"Jacob's Web" refuted: Common Mistaken Views About Israel
A correspondent directed us to a website which attempts to refute the Anglo-Israel belief. We were asked if we could provide a Scriptural answer. We can! The quote and our reply follows.
The quote: “The Ten Northern Tribes were taken captive by Assyria. After a hundred years Babylon defeated Judah with it’s 2 Tribes and defeated Assyria and took all their captives, including the Hebrews of the Ten Tribes. So there was a reunion of sorts, albeit in captivity, of all the 12 Tribes. After more years, Persia defeated Babylon and guess what they did? They let everyone go home, including the members of all 12 Tribes, together. The New Testament records members of several of the Northern Tribes back in Israel in the First Century. So, they weren’t “lost”, they were reunited with the rest of the Hebrew people, and the myth of “10 Lost Tribes” is the product of poor Bible exegesis or an intentional effort to invent a scenario that names some group or church as descendants of a tribe.”
1. Babylon took all of the Assyrian captives? The capital of Assyria, Nineveh, fell in 612 BC, a full quarter of a century before the fall of Jerusalem (587 B.C.), so no Hebrew “reunion” took place then. Assyria was conquered by a coalition of Babylonians, Scythians, and Medes (see introductory chapter to “The Story of Celto-Saxon Israel”), so Babylon did not control all of the captives. The Encyclopedia Britannica tells us that a weakened Assyria tottered for years (626-606 B.C.) before its final collapse, with its remaining military forces gathered near Calah for a last stand. During these many years there was nothing to prevent captive peoples from escaping. The logical direction for escape was north to the Caucasus (see Jer. 3:12), away from Nineveh, Babylon, and Media, which were to the south and east. Ancient maps mark a region called “Iberia” (Hebrew’s land) in the Caucasus region, showing that Israel fled north. (see map in “Israel’s Tribes Today” by Steven Collins, available from CBIA) Several early Hebrew gravestones from the Caucasus are also reproduced in “The Story Of Celto-Saxon Israel.”
2. A Hebrew “reunion of sorts in captivity”? (What exactly is a reunion of sorts?!!) The Prophet Ezekiel in his prophecy of the two sticks (37:15-28), gives us the details of this reunion of the two Houses of Israel and Judah. First, at the time of the reunion they will have One King and Shepherd, David’s Greater Son, the Messiah, who will be their King forever (v. 22-25). This could not have been fulfilled in 500-600 B.C. Second, they will obey God’s Laws and Decrees and never sin again (v. 23; cp. Micah 4:1-4), which has a Millennial time-frame. Christ’s condemnation of the sins of the Jews and their religious leaders certainly shows that this was not fulfilled in His day. Third, they will never again be removed from their land (v. 25), which is what happened during the Roman conquest and diaspora of 70-73 A.D., so the “reunion” could not have taken place prior to that. There is absolutely no Scriptural or historical basis for the supposition that a return and reuniting of the two houses took place during the pre-Christian era.
3. Everyone went home? The Prophet Nehemiah lists the Hebrew exiles who returned from the Babylonian captivity and states, “The whole company numbered 42,360 individuals,” plus some servants, mules and donkeys. (7:66) Six million Hebrews went into captivity (McClintock & Strong’s Encyclopedia iv:695; see full quote in “The Story Of Celto-Saxon Israel,” p.184). The number of those who returned from the captivity was therefore less than 1%, a very small number indeed.
4. “The New Testament records members of several of the Northern Tribes back in Israel”? Other than one lone individual called “Anna the prophetess” (Luke 2:36), the only other reference to this appears to be in Acts 2, where on the day of Pentecost, a few Israelites of the Northern tribes traveled from distant lands to Jerusalem for the feast. But this defeats the argument, because if they had all come back over five centuries before the time of Christ, no Hebrews would have needed to return from distant lands! Regardless, the few individuals involved proves that the vast majority of Israelites never returned.
5. “Myth of ‘10 Lost Tribes’ is the product of poor Bible exegesis”? Christ Himself twice referred to them as “the lost sheep of the House of Israel” in His day (Matt. 10:6; 15:24), and we would not accuse the Savior, who was God in flesh, of poor Bible exegesis!