Correctly tracking the ancient Israelite tribes through the centuries in order to accurately interpret Bible prophecy provides insight into God’s plan for mankind and imparts understanding of the future.
God created the nations and controls the ultimate fate of mankind. “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (Acts 17:26).
The Bible reveals God chose one nation to be a model for all other nations, starting with the patriarch Abraham (Genesis 12), followed by his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. God later changed Jacob’s name to Israel and his 12 sons became the patriarchs, or fathers, of the 12 tribes of Israel.
The book of Exodus traces Israel’s journey from slaves in Egypt to a confederacy of tribes in the Promised Land (largely where the nation-state of Israel is today). Then, due to Solomon’s disobedience, leading the nation to adopt pagan beliefs and practices, God allowed the 12 tribes to be divided into two nations. The tribes of Judah, Benjamin and part of the tribe of Levi became known as the nation of Judah. The other ten tribes formed the nation called Israel.
Around 740 to 720 B.C. because of continuing disobedience, Assyria conquered the nation of Israel and deported them from their homeland to Assyria’s north. They then became known as the “lost 10 tribes of Israel” and later migrated westward and to the north into the British Isles and Scandinavia.
However, even then God did not completely desert Israel. He kept the birthright promises He had made to Abraham. When Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, were blessed by his father, Israel (Jacob) we are told Manasseh was to become a great nation near the time of Christ’s second coming. Ephraim would be even greater, for he would become a multitude or company of nations (Genesis 48:17-20).
Detailed evidence available in our booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy traces the ten tribes of Israel through history. The greatest company of nations in world history in terms of wealth, prestige, influence and power in its heyday was the British Empire and the most influential single nation in the history of the world is clearly the United States of America. These modern nations can be proven to be the modern day tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. There is also considerable evidence enabling students of the Bible to pinpoint the other tribes of Israel in Europe and Scandinavia.
God fulfilled his promise to Abraham and is carrying out His will here on earth, fulfilling important prophecies and guiding all nations towards a chance to get to know and obey Him at the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.