of the Israelite royal family.56 Proponents of this theory point to various parallels between Irish and ancient Hebrew culture. For example, they note that the harp, the symbol of Ireland, also plays a role in Jewish history, as the musical instrument of King David. Some maintain that the Tribe of Dan conducted sea voyages to Ireland and colonized it as early as the period of the Judges under the name Tuatha Dé Danann.
Aspects of this theory are also sometimes cited by adherents of British Israelism, as one possible explanation of how the Ten Lost Tribes might have reached the British Isles. However, British Israelism takes many forms, and does not always use this hypothesis as its main narrative.5758
Baloch are a Semitic tribe.it will be beneficial to research our roots and determine which tribe of Israel did we originate from. Baloch are Partly Jews as a big number of the efream tribe in ancient time moved from Egypt to cannaan, sumer, Iran, sistan and balochistan and now mostly the present tribe of Rakhshani and notani are the Efraem sons who still kept the culture, the Jews names, the character, the biblical stories and a lot more. This is certainly insightful information. In fact, the “Ten Lost Tribes of Israel” are: 1. GAD 2. REUVEN (REUBEN or RUBEN) 3. SIMON (SHIMON) 4. ASHER 5. DAN (found and confirmed, late 1980s) 6. ZEBULON (ZEBULUN, ZEVULON, a.k.a. brother to NAFTALI tribe) 7. ISSACHAR (a.k.a. YITZACHAR) 8. MANASSEH (MENASHE) 9. EFRAIM 10. NAFTALI
And, through additional research, we could prove that the Baloch are descendants of the tribe of Efraim.
Several explorers, especially during the 17th and 18th centuries, claimed to have collected evidence that some of the American Indian tribes might be descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. Several recent books and articles have focused on these theories.596061
The belief that some American Indians were a Lost tribe of Israel goes back centuries and includes individuals like the 1782 President of the Continental Congress Elias Boudinot6263 and Mordecai Noah, the most influential Jew in the United States in the early 19th Century.6465
The Book of Mormon, one of the religious texts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), claims that early residents of the Americas included descendents from the tribe of Joseph, and particularly through Manasseh.
Some sources such as Howshua Amariel and various researchers assert that DNA evidence, linguistic research, and other research indicates links between the Cherokee Nation and the Jewish people.66676869
General dispersions, via Media region
This theory begins with the notion that the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh are the sons of Joseph, who had been in captivity (Genesis 37 through 45) and bore them with the daughter of the Pharaoh's Priest, Asenath (Genesis 41:45-52). The Tribe of Levi was set apart to serve in the Holy Temple (Numbers 1:47-54 2:33 3:6-7). The arrangement of the Tribes was given in Numbers 2.
It is now believed by many that the exiled tribes, who were, according to the Second Book of Kings, transported to the region of Media in what is now northwestern Iran, most likely assimilated into the population of the area, losing any special sense of Israelite identity. There is also Biblical and Talmudic testimony that much of the population of the "lost" tribes was simply reunited with the rest of the Israelites when they, too, were exiled and, later, returned to the Land of Israel. However, many over the years, to hide their Jewish or Israelite identities during tribulations, crusades, and continual exiles, have scattered around the whole earth and are believed to have assimilated into the much larger non-Jewish population.
Genetic testing is being conducted on representatives of at least two groups, the Lemba in Africa and the Bnei Menashe in India, in attempts to verify claims of descent from the "lost ten tribes". So far, there is nothing conclusive, though in the case of the Lemba, there is a definite link 70 to Levite Hebrew ancestry, specifically Kohen.
Nathan Ausubel's list
Nathan Ausubel wrote:
There are quite a number of peoples today who cling to the ancient tradition that they are descended from the Jewish Lost Tribes: the tribesmen of Afghanistan, the Mohammedan Berbers of West Africa, and the six million Christian Igbo people of Nigeria. Unquestionably, they all practice certain ancient Hebraic customs and beliefs, which lends some credibility to their fantastic-sounding claims.
In his 1953 work Pictorial History of the Jewish People, Nathan Ausubel compiled the following list of peoples connected in one way or another to this legend:
Cave Dwellers = Atlas Mountains south of Tripolitania and Tunisia. Closely related to the Jews of the Sahara, they believe that their ancestors were brought as captives from Judea by Titus after 70 AD. They cut out tiny paper boats, which decorate their synagogues where they pray: May a boat soon come and carry us to Jerusalem.
Schisms among the Jews describes some of the early background to the split between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
The Shavei Israel organization seeks to find "lost Jews."
