The Half Tribe of Manasseh and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel
A response by Ben Ruach ha Kodesh (John of AllFaith), Dec. 2006
A reader asks:Subject: The Tribe of Benjamin
Question: Greetings John,
Am I right in thinking that a half tribe of Benjamin was included in Judah, but the other half tribe was included in Israel? Where does the Bible mention the split?
John of AllFaith's replyHi Simon,
To my knowledge this is not correct.
The half kingdom was Manasseh. (Numbers 34:13 etc.)
Following the Battle of Gibeah (Book of Judges chapters 19 to 21) the Benjamites were slaughtered by the other houses. So as to keep a tribe of Israel from being destroyed, four hundred virgins from a conquered people were given the Benjamites as wives.
Later on the House of Benjamin united with the House of Judah to form the Kingdom of Judah (maintaining loyalty to Rehoboam). The other tribes united into the kingdom of Israel (under Jeroboam), which was later conquered and destroyed. These are the mysterious "10 lost Tribes."
Still later, the surviving Hebrews of whatever tribe united, led by Judah, with Benjamin as a lesser partner, and eventually became the Jews of Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel) we know today.
As an aside, the belief that the English (Angles) or others are the ten lost tribes has no basis in reality. During the 20th Century the doctrine of "British Israelism" was aggressively promoted by Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Worldwide Church of God. Armstrong amassed a following and taught that this groundless theory provided a explanation that revealed biblical prophecy and his role in it. He used this doctrine to justify his claim that he had been called by God to reveal the biblical End Time prophecies to the 'lost tribes' of Israel and raise a "purified Israel" to inherit the promised blessings of God. In time this heresy was dropped by the Worldwide Church of God although the Philadelphia Church of God as well the United Church of God continue to teach it. Based in part on this heresy many people view the real Jews as usurpers of God's promises, thus perpetuating Antisemitism among many prophecy watchers.
A related corollary to this heresy is the teaching that the Ashkenazim Jews are not really Jews.
The one constant throughout most of recorded human history is the Gentile desire to destroy the Jewish people and deny them their rightful place. Despite this the God of Israel proclaims loudly:
I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:
and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. -- Gen 12:3
~ Ben Ruach ha Kodesh
John of AllFaith
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