Scripture and Scholars say...


1 Ki. 14:15, God “shall scatter” Israel “beyond the river,” not all in one place.

2 Ki. 10:32, “In those days the Lord began to cut off parts of Israel...” –before their final complete exile.

2 Ki. 17:6, The Assyrian king “captured Samaria and exiled Israel”

Deut. 29:28, “cast them into another land, as it is this day”

Isa. 5:26 “the end of the earth”

Isa. 11:11-12, “the four corners of the earth”

Isa. 27:13 (Vulgate), “those lost from the land of Assyria”

Isa. 49:9, “say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Show yourselves.” An address to the lost ten tribes according to Jewish midrash “Pesikta Rabbati 31:10”

Isa. 49:21, (Ten Tribes:) “where had they been?”

Jer. 15:4, “I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth”

Hos. 2:14, “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness,” not a return to Canaan.

Hos. 8:8, “Israel is swallowed up now among the nations”

Hos. 9:17, “wanderers among the nations”

Ezra 1:15, ONLY “Judah and Benjamin” returned; remaining ten tribes did not return

“Israel and Judah... developed more or less independent of the other, Israel in the north and Judah in the south; and only gradually did circumstances bring them together, and then came the inevitable clash of interests, religious as well as political.” –"Hebrew Origins," Theophile James Meek, 1936, p.76

“Israel as a kingdom was never restored from Assyria, as Judah was from Babylon after 70 years.” –Jamieson, Faucett, Brown Commentary, p.650

“There never was a real return from the exile, although some individuals doubtless returned...the captivity of Israel did not actually terminate at 538 [B.C.], nor, in fact, ever.” –Geo. Ricker Berry, Colgate-Rochester Divinity School, “Was Ezekiel in the Exile?” pp.89, 92 (Journal of Biblical Literature 49 (1930)

“Many of the towns in southern Judah and Simeon were not reoccupied after the exile. This process was quite as disastrous as it is portrayed in the Old Testament...” –Thos. Davis, “Shifting Sands,” Oxford Univ. Press, 2004

“That the Redeemer comes ‘from Zion’ [Isa. 59:20] for Israel implies that Israel is in exile...” –G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson, “Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament,” Baker Academic, 2007, p.674

“The exile, into all lands, among all nations, was as irrevocably decreed as was the destruction of the city.” –Charles C. Torrey, Yale University, Journal of Biblical Literature 56 (1937), p.206

“...the returnees came only from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin —the exiles in Babylon. The ten tribes did not return...the loss of the [ten] tribes marked the greatest demographic defeat inscribed in Jewish memory since Biblical times.” –Zvi Ben-Dor Benite, “The Ten Lost Tribes: A World History,” Oxford Univ. Press, 2009, pp.17, 117

“Evidently it was a token return...” –Frank Moore Cross, Harvard University, “A Reconstruction Of The Judean Restoration,” Journal of Biblical Literature 94 (1975), p.15

“The tree of Israel, grown from one root with various branches, was cut into pieces.” –John Calvin, cited in Boer, “John Calvin,” pp. 190-191

“The ten [tribes] which had previously been carried away being scattered among the Parthians, Medes, Indians, and Ethiopians never returned to their native country, and are to this day held under the sway of barbarous nations.” –Sulpitius Severus (circa. 360-420 A.D.), Severus, Sacred History, bk ii, ch. Ii, in Schaff, et al., transl. Sulpitius Severus

“Jewish people often thought that ten of the twelve tribes were lost and would be restored only in the end time.” –Craig Keener, “A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew,” Eerdmans, 1999, p.315

The ten tribes’ not returning opened “a huge wound that does not heal.” –Talmudic Haga, Sefer Ha-Berit Ha-Hadash

"The prophecy of a restored and reunited Israel and Judah...was never actually to be fulfilled... Intransigence on the part of both...produced separate and irreconcilable societies that were never able to reunite." -Bruce Vawter, "Amos, Hosea, Micah, With An Introduction To Classical Prophecy," p.81

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Commentary:
Steven M. Collins


 

Ephraim and Manasseh

in the Modern World

 

 

 

Steven M. Collins

 

We are pleased to present articles by leading authors on the subject of the Biblical promises and covenants to Israel.

