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DRAFT: Who are the Israelites today?

Kuruvilla Thomas
Published on 4 September 2021


Most theories on the identity of the modern-day Israelites seem to conclude that the Southern Tribes are the Jews in modern Israel and elsewhere, and the Northern Tribes are a meagre population that are "lost" somewhere or merged with other peoples. We show below that both ideas are inaccurate.


1. Origin of the Races

Noah, the father of all of today's mankind, exited the ark (c. 2350BC) with 3 sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth (we subscribe to the "Out of the Ark" Biblical fact - Genesis 9:18-19 - and not the "Out of Africa" theory), and their descendants form the three primary divisions of the people of earth:

Note: These divisions by skin-colour are admittedly crude, but adequate for this article.

2. A Summary History of the Tribes of Israel

God promised Abraham (c. 2000BC), a Semite, that he will have descendants "as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore" (Gen 22:17). This promise was passed to Isaac, the son of promise (Gen 21:12, 26:4, Gal. 4:28), and then, through deception, to Jacob (Gen. 27). Jacob, who was renamed Israel, not only inherited Abraham's blessing (Gen. 32:12, 28:14), but was also the father of Israel, God's chosen people (Deut. 7:6).

Jacob's 12 sons were the fathers of the 12 tribes of the nation of Israel (Gen. 35:23-26). After the death of King Solomon (c. 930BC) the nation split into a northern kingdom of 10 tribes (called Israel/Ephraim/Samaria) and a southern kingdom of 2 tribes (called Judah) (1 Kings 12).

The people of the 2 southern tribes, the Judahites, remained in Israel until the time of Christ. They then converted to Christianity (those that did not convert were killed in 70AD [1]) and scattered to regions of the Middle East and beyond [2].

The Northern Tribes were exiled to Assyria around 733-720BC (2 Kings 15:29, 2 Kings 17:6, 2 Kings 18:13) and now are considered "lost tribes". However, Jacob's blessing of "descendants too numerous to count" (Gen. 32:12) had been passed to Joseph's son Ephraim (Gen 48), and Ephraim belongs to the Northern tribes. So at this time before the start of the Millennial Reign, the Northern Tribes will be a giant population, "as numerous as the sand on the seashore" (see Isaiah 10:22). The only place a nation this large can be "lost" is in plain sight.

3. The Tribes before the Start of the Millennial Reign

This is our estimate of the constitution of the tribes of Israel before the start of the Millennial Reign. The list of tribes below is based on Ezekiel 48:1-29, which applies to this period.

Fig. 1. A Venn Diagram of the Israelite Tribes c. 2017

3.1 The Southern Tribes

Judah: The members of the royal tribe of David, Jesus and the coming Messiah (see Gen. 49:10) are, at this time before the Millennial Reign, Christians of an ancient tradition dating to the first century (Rom. 1:16). They are spread around the Middle East, and many have moved further east, fleeing oppression from the Romans and others [2].
( Those who call themselves "Jews" today are primarily Ashkenazi converts, which makes them Japhetic and NOT Semite - see Gen. 10:2-3. They follow the Old Covenant - which has not been in effect since 70AD - mixed in with Satanic ideas from the Babylonian Talmud and Kabbala. So they are not Judahites - neither by race nor by religion - see Rev. 2:9, 3:9.)

Benjamin: Benjamin will be like Judah in most respects. Although they are considered a part of of Judah, they had not completely merged into Judah at the time of Christ (in Rom. 11:1, Paul calls himself a Benjaminite), and they presumably have continued to maintain a separate identity since.

Note: Some of the faithful of the Northern tribes, notably from the Levites, had moved south to join Judah (see 2 Chron. 11:13-17). We assume that they have largely merged with the rest of the Judahites.

3.2 The Northern Tribes

Ephraim: Ephraim is the tribe through which Abraham's blessing of "a multitude of descendants" is largely fulfilled (Gen 48) (The Northern Tribes are often called Ephraim because of its dominating size. We believe Ephraim is called Joseph in Rev. 7, because it is much larger than Manasseh). Ephraim is so large that it will be a "multitude of nations/peoples" (Gen. 48:19) (see also Deut. 33:13-17, Gen. 49:22-26).

Manasseh: Manasseh is a smaller tribe than Ephraim (about a 10th as large - Deut. 33:17), but it will also form a great nation/people (see Gen. 48:19).

