“The Ten Tribes.” The Evening and the Morning Star (Independence, Missouri) 1, no. 5 (October 1832): [33–34].
PERHAPS some might think, that we ought to embrace the scattering of the twelve tribes in this article, but a moment’s reflection will show the propriety of taking the lost tribes first. We have a sufficient foundation for the scattering and gathering of Israel in the 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33rd chapters of Deuteronomy: That glorious blessing, The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasures, if thou shalt hearken unto the commandments to do them; that solemn curse, But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments, that thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee, and that sacred promise: And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, that the Lord will have compassion upon thee and will return and gather thee from all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee,—when traced through the bible and fully explained, would be more than the world would believe at once, or do believe now, and so we take the ten tribes as the subject of this essay, allowing all men their own privilege of searching the scriptures for themselves, to know whether these things are so or not; and how much of the blessing fell to the lot of Israel, from the day it was pronounced till Solomon showed the queen of Sheba his glory; and how much of the curse came upon this elect nation, when it went into captivity and was scattered to the four winds: that they may the better judge whether the Lord will return according to his sacred promise, and gather his elect from every country where they were scattered in a dark and cloudy day.
The division of Israel was foretold by Ahijah the prophet, in the days of Solomon, when he tore the new garment of Jeroboam into twelve pieces, saying, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee. Some time after this, the destiny of the ten tribes was made known, for Jeroboam’s wife went to the same prophet to inquire concerning the life of her sick child, and received for answer that it should die, For the Lord shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water; and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the Lord to anger. And he shall give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, who did sin, and who made Israel to sin. Some where about 250 years after this prophecy was given, it was fulfilled: Shalmaneser king of Assyria made Hoshea, king of Israel, tributary, and soon after, finding conspiracy in him, he took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets.—
So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. This is the captivity of Jacob or Israel, and it happened 124 years before the Babylonish captivity of the tribe of Judah.
Ezekiel speaking of the whole captivity, says, Thus saith the Lord God, I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant upon a high mountain and eminent: In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the Lord have spoken and have done it.
The highest branch of the high cedar, is Israel, for Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure: For they are gone up to Assyria, A WILD ASS ALONE BY HIMSELF. Having thus traced Israel to Assyria, where he is figuratively declared by Hosea, to be a wild ass alone by himself, and where he has remained in complete obscurity from the world, 2558 years, let us consider what else is to become of him. The Savior declares that he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and in another place he says: And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. These words admit of no cavil or supposition; if the Savior came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and declared that he had other sheep besides the Jews at Jerusalem, we believe him; let us then take his words to the Nephites as recorded in the Book of Mormon:
And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words, he said unto those twelve whom he had chosen, Ye are my disciples; and ye are a light unto this people, which are a remnant of the house of Joseph. And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you. And not at any time hath the Father given me commandment that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem; neither at any time hath the Father given me commandment, that I should tell unto them concerning the other tribes of the house of Israel, which the Father hath led away out of the land. This much did the Father command me that I should tell unto them, That other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And now because of stiffneckedness and unbelief, they understood not my word; therefore I was commanded to say no more of the Father concerning this thing unto them. But, verily I say unto you, that the Father hath commanded me, and I tell it unto you, that ye were separated from among them because of their iniquity; therefore it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of you. And verily, I say unto you again, That the other tribes hath the Father separated from them; and it is because of their iniquity, that they know not of them. And verily, I say unto you, That ye are they of which I said, Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. And they understood me not, for they supposed it had been the Gentiles: for they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through their preaching; and they understood me not that I said, They shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice; that I should not manifest myself unto them, save it were by the Holy Ghost. But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among them which the Father hath given me. And verily, verily I say unto you, That I have other sheep, which are not of this land; neither of the land of Jerusalem; neither in any parts of that land round about, whither I have been to minister. For they of which I speak, are they which have not as yet heard my voice; neither have I at any time manifested myself unto them. But I have received a commandment of the Father, that I shall go unto them, and that they shall hear my voice, and shall be numbered among my sheep, that there may be one fold, and one shepherd; therefore I go to shew myself unto them. And I command you that ye shall write these sayings, after that I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they which have seen me, and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes which they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write, shall be kept, and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed which shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth, because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me their Redeemer.
While quoting the Book of Mormon let us take a small extract from the parable of the Lord’s vineyard, where it is likened unto a tame olive tree, viz:
And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard saith unto the servant, Come, let us go to the nethermost part of the vineyard, and behold if the natural branches of the tree hath not brought forth much fruit also, that I may lay up of the fruit thereof, against the season, unto mine ownself. And it came to pass that they went forth whither the master of the vineyard had hid the natural branches of the tree, and he saith unto the servant, Behold these: and he beheld the first, that it had brought forth much fruit; and he beheld also, that it was good. And he saith unto the servant, Take of the fruit thereof, and lay it up against the season, that I may preserve it unto mine ownself: for behold, saith he, This long time have I nourished it, and it hath brought forth much fruit.
And it came to pass that the servant saith unto his master, How comest thou hither to plant this tree, or this branch of the tree? for behold, it was the poorest spot in all the land of thy vineyard. And the Lord of the vineyard saith unto him, Counsel me not: I knew that it was a poor spot of ground; wherefore, I said unto thee, I have nourished it this long time; and thou beholdest that it hath brought forth much fruit.
