Ten Lost Tribes

Ten Lost Tribes

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ten Lost Tribes'
Start a new discussion about 'Ten Lost Tribes'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel refers to those tribes of ancient Israel that formed the Kingdom of Israel and which disappeared from Biblical
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 and all other historical accounts after the kingdom was destroyed in about 720 BC by ancient Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

. Many groups have tradition
Tradition
A tradition is a ritual, belief or object passed down within a society, still maintained in the present, with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes , but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings...

s concerning the continued hidden existence or future public return of these tribes.

In medieval Rabbinic fable the concept of the ten tribes who were taken away from the House of David
House of David
The Israelite House of David is a religious society founded by Benjamin and Mary Purnell in Benton Harbor, Michigan, in March 1903. Benjamin Franklin Purnell was born near Maysville, Kentucky. As a child he was fascinated by preaching and learned to read using the New Testament, being raised in a...

 (who continued the rule of the southern kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

) becomes confounded with accounts of the Assyrian deportations leading to the myth of the "Ten Lost Tribes". The recorded history differs from this fable: no record exists of the Assyrians having exiled people from Dan
Dan
Dan is a name. It refers sometimes to the short form of the name Daniel. Dan, or the acronym DAN may refer to the following:Persons* Fyodor Dan, a Russian Marxist revolutionary...

, Asher
Asher
Asher , in the Book of Genesis, is the second son of Jacob and Zilpah, and the founder of the Tribe of Asher.-Name:The text of the Torah argues that the name of Asher means happy/blessing, implying a derivation from the Hebrew term osher ; the Torah actually presents this in two variations—beoshri...

, Issachar
Issachar
Issachar/Yissachar was, according to the Book of Genesis, a son of Jacob and Leah , and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Issachar; however some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite...

, Zebulun
Zebulun
Zebulun was, according to the Books of Genesis and Numbers, the sixth son of Jacob and Leah, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Zebulun...

 or western Manasseh
Manasseh
Manasseh is an ancient Hebrew male name, meaning "causing to forget". Manasseh may refer to:-Given name:*Manasseh of Judah, a king of the kingdom of Judah*Manasseh , a son of Joseph, according to the Torah...

. Descriptions of the deportation of people from Reuben
Reuben
- General :* Reuben ** Tribe of Reuben an ancient tribe of Israel, said to be descended from the above* Reuben sandwich* Reuben , a British rock band* Reuben , a character in Lilo & Stitch: The Series* Reubens, Idaho...

, Gad
Gad
Gad may refer to:In religion:*Gad , the founder of the tribe of Gad and seventh son of Jacob*Gad , King David's seer or prophet*Gad , a pan-Semitic deity worshipped during the Babylonian captivity...

, Manasseh
Manasseh
Manasseh is an ancient Hebrew male name, meaning "causing to forget". Manasseh may refer to:-Given name:*Manasseh of Judah, a king of the kingdom of Judah*Manasseh , a son of Joseph, according to the Torah...

 in Gilead
Gilead
In the Bible "Gilead" means hill of testimony or mound of witness, , a mountainous region east of the Jordan River, situated in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It is also referred to by the Aramaic name Yegar-Sahadutha, which carries the same meaning as the Hebrew . From its mountainous character...

, Ephraim
Ephraim
Ephraim ; was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of On. Ephraim was born in Egypt before the arrival of the children of Israel from Canaan...

 and Naphtali
Naphtali
According to the Book of Genesis, Naphtali was the second son of Jacob with Bilhah. He was the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Naphtali. However, some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the...

 indicate that only a portion of these tribes were deported and the places to which they were deported are known locations given in the accounts. The deported communities are mentioned as still existing at the time of the composition of the books of Kings and Chronicles and did not wholly disappear by assimilation into the Assyrian populace, although a portion may have.

This is a subject based upon written religious tradition and partially upon speculation. There is a vast amount of literature on the Lost Tribes and no specific source can be relied upon for a complete answer.

Twelve Tribes


According to the Hebrew Bible
Tanakh
The Tanakh is a name used in Judaism for the canon of the Hebrew Bible. The Tanakh is also known as the Masoretic Text or the Miqra. The name is an acronym formed from the initial Hebrew letters of the Masoretic Text's three traditional subdivisions: The Torah , Nevi'im and Ketuvim —hence...

, Jacob
Jacob
Jacob "heel" or "leg-puller"), also later known as Israel , as described in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud, the New Testament and the Qur'an was the third patriarch of the Hebrew people with whom God made a covenant, and ancestor of the tribes of Israel, which were named after his descendants.In the...

 (who was also called Israel) had 12 sons and at least one daughter (Dinah
Dinah
According to the Hebrew Bible, Dinah was the daughter of Jacob, one of the patriarchs of the Israelites and Leah, his first wife. The episode of her abduction and violation by a Canaanite prince, and the subsequent vengeance of her brothers Simeon and Levi, commonly referred to as "The Rape of...

) by two wives and two concubines. The twelve sons fathered the twelve Tribes of Israel.
  • When the land of Israel was apportioned among the tribes in the days of Joshua
    Joshua
    Joshua , is a minor figure in the Torah, being one of the spies for Israel and in few passages as Moses's assistant. He turns to be the central character in the Hebrew Bible's Book of Joshua...

    , the Tribe of Levi
    Levite
    In Jewish tradition, a Levite is a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi. When Joshua led the Israelites into the land of Canaan, the Levites were the only Israelite tribe that received cities but were not allowed to be landowners "because the Lord the God of Israel himself is their inheritance"...

    , being priests, did not receive land . However; the tribe of Levi was given cities. Six cities were given to the tribe as refuge cities for all men of Israel and they were to be controlled by the Levites. Three of these cities were located on each side of the Jordan River. In addition, 42 other cities (and their respective open spaces) totaling 48 cities were given to the Tribe of Levi.
  • On the other hand, Jacob elevated the descendants of Ephraim
    Ephraim
    Ephraim ; was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of On. Ephraim was born in Egypt before the arrival of the children of Israel from Canaan...

     and Manasseh
    Manasseh (tribal patriarch)
    Manasseh or Menashe was, according to the Book of Genesis, the first son of Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter of Potipherah, a priest of On. Manasseh was born in Egypt before the arrival of the children of Israel from Canaan...

     (the two sons of Joseph by his Egyptian wife Asenath
    Asenath
    Asenath or Asenith is a figure in the Book of Genesis , an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph son of Jacob to be his wife...

    ) to the status of full tribes in their own right, replacing the Tribe of Joseph
    Tribe of Joseph
    The Tribe of Joseph was one of the Tribes of Israel, though since Ephraim and Manasseh together traditionally constituted the tribe of Joseph, it was often not listed as one of the tribes, in favour of Ephraim and Manasseh being listed in its place; consequently it was often termed the House of...

     . Each received its own land and had its own encampment during the 40 years of wandering in the desert.


Thus, the two divisions of the tribes are:

Traditional division:
  • Reuben
  • Simeon
  • Levi
  • Judah
  • Issachar
  • Zebulun
  • Dan
  • Naphtali
  • Gad
  • Asher
  • Joseph
  • Benjamin

Division according to apportionment of land in Israel:
  • Reuben
  • Simeon
  • Judah
  • Issachar
  • Zebulun
  • Dan
  • Naphtali
  • Gad
  • Asher
  • Benjamin
  • Ephraim (son of Joseph)
  • Manasseh (son of Joseph)
  • Levi (no territorial allotment, except a number of cities located within the territories of the other tribes)

Historical background



The Kingdom of Israel (or Northern Kingdom) was one of the successor states to the older United Monarchy
United Monarchy
According to Biblical tradition, the united Kingdom of Israel was a kingdom that existed in the Land of Israel, a period referred to by scholars as the United Monarchy. Biblical historians date the kingdom from c. 1020 BCE to c...

