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Can anyone tell me what happened to the "lost tribe of Israel" or does it even exist? Do we really know?

The Mormons think it was the N. American Indians, the Hebrew Israelites think it was the blacks of the slave trade days 300 years ago.

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  • 10 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Let's explain the origin of the concept / legend.

    In the Bible we have thirteen tribes of Israelites mentioned.

    (There really are thirteen named repeatedly even though many people who have not read the Bible carefully claim the Bible teaches only twelve.)

    According to the Bible

    after the death of King Solomon

    the nation of Israel divided into two

    - the northern Kingdom of Israel, which included the territory of ten Israelite tribes

    - the southern Kingdom of Judah, which included the territory of two Israelite tribes

    (I point out that the thirteenth tribe, the Levites, the priestly tribe, did not have its own territory)

    A few centuries after the time of Solomon the Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians and its people captured and enslaved, so much so that the Assyrians repopulated the region with others. (Apparently this was a common tactic in that region at that time, to more or less completely depopulate a conquered region of disloyal inhabitants and repopulate it with people of your own nation. In the Bible this was also done in other places by other nations.)

    The later fate of the enslaved Israelites - the "ten tribes" of The Kingdom of Israel - is not recorded in history. That is to say: there is no further historical mention of what eventually happened to the tribes of Israelites enslaved by the Assyrians. As tribes they were "lost", historically speaking.

    BUT

    the Bible teaches us of many residents of The Kingdom of Israel who fled to The Kingdom of Judah when the Assyrians began their conquest of Israel

    and specifically mentions that the people of many tribes fled to Judah, including specifically Benjaminites (whose tribal territory was on the border with Judah)

    and

    for example

    we see mention of Benjaminites in the Bible AFTER the Assyrian conquest of Israel.

    So: the legendary "ten lost tribes of Israel" are the ten tribes of The Kingdom of Israel

    and in fact we are certain (from the Bible) that they were not entirely "lost".

    In my opinion

    probably what happened to those Israelites who were enslaved by the Assyrians is: acculturation. That is: within just a couple of generations they probably no longer thought of themselves as Israelites or as members of specific Israelite tribes.

    Note that in general (there are exceptions) Jewish people no longer associate themselves with the tribes of Israel

    that (in general) these tribes have all become "extinct". That is: most Jewish people don't know to which Israelite tribe they belong (by paternal lineage, which is what the Bible by mandate determines such things).

    But the legend of the ten lost tribes of Israel remains despite these things

    as well as a sort of Jewish legend of a "lost" community of Kohen priests (a particular group of Levites).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohen

    • ...Show all comments
    • norine10 months agoReport

      "Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel." (Ezekiel 11:17)

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  • 10 months ago

    In the book of Ezra, it lists returning Jews of ALL tribes coming from Babylon to Jerusalem. So none were "lost" in the time frame that others say they were.

    It is said that there were ten lost tribes when the Assyrians came in and conquered the northern ten tribes. But before that event, MANY of the Israelites were upset with the political and religious conditions in their northern kingdom and they moved to the southern kingdom of Judah. Therefore all tribes survived with descendants. And Ezra verifies this.

    Source(s): One of Jehovah's Witnesses
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  • 10 months ago

    The 10 Northern tribes after the Assyrian captivity migrated north through the Caucasus Mountains into Europe.

    Their descendants settled in Europe and have lost their identity.

    Deuteronomy 32:26

    “I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:”

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  • 10 months ago

    They are still scattered .

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  • 10 months ago

    There is no lost tribe of Israel. God has always known where every one of His Chosen People have been, and where they are now.

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  • North American Indians are of Asian ancestry and Israelites were not black but Caucasian.

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  • k w
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    LOST TRIBES plural, they got carried away into captivity to forget who they were, and it is so....The american indians were the ethnos, the 6th day creation, and there were all kinds, I have no idea, but try to count all the ethnic type peoples there are many and so they are descendants of the 6th day peoples, AND all the tribes of Israel were not Jew, only one tribe was Jew and they were taken into captivity AFTER

    the Israelites were taken basically for giving God/YHVH the finger....the mormons are wrong......

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  • Jea
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    It is myth, not reality.

    All fiction that is.

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  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    1.1 million Israelites were slaughered in 70 AD... and the temple destroyed....

    Just like Jesus said it would be 40 years before.

    Those who were scattered went into every nation... but what you are missing is this:

    Those who were scattered among the nations took their cherished scriptures with them - separating themselves from the customs of their host countries. They kept their Jewishness.

    Just claiming to be a descendant of one of the tribes doesn't make anyone a Jew.

    Doesn't matter though. In God's kingdom there is neither Jew or Greek, male or female, rich or poor. We are all one.

    PS. One man wrote a book 'inspired by an angel' and called it 'The Book of Mormon.'

    One man wrote a book 'inspired by an angel' and called it 'The Koran.'

    • norine10 months agoReport

      "Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel." (Ezekiel 11:17)

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  • 10 months ago

    They have either assimilated or joined the Jewish people i.e. the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi and don't know if they are a descendant or not. If they are not Jewish or don't know if they are Jewish then its most likely lost.

    Judaism teaches the 12 tribes will be restored in the future. But exactly what their role and class distinction will be in the Jewish people we don't know for sure. For example one Midrash says in the future there will be Jews of every tribe but there will be no seperate tribes only 'Israel'. The tribes themselves will still exist and they will have their inheritance returned to them on their land and so on. They will enter through their gate in the holy Temple but will be called Israel. Instead of 12 stones 1 stone may be used to represent all of them.

    Other Midrashim say they will be restored like in ancient times. It's all in Hashem's Hands.

    Source(s): Orthodox Jew
  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    Neither of those ideas are true. The african slaves came from west central africa, and the americans came from north east asia.

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