Author Steven M. Collins has written a wonderful four-book series on the Two-Houses of Israel. Ordering information is below.
Happy Reading!

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EPHRAIM AND MANASSEH:

ALLIES IN THE MODERN WORLD

By Steven M. Collins

This column has been stimulated by an extraordinary, even historic event. On September 11, 2001, the United States was heavily attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. The terrorists turned four hijacked airliners into flying Fuel Air Explosive bombs as they utterly destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and badly damaged the Pentagon in Washington DC. The devastation in Manhattan looks like London, Coventry, Berlin or Dresden after they were bombed in World War II! According to one article I read this week, the attack destroyed or damaged 20% of all the office space in New York City and it killed or wounded thousands of Americans! It was the costliest attack upon American soil since our nation was founded.

It now seems apparent the fourth airliner was destined to ram into the Capitol or White House, but heroic efforts by passengers on the doomed flight prevented the terrorists from hitting their target with the fourth aircraft. These passengers were told by spouses and friends via cel-phones about the other hijacked airliners rammed into the World Trade Center, so the passengers decided to sacrifice themselves to save their fellow citizens.

President Bush has rallied our nation which has not been this unified since World War II. He gave a speech to a joint session of Congress setting forth America's determination to wage war on terrorism and those nations, which harbor terrorists. Sitting in the Congressional gallery was a single foreign head-of-state. Tony Blair, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, was present as a symbol of the unequivocal support of the British people for America. As Pres. Bush acknowledged Mr. Blair's presence, he received an ovation from the assembled leadership of the American government (and American citizens watching the speech all over the nation).

Other foreign leaders could have come as well to be a part of the event, but they chose not to do so. Other nations will help America's war on terrorism, of course, but no nation is as supportive as Great Britain. As this column is being written, the news media have shown footage of a British fleet already passing through the Suez Canal on its way to join forces with the gathering US fleet in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. The British fleet apparently consists of one jump-jet aircraft carrier, an attack submarine and eleven other warships. While other nations will join the coalition for quid-pro-quos or because of shared vital interests, the British support of America goes far deeper.

This mutual support between the British and Americans has a fundamental cause which goes much deeper than sharing a common language or culture. Both Yair Davidy and I have identified the English and American peoples as primarily the descendants of the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, respectively. The British-American alliance is based on the fact that they are truly "brother" nations who descended from the two sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh. By divine favor, these nations have received the lion's share of the many birthright blessings of the Covenant God made with Abraham long ago. The bond between America and Britain is based on a blood relationship.

We must also not forget that Canada, Australia and New Zealand share the Ephraimite roots of the British. When the airliners were being hijacked and it became necessary to ground all airliners, Canadian airports freely hosted many redirected American airliners. Australia had a contingent of soldiers training in the USA, and the Australian government announced they could be deployed to the Mideast along with the American troops. The USA worked just as closely with Canada, Australia and New Zealand as it did with the British in a global alliance in World War II to liberate Europe and the rest of world from Axis domination.

Of course, America has also supported the British in their times of greatest need. The Americans rallied to the help of Great Britain in both World Wars I and II, turning the tide twice against the Axis powers. This column will demonstrate that this relationship has existed throughout history. This column will mention other instances where the tribe of Manasseh rallied to join the Ephraimites in wars to defeat a common enemy.

After the tribes of Israel were expelled from their ancient homelands in Eretz Israel, they grew mighty and possessed huge populations (Josephus documents this promise in Hosea 1:6-10 had been fulfilled by the 1st century AD). As documented in my book, the relocated tribes of Israel included the Scythians (known also as "Sacae," named after Isaac their forefather), and the Parthians.

