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2.3.8 The 10 Lost Tribes of Israel

2.3.8.1 Background

As mentioned above, present-day DNA science couldn't find decisive conclusion. Then literal and culture aspects still remain beneficial clues. However, they tend to fall into mere speculations. First, traditional common opinions involving the 10 Lost Tribes should be learned to avoid dogmatism and prejudice.
* "Ten Lost Tribes in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Lost_Tribes

2.3.8.2 Details



2.3.8.2.1 Kurdish Jewish Population in Northern Iraq

The Kurdish population was an ethnic group in northern Iraq. According to their tradition, they descended from the 10 Lost Tribes moved through the Assyrian Captivity. They mostly moved to Israel around 1950 CE. The Kurdish Jewish population is some 150,000 as of 2012 CE mostly in Israel.
Nineveh located on the northeast bank of the upstream region of the Tigris, the opposite bank of present-day Mosul. Nineveh and Mosul are adjacent to Arbil (Erbil), the capital of present-day Iraqi Kurdistan, which included Kurdish Jewish population.
The Kurdish Jewish population is said to have originated in arrival of the Israelites through Assyrian conquest of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. So they could be in a sense a part of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel. (They are called Kurdish "Jews." However, most of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were not naturally "Jews" from the Southern Kingdom of Judah to be precise though. They should be rather called "Kurdish Israeli.")

2.3.8.2.2 Samaritans in the Middle East

Samaritans are an ethnic group in the Middle East along the Mediterranean Sea. The population of Samaritans is some 700 as of 2007 CE. Origin of Samaritans is controversial. Samaritans claim descended directly from survivors of Ephraim and Manasseh in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Otherwise they may be said to have descended from Assyrians migrated from Assyria (Neo-Assyrian Empire) in place of the Israelites removed from the Northern Kingdom of Israel to Assyria. Otherwise they may be said to have descended mixed from the Assyrians and the Israelites in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Samaritanism is their religious feature. Samaritanism is said to be similar to Judaism, but somewhat differs. They are said to have opposed Jewish population possibly due to the religion or the original opposition between the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah. For instance according to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

2.3.8.2.3 Beta Israel of Ethiopia

Beta Israel is an Ethiopian's community also known as Ethiopian Jewish population. The people of the Beta Israel had lived in Ethiopia, mostly moved to present-day Israel after WWII through the Law of Return of Israel. The population of the Beta Israel is some 130,000 as of 2010 BCE.
Origin of the Beta Israel of Ethiopia is controversial.
Beta Israel may claim their origin associated with Menelik I. Menelik I may be said to be the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. According to the legend, Queen of Sheba (Makeda), met King Solomon, bore his son, later Menelik I. Menelik I is said to have once visited Jerusalem, returned to the south, and founded the Ethiopian Empire. Beta Israel may claim they came from the United Monarchy Kingdom of Israel following Menelik I.
However, it might be a fabricated legend to authorize the rule of the Imperial family.
Another claim is associated with Eldad ha-Dani, a strange traveller (merchant) visited Babylonia, present-day Spain, and so on from Africa in the 9th century CE. It is said that he spoke unknown dialect of Hebrew, he had a Halakha and extensive knowledge of Judaism persuading the contemporaries. According to his account, there were various communities of the descendants of the Israelites in East Africa. Their ancestors fled the civil war between Rehoboam (the son of Solomon) and Jeroboam of the United Monarchy Kingdom of Israel. He claimed he was the tribe of Dan in Ethiopia.

2.3.8.2.4 Lemba People in South Africa

Lemba people are an ethnic group in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and so on. The population of Lemba people is some 70,000 as of 2010 CE.
Lemba people claim their male ancestors left Israel ca. 500 BCE, moved to possibly Yemen, and to Africa. Their group splitted into 2 groups, one group stayed in Ethiopia, the other group moved to South Africa and Zimbabwe.

2.3.8.2.5 Igbo Jewish People of Nigeria (West Central Africa)

Igbo Jewish people are an ethnic group in Nigeria (West Central Africa). The Igbo Jewish population is some 40,000 as of 2010 CE. They practice Judaism, claim their ancestors were Syrian, Portuguese, Libyan Israelites.