Here we have a clue to the place where Israel is; for while standing upon the centre of the earth, it would be perfectly natural to call the north, south, east, and west, nethermost, or lowest; and as this branch was the first that the Lord had hid, it would evidently mean the ten tribes as they were the first carried away. Again, when the Lord begins to call home his branches that were hid about in the lower parts of his vineyard, he says to the north first, [because first planted] Give up.—The world has been troubled a good deal to find Israel and to get to the north pole, and to search out the Northern Lights, but when the Lord shall utter his voice out of Zion, and shall speak from Jerusalem; and his voice shall be heard among all people; and it shall be as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found, he shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become on land; and the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided,—the saints will know how much further the wisdom of God extends on earth, than the knowledge of men. The time must soon come, as the prophet Jeremiah hath said, when they shall no more say, The Lord liveth which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt: But the Lord liveth which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, for the Lord hath said: Go and proclaim these words toward the north, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. And they shall come with weeping, and they shall  come and sing in the height of Zion, for it shall come to pass, as the Lord hath watched over them to pluck them up for their iniquity, so also will the Lord watch over them to build them up and to plant them, for good.
We have already brought evidence enough to convince an unprejudiced mind how the ten tribes were scattered; where they went to, and how they will be gathered, but to make the subject still plainer, we add a few more extracts. Firstly, Esdras, (who it may be perceived, by comparing the first chapter of his second book, with the 7th chapter of Ezra, was Ezra, as near as the Hebrew and Greek languages can be defined,) gives this full, and, fair account of the ten tribes.
But he shall stand upon the top of mount Sion. [Zion] And Sion shall come, and shall be shewn to all men, being prepared and builded, like as thou sawest the hill graven without hands.
And this my Son shall rebuke the wicked inventions of those nations, which for their wicked life are fallen into the tempest: and shall lay before their evil thoughts, and the torments wherewith they shall begin to be tormented, which are like unto a flame: and he shall destroy them without labor by the law which is like unto fire. And whereas thou sawest that he gathered another peaceable multitude unto him: Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, that they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river. For the Most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Asareth. The dwelt they there until the latter time; and now when they shall begin to come, the Highest shall stay the springs of the stream again, that they may go through: therefore, sawest thou the multitude with peace.
This plain unvarnished history of the ten tribes, shows itself to be true as much as the account of the creation in the first chapter of Genesis, and for all that has as yet appeared to the contrary, is as much the word of the Lord. Not to quote a tenth part of the prophets in relation to this subject, (for the last paragraph ought to convince the world where Israel went, and when he will return,) we turn to the Savior’s parable of the Gentiles and Jacob, which, while it alludes to the whole house of Israel, is so plain that it makes one’s heart leap for joy, when he reads it in the spirit of God.
And he said, A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them their living.
And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in; therefore came his father out, and entreated him. And he answering, said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment; and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me; and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
Here we have a plain parable of the Gentiles for the elder son, and Israel for the younger son; or, in other words, Esau, and Jacob: For it is written, that Esau is the end of the world, and Jacob is the beginning of it that follows, for when they were born, Jacob’s hand held first the heel of Esau. It has been often remarked, that the Two Sons was one of the greatest parables of our Savior, and true it was: For when the younger son came to himself, and said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, who can mistake our day? who, with the love of Jesus Christ in his heart, can view the thousands of meeting houses, chapels, temples and churches, thronged with men, eager to preach; and witness the missionaries sending some to India, some to Africa, some to New Holland, some to one place and some to another; printing the bible in every tongue and language, and blending almost every means on earth with religion,—can mistake the day in which this parable is fulfilled? No one that is lead by the spirit of the Lord. Pardon us, beloved reader! for quoting the parable of the Two Sons, as touching the ten tribes: the allusion is so great; the figure so strong; the reality so true; the language so melting; and the application so merciful, so heavenly and so tender, that we could not omit it, when the Lord left us welcome to it.
Elijah was translated to paradise in a chariot of fire, and Malachi says he shall return before the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers. Now the Savior said he is come already, but the Jews knew it not, so he did not turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the following extract from Ecclesiasticus, chap. 48th, shows that Elijah, as he is called in Hebrew, and Elias in Greek, will yet come and restore the tribes of Jacob:
Then stood up Elias the prophet as fire, and his word burned like a lamp. He brought a sore famine upon them, and by his zeal he diminished their number.—By the word of the Lord he shut up the heaven, and also three times brought down fire. O Elias, how was thou honored in thy wondrous deeds! and who may glory like unto thee! Who didst raise up a dead man from death, and his soul from the place of the dead, by the word of the Most High: who broughtest kings to destruction, and honorable men from their bed: who heardest the rebuke of the Lord in Sinai, and in Horeb the judgment of vengeance: who anointedst kings to take revenge, and prophets to succeed after him: who wast taken up in a whirlwind of fire, and in a chariot of fiery horses: who wast ordained for reproofs in their times, to pacify the wrath of the Lord’s judgment, before it brake froth into fury, and to turn the heart of the father unto the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. Blessed are they that saw thee, and slept in love; for we shall surely live.
We have said enough on so plain a subject, and, will therefore, leave the reader to search for himself, and know for himself: The word of God is free; the Spirit of God is free, and the children of God will soon be free. Let us then, close, by saying that suppositions never go before facts: that man’s wisdom soon fails, but the word of the Lord endures forever, and his purposes never fail: For I am with thee, [Israel] saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have driven thee, I will not make a full end of thee.