The following is intended to be a brief summary of a Biblical time line, showing the history behind the House of Judah, i.e. the Jewish people, and the House of Joseph, who had been scattered to the nations, effectively becoming “gentiles.”
The dates given are approximations that have been taken from reliable sources.
2085 B.C. – God promised to Abraham that he would have many descendants who would inherit the holy land.
Genesis 13:14-17; “The LORD said to Abram, after Lot was separated from him, ‘Now, lift up your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land which you see, I will give to you, and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then your seed may also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in its length and in its breadth; for I will give it to you.’”
1875 B.C. – The children of Israel went to live in Egypt.
Genesis 46:5-7; “Jacob rose up from Beersheba, and the sons of Israel carried Jacob, their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. They took their livestock, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt– Jacob, and all his seed with him, his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters, and he brought all his seed with him into Egypt.”
1446 B.C. – The children of Israel departed from Egyptian captivity with a mixed company of non-Hebrews.
Exodus 12:37-38; “The children of Israel traveled from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, besides children. A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much livestock.”
1446 B.C. – God affirms the covenant with the children of Israel.
Exodus 19:3-6, “Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, ‘This is what you shall tell the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice, and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.”’”
1399 B.C. – The children of Israel, as an established kingdom, received the land that had been promised to their forefather Abraham.
Joshua 18:10; “Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD. There Joshua divided the land to the children of Israel according to their divisions.”
Joshua 21:43-45; “So the LORD gave to Israel all the land which He swore to give to their fathers. They possessed it, and lived in it. The LORD gave them rest all around, according to all that he swore to their fathers. Not a man of all their enemies stood before them. The LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. Nothing failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”
922 B.C. – The Kingdom of Israel was divided into Two Houses; ten tribes formed the House of Joseph, and two tribes formed the House of Judah. (The House of Joseph historically retained the name Israel, and is also called Ephraim or Joseph in prophetic passages.)
1 Kings 11:29-36; “It happened at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; now Ahijah had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field. Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it in twelve pieces. He said to Jeroboam, ‘Take ten pieces; for thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to you (but he shall have one tribe, for my servant David’s sake and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel); because that they have forsaken me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the children of Ammon. They have not walked in My ways, to do that which is right in My eyes, and to keep My statutes and My ordinances, as David his father did. However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand; but I will make him prince all the days of his life, for David my servant’s sake whom I chose, who kept My commandments and my statutes; but I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it to you, even ten tribes. To his son will I give one tribe, that David My servant may have a lamp always before me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen Me to put My name there.”’”
721 B.C. – The House of Joseph was taken into Assyrian captivity.
2 Kings 17:22-23; “The children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them; until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He spoke by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria to this day.”
608-586 B.C. – The House of Judah was taken into Babylonian captivity.
2 Kings 25:21; “The king of Babylon struck them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away captive out of his land.”
538 B.C. – The House of Judah was allowed to return to the land of Israel.
Jeremiah 29:10; “For thus says the LORD, ‘After seventy years are accomplished for Babylon, I will visit you, and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.’”
516 B.C. – The House of Judah commissioned to build the second temple
Ezra 1:2-3, 5; “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He has commanded me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD, the God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. Whoever is left, in any place where he lives, let the men of his place help him with silver, with gold, with goods, and with animals, besides the freewill offering for God’s house which is in Jerusalem.’ Then the heads of fathers’ households of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, even all whose spirit God had stirred to go up rose up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.”
516 B.C. and onward – Only the House of Judah, i.e. the Jewish people, returned to the land.
Ezra 4:1; “Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple to the LORD, the God of Israel…”
Ezra 9:10; “Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together to Jerusalem within the three days…”
Nehemiah 7:6; “These are the children of the province, who went up out of the captivity of those who had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and who returned to Jerusalem and to Judah, everyone to his city…”
Nehemiah 11:4; “In Jerusalem lived certain of the children of Judah, and of the children of Benjamin.”
166 B.C. – The House of Judah fought bravely against the Seleucid Greeks.
1 Maccabees 3:24-25; “Then began the fear of Judas and his brothers, and an exceeding great dread fell upon the nations around them. His fame even reached the king, and all the nations talked of the battles of Judas.”
164 B.C. – The House of Judah rededicated the temple.
1 Maccabees 4:52-53; “On the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is called the month Kislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year, 1 they rose up early in the morning, and, according to the Torah, offered sacrifice upon the new altar of burnt offerings which they had made.”
c. 160 B.C. – The House of Judah made a peace treaty with the Romans.
