The lost sheep of Israel will be regathered and truth will be restored to them!

Jeremiah 16:15, Children of Israel…from all the lands where [YHVH] had driven them…I will bring them again into their land. This verse corresponds to Leviticus 26:33 of this week’s Torah portion, which states as a result of Israel’s disobedience to YHVH’s Torah-Word: “And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you, and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.” When did this prophecy come to pass in ancient Israel? To whom did it apply? (On Israel being dispersed among the nations of the world, see Isa 11:12; 56:3, 6–8; Ezek 36:19; Zeph 3:10; John 7:35. On Israel becoming outcasts from its land, see Isa 11:12; 27:12–13; 56:8; Ps 147:2; cp. Deut 30:3–4.)

Jeremiah 16:16, Fishers. Not only this verse, but all of Jeremiah 16:16 is a prophecy about exiled Israel returning from the lands where YHVH had driven them (verse 15). Jeremiah says YHVH would use spiritual fishermen to fish his scattered people out of all the places—even to the ends of the earth (verse 19)—where he had driven them. Some of Yeshua’s disciples were fishermen by trade whom he recruited to become “fishers of men” (John 4:19). Who has that commission now? 

Another way to look at this issue is to compare Israel to lost sheep. How many times does Yeshua liken his mission to that of a shepherd gathering his lost sheep? (Please note Ps 119:176; Isa 53:6; Ezek 34:4, 16; Matt 15:24; cp. Isa 40:11; Matt 18:11; Luke 15:4; 1 Pet 2:25 [cp. 1 Pet 1:1].) When will these lost sheep be regathered? In the end days, YHVH will gather his sheep that have lost their way, been scattered, hurt and wounded by hireling shepherds and self-seeking religionists (Ezek 34:11, 16). YHVH will gather them from the nations where they have been scattered and return them to the land of Israel with David (or Messiah Son of David) as their king (see Ezek chapters 34 and 36–37).

Jeremiah 16:19, The Gentiles…ends of the earth. Who are these “Gentiles” that have been scattered to the ends of the earth? The word gentiles is the Hebrew wordgoyim (Strong’s G1471, Greek: ethnos, Strong’s G1484) This word is translated in the Tanakh (Old Testament) as nation 374 times, as heathen 143 times, as Gentiles 30 times, and people 11 times.

Whenever the word gentile is used in the KJV it is the word gowy or goy. According to Strong’s Concordance, the meaning of goy is “a foreign nation; hence a Gentile; also (fig.) a troop of animals, or a flight of locusts.” According to Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon,the word gowy means “a people, a confluence of men,” and “contextually in holy Scripture it is used to refer to the other nations besides Israel, the foes of Israel, and strangers to the true religion of Israel.”

There are times when goy refers specifically to Israel (e.g., the descendants of Joseph in general: Gen 48:19; of the southern kingdom of Judah when it forsook Elohim and its covenant with him and became like the surrounding heathen nations: Isa 1:4; of the southern kingdom: Isa 9:1; of Israel in general: Isa 26:2; 49:7; Ps 33:12; Gen 12:2; 35:11). There are numerous other instances in Scripture where the words goy or goyim are applied to the descendants of Abraham. Scripture’s use of the term is unbiased and lacks any of the pejorative implications that have been applied to the term subsequently (e.g., Gen 17:4, 5, 6, 16; 18:18; 25:23; 46:3; Exod 19:6; 33:13; Deut 4:6, 7, 8, 34; Ezek 37:22).

As already noted, the word goy simply means “people group.” The Greek word ethnos as found in the Testimony of Yeshua (New Testament) is equivalent in meaning to the Hebrew word goyim. So clearly, in Jeremiah 16:19 gentiles is a reference to lost and scattered Israel who has mixed herself with the heathen (Hos 7:8; 8:8), and who is now returning to YHVH.

Jeremiah 16:19, Our fathers have inherited lies. What are some of the lies (false or pagan religious traditions) that our spiritual (Christian) fathers have inherited and have passed on down to us that we must let go of in order to serve our Heavenly Father in a manner that is pleasing to him and consistent with his Word (including the Torah)? Compare this verse to Revelation 18:4, where YHVH admonishes his people to come out of the Babylonian religious system that would exist on earth in the end times. Keep in mind that many of these religious systems derive from ancient pagan sex and sun worship rituals as we note below under 17:2.

