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Who are the twelve tribes of Israel?


How does a Jew know which tribe he is from?

Thank you for your question.

The twelve tribes of Israel are the descendents of the twelve sons of Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel.

Ten of the tribes went into captivity in Assyria c. BC722

The other two tribes went into captivity to Babylon c.BC586, returned some 70 years later to be dispersed again by the Romans c. AD70 and AD130.

Jacob was the son of Isaac who was the son of Abraham.

Unless we come from a Jewish family we will not be sons of Israel.

Abraham was descended from Shem.

Descendents of Shem are known as Semitic.

European (Gentiles) are for the most part descended from Japheth.

Africans are descended from Ham.

Shem Japheth and Ham were the sons of Noah.

The list of their immediate descendents with the ancient place names of the countries they inhabited is given in Genesis 10.

From a Bible Atlas you can arrive at an approximate idea of the modern place names.

In the future God will bring together the remnant of the ten tribes and the two tribes and restore again the kingdom of Israel under Christ.

Ezekiel 37:16Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

David my servant’ is a figurative reference to David’s descendent Jesus Christ who will be their king.

Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

I hope this helps

Glenn Smith

 
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