Quick Overview on the

Return of the Lost Tribes



One of the most neglected points in the Hebrew Prophets, even among Jews, but virtually unacknowledged among Gentiles/Christians, is their constant emphasis on the total restoration of ALL Israel—meaning all twelve Tribes.  Ephraim/Joseph, who has seemingly been lost among the Gentiles, will make himself known to his brother Judah.  The results of this reunion will astound the world and alter world history.  This is even hinted at mystically in the Joseph story (Gen 45), but is declared in most uncertain terms throughout the Prophets.  The average reader seldom notes the careful distinction which the Prophets consistently make between the House of Israel (Ephraim/Joseph), which refers to the Lost Tribes, and the House of Judah, whom we have known since the Babylonian Exile as the Jewish people.  The Hebrew prophets consistently and carefully distinguish between these two "Houses."  This is not a minor theme, but actually the dominant emphasis that runs throughout these texts.  This restoration of all Israel rests upon the absolute promise of HaShem (``Thus says YHVH'').  Although Israel (that is the Ten Tribes) is scattered through the nations, and even come to think of themselves as Gentiles, they number as the sands of the sea, and not the "least grain" will be lost.  His eyes are on all their ways, and they will surely RETURN—to YHVH their God, to Judah, and to the Land.  The following texts make this abundantly clear, and the details and consistency ones finds in the Prophets is quite fascinating.  Anyone who will bother to carefully study these texts will come away with a transformed understanding of what lies on the horizon with regard to the prophetic times in which we live. 

Isaiah 11:11-12  The Davidic ruler gathers both the House of Israel and the House of Judah—and peace comes between the two.  This full gathering seems to come with the appearance of this anointed one, however, many texts indicate that the first stages of the reunion begin earlier and in less dramatic ways.

Jeremiah 3:6-18  The northern tribes of Israel return, join Judah, "one from a city, two from a family." This appears to be what has begun to happen in our day.  16:14-19—this is often applied to Judah and the Jews returning today, but in context, it applies in particular to the House of Israel, who are like the "nations," whose fathers have inherited lies, etc.  The first stage is fishing, the second hunting.  I think we are in the fishing stage now--some are being drawn.  Judah already went through this stage (1880ff, with Zionism), but it took the "hunters" (Nazis, Arabs, Soviets) to really get them to leave "Egypt and Babylon."  Jer 23:1-6, again, makes it clear that both Houses will come eventually—and again it is associated with the Davidic ruler.  This GREAT RETURN is to rival the Exodus from Egypt in the time of Moses!  Jer 30-31 is particularly vivid about these events, and the much expected new covenant only comes with the Restoration of all Israel.

Hosea 1-3  These are not Gentiles, though they think they are.  During their "days of the Baalim" (2:13) they lose their knowledge of God (see 5:6 through 6:3, where they are "revived on the third day"). Again, their "return" seems connected to the Davidic/Judean restoration (3:5).

Amos 9:8-10.  In 8:11-12, they lose contact with God.  They are shifted through the nations—but somehow kept intact.  Their restoration is once again connected to some Davidic/Judean restoration.

Obadiah 15-21  A restored "Joseph/Ephraim" is instrumental in finally punishing the Arabs who have rejoiced at Judah's troubles and distress (Holocaust, 1947-73, Gulf War, etc.) 

Micah 2:12-13; 5:3-15  Great multitudes of the remnant of Israel return, until their is no room for them, even spilling over into Gilead (east Bank—7:14).  They are given up until the Davidic restoration, "then the remnant of his (Messiah's) brethren return unto the children of Israel!" (5:3). 

Zech 8:13; 9 & 10.  All the tribes eventually come together—Judah and Ephraim.  Judah seems to be saved first (see 12:7), and have great military success (10:3-5), but Joseph is afterward associated with them (10:6-10).  They are so numerous that they spill over into Lebanon and Gilead.  Also, of particular note is the language of Zechariah 10:9— "And I will sow them among the peoples; and they shall remember me in far countries, and they shall live with their children, and turn again."


Finally, there are the powerful images of Ezekiel 34-37 in this regard.  These "two" sticks are absolutely destined to become one and this has never happened before in history.


It seems that in our generation we have entered the time when HaShem is calling back to His Way multiple thousands of these Israelites, who think of themselves as Gentiles and only have known their God through the watered down, paganized, version of the "faith" they have in the churches.  Many of those who respond to the B'nai Noah movement are likely part of this group.  The prophets seem to indicate that as the Lost Tribes return, there are righteous Gentiles who come with them, a kind of "mixed multitude" as in the former Exodus (Jer 16:19; Isa 56:8!).  Ironically, it is the very paganized faith of Christianity which is functioning as the instrument through which they are having their eyes opened to the One True God, to the Torah, and to their long-lost Jewish brothers and sisters.  It is happening before our eyes.  Multitudes are waking up, having their eyes opened, and turning toward, of all things, the Hebrew Bible, the Jewish people, and the Land of Israel.  The great miracle of our time is the restoration of a remnant of Judah to the Land, yet, according to all the Prophets, this is only the smallest beginning of a far greater RETURN of all Israel.


Significant work in this regard was carried on by the late David Horowitz, founder of United Israel World Union in 1944. Impetus for this lifelong effort goes back to an encounter David Horowitz had with a prophetic figure at the Sanhedrin Cave in Jerusalem back in 1927, as recounted in his autobiography Thirty-three Candles.  Currently, in Jerusalem, John Hulley is producing some highly noteworthy research (Comets, Jews, and Christians Vol 1 of a series) which demonstrates on the most scholarly level that millions of Celtic and related peoples, mostly the Protestant, Biblically-oriented types of northwestern Europe, England, and the United States, are indeed from these tribes.  This is not the so-called "Anglo-Israel" theory of many of the racist groups.  This is hard-core historical research as to where these tribes actually migrated.  As this research develops and is released we expect Judah to "draw near" to Joseph and the dynamics will change the world and usher in the Kingdom of God.




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