Jeremiah 16:21, They shall know that my name is YHVH. In Hebraic thought, a name is more than just a word. It also refers to one’s reputation, character and authority. But here, it states that Israel will know what Elohim’s name is. Have you found it ironic that our English Bibles, in this verse, translate YHVH as Lord? Lord is not his name! YHVH (pronounced Yehovah, Yehowah, or something similar to this) is his name. It is time the people of YHVH recognize this and start using it!

 

Ephraim and Manasseh in End Times Prophecy

Genesis 47:28–49:28, Jacob’s end times prophecy. The Jewish sages recognize that this final portion of Genesis chronicles Jacob’s wish to reveal to his sons some prophetic understandings pertaining to Israel’s long and numerous exiles, culminating in “the Final Redemption” or “the Second Exodus” (i.e. the return of Israel [all twelve tribes, not just the Jews] from her exile in “Babylon” at the end of the age just prior to and after the return of Messiah at which time the two houses of Israel will be reunited under Messiah Son of David).

Jacob states the timing of his prophecies regarding his sons in Genesis 49:1 when he predicts what will befall them “in the last days.”

The Jewish sages believe that prior to the establishment of the Messianic Age (or Millennium), all Israel will go into a time of darkness, gloom and exile.

The sages deduct the timing and tenor of this prophecy from the fact that the Torah scroll fails to place the customary nine spaces between the last word of the previous parashah (or Torah portion), which ends in verse 27 and the next parashah, which begins in verse 28. There is only a one space gap in the Hebrew letters between these two Torah portions, which predicts the “closing in” of Israel as they go into exile and captivity in Egypt.

The sages believe that these prophecies not only predicted Israel’s first exile into  and redemption from Egypt but also a latter, end times one as well because biblical history often repeats itself. This is evident by the fact that some of these prophecies weren’t fulfilled until Messiah came the first time and afterwards..

Genesis 48:5, Ephraim and Manasseh. Here Jacob gives Joseph’s two sons the first born status and blessing. Reuben and Simeon were disqualified because of sins they committed (see 1 Chr 5:1–2).

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Where did they go and are you one of them?

Yes! We’re speaking to YOU!

Deuteronomy 29:28–30:1–20, A time is coming when Israel, including the ten northern tribe will be redeemed and regathered back to the land of Israel after having been exiled into captivity from their land. What is the captivity from which Israel will be returning? 

What Is This Captivity? 

The biblical term captivity is often a reference to Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom or house of Israel, being brought out of captivity by YHVH (Ezek 16:53). Also compare Isaiah 61:1 with Luke 4:18–21 where, while preaching in the region of Galilee and Nazareth (the historic homeland of the Northern Kingdom or House of Israel), Yeshua quotes the Isaiah 61 passage relating it to his ministry to the ten tribes of the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 10:6). Yeshua states that it was his mission “to preach the gospel to the poor … to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captive and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bound, to preach the acceptable year of YHVH.” 

To what“captivity” is Yeshua referring? Is it a physical or spiritual captivity? Compare this with Revelation 18:4 where YHVH states that his people (the saints) are enslaved to the last days’ Babylon the Great religious-economic-political system and must come out of it. What is this religious part of this system that he is now calling his people to leave?

Deuteronomy 29:28, Cast them into another land. “This verse also alludes to the fate of [those Israelites] who had become so assimilated among other peoples that their [i.e. the Israelite’s] origins had become forgotten. When the final redemption comes, these hidden ones known only to [Elohim] will be reunited with the rest of the nation and be restored to the status of their forefathers” (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 1090). To whom is the author referring here? Who became assimilated among the peoples and forgot their origins? Who is it that Elohim will bring out of hiding from among the nations where he, in judgment, scattered them and reunite with the Jews (the tribe of Judah) in the end times during what the Jews refer to as “the final redemption”? In Jewish thought, what is the “final redemption”? (For the answer, read Ezek 34:13; 36:24; Isa 56:8; Matt 24:29–44; Acts 1:6; 1 Cor 15:51–53; Rev 11:15–18.)

