SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
The Return of Judah and the Ten
Tribes in the End Times
by John Hulley
(Adapted by Brit-Am with permission of
Are we waiting for the Messiah?
Or is he waiting for us?
Could there be something he is waiting for us to do?
Zionist Christians believe they know the answers: support the return of the Jews
to Israel and convert them to Christianity. Then the Christian Messiah will
This is their interpretation of scripture. And for nigh on two centuries they
have been patiently carrying out programs designed to make these two things
But is their approach altogether correct? The fact is it has failed to produce
the desired result, the coming of the Messiah. And so long as it has not
succeeded, the question must remain: is there anything wrong with the program?
Does it need to be modified in any way?
The Bible has quite a lot to say on the build-up to the coming of the Messiah.
Ezekiel summarizes the sequence of events:
Thus saith the Lord God: "Behold, I will
take . . . Ephraim and . . . Judah . . . from among the nations to which they
are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own
land. 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.
Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their
detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions, but I will . . .
cleanse them . . . [the Messiah, son of] David, my servant, shall be king over
them, and they all shall have one shepherd . . . [he] shall be their prince
forever (Ezekiel 37:19-25).
Here it appears that the first step is the return to Israel of two nations,
Ephraim and Judah.
Return and purification of Ephraim and
The two 'nations' are referred to elsewhere in the Bible as the two 'houses' of
Israel. They are the result of God's division of the people after the
disastrous end to King Solomon's reign (1 Kings 11). Today's Jews are the modern
descendants of the two tribes of the house of Judah. Meanwhile the descendants
of the ten tribes of the house of Ephraim have long been lost through
assimilation among the gentiles.
Since the time of the Emperor Constantine the Church has largely ignored the
question of the ten tribes.
[ Christians habitually pass over in silence the many Bible passages dealing
with them. There is good reason for this: among Christians the lost tribes
have been meant to stay out of sight and out of mind until the end-time.]
But the ongoing restoration of the state of Israel shows that we are even now
entering that time. We are therefore going to have to start bringing Ephraim
back into our thinking and planning. For, according to scripture, both houses
are then to return:
"In those days [end-time] the House of
Judah shall walk with the House of Israel [Ephraim], and they shall come
together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an
inheritance unto your fathers" (Jeremiah 3:18).
The first step in the process of return is re-conquest of the land. Isaiah
11:11-14, Obadiah 18 and Zechariah 10:3, 5, 7, 10 foretell the combined
military efforts of the two houses.
Having established themselves, the Israelites settle. Jeremiah 31:4-5 speaks
of Ephraimites planting vines in their ancestral home in Samaria. Ezekiel 48
allocates territory for each tribe.
According to Ezekiel's summary (quoted above) three things will happen after the
return of the two houses: purification, unification and appointment of a Davidic
king or Messiah. None of these events are to occur before the return.
The first of these is the spiritual purification of the Israelites. The beliefs
and practices of each house will be up for revision and correction:
For I will take you from among the
nations, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own
land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean, from
all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you (Ezekiel
Another prophet says
. . . it shall come to pass in that day,
saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the
land, and they shall no more be remembered . . . (Zechariah 13:2).
Who then will lead the people to recognize and discard the idols? According to
one scripture Ephraim is to be taught by shepherds sent from God:
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the
Lord . . . and I will bring you to Zion; and I will give you shepherds according
to mine heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah
But these words of Jeremiah are exceptional. Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah say
simply that God will do it. And others quoted below say it will be done through
Divine Guidance. Perhaps the process will begin under the leadership of
shepherds, but will continue under the guidance of the Divine Presence,
especially when the latter grows stronger. Then
. all thy children shall be taught
of the Lord . . (Isaiah 54:13).
. . in the third day [end-time] He
will raise us up, that we may live in His sight . . . He will come to us like
the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth (Hosea 6:2-3).
The 'latter rain' has not only a
physical, but also a spiritual meaning.
'A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I
will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart
of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you . . (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
. . . they shall not teach again, each
man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying Know the Lord, for they shall
all know me.. (Jeremiah 31:34).
Divine Inspiration will reach everyone -- regardless of age, sex or station
(Joel 2:28-29). Indeed it will be so clear that prophets are no longer
needed. Since every Israelite will hear, would-be prophets will have no place
in the land.
. . I [the Lord] will cause the prophets
and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land (Zechariah 13:2).
Zechariah is actually describing the future of his own calling when he says
And it shall come to pass that, when any
shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother who begot him shall say unto
him, Thou shalt not live . . [they] shall thrust him through . . . in that
day the prophets shall be ashamed (Zechariah 13:3-4).
The message is that we will hear with such clarity that we will not need
prophets any more. At this stage we will begin to grasp higher truths which
we had not previously understood.
Higher truth leads to reconciliation
Since the new understanding will be given to both houses, it should remove the
religious obstacles between them. What a time that will be! It may be the
one foreseen in glowing terms in the Talmud:
Great will be the day when the exiles of Israel will be reassembled, as the day
when heaven and earth were created (Pesach 88a, BT)
God has promised that, despite
. . . the evil of the children of Israel
[Ephraim] and of the children of Judah . . . I will gather them out of all
countries, to which I have driven them in mine anger . . . I will bring them
again unto this place [Jerusalem] . . . and I will give them one heart and one
way (Jeremiah 32:32,37,39)
. . . assemble the outcasts of Israel
[Ephraim], and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of
the earth . . . Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim
As the two houses unify, there will no longer be rival faiths. No more sects!
No more denominations! A great clarification is coming. Everyone will
agree. How different that time will be!
The foregoing prophecies about reconquest, resettlement,
purification, spiritual clarity and reconciliation include no mention of the
Messiah. In fact the progress achieved over the past century in re-conquering
and resettling Israel has been achieved without messianic intervention.
It is therefore reasonable to suppose, as the prophets foretell, that Ephraim
will come back in the same way. It is only when the time comes to reunify the
two houses that the Messiah appears:
Then shall the children of Judah and the
children of Israel [Ephraim] be gathered together, and appoint themselves one
head, and they shall come up [to Jerusalem] out of the land [other regions of
Israel] . . . (Hosea 1:11).
The reunion will be manifested in the rule of a single person?the Davidic king
or Messiah. Although the tribes remain distinct, their grouping into two houses
The word of the Lord came again unto me,
saying Moreover 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 companion; and join them one to another into one stick, and they
shall become one in thine hand . . . and one king shall be king to them all . .
For More on this Subject:
To see more Brit-Am articles concerning the Tribes of Israel in general, go to:
To see Brit-Am articles concerning Rabbinical Sources and the Tribes of Israel, go to:
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