 (also called the Kingdom of Israel), which came into existence in about the 930s BC after the northern Tribes of Israel rejected Solomon's son Rehoboam
Rehoboam
Rehoboam was initially king of the United Monarchy of Israel but after the ten northern tribes of Israel rebelled in 932/931 BC to form the independent Kingdom of Israel he was king of the Kingdom of Judah, or southern kingdom. He was a son of Solomon and a grandson of David...

 as their king. Nine landed tribes formed the Northern Kingdom: the tribes of Reuben
Tribe of Reuben
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Reuben was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BC, the Tribe of Reuben was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government...

, Issachar
Tribe of Issachar
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Issachar was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

, Zebulun
Tribe of Zebulun
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Zebulun was one of the Tribes of Israel....

, Dan
Tribe of Dan
The Tribe of Dan, also sometimes spelled as "Dann", was one of the Tribes of Israel. Though known mostly from biblical sources, they were possibly descendants of the Denyen Sea Peoples who joined with Hebrews...

, Naphtali
Tribe of Naphtali
The Tribe of Naphtali was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

, Gad
Tribe of Gad
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Gad was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BC, the Tribe of Gad was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed,...

, Asher
Tribe of Asher
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Asher! was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

, Ephraim
Tribe of Ephraim
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Ephraim was one of the Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Manasseh together with Ephraim also formed the House of Joseph....

 and Manasseh
Tribe of Manasseh
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Manasseh was one of the Tribes of Israel. Together with the Tribe of Ephraim, Manasseh also formed the House of Joseph....

. In addition, some members of Tribe of Levi, who had no land allocation, were found in the Northern Kingdom. The Tribes of Judah
Tribe of Judah
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Judah was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes....

 and Benjamin
Tribe of Benjamin
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Benjamin בִּנְיָמִין was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BCE, the Tribe of Benjamin was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes...

 remained loyal to Rehoboam, and formed the Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

 (or Southern Kingdom). Members of Levi and the remnant of Simeon were also found in the Southern Kingdom.

According to , members of the tribes of Ephraim
Tribe of Ephraim
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Ephraim was one of the Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Manasseh together with Ephraim also formed the House of Joseph....

, Manasseh
Tribe of Manasseh
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Manasseh was one of the Tribes of Israel. Together with the Tribe of Ephraim, Manasseh also formed the House of Joseph....

 and Simeon
Tribe of Simeon
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Simeon was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BC, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

 "fled" to Judah during the reign of Asa of Judah
Asa of Judah
Asa was the third king of the Kingdom of Judah and the fifth king of the House of David. He was the son of Abijam, grandson of Rehoboam, and great-grandson of Solomon. The Hebrew Bible gives the period of his reign as 41 years. His reign is dated between 913-910 BCE to 873-869 BCE. He was...

. Whether these groups were absorbed into the population or remained distinct groups, or returned to their tribal lands is not indicated.

In c. 732 BC, the Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

 king, Tiglath-Pileser III
Tiglath-Pileser III
Tiglath-Pileser III was a prominent king of Assyria in the eighth century BC and is widely regarded as the founder of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Tiglath-Pileser III seized the Assyrian throne during a civil war and killed the royal family...

 sacked Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 and Israel, annexing Aramea and territory
Transjordan (Bible)
The Transjordan is used to describe an area of land in the Southern Levant lying east of the Jordan River that is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. The area is said to form part of an ill-defined area known as the land of Israel...

 of the tribes of Reuben
Tribe of Reuben
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Reuben was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BC, the Tribe of Reuben was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government...

, Gad
Tribe of Gad
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Gad was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BC, the Tribe of Gad was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed,...

 and Manasseh
Tribe of Manasseh
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Manasseh was one of the Tribes of Israel. Together with the Tribe of Ephraim, Manasseh also formed the House of Joseph....

 in Gilead
Gilead
In the Bible "Gilead" means hill of testimony or mound of witness, , a mountainous region east of the Jordan River, situated in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It is also referred to by the Aramaic name Yegar-Sahadutha, which carries the same meaning as the Hebrew . From its mountainous character...

 including the desert outposts of Jetur, Naphish and Nodab. People from these tribes including the Reubenite leader, were taken captive and resettled in the region of the Khabur River
Khabur River
The Khabur River , , , ) is the largest perennial tributary to the Euphrates in Syrian territory. Although the Khabur originates in Turkey, the karstic springs around Ra's al-'Ayn are the river's main source of water. Several important wadis join the Khabur north of Al-Hasakah, together creating...

 system in Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

/Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

. Tiglath-Pilesar also captured the territory of Naphtali
Tribe of Naphtali
The Tribe of Naphtali was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

 and the city of Janoah in Ephraim
Tribe of Ephraim
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Ephraim was one of the Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Manasseh together with Ephraim also formed the House of Joseph....

 and an Assyrian governor was placed over the region of Naphtali. According to and , the population of Aram and the annexed part of Israel was deported to Assyria.

Israel continued to exist within the reduced territory as an independent kingdom subject to Assyria until around 720 BCE, when it was again invaded by Assyria and the rest of the population deported. The Bible relates that the population of Israel was exiled, leaving only the Tribe of Judah
Tribe of Judah
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Judah was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes....

, the Tribe of Simeon
Tribe of Simeon
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Simeon was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BC, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

 (that was "absorbed" into Judah), the Tribe of Benjamin
Tribe of Benjamin
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Benjamin בִּנְיָמִין was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BCE, the Tribe of Benjamin was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes...

 and the people of the Tribe of Levi who lived among them of the original Israelites tribes in the southern Kingdom of Judah. However, Israel Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist and academic. He is currently the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University and is also the co-director of excavations at Megiddo in northern Israel...

 estimated that only a fifth of the population (about 40,000) were actually resettled out of the area during the two deportation periods under Tiglath-Pileser III
Tiglath-Pileser III
Tiglath-Pileser III was a prominent king of Assyria in the eighth century BC and is widely regarded as the founder of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Tiglath-Pileser III seized the Assyrian throne during a civil war and killed the royal family...

 and his successor Sargon II
Sargon II
Sargon II was an Assyrian king. Sargon II became co-regent with Shalmaneser V in 722 BC, and became the sole ruler of the kingdom of Assyria in 722 BC after the death of Shalmaneser V. It is not clear whether he was the son of Tiglath-Pileser III or a usurper unrelated to the royal family...

. Many also fled south to Jerusalem, which appears to have expanded in size fivefold during this period, requiring a new wall to be built, and a new source of water (Siloam
Siloam
Siloam is an ancient Greek name derived from the more ancient Hebrew Shiloah. The Arabic, Silwan, was derived form the Greek, Siloam. It is an ancient site in Jerusalem, south of the Old City.-Antiquity:...

) to be provided by King Hezekiah
Hezekiah
Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz and the 14th king of Judah. Edwin Thiele has concluded that his reign was between c. 715 and 686 BC. He is also one of the most prominent kings of Judah mentioned in the Hebrew Bible....

. Furthermore, explicitly mentions northern Israelites who had been spared by the Assyrians in particular members of Dan, Ephraim, Manasseh, Asher and Zebulun and how members of the latter three returned to worship at the Temple in Jerusalem at that time.

