Israelite Tribal Identities
Adapted from: What are the nationalities of the 12 tribes of Israel?
The 12 Tribes of Israel were divided into two sections:
1. Judah meaning the Tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Levi, and minorities representations of the other Tribes.
2. Joseph meaning the Ten Lost Tribes (Ephraim, Manasseh, Naphtali, Dan, Asher, Gad, Reuben, Zebulon, Issachar, Simeon) plus representative minorities of the Tribes of "Judah," descendants of Jethro, and others.
The Two segments had separate tasks:
Judah was to keep the Law and develop it and influence the Gentiles through it.
Joseph was to go down to the level of the pagan heathen, become like them, and then evolve upwards dragging the rest of the world with them. This is what they did to some degree. The Ten Tribes had been exiled by the Assyrians (1-Chronicles 5:26, 2-Kings 15:29, 17:6, 18:11) who used Edomite proxies (Amos 1:6, 9, 11) to help carry out their re-settlement. The Israelites were transferred not only overland but also by way of the Sea (Amos 4:2-3 in the Hebrew). In a sense the Ten Tribes have remained spiritually and culturally under Edomite domination to this day.
In the End Times Joseph will wage a War against Edom after which the Ten Tribes will re-unite with Judah.
Obadiah (NASB) 1:
20 And the exiles of this host of the sons of Israel,
Who are among the Canaanites as far as Zarephath,
And the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad
Will possess the cities of the Negev.
21 The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion
To judge the mountain of Esau,
And the kingdom will be the LORDs.
Based on Rabbinical Sources and the Hebrew text this is how the above passage may actually be understood:
Obadiah 1: 20 SO THIS FIRST EXILE OF THE TEN TRIBES OF ISRAEL [Rashi] WHO DWELL FROM GERMANY [=CANAANITES, Iben Ezra] AND HOLLAND [Jewish sources quoted by Calvin], EVEN UNTO FRANCE [=ZAREPHATH, Rashi, Iben Ezra, Radak, Abarbanel, Daat Sofrim] AND ENGLAND [= ZAREPHATH, Abarbanel] AND THE CAPTIVITY OF THE JEWS OF JERUSALEM IN SPAIN [=SEPHARAD, Targum Yehonatan] SHALL POSSESS THE CITIES OF THE SOUTH.
Here are the Tribes as they may be identified in light of Scripture, Rabbinical Commentary, and Historical Evidence:
Reuben - France. France was created by the Ribuari Franks whose name (in Hebrew-Aramaic) may be a form of Reuben. Archaeological evidence (e.g. the "Balaam" inscription of Biblical Succot) indicates that some of the Tribes also used Aramaic dialects or mixed Hebrew-Aramaic ones. The Gauls of France were known as Galati or occasionally Galadi after the region of Gilead where Reuben came from.
The sons of Reuben have names corresponding to the national culture of France.
Genesis 46:9 The sons of Reuben: Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi.
Hanoch connotes ceremonial and erudition; Pallu - a striving for excellence and refinement; Hezron proprietorship; Carmi vineyard.
The Bible Codes strongly link France with the sons of Reuben.
Gad - Sweden. The Goths and Suevs created Sweden. Sweden was also known as Suon after Shuni a son of Gad. The Hebrew name for Gad could be pronounced as Goth and the Goths referred to themselves as Godi.
Genesis 46:16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion and Haggi, Shuni and Ezbon, Eri and Arodi and Areli.
The Haggi became the Chauci, The Arodi the Herudi, the Areli the Herules. All of these were groups linked with Scandinavia.
Naphtali - Norway. Different groups who entered Norway bore names similar to the clans of Naphtali. These included a branch of the Hun Federation that was actually named "Naphtali" or "Nephtalite Huns"!
Issachar - Finland. The Fins had a tradition that they descended from the Lost Ten Tribes some of them identifying with the Tribe of Issachar. They had characteristics of Issachar as did the Swiss of Switzerland, e.g. neutral and peaceful by inclination though potentially formidable warriors., hard-working, introverted, philosophical, internationalist, etc.
Dan - Denmark, Ireland. The Tribe of Dan was known for naming places after Dan their father, Joshua 19:47, Judges 18:12, 29. The Danes are named after Dan and trace their ancestry to Dan the Great.
The Tribe of Dan used the symbols of a lion and a serpent. Dan is described as leaping from the Bashan meaning the area of Syria. Bashan in Aramaiac was known as "Bathanai." According to some versions of Pliny, this was later another name for Scandinavia.
Deuteronomy (NASB) 33:
22 Of Dan he said, ‘Dan is a lion’s whelp, That leaps forth from Bashan.’
Judges (NASB) 5:
17 Gilead remained across the Jordan; And why did Dan stay in ships? Asher sat at the seashore, And remained by its landings.
Asher - Scotland, Ireland. The As, or Aseir were once prominent in Scandinavia and also were to be found in Ireland and Scotland. The name "Asher" connotes "Happiness."
Simeon was scattered among the other Tribes. Contingents named Simeon (Simeni, Samneti, Simuen) and after clans of Simeon were to be found in Celtic areas such as Ireland, Celtic Britain, and Britanny in France.
The Tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh together comprised Joseph.