1 Maccabees 8:20-23; “‘Judas Maccabeus with his brothers, and the people of the Jews, have sent us to you, to make a confederacy and peace with you, and that we might be registered your confederates and friends.’ So that matter pleased the Romans well. This is a copy of the letter which the senate wrote in response in tables of brass, and sent to Jerusalem, that there they might have by them a memorial of peace and confederacy: ‘Good success be to the Romans, and to the people of the Jews, by sea and by land forever!’”
c. 30 A.D. – The Messiah came to redeem the House of Joseph.
Matthew 15:24, “But He answered, ‘I was not sent to anyone but the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.’”
45 A.D. – All twelve tribes still exist, but are not necessarily unified.
James 1:1, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah, to the twelve tribes which are in the Dispersion: Greetings.”
64 A.D. – Peter writes to the House of Joseph, from the House of Judah.
1 Peter 1:1, 2:9-10; Peter, an apostle of Yeshua the Messiah, to the chosen ones who are living as foreigners in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia… You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who in time past were no people, but now are God’s people; who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” (This is a pastiche of phrases, all of which come from the Hebrew Scriptures, and all of which pertain specifically to the Houses of Israel.)
70 A.D. – The Second Temple is destroyed by the Romans.
94 A.D. – The House of Judah is under Roman occupation, and the House of Joseph still outside of the land.
Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews Book IX, Chapter 5.2; “There are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the ten tribes are beyond Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers.”
136 A.D. – The House of Judah is banished from Jerusalem by the Romans after the failed Bar Kokhba Revolt.
c. 200 A.D. – The House of Joseph is still missing, and the House of Judah debates their return.
Mishneh (Sanhedrin 110b); “The Ten Tribes will not return, for it is said, And cast them into another land, as is this day: just as the day goes and does not return, so they too went and will not return: this is R. Akiba’s view. R. Eliezer said: As this day- just as the day darkens and then becomes light again, so the ten tribes- even as it went dark for them, so it will become light for them.”
c. 500 A.D. – The House of Joseph is still missing, and the House of Judah continues to debate their return.
Gemara (Sanhedrin 110b); “Our Rabbis taught: The ten tribes have no portion in the world to come, as it says, And the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation: And the Lord rooted them out of their land, refers to this world; and cast them into another land- to the world to come: this is R. Akiba’s view. R. Simeon b. Judah, of the Kefar of Acco, said on R. Simeon’s authority: If their deeds are as this day’s, they will not return; otherwise they shall. Rabbi said: They will enter the future world, as it is said, And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount of Jerusalem.”
c. 500 A.D. – The House of Judah considers those from the House of Joseph as heathens, i.e. gentiles / goyim / of the nations.
Gemara (Yebamoth 16a, 16b), “Rab Judah said in the name of R. Assi: If at the present time a heathen betroths a daughter in Israel, note must be taken of such betrothal since it may be that he is of the ten tribes. But, surely, anything separated from a heterogeneous group is regarded as having been separated from the majority! …They did not move from there until they had declared them to be perfect heathens…”
1260 A.D. – The House of Joseph has not yet returned, and are still in exile.
Nachmanides, Sefer HaGeulah; “Behold I will recall a matter that is expressly mentioned many times in Scripture. It is known that with the Return of the Exiles under Ezra only the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin returned. These had been exiled to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar… It has been made quite clear from our study that the only ones who returned from the Babylonian Exile were they who belonged to the Kingdom of Judah. Those however who are termed the House of Ephraim, or The House of Israel, meaning the Ten Tribes are still in Exile in Assyria. These Tribes did not have any participants in the Second Redemption, as I have noted.”
2012 A.D. – The House of Judah is growing open to the return of Joseph
Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum, “We see many, many Jewish (Hebrew) souls that have strayed and gone off into other peoples and other countries, and they have dissolved into the surrounding population. What this means is that there are potentially millions and millions of people who are biologically descended from the lost ten tribes.”
2015 A.D. – The B’ney Yosef Congress
Ariel, Israel: A group of over 130 self-identified “Ephraimites” come together under the banner of “The Sons of Joseph” in the land of Israel for a 3 day Congress, to unite under a banner of repentance for the sins of Jeroboam, to praise and worship the Father, and to pray for the restoration of the House of Joseph.
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