The Book of Tobit
Book of Tobit
The Book of Tobit is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics by the Council of Trent...

 additionally records that Sargon had taken other captives from the northern kingdom to the Assyrian capital of Nineveh
Nineveh
Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, and capital of the Neo Assyrian Empire. Its ruins are across the river from the modern-day major city of Mosul, in the Ninawa Governorate of Iraq....

, in particular Tobit
Tobit
Tobit may refer to* Book of Tobit, a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon* Tobit model, an econometric model for censored endogenous variables proposed by James Tobin...

 from the town of Tishbe
Tishbe
Tishbe was, according to tradition, the town of Listib, located 8 miles north of the Jabbok River. It is the birthplace of Elijah the Prophet. However, it is now thought more likely that Tishbe was located in Naphtali, , because Listib is known to have been uninhabited during the time of the...

 in Naphtali
Naphtali
According to the Book of Genesis, Naphtali was the second son of Jacob with Bilhah. He was the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Naphtali. However, some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the...

.

The Jewish tradition held until modern times that all the population of the kingdom was deported by Assyria, never to be heard of again. They are considered the Ten Lost Tribes.

Some evidence exists of a continuing identification in later centuries of individual Jews to the Lost Tribes. For example, in of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, an individual is identified with the tribe of Asher. In recent years many group have claimed descent from these Lost Tribes, some of which have been upheld by Israel's rabbinic authorities.

Definition


The Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

 does not use the phrase "Ten Lost Tribes", leading some to question the actual number of tribes involved. However, states that the kingdom would be taken from Solomon
Solomon
Solomon , according to the Book of Kings and the Book of Chronicles, a King of Israel and according to the Talmud one of the 48 prophets, is identified as the son of David, also called Jedidiah in 2 Samuel 12:25, and is described as the third king of the United Monarchy, and the final king before...

 and give ten tribes to Jeroboam
Jeroboam
Jeroboam was the first king of the northern Israelite Kingdom of Israel after the revolt of the ten northern Israelite tribes against Rehoboam that put an end to the United Monarchy....

:

However, it is not clear which tribes should be counted as lost. Lost tribes are those that formed the northern Kingdom of Israel after the dissolution of the united Kingdom of Israel in c. 930 BC. The tribes of Reuben
Tribe of Reuben
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Reuben was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BC, the Tribe of Reuben was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government...

, Issachar
Tribe of Issachar
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Issachar was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

, Zebulun
Tribe of Zebulun
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Zebulun was one of the Tribes of Israel....

, Dan
Tribe of Dan
The Tribe of Dan, also sometimes spelled as "Dann", was one of the Tribes of Israel. Though known mostly from biblical sources, they were possibly descendants of the Denyen Sea Peoples who joined with Hebrews...

, Naphtali
Tribe of Naphtali
The Tribe of Naphtali was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

, Gad
Tribe of Gad
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Gad was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BC, the Tribe of Gad was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed,...

, Asher
Tribe of Asher
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Asher! was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

, Ephraim
Tribe of Ephraim
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Ephraim was one of the Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Manasseh together with Ephraim also formed the House of Joseph....

, and Manasseh
Tribe of Manasseh
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Manasseh was one of the Tribes of Israel. Together with the Tribe of Ephraim, Manasseh also formed the House of Joseph....

 were parts of the northern kingdom, a total of nine.

It has sometimes been said that the Tribe of Simeon was a part of the northern Kingdom of Israel and was therefore part of the "Ten Lost Tribes." However, the Tribe of Simeon was never located in the Northern Kingdom, but was located entirely within the land of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

. In addition, the territory of the tribe of Benjamin was part of the kingdom of Judah at the time of the Babylonian Exile and after, and the tribe of Levi continued to serve in the Second Temple in Jerusalem after the Exile, making four tribes (Judah, Simeon, Benjamin and Levi) who were not actually "lost".

Religious beliefs


The concept of the "Ten Lost Tribes" originally began in a religious context, based on Biblical sources, not as an ethnological
Ethnology
Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the origins, distribution, technology, religion, language, and social structure of the ethnic, racial, and/or national divisions of humanity.-Scientific discipline:Compared to ethnography, the study of single groups through direct...

 idea. Some scientists have researched the topic, and at various times some have made claims of empirical evidence of the Ten Lost Tribes. However, religious and scriptural sources remain the main sources of the belief that the Ten Lost Tribes have some continuing, though hidden, identity somewhere.

There are numerous references in Biblical writings. In Ezekiel 37:16-17, the prophet is told to write on one stick (an ancient reference to scrolls) (quoted here in part) "For Judah..." and on the other (quoted here in part), "For Joseph..." (the main Lost Tribe). The prophet is then told that these two groups shall be someday reunited.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has extensive teachings regarding the gathering of Israel and the restoration of the ten tribes. One of their main "Articles of Faith" written by Joseph Smith Jr. is as follows: "We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory." (LDS Articles of Faith #10)

Regarding the Ezekiel 37 prophecy, the official teaching of the LDS Church is that "The Book of Mormon -Another Testament of Jesus Christ" is the stick of Ephraim mentioned and that the Bible is the stick of Judah, thus comprising two witnesses for Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is purported to be an ancient record written on plates made of gold by descendants of Joseph, and translated by Joseph Smith Jr. circa 1830. The LDS Church considers The Book of Mormon one of the main tools for the spiritual gathering of Israel.

There are also discussions in the Talmud
Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 as to whether the Ten Lost Tribes will eventually be reunited with the Tribe of Judah, that is, with the Jewish people.

17th- to mid-20th-century theories


Since at least the 17th century both Jews and Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 have proposed theories concerning the Lost Tribes, based to varying degrees on Biblical accounts. An Ashkenazi Jewish tradition speaks of these tribes as Die Roite Yiddelech, "The little red Jews
Red Jews
The Red Jews were a legendary Jewish nation that appear in vernacular sources in Germany during the medieval era until about 1600. According to these texts, the Red Jews were an epochal threat to Christendom, and would invade Europe during the tribulations leading to the end of the world.Andrew...

", cut off from the rest of Jewry by the legendary river Sambation
Sambation
According to rabbinic literature, the Sambation is the river beyond which the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel were exiled by the Assyrian king Shalmaneser V.-Location:...

 "whose foaming waters raise high up into the sky a wall of fire and smoke that is impossible to pass through".

The Portuguese traveller Antonio de Montezinos
Antonio de Montezinos
Antonio de Montezinos was a Portuguese traveler and a Marrano Sephardic Jew who in 1644 persuaded Menasseh Ben Israel, a rabbi of Amsterdam, that he had found one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel living in the jungles of the "Quito Province" of Ecuador. This supposed discovery gave a new impulse...

 brought back reports that some of the Lost Tribes were living among the Native Americans of the Andes in South America
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

. In response to this, Menasseh ben Israel
Menasseh Ben Israel
Manoel Dias Soeiro , better known by his Hebrew name Menasseh Ben Israel , was a Portuguese rabbi, kabbalist, scholar, writer, diplomat, printer and publisher, founder of the first Hebrew printing press in Amsterdam in...

, a noted rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, wrote on December 23, 1649:
Menasseh actually published in Spanish and in Latin in 1649 in Amsterdam a book about Montezinos' narrative. An English translation of it with the title The Hope of Israel was also published in London in 1650. In it Menasseh argued, and for the first time tried to give scholarly support in European thought and printing, to the theory that the native inhabitants of America at the time of the European discovery were actually descendants of the [lost] Ten Tribes of Israel.