Manasseh - Groups with names recalling clans of Manasseh were especially prominent in the west of the British Isles. From these areas came most of the early settlers of America. The name Manasseh (according to Rabbi Samsoin Raphael Hirsch, 1808-1898) in Hebrew connotes "Responsible Representation." The word America came from "Amerigo Vespucci" (1454-1512) the Italian Navigator in Portuguese employ. Amerigo however received his name as an early Medieval permutation of the Hebrew "Ha-Macheri" meaning "The Son of Machir." [This is according to Latin and Hebrew documents discussed by Arthur J. ZUCKERMAN, "A Jewish Princedom in Feudal France, 768-900", New York, 1972]. Machir was the firstborn son of Manasseh (Genesis 50:23, Numbers 26:29). Descendants of Manasseh were also to be found elsewhere in Europe especially Germany but they mostly emigrated to the USA in recent times.
Descendants of Joseph were found throughout the British Isles. Ephraim was especially prominent in England. The Angles who gave their name to England had originally been known in Europe as "AEGLOI" WHICH IS IN EFFECT A FORM OF THE HEBREW WORD "AEGEL." This name means "Bull-Calf" a nick name for Ephraim (Jeremiah 31:18). In Biblical times members of the Tribes of Ephraim were were referred to as "Ephrati" (1-Kings 11:26, often translated in English as "Ephraimite") meaning "aristocrat." In Britain aristocracy is still important. The domain of Ephraim encompasses the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, North Ireland.
Zebulon was to be found in the Netherlands. The early Classical Greek-Egyptian Geographer Ptolemy mentions the Sabalingoi in northern Frisia. This names means "People (goi) -of-Zebulon." Other clans of Zebulon were also in the area. Zebulon was blessed that he should dwell "On the Shores of the Sea" ["Hof-Yamim" in Hebrew, Genesis 49:13. This is sometimes translated into English as "at the Haven of the Sea"]. Two-thirds of the Netherlands is literally sitting on sea-sand, and more than 40% is either below sea-level or would be subject to periodic inundation from the sea if not for dykes nand protective water-works. This is the only country in the world where this applies. Additional proofs confirm the identification of Zebulon with the Dutch or at least a portion of them.
Benjamin - was to be found with Judah as well as in Belgium and Normandy and other regions.
Judah - the Jews. Descendants of Judah are among the Jews in addition to offshoots such as the Jutes and part of the Northern and Southern Irish who otherwise are a mixture of Joseph, Simeon, Dan, Asher, and Naphtali.
Levi is mainly with Judah. For that matter minority representatives of all the Tribes are also to be found among the Jews (Judah).
The numerical majority of the demographic descendants of the Tribes are to be found among the Lost Ten Tribes. These are identifiable with elements who settled in Western Europe.
See “The Tribes - Hebrew Nations by Yair Davidiy
Ephraim and Manasseh were two sons of Joseph. An extra special blessing (Genesis 48:16, 49:26) and the right of the firstborn was given to Joseph (1-Chronicles 5:2). Each of his sons received their own blessing. Ephraim was to become a family of nations and to be great before Manasseh (Genesis 48:19).
In western Europe the configuration of the above Tribes in relation to each other parallels that which existed when they came out of Egypt and were encamped in the Wilderness (Numbers chapter 2).
All of the above identification fit Biblical prophecies. Each Tribe received its own blessing (Genesis 49:28). Every nation in which we find Israelites Tribes that may be identified has been blessed according to both its individual promise and that of Israel in general. The descendants of Joseph who dominated the English-speaking nations are especially prominent examples of how the blessings came to fruition.
The exiled Israelites were to become one of the most numerous groups of people on earth (Genesis 15:5 22:17 24:60 32:12 Numbers 23:10 Deuteronomy 1:11 Isaiah 10:22 24:16 26:15 Hosea 1:10); to be the most powerful (Genesis 27:9 Numbers 24:7 Michah 5:7-9), to be the richest, to possess the most mineral and agricultural resources (Genesis 27:28 49:25 Deuteronomy 33:13-16 Hosea 2:8), to live in the best places (Isaiah 41:8-9), to be in islands (Isaiah 42:4 49:1-6 Jeremiah 31:9-10), peninsulas (Jeremiah 31:8), and at continental extremities (Deuteronomy 33:13 Isaiah 24:16 26:15 41:8-9 49:6), to be sea-farers (Isaiah 42;6), to gain control over strategic points regarding their potential adversaries (Genesis 22:16-17 24:60), to be like a lion, unicorn (Numbers 24:8-9), and bald-headed eagle (Micah 1:16). They were also to be largely unaware of their Israelite identity and to practice a non-Jewish religion (Hosea 2:8, 2:13, 2:16 11:12). Judah at first would not know who they were (Isaiah 49:21). Scripture gives numerous other identifying characteristics that taken as a whole can only fit this one group of peoples. All of the nations in question are historically related and interconnected with one another. What applies to one also has pertinence to the other. This does not mean that all the inhabitants of the said areas are of Israelite descent but many of them are. This is where the Ten Tribes are to be identified and where they gave expression to their Hebrew ancestry and Tribal distinctive Blessings.
Map above shows areas invaded by Britain at some point or other.