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This article belongs to a series on what biblical prophecy says about the fate of the ten “lost” tribes of Israel. This present part proceeds to show that if one uses arguments and methods of the kind that some Anglo-Israelist writers have used, then one can just as well “prove” that Russia and the other Slavic nations are the “lost ten tribes of Israel”. Indeed, regarding the claim that the Anglo-Saxon people are “Israelites” – what if it is instead Russia and her Slavic sisters who are the “nation and a multitude of nations” which some have talked about?
An important note: A closer and more careful study of the Bible makes it clear that neither the Anglo-Saxons nor the Slavic peoples can be the lost tribes of Israel. The purpose of this article is merely to show that arguments of the kind that some Anglo-Israelist writers have come up with, could be used for “proving” many kinds of things.
(The article eya018.htm has some notes on what biblical prophecy says in regard to how the ten lost tribes of Israel would be doing in our day.)
Background: More than 2700 years ago, the Assyrians took the ten northern tribes of Israel into exile, to Assyria and to “the cities of the Medes” (2 Kings 17:6 and 18:11). The location of that area is indicated on the map below.
Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that later, those Israelites left the area of their captivity and moved to western Europe, including the British isles. Those writers have published books and booklets, often with colourful pictures, graphs and maps with arrows, regarding the route of such a thought-of move.
But, consider the simple map below. It is placed here to make a certain point. It shows the route which one could logically expect the tribes of Israel to have taken, if they for some reason left the area where they had been taken.
Again, this map shows the logical direction of movement for the “ten tribes”. That is, in case they at all moved away from the Assyrian and Median areas where they were forcibly taken (see 2 Kings 17:6 and 18:11).
So, what do you think “Russo-Israelist” preachers – if there were such – would set out to prove, by the help of maps?
One Anglo-Israelist writer tried to prove something, by the help of some old Jewish tombstones in Crimea (a peninsula in the Black Sea, see the map above). He claimed such tomb-stones to “prove” his claim that the tribes of Israel moved into Europe and America. – Such claims make one ask, “Excuse me, what did you say?” For, after all, those tombstones are located in the Slavic area, in Ukraine/Russia, and not in Britain or USA. And also: Those were Jewish tombstones. The Jews are not viewed as a part of the ten “lost” tribes of Israel. [a] In short: Those tombstones in Crimea do not prove anything at all, in regard to where the ten northern “lost” tribes of Israel might have moved – if they at all left the area where they were taken.
But still, let us note the fact that if one leaves Crimea by land and goes north, one does not come to western Europe or America. One comes to the Slavic area – Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland. So, what do you think a Russo-Israelist preacher might claim such tombstones to prove?
a The Jews and the ten “lost” tribes of Israel are two separate entities. After the reign of king Solomon, the kingdom of Israel was divided into two parts. The southern part retained Jerusalem as its capital and was called “Judah”, whence the word “Jews”. The ten northern tribes were called “Israel” and made after a time Samaria their capital. (Of course, even the Jews continued to be counted as Israelites, and were called so.) Between circa 734 and 722 BCE, the northern tribes were taken away from the land of Israel, into exile, and they never returned. Through this, they became the “the lost ten tribes”.
This is concerning certain claims in regard to the tribe of Dan, consisting of the descendants of Dan who was the fifth son of the patriarch Jacob whose other name was Israel.
Some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that Genesis 49:17 shows where the tribe of Dan lives today. In fact, they have used that verse for proving that Irishmen and/or Englishmen are “Israel”. So, let us see what it says. Here we go:
Genesis 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, A viper by the path, That bites the horse’s heels So that its rider shall fall backward. (NKJV)
The article eya137.htm has more on this, but in short: Some writers have, for some strange reason, claimed that that verse says or means that the tribe of Dan, during their thought-of travel from the area where they were taken as captives, left a “trail” after themselves, by giving names to such things as rivers, names with the letters D and N in them (as in “Dan”). In short: Those writers have claimed that the names of certain rivers in the Slavic area somehow prove that the tribe of Dan moved to Denmark and the British isles.
Now, does the above-quoted verse say that? Read it again, and see for yourself. It does not say anything of that kind, of course. But, what could a Russo-Israelist preacher prove, if he used arguments of that kind? For, the rivers in question – Danube, Dnieper, Dniester, Don and so on – are located in the Slavic area, Ukraine, Russia and so on. Those rivers are not marked on the map above, but the area where they lie, is by the Black Sea which can be seen on that map (west and north of it).
