This is an essay concerning the possible time of the return of the ten, lost, Jewish tribal families who once resided in the old Northern Jewish Kingdom. This is just a theory. But it has gained momentum in my spirit. And, so I will share it.
Some years ago an uncle of mine produced a booklet representing his many years of "end-time" research. That booklet was not widely distributed because my uncle wasn't some big name teacher. He was just a wonderful, godly man who was intensely looking for the return of Christ. Mostly his friends and family were the only ones who received a copy of his work.
In that treatise he made a point that I had not heard before. The point was based on two Scriptures that confronted him with a possible indicator of the year in which the punishments of Israel might conclude. If those two Scriptures do hold the key to calculate the year in which all of Israel's punishments end, then one might assume that such a date might indicate the time when the lost ten Jewish Tribes may re-appear.
If you are a student of history, you know that the Ten Tribes were overthrown my the nation of Assyria. They were deported to regions more or less unknown. The Assyrians had a reputation for breaking up peoples and cultures, forcing defeated people groups to relocate and even inter-marry with other peoples. Their motive was to destroy those peoples and cultures that they especially felt were worthy of extinction.
My Uncle's calculations led him to wonder if the year 2004 might be the time when Israel's past punishments would end. He was calculating in the 1980s and, at that time, 2004 sounded plausible. The Scriptures that he used for his calculations, he felt were indicators of the time of the end of all punishments for the total Jewish Nation. But I'm beginning to believe, as you will see below, that his calculations were actually bringing us closer to knowing when the ten lost Northern tribes might be located, or identified.
I would like to begin again with the Scripture foundation that my Uncle called attention to. I believe that these Scriptures are important. My son, who is interested in mathematics, pointed out another way these Scriptures might be interpreted mathematically. Here are the two Scriptures my Uncle brought out:
"18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you SEVEN TIMES more for your sins. 19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: 20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits. 21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring SEVEN TIMES more plagues upon you according to your sins. 22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate. 23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; 24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet SEVEN TIMES for your sins. 25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. 26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied. 27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; 28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you SEVEN TIMES for your sins."
"4Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. 5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days [390 days]: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days [40 days]: I have appointed thee each day for a year. 7 Therefore thou shalt set thy face toward the siege of Jerusalem, and thine arm shall be uncovered, and thou shalt prophesy against it. 8 And, behold, I will lay bands upon thee, and thou shalt not turn thee from one side to another, till thou hast ended the days of thy siege."
The first Scripture in Leviticus 26:18-28 promises the Jewish Nation that if they do not learn to obey their God's ordinances that GOD would multiply their punishment SEVEN TIMES. It repeats this warning FOUR times to emphasize the certainty of the punishment, should they disobey their God. Israel did not learn to avoid idol worship prior to their captivity in Babylon. They were not able to mend their ways. We can assume then that any punishment from God will then be multiplied SEVEN TIMES.
In the second passage, Ezekiel 4:4-8, the prophet is instructed to lay down on each side, 390 days for the Northern Kingdom of Israel and 40 days on his other side for the Southern Kingdom, Judah and Benjamin. It is explained that each day represents one year of their iniquity for which Ezekiel physically prophecies, using his own body as a signpost of the seriousness of Israel's sins.
My Uncle added the 390 years to the 40 years, assuming that the sentences would add together for the whole Nation of Israel. His calculations led to the date of 2004 A.D. as the end of Israel's punishment.
My son suggested that perhaps the two punishment sentences must be kept separate, rather than added together, because each Kingdom had it's own unique sinfulness. God dealt separately and differently with each Kingdom. My son also suggested that perhaps these sentences might have run concurrently.
My Uncle selected as the beginning date for the sentence of God's people as the year Judah returned from Babylon, 514 B.C. But, my son points out that the beginning of the Northern Kingdom's punishment was in 721 B.C., when the first Northern Jews were carried off by Assyria. That is 207 years earlier than my Uncle's starting point.
Jerusalem's sins, the sin of Judah, or the Southern Kingdom, caught up with them over a century later. My Uncle's start date has nothing to do with the Northern Kingdom. But again he was lumping all of the Nation of Israel together. I believe we need to look at the two Kingdoms separately in order to determine a time in which the Northern Kingdom may return from its captivity..
If we take then the Northern Kingdom's punishment of 390 years and multiply that sentence by seven , the years of punishment grow to 2,730 years of punishment.
My Uncle, in his calculations, did not take into account the fact that there is no ZERO year between 1 B.C. and 1 A.D. That introduced a small error of one year.
I don't have any explanations for why Ezekiel is told that the Southern Kingdom's sins amounted to 40 years when they spent 70 years in Captivity in Babylon. Perhaps their punishment was lengthened because of other disobediences that God took into account??
The Northern Kingdom has remained lost and in captivity all these many years. But God's Word indicates that there will be 12 tribes during the Tribulation and also that the Northern Kingdom and Southern Kingdom will mend their differences. I believe the two passages of Scripture I quoted may tell us when the Northern Kingdom will again be found and released to return to Israel. The formula for the last year of the Northern Kingdom's punishment goes like this, after these adjustments:
We begin when the first Northern Jews were taken captive in 721 B.C. Then we travel forward in time 2,730 years of punishment from God. However, our calendars aren't very mathematical when it comes to going from B.C. to A.D. In Math you count -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3 and so on. But, the calendar counts B.C. to A.D. years like this: -2, -1, +1, +2, +3 and so on. There is no zero year! So, we must subtract one year from our calculation. The year the meter on our time machine arrives at, then, is the year 2008.
If this theory is correct it would mean that sometime near the year of 2008 the Northern Kingdom's punishments for sin will end. I believe that if this is correct it would mean that the lost 10 tribes will be found, possibly near the year of 2008. They have been punished all these years! They would be brought back into the Hebrew Nation.
It is interesting to speculate about the meaning of Scriptures like those mentioned here. The important thing is that the Bible is always correct, God is always correct, men are often incorrect. I merely share these thoughts as speculations. The important thing is to be right with God, repenting of all known sin and receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of our life.
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