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As Prophesied by Moses 1000 years earlier, the Northern 10 Tribes of Israel refused to worship the Lord their God only, they refused to give up their idols, and eventually were sent into exile never to return. The northern tribes have simply vanished into thin air. Although some groups have claimed to be the lost 10 tribes of Israel, the Bible tells us that they were absorbed by the Gentiles and are no longer a distinct people group. The Gentiles (Goyim in Hebrew) are “non Jews”. The Hebrew word Goy means nation so “Goyim” can also mean “nations”.

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Hosea 8:8: Israel is swallowed up; Now they are among the Gentiles; Like a vessel in which is no pleasure.

The book of Hosea, the Old Testament prophet to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, gives us quite a bit of insight as to what happened to the Northern 10 Tribes of Israel and what God has planned for them.

Hosea 1 begins with God telling Hosea to marry an unfaithful wife as an illustration of God’s marriage to unfaithful Israel. I know this sounds “odd”, but God often used physical illustrations to highlight spiritual truths! This command to Hosea could be understood two different ways. First, and more likely, this command could be one of anticipation. In other words, God may have instructed Hosea to marry a woman who would later become unfaithful to him. The other possibility is that the command was for Hosea to marry someone already known as a prostitute. Hosea did marry a prostitute named Gomer with whom he had children. Gomer was ultimately unfaithful to Hosea as Israel was unfaithful to YHWH.

God did not divorce Judah, the southern 2 Tribes of Israel, but HE DID divorce the Northern 10 Tribes of Israel! He even told them that they would NOT be His people, and HE would not be their God! God continued to use the Prophet Hosea’s marriage and family to illustrate His relationship with the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Hosea’s wife Gomer conceived a daughter and later a son. Hosea and Gomer named their daughter Lo-Ruhamah meaning “I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel”. They named their son Lo-Ammi meaning “For you are not my people, and I will not be your God!”

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Hosea 1:6:And she conceived again and bore a daughter. Then God said to him: “Call her name Lo-Ruhamah, For I will no longer have mercy on the house of Israel, But I will utterly take them away. Yet I will have mercy on the house of Judah

Hosea 1: 8 Now when she had weaned Lo-Ruhamah, she conceived and bore a son. Then God said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people,
And I will not be your 
God.

After the children were born, Gomer left Hosea for another man! The relationship between Hosea and Gomer SYMBOLIZED the relationship between YHWH and unfaithful Israel.

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God issued Israel (the Northern 10 Tribes) a writ of Divorce and cast them into the sea of Gentiles as a “vessel in which is no pleasure.” Israel had completely blown it, was exiled into Assyria, and was eventually scattered to the 4 corners of the earth to be “swallowed among the gentiles”. God’s divorce from the Northern Kingdom of Israel (aka Ephraim or Samaria) meant that the Northern Tribes were no longer in Covenant with God (Mosaic Covenant). They would no longer receive the blessings of that Covenantal relationship.

Jeremiah 3:8 And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce…

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Still, even after Israel’s unfaithfulness to her husband YHWH, and after being issued a writ of divorce, God declared that He would one day restore them!

Hosea 1:10: Yet the number of the children of Israel
Shall be as the sand of the sea,

Which cannot be measured or numbered.
And it shall come to pass
In the place where it was said to them,

You are not My people,’
There it shall be said to them,
You are sons of the living God.’

The Lord God was telling the 10 Northern tribes of Israel that although they had forsaken Him, and He scattered them into the Gentile Nations to be “swallowed up” as a people group (Hosea 8:8), excluded from the Covenant of Israel (Mosaic Covenant), He would one day bring them back to HIM!!

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Hosea 2…God’s plan for the Northern Tribes of Israel

Vs.13: I will punish her
For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense.

She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry,
And went after her lovers;
But Me she forgot,” says the Lord.

14: “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,

And speak comfort to her.
15 I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

Vs. 16; “And it shall be, in that day,”
Says the Lord,
That you will call Me My Husband,’
And no longer call Me My Master,’

17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals,
And they shall be remembered by their name no more.

Vs.19: I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me

In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.

