The Lost Tribes of Israel

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  • Topic: Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Judah, Ten Lost Tribes
  • Pages : 14 (5392 words )
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  • Published : May 8, 2013
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Historical background
Tribe of Judah
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Judah (Hebrew: יְהוּדָה, Modern Yehuda Tiberian Yəhûḏā ; "Praise") was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE,[1] Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes. From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BCE, the Tribe of Judah was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed, and in times of crisis the people were led by ad hoc leaders known as Judges. (see the Book of Judges) With the growth of the threat from Philistine incursions, the Israelite tribes decided to form a strong centralised monarchy to meet the challenge. The first king of this new entity was Saul, who came from the Tribe of Benjamin, (1 Samuel 9:1-2) which at the time was the smallest of the tribes. After the death of Saul, all the tribes other than Judah remained loyal to the House of Saul, while Judah chose David as its king. However, after the death of Ish-bosheth, Saul's son and successor to the throne of Israel, all the other Israelite tribes made David, who was then the king of Judah, king of a re-united Kingdom of Israel. However, on the accession of Rehoboam, Solomon's son, in c. 930 BCE, the northern tribes under the leadership of Jeroboam from the Tribe of Ephraim split from the House of David to reform a Kingdom of Israel as the Northern Kingdom. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to the House of David. These tribes formed the Kingdom of Judah, which existed until Judah was conquered by Babylon in c. 586 BCE and the population deported. When the Jews returned from Babylonian exile, residual tribal affiliations were abandoned, probably because of the impossibility of re-establishing previous tribal land holdings. However, the special religious roles decreed for the Levis and Kohanim were preserved, and the general population was called Israel. These designations are still followed today. The Kingdom of Judah was conquered by Babylon in c. 586 BCE and the population deported. When the Jews returned from Babylonian exile, during Roman times their state was known as Judea Matthew 2:22, the Greek form of the word Judah in reference to the ancient southern kingdom of Judah. Today most Jews consider their ethnicity as a member of the modern state of Israel, however biblically after the reign of Solomon the word Israel is a reference to the house of Joseph, rather than Judah 2Kings 14:9 2Kings 23:22 2Kings 23:27. Several prophetic events in the Bible also list Israel and Judah separately, as two entities rather than one Jeremiah 3:11-12, Zechariah 11:14. Today residual tribal affiliations have been abandoned, probably because of the impossibility of reestablishing previous tribal land holdings. However, the special religious roles decreed for the Levites and Kohanim were preserved, and the general population was called Israel. These designations are still followed today.

The Kingdom of Israel (or Northern Kingdom) was one of the successor states to the older United Monarchy (also called the Kingdom of Israel), which came into existence in about the 930s BC after the northern Tribes of Israel rejected Solomon's son Rehoboam as their king. Nine landed tribes formed the Northern Kingdom: the tribes of Reuben, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Ephraim and Manasseh. In addition, some members of Tribe of Levi, who had no land allocation, were found in the Northern Kingdom. The Tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to Rehoboam, and formed the Kingdom of Judah (or Southern Kingdom). Members of Levi and the remnant of Simeon were also found in the Southern Kingdom. According to 2 Chronicles 15:9, members of the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon "fled" to Judah during the reign of Asa of Judah. Whether these groups were absorbed into the population or...
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