and the Lost Ten Tribes.

Sources: Fishel Mael, "Sefer Shiftei Israel" (Book of the Tribes of Israel, Hebrew), 5757.

The Seleucid Greek-Syrian Hellenizers and the Hasmonean Maccabees.
Israelite Tribes and their Gentile National Counterparts.

The Tribe of Dan and Chanukha.
The Tribe of Joseph and

The Seleucid Greek-Syrian Hellenizers and the Hasmonean Maccabees.
The Feast of Chanukha was inaugurated by the Jews in ca. 165 BCE under the leadership of the Chashmonian (Hasmonean) family.
They were Priests (Cohens) from the Tribe of Levi. The Hasmoneans led the Maccabee resistance to their Greek-Syrian Seleucid rulers.
Alexander of Macedon (Northwest Greece of that time) had conquered the Middle East. When he died the Empire split up into different sections one part of which was ruled by the Seleucids. The Seleucids were based in what is now northern Syria. They had a policy of forcibly Hellenizing their subjects. Helenizing meant speaking the Greek language, and adopting Greek religion and culture.
At that time this was considered the equivalent of Modernization and Progress. Many Jews enthusiastically participated in the Hellenization process. The Maccabees suppressed the Hellenizing faction amongst the Jews. They also out-maneuvered and defeated in battle the Seleucid military forces despite lackings in manpower, technical proficiency and professional training.

The Seleucids in Rabbinical sources are usually referred to as "Yavanim" which is the plural form of "Yavan" i.e. Greece.

Israelite Tribes and their Gentile National Counterparts.
Fishel Mael (p.160 ff) quoting from Rabbinicial sources, points out that different Israelite Tribes were destined to offset  or otherwise encounter specific Gentile adversaries on an individual national basis.

Judah whose strong point was monotheism was to be set against Babylon the mother of pagan religions.

Benjamin was parallel to Persia and Medea.
See the Book of Esther whose plot is located in  Persia and whose heroes, Mordecai and Esther, are both from Benjamin.
Benjamin like Joseph is associated with the "Foundational" Principle ("Yisod"). This is the Key to Spiritual and Material Plenty and is concomitant with the Power of Sexual Restraint. The Persians on the other hand were licentious and indulged in incest. Paradoxically the Persians were also known as being modest and for their chaste behaviour. The same applies to Benjamin. The modesty of the Persians however had lewd motivation whereas that of Benjamin was genuine.

Joseph is paired to Esau. Joseph is the adversary of Esau. Joseph and Esau are similar to each other. The failing of Esau expresses itself in violence and murder. Joseph also has a tendency in this direction that he needs to overcome or channel to positive lines.

The Tribe of Levi was set against Yavan (Greece).

The Yavanim (Seleucid Syrian-Greeks) attempted to take Jewish daughters and property. They were characterized by idolatry, sexual immorality, and violence.
The Levites may have had similar inclinations but they restrained themselves, acted in the opposite manner, and so were enabled to overcome their opponents.

The Tribe of Dan and Chanukha.
The Tribe of Dan is also associated with Chanukha.
A section of Dan comes from the north, from the place of Darkness. Yavan (Greece) is also from that region. Jeroboam the son of Nebat after he had induced the Ten Tribes to rebel against the House of David set up golden calves in Bethel and in Dan in the north (2-Kings 12:28). This brought Darkness to the world.
One of the symbols of Dan was a serpent. The Patriarch Jacob had blessed Dan by comparing him to a serpent.
Genesis 49:
 16  Dan shall judge his people As one of the tribes of Israel.
 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.

The serpent may have both sacred and profane symbolic importance.
The sacred aspect pertains to the characteristic of Dan derived from the word "din" connoting strict judgement and correctness.
Dan may well have a puritanical streak as well as a licentious one.