Vs. 23: Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth,
And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy;
Then I will say to those who were not My people,

You are My people!’
And they shall say, ‘
You are my God!’ ”

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Let’s compare the words of Hosea that we just read to the words of Paul in the NEW TESTAMENT book of Romans. Paul is actually quoting HOSEA 2.

Romans 9: 23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. 25 As He says also in Hosea,

I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
26 “And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved;

Hosea’s words were for the 10 Northern Tribes of Israel, but Paul was speaking to the Gentiles..the SAME WORDS!

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Back to Hosea’s marriage ILLUSTRATION....In Hosea 3:1 the Lord God commanded Hosea to show love again to his unfaithful wife. Gomer’s infidelity was a symbol of Israel’s spiritual unfaithfulness, but Hosea’s forgiveness and redemption of Gomer is an enduring symbol of God’s faithfulness and provisional redemption of His unfaithful people, then and now, through Jesus Christ.

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Hosea 3:1: Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods”

The Lord God told the Northern 10 Tribes of Israel, through the Prophet Hosea, that although He had divorced them and disciplined them as a nation, that He would not completely forget them. HE told them that He would woo them back to Him. He told them that He would be their husband and not their master. God was telling them that they would FALL IN LOVE with HIM! This is NEW COVENANT LANGUAGE!

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Of course, not EVERY MEMBER of the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel will receive the New Covenant, but there will be a REMNANT who will FALL in love with JESUS!

Romans 9:27: Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the REMNANT that will be saved;

The Church is betrothed to JESUS the MESSIAH, who is GOD in the flesh!!! God is BRINGING both GENTILE BELIEVERS AND a REMNANT from the Northern Tribes BACK into Covenant with HIM via THE NEW COVENANT!

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Hosea 2:19 I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me

In righteousness and justice,
In lovingkindness and mercy;
20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.

2 Corinthians 11:2: For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

Ephesians 5:27: that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

The 10 Lost Tribes of Israel have become as Gentiles in that they were divorced from God and excluded from the Mosaic Covenant (Old Covenant) and all of the promises that were contained therein. The Mosaic Covenant is NOT the Abrahamic Covenant, which is PERMANENT! The Mosaic Covenant is the Covenant of the LAW and was a TEMPORARY Covenant to bring ISRAEL to her MESSIAH! YHWH considered the Mosaic Covenant a marriage contract, but still, it was a temporary Covenant to lead Israel to the New Covenant, the Permanent Covenant of LOVE.

At the time of Jesus’ Ministry on earth, HE (GOD) was still in the Mosaic Covenant with the Jewish People. God NEVER divorced JUDAH (Hosea 1:7)!

Mosaic Covenant – TEMPORARY

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This is why during Jesus’ EARTHLY ministry HE sent His Disciples ONLY to the “Lost Sheep of the House of Israel”. These “Lost Sheep” were NOT the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel, as some might think. We know this because Jesus did not want His Disciples preaching to the Samaritans, who had mixed with the remnant of the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel (Matthew 10:5). The “Lost Sheep” that Jesus sent His Disciples to were Jesus’ JEWISH BRETHREN who were LOST because they NEEDED a SHEPHERD, they NEEDED their MESSIAH! Love had nothing to do with why Jesus excluded the Gentiles from His Earthly Ministry! Jesus LOVES the Gentiles as much as He loves the Jews! God does NOT choose favorites! (Acts 10:34). Jesus excluded the Gentiles at the time of His earthly ministry because HE (Jesus/GOD) was still in COVENANT (Mosaic Covenant) with the Jewish people! Because our God is a COVENANT GOD, The Gospel was to go to the Jew FIRST and then to the GENTILE (including the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel)!

Matthew 10: 5 These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans;but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentile).

After Jesus’ died and was resurrected, the Old Mosaic Covenant became OBSOLETE (Hebrews 8:13) because a New and Better Covenant was established in HIS BLOOD, a COVENANT that would INCLUDE GENTILE BELIEVERS AND the REMNANT OF THE LOST 10 TRIBES OF ISRAEL!

After Jesus Resurrection.. The NEW Covenant

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Matthew 28:19: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

Acts 1:8: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

God has been saving the Gentile believers and the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel who are among the Gentiles during these past 2000 years, or what we call “The Church Age”. What about the Jews who rejected their Messiah? What’s going to happen to them?