So, only Russo-Israelist preachers – if there were such – could use those rivers as “proof” for their dogmas.
The article eya137.htm has some more details regarding that “D-N” matter, including the probable reason why some water-streams have those letters in their names. Also the Anglo-Israelist claim that some people of the tribe of Dan of Israel would have moved to Denmark and Ireland, is sorted out in that article.
Some Anglo-Israelist writers have quoted bible-passages which talk about the tribes of Israel returning to the Promised Land “from the north”. They have claimed that those passages prove that the return is to be from Britain. That is a strange claim, because Britain does not lie north of the land of Israel. (Sometimes, those writers have in that connection referred even to Isaiah 11:11. That passage is considered later in this article.)
Here are passages which talk about the coming time of return:
Jeremiah 16:14 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that it shall no more be said, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’15 “but, ‘The Lord lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers. (NKJV, highlighting added)
Jeremiah 23: […] 8 “but, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.” (NKJV, highlighting added)
Now, do those passages mention Britain? No, of course not. They refer to the area where the Israelites were taken as captives.
The Old Testament passages which refer to that area of captivity, are not very exact but talk in general terms about “Assyria” and “the towns of the Medes” and so on. That area is indicated on the map above. And, according to Jeremiah 16:15, 23:8, 29:14, 30:10 and 32:37, the return is to be from that area, the places where the Israelites were taken as captives, and not from some other place.
But, let us view this matter the way a Russo-Israelist preacher might present it, if he used arguments of the kind that Anglo-Israelist preachers have used. The above-quoted passages talk about returning “from the land of the north” and “from the north country”. What countries would a Russo-Israelist preacher find, in the area north of the land of Israel? Here is the same map as above, but this time the arrows point southward, toward the land of Israel which is where the tribes of Israel are to return.
North of Israel are, of course, Russia and the other Slavic countries. For instance the city of Moscow lies directly towards north, as seen from Jerusalem.
So, what do you think – how would a Russo-Israelist preacher use the above-quoted scriptures which talk about a return from the north?
Even Isaiah 11 talks about the still future time when the tribes of Israel are to be gathered and restored. – Some Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that verse 11 in that chapter refers to the British Isles, on the grounds that some translators have put into that verse the words “the islands of the sea”.
But, it appears that the Hebrew text actually talks about coastlands (or regions), and not about islands. This can be seen in many bible-versions; here is an example:
Isaiah 11:11 On that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that is left of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. (NRSV, highlighting added)
Several translations have similar wordings. Well, some dictionary-makers have noted that the old Hebrew word in question, ‘iy, could even mean “region”.
Interestingly, the Greek Septuagint version (LXX) has in the last part of that verse kai apo hêliou anatolôn kai ex Arabias, “and from the rising of the sun [east] and from Arabia”.
Please note that the places which Isaiah 11:11 mentions are all in the Middle East: Assyria (an area by the river Tigris), Egypt, Pathros (Upper Egypt), Cush (not clear where, not necessarily Ethiopia as some have suggested), Elam (Persia), Shinar (the plain between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris), Hamath (a place in Syria). And then also some “coastlands” or “regions”, obviously in that same area. Or Arabia, as the LXX has it.
In short: The places which are mentioned in Isaiah 11:11, are in the Middle East. That verse simply states that “on that day” (at a still future time), the people of Israel will return, from the areas where they were taken as captives. (Not from some other place, as a number of writers have claimed.)
So, not even a Russo-Israelist preacher would try to use Isaiah 11:11 as “proof” for his dogmas.
(Ephraim and Manasseh were sons of Joseph, who in his turn was the son of the patriarch Jacob who was also called Israel.)
Many Anglo-Israelist writers have claimed that the Anglo-Saxon people in Britain are “the tribe of Ephraim” and that the Anglo-Saxons in the USA are “the tribe of Manasseh” – or vice versa, as some of them have it.
In connection with that claim, some of those writers have quoted Genesis 48:19, in translations which have in that verse such phrases as “a nation and a multitude of nations”. Now, a Russo-Israelist preacher could make use of that – the phrase “a nation and a multitude of nations” would certainly fit as a description of Russia and her Slavic sisters which consist of such people as Belarusians, Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Poles, Serbs, Silesians, Slovaks, Slovenes and Ukrainians.
