Later in biblical history, the northern kingdom of Israel was conquered by Assyria in 721 BCE and exiled beyond the Euphrates River while the southern kingdom of Judah was conquered by Babylon and exiled to that area in 586 BCE. Seventy years later the Jews returned to their homeland while the northern kingdom never did return in significant numbers and are to this very day referred to as the Lost 10 Tribes of Israel. There were two separate Israelite kingdoms conquered and exiled at two different times to two different places. The Jews retained their identity while the northern 10 tribes did not.
Most Bible believing people today, both Christians and Jews read the Old Testament and understand that the United Kingdom under King Solomon was divided following his death into the northern kingdom of Israel and southern kingdom of Judah. However when they read the books of the prophets related to the End of Days they fail to distinguish between the two groups and lump them together as Judah or the Jews. Part of the confusion lies in the name that the returning Jews called their new State as they called it Israel instead of Judah. In fact, President Harry Truman was even surprised by this choice in 1948 as he assumed that the Jews would call their new state Judah (A Case of Courage, Newsweek magazine, May 14, 2007 issue).
When you read Bible prophecy concerning the end times events, you will not understand the full message of what God is going to do unless to keep this distinction (Israel and Judah) in mind while reading. It is clear that God’s plan is to bring both kingdoms back for restoration in Greater Israel. In Jeremiah 33:7-9 it says “I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel and will rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me. It will be to Me a name of joy, praise and glory before all the nations of the earth which will hear of all the good that I do for them, and they will fear and tremble because of all the good and all the peace that I make for it.”(NASB)
In the book of Ezekiel we see that the Messiah brings all the tribes home and settles them in their tribal territories (Ezekiel 47:13-23). The Messiah will implement God’s plan to unite and restore His kingdom. Ezekiel chapter 37 describes the process of uniting the House of Joseph (10 Lost Tribes) with the House of Judah in the vision of two sticks that become one nation in God’s hand. We are partway through the process. Judah has returned home and the 10 remaining tribes are waking up to who we are and God is burdening our hearts to return as well. We are anxiously waiting on God’s anointed messiah to call the remaining remnant of his people (Lost 10 Tribes) home to complete the process and restore all things as the prophets foretold long ago.
The prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 11:10-13: “Then in that day the nations will resort to the root of Jesse, who will stand as a signal for the peoples; and His resting place will be glorious. 11 Then it will happen on that day that the Lord will again recover the second time with His hand the remnant of His people, who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. 13 Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, and those who harass Judah will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, and Judah will not harass Ephraim.”(NASB)
Then in Hosea 11:9-11 God says “I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath. They will walk after the Lord, He will roar like a lion; indeed He will roar and His sons will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt and like doves from the land of Assyria; and I will settle them in their houses, declares the Lord.”(NASB)
Last time I checked, our country was located to the west of Israel! Are you ready for His call? When He roars, will you be one of the ones that come trembling from the West?