In 1655, Menasseh ben Israel petitioned Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 to allow the Jews to return to England
History of the Jews in England
The history of the Jews in England goes back to the reign of William I. The first written record of Jewish settlement in England dates from 1070, although Jews may have lived there since Roman times...

. (Since the Edict of Expulsion
Edict of Expulsion
In 1290, King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England. Lasting for the rest of the Middle Ages, it would be over 350 years until it was formally overturned in 1656...

 in 1290, Jews had been prohibited by law from living in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.) One of the reasons for Cromwell's alleged interest in the return of the Jews to England was the abundance at the time of theories relating to the end of the world. Many of these ideas were fixed upon the year 1666 and the Fifth Monarchy Men who were looking for the return of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 as the Messiah
Messiah
A messiah is a redeemer figure expected or foretold in one form or another by a religion. Slightly more widely, a messiah is any redeemer figure. Messianic beliefs or theories generally relate to eschatological improvement of the state of humanity or the world, in other words the World to...

 who would establish a final kingdom to rule the physical world for a thousand years. They supported Cromwell's Republic in the expectation that it was a preparation for the fifth monarchy - that is, the monarchy that should succeed the Babylonia, the Persian, the Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 world empires.

Mixed in with all of this was a background of general belief that the Lost Ten Tribes did not represent ethnic Jews who partially formed the ancient Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

, but tribes who maintained a separate capital at Samaria
Samaria
Samaria, or the Shomron is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank.- Etymology :...

. Some have attempted to dismiss this complicated saga by stating that it is nothing but Supersessionism
Supersessionism
Supersessionism is a term for the dominant Christian view of the Old Covenant, also called fulfillment theology and replacement theology, though the latter term is disputed...

. However, the ideas behind these various competing theories are far more complicated, especially when Sabbatai Zevi
Sabbatai Zevi
Sabbatai Zevi, , was a Sephardic Rabbi and kabbalist who claimed to be the long-awaited Jewish Messiah. He was the founder of the Jewish Sabbatean movement...

, the "messiah" claimant and his supporters postulated that he represented groups in addition to those identified as being Jews. However, Zevi lost his credibility to all but the Donmeh
Donmeh
Note: Most Sabbateans during and after Sabbatai Zevi were Jews and practiced only Judaism, whereas the Dönmeh officially practice/d Islam and are not regarded as Jews....

 when he converted to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and became an apostate to Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 in 1666.

During the latter half of the 18th century, variations on this same theory were advocated by some who believed that the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 of nations was a manifestation of ancient prophecies recorded in the Book of Genesis predating both the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was a Jewish state established in the Southern Levant during the Iron Age. It is often referred to as the "Southern Kingdom" to distinguish it from the northern Kingdom of Israel....

.

Others believe that the Lost Tribes simply merged with the local population. For instance, the New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia states "In historic fact, some members of the Ten Tribes remained in Palestine, where apart from the Samaritans some of their descendants long preserved their identity among the Jewish population, others were assimilated, while others were presumably absorbed by the last Judean exiles who in 597-586 BC were deported to Assyria...Unlike the Judeans of the southern Kingdom, who survived a similar fate 135 years later, they soon assimilated..."

Samaritans


All Samaritans, in one form or another, see themselves as descendants of the original Hebrews. The Samaritan community in Israel and the Palestinian territories numbers about 600. These people, who still struggle to keep their ancient traditions, live in what was the capital of Samaria
Samaria
Samaria, or the Shomron is a term used for a mountainous region roughly corresponding to the northern part of the West Bank.- Etymology :...

 - Nablus
Nablus
Nablus is a Palestinian city in the northern West Bank, approximately north of Jerusalem, with a population of 126,132. Located in a strategic position between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, it is the capital of the Nablus Governorate and a Palestinian commercial and cultural center.Founded by the...

 and the town of Holon. They claim to be authentic descendants of the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh that were not exiled.*

Beta Israel of Ethiopia



The Beta Israel
Beta Israel
Beta Israel Israel, Ge'ez: ቤተ እስራኤል - Bēta 'Isrā'ēl, modern Bēte 'Isrā'ēl, EAE: "Betä Ǝsraʾel", "Community of Israel" also known as Ethiopian Jews , are the names of Jewish communities which lived in the area of Aksumite and Ethiopian Empires , nowadays divided between Amhara and Tigray...

 (also known derogatorily as Falashas) are Ethiopian Jews. Some members of the Beta Israel as well as several Jewish scholars believe that they are descended from the lost Tribe of Dan
Tribe of Dan
The Tribe of Dan, also sometimes spelled as "Dann", was one of the Tribes of Israel. Though known mostly from biblical sources, they were possibly descendants of the Denyen Sea Peoples who joined with Hebrews...

, as opposed to the traditional story of their descent from the Queen of Sheba.

Igbo Jews



The Igbo Jews
Igbo Jews
The Igbo Jews are members of the Igbo people of Nigeria who claim descent from Mediterranean Israelite migrants into Nigeria.-Argument for the Historical Migration of the Igbo Jews:...

 of Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 claim descent variously from the tribes of Ephraim
Tribe of Ephraim
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Ephraim was one of the Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Manasseh together with Ephraim also formed the House of Joseph....

, Naphtali
Tribe of Naphtali
The Tribe of Naphtali was one of the Tribes of Israel.Following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes after about 1200 BCE, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes...

, Menasseh, Levi, Zebulun
Tribe of Zebulun
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Zebulun was one of the Tribes of Israel....

 and Gad
Tribe of Gad
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Gad was one of the Tribes of Israel.From after the conquest of the land by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel in c. 1050 BC, the Tribe of Gad was a part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes. No central government existed,...

.

Yoruba



According to recent research based on the dynastic tradition of the Oyo-Yoruba
Oyo Empire
The Oyo Empire was a Yoruba empire of what is today southwestern Nigeria. The empire was established before the 14th century and grew to become one of the largest West African states encountered by European explorers. It rose to preeminence through its possession of a powerful cavalry and wealth...

, the ancient kings mentioned in this traditon were Israelite
History of ancient Israel and Judah
Israel and Judah were related Iron Age kingdoms of ancient Palestine. The earliest known reference to the name Israel in archaeological records is in the Merneptah stele, an Egyptian record of c. 1209 BCE. By the 9th century BCE the Kingdom of Israel had emerged as an important local power before...

, Assyria
Assyrian
-In antiquity:*ancient Assyria**the Old Assyrian period **the Middle Assyrian period **the Neo-Assyrian period *Either of two provinces of the Persian Empire:**Achaemenid Assyria...

 and Babylonia rulers. The deportation of the Ten Lost Tribes is remembered in this tradition preserved by the place bards of Oyo as the Igboho
Igboho
Igboho is a larger town in Oyo State, Nigeria. It is the headquarters of the Orelope Local Government Area.The town has an official Post Office....

 exile..