But, there are other translations, with different wordings. Here is one of them:
Genesis 48:19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know! He too will become a tribe, and he too will be great; nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a populous nation.” (HCSB)
So, where some bible-versions have “a multitude of nations”, the above-quoted HCSB has “a populous nation”. The NCV has “and his descendants will be enough to make a nation”. The 1568 Bishops’ bible has “his seede shall become a great people”.
Later, this came to happen, just as the Lord had promised. As is stated in Deuteronomy 1:10 and 10:22 and 1 Kings 4:20, the Israelites did become numerous, “as the stars of heaven” and “as the sand on the seashore”. Please note that this was so already in the days of Moses, before they had settled in the Promised Land. That is fulfilled prophecy, a matter of the ancient past. As to how many the descendants of Jacob would be in later times: They were warned that if they were not faithful to the Lord, they would be severely punished and become few in number; see for instance Leviticus 26:22 and Deuteronomy 4:27 and 28:62–64. And, as things went, they were not faithful to him, and so, they were punished, and became few in number. Even that is fulfilled prophecy. The articles eya018.htm and eya058.htm have some notes on this.
But, if someone wants to hang on to the “multitude of Joseph” dogma which claims that the descendants of Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh would form “several nations”, in our day – in that case, we must note that Russia and her Slavic sister nations fit very well the description “a nation and a multitude of nations” which some bible-translations have in Genesis 48:19. A Russo-Israelist preacher would make this very clear.
Some writers have claimed that the 1803 “Louisiana purchase” proves that the USA is “the tribe of Manasseh”. Explanation: At that time, the in those days smaller but expanding USA bought a large area of land, from the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte who had a claim on the area west of the Mississippi river.
(A note: The Anglo-Israelist dogma regarding “prophesied expansion” and “restored blessings” is based on a certain “2520 years” calculation. The article eya058.htm sorts out that matter.)
It is easy to be captured by various kinds of claims and dogmas. But in this case, those who check things up in more depth, can quite easily find the facts and see that in reality, biblical prophecy shows that in our day, the “lost” tribes of Israel would be relatively few in number, powerless, and scattered among (within) other nations, without having a country of their own. The article eya018.htm has some notes on that matter.
But, if one holds on to the by some writers created dogma regarding “prophesied expansion” and “restored blessings”, then one can look around, in order to find a nation which strongly expanded and grew around year 1800. There is especially one such “nation and a group of nations” of note: Russia with her Slavic sisters.
Russia’s expansion was great: From the Black and Caspian seas in the south, to the Arctic Sea in the north. From the Baltic sea all the way to the Pacific Ocean and the Amur River by China. Even Alaska belonged to the Russian empire, before it was in 1867 sold to the USA.
Regarding expansion – a Russo-Israelist preacher would make sure to remind all and everyone that around 1980, the area controlled by Moscow was more than twice as great as the area of the USA, and that even today, Russia’s land area is almost two times greater than that of the USA. If a Russo-Israelist preacher used arguments and methods of the kind that some Anglo-Israelist writers have used, it would be very easy for him to identify Russia as “Israel”.
Certain Anglo-Israelist writers have created dogmas around the phrase “his branches run over the wall” which some translations have in Genesis 49:22. They have claimed that that verse refers to a “colonising people”. Then they have further claimed that it refers to the Anglo-Saxon people.
Here is how the NKJV renders that verse:
Genesis 49:22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall. (NKJV)
That is a translation of something the patriarch Jacob said, when he in Egypt spoke to his sons regarding what would happen to their descendants when they moved to the Promised Land. It could be that the prophetic words recorded in Genesis 49:22 had to do with the fact that when the tribes of Israel – a long time later – settled in the Promised Land, Joseph’s descendants were so many that they had to ask for more land than what they first were given. This is recorded in Joshua 17:14–18. Also: A part of Joseph’s descendants settled east of the river Jordan, outside the actual Promised Land.
But, let us ignore the facts and instead play around with the dogma which claims Genesis 49:22 to mean that Joseph’s descendants would emerge as a “colonising people”, around year 1800. Let us consider how a Russo-Israelist preacher might apply such a dogma.