The tribe of Manasseh came to be one of the dominant tribes of the Scythians, and the Greeks called them the Massagetae. These Massagetae were located in the Caspian Sea region, and they were, I believe, the descendants of the half-tribe of Manasseh taken captive by the Assyrians in approximately 741 BC when Gilead's tribes were taken by the Assyrians. When the Assyrian Empire fell, those Israelites who were captives were free to migrate elsewhere and they migrated toward the Caspian Sea. These related tribes were known as the Eastern Scythians/Sacae and they were led by the Massagetae. One would expect the birthright tribe of Manasseh to be one of their leading tribes.

These Massagetae were attacked by Cyrus the Great and the Persian Empire in the 6th century BC in an apparent attempt to bring them under a new Persian captivity. Israelites are freedom-loving people and they fought fiercely to prevent any new captivity. Herodotus records that virtually the entire Persian Army died along with King Cyrus himself as the Massagetae gained a total victory.

It is my view that the other half of the tribe of Manasseh migrated to the Black Sea region along with several other tribes just before the final Assyrian invasion, which conquered the city of Samaria. This mass of migrating Israelites established Sacae Scythian kingdoms in the Black Sea region as well as the Kingdom of Iberia (named after Eber, the forefather of the Hebrews) in the Caucasus Mountains.

The Parthian Empire, which rivaled the Roman Empire for centuries, was founded primarily by the tribe of Ephraim. Listed below is an excerpt from one of my new books. The type-face is different and the endnotes dropped out as I "cut and pasted" this text, so the source documents are noted but the page numbers do not appear.

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"...Numbers 26:35-36 records that three clans of the Israelite tribe of Ephraim were named the Bachrites, the Eranites, and the Tahanites. The Seleucid province of Bactria, which revolted along with Parthia, bore the name of one of the clans of Ephraim in a Hellenized form. An Israelite origin for Bactria is supported by an account from Richard Frye's book, The Heritage of Persia, which states that the Bactrian language "...was related to Saka, or at least underwent strong influences from Saka tongues." The Persian word "Saka" referred to the Sacae Scythians. The record that the Bactrians welcomed a Scythian ruler who freed them from a Greek satrap, and the fact that the Bactrians shared a linguistic heritage with the Parthians argues that the Bactrians were also Sacae (or Saka) who had descended from the ten tribes of Israel.

Henry Rawlinson, in his book Bactria, states: "there seems to be very little doubt that the population of Bactria was largely Scythian"...[and cites Justin, a classical author, who wrote] "The Bactrian Empire was founded by the Scythians."

Numbers 26:36 also notes that another clan of the tribe of Ephraim descended from Eran and was known as the "Eranites." A group of people known as the Eranians were present in the region of ancient Persia and Parthia. Assyria had transplanted the defenders of Samaria (an Ephraimite city) into "the cities of the Medes." Therefore, we should expect to see Ephraimite names in the Medo-Persian region. The "Eranians" manifested the exact Hebrew name of one of the clans of Ephraim in the area of Medo-Persia. This name has survived into modern times as the English name for modern Persia is Iran. The terms "Iran" and "Eran" are interchangeable. The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1943 Edition), in its Index section, simply states "Eran: see Iran." The capital of Iran, Teheran, also preserves the name of this Ephraimite clan. This book does not assert or imply that modern Iranians are Israelites as it is clear from history that modern Iranians are principally Medo-Persian in racial origins. However, the name "Iran" is derived from the name of a clan of Ephraim, which was placed in Medo-Persian territory by the Assyrians and lived there for many centuries.

Most historical accounts assume that the name "Eran" originated from the term "Aryan." However, historical accounts generally have not considered an Israelite alternative for the origin of the Eranians. Indeed, historical accounts seem unwilling to even look for the large masses of Israelites who were relocated into Asia. The case for an Israelite origin for the Eranians is very strong. Not only are the Eranians found in the correct geographical location where Israelite tribes and clans were placed (Medo-Persia), but there were many other ancient names in that region with an Israelite origin!"

