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Once Lost And Now Found? Dan Ephron
Connection with Turks, Armenians, Afghanistanis, Kurds & Pakhistanis.
Barry Chamish
Raiders of the Lost Ten Tribes. Uri Marcus

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Once Lost And Now Found? http://www.keepmedia.com:/Register.do?oliID=225 By Dan Ephron, Oct 21 '02

When the veteran Israeli journalist Hillel Halkin began hunting for the Lost Tribes of Israel four years ago, he thought the claim that a community of Indians on the Burmese border was descended from one of the tribes was either a fantasy or a hoax. The fate of Israel's 10 lost tribes, which, after being driven from ancient Palestine in the eighth century B.C. by Assyrian conquerors, disappeared into ethnic oblivion, ranks among history's biggest mysteries. On his third trip to the Indian states of Manipur and Mizoram, Halkin was shown texts that convinced him that the community, which calls itself the Bnei Menashe, has roots in the lost tribe of Menashe. The documents included a will and words to a song about the Red Sea.

The argument, made in his new book "Across the Sabbath River" (Houghton Mifflin), is not just academic. Some Israeli rabbis believe descendants of the lost tribes number more than 35 million around the world and could help offset the sharply increasing Palestinian population. As founder of the organization Amishav (My People Return), Eliyahu Avichail trots the globe in search of lost Jews, in order to bring them back to their religion through conversation and direct them to Israel. He's even hoping to make it to Afghanistan later this year. "I believe that groups like the Bnei Menashe are part of the solution to Israel's demographic problems," says Amishav director Michael Freund. The group has already brought 700 of the Bnei Menashe to Israel and believes thousands more are eager to come. Most have been put up in settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip--the main arena of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

Last week at Utniel, a hilltop settlement south of Hebron, a few of the recent Indian immigrants brought back by Amishav sat on the grass during a break from their Jewish studies, singing songs they learned in Manipur about redemption in Jerusalem. A day earlier, Palestinians had shot two Israelis in an ambush a few miles up the road from the settlement. "We feel good here; we're not scared," says one of the students, Yosef Thangjom. At another settlement in the area, Kiryat Arba, Manipur native Odelia Khongsai explains why she chose to leave India two years ago, where she had family and a good job. "I had everything a person could want, but I still felt some-thing spiritual was missing."

Halkin plans to return to India in February with a team of Israeli and American doctors who will conduct genetic tests on the Bnei Menashe to determine scientifically if their ancestors hail from ancient Palestine. But this time it's the Bnei Menashe who are skeptical. "I think DNA testing is just hogwash," says Khongsai, who lives with her 6-year-old daughter in a trailer home in Kiryat Arba. "I know I'm a Jew from the Bnei Menashe tribe, and that's all that matters."

Dan Ephron Newsweek U.S. Edition © 1998-2004 Newsweek, Inc.

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Connection with Turks, Armenians, Afghanistanis, Kurds & Pakhistanis.
Barry Chamish <
chamish@netvision.net.il>  <http:/www.barrychamish.com> 26 Feb 2004

Ataturk was himself reportedly from Donmeh family. This possibility is mentioned in Encyclopedia Judaica under the heading Donmeh (Doenmeh), but most convincing is an article written by Hillel Halkin called "When Kemal Ataturk recited Shema Yisrael", in which he reffers to out of print Hebrew autobiography of Itamar Ben Avi, son of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, where he describes two meetings over bottle of arrak with Turkish officer named Mustafa Kemal in Kamenitz Hotel in Jerusalem , autumn 1911. There he reportedly confessed being descendant of Shabbetai Tzvi himself and recited part of the Shema.

Also famous Turkish communist poet Nazim Hikmet is rumorred to be a "Jew" in some circles. Interesting to note that one of his grandfathers was forced to flee from Poland, so one could speculate about possible Frankist connections.

Second point, more weird probably, is to look at the victims of the Turkish massacres. They were Armenians and the people now called Assyrians. Both of these groups are at least partially descended from Jews or the lost tribes of Israel. It is well known that some of important ancient Armenian clans were of Jewish origin, as for example the powerful Amatuni clan, or the royal family of Bagratuni, who ruled for hundreds of years over Armenia and Georgia and many other Jews converted to the Armenian church over the time.