In the days when the United States still covered only a small area, the Russian empire had already grown large and powerful. And, when the USA slowly expanded towards the west, Russia expanded in several directions. Look on any good historical map and see what Russia had in her heyday, from the Black Sea to the Arctic Sea, from the Baltic Sea to the Bering Sound (and over it).
Indeed, one could describe that expansion as “Russia’s branches running over the wall”. A Russo-Israelist preacher would say that to be a fulfilment of Genesis 49:22. He might say that the word “wall” in that verse “obviously refers to the Ural mountains” (which form a border between Europe and Asia). And of course, he would interpret the word “well” in the middle part of that verse as referring to the Black Sea which lies in the area from which Russia began to expand.
A note: Again, the dogma which claims that Joseph’s descendants would be many and powerful in our day, does not have any true basis in the Scriptures. But, if one nevertheless wants to hang on to that dogma, then one must also consider how Russia grew into a large empire and spread into large far-away areas which she had not possessed earlier. And, her Slavic sister nations are also in the picture. Indeed, Russia with her Slavic “company of nations”, spread far and wide. And again, a Russo-Israelist preacher would of course claim that that is “a fulfilment of the prophetic words recorded in Genesis 49:22”.
By the way, it is not known what the Hebrew text of Genesis 49:22 actually means. There are many kinds of interpretations of it. Examples:
And so on. Just as in numerous other Old Testament passages, the meaning of the ancient Hebrew text is simply not known. And so, translators either make a guess or copy some earlier translation.
A note: Some writers have used a number of verses in Genesis 49 for “identifying” a number of European nations as specific tribes of Israel. The article eya097.htm sorts out that matter.
The word “gate” which a number of bible-translations have in Genesis 22:17, has been popular dogma-material, among Anglo-Israelist writers. Around that word, they have built dogmas which claim that the ten lost tribes of Israel would be, in our day, a strong nation or a group of nations which possess “strategic passes and sea-sounds”.
The article eya037.htm has some notes on what the Hebrew wording behind the translation “gate” in Genesis 22:17 might actually refer to. Right here, let us consider how a Russo-Israelist preacher might use that verse. He could, with fury and intensity, preach about Russia’s control of the gates of her enemies. The Caucasus mountains served for a long time as a “gate” to protect Russia from her enemies. At one time, Russia alone possessed both sides of the Bering sound “gate”, along with all of Alaska. A Russo-Israelist preacher would also make a big fuss about the strategic islands Kunashir and Iturup which Russia took from her old enemy Japan. Likewise, he would make a lot of noise about Kaliningrad, a strategic area which Russia took from her enemy Germany. By the way: Between 1945 and 1989, Russia controlled the Brandenburg Gate right at the very heart of Berlin, the capital of her enemy Germany. – And so on, and so forth; one could make a long list of “strategic” places and passes which Russia controls and has controlled.
The point here is that if one “interprets” the phrase “and your Seed shall possess the gate of His enemies” (Genesis 22:17, LIT) the way some Anglo-Israelist writers have done, then one must also realise that Russo-Israelist preachers (if there were such) would with zeal use that verse for proving that Russia and her Slavic sister nations are “Israel”.
Some writers have claimed that the lost ten tribes of Israel would be a “people of the Bible”. On the basis of that claim, some have further claimed that the number of bibles printed in the Anglo-Saxon countries, proves that they are “Israel”.
But, biblical prophecy says that the “lost” tribes of Israel would serve idols. That is: The Lord told Moses to warn the Israelites that if they were not faithful to the Lord, they would be scattered among (within) the other nations, and that there they would serve other gods, see Deuteronomy 28:36 and 64. – And, as things went, they were not faithful, and so, those things did come upon them. Please note that the warnings recorded in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28 are fulfilled prophecy. In the case of the ten northern tribes of Israel, those things came to happen more than 2700 years ago. And yes, they still remain in that dispersion.
But, if one nevertheless wants to find “Israel” by measuring the intensity of religion in a country – then, a Russo-Israelist preacher certainly would say, “See the power which religion has had in Russia, and still has!” Even during the communist era, many Russians remained deeply religious, despite hardships. In the USA, religion is big business, and superficial. In Russia, it has been something on a deeper level.