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What the Jewish sages say about the return of the ten tribe exiles of Israel

Deuteronomy 4:25–32, Apostasy, exile, enslavement, repentance and regathering of lost and scattered Israel to the Promised Land in the last days.  This passage deals with the exile and return of the Israelites. Because of syncretism with the idolatrous practices of the nations around them, YHVH prophesied that the Israelites would be scattered among the nations of the world. Conversely, YHVH prophesies that “in the end of days” (verse 30)—a metaphor for “the last days” or “the end of the age”—he would hear their pleas for help, have mercy on his people, and remember his covenant with them. According to some noted Jewish sages, “the end of days” refers to the period just before the coming of Messiah, and this repentance is the same as that which Moses mentions later in 30:1–2 (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 965). Here are some additional quotes from some noted Jewish scholars on the subject of Israel returning to YHVH from its exile among the nations:

The future King Messiah (Messiah Son of David) will not only redeem the Jews from exile, but will restore the observance of the Torah-commandments to its complete state, which will only be possible when the Israelites are living in the Land of Israel. At this same time, “there will be an ingathering of the dispersed remnant of Israel. This will make it possible for the Davidic dynasty to be reinstated and for the observance of the Torah and its mitzvot [commandments] to be restored in its totality” (I Await His Coming Every Day, p. 35, [see also p. 38 quoting Rambam] by Menachem Schneerson, emphasis added). According to the Rambam (also known as Maimonides) in his Thirteen Principles of the Jewish Faith the resurrection of the dead will occur just after the coming of the Messiah and that the resurrection of the dead is a key element of the Final Redemption (ibid., p. 59).

The Jewish sages recognize that the ingathering of the exiles including the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom, will also return, be reunited with Judah and that the whole house of Israel will serve YHVH together (Ezek 20:32–37, 40–42) (Mashiach—the Principles of Mashiach and the Messianic Era In Jewish Law and Tradition, pp. 20-22, by Jacob Immanual Schochet quoting from Sanhedrin 110b; Bamidbar Rabba 16:25).

The ArtScroll Bereishis/Genesis Commentary, vol. 1(b) states in its commentary on Genesis 48:19 regarding Ephraim: “R. Munk explains: ‘while it is true that the dispersion [of the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh] was caused by the unfaithfulness and sinfulness of Ephraim’s descendants (Hos 7:8ff), Jacob’s blessing was not in vain for “they will return to God” and will have their share in the world to come (Talmud Sanhedrin 110b).’ And R. Eliezer adds: ‘Even the darkness in which the Ten Tribes were lost will one day become as radiant as the day’ (according to the version of Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 36). And in the perspective of history, did not these exiled children of the Patriarchs enlighten the nations among whom they were scattered? They did so by teaching their conquerors the fundamental ideas of the knowledge and love of God, ideals they had never forsaken. Hence they too have a messianic vocation and their Messiah the Maschiach ben Yosef, Messiah son of Joseph (Talmud Succah 52a), also called Messiah son of Ephraim (Targum Yonasan on Exodus 40:11), will play an essential role in humanity’s redemption, for he will be the precursor of the Maschiach ben David, Messiah Son of David. It is therefore not surprising to find that the prophet Jeremiah (3:12) speaks affectionately of Ephraim. In this light, Jacob’s words, ‘his offspring will fill the nations,’ assume the significance of blessing” (pp. 2121–2122).

The regathering of not only the Jewish people (largely from the tribe of Judah), but Israelites from the other eleven tribes is predicted by Yeshua and the apostolic writers as well (see Acts 3:21; Matt 10:6; 15:24). 

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Who are the modern descendants of Ephraim?

Genesis 48:14 and 16, Jacob’s Prophecy Over Ephraim and Manasseh

While prophesying over Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, Jacob crossed his hands over their heads making the symbol of the Paleo-Hebrew letter tav  (like the letter t or x in the alphabet), which resembles a cross and in that ancient Hebraic script and according to some Hebrew scholars pictographically means “sign of the covenant.” Jacob then spoke of the Heavenly Messenger (the Hebrew word malak mistranslated as “angel” in most Bibles) of YHVH (i.e. the preincarnate Yeshua) who had redeemed him from all evil (see Gen 31:11–13). Jacob then prophesied that the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh would become like “fish in the midst of the land” (literal translation of Gen 48:14–16; see The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach).

In light of this prophetic symbolism, which present day religious group would qualify as having fulfilled Jacob’s prophecy as to who the descendents of Ephraim and Manasseh would be? Which religion on earth uses the fish as their symbol, speaks of a Messenger from YHVH as their Redeemer, and has the sign of the Paleo-Hebrew letter tav, which looks like a cross? The Buddhists? The Moslems? The Hindus? Even the Jews? No! Only Christianity fits this enigmatic criteria. Many Christians are without Continue reading


 

Who are the lost and scattered sheep of Israel?

