The Apostle Paul concurred with Isaiah. He said that "All Israel will be saved". (Romans 11) The Apostle James addressed his epistle to the entire 12 tribe company of God's extended family. And the Apostle John saw the New Jerusalem, the glorious Holy City accessed by 12 gates representing the 12 tribes of Israel. He saw the Holy City, the Bride of the Lamb descending from heaven. (Rev. 21)
The Breach of JeroboamBy Gavin Finley MD
Woodcut illustration by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld. (1794-1872)
THE BREACH OF JEROBOAM LEADS THE NORTHERN 10 TRIBES INTO DEEPER IDOLATRY.After the passing of King David and King Solomon King Rehoboam took the throne of Israel. The glory of Israel was departing. And with it went the financial power of the once great superpower. Solomon had married hundreds of foreign wives who brought their idolatrous religion into Israel. The compromise with all these gods of the surrounding nations began to take its spiritual toll. As Solomon grew older he fell increasingly into idolatrous worship. He so disgraced himself through his worship of idols that God rebuked him: "I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant". (1Kings 11:11). This "servant" turned out to be the labor leader Jeroboam.
THIS LATER LEADS THEM ON INTO THE ASSYRIAN CAPTIVITY AND LOSS OF SOVEREIGNTY.
THE DIVISION OF ISRAEL INTO TWO KINGDOMS CONTINUES TO THIS DAY.
After the death of Solomon Israel his son Rehoboam took the throne. Israel was in serious decline. And as always happens the kingdom and the financial power went down with the waning of the glory. And so the royal tribe of Judah in the south was in a bit of economic trouble. The attempted to compensate using the ways of this world. They began to exact more and more taxes and servitude from the ten northern tribes. The point eventually came when this burden became quite onerous. And so it was that Jeroboam led Israel to King Rehoboam. The northern ten tribes asked the Jewish tribe of Judah for some tax relief, or some grace, if you will.
The meeting was a disastrous one for all Israel. Yes, the ten tribes were out looking for grace. But Rehoboam just laid down the law. The king of the Jewish tribe of Judah had unwisely accepted the council of the young men instead of the elders. Any hope of retaining unity under Judah was now lost. God's covenant people were divided asunder. They were split into the two houses. Judah and Benjamin with the Holy City of Jerusalem continued on in the south. And under Jeroboam the ten northern tribes went their own way.
This was the breach of Jeroboam.
It was an awful wrenching separation.
And it is a division which exists to this day.
And it is a schism from which Israel has yet to recover.
From this point on, until the end of this age, Israel would be a divided kingdom of two houses. One kingdom, the royal house of Judah is visible to the world and can still be seen. They still have their Hebrew language, Hebrew genealogy, Hebrew religion, and connection to their past in greater Israel. The other, the northern kingdom are hidden from view. They just disappeared into the fog. Did Lost Israel curse themselves? And if they did, did they, - will they, find grace? Will lost Israel ever be found?
This is one of the great mysteries of history. And many in Judah along with many in lost Israel have their reasons for not wanting to find out what happened. They have a vested interest in the systems of this world. And in spite of the rough going they always seek to uphold the status quo. They think that this will always ensure security for them.
But the scriptures declare that lost Israel will be found even as Hosea found lost Gomer. As we search the scriptures and do out homework and keep our eyes and hearts open as we go on into history these mysteries will surely unfold. They will unfold at the proper time. Remember that Moses was hidden in the waters and among the bullrushes as a "Notzrim", for safe keeping. And as he was trained up in the courts of the Egyptian superpower he was kept in the dark about his true origins. That is the way of the principalities and powers and the politics of this world. They want to have their handle on all the glory.
But their conspiracy of silence will not last forever. And their "cloaking" of the truth will not prevail. The lights of Abraham will be seen again, even in a coming night of deep darkness. And the message will come through to a melo-hagoyim, a "multitude of nations", or a "company of nations". The latter days of this age will not be a time of total apocalyptic doom and disaster as these people have been taught. Oh yes, there will be trouble and tribulation. But God will be among His people in a great revival. And by His Spirit He will be calling them out into a new ekklesia as He has done so many times before. And even in a difficult passage through a strait and narrow gate, a remnant shall return.
As the 70th Week opens the Ancient of Days will sit. Up in the courts of heaven YHVH-God will re-open the two big issues of the latter days. He will be resuming His covenant dealings related to
1. His Holy City, Jerusalem. And
2. His Holy People, the global Congregation of Israel, (or church).
It will be a time of high drama,
Even the culmination of the divine romance between God and His people.
The Bridegroom will be approaching,
even in the dark hours after midnight.
