Ten Lost Tribes

Ten Lost Tribes

The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel refers to those tribes of ancient Israel that formed the Kingdom of Israel, and which disappeared from biblical and all other texts after the kingdom was destroyed in about 720 BCE by Assyria. Many groups have traditions concerning the continued hidden existence or future public return of these tribes.

In medieval Rabbinic legends the concept of the ten tribes who were taken away from the House of David (who continued the rule of the southern kingdom of Judah) becomes confounded with texts describing the Assyrian deportations leading to the belief in the "Ten Lost Tribes". The recorded history differs from this legend: no record exists of the Assyrians having exiled people from Dan, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun or western Manasseh. Descriptions of the deportation of people from Reuben, Gad, Manasseh in Gilead, Ephraim and Naphtali 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.

Read more about Ten Lost Tribes:  Twelve Tribes, Background, Definition, Religious Beliefs

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