Lemba



The Lemba people (Vhalemba) from Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

 claim to be descendants of a lost tribe that fled from what is now Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

 and journeyed south. DNA testing
Genealogical DNA test
A genealogical DNA test examines the nucleotides at specific locations on a person's DNA for genetic genealogy purposes. The test results are not meant to have any informative medical value and do not determine specific genetic diseases or disorders ; they are intended only to give genealogical...

 has genetically linked the Lemba with modern Jews. They have specific religious practices similar to those in Judaism and a tradition of being a migrant people with clues pointing to an origin in West Asia or North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

. According to the oral history of the Lemba, their ancestors were Jews who came from a place called Sena
Sena, Yemen
Sena is an abandoned ancient town in Yemen located in the eastern Hadramaut valley. This village is distinct from the capital of Yemen, San'a and the town of Sanāw in Oman.-Overview:...

 several hundred years ago and settled in East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

. Sena is an abandoned ancient town in Yemen, located in the eastern Hadramaut valley, which history indicates Jews inhabited in past centuries. Some research suggests that "Sena" may refer to Wadi Masilah (near Sayhut) in Yemen, often called Sena, or alternatively to the city of Sana'a
Sana'a
-Districts:*Al Wahdah District*As Sabain District*Assafi'yah District*At Tahrir District*Ath'thaorah District*Az'zal District*Bani Al Harith District*Ma'ain District*Old City District*Shu'aub District-Old City:...

, also located in Yemen.

Other ethnic groups


Some groups believe that they are descended from one of the Lost Tribes, but don't know which one. These include:
  • The House of Israel in Ghana
    Ghana
    Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

    .
  • The Bakwa Dishi
    Bakwa Dishi
    The Bakwa Dishi is a people belonging to the Luba ethnic group living today in the Kasai-Oriental Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Miabi, the Dishi Capital, is located West of Mbuji-Mayi...

     of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Democratic Republic of the Congo
    The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

    .


Persian Jews



Persian Jews
Persian Jews
Persian Jews , are Jews historically associated with Iran, traditionally known as Persia in Western sources.Judaism is one of the oldest religions practiced in Iran. The Book of Esther contains some references to the experiences of Jews in Persia...

 claim descent from the Tribe of Ephraim
Tribe of Ephraim
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Ephraim was one of the Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Manasseh together with Ephraim also formed the House of Joseph....

. Persian Jews (also called Iranian Jews) are members of Jewish communities living in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and throughout the former greatest extent of the Persian Empire.

Pashtuns of the Afghanistan and Pakistan region



The Pashtuns are a predominantly Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 people, native to Afghanistan and Pakistan, who adhere to their pre-Islamic indigenous religious code of honour and culture Pashtunwali
Pashtunwali
Pashtunwali or Pakhtunwali is a non-written ethical code and traditional lifestyle which the indigenous Pashtun people from Afghanistan and Pakistan follow. Some in the Indian subcontinent refer to it as "Pathanwali". Its meaning may also be interpreted as "the way of the Pashtuns" or "the code of...

. They started claiming descent from the Lost Tribes in 19th and 20th centuries.

Written sources


A book that corresponds to Pashtun historical records, Taaqati-Nasiri, states that in the 7th century a people called the Bani Israel settled in Ghor, southeast of Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

, Afghanistan, and then migrated south and east. These Bani Israel references are in line with the commonly held view by Pashtuns that when the twelve tribes of Israel
Israelite
According to the Bible the Israelites were a Hebrew-speaking people of the Ancient Near East who inhabited the Land of Canaan during the monarchic period .The word "Israelite" derives from the Biblical Hebrew ישראל...

 were dispersed, the tribe of Joseph
Tribe of Joseph
The Tribe of Joseph was one of the Tribes of Israel, though since Ephraim and Manasseh together traditionally constituted the tribe of Joseph, it was often not listed as one of the tribes, in favour of Ephraim and Manasseh being listed in its place; consequently it was often termed the House of...

, among other Hebrew tribes, settled in the region. Hence the tribal name 'Yusef Zai' in Pashto translates to the 'sons of Joseph'. This is also described extensively in great detail by Makhzan-i-Afghani, a historical work from the 17th Century by Nehamtullah, an official in the royal court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir. A similar story is told by Iranian historian Ferishta
Firishta
Firishta or Ferishta, full name Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah , was born in 1560 and died in 1620 and he was a Persian historian. The name Firishta means angel or one who is sent in Persian.-Life:...

.

This account is also substantiated by the fact that the Bnei Menashe
Bnei Menashe
The Bnei Menashe are a group of more than 9,000 people from India's North-Eastern border states of Manipur and Mizoram who claim descent from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. The claim appeared after a Pentecostalist dreamt in 1951 that his people's pre-Christian religion was Judaism and that...

 of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 also have traditions that trace their wanderings as going originally from the Persian Empire to Afghanistan. In their case, they then went to China, then pressed on to India and Southern Asia.

The Bani-Israelite theory about the origin of the Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 is based on Pashtun traditions; the tradition itself is documented in a source titled Makhzan-i-Afghani, the only written source addressing Pashtun origins. It was written in 1612, by Nematullah Harvi, a scribe at the court of Mughal Emperor Jehangir of Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

. Nematullah compiled his book on the order of Khan Jehan Lodhi of the Lodhi dynasty
Lodhi dynasty
Lodi Dynasty was a Pashtun dynasty that was the last dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate. The dynasty founded by Bahlul Lodi ruled from 1451 to 1526...

, a Pashtun noble and a courtier of the Emperor Jehangir.

Some sources state that the Makhzan-i-Afghani has been discredited by historical and linguistic inconsistencies. The oral tradition is believed to be a myth that grew out of a political and cultural struggle between Pashtuns and the Mughals, which explains the historical backdrop for the creation of the myth, the inconsistencies of the mythology, and the linguistic research that refutes any Semitic
Semitic
In linguistics and ethnology, Semitic was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages...

 origins.
Other sources disagree strongly with the hypothesis that the Pashtuns have Israelite origins.

Pashtun traditions


The Yousafzai
Yousafzai
The Yūsufzai is one of the largest Pashtun tribes...

 (Yusafzai) are a large group of Pashtun tribes. Their name means "Sons of Joseph". There are also similar names in other areas of the region, such as the disputed land of Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

. There are a variety of cultural and ethnic similarities between Jews and Pashtuns. A visit by a Western journalist in 2007 revealed that many currently active Pashtun traditions may have parallels with Jewish traditions. The code of Pashtunwali
Pashtunwali
Pashtunwali or Pakhtunwali is a non-written ethical code and traditional lifestyle which the indigenous Pashtun people from Afghanistan and Pakistan follow. Some in the Indian subcontinent refer to it as "Pathanwali". Its meaning may also be interpreted as "the way of the Pashtuns" or "the code of...

 is strikingly similar in content and subject matter to the Mosaic law
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

.

Bukharian Jews



It has been suggested that the Bukharian Jews are related to the Tribe of Issachar because a common surname among them is Issacharoff.

Nasranis of Kerala (ancient Malabar), India



The Nasranis of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, are of Hebrew or Israelite heritage but not much is known of their past, making it difficult to be certain that they are also descended from the 'Lost Tribes'. (Ref. Dr. Asahel Grant's 'The Nestorians or the Lost Tribes of Israel' for more about the Nazarenes and Nestorians). However, recent DNA analysis results suggest significant Middle Eastern / Israelite components among the Nasranis, also known as Mar Thoma (St. Thomas
Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle, also called Doubting Thomas or Didymus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is best known for questioning Jesus' resurrection when first told of it, then proclaiming "My Lord and my God" on seeing Jesus in . He was perhaps the only Apostle who went outside the Roman...

) Syrian (Syriac) Christians, of Kerala (ancient Malabar).
Dr. Avigdor Shachan, in his book 'In the Footsteps of the Lost Ten Tribes' (translated from the Hebrew, Devora Publishing, Jeusalem, New York) refers to this ancient Christian community and their faith as follows: "One could label the Christianity which Thomas introduced in Taxila, Malabar and other Israelite communities in central Asia and along the eastern and western coasts of India, "Israelite Christianity", an offshoot of the Jewish religion, for the language, culture, ritual and spirit that prevailed in this ancient church until the western missionaries arrived was a hybrid of Aramaic-Syrian-Eretz Israel and Eastern..."
Another theory is that the Middle Eastern DNA found is from travelling Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

 Nestorian missionaries who were undoubtedly responsible for bringing Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 to Kerala.

