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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 with the other Slavic nations are the ten lost tribes. Indeed, regarding the claim that the Anglo-Saxon people are “Israelites” – what if it is instead Russia with her Slavic sister nations that are the “nation and a multitude of nations” which some writers 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 and methods of the kind that some Anglo-Israelist writers have used, can be used for “proving” many kinds of things.
The article rya012.htm has some notes on what biblical prophecy actually 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 attacked the ten northern tribes of Israel and took them 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 at some later time, those Israelites left the area of their captivity and moved to western Europe, including the British isles. Those writers have published books and booklets, sometimes with glossy illustrations, maps and graphs, regarding the route of such a supposed move. But, consider the simple map below. It is placed here to make a certain point. It shows a route one could logically expect the tribes of Israel to have taken, if they for some reason left the area of their captivity.
Again, this map shows a 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 – see all of the map above – 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” that the ten lost tribes of Israel moved into western Europe and America. Claims of that kind 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 western Europe or America. 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 had been 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, also after that division, and Judea continued to be counted as a part of the land of Israel.) 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 ten lost tribes”.
Some Anglo-Israelist writers have made certain claims in regard to the tribe of Dan, which consists of the descendants of Dan who was the fifth son of the patriarch Jacob whose second name was Israel. Those 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 “Israelites”. 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 rya132.htm has more on this, but in short: For some strange reason, some writers have claimed that that verse says or means that the tribe of Dan, during their supposed move from the area where they had been 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.
So, only Russo-Israelist preachers – if there were such – could use those river-names as “proof” for their dogmas.
The article rya132.htm sorts out the Anglo-Israelist claim that some people of the tribe of Dan of Israel moved to Denmark and Ireland.
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 those passages to somehow 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, while for instance the city of Moscow lies directly towards north, as seen from Jerusalem.
Here are two passages which talk about the coming time of return.
Jeremiah 16:14 Yet I, the Lord, say, “A new time will certainly come. People now affirm their oaths with ‘I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the people of Israel out of Egypt.’ 15 But at that time they will affirm them with ‘I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the people of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished them.’ At that time I will bring them back to the land I gave their ancestors.” (NET, highlighting added)
Jeremiah 23:7 “So I, the Lord, say, ‘A new time will certainly come. People now affirm their oaths with ‘I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the people of Israel out of Egypt.’ 8 But at that time they will affirm them with ‘I swear as surely as the Lord lives who delivered the descendants of the former nation of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other lands where he had banished them.’ At that time they will live in their own land.” (NET, highlighting added)
According to Jeremiah 16:15, 23:8, 29:14, 30:10 and 32:37, the return is to be from the area where the Israelites were taken as captives, and not from Britain or some other place. Now, the Old Testament passages which refer to the area of that captivity, are not very exact but talk in general terms about “Assyria” and “the towns of the Medes” and so on. The area of that captivity is indicated on the map above.
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”. 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 lost tribes of Israel are to return.
Russia and the other Slavic countries lie north of the land of Israel. (See all of the map above.) For instance 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 translations have in that verse the words “the islands of the sea”.
Now, there are many seas and there are many islands, but when it comes to Isaiah 11:11, the wording in the Hebrew text appears to refer to coastlands (or regions), and not 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 bible-versions have similar wordings. – Some dictionary-makers have said that the old Hebrew word in question, ‘iy, could also mean “region”.
Then, let us note the fact that the in Isaiah 11:11 mentioned places 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 (a plain between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris), Hamath (a place in Syria). And then also some “coastlands” or “regions”, or Arabia as the Septuagint has it. (The ancient 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”.)
In short: The places which are mentioned in Isaiah 11:11 are all 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. So, not even a Russo-Israelist preacher would try to use Isaiah 11:11 as “proof” for his dogmas.
(Manasseh and Ephraim were sons of Joseph who in his turn was a son of the patriarch Jacob whose second name was Israel.)
Many Anglo-Israelist writers have wanted people to believe 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 certainly could make use of that, because the phrase “a nation and a multitude of nations” fits well as a description of Russia with her Slavic sister nations 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, and this is regarding Manasseh and Ephraim:
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, highlighting added)
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. Deuteronomy 1:10 and 10:22 and 1 Kings 4:20 show that the Israelites did become numerous, “as the stars of heaven” and “as the sand on the seashore”. Please note that this was in the days of Moses, before the tribes of Israel 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 rya012.htm and rya052.htm have some notes on this.
But, if someone nevertheless wants to hang on to the “multitude of Joseph” dogma which claims that the descendants of Joseph’s sons Manasseh and Ephraim would form “several nations” in our day, in that case it must be noted that the phrase “a nation and a multitude of nations” which some translations have in Genesis 48:19, certainly fits as a description of Russia with her Slavic sister nations. A Russo-Israelist preacher would make this very clear.
Some writers have claimed that the 1803 “Louisiana purchase” proves that the [white] people of the USA are “the tribe of Manasseh”. Background: 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 dogmas regarding “prophesied expansion” and “restored blessings” are connected to a certain “2520 years” calculation. The article rya052.htm sorts out that matter.
It is easy to be captured by various kinds of claims and dogmas. However, 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 people of 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 rya012.htm has some notes on that subject.
But, if one for some reason holds on to the by some writers created dogmas 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 sister nations.
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 in the west, all the way to the Pacific Ocean in the east. 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 “Manasseh”.
Certain Anglo-Israelist writers have created dogmas around the phrase “his branches run over the wall” which some bible-versions have in Genesis 49:22. Those writers have claimed that that verse refers to a “colonising people”. Then they have further claimed that it refers to the Anglo-Saxon people.
Compare these different translations of that verse.