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My new book goes on to explain the Ephraimite clan of "Tahan" was known as "Dahan" by the Greco-Romans who wrote about the Parthians. The Ephraimite dominance of the Parthian Empire is clear. Josephus wrote that the ten tribes were "in Asia" and "beyond [the] Euphrates" in his lifetime. The Euphrates River was the border between the Roman and Parthian Empires then, so Josephus was designating that the ten tribes "were in Parthia." Since Ephraim was the chief birthright tribe of the ten tribes of Israel, it is no surprise to find the Ephraimite clans in a leadership role in Parthia.

Indeed, the Greeks often wrote a "p" where we usually find a "b." For example, the Greeks referred to the "Britannic Isles" as the "Pretannic Isles." If we read the "P" in Parthia as a "B," we see the word "Barthia" or "B'rithia" appear as the real name of the Parthian Empire. Herein we easily see the Hebrew word for covenant, "Berith" or "B'rit" (dare we say "Brits?") as forming the basis for the word "Parthia." Ephraim was the chief tribe to inherit the birthright promises of the Abrahamic Covenant. Therefore, the presence of the Hebrew word for "Covenant" is an appropriate name for an empire dominated by Ephraimites.

Many historians have commented that the Scythians and Parthians were related tribes to each other. The Parthian Empire was in direct contact and rivalry with such other empires as the Seleucid Greek Empire and, later, the Roman Empire. The Scythians were more "isolationist" and generally avoided conflict with other nations and empires to their south. ten one great exception is when the Black Sea Scythians invaded and destroyed the Assyrian Empire in the late 7th century BC. There was always one notable exception to their isolationism, however,

When the Parthians were in danger of being defeated by either the Seleucid or Roman Empires, the Sacae of Scythia would often send armies to fight on the side of the Parthians to ensure the Seleucids and Romans were defeated. George Rawlinson's book, The Sixth Great Oriental Monarchy, particularly mentions many of these instances.

Given that the Scythians were dominated by Manasseh and the Parthians by Ephraim, we can see remarkable parallels in these ancient events to those of the 20th century. Even as Manasseh came to the rescue of Ephraim when the Scythians assisted the Parthians in their ancient wars, the same thing happened as the Americans came to the rescue of the British Empire in two World Wars. In the modern world, we have recently seen the Americans and the British team up enthusiastically in the Persian Gulf War and now the new War on Terrorism. They join forces as the brothers they are whenever danger or war comes upon them. As we can see from ancient history, theirs is a natural alliance, which has occurred over and over again in history.

As I conclude this column, we again see the bonds between Ephraim and Manasseh uniting these nations when one of the brother nations is attacked. Other nations of modern Israelite will join the latest alliance yet and so will other non-Israelite nations. However, considerable wheeling and dealing and negotiating will occur before these other nations decide on their contributions to the war effort. However, Tony Blair and the British have once again implemented the blood-brother alliance of Ephraim and Manasseh. While other nations are still deliberating on what to do, the British simply say: "Here we are, what can we do to help?"

There is evidence the modern alliance of Ephraim and Manasseh goes deeper than anyone realizes or acknowledges. The nations of the European Union allege that there exists a secret, worldwide intelligence-gathering operation known as "Echelon." In an article in my home-town newspaper, The Sioux Falls Argus-Leader (a Gannett Newspaper) on September 6th, 2001, it was noted the European Union had voted 367-159 "to adopt 44 recommendations on how to counter Echelon." The article, with a Brussels, Belgium dateline, added that "Echelon is run by the United States in cooperation with Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand."

As those who have read Yair Davidy's book or mine know, the nations comprising the "Echelon" alliance are the modern nations of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Echelon appears to be a shadowy, but very real alliance of the entire House of Joseph in the modern world. Is not it interesting that without even knowing their common Israelite origins, these nations have gravitated together into a very close alliance?

As I close this column, I think again of the singular presence of British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the Congressional Gallery as President George Bush addressed the entire government of the United States. His presence spoke volumes. He did not have to be there, but he came anyway in our time of national trouble and challenge. He came because that is what brothers do in a time of crisis.

Speaking from the standpoint of an American, I close this column with a heartfelt appreciation of our brother nation when I say: "God bless the British!"

Steven Collins