(5 September, 2018, 25 Elul, 5778)
The Prophet Hosea speaks of Judah and Joseph as quite distincitly different entities:
12 Ephraim has encircled Me with lies,
And the house of Israel with deceit;
But Judah still walks with God,
Even with the Holy One who is faithful.
[In some versions verse 11:12 is 12:1. This is more correct since in the Hebrew Bible this verse begins a new section and is part of the verse coming after it.]
Hosea 11:12 tells us that Ephraim will have departed from the Torah yet Judah shall remain faithful. Nevertheless, the Ten Tribes will have had their own task to fulfill, one which was more suited to their Tribal propensities. In the End Times this role will have been fulfilled as recalled by Jeremiah cf.
11 Then the LORD said to me: Faithless Israel has shown herself less guilty than false Judah.
Getting back to Hosea 11:12- we saw that "Judah still walks with God."
The expression STILL WALKS WITH is translated as RULETH in the KJV.
The KJV is more correct in this instance.
The Hebrew word translated as WALK WITH or RULETH here is "ReD" meaning rule or control, perhaps linked with the English word, 'ride.'
The Sages amongst Judah decide the Law and the Almighty agrees with their decisions (Deuteronomy 17:12-13). This is an aspect of the word "Israel" which connotes "struggle, or rule with, God".
i.e. ALTERNATE TRANSLATION:
12 Ephraim has encompassed me with denial,
And the house of Israel with deceit;
But Judah still rules with God,
And even with the holy ones is faithful.
28 Then the man said, You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.
The word translated above as "strived" is "sarta" connoting "ruled with" from the word root "SaR". In English we have the word "Sire" and "sir" both said to be from the Latin "senor" and meaning elder. In Hebrew the word "sar" means prince, ruler, or chief minister.
Many words in English have meanings similar or identical to words in Hebrew. Etymological dictionaries often attribute such words to Latin or other foreign sources where the alleged parent word sounds different and has a variant meaning!
God Rules with Israel (Genesis 32:28 and Hosea 11:12): The Sages of Judah through learning the Torah help determine what God wants! So too, Joseph through ruling the world and directing the Gentiles helps put the will of the God of the Bible into effect!
If this prophecy of Hosea 11:12 is referring to the End Times (as in one respect it must be) or close to them, it is a further proof that Judah and Ephraim will be practicing separate religions. They will have had different duties to carry out and separate roles in history.
This subject was discussed by the Natziv in his Commentary ('Ha-Emek Davar') on Deuteronomy (Parshat "Nizavim") [HaNatsiv:".
10 You stand assembled today, all of you, before the LORD your God, your tribes, your elders, and your officials, all the men of Israel.
In Hebrew the first few words of Deuteronomy 29:10 would be literally translated as saying:
YOU STAND THIS DAY ALL OF YOU BEFORE THE LORD YOUR GOD, YOUR LEADERS, YOUR TRIBES, YOUR ELDERS, AND YOUR OFFICERS, ALL THE PERSONAGES OF ISRAEL.
The words "Your Leaders, Your Tribes", are assumed (as translated) to mean the Captains of your Tribes but it does not have to mean that. - Or it could mean that and imply something else in addition. This helps us understand the Commentary below:
YOUR LEADERS, YOUR TRIBES: Commentary of the "Natziv" (Naphtali Zvi Berlin, 1817-1893, Russia) whose opinion is still greatly respected) in free translation:
[ Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin an Orthodox rabbi, dean of the Volozhin Yeshiva and author of several works of rabbinic literature in Lithuania. ]
## YOUR CAPTAINS OF YOUR TRIBES [i.e. YOUR LEADERS, YOUR TRIBES]: The expression "of your tribes" would appear to be superfluous.... rather it comes to teach us that each tribe and its heads are not judged the same as the others. Each Tribe is judged according to its own nature and according to that quality it was recognized to be most adhering to. It is judged by the extent of its deviation from its own special characteristic. This is similar to Amos:
4 Thus says the LORD:
For three transgressions of Judah,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have rejected the law of the LORD,
and have not kept his statutes,
but they have been led astray by the same lies
after which their ancestors walked.
