Did you know there are three types of Jews? After the AD 70 destruction of Yerushalem the few Jews who survived were scattered through southern Europe–Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, and Morocco in North Africa–becoming known as the Sephardim or Sephardic Jews, from the Hebrew word for Spain. The Mizrahim–from the Hebrew word for eastern–is the name given to the Jews of Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Persia, and India. Presumably these are the descendants of those who failed to return with the remnant from the far corners of the Persian Empire after the seventy-year captivity.
The other section of Jewry is called the Ashkenazi, from the Hebrew word for Germany. Members of this group settled in France, Germany, and Eastern Europe and came mainly from Russia. They spoke Yiddish and comprised the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. They are thought to be from the Khazars, or Kingdom of Khazaria, between the Black and Caspian Seas in the Eighth to Thirteenth Centuries, and not from Abraham or Israel at all. Mind you, they all need their Saviour Yahshua Messiah.
The Samaritans of Yahshua’s days on Earth were not Jews either. They were originally Assyrians relocated to Samaria in Israel by Shalmaneser after the northern kingdom of ISRAEL was taken captive by him (II KINGS 17:5-6, 24). The Israelites of these TEN NORTHERN TRIBES were removed to Assyria, to Halal and Habor, just south of the Caucasus Mountains. Later, during the reign in Yerushalem of King Hezekyah, Sennicherib, king of Assyria, came and took also the people of Yudah. All except Yerushalem.
So the remnant of Yudaeans and Benyaminites, with a mere sprinkling of the other ten tribes, who later returned from the Babylonian captivity, were the descendants of those who had been spared in Yerushalem alone. THESE were called JEWS, from Yudaea, or Judea in English. These were dispersed among nations such as the 127 provinces of Persia, Babylon, and Media.
What then happened to the Israelites AND Yudaeans taken to Assyria? They are mentioned by Paul in ACTS 26:6-7, James in his book JAMES 1:1, and by John in his Gospel at JOHN 7:35. Paul clearly delineates in ACTS between the twelve tribes and the Jews of Yerushalem, that the Jews are not Israelites and the Israelites are not Jews. Just to reinforce this, Yahshua tells His disciples: “Go…to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (MATT. 10:6), but tells the Jews “…ye are not of My sheep” (JOHN 10:26)! Both sprang from the same source but the Jews rejected Yahshua so He rejected them.
The lost sheep of Israel were those scattered abroad awaiting their Messiah. They immediately recognize Him on meeting Him or being introduced by one of His followers (JOHN 10:27). The Jews were always called Jews. But the Israelites, because they were scattered throughout the nations, forgot who they were and were given a new name: Christian! It is also of interest to know that no Israelite was called a Jew, not Abraham, Moses, or even Yudah, nor were they Jews, until II KINGS 16:6 when the Jews of the southern kingdom of Yudah fought the Israelites in the north.
Now, back to the Caucasus Mountains where the Israelites were settled by Shalmaneser. Tribe by tribe, YHWH’s people migrated out of the Caucasus where they left their name on the southern slopes to take up the name of the mountains that sheltered them for a time: Caucasian. If this seems unlikely to you, there is plenty of Scriptural evidence, from David and Solomon’s ruddy complexions to Esau’s red hair. I have lived in Israel. And I recently bought a hair straightener from three lovely young Israeli men selling them on a stand at my local shopping centre. I am yet to meet a Jewish person who is not also Caucasian. Most have skin as white as mine or just a little olive toned.
From the Caucasus Mountains the Israelites migrated into and across Europe. The tribe of Dan, being in the habit of naming places after their father, seems to have left plain and countless signs of their passing (remember there were no vowels in ancient Hebrew): Mace-don-ia, Dar-dan-elles, Dan-ube River, the Danes of Denmark in Scan-din-avia. Denmark means ‘Dan’s mark’ incidentally. Si-Don in Spain, Lon-don-derry, Dun-dee, Dun-kirk, E-din-burgh, and like a child playing leapfrog the Danites jumped south to England and its capital Lon-don. Then there’s the Danaans of Ireland, the Danoi of the Greeks, and the Latin Danaus. I have been pulled up about this and told there was an ancient Celtic tribal goddess named Danu, after whom these places may have been named. Believe what you want, but the similarity to the name of an ancient idol worshipping tribe of Israel is too serious to be dismissed.
It is believed the Israelites, particularly the Danites, were colonizing the British Isles from as early as 900 BC. Phoenician ships visited all parts and crossed all oceans of the ancient world. The Phoenician city of Tyre was the centre of a vast global trading network (IS. 23:1, 7-8). Yonah’s visit to Nineveh alone tells us the Israelites certainly weren’t homebodies. King Solomon imported ivory, apes, peacocks, silver, gold, and gems from faraway lands. His ‘navy of Tarshish’ would take three years to do a round trip in order to return with these precious commodities (I KINGS 10:11, 22). We see in EZEKIAL 27:12 that tin was traded at the fairs of Tarshish. Ancient Britain was then known as the Tin Islands.
In addition to the colonies of the Isles (of ancient Britain) mentioned frequently in Scripture, the Hebrews and Phoenicians supported colonies all over the world in Solomon’s day. Evidence of such has been found in the Americas, Africa, Pacific Islands, and Australasia. If Solomon had not fallen into apostasy, ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE ENTIRE WORLD COULD HAVE BEEN WORSHIPPING THREE TIMES A YEAR AT YERUSHALEM ACCORDING TO THE LAW, using these highly advanced ocean-going ships of Tarshish to bring the population there.
Despite the failure of this plan of YHWH, we can see His next purpose at work. The Israelites being dispersed throughout all nations, their blood is now probably in the veins of almost every person on Earth. If not of Israelite descent, they can be grafted in, as Messianic Christian former Jews, like Paul, are fond of saying without being aware of YHWH’s much grander plan.
If we go back and read my post Turned the World Upside Down, it can easily be seen how the Gospel was disseminated among these Israelites-in-waiting through the apostles. Eventually also, in the era of England’s good Queen Elizabeth and Victoria, missionaries were sent to evangelize the world anew, and with intermarriage, MORE Israelite blood was spread around the globe.
YHWH is now calling these Christian Israelites’ to return to Him in spirit, truth, holiness, and total committment, to follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Any one of us may step up to the mark and answer His call. As long as twenty years ago, Father told a group of us THEN that TIME WAS SHORT BEYOND BELIEF.