2.3.8.2.6 British Israelism

British Israelism claims British people and their migrated descendants descended from the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel. The population of British people is some 140,000,000 including the USA, Canada, Australia, and so forth as of 2010 CE. (As of 2010 CE, the United Kingdom is some 62,000,000. The USA is some 40,000,000. Canada is some 12,000,000. Australia is some 10,000,000.)
British Israelism also claims the British Royal Family descends from David.
British Israelism is not based on any ancient legend. It started to be claimed around 1500 CE at the earliest. The ground of the claim seems "Israeli-Scythian-Cimmerian nomadic theory" and "linguistic analogy between English and Hebrew."
The primary claim seems linguistic analogy. However, the English alphabet (Latin alphabet) is clearly originally associated with the Hebrew alefbet as well as alphabets of other Indo-European languages. They all came from alphabet of a Semitic language, Phoenician alphabet. Then English is originally naturally associated with Hebrew regardless of blood relations.
British Israelism seems to claim "Israeli-Scythian-Cimmerian nomadic theory" involving the origin.
According to the commonly accepted theory on the origin of British population, the Celts (later called Britons) moved from present-day Europe to the British Isles before the Common Era. The Roman Empire temporarily invaded and some Romans remained. The Anglo-Saxons (Germanic) moved to the British Isles around 400-500 CE pressed by the Huns from the east. (The Germanic people seem originated from present-day northern Germany through southern Scandinavia.) The Danes (Germanic) came as Vikings and settled around 800 CE. Normans (Germanic) in present-day France advanced through the Battle of Hastings in 1066 CE. Then they were gradually assimilated into British society. On the other hand, other small races migrated to the British Isles.
The Israeli-Scythian-Cimmerian nomadic theory is, firstly, the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel changed into Scythians, Cimmerians, or such horse-nomadic people around the Black Sea or the Caspian Sea, since it is said that these populations appeared at that time. Secondly, some groups of the horse-nomadic Israeli people moved to present-day Germany, changed into Celtics around present-day Germany. Then the Celtics from the lost tribes entered the British Isles. Fourthly, the horse-nomadic Israeli people in present-day Germany changed into Saxons or Angles around present-day Saxony or Angeln in Germany. Then the Anglo-Saxons moved to the British Isles.
However, there is no significant evidence to support it. Islaeli-Scythian-Cimmerian nomadic theory is mentioned later.

2.3.8.2.7 Irish

Irish may be claimed as descendants of the 10 Lost Tribes. This theory would be a variation of British Israelism. The population of Irish is some 4,600,000 as of 2011 CE.

2.3.8.2.8 Scythian

As mentioned above, Scythians are claimed the descendants of the 10 Lost Tribes. Scythians are horse-riding nomadic people appeared in the northern region of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea around 680 BCE.

The Israeli-Scythian-Cimmerian nomadic theory's claims would be as follows.
(1) Scythians appeared in the northern region of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea around 680 BCE, it was just after the Assyrian Captivity (740-722 BCE).
(2) Scythians are identical to Cimmerians and "Cimmeria" is similar to "Samaria." Then the origin of Scythians is Samaria (the Northern Kingdom of Israel).
According to the Behistun Inscription in present-day Iran, Scythian ("Saka" in Old Persian language) was translated as Cimmerian ("Gimirri") in Babylonian language. (For example, Column One - Introduction (6).)
* "Full translation of the Behistun Inscription in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_translation_of_the_Behistun_Inscription
"Cimmerian" was called "Gimirri" in Akkadian language spoken by Assyrians and Babylonians.
* "Cimmerians in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cimmerians
(3) Royal members of both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Scythian wore pointy hats.
Royal members of Scythian (Saka) wore pointy hats as the captive Scythian king depicted at the extreme right of the Behistun Inscription in present-day Iran.
* "Saka in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saka
* "Behistun Inscription in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behistun_Inscription
* "Pointy Hat Saka King in the Behistum Inscription" http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/Darius_I_the_Great%27s_inscription.jpg
Jehu (the son of the 6th king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel Omri reigned around 880 BCE), kneeling to Shalmaneser III of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, depicted on the Assyrian Black Obelisk wears similar pointy headdress.
* "Black Obelisk of Shalmeneser III in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Obelisk_of_Shalmaneser_III
(4) The House of Israel was called "Khumri" by Assyrians after King Omri and it is similar to "Gimirri."
(5) "Scythian" was called "Iskuzai" or "Asguzai" in Akkadian language spoken by Assyrians and Babylonians. It might came commemorating from the Biblical figure Ashkenaz, a Japhetic descendant of Noah.
* "Ashkenaz in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashkenaz

However, it seems hard to find significant ground for identity of the lost Israelites and the Scythians.
According to the common theory, Cimmerians appeared in Assyrian annals in 714 BCE. Cimmerians seem appeared in the northern region of the Black Sea. On the other hand, according to the commonly accepted theory, Scythians, formidable horse-riding nomadic people, appeared from the north and opposed the Cimmerians.
Cimmerians moved to the south, resisted by Neo-Assyrian Empire, turned to the west and invaded Lydia located in western Asia Minor. However, it is said that Cimmerians fell around 626 BCE.
On the other hand, according to the common theory, the Scythians originated in Central Asia, Turkestan or present-day Iran, ranging from the Altai Mountains to present-day Iran including the Lake Balkhash. (The Scythians are said to be originally Iranian tribe.) Scythians moved to the northern region of the Black Sea around 680 BCE. Then the Cimmerians were pushed out southward through Caucasus changing into horse-riding nomadic people copying Scythians' tactics. (Then Cimmerians could naturally be confused with Scythians.) The Cimmerians were resisted by Neo-Assyrian Empire, turned westward and invaded Lydia in western Asia Minor.
Tiglath-Pileser III, Shalmaneser V and Sargon II of the