Deuteronomy 30:3, From all the nations to which YHVH … has scattered you. The Scriptures over and over again record that the house of Israel (Ephraim) would be scattered over the face of the whole earth (Ezek 34:6, 12; 36:19; 37:21; John 11:52), and that YHVH will regather them in the end times and return them to the land of Israel (Deut 30:3–5). Deuteronomy 32:26 says, “I said, I would scatter them into the corners …” The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash comments, “This refers to the exile of the Ten Tribes, who were scattered to an unknown place where they have never been heard from again.
On the phrase of the same verse, “I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men. …” the same Chumash states,
This is a reference to the exile of Judah and Benjamin, the Davidic kingdom from which today’s known Jews are descended.” It goes on to say that though nations would seek to destroy Israel entirely, YHVH would never allow Israel to become extinct or disappear. Israel’s perpetual existence is a constant reminder of YHVH’s plan and eventually Israel will thrive and fulfill YHVH’s intention for it (pp. 1105–1106).
Nineteenth orthodox Jewish scholar S. R. Hirsch in his commentary on the same verse translates the phrase, “I would scatter them into the corners …” as, “I would relegate them into a corner …,” and then says that the Hebrew here refers to the “extreme end of a surface, the side or corner ….” He, too, relates this fate to the Ten Tribes who would be scattered “to some distant corner of the world, where, left entirely to themselves, they could mature towards serious reflection and ultimate return to Me …” (p. 650).
Some in the Christians deny that these Scriptures passages pertain to the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and instead insist that they are speaking about Judah (the Jews) only. They insist that the return of the Jews to the land of Israel starting in 1948 is the fulfillment of these prophecies and the ten tribes of Israel are lost forever. How can this a correct understanding in light of the Scriptures and the Jewish sages interpretations of those scriptures that states again and again that the ten tribes will return at the end of the age to be reunited with the Jews under the reign of Messiah Son of David (Ezek 37:15–28)?
Who are these lost and scattered sheep of the house of Israel? Whoever they are, Yeshua said that he came to regather them, and sent out his disciples on the same mission (Matt 10:6; 15:24. Yeshua then commissioned his disciples not only to go to the Jews in Jerusalem and to Judea, but to all the tribes of Israel scattered through the earth and anyone else who YHVH was calling into his eternal kingdom (Acts 2:8).
The following is a list of references in the Testimony of Yeshua about regathering the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
References in the Testimony of Yeshua to the Regathering of the Tribes of Israel
Yeshua himself made several references to the fact that it was his mission to regather the lost sheep (or tribes of Israel). The tribe of Judah (the Jews) was one only of the tribes. There were also eleven others.
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 10:6)
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 15:24)
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:16)
Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. (John 11:50)
The apostles made several references to the scattered Israelite tribes as well. If these tribes weren’t still viable and relevant to the spreading of the gospel and the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies, then why would the apostles have mentioned them?
Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. (Acts 26:7)
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia… (1 Pet 1:1)
For ye were as sheep going astray ; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (1 Pet 2:25; Ezek 34; cp. Matt 10:6)
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (Jas 1:1)
All twelve tribes of Israel (not just the Jews from the tribe of Judah) will be present during the future millennial reign of Yeshua and will continue to be relevant even into the era of the New Jerusalem on the New Earth.
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matt 19:28)
That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:30)
And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. (Rev 21:12)
The apostolic writers made several references to the northern tribes of Israel. In their minds, the Gentiles who were coming to faith in Messiah were somehow related to the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom (or Ephraim) and to the Old Testament prophecies about the Gentiles coming to faith in Yeshua the Messiah.
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Pet 2:10 cp. Hos 1:9, 10; 2:23 and Rom 9:25)
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [Dan 9:7; 1 Kgs 8:46] by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one [Ezek 37:15ff], and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God. (Eph 2:11–19)
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39)
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles [Gen 48:19] be come in. (Rom 11:25)
Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. (1 Pet 2:10 cp. Hos 1:9–10 and Deut 32:21)
As he saith also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. (Rom 9:25 cp. Hos 2:23)
The Testimony of Yeshua contains other allusions to the tribes of Israel being regathered as well. For example, the Tanakh likens Israel metaphorically to an olive (Jer 11:10, 17), and to the Gentiles, who in the past had been broken off of that olive tree to being grafted back into it (Rom 11:13–24). If the Gentiles somehow weren’t related to the northern kingdom of Israel in Paul’s mind, then his analogy would have been specious and meaningless.
The Tanakh also likens lost and scattered Israel to fish in the midst of the seas of humanity (Gen 48:16). Jeremiah prophesied that YHVH would send fishermen to regather these “fish” (Jer 16:15–16). Interestingly, Yeshua chose a number of fishermen to be his disciples to help gather in the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He also made Capernaum — a fishing village located on the Sea of Galilee — the headquarters of his ministry. When calling some of these fishermen to be his disciples, he proclaimed,
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matt 4:19)
And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. (Mark 1:17)
When the northern tribes of Israel broke off from the southern tribes, a breach was formed in the nation of Israel (1 Kgs 11:13, 29–50; 12:1–20). Several Old Testament prophets predicted that in the future this breach would be repaired and the two nations would again become one (Isa 58:12; Amos 9:11).
The reuniting of the nation Israel was the foremost thing on the apostles’ minds just prior to the final ascension of Yeshua (Acts 1:6). The restoration of the nation of Israel is to occur at the second coming of Yeshua (Acts 3:21). Paul viewed the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles as helping to repair that breach (or breaking down the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles, so that the Gentiles could become part of the nation of Israel (Eph 2:11–19).
The repairing of this breach is called the building up again of the tabernacle of David (Acts 15:16) or “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21 cp. Acts 1:6).
Moreover, in Romans 9:22–29, Paul links the Gentiles coming to faith in Yeshua to two prophecies in the Tanakh,which were made in relationship to Ephraim or the lost and scattered children of Israel (Hos 1:10; 2:23; Isa 10:22, 23).
Additionally, when the Gentiles come to faith in Messiah, according to Paul, the apostle, they become the actual seed or offspring of Abraham (Gal 3:29). When Yeshua returns, he will finalize his New Covenant with these regathered Israelites who are from both the house of Judah (the Jews) and the house of Israel (all the tribes other than the tribe of Judah; Heb 8:8 cp. Jer 31:31, 33).