Foreigners Will Swallow Up Ephraim-Israel!
Two days ago we were beginning to flesh out just who Ephraim, Joseph’s son, would become, and what his destiny would be as a result of Jacob’s Cross Handed Blessing of Genesis 48. And, we ended by looking in the book of Hosea which has much to say about God’s judgment upon the now apostate Kingdom of Ephraim.
READ HOSEA 8:7-9
We’re told something very important in Hosea 8. Foreigners will swallow up Ephraim-Israel. That now these 10 tribes are among the Goyim, the GENTILE nations, and are being assimilated by the gentiles.
Back in Hosea 7:8, we’re told “Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples”.
What peoples does Ephraim mix himself with?
The only other people there are on planet Earth apart from Hebrews… the gentiles. Around 725 BC Assyria (also identified at times in the Bible as Ashur) conquered the northern kingdom of Ephraim-Israel, and scattered the Israelites of the 10 tribes who lived there like so much chaff in a strong wind.
This didn’t happen overnight. It took about 10 years or so of military battles between Assyria and Ephraim, each time Ephraim losing more land and more people to the Assyrian Empire.
The Ephraim-Israelites were eventually spread all over the 120 conquered nations that made up the vast Assyrian Empire. And, we even see Egypt mentioned prominently in Hosea. That’s because Assyria also conquered Egypt for a time, and so many of the Ephraim-Israelites were exiled southward, to Egypt.
Now, for sure not every last individual Ephraim-Israelite family was deported from their land. There would have been a handful left behind. But, assuredly, not more than perhaps 5 % of its total population would have remained. All the others were scattered, assimilated, and for the most part, intermarried with the scores of different gentile races and cultures that made up the Assyrian Empire, until the vast majority of Ephraim-Israelites just became part of the gentile world.
This assimilation was not forced upon the Ephraim-Israelites…they sought after it. They wanted it. They wanted to take on the ways of the gentiles. They wanted to be free from the strict restrictions and requirements of the Torah, the Law of Moses. And, so God accommodated them. And, within a few generations, most of the Ephraim-Israelites had no idea that at one time, their ancestors were Hebrews.
Now, its important to note that not EVERY Israelite that was deported became assimilated.
It is now becoming evident, today in our time, that groups from each of those 10 tribes of Ephraim-Israel managed to stay together (maintaining their tribal affiliation and loyalty), and they retained a distant memory of their Hebrew history.
Here is an excellent Documentary film entitled “The Quest for the Lost Tribes”, which clearly identified all but a couple of those 10 Ephramite tribes (often called the 10 lost tribes of Israel), living in various places in Asia, and in groups sometimes topping a million people, and maintaining their tribal names and many Hebrew worship rituals.
But, for the sake of clarity, it is also fair to say that for the most part the members of the various tribes forming the kingdom of Ephraim-Israel simply became part of the gentile world, and no one knows who or where these people are…except for God himself.
Almost certainly, many of us in this room today are walking around with Hebrew blood from one or more of the 10 lost tribes of Ephraim- Israel. But, physically, we have absolutely no way of knowing it.
To Be Continued…