And at that time the message will go forth,"Arise, shine! For your light has come!" (Isa.60)
LOST ISRAEL CUTS OFF THE ROYAL TRIBE OF JUDAH,The northern ten tribes did an awful thing. They took it upon themselves to cut off the Jewish House of Judah.
THEY CUT OFF AND REJECT THE HOUSE AND THRONE OF DAVID.
THIS IS THE VERY THRONE FROM WHICH MESSIAH WILL RULE!
THEN 200 YEARS LATER THE TEN TRIBES ARE LOST.
THEY DISAPPEAR INTO HISTORY.
IS THIS A COINCIDENCE?
They cut themselves off from the royal throne of David, the seat of their very own national sovereignty.
This would bring tragic consequences to them.
The ten tribes would go on to lose their sovereignty, their national roots, and their true identity.
This rejection of David, (and the rejection of the coming Son of David and the throne of David), had happened before. The same bitter words had been uttered two generations earlier. The cursing words of denunciation, along with stones, had been flung in the face of King David himself. On that occasion the words of abuse and rejection came from the mouth of the rebel Sheba. Here was a man whom the Holy Scriptures refer to as a "man of Belial" or a man of Satan. He came against King David with bitter words of hatred.
The rebel Shimei curses David.
Here is hatred against the Throne of David.
And here we see the root of all anti-Semitism.
If we look carefully at the words uttered against the Throne of David back then we can discern that these were words of Anti-Semitism, although the word anti-Semitism is a very misleading word. It "cloaks" the real story. It obscures and cloaks what is really going on. (2Samuel 20:1) This is not hatred of all Semitic peoples, which, incidentally include the Arab nations, the children of Ishmael. The hatred of Anti-Semitism is far more specific than that. You may read more on this subject in this article.
But now here with Jeroboam we see the very same words of rejection.
Again the royal Jewish tribe of Judah is being cursed and cut off.
Again, let us take special note.
The denunciation was coming not from the pagan outsiders.
The venom was coming from within Israel!
The bitter words were coming from the ten northern tribes of Israel!
This was the great divorce of Israel.
The epic break-up is recorded for us in the verses below.
"Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying:
'What share have we in David?
We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse.
To your tents, O Israel!
Now, see to your own house, O David!'
Woodcut illustration by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld (1794-1872">
So Israel departed to their tents." (1Kings 12:16 and 2Chronicles 10:16)
This was the great divorce of Israel, the awful 'breach of Jeroboam'.
King Solomon had died after compromising the kingdom with multiple wives bringing in their idolatry and pagan worship. And the sentence YHVH-God had been that the kingdom of Israel would be taken from his son. The ensuing split occurred during the 920's B.C..
And Israel was now divided into two houses.
This is a situation which continues to this day.
Jeroboam had his political reasons for drawing the people away from Judah and from the true worship of YHVH, the God of Israel. He did not want the northern tribes going back under the political covering of the royal tribe of Judah. He wanted them to forget about their Hebrew roots in Jerusalem, the feasts The separation was deep and long lasting. In fact the scriptures indicate that this division will last all the way up until the end time drama. - Zech.12:7-13:1, Rom.11
There is no doubt that there was a search for grace involved here on the part of the lost tribes. And God did not support Rehoboam's call to wage war on the rebelling tribes. God said that it was from Him. (1Kings 12:24) But there is an element of hatred and rejection in this rebellion which is quite evident here. The scriptures clearly indicate that this is what we would recognize today as antisemitism. The bitter words and the venom is specifically directed at the Throne of David. This is the throne from which the returning Christ/Messiah will rule in the coming Millennium of Messiah. He is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who is to sit upon the throne of David for a thousand years. (Rev.20) But in the hearts of many people, (even some fellow Israelites), He is not welcome. The kings and rulers of the nations, (and many of their their hired state churchmen), clearly do not want Him to return either. (See also Psalm 2)
TARGET #1 FOR THE FORCES OF DARKNESS: THE THRONE OF DAVID.We have abundant Biblical poetic and prophetic evidence to show that God will heal the breach of Jeroboam. YHVH-God will find and restore His covenant people even as Hosea found and restored lost Gomer. He will regather and restore all Israel as a single Elect, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. (1Pet.2:9) Israel will be a complete nation once again. All 12 tribes will be rejoined and restored in the latter days of this age.
And how will this happen? There will in fact be a great End Time Revival. It will draw in the end time saints from both houses of Israel. We have not seen this yet. We have only seen faint little glimmers of the great Light that will eventually shine out to the Gentiles in the latter days. This great revival will come even in a time of great darkness and period of great apostasy. But the prophet Isaiah spoke about this as did Joel and many others. (Isa.60, Joel 2:28-32) Finally, at the end of the story Isaiah said that"The redeemed of the Lord shall return. And come with singing unto Zion".(Isa.35)
And so like Gomer with Hosea, the ten tribes were drawn away from their true Husband. YHVH, the God of Jacob would be replaced with other lesser gods. Lost Israel wandered off into gross idolatry. The love they had for YHVH-God, the Holy One of Israel, faded away. And so they became spiritually lost.