The ancient Hebrew text of Genesis 49 is very hard to interpret. As you can see above, translators have made wildly different guesses in regard to what the Hebrew wording might mean. (If you have been caused to think that some particular bible-version “has all things right” and “is without error”, make sure to read the article rsa032.htm.) What is clear, is that that verse refers to something the patriarch Jacob said, in Egypt, when he (prophetically?) spoke to his sons, apparently concerning what would happen to their descendants when they moved to the Promised Land.
It may be that the LXXE translation is closest to the original wording, but were it so that the makers of the NKJV made a somewhat good guess in regard to the meaning the ancient Hebrew text, in that case the (prophetic?) words of that verse might eventually have been connected to 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 right now, let us consider how a Russo-Israelist preacher might apply the dogma which claims Genesis 49:22 to mean that Joseph’s descendants would emerge as a “colonising people”, around year 1800. For, in those days, the Russian empire expanded in several directions. Look at any decent historical map and see what Russia had in her heyday, from the Black Sea to the Arctic Sea and from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean (and beyond it).
Indeed, a Russo-Israelist preacher could describe that expansion as “Russia’s branches running over the wall” (this is an allusion to the above-quoted NKJV). He would say that to be a fulfilment of Genesis 49:22, and he might say that the word “wall” “obviously refers to the Ural mountains” (which lie in Russia and form a border between Europe and Asia). And of course, he would interpret the word “well” in the middle part of that verse (see the NKJV) as referring to the Black Sea which lies in the area from which Russia began to expand. (The Russian Synodal Translation, Синодальный перевод, has in that verse a wording similar to that in the NKJV.)
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 rya092.htm sorts out that matter.
Many bible-translations have in Genesis 22:17 the phrase “gate of his enemies”. That phrase and verse have been popular dogma-material, among some Anglo-Israelist writers. They have claimed 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”. Let us consider the passage in question. The context is that the Lord promised certain things to Abraham, when he at the Lord’s command had almost given his son Isaac to death, as a sacrifice.
Genesis 22:15 And the angel of Jehovah called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said, By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, 17 that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies (ASV, highlighting added)
The article rya032.htm has more on that passage, including the question whose enemies verse 17 refers to and what the Hebrew wording behind the translation “gate” in it might actually mean. But right here, let us consider how a Russo-Israelist preacher could use that word. 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” which protected 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; a Russo-Israelist preacher 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) could use such wordings for proving that Russia and her Slavic sister nations are “Israel”.
Some writers have claimed that the ten lost tribes of Israel would be a “people of the Bible”, in our day. On the basis of that claim, those writers have further claimed that the number of bibles printed in the Anglo-Saxon countries proves that they are “Israel”. In contrast to that, 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 Him, 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. Their promised restoration has not taken place yet.
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 totally different 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 warning prophecy of Leviticus 26:19 with it context was in the case of the ten northern tribes of Israel fulfilled more than 2700 years ago, and is a thing of the ancient past. The Scriptures record this. 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 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.
But again, the words “and I will break the pride of your power” in Leviticus 26:19 refer to something that happened to the northern tribes of Israel more than 2700 years ago, when they still lived in the Promised Land. The article rya022.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 arguments and methods of the kind that some Anglo-Israelist writers have used, then one can “prove” almost anything.
In this article, it was shown how that kind of arguments 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 with her Slavic sister nations, than to USA and Britain.
Please note that “proofs” of that kind are not real, even though some of them might seem convincing at first sight. Anglo-Israelist writers have quoted a number of scriptures out of their context and twisted their meaning, and at the same time swept aside many clear statements and facts in the Bible. The article rya012.htm has some notes on what biblical prophecy actually says in regard to how the ten 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 tell others about this site. Please also link to it. The address to the table of contents page is biblepages.net/contents.htm
An explanation of the short names for the bible-translations that are quoted or mentioned at this site. → rsa092.htm
On the words “gentiles”, “pagans” and “heathen” and what they actually mean and refer to. → rga012.htm
Easy keys to deeper understanding of the Scriptures. → rga022.htm
On the King James version. The story behind king James’ bible, including the men who were involved in producing it. → rsa032.htm
Maps and some notes on certain kingdoms which are mentioned in the Bible – Assyria, Babylon or Chaldea, Media and Persia. → rwa082.htm
The other parts in the ‘tribes’ series:
What biblical prophecy says about the fate of the ten lost tribes of Israel. → rya012.htm
Leviticus 26:19, “and I will break the pride of your power”. How and when was the ancient Israelites’ pride broken? → rya022.htm
On the meaning of Genesis 22:17, the words “and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies”. → rya032.htm
On what the concept “birthright” meant and referred to, in regard to inheritance, in ancient times. Also, some notes on the patriarch Jacob’s birthright, and that of his son Joseph. → rya042.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? → rya052.htm
Jeremiah 30:7, “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. On what chapter 30 in the book of Jeremiah means and refers to. → rya062.htm
On the prophet Ezekiel and his mission, and the “Ezekiel message” dogma. → rya072.htm
Matthew 10:5–6, “do not go into the way of the gentiles and do not enter a city of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”. Who and where were those “sheep”? Where did the apostles go? → rya083.htm
Did the ten lost tribes of Israel move to Europe? Are the white north-west Europeans Israelites, as some say? → rya092.htm
Is the line of David the king of Israel still ruling somewhere on Earth? → rya102.htm
The meaning of the words “branch” and “twig” in Ezekiel 17:22. Some notes on Anglo-Israelist dogmas regarding king Zedekiah’s daughters. → rya112.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? → rya122.htm
Did people of the ten lost tribes of Israel travel to Greece, Denmark and Ireland? Some notes on certain Anglo-Israelist dogmas. → rya132.htm
Ethnic groups which could eventually belong to the lost tribes of Israel. → rya152.htm
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