Some one hundred years ago were the citizens of the city of Van (in Turkey) still considered Jews though nominally they were not. In addition, some believe that there may be some connection to the lost ten tribes.

Regarding the "Assyrians" is very interesting that the British convinced these Aramean speaking Nestorian Christians, that it would be better for them to claim Assyrian ancestry in order to get independence! Before the British came to Mesopotamia, Jewish travellers as well as Christian missionaries reported numerous Nestorian traditions of descent from the lost tribes of Israel and from baptised Jews - for example Binyamin the second and American missionary Asahel Grant, who wrote whole book on the subject (The Nestorians or the lost tribe). Those traditions are briefly mentioned in Encyclopedia Judaica under the heading Kurdistan.

Now those same people claim descent from ancient Assyrians, mixing Christianity with the pagan god Ashur and no more remember their former identity! If you add to this the other two ethnic groups who formerly insisted on their descent from the tribes of Israel - the Pathans (Pashtuns, Pakhtuns or originally Afghans) from Afghanistan and the Kashmiris - and who are now being turned to enemies of Jews and Israel and at the same time are being murdered and robbed, one can not escape the suspicion that someone is well aware of these facts and that these groups are, as possible descendants of the Israelites, also destined for destruction, at least in the spiritual sense.

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Raiders of the Lost Ten Tribes

----- Original Message -----
From: "Nehemiah Trustees Covenant Fund" ntcf@netvision.net.il
To: <brigada-peoples-jews@xc.org> Sent: Sunday 26 October 1999

Misunderstanding regarding the identity of the supposed "ten lost tribes" of Israel.

There are those who would argue today that Jews should not be reached for the Gospel because they are saved already, owing to their heritage, their Torah and their Judaism. These same would then go on to redefine who should be targeted with the Gospel. They turn out to be none other than "the lost ten tribes" of Israel. But who are these? Well, if you listen to them further you will discover that the lost ten tribes are none other than Britian and the United States. This theology is termed "Anglo-Israelism", and is the subject for the balance of this message.

This article is quite lengthy, and somewhat technical, but I believe very much needed, since I found little available to the lay person which would help counter this insidious false teaching and metamorphasized form of replacement theology. I compiled and wrote this report not only for the benefit of those with whom I had my original discussions, but also for you, in hopes that it might benefit you in some way, now or in the future, by providing a concise answer to this heresy.

Those who accept the theories of Anglo-Israelism will tell you that their theology comes straight from the Book - from words that they read with their own eyes and understood with their own heart. The problem is, which colored glasses were they wearing while they were reading? Also, historical revisionists always understand things with their heart. What they fail to realize is that "the heart is deceitful above all things... Who can know it? (Jer 17:9).

Now, before I launch directly into the cure for Anglo-Israelism, I want you to see for yourself the logic of those who support it, firsthand. They usually start by quoting Matt 10:5-6 and Matt 15:24:
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. (Matthew 10:5-6).
He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." (Matthew 15:24).

With the death of King Solomon, the nation of Israel split, becoming two independent nations:
(1) the House of Judah on the south and (2) the House of Israel of Israel on the north.

The Northern ten tribes quickly slipped into idolatry and were infact divorced by the Almighty before the consumation of the marriage. The promises made by the Almighty had to be carried out some time in the future; particularly, those given to the sons of Joseph, Ephriam and Mannaseh.

In their idolatry the Almighty allowed Assyria to invade the Northern Kingdom and to eventually bring it into captivity. Many forsaw the threat and slipped out toward the Black Sea and the Russian Steppes. This group later became the Sythians. The last major group captured included the tribe of Ephriam. This collection was placed between the Caucauses Mountains and the Caspian Sea and became the Parthians. Both were avowed enemies of the Romans and in the time of Messiah were a blocking force for further penetration of the region by the Romans. Every time the Romans advanced into the territories of the Parthians, the Romans were soundly defeated militarily.

Josephus (94 C.E.) writes in his book "The Antiquities of the Jew" the follow regarding the ten tribes of Israel. "There are two tribes in Asia under the control of the Romans, the ten Northern tribes, however, are beyond the Euphrates and their multitude is so great they can not be numbered." This statement notes the ten tribes whereabouts were known during the time of Jesus Christ.

