Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Question about the 12 Tribes?

We see in the Bible that the ten tribes of Israel which is the northern kingdom were scattered by the Assyrians in 745-727 B.C. and 722-705 B.C. and nearly within a couple of century the other two tribes of Judah which is the southern kingdom went in to exile to Babylon around 605 - 586 B.C. and stayed there for 70 years. Then as we know only the two tribes of Judah's southern kingdom came back to live in the land of Israel in 539 B.C. From the time the two tribes of Judah regathered in their own land in 539 B.C., the two tribes lived and possessed the same land till they were scattered around the world in 70 A.D. as exactly Jesus prophesied in Luke 21:20-24.

My question is, during the time of Jesus Ministry, were they having tribal identity then? If yes, is that the reason Luke and Matthew were able to accurately write the genealogy of Jesus in the gospels? Did the Jews have some remnant of the other 10 tribes of Israel in their midst during the ministry of Jesus? How did they identify themselves as belonging to a particular tribe during that time 2000 years ago? Were each family having a record of their ancestry that they maintained? If this is true, how do the present day people of Israel after having been scattered for nearly two thousand years and many of them after having been mingled with other cultural people either on their father's side or on their mother's side, will be able to tell to which tribe they belong during the tribulation period. If this is so, how does God separate the twelve tribes apart in Rev 7:4-8 before the tribulation time begins? Can the tribal identity be found out through some of the latest Bio-technologies using DNA samples of a Jewish person? If the people of Israel have no true record of their tribal identity now and also if it cannot be found out by any available Bio-technology, will God be the first person to separate the tribes of present day Israel through His omniscience and allow them to enter the Millennium once again by their tribal identity?

Thanks in advance for your answer. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you.




Hi Abraham ...

There are a lot of questions here and almost none of them are covered in the Bible. All I can tell you is that portions of all the 10 northern tribes moved into Judah after Solomon died. (2 Chron. 11:16) The Book of Esther says that Mordecai was of the Tribe of Benjamin. From this I assume that some of their descendants also returned from Babylon. Joseph and Mary knew they were of the tribe of Judah, and John the Baptist and Matthew knew they were Levites, so there must have been some tribal identity. Jewish people have told me that their last names help them maintain tribal identity, as well. Also, I believe a genetic marker has been discovered identifying the descendants of the Kohanim so the Jews can prepare priests for Temple service again. Obviously from Rev. 7 we know that God can determine the tribal identities. This is about all I know for sure. But I believe that God has always preserved a remnant from all the 12 tribes.

Lord bless,



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