Levi: The priestly tribe of Levi will be dispersed throughout the other tribes. (see Joshua 21, Gen. 49:5-7, see also Deut. 33:8-11)

Simeon: Simeon, like Levi, will be scattered among the rest of the Israelites because of the violent acts of its patriarch (Gen. 49:5-7)

Dan, Reuben, Zebulun, Issachar, Gad, Asher, Naphtali: Nothing significant is known about these tribes pertaining to this period, so we treat them as equal in size and importance (see also Gen. 49, Deut. 33).

Others: Like any other nation, the Israelites will have a minority of foreigners in their midst.

4. Distinguishing Features of the Modern Day Israelites

These are some of the likely characteristics of today's Israelites, based on the Bible and other sources, that may help identify them.

Population size

As we have shown above, the Israelites should be a large population, "as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore" (Gen. 22:17, Deut. 1:11). Although it is possible that God decimated them as punishment for their waywardness (Lev. 26:14-46), several prophecies indicate that they will be a giant population before the start of the Millennial Reign - see Hosea 1:10,11, Jer. 30:6-11, Isaiah 10:20-22 etc. According to our interpretation of Rev. 6:8, they will make up a 4th of the population of the earth. The Jewish historian Josephus wrote, as early the 1st century, that "the ten tribes ... are an immense multitude and not to be estimated in numbers".


The Northern Tribes gradually left the locations of their exile in Assyria (which later became Babylon and Persia), particularly after Alexander's campaign c. 333BC (see our parse of Ezekiel 4-5 in [3]), and they most likely moved east and south - away from their oppressors and to a climate suitable for their temperament and skin tone. Josephus (37–100 CE) wrote that "the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now... ", which supports the general Biblical indication - see 1 Kings 14:15, Acts 7:43 (these verses, however, may only indicate the initial location of their exile in Assyria). The Israelites may make up more than one modern nation and will have a large diaspora, scattered around the world, as indicated by several prophecies (Isa. 11:11-12, Zech. 10:9, Isaiah 27:12, Deut. 28:64...).

National and Tribal Purity

Although it is impossible for any nation to remain absolute pure, especially an enslaved, dispersed and frequently invaded people like the Israelites, we believe that they will have largely maintained their separateness. They will also have somehow preserved the divisions between the tribes - including that between the priestly Levites, the Simeonites and foreigners that are spread throughout the Northern Tribes (see fig. 1). These divisions may have been maintained through racism, tribalism, language, culture, religion, casteism etc.. This segregation is necessary for some of the prophecies and blessings of the "chosen people" to properly be fulfilled (see Jer. 30:6-11, Isaiah 10:20-22...).

Physical Appearance

The Israelites will most resemble the brown Semites in the Middle East. Note, however, that there are many variations in colour even among the Semites; some are as fair as the Japhetic people and some as dark as the Hamites.

Economic and Political status

Poor, despised, pitied and frequently invaded throughout their history, the Northern Tribes will suffer for the unfaithfulness of their forefathers, as predicted by the prophets (Deut. 28:37-44).


Ironically, the Northern Tribes, God's chosen people, will be extremely resistant to Christianity, because their God has hardened their hearts against Himself (Isaiah 29:10). They will mainly remain idol worshippers because of their forefathers' fondness for worshipping demon gods (see Deut. 28:36), as we have shown in several reconfigurations (see Isaiah 27:9, Micah 5:12, Isaiah 30:22...). Pockets of Christianity may be found among the Northern Tribes, but these will primarily be the Judahites or the non-Israelites living among them. On the other hand, the Southern Tribes, the Judahites, will have turned Christian by 70AD [1] - they were the only people to move from the Old Covenant to the New without a break. None of the Israelites will be "Jews".

5. The Redemption of Israel

Around the start of the Millennial Reign, God will open the eyes of the Israelites and they will turn back to their God (Isaiah 27:9, Isaiah 30:22...). They will become Christian in a short time, en-masse (Isaiah 29:17,66:8), but only after the rest of the world is given the opportunity ("until the full number of the Gentiles has come in" - Rom. 11:25-27). After a purge, during the period of Jacob's trouble (Jer. 30:5-7, Isa. 10:21,22), they will be gathered back together and integrated with with those of the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4), to form a mighty, blessed nation - the Israel of the Millennial Age (see Isaiah 2:1-4, Ezekiel 37...).


We believe it is important to correctly identify the Israelites of today, so that we do not fall prey to false prophecies, and so that we make informed decisions during this period of pre-Millennial tribulation. Paradoxically, the real Northern Tribes will be least interested in being "the chosen ones", for God has hardened their hearts against Himself, until the time of their awakening comes.

So who are the Israelites today?


[1] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The 70 Weeks Of Daniel"
[2] Jewish Christian - by Wikipedia
[3] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Ezekiel 4-5