Bene Israel of India


The Bene Israel
Bene Israel
The Bene Israel are a group of Jews who migrated in the 19th century from villages in the Konkan area to the nearby Indian cities, primarily Mumbai, but also to Pune, and Ahmedabad. Prior to these waves of emigrations and to this day, the Bene Israel formed the largest sector of the subcontinent's...

 (Hebrew: "Sons of Israel") are a group of Jews who live in various Indian cities, Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

, Pune
Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

, Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad also known as Karnavati is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the former capital of Gujarat and is also the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court has its seat in Ahmedabad...

. Prior to their waves of emigration to Israel and still to this day, the Bene Israel form the largest sector of the subcontinent's Jewish population, and constitute the bulk of those sometimes referred to as Pakistani Jews. The native language of the Bene Israel is Judæo-Marathi, a form of Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

. Most Bene Israel have now emigrated to Israel.

In 2010, Amir Mizroch
Amir Mizroch
Amir Mizroch is an Israeli journalist currently the editor of the English Newsletter Edition of Israel Hayom, Israel's most widely circulated daily newspaper. He was formerly the Executive Editor and News Editor of The Jerusalem Post newspaper...

 in the Jerusalem Post referred to the theory that even Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan could be descending from the lost tribe of Efraim. Shahnaz Ali, a senior research fellow at the Indian National Institute of Immunohaematology in Mumbai, has started studying the blood samples that she collected from Afridi Pathans in Malihabad
Malihabad
Malihabad is a town and a nagar panchayat in Lucknow district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the mango belt of North India and is internationally acclaimed for its mangoes. Among different varieties of mangoes grown here, Dussheri is the most popular variety. Besides Dussehri, other...

, in the Lucknow
Lucknow
Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh in India. Lucknow is the administrative headquarters of Lucknow District and Lucknow Division....

 district in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

, India, to check their putative Israelite origin.

Bnei Menashe of India



The Bnei Menashe
Bnei Menashe
The Bnei Menashe are a group of more than 9,000 people from India's North-Eastern border states of Manipur and Mizoram who claim descent from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. The claim appeared after a Pentecostalist dreamt in 1951 that his people's pre-Christian religion was Judaism and that...

 (from northeast India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

) claim descent from the lost Tribe of Manasseh
Tribe of Manasseh
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Manasseh was one of the Tribes of Israel. Together with the Tribe of Ephraim, Manasseh also formed the House of Joseph....

. Their oral traditions depict them as originally going from the Persian Empire into Afghanistan. (They may have been in the Persian Empire because it occupied the lands of Assyria when it conquered Babylonia.) According to their traditions, they then went to China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, where they encountered persecution, then pressed on to India and Southern Asia. DNA tests to determine whether or not they originate from the Middle East has yielded mixed results.The Israeli government has recognized them as one of the lost tribes and made them eligible for immigration under the Law of Return
Law of Return
The Law of Return is Israeli legislation, passed on 5 July 1950, that gives Jews the right of return and settlement in Israel and gain citizenship...

.

Kaifeng Jews



According to some historical sources, a Jewish community has existed in Kaifeng, China from medieval times until the present day. In 2009, Chinese Jews from Kaifeng arrived in Israel as immigrants.

According to historical records, a Jewish community with a synagogue built in 1163 existed at Kaifeng from at least the Southern Song Dynasty until the late nineteenth century. A stone monument in the city suggests that they were there since at least 231 BC.

Scythian / Cimmerian Theories


Several theories claim that the Scythians and/or Cimmerians were in whole or in part the Lost Tribes of Israel. The theories are generally based on the belief that the Northern Kingdom of Israel, which had been deported by the Assyrians, became known in history as the Scythians and/or Cimmerians. Various points of view exist as to which modern nations these people became.

The Behistun Inscription
Behistun Inscription
The Behistun Inscription The Behistun Inscription The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون...

 is often cited as a link between the deported Israelites, the Cimmerians
Cimmerians
The Cimmerians or Kimmerians were ancient equestrian nomads of Indo-European origin.According to the Greek historian Herodotus, of the 5th century BC, the Cimmerians inhabited the region north of the Caucasus and the Black Sea during the 8th and 7th centuries BC, in what is now Ukraine and Russia...

 and the Scythians (Saka
Saka
The Saka were a Scythian tribe or group of tribes....

).

George Rawlinson
George Rawlinson
Canon George Rawlinson was a 19th century English scholar, historian, and Christian theologian. He was born at Chadlington, Oxfordshire, and was the younger brother of Sir Henry Rawlinson....

 wrote:
Adherents point out that the Behistun Inscription
Behistun Inscription
The Behistun Inscription The Behistun Inscription The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون...

 connects the people known in Old Persian and Elamite as Saka
Saka
The Saka were a Scythian tribe or group of tribes....

, Sacae or Scythian with the people known in Babylonian as Gimirri or Cimmerian.
The British Israelite
British Israelism
British Israelism is the belief that people of Western European descent, particularly those in Great Britain, are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The concept often includes the belief that the British Royal Family is directly descended from the line of King David...

 E. Raymond Capt claimed similarities between King Jehu
Jehu
Jehu was a king of Israel. He was the son of Jehoshaphat, and grandson of Nimshi.William F. Albright has dated his reign to 842-815 BC, while E. R. Thiele offers the dates 841-814 BC...

's pointed headdress and that of the captive Saka king seen to the far right on the Behistun Inscription. He also posited that the Assyrian word for the House of Israel, "Khumri", which was named after Israel's King Omri of the 8th century BC, is connected phonetically to "Gimirri" (Cimmerian).

Critics of the Israel / Scythian theory argue that the customs of the Scythians and Cimmerians differ from those of the Ancient Israelites and that the similarities and theories proposed by adherents stand in contradiction to the greater body of research on the history of ancient populations, which does not provide support for the purported links between these ancient populations.

British Israelism variant



British Israelism
British Israelism
British Israelism is the belief that people of Western European descent, particularly those in Great Britain, are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The concept often includes the belief that the British Royal Family is directly descended from the line of King David...

 (also known as 'Anglo-Israelism') is the theory that people of Western European descent, especially Britain and the United States, are descended from the lost tribes of Israel. Adherents argue that the deported Israelites became Scythians / Cimmerians who are ancestors of the Celts / Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 of Western Europe. The theory arose in England, whence it spread to the United States. During the 20th Century, British Israelism
British Israelism
British Israelism is the belief that people of Western European descent, particularly those in Great Britain, are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The concept often includes the belief that the British Royal Family is directly descended from the line of King David...

 was promoted by Herbert W. Armstrong
Herbert W. Armstrong
Herbert W. Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God in the late 1930s, as well as Ambassador College in 1946, and was an early pioneer of radio and tele-evangelism, originally taking to the airwaves in the 1930s from Eugene, Oregon...

, founder of the Worldwide Church of God
Worldwide Church of God
Grace Communion International , formerly the Worldwide Church of God , is an evangelical Christian denomination based in Glendora, California, United States. Since April 3, 2009, it has used the new name Grace Communion International in the US...