These tribes led by the Sythian and followed by the Parthian migrated across the entirety of Europe and finally came to rest in Northwest Europe. The Tribe of Ephriam today is ascribed as England and the United States as the Tribe of Mannesseh. The promises given Joseph and his sons as the birthright tribes are fulfilled in the English speaking peoples of this world. There are others who reverse the roles of the brothers and claim the English as Mannasseh and Ephriam as the United States. Regardless, combined, the English speaking peoples are the dominant people of the world as was promise by the Almighty to Joseph.

Jesus Christ said that his purpose was to reintroduce the knowledge of the Almighty to the Northern Kingdom, not the Jews. The knowledge of God has been reintroduced to the Northern Kingdoms, but they compound their idolatry by making the messenger GOD himself and have slipped further into apostacy by denying Torah.

The remnant of the House of Judah is already saved. That is what the remanant is - the elect. Jews who follow Judaism and are otherwise righteous - don't need to believe that Yeshua came to save them - because he didn't. At least that is what He said. He said that he came for the lost sheep of the House of Israel.

--------------------- Refuting Anglo-Israelism --------------------  Top of this article Top of this article

There is one principle area in which the Anglo-Israel theory either stands or falls. This is the question of whether any of the ten northern tribes were ever lost to begin with, and therefore later were in need of some sort of reappearance as the British and American nations (Ephrai'im and Menasheh), or as any other nation or people-group, which needed to redefine their identity by claiming that they were the mysterious missing and "lost" link to the ancient Jewish nation.

I am of the much shared opinion that the Anglo-Israel theory should be regarded as one of the saddest symptoms of the mental and spiritual shallowness of our present age, expressing itself in good measure within the Church, as certain individuals seek to redefine themselves, redefine knowledge (gnosticism), and redefine G-d and the worship of G-d. The whole affair conjures up images of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" whose box-office sales soared to new heights, when Hollywood once again proved that the fantisizing public is begging to be convinced of anything but reality, in order to fill the void of their own spiritual emptyness. The superhero always connects to that mysterious and "lost" element which gives him new power and a new identity. The script is always the same. Only the cast is different.

This is evidenced by the total lack of ability of the church detect the fallacies and perversions of Scripture and history, upon which the whole theory is based. If we look at the question of the so-called "lost" ten tribes in the light of Scripture, history and prophecy, Anglo-Israelism simply becomes another fairytale, invented by certain Christians in order to satisfy their own pet doctrines and quests to become something other than what G-d called them to be.

In other words, since G-d made a mistake with their identities, these same have an identity crisis, and Anglo-Israelism gives them a convenient way to circumvent their disapointment of not being "chosen" in like manner as the Jews were, in what they preceive as a means to merit more of the favor, power and grace from G-d.

But as it turns out, there is as little historical reason for the supposition that the ten tribes were ever lost, to start with, in the sense in which Anglo-Israelism uses the term.

The most superficial reader of the Tenach knows the origin and cause of the unfortunate schism which took place in the history of the elect nation after the death of Shlomo (Solomon). But this evil was to last only for a limited time, for at its very commencement, it was announced by G-d that He would in this way afflict the seed of David, but not for ever (1 Kings 11:39).

The final overthrow of the northern kingdom took place around the year 721 BCE, but when we read that the 'king of Assyria took Shomron (Samaria) and carried Israel away into Assyria," we are NOT to understand that he cleared the whole Land of all the people, but rather that he took the strength of the nation with him.

Jerusalem was finally taken in 586 BCE by Nebuchadnetzar - just 135 years after the capture of the Shomron by the Assyrians. Meanwhile the Babylonian Empire succeeded the Assyrian. But although dynasties had changed, and Babylon which had sometimes even under the Assyrian regime, been one of the capitals of the Empire, it now replaced Nineveh altogether, and the region over which Nebuchadnetzar now bore rule was the very same over which Shalmaneser and Sargon (Assyria) once reigned before him, except that it was somewhat extended at this juncture.

