03.02.02 931-586 B.C. The Divided Monarchy
Shortly after Solomon’s death, civil war broke out that resulted in division of the empire. The ten northern tribes became an independent kingdom and maintained the name of Israel and, as previously mentioned, the tribes of Benjamin and Judah became the southern kingdom, known as Judea. It should be noted, however, that the real reason civil war broke out was that God removed His hand of protection from the House of Solomon because the king married many foreign women in violation of Deuteronomy 7:1-4. They, in turn, cause the ten northern tribes to worship foreign gods – a major reason for the civil war. In the course of time, animosity grew between the southern kingdom because it remained faithful to the laws of Moses, and the northern kingdom that accepted foreign deities. For nearly two centuries, the northern kingdom enjoyed its independence and prosperity in spite of its paganism. Prophets such as Isaiah sounded the warning of pending divine judgment if the people did not change their ways. They failed to listen and in 722 B.C., the Assyrians arose from the northeast and conquered them. They relocated most of the Israelites hundreds of miles to the east and they soon became known as the “ten lost tribes.” But were they really “lost?”
There were those in Israel who saw the proverbial “writing on the wall,” and they recognized the Assyrian threat. They may have even listened to words of warning from the prophet Hosea and observed their declining culture and they moved south into Judah (1 Kg. 12:16-20; 2 Chron. 11:16-17) and thereby, avoided the destruction. Therefore, Judah became the embodiment of all 12 tribes. The New Testament does not assume that the 10 tribes were lost.
. The Northern Kingdom was known by the following names in the Bible: 1). The House of Israel (1 Kgs. 12:21; Jer. 31:31). 2); the House of Jacob (1 Kgs. 11:28); 3). Samaria (Hosea 7:1, 8:5-6, 13:16); and 4). Ephraim (Hosea 4:17, 5:3, 7:1). Most books on Bible history today refer to the Northern Kingdom as the “House of Israel” or “Israel” and the Southern Kingdom as “Judah” or the “House of Judah.” In this eBook, the entire region is referred to as “Israel” since the ancient divisions were not recognized by the occupying Romans.
. One often hears about the ten “lost tribes” as having left Assyria and that they wandered into Eastern and Western Europe, eventually settling in Britain where they became known as Anglo-Saxons. This teaching claims that the British are descendants from the tribe of Ephraim and Americans are from the tribe of Manasseh, and together they inherit the covenant promises God gave to Israel. This false doctrine is known as British-Israelism and has promoted, possibly without intention, anti-Semitism through various cults and churches worldwide.
. See. Mt. 4:13, 15; Lk. 2:36; Acts 4:36; 26:27; Phil. 3:5; Jas. 1:1. It should be noted that in the past century, thousands of Jews from more than a hundred nations have returned to Palestine, later in 1948 known as Israel. They may have been lost in the eyes of many people, but not in the eyes of God. They have been returning in fulfilment of many prophecies (see Heinrich, William. The Hand of God: Ancient Prophecies – Mordern Miracles in Israel).