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). 

Continue reading