Within the context of this combined Assyrian and Babylonian captivity the divisions and rivalry between "Yuhuda" and Israel were now ended, and the members of ALL the tribes who looked forward to a national future were once again conscious not only of one common destiny, but that this destiny was bound up with the promises to the house of David, and with Tzion or Jerusalem as its center, in accordance with the prophecies of Yo'el, Amos, Hoshia, and a host of other inspired messengers who ministered and testified especially amongst them until the fall of the Shomron. This conviction of a common and united future no doubt facilitated and strengthened the merging process, which cannot be said to have begun with the original captivity.

Glimpses into the hopes and aspirations for unity between the two kingdoms, can be gleaned from prophecies such as those found in Ezekiel 37:
15-17 "The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, `Belonging to Yehuda and the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, `Ephraim's stick, belonging to Yosef and all the house of Israel associated with him.' Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. "

In the verses following, we find the divine interpretation:
"I am going to take the stick of Yosef--which is in Ephraim's hand-- and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Yehuda's stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.' Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on and say to them, `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the Land, on the mountains of Israel." (Ezekiel 37:19ff)

In 458 BCE, Ezra the scribe, in accordance with the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus, organized another large caravan of those whose hearts were made willing to return to the Land of their Fathers.

"This Ezra came up from Bavel (Babylon)... Some of the Bnei Israel (Children of Israel), including Cohenim, Levi'im, singers, gatekeepers and temple servants, also came up to Jerusalem... (Ezra 7:6-7).

Now I decree that any of the Bnei Israel (Children of Israel) in my kingdom, including Cohenim, and Levi'im, who wish to go to Jerusalem with you, may go. (Ezra 7:13).

This party in addition to the "Cohenim, Levi'im, singers, gatekeepers and temple servants," consisted of about 1,800 families, all of whom were classed as "Bnei Israel (Children of Israel)," irrespective of their tribal distinctions, from all parts of the realm of "Babylon," which included "Assyria," now under the sway of the Medo-Persians.

Over the next period of about 115 years, this restored remnant became consolidated into one group of people which still later, over the course of the next 300 years came to be known as "the Jews." The nation grew in such a way that by the time of Yeshua, it was already numbering in the millions. During the span of time between Nehemiah, Ezra, the Maccabees, the conquest of Alexander and Herod, we hear little of Bnei Israel in exile compared with what we hear of goings-on back in the Land. Nevertheless, we know that those of Bnei Israel who did not return to the Land with Nehemiah and Ezra, later multiplied in Asia Minor, Cyprus, Crete, the coasts of the Aegean, Macedonia, parts of Southern Europe, Egypt, the northern coast of Africa, and as far as India and other points east. Collectively, these people termed "Jewish" in ancient texts, were not only descendants of Judah, but of all "the twelve tribes scattered abroad" to whom Ya'acov addresses, in the salutation of his epistle (1:1).

In summary then, at the time of Yeshua, the decendants of Avraham, Yitchak and Ya'acov were no longer divided into tribes, but were one people, with elements of each tribal identity contained within them as a whole. Up until the destruction of the second Temple, tribal and family genealogies were for the most part preserved, especially among those who were settled in the Land.

Part of the nation resided in the Land of Israel, but by far the larger number were scattered far and wide, and formed innumerable communities in many different lands north and south east and west. The Josephus passage cited above by Anglo-Israel proponents simply points this fact out. But wherever dispersed and to whatever tribe they may have belonged, they all continued to look to Land of Israel and to Jerusalem as their national and spiritual center. They all maintained their Jewish identities and in fact the galut (dispursion) was actually used of G-d to protect and keep their Jewish identity intact, frozen as it were, until such a time would come to pass some 1800 years later, when the hand of G-d would once again move to draw the nation back together from the four corners of the earth.

Therefore, the only thing that got "lost" with regard to the ten northern tribes of Israel, was their separate political and national independance. What replaced this was a national hope and promise that the Kingdom of Yehuda and the House of David would one day raise up a Mashiach and restore the former days of glory to all Israel.

We find no lack of evidence for the concept of a mixed/joined Kingdom in either the post exillic Prophets or in the later writings of the New Testament period.