But [Yeshua] answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 15:24)

But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt 10:6)

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)

Deuteronomy 32:21, I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. The term not a people is the Hebrew phrase lo-am. Curiously this same phrase occurs in several other references in the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh) in reference to the Northern Kingdom or House of Israel (Ephraim) and is repeated by several apostolic writers in reference to the “Gentiles” or “peoples of the nations” (which is the meaning of the Greek word ethnos translated as gentiles). (See Isa 7:8; Hos 1:9; 1 Pet 1:1; 2:9–10.) In Romans 9:25, Paul equates the “Gentiles” with the same people-group to which Hosea makes reference in Hosea 2:23. To whom is Hosea referring in his prophecy? (Read Hos 1:4,6; 4:15–17, chapter 5; 6:10–11; 7:1–11; chapter 8; etc.). Remember that the nation of Israel split into two groups at the time of Jeroboam and Rehoboam: the Northern Kingdom comprised of the ten northern tribes of Israel and referred to in Scripture as Ephraim, House of Israel and Samaria while the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah, the House of Judah and Jerusalem. 

Where are these Ephraimites today? The answer can be found in Genesis 48:14 and 16 where the patriarch Jacob is prophesying over the two sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh. Can you find any clues in these two verses that may point to a religious people-group in existence today on earth? What sign does Jacob make with his arms when placing them on the heads of his two grandsons? Is it coincidental that it is the sign of the cross? Then in verse 16, Jacob recounts his experiences with the Angel or literally Heavenly Messenger who “redeemed me from evil.” This is a reference to Genesis 31:1–11 where, while fleeing from Laban, Jacob’s adversary, he had a dream where the Messenger of Elohim calls himself the El of Bethel (or the El/God of the House of El/God). Who is the Messenger of Elohim who is also a Redeemer? (See Rom 3:24; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:12.)

Finally, Jacob prophesies that his grandsons’ descendants would grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. The word grow is the Hebrew word dagah/VDS from which the Hebrew word dag/DS or fish derives. This is why the ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach translates this phrase as “may they proliferate abundantly like fish within the land.”

The question is then begged, what religious people-group on earth today can be associated with a cross, a Redeemer and a fish? Knowing this will give us a clue as to whom Paul and the other writers in the Testimony of Yeshua (NT) were referring when they equated the “Gentiles” with “a foolish nation” and “not a/my people.”

Deuteronomy 32:26, I will scatter them into the corners. How was this prophecy fulfilled to Israel? Who in Israel was scattered and forgotten? Certainly not the Jews. They were scattered, but not forgotten.

Verses 28–29 say of these people that they are void of counsel and Continue reading


 

Apostasy, Exile, Repentance and Regathering of the Twelve Tribes

A Last Days Prophecy

Deuteronomy 4:25–32, Apostasy, exile, enslavement, repentance and regathering of lost and scattered Israel to the Promised Land in the last days.  This passage deals with the exile and return of the Israelites. Because of syncretism with the idolatrous practices of the nations around them, YHVH prophesied that the Israelites would be scattered among the nations of the world. Conversely, YHVH prophesies that “in the end of days” (verse 30)—a metaphor for “the last days” or “the end of the age”—he would hear their pleas for help, have mercy on his people, and remember his covenant with them. According to some noted Jewish sages, “the end of days” refers to the period just before the coming of Messiah, and this repentance is the same as that which Moses mentions later in 30:1–2 (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 965). Here are some additional quotes from some noted Jewish scholars on the subject of Israel returning to YHVH from its exile among the nations:

The future King Messiah (Messiah Son of David) will not only redeem the Jews from exile, but will restore the observance of the Torah-commandments to its complete state, which will only be possible when the Israelites are living in the Land of Israel. At this same time, “there will be an ingathering of the dispersed remnant of Israel. This will make it possible for the Davidic dynasty to be reinstated and for the observance of the Torah and its mitzvot [commandments] to be restored in its totality” (I Await His Coming Every Day, p. 35, [see also p. 38 quoting Rambam] by Menachem Schneerson, emphasis added). According to the Rambam (also known as Maimonides) in his Thirteen Principles of the Jewish Faith the resurrection of the dead will occur just after the coming of the Messiah and that the resurrection of the dead is a key element of the Final Redemption (ibid., p. 59).

