The Captivity of Israel
The kingdom of the Ten Tribes was successively invaded by several Assyrian kings. Pul (q.v.) imposed tribute on Menahem of a thousand talents of silver [2 Kings 15:19.20: 1 Chronicles 5:26 (B.C. 762)] and Tiglath-pileser, in the days of Pekah (B.C. 738), carried away the trans-Jordanic tribes and the inhabitants of Galilee into Assyria [2 Kings 15:29; Isaiah 9:1 ]. Subsequently, Shalmaneser invaded Israel and laid siege to Samaria, the capital of the kingdom.
During the siege Shalmaneser died and was succeeded by Sargon, who took the city and transported the great mass of the people into Assyria (B.C. 721), placing them in Halah and in Habor, and in the cities of the Medes [2 Kings 17:3,5]. Samaria was never again inhabited by the Israelites. The families thus removed were carried to distant cities, many of them not far from the Caspian Sea, and their former territory was occupied by colonists from Babylon and Cuthah, etc. [2 Kings 17:24].
Thus was terminated the kingdom of the Ten Tribes, having endured for two hundred and fifty-five years (from B.C. 975) as a separate kingdom. Many indulge in speculations with reference to these ten tribes, but we believe that all of them; perhaps with the exception of the few who probably allied themselves with Judah and shared in their restoration under Cyrus, are those people classified as the lost Tribes of Israel: those whom our Lord described as "the lost sheep of the house of Israel" [Matthew 10:6; 15:24]. "Like the dew on the mountain, like the foam on the river, like the bubble on the fountain, they are gone, and for ever."
That last statement in quotes is incomprehensible concerning our subject. Who can believe in a god who cannot keep his promises. Our God does keep His promises:
"For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;" [Jeremiah 33:17].
That Scripture makes it abundantly clear that not only will David's house be in existence at the Lord's coming, but likewise the house of Israel. Moreover, the Jews themselves do not have any conception whatsoever that in them consists all of the tribes of Jacob-Israel; and while some of them already know where their kinsmen of the house of Israel are domiciled in the world, there are those who still await the revelation of the whereabouts of their northern brethren.
In his book, British and Jewish Fraternity (now out of print), the late Rev. Elieser Bassin, CM, PhB, of pious Jewish parents, declared: "it is my conviction that Britain is the nation with whom God has from first to last identified Himself. I, an Israelite of the House of Judah claim you as Israelites of the House of Ephraim. As believers in the faithfulness of our covenant-keeping God, I call you to awake from your sleep."
-- Matthew J. Browning
Hope of Israel
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.