Time and time again, cultures that were believed to be extinct have been rediscovered. The archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who was convinced of the authenticity of the myth of the Iliad, found Troy on the Turkish hill of Hissarlik in 1870 after a lengthy search - a sensational discovery at the time.
Likewise, you find many reports in the Old Testament about the people called the Hittites, whose existence had been doubted for centuries. No one believed that this people had ever existed until their capital city, Chattusa, was found in Turkey in 1925.
The Lost People of Israel
The Bible states that God chose a people for Himself - Israel - to serve as an example to other nations and give glory to Him. This began about 4,000 years ago with Abraham, to whom God promised:
"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing…"GENESIS 12:2
God also gave the same promise to Isaac, Abraham's son and again to Jacob, Isaac's son:
"Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins."GENESIS 35:10,11
As God changed Jacob's name to Israel (which means "A Prince of God" in Hebrew) all his descendants were also called by that name. Four hundred years later, Israel, which was then a people of about 3 million in number, moved into the "Promised Land" of Canaan. About 1000 BC, when David became king of Israel, God promised him:
"And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever."2 SAMUEL 7:16
Only 80 years later, David's kingdom was divided into two parts: the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah.
Why did God prophesy the eternal existence of David's throne, when in only 721 BC the northern kingdom of Israel (10 of the 12 tribes) was conquered by the Assyrians? All the inhabitants of the nation were led into captivity in the area between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea.
During the period of 604-586 BC, the remaining two tribes of the southern kingdom (Judah and Benjamin) were enslaved and most were taken away to Babylon. Some of these 'Judahites' returned seventy years later to establish the people that we now know as the Jews. Nowadays, 10% of the present state of Israel consists of their descendants. The remaining 90% are mainly Idumeans, who are Edomites (descendants of Esau) mixed with Jews.
But what happened to the 10 tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel and the other Judahites…
- Do they still live in the area where they were removed?
- Do they still exist today?
The Bible tells us what was to transpire…
"Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever."JEREMIAH 31:35,36
The Migration of the ‘Lost’ Ten Tribes of Israel
So what happened to the lost 10 tribes of Israel? The Bible tells us that they would be drawn to the West (HOSEA 12:1) and live on isles far away (JEREMIAH 31:9,10), which are north-west of Israel (ISAIAH 49:12). If you look on a map you will see that the islands directly north-west of Israel are the British Isles. The tribes moved across Europe and settled in Britain, Ireland, the lands of north-western Europe, and Scandinavia.
The tribe of Dan, for example, which was known for leaving its name wherever it moved, left traces of their name during their migration. The Don, Dnieper, Dniester and Danube are rivers around the Black Sea, which show the tribe's direction of movement towards the west. The country Denmark literally means "the mark of Dan".
The people of the ten tribes of Israel were called 'Khumri' by the Assyrians, and even today, the inhabitants of Wales call themselves 'Cymru'. There are also counties in England called Cumberland and Cumbria. An intermediary place on their journey was the Crimean peninsula, named after the people of Khumri (in Greek called 'Kimmeroi'), where a number of graves with Hebrew inscriptions have been found.
In 516 BC, Darius the Great had the so-called ‘Behistun Rock’ put up at the old road between Media and Babylon, in present-day Iran. On this rock, all 23 provinces over which he ruled were written in three languages. One of these provinces was called Scythia, or ‘Matu Gimiri’ in Babylonian.
The Scottish Declaration of Independence, a document attested by Robert the Bruce's barons in parliament in 1320 AD, asserts that the nation of the Scots moved to the British Isles from ‘Scythia’ by way of Spain. This document, currently in Register House in Edinburgh, also records: "Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea", which would indicate a period between the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. King James VI of Scotland, and I of England, claimed that the Lord had made him King over ISRAEL, and upon the gold coin of his day, called the Jacobus, he had inscribed in Latin the prophecy of EZEKIEL 37:22:
"I will make of them one nation."
The Persians called the Israelites 'Sakea' and from this title the expression 'Saxons' developed. It is no coincidence that "Saxons" sounds exactly like "saac's-sons" = Isaac's sons. The Saxons moved on to England together with the Angles.
Similarly, the name of the British flag is called ‘The Union Jack’ = the union of Jacob; referring to the gathering together of these tribes, which are all descendants of Jacob (Israel).
Israel - God's Covenant People
All of this indicates to us that the 10 tribes moved mainly to Great Britain over the course of the centuries. Therefore God's promise was fulfilled:
"Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime."2 SAMUEL 7:10
The land where God gave peace to Israel is Great Britain – which was invaded for the last time in 1066 AD, nearly 1,000 years ago! (Though the Norman conquerors were themselves descended from Israel). The people of Israel are called "the covenant people". The Hebrew word for "covenant" is "berith" (pronounced "brit"). The Hebrew word for "man" or "people" is "iysh" or "ish". Therefore, the word for "covenant-man" or "covenant-people", in its correct sequence, would sound like "BRITISH"!
God blesses nations as long as they honour His Word (See DEUTERONOMY 26-28). An example from the past will illustrate this: King Philip of Spain ordered his Armada, which was considered to be invincible, to attack England and on July 19th, 1588, the sails of the Spanish fleet were sighted off the south coast. Although the English fleet had only 80 small ships in opposition to the 149 ships of the Spanish Armada, the impossible happened. As the whole nation was praying, a heavy storm hit at just the right moment and gave England the victory. In remembrance of this divine help, Queen Elizabeth I ordered the striking of a silver coin with the inscription: "HE blew and they were dispersed", above which "Jehovah", the name of God, was written in Hebrew. In those days, Queen Elizabeth I was known as the "Light of Israel" and Sir Francis Drake in a letter to John Fox asked for prayers "that we might have continual peace in Israel."
Isaiah's prophecy about God's people was herewith fulfilled:
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper..."ISAIAH 54:17
The Royal Coat of Arms
The Lion and the Unicorn, the British heraldic animals, represent Great Britain's strength. They were the Israelite heraldic animals. The tribe of Judah had the lion and the tribe of Ephraim had the unicorn on their flags. The harp on the emblem signifies the royal house of David. The inscription "Dieu et mon droit" means "God and my birthright". Through all these little known historical facts, the connection between Great Britain and the Bible can be clearly seen.
Great Britain's history is closely linked with the Bible. John Wycliffe (‘the morning star of the Reformation’), was the first person to translate the Bible into English in the 14th century. In the 17th century, King James ordered an official translation of the Bible, which was named the "Authorized Version" and is considered to be the best translation of the original to this day. England's constitution and jurisdiction were founded on the Bible and many spiritual revivals had their origin there.
The Seal of the United States of America
Ephraim and Manasseh were sons of Joseph, who was one of the 12 sons of Jacob. Both of them inherited Joseph's status, which meant that Ephraim became the 12th tribe and Manasseh the 13th tribe.
"...he(Manasseh)also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother(Ephraim)shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations."GENESIS 48:19
Manasseh was to become a "great people", but Ephraim even greater and a "company of nations", i.e. Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations. Manasseh, the 13th tribe, became the United States of America and that is why the eagle on the great seal has 13 olive twigs, 13 stars, 13 arrows, etc.
The Stone of Jacob
One question remains unanswered. If the Bible is true, there must still be a king on the throne of David, because God promised this on numerous occasions (e.g. 2 SAMUEL 7:16; JEREMIAH 33:17). If the people of Israel are in Great Britain now, then their king must be there too. In fact, the whole ancestry of the Royal House of Britain can be traced back to King David. Therefore, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II is the present Israelite queen. Even the coronation ceremony as we know it today is the same as that described in the Old Testament (2 CHRONICLES 23:11-13).
"And this stone, which I have set [for] a pillar, shall be God's house..."GENESIS 28:22
The throne upon which the kings and queens of Great Britain are crowned is in Westminster Abbey, in London. Under this throne is placed the "Stone of Destiny", which can now be seen on display in Edinburgh Castle. It is the same stone upon which Jacob slept when he had the dream of the ladder reaching up to heaven (GENESIS 28:10-22); even today this is known as the ‘Stone of Jacob’ and scientific examination has proven that it originates from the Middle-East. The stone has been transferred three times (EZEKIEL 21:27): in 1296 AD, it was brought to London from Scotland, and in the 5th century, it was taken from Ireland to Scotland. It can be traced back another 1,000 years through Irish history.
It is reported, that in 569 BC, a "patriarch with white hair" came to Ireland carrying the stone called "Lia Fail" or "Stone of Destiny". He was also accompanied by a king's daughter, called Tea-Tephi. The Irish record ties in with the biblical account, which tells us what had happened before then. Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC, the temple was robbed and demolished, and King Zedekiah died in Babylonian captivity (JEREMIAH 52:11). Likewise, his sons were killed (JEREMIAH 39:6). However, the prophet Jeremiah had succeeded in fleeing to Mizpah with the king's daughters (JEREMIAH 41:10) and then went on to Egypt, where we lose track of him, till he reappears in Irish history!
"See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant..."JEREMIAH 1:10
Jeremiah had seen the destruction of the kingdom of Judah, but now he was to fulfil the second part of his ministry "to build, and to plant." It was Jeremiah who secured the succession of David’s throne and who carried the "stone of destiny", upon which all the kings and queens of Great Britain have been crowned for hundreds of years…
To identify Great Britain, the United States of America, or any other country as descended from Israel does not mean that they have spiritual predominance over other nations, but rather that their duty is to be an example to them.
However, the fulfilling of all these promises made to God’s people, Israel, amazingly confirms the reliability of biblical prophecy and therefore the Bible's authority altogether. We can trust God to keep His Word.
As difficult as it is to deny historical facts, you cannot escape the words God addresses to you personally today:
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."ACTS 2:38-39
Repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit are the biblical conditions set by God for every person to obtain eternal life. Repentance stands for the inner return unto God, and turning away from your old life; baptism, by full immersion, symbolises the burial of your old sinful life.
When a person receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, they receive Christ and eternal salvation, evidenced by the sign of speaking in other tongues. See also ACTS 2:4.
These steps of obedience towards God's Word seal the act of being born again as described in the Bible. Never forget that one day you will stand before the throne of God to give an account of your life. Every moment of your life will be brought to your remembrance, and will be taken into account. God wants to redeem you, and calls on you to repent and to obey His Word.