The Jewish sages recognize that the ingathering of the exiles, including the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom, will also return, be reunited with Judah and that the whole house of Israel will serve YHVH together (Ezek 20:32–37, 40–42) (Mashiach—the Principles of Mashiach and the Messianic Era In Jewish Law and Tradition, pp. 20-22, by Jacob Immanual Schochet quoting from Sanhedrin 110b; Bamidbar Rabba 16:25).

The ArtScroll Bereishis/Genesis Commentary, vol. 1(b) states in its commentary on Genesis 48:19 regarding Ephraim: “R. Munk explains: ‘while it is true that the dispersion [of the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh] was caused by the unfaithfulness and sinfulness of Ephraim’s descendants (Hos 7:8ff), Jacob’s blessing was not in vain for “they will return to God” and will have their share in the world to come (Talmud Sanhedrin 110b).’ And R. Eliezer adds: ‘Even the darkness in which the Ten Tribes were lost will one day become as radiant as the day’ (according to the version of Avos d’Rabbi Nosson 36). And in the perspective of history, did not these exiled children of the Patriarchs enlighten the nations among whom they were scattered? They did so by teaching their conquerors the fundamental ideas of the knowledge and love of God, ideals they had never forsaken. Hence they too have a messianic vocation and their Messiah the Maschiach ben Yosef, Messiah son of Joseph (Talmud Succah 52a), also called Messiah son of Ephraim (Targum Yonasan on Exodus 40:11), will play an essential role in humanity’s redemption, for he will be the precursor of the Maschiach ben David, Messiah Son of David. It is therefore not surprising to find that the prophet Jeremiah (3:12) speaks affectionately of Ephraim. In this light, Jacob’s words, ‘his offspring will fill the nations,’ assume the significance of blessing” (pp. 2121–2122).

The regathering of not only the Jewish people (largely from the tribe of Judah), but Israelites from the other eleven tribes is predicted by Yeshua and the apostolic writers as well (see Acts 3:21; Matt 10:6; 15:24). 

Now note how the following phrases or concepts are used in Scripture, who they relate to, and how this relates to the statements of the Jewish sages and to our text under consideration as pertaining to Israel (including both the houses of Israel (i.e. Ephraim/Samaria or the Northern Kingdom and Judah or the Southern Kingdom) being scattered among the nations for their disobedience to YHVH, and then their being regathered and restored as a united kingdom and obedient people under the rule of King Messiah:

  • Dispersed: The house of Judah was dispersed out of the Land of Judah into Babylon because of her spiritual adultery (Isa 11:12; 56:3, 6–8; Ezek 37:21; John 7:35).
  • Far and Near: Solomon prophesied the Israelite/Ephraimic exile, that Judah would be exiled to a near country (Babylon) and Ephraim would be exiled to a far country (Assyria) (1 Kings 8:46; see also Dan 9:7). Paul makes reference to the purpose of his ministry being to preach peace to those who were afar off and them that are near that through Yeshua both may have access through the Spirit unto the Father (Eph 2:16–17).
  • Gather/Regather(ing): Ezek 34:13; 36:24; Isa 56:8
  • Israel, Assimilated Into the Nations: Isa 7:8: Hos 1:10; 4:1,6; 5:3; 2:23; Deut 28:64; 
  • Lost (assimilated, but not lost): Hos 8:8; Amos 9:9; Deut 28:64; Hos 5:3 
  • Mixed With the Nation: Ephraim mixes himself with the nations: Hos 7:8; 8:8
  • Outcasts: The House of Israel are outcasts (YHVH cast them out of the Land of Israel for their spiritual adultery, Isa 11:12; 56:8)
  • Return: In the last days, the sons/children of Israel (both Ephraim and Judah) shall return to YHVH and his Torah (Hos 3:5).
  • Scattered/Sown (Jezreel): YHVH would sow or scatter the descendants of the House of Israel (Ephraim) (throughout the nations, Hos 1:4).
  • Scattered Sheep of Lost Israel to Return By YHVH’s Hand: Ezek 34:11,16
  • Scattered: Ephraim scattered over the face of the whole earth, Ezek 34:6,12; 36:19; 37:21; John 11:52. In regards to Deuteronomy 32:26 which says, “I said, I would scatter them into the corner …” The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach 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 constant reminder of YHVH’s plan and eventually Israel will thrive and fulfill YHVH’s intention for it” (pp. 1105–1106). Samson Raphael Hirsch in his commentary on the Pentateuch 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).
  • Swallowed Up Among the Nations (Gentiles): Hos 8:8