As we shall see, it was not long after they became spiritually lost that they became politically lost as well. The Assyrians came into ascendancy and Israel soon lost its sovereignty as a people. The lost ten tribes of Israel was taken off captive to Assyria and then intermingled and scattered into the nations. Eventually, after many wanderings the lost House of Israel, lost the memory of their homeland. Unlike their brethren in the House of Judah, they were cut off from their roots. They never came home again.
The Holy Scriptures tell us that both houses of Israel ended up in abominable idolatry. And both companies of God's covenant people went into captivity. The northern kingdom was led off by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.. The southern kingdom lost their sovereignty to the Babylonians and went into exile in 586 B.C..
Only the southern kingdom returned to the land. Only the Jewish tribe of Judah, with Benjamin and many of the Levites with them, were able to re-establish sovereign presence in the land.
After the edict of Cyrus in 538 B,C. the House of Judah was permitted to return from their exile in Babylon. It was very difficult initially. But finally, under Zerubbabel in 516 B.C. they finally succeeded in rebuilding the temple. Under Ezra in 457 B.C. they rediscovered the Torah and had a revival. And finally, under Nehemiah in 445 B.C. they rebuilt the gates and walls of the Holy City. Only then did they restore the sovereignty of Jerusalem as an independent self-ruling city-state.
The "lost ten tribes" were carried off and were mixed in with other nations. The 10 tribes subsequently lost their true identity. The Assyrians transported foreigners to live in the land where the Northern ten tribes had once lived. The House of Israel never returned to the land in numbers sufficient to repopulate their national land or to re-establish sovereignty over their God given lands in Eretz Israel.
The awful prophetic judgment upon the northern kingdom in Hosea's prophecy were represented by the names of the children of Hosea and Gomer. These names were "No mercy" and "Not my people". So under the Old Covenant the Northern tribes suffered total and complete national disinheritance. They were scattered into the nations. They would not return to the land in sovereign numbers as Judah did. YHVH-God had written Israel a bill of divorce. And like lost Gomer they had been cut off from the covenant.
Remember that the Old Covenant was a national covenant.
YHVH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had covenanted with the children of Israel.
He was the One who made covenant with the nation of Israel.
So Israel was established as a nation on the Day of Pentecost back at Mount Sinai.
And so the question is asked.
Where are the lost tribes now?
And will they be found again?
And if so, then how? And when?
"I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Mat.15:24)If they were lost in the Old Covenant then is the situation completely hopeless for them?
From what we read in the scriptures it would appear that there is still hope. Because the grace the ten tribes went looking for and failed to get from Rehoboam in the matter of taxes and servitude in Judah is now available. This grace now comes to them from another newer covenant. It is from the same Source in YHVH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But this grace is available to them in the New Covenant. And this is precisely what Jeremiah spoke of in Jeremiah 31:31-36.
Jeremiah 31So it is entirely possible that the lost sheep of the House of Israel are not lost forever. It could well be that the connection to YHVH-God these people lost nationally under the Law is now being restored in a personal way under the Gospel of Grace. These people who were lost under the Old Covenant with national Israel may well be even now being picked up by the New Covenant that Yeshua/Jesus makes with individuals. (Jer. 31:31) And so at the climax of the age all Israel will be saved individually, one soul at a time. Then national salvation will be seen again as the returning Messiah does His work of deliverance at the end of the age.
31. "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah--
32. not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.
33. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
The story of the covenant people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is truly a magnificent story of redemption and salvation. The lost ten tribes will not end up in a lost oblivion. Their restoration will turn out to be a 'wonder', a word in Hebrew which means "Surprise!" The story of the lost tribes of Israel will re-emerge after a passage through over 2700 years of history. These great hidden secrets are yet to unfold. And God's great mysteries will be unveiled in the Apocalypse at the end of this age.
National Israel's history has been heating up in recent years, as we well know. And the Light of Israel is going out to the nations and even to the ends of the earth. The history of God's covenant Congregation for this era has not yet come to its grand and glorious conclusion. Holy history, (or as our German friends say, Heils geschicte, (salvation history), is still up ahead. The crucible of the end time will see the refining and the regathering of both houses of Israel. This will surely come to pass at the consummation of this age.
Some more devotional articles on apocalyptic Biblical themes for the enquiring Christian.