---------------------- The Post Exillic Prophets --------------------  Top of this article Top of this article

Beginning with the sixth chapter of Ezra, we find a description the sin offering, which mentions specifically that "twelve he goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel" were offered for all Israel (v.17), a fact attested to by Ezra 8:35.

The prophet Zechariah describes them in comprehensive, yet distinctive terms of "Yehuda, Israel and Jerusalem" (Zech 1:19). Elsewhere he describes them as "the House of Yehuda and the House of Yosef" (Zech 10:6). In Zech 8:13, Yehuda and the House of Israel are identified as one nation.

In Malachi the Jews are called Israel, or Ya'acov, in contrast to Esav.

We also learn from a prophecy given in Amos 9:8-1O that as a kingdom, the ten tribes were to suffer destruction. Afterwards their restoration as an independant entity apart from Yehuda would never again be realized. How then is it possible for them to be "lost" for almost three millennium, and then reappear as the British Kingdom, when a separate kingdom apart from Yehuda was never meant to be restored?

The words of Jeremiah the Prophet conclude these observations, where he states in no uncertain terms that after Bavel (Babylon) falls, "In those days, and at that time," declares the LORD, "the people of Israel and the people of Yehuda together will go in tears to seek the LORD their G-d. (Jer 50:4).

No, there are certainly no "lost" tribes reported by the Prophets. But what about during the time of Yeshua?

--------------------- The New Testament Period ------------------------ Top of this article Top of this article

On the subject of Israel and Yehuda portrayed as one nation, the New Testament speaks alternately and interchangeably as "the Jews," and "Israel," in similar fashion as did the Prophets before them.

For starters, let it not be forgotten that Hanna the Prophetess who shows up during the purification ceremony of Miryam at the Temple, shortly after the birth of Yeshua and who is reported to be "of the tribe of Asher" (a northern tribe of Israel), is called "a Jewess" of Jerusalem; facts alone which should forever decimate the concept of Anglo-Israelism

Next, a cursory reading of the tenth chapter of Matthew indicates that Yeshua Himself considered "the lost sheep of the house of lsrael" to include "the Jews," since the missionary journeys of the twelve disciples were limited to the environs of the Land of Israel. Yeshua never alludes to some future nation that would come into being some 1000 years later, eventually to usurp the name "Israel" and claim to be its lost sheep.

Peter at Pentecost, proclaims the message of redemption to "all the house of Israel. Proof positive that they were already in existance, and not "lost."

Rav Sha'ul (Paul) in Acts 26:6-7 in testifying about "the hope in what G-d has promised our fathers...that our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve G-d day and night" apparently refering back Zechariah's statement in Chapter 8:13.

Elsewhere, Sha'ul comments at length why the scattering of Israel was not in vain, nor their wandering without purpose, in his letter to Roman congregations, chapters 9-11. He portrays Israel as being anything but a nation who has been cast away. Here, he settles the matter by describing the overall picture and plan of G-d for Israel, not as a geographically "lost" nation, but as one whose presence trancends time itself. Sha'uls words cannot be improved upon, except to note the inclusion of, and emphasis upon "all Israel" from his day, until the very end of the age.

If Israel and Yehuda were separate nations, why then does the Apostle describe the Jews as "his brethren," and as "kinsmen according to the flesh," and then identify them and himself as "Israelites heirs to the promises of G-d" as they are deemed in the Messiah? (Acts 21:39, Rom 11:1)

Summing up judgments on the Anglo-Israel question, it would seem that by the facts of Scripture and history, the issue stands refuted and therefore unworthy of further attention. The theory is nothing short of a Pandora's box containing multiple and destructive heresies which not only robs the Jewish nation, the true Israel, of her Scriptural promises, but in a blatent act of replacement theology, which applies those promises to another race, without permission from any biblical text. It should come as a warning to us NOT to think, as so many do, that Anglo-Israelism is only harmless speculation. In reality, it stands in line with an already existant plethora of other last-day delusions by which HaSatan seeks to divert the attention of the saints from things spiritual and eternal, amongst them, Israel, the chosen people, and apple of G-d's eye. Uri Marcus
Reference: The Kingdom of the Cults, Dr. Walter Martin,
Bethany Fellowship Publishers, Copyright 1965.

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