One of the dogmas that have been popular among certain Anglo-Israelist writers, could be called “the prophesied downfall of Israel”. This has to do with such passages as Leviticus 26:19 which contains the words “and I will break the pride of your power”.
Now, the prophecies which some Anglo-Israelist writers have quoted, were in the case of the ten “lost” ten tribes of Israel fulfilled more than 2700 years ago, and are a thing of the ancient past. But right here, let us not allow the facts to disturb us. Consider this: If there were Russo-Israelist preachers with dogmas regarding “prophesied downfall” and “breaking of pride”, they would have had a field day in the 1990s when the Soviet Union fell apart so that Russia lost a number of her satellite states. For a Russo-Israelist preacher, that event would have been “the prophesied downfall of Israel”, “the Lord’s punishment on the rebellious people of Israel”, and so on and so forth. He would have sighed, and cried: “Look at Russia’s great fall, and how her pride has been broken!” – For indeed, it can be said that in the 1990s, Russia fell from the heights of her glory.
(Again, the words “and I will break the pride of your power”, Leviticus 26:19, refer to something that happened when the Israelites still lived in the Promised Land, more than 2700 years ago. The article eya026.htm has more on this.)
One could go on and on with these things, but hopefully this is enough to show that if one uses “proofs” and arguments of the kind that some Anglo-Israelist writers have used, then one can “prove” most anything.
In this article, it was shown that arguments of that kind could just as well be used for “proving” that Russia and the other Slavic nations are “Israel”. Actually, such “proofs” fit much better to Russia and the other Slavic nations, than to Britain and USA.
Please note that “proofs” of that kind are not real, even though they might seem convincing at first sight. Anglo-Israelites writers have quoted a number of scriptures out of their context, and at the same time swept aside many clear statements and facts in the Bible.
The article eya018.htm has some notes on what biblical prophecy actually says in regard to how the “lost” tribes of Israel were to be doing in our day and age, until their restoration which is still a matter of the future.
Links to the other 14 parts in this series on the tribes of Israel are found in the “recommended reading” section, below.
Please send or mention the address to this site to others. You can also link to these pages. The address to the table of contents page is biblepages.net/articles.htm
Recommended reading here at the Bible Pages, on related as well as other matters
An explanation of the short names for the bible-translations that are quoted or mentioned at this site. → esa095.htm
Gentiles, pagans and heathen – what do those words really mean? → ega018.htm
Maps and some notes on certain kingdoms which are mentioned in the Bible – Assyria, Babylon or Chaldea, Persia and Media. → ewa086.htm
The other parts in the ‘tribes’ series:
The lost ten tribes of Israel in prophecy. → eya018.htm
Leviticus 26:19, “and I will break the pride of your power”. How and when was the Israelites’ pride broken? → eya026.htm
On the meaning of Genesis 22:17, the words “and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies”. → eya037.htm
Jacob’s birthright, and that of his son Joseph. On what the concept “birthright” meant and referred to, in regard to inheritance, in ancient times. → eya047.htm
On the meaning of the words “seven times” in Leviticus 26:18, 21, 24 and 28. Does the wording in the Hebrew text mean “seven times more” or “sevenfold” as many translations have it, or “2520 years” as some writers have claimed? → eya058.htm
Jeremiah 30:7, “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. What does chapter 30 in the book of Jeremiah really mean and refer to? → eya068.htm
On the prophet Ezekiel and his mission, and the “Ezekiel message” dogma. → eya077.htm
The lost sheep of the house of Israel of Matthew 10:6 – who were they, and where? Also: Where did the apostles go? → eya088.htm
Did the ten lost tribes of Israel move into Europe? Are the white north-west Europeans Israelites, as some say? → eya097.htm
Is the line of David the king of Israel still ruling somewhere on Earth? → eya108.htm
The meaning of the words “branch” and “twig” in Ezekiel 17:22. Some notes on Anglo-Israelist dogmas regarding king Zedekiah’s daughters. → eya116.htm
The prophet Jeremiah – where did he die? Did he go to Ireland, as some have claimed? Also, what about the “stone of destiny” which some writers talk about? → eya127.htm
Did people of the ten “lost” tribes of Israel travel to Greece, Denmark and Ireland? Some notes on certain Anglo-Israelist dogmas. → eya137.htm
Ethnic groups which could eventually belong to the “lost” tribes of Israel. → eya157.htm
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