. Armstrong argued that this theory provided a 'key' to understanding biblical prophecy, and that he was called to proclaim these prophecies to the 'lost tribes' of Israel before the coming of the 'end-times'. The Worldwide Church of God
Worldwide Church of God
Grace Communion International , formerly the Worldwide Church of God , is an evangelical Christian denomination based in Glendora, California, United States. Since April 3, 2009, it has used the new name Grace Communion International in the US...

 no longer teaches the theory, but some offshoot churches such as the Philadelphia Church of God
Philadelphia Church of God
The Philadelphia Church of God is an international church based in Edmond, Oklahoma. The Philadelphia Church of God was founded by Gerald Flurry and his assistant pastor John Amos and incorporated in the United States on December 20, 1989....

, the United Church of God
United Church of God
The United Church of God, an International Association is a Christian denomination based in the United States with members in various countries around the world...

, and the Living Church of God
Living Church of God
The Living Church of God is one of the church groups formed by followers of the teachings of the late Herbert W. Armstrong. It was formed as a series of major doctrinal changes were introduced in the Worldwide Church of God after Armstrong's death in 1986...

 continue to teach it even though British Israelism is inconsistent with the findings of modern genetics.

Brit-Am variant


Brit-Am, sometimes confused with British Israelism, is an organization centered in Jerusalem, and composed of Jews and non-Jews. Brit-Am, like British Israel, identifies the Lost Ten Tribes with peoples of West European descent, but does so from a Jewish perspective quoting both Biblical and Rabbinical sources. The evidence that Brit-Am relies upon is Biblical in the light of Rabbinical Commentary but is supplemented by secular theories that posit the Lost Tribes / Scythian / Cimmerian connection, which they then believe to have become various Western European nations. An example of Brit-Am scholarship may be seen from its treatment of Obadiah 1:20 where the original Hebrew as understood by Rabbinical Commentators such as Rashi and Abarbanel is referring to the Lost Ten Tribes in France and England. Brit-Am also believes that "Other Israelite Tribes gave rise to elements within Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Wales, France, Holland, and Belgium" and that "The Tribe of Dan is to be found amongst part of the Danish, Irish, and Welsh." Brit-Am also believes that the Khazars
Khazars
The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus , parts of...

 were descended from the Ten Tribes and quotes Jewish and non-Jewish sources that were contemporaneous with them.

Other variants


Other organizations teach other variants of the theory, such as that the Scythians / Cimmerians represented in whole or in part the Lost Ten Tribes. One such theory posits that the lost Israelites can be defined by the Y-DNA haplogroup R
Haplogroup R (Y-DNA)
In human genetics, haplogroup R is a Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup very common throughout Europe, Central Asia and South Asia, and also common in parts of the Middle East and Africa...

, which consists of much of Europe and Russia, which is in contrast to British Israelism
British Israelism
British Israelism is the belief that people of Western European descent, particularly those in Great Britain, are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The concept often includes the belief that the British Royal Family is directly descended from the line of King David...

 and Brit-Am, which believe the Israelites became only Western Europeans. It should be noted that the genetic findings postulated by this and other theories are typically inconsistent with the findings of generally accepted research in archeology, anthropology
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

 and population genetics
Population genetics
Population genetics is the study of allele frequency distribution and change under the influence of the four main evolutionary processes: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation and gene flow. It also takes into account the factors of recombination, population subdivision and population...

.

Kurds


Some have promoted the notion that the Kurds represent a Lost Tribe. Some claims have been made regarding a genetic relationship between the Kurds and the Jews on the basis of a similarity between Kurdish Y-DNA and a Y haplotype that is associated with the Jewish priesthood. However, in genetic testing of the Y chromosome of 95 Muslim Kurds, only one sample (1.05% of the Kurds tested) matched the so-called Cohen Modal Haplotype (CMH), consisting of six specific Y-STR values.

Various misleading statements have associated typical Kurdish Y-DNA with that of the Jews. However, these attempts are based on several sources of confusion:
  • The Cohen Modal Haplotype in its original form includes only six Y-STR markers, which with the scientific advances since that time, are now understood to be far too few to adequately identify a unique, closely related group that shares common descent from one relatively recent paternal ancestor. The same six marker values can be found by random mutations in other populations that are only remotely related. They are thus identical by state, but not Identical by descent. The 6-marker CMH cannot be used as a clear indicator of Cohen genetic ancestry, without additional data. Thus its presence should not be used as grounds for probable Jewish ancestry in a population.
  • It is touted as a fact of great significance that the most common (modal) 6-marker haplotype of the Kurds is only one step from the CMH, but in fact, these same six marker values that were found to be the "Kurdish modal haplotype" can be seen in the data, in numerous sources, to be the most common haplotype amongst a wide variety of J2 Y chromosomes, wherever they may be found, in ethnic groups of the Middle East or in Europe -- thus, it is hardly an indication of a close relationship with the Cohanim priesthood, or with the Jews.
  • The fact that the 2001 paper by Nebel found a somewhat greater similarity between the Y-DNA of the Kurds and the Jews than between the Jews and the Palestinians does not point to a uniquely close relationship between the Jews and the Kurds. This study did not compare Jews with other non-Kurdish Iraqis, or with the people of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, or other nearby lands. The available data indicates that these peoples are all closely related, with the Jews and Kurds making up just two per cent of a diverse family of Middle Eastern peoples in this region.

Japanese


Some writers have speculated that the Japanese people
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

 themselves may be direct descendants of part of the Ten Lost Tribes. There are some parallels between Japanese and Israelite rituals, culture, traditions, and language, which provide some evidence for this possibility. An article that has been widely circulated and published, entitled "Mystery of the Ten Lost Tribes: Japan" by Arimasa Kubo (a Japanese writer living in Japan who studied the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

), concludes that many traditional customs and ceremonies in Japan are very similar to the ones of ancient Israel and that perhaps these rituals came from the religion and customs of the Jews and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel who might have come to ancient Japan.

Joseph Eidelberg's "The Biblical Hebrew Origin of the Japanese People" makes a similar case:

Irish


There is a theory that the Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

, or that Insular Celts as a whole, are descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. Proponents of this theory state that there is evidence that the prophet Jeremiah
Jeremiah
Jeremiah Hebrew:יִרְמְיָה , Modern Hebrew:Yirməyāhū, IPA: jirməˈjaːhu, Tiberian:Yirmĭyahu, Greek:Ἰερεμίας), meaning "Yahweh exalts", or called the "Weeping prophet" was one of the main prophets of the Hebrew Bible...

 came to Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 with Princess Tea Tephi, a member of the Israelite royal family. Proponents of this theory point to various parallels between Irish and ancient Hebrew culture. For example, they note that the harp, the symbol of Ireland, also plays a role in Jewish history, as the musical instrument of King David. Some maintain that the Tribe of Dan
Tribe of Dan
The Tribe of Dan, also sometimes spelled as "Dann", was one of the Tribes of Israel. Though known mostly from biblical sources, they were possibly descendants of the Denyen Sea Peoples who joined with Hebrews...

 conducted sea voyages to Ireland and colonized it as early as the period of the Judges
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew bible and the Christian Old Testament. Its title describes its contents: it contains the history of Biblical judges, divinely inspired prophets whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as decision-makers for the Israelites, as...

 under the name Tuatha Dé Danann
Tuatha Dé Danann
The Tuatha Dé Danann are a race of people in Irish mythology. In the invasions tradition which begins with the Lebor Gabála Érenn, they are the fifth group to settle Ireland, conquering the island from the Fir Bolg....

.

Aspects of this theory are also sometimes cited by adherents of British Israelism
British Israelism
British Israelism is the belief that people of Western European descent, particularly those in Great Britain, are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The concept often includes the belief that the British Royal Family is directly descended from the line of King David...