The word for serpent in Hebrew is Nachash. The same word root is used in the term "Nachoshet" which literally means "copper" though in Scripture could also refer to Bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) or Brass (an alloy of copper and zinc, often occurring naturally).
Bronze and brass are similar in appearance and attiributes. Copper is the dominant element in both. In the vision of Daniel (Daniel ch.2) the statue of Nebuchadnessar has a head of gold (Babylon), chest and shoulders of silver (Persia), thighs of Bronze (Nechoshet) symbolizing Greece. The Bronze (Nechoshet) aspect of Greece is parallel to Dan.
[The rest of the statue had belly and legs of iron meaning Rome and then feet of mixed clay and iron possibly symbolizing what was once the Holy Roman Empire and today is the European Union.]

Fisher Mael opines that even though the victory over Yavan (the Seleucids) was due to the Levites and Judah, elements from Dan (and possibly also from other Tribes) were too present.

The link between Dan and Greece had historical precedents as we have discussed elsewhere.
Dan and the Serpent Way.
Dan in Northern Israel, Greece, and Elsewhere

See articles by John
Salverda involving Dan and the Greeks:

Perseus Compared to Moses and the Danites of Jaffa".

The Wanderings.
Perseus at the Danite seaport of Joppa.

Perseus, Dan, and the Golden Calf of Dionysus.

Athens and the Hebrews. The Other Lost Israelites.

For Irish traditions implying a link between Greece and Dan see:


The Tribe of Joseph and Chanukha.
As a result of their victory over the Seleucids the Hasmoneans ruled over Judah for about a hundred years.
Coming from the Tribe of Levi they could not be considered permanent rulers since such a status belongs only to the House of David from Judah. The Hasmoneans were rather parallel to the rulers of the Ten Tribes who were first ruled by Jeroboam from the Tribe of Joseph.
Chanukha in a symbolic sense is associated with Joseph and with the Messiah son of Joseph.

Yavan was a precursor of Esau-Edom. Yavan epitomized beauty and aesthetics. Amongst the Israelites, the sons of Rachel (Joseph and Benjamin) also possess these qualities (Mael p.499).

Judah was destined to rule over Israel.
The Sons of Rachel (especially Joseph) are to rule over the Gentile Nations (Mael p.499).
The Tribe of Joseph was supposed to rule over Yavan and at some stage may have done so.

Yavan  was symbolized by a bow and so was Judah.
Judah will serve as a bow and Joseph as an arrow sent against Yavan.

Zechariah 9:
13 For I have bent Judah, My bow,
      Fitted the bow with Ephraim,
      And raised up your sons, O Zion,
      Against your sons, O Greece [Yavan],
      And made you like the sword of a mighty man.

Parallels in Prophecy between the
Maccabees and Ephraim in the Future.

Malbim on [Zechariah 9:14]: These messages are also parallel to each other. In the time of the Maccabees the Almighty made HIS presence felt amongst them to save them... HIS ARROW SHALL GO FORTH AS THE the Last War against Gog and Magog, He SHALL BLOW THE TRUMPET [Hebrew: "shofar"] to gather in the outcasts from the four corners of the earth, as it says,
Shofar] SHALL BE BLOWN, AND THEY SHALL COME who were lost IN THE LAND OF ASSYRIA [Isaiah 27:13].

Yavan was a descendant of Japhet (Genesis 10:2).

Genesis 9:
18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

27 May God enlarge Japheth,  And may he dwell in the tents of Shem;  And may Canaan be his servant.

The descendants of Japhet have the right to expand and develop their potentialities.
They are not however to impose their will over the descendants of Shem but rather should receive direction and guidance from them through Israel.

This has NOT been an entirely original article by Brit-Am but rather mainly an adaptation of material presented by Fishel Mael. Rabbi Fishel Mael quotes from Rabbinical Sources as well as, where necessary, suggesting his own interpretations based on exegetical principles.
Despite this reservation Brit-Am remains responsible for ALL content in the present article.

Fishel Mael, "Sefer Shiftei Israel" (Book of the Tribes of Israel, Hebrew), 5757.


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