6 Thus says the LORD:
For three transgressions of Israel,
and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they sell the righteous for silver,
and the needy for a pair of sandals.
The Natziv continues:
# The main judgment against Judah is because they departed from their good path of keeping HIS commandments meaning the qualities of the Torah. It is an honor for the Written Law that it be kept very strictly. When they departed from the good path it was as if they despised the Torah. This did not apply to the [other] Tribes of Israel who had never been really strict about learning the Torah. On the contrary, their main characteristic was kindness [empathy] between a man and his fellow. The main judgment against the [northern Ten ] Tribes is because they departed from this quality of social empathy and sold THE POOR FOR A PAIR OF SHOES (Amos 2:6) #
# All the Men of Israel (Deuteronomy 29:10). Every man according to his deeds in the conduct of his world. It has already been explained concerning the word of Balaam (Numbers 24:6) who was divinely inspired [at that moment] where the People of Israel are compared to Gardens in which may be found all kind of seed... #
The Natziv points out that even the bad kings of northern Israel were considered Merciful in the eyes of foreigners (1-Kings 20:31). The Bible uses the expression "malcei chesed" literally translatable as Kings of Kindness. Compared to other nations this is what the non-Jewish peoples we identify as from the Ten Tribes are. Leading Rabbis have referred to the governments of Great Britain (in the past) and of the USA by this same term.
We see from the above that each Tribe is judged according to its own predisposition and potential. The same applies to individuals. You will NOT be judged because you are not as good in some ways as others. Neither will you necessarily be rewarded if you are better than them. We will be judged according to what we could have been. Each one of us has their own private task in life.
Let us endeavor to do as well as we can with what we can and to receive guidance in doing it.
INTO ANOTHER LAND = THE 'NEW WORLD' = AMERICA = LOCATION PREDICTED TO BE THE PLACE OF THE LOST TEN TRIBES!
In this same chapter (Deuteronomy 29) we have other passages pertinent tot he study of the Lost Ten Tribes:
[DEUTEURONOMY 29:28] AND THE LORD ROOTED THEM OUT OF THEIR LAND IN ANGER, AND IN WRATH, AND IN GREAT INDIGNATION, AND CAST THEM INTO ANOTHER LAND, AS IT IS THIS DAY.
It was predicted that if Israel did not keep the commandments they would be cast out into an "Eretz Acheret" which is translatable from the Hebrew as meaning both "another land" (Deuteronomy 29:28) and/or a "New World". The Mishna (Sanhedrin 10) opines that the verse in Deuteronomy refers to the Lost Ten Tribes who are destined to remain in "Eretz Acheret" until close to the End Times. The American hemisphere when first revealed in our era to European eyes was known as "The New World". Deuteronomy (29;28) and the Mishna, may be therefore understood as saying that the Lost Ten Tribes would be mainly in "The New World" (i.e. "Eretz Acheret") after its discovery (or re discovery) by Europeans since only then did the term become applicable. It follows that either North or South America was intended as a place of exile and all other evidence points to Northwest Europe and North America.
A very great Jewish Rabbi, the Maharal refers to the New World as a possible location of the Lost Ten Tribes in the End Times, see "Netsach Yisrael" [Eternal Israel], chapter 34.
The Maharal otherwise known as Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel (born between 1512 and 1526, in Poland; died 1609 in Prague, Bohemia).
He is described as,
"an important Talmudic scholar, Jewish mystic, and philosopher who, for most of his life, served as a leading rabbi in the cities of Mikulov in Moravia and Prague in Bohemia. Due to his unprecedented impact on Jewish study, he is considered one of the most important rabbis of all times."