, as one possible explanation of how the Ten Lost Tribes might have reached the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

. However, British Israelism takes many forms, and does not always use this hypothesis as its main narrative.

American Indians


Several explorers, especially during the 17th and 18th centuries, claimed to have collected evidence that some of the American Indian tribes might be descended from the Ten Lost Tribes. Several recent books and articles have focused on these theories.

The belief that some American Indians were a Lost tribe of Israel goes back centuries and includes individuals like the 1782 President of the Continental Congress
President of the Continental Congress
The President of the Continental Congress was the presiding officer of the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates that emerged as the first national government of the United States during the American Revolution...

 Elias Boudinot
Elias Boudinot
Elias Boudinot was a lawyer and statesman from Elizabeth, New Jersey who was a delegate to the Continental Congress and a U.S. Congressman for New Jersey...

 and Mordecai Noah, the most influential Jew in the United States in the early 19th Century.

The Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement that adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2600 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr...

, one of the religious texts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons
Mormons
The Mormons are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, a religion started by Joseph Smith during the American Second Great Awakening. A vast majority of Mormons are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while a minority are members of other independent churches....

), claims that early residents of the Americas included descendants of the tribe of Joseph
Joseph (Hebrew Bible)
Joseph is an important character in the Hebrew bible, where he connects the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Canaan to the subsequent story of the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt....

, particularly through Manasseh
Tribe of Manasseh
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Manasseh was one of the Tribes of Israel. Together with the Tribe of Ephraim, Manasseh also formed the House of Joseph....

.

Some sources such as Howshua Amariel and various researchers assert that DNA evidence, linguistic research, and other research indicates links between the Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States. It was established in the 20th century, and includes people descended from members of the old Cherokee Nation who relocated voluntarily from the Southeast to Indian Territory and Cherokees who...

 and the Jewish people.

General dispersions, via Media region


This theory begins with the notion that the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh are the sons of Joseph, who had been in captivity ( through 45) and bore them with the daughter of the Pharaoh's Priest, Asenath
Asenath
Asenath or Asenith is a figure in the Book of Genesis , an Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph son of Jacob to be his wife...

 . The Tribe of Levi was set apart to serve in the Holy Temple ( ). The arrangement of the Tribes was given in Numbers 2.

There is also Biblical and Talmudic testimony that much of the population of the "lost" tribes was simply reunited with the rest of the Israelites when they, too, were exiled and, later, returned to the Land of Israel. However, many over the years, to hide their Jewish or Israelite identities during tribulations, crusades, and continual exiles, have scattered around the whole earth and are believed to have assimilated into the much larger non-Jewish population.

Genetic testing
Genealogical DNA test
A genealogical DNA test examines the nucleotides at specific locations on a person's DNA for genetic genealogy purposes. The test results are not meant to have any informative medical value and do not determine specific genetic diseases or disorders ; they are intended only to give genealogical...

 is being conducted on representatives of at least two groups, the Lemba in Africa and the Bnei Menashe
Bnei Menashe
The Bnei Menashe are a group of more than 9,000 people from India's North-Eastern border states of Manipur and Mizoram who claim descent from one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. The claim appeared after a Pentecostalist dreamt in 1951 that his people's pre-Christian religion was Judaism and that...

 in India, in attempts to verify claims of descent from the "lost ten tribes". So far, there is nothing conclusive, though in the case of the Lemba, there is a definite link to Levite Hebrew ancestry, specifically Kohen
Kohen
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

.

Nathan Ausubel


Nathan Ausubel
Nathan Ausubel
Nathan Ausubel was an American historian, folklorist and humorist.-Biography:Ausubel was born in Leżajsk, Galicia, the sixth of eight children, and immigrated with his family to New York City in 1907, where he later attended Columbia University...

 wrote:

Latter-day Saints



Latter-day Saints believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and the LDS Church is actively gathering people from the twelve tribes.

See also

  • Schisms among the Jews
    Schisms among the Jews
    Schisms among the Jews are cultural as well as religious. They have happened as a product of historical accident, geography, and theology.-First Temple era:...

     describes some of the early background to the split between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
  • The Shavei Israel
    Shavei Israel
    Shavei Israel is an Israeli-based Jewish organization that reaches out to descendants of Jews around the world and aims to strengthen their connection with Israel and the Jewish people. Founded by Michael Freund, Shavei Israel locates lost Jews and hidden Jewish communities and assists them with...

     organization seeks to find "lost Jews."
  • Assyria
    Assyria
    Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

     destroyed the Kingdom of Israel and caused the Ten Tribes "to become lost."
  • Babylonia
    Babylonia
    Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia , with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as a major power when Hammurabi Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), with Babylon as its capital. Babylonia emerged as...

     and Assyria
    Assyria
    Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

     were global powers that confronted the Israelites in ancient times.
  • The Babylonian captivity
    Babylonian captivity
    The Babylonian captivity was the period in Jewish history during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon—conventionally 587–538 BCE....

     was inflicted by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon.
  • Jewish diaspora
    Jewish diaspora
    The Jewish diaspora is the English term used to describe the Galut גלות , or 'exile', of the Jews from the region of the Kingdom of Judah and Roman Iudaea and later emigration from wider Eretz Israel....

  • Timeline of Jewish history
    Timeline of Jewish history
    This is a timeline of the development of Jews and Judaism. All dates are given according to the Common Era, not the Hebrew calendar....

  • History of the Jews in China
    History of the Jews in China
    Jews and Judaism in China have had a long history. Jewish settlers are documented in China as early as the 7th or 8th century CE, but may have arrived during the mid Han Dynasty, or even as early as 231 BCE. Relatively isolated communities developed through the Tang and Song Dynasties Jews and...

  • History of the Jews in India
  • Abrahamic religions
    Abrahamic religions
    Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

     - deals with Judaism
    Judaism
    Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

    , Christianity
    Christianity
    Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

     and Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     and a few other faiths
  • Richard Reader Harris wrote The Lost Tribes of Israel in 1908 and was a major promoter of British Israelism
    British Israelism
    British Israelism is the belief that people of Western European descent, particularly those in Great Britain, are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. The concept often includes the belief that the British Royal Family is directly descended from the line of King David...

    , the belief that people of Western European descent are also the direct lineal descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes
  • Joseph Wolff
    Joseph Wolff
    Joseph Wolff , Jewish Christian missionary, was born at Weilersbach, near Bamberg, Germany. He travelled widely, and was known as the Eccentric Missionary, according to Fitzroy Maclean's Eastern Approaches...

     - the so-called "Eccentric Missionary", the son of a rabbi who converted to Christianity, who in 1828 set off on extensive travels through Asia
    Asia
    Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

     in search of the Ten Tribes
  • United States in Prophecy
    United States in Prophecy
    United States in Prophecy was the original title of a publication that became known by its longer name of United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy and published in various editions and formats after 1945. It was written under the byline of Herbert W. Armstrong who had assistance from...

  • Assyria and Germany in Anglo-Israelism
    Assyria and Germany in Anglo-Israelism
    In Anglo-Israelism and some currents of U.S. Christian fundamentalism influenced thereby , the idea has been advanced that modern Germans are partly descended from the ancient Assyrians, or, more metaphorically draw parallels between the militarism of the Nazi Germany and the Assyrian one.-British...


Notations

  • Michael Riff. The Face of Survival: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Past and Present. Valentine Mitchell, London, 1992. ISBN 0-85303-220-3

External links