Assyria destroyed the Kingdom of Israel and caused the Ten Tribes "to become lost."
Richard Reader Harris wrote The Lost Tribes of Israel in 1908 and was a major promoter of British Israelism, the belief that people of Western European descent are also the direct lineal descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes
References and notes
Michael Riff. The Face of Survival: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Past and Present. Valentine Mitchell, London, 1992. ISBN 0-85303-220-3
Biblical History The Jewish History Resource Center — Project of the Dinur Center for Research in Jewish History, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Lost Ten Tribes, and 1882 by Joseph Wild
Imperial British-Israelism: Justification for an Empire. (1987) by Gregory S. Neal
British Israelism by Gary A. Hand
The Lemba People by Haruth.com
United Israel Lost Tribes Research
Kol haTor Promoting Reconciliation between Returning 10 Tribes and Judah
Bible Revelations Library of studies on the Return of the Lost 10 Tribes
2Lester L. Grabbe, Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It? (New York: T&T Clark, 2007): 134
6The Lost Tribes of Israel as a Problem in History and Sociology, Stanford M Lyman, International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, Volume 12, Number 1 / September, 1998
14Transcript, INSIDE AFRICA: Current Events on the African Continent, CNN, September 11, 2004.
33Maurits Nanning Van Loon. "Urartian Art. Its Distinctive Traits in the Light of New Excavations", Istanbul, 1966. p. 16
34E. Raymond Capt, Missing Links Discovered in Assyrian Tablets Artisan Pub, 1985 ISBN 0-934666-15-6
36(Greer, 2004. p57-60)Greer, Nick (2004). The British-Israel Myth. pp. 55.
38(Greer, 2004. p57-60)Greer, Nick (2004). The British-Israel Myth. pp. 62.
40Parfitt, T: The Lost Tribes of Israel: The history of a myth., page 52-65. Phoenix, 2003.
41Parfitt, T: "The Lost Tribes of Israel: The history of a myth.", page 57. Phoenix, 2003.
49Almut Nebel et al., The Y Chromosome Pool of Jews as Part of the Genetic Landscape of the Middle East, Am. J. Hum. Genet. 69:1095–1112, 2001
50Cinnioglu et al., Excavating Y-chromosome haplotype strata in Anatolia, Hum Genet (2004) 114 : 127–148
51Di Giacomo et al., Y chromosomal haplogroup J as a signature of the post-neolithic colonization of Europe, Hum Genet (2004) 115: 357–371
62Elias Boudinot (1816, 2003). Star in the West Or a Humble Attempt to Discover the Long Lost Ten Tribes of Israel Preparatory to Their Return to Their Beloved City, Jerusalem. Kessinger Publishing. . Retrieved 2008-09-15.
63Amariel, Yeshiyah, Howshua. "Amariel Family Oral History". Amariel Family Publishing. . Retrieved 2008-09-03. "Boudinot seems to have felt that the popular identification of the Indians as the lost Israelites would bring with it a widespread realization that the Bible and its prophecies were true"
64Mordecai Manuel Noah. "DISCOURSE ON THE EVIDENCES OF THE AMERICAN INDIANS BEING THE DESCENDANTS OF THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL". Oliver’s Bookshelf. . Retrieved 2008-09-03.
66Cohen, Aaron (2006-09-11). "Unique Translation of the Paleo-Hebrew Tanach". . Retrieved 2008-09-15. "'For over 20 years I have used my knowledge of the ancient Hebrew language to identify the history of my people written in stone across the globe;' said Amariel, a Hispanic (Cherokee) Indian who is descended from a tribe that has been mentioned for centuries in the Americas by European historians (both Jews and non-Jews) as a potential lost tribe of Israel"
67Frenkel, Sheera Clair (2005-02-16). "A headdress of many colors. Would-be Black Hebrew traces 'Jewish heritage' via Cherokee roots". The Jerusalem Post: p. 05. . Retrieved 2008-09-08. "[Amariel] translates ancient Hebrew into English"
68Amariel, Yeshiyah, Howshua. "Amariel Family Oral History". Amariel Family Publishing. p. 7. . Retrieved 2008-09-03. "returning a pure language unto our people (Zep: 3:9) for the purpose to demonstrate that we are the ancient ones (children of Israel)."
69Belman, Ted (2008-08-02). "Missouri Cherokee Tribes proclaim Jewish Heritage". . Retrieved 2008-09-03.
71cited on p. 217, Pictorial History of the Jewish People by Nathan Ausubel, Crown, 1953