Where the ten lost tribes of Israel went is the question asked by historians through the ages.
Through-out the ages there have always been unanswered questions that have mystified, perplexed and confounded man. So many of these unanswered questions have to do with lost civilizations. The Mayans, the Aztecs and even the people of Atlantis have all contributed to histories unsolved mysteries as to what happened. It is on that scale that many historians and biblical scholars have been searching for over a thousand years to understand what really happened to the lost tribes of Israel.
In all of history this is probably one of the most intriguing mysteries of all. One that really has captivated, intrigued, mystified historians and scholars through-out the ages. This unanswerable question on where the lost tribes of Israel really disappeared to is the stuff of legends. For thousands of years the lost tribes has continued to remain one of histories greatest mysteries.
To truly understand the scope of what happened is to trace history back to the cradle of civilization, back to the time of Moses. When we look to the first few books of the Old Testament we become acquainted with the many of Israel’s ancient neighbor civilizations. Many were openly hostile toward the Israelites. Too many of Israel’s boarder nations were hell bent on destroying and completely obliterating this small nation from the face of the earth. Today, some nations are reminiscent of the antagonistic views of ancient nations in their contempt toward Israel.
The Tribes of Israel are historically the descendants of the twelve sons of the Patriarch Jacob, who was also known as Israel. The founder of a nation that has lasted through the ages. Each of Jacob’s twelve sons was the father of the Tribe bearing his name. Joseph, Jacob’s firstborn son of Rachel, was given a double portion through his two sons, Ephraim and Menashe, becoming independent Tribes. When Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt, they left as Tribes. When they camped at Mt. Sinai, they camped as Tribes. When they entered and settled the Land of Israel around 1300 BC, they settled as Tribes.
In subsequent years each Tribe which had its own allotted portion of the land remained very independent and for many generations there was very little intermarriage between tribes. Every tribe had its own flag, its own colors, its own particular tasks to perform, and even its own unique personality traits. History tells us that the tribe Zevulum was established on the seashore and engaged in commerce. The tribe of Yissachar concentrated on full-time Torah scholarship. Members of the Tribe of Dan were known to be quick to seek judgement in court. The tribe of Menashe had cattle. The tribe of Asher produced oil. The Tribe of Yehuda provided the kingship and national leadership. While the Tribe of Levi was responsible for the Temple Service and spiritual instruction.
When the construction and dedication of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem was completed the nation of Israel was united. As it turned out however, this unity was to be short-lived. The generation after Solomon saw the division of the nation into two sovereign entities. The Southern Kingdom consisted mainly of the Tribe of Judah, with the tribes of Benjamin and Levi with Jerusalem as it’s center. In the North, the breakaway kingdom of Yisrael consisted of the ten remaining Tribes, including two and a half tribes on the east bank of the Jordan. It is these ten tribes disappearance that have mystified scholars even before the time of Jesus Christ.
His name was Nasmeriah, son of Joseph of the tribe Menashe. A herdsmen by trade, but events soon to take place would change the direction his life was going to take. A direction that would turn into one of histories most elusive mysteries. On the shores of the Mediterranean in the northern part of Israel Nasmeriah, his brother Cainen and their families tended cattle as they had done for years. It was in 760 BC and the Assyrians had already started invading northern Israel. As fate would have it Nasmeriah and Cainen knew that the only way to avoid capture and certain death was to leave Israel and embark on a perilous journey not knowing where they and their families would end up. It was decided that Cainen should head east into the desert where Nasmeriah would travel by boat following the cost down to Alexandria. By the time the Assyrians invaded from the north the Tribes of Gad and Reuven had already been captured Nasmeriah had already planed his escape.
Besides the Biblical statements describing the exile of the Ten Northern Tribes by the Assyrians (Chronicles 5:26, Kings II 18), there is significant historical and archeological evidence of such a forced migration. Hebrew references were found in the Nimrod Palace in northern Syria, as well as in Mede, ancient Persia, and in northeastern Iraq from that was around 700 BC. The Assyrian wall-relief’s show Israelites being marched into captivity. Josephus, the Jewish-Roman historian of the first century describes Israelite Tribes living beyond the Euphrates river in inaccessible lands to the East.
So began the odyssey of Nasmeriah and his brother, a journey to far off lands. In 760 BC the Egyptians were the most powerful empire in the world. After a little more than a month Nasmeriah reached the mouth of the Nile. In order to protect his family he had to disguise himself and his family for fear that the Egyptians would capture them and again turn them into slaves. Fearing for his life Nasmeriah finally managed to conceal his families identity making his way down the Nile. The only time they stopped to rest was on the Sabbath. Their journey was not complete until they were safely away from Egyptian influence. Making their way down the Nile proved a most treacherous journey. A thousand miles north east Cainen managed to join others from some of the other tribes and even members of his own. A small caravan traveling east by northeast. Fearing for their lives quietly and quickly they continued to evade would be captures.
Some of this caravan managed to go south into what is Pakistan today, some blended into what is now China while others managed to go further east. For generations of the sons of Cainen managed to travel all the way across the Bering Strait into what is Alaska today. Subsequently, the north American Indians could very well be descendents of the Maeshe tribe of ancient Israel.. For Nasmeriah, his sons followed tradition and with each ensuing generation continued the customs and the teachings of the past. Today many people in South Africa continue to practice the Jewish faith as it was always practiced.
The lost tribes of Israel through the centuries have managed to blend in and assimilate in every corner of the world. Each of those ten tribes of Northern Israel that managed to escape the reign of terror brought on by the Assyrians carried with them the traditions and the teachings that were bestowed upon them by Moses. Today, many people the world over could very well be actual descendents of any one of those ten tribes of ancient Israel. It is a very sad commentary that too many nations or organizations are openly antagonistic toward the Jewish faith. For they have endured persecution through the ages. Whether it was the Egyptians back over 3000 years ago or the Assyrians back in 760 BC and more recently the Holocaust during World War II all could not deter the unbinding faith that those ten tribes passed down to each subsequent generation. In every part of the world their are Jewish people that carry on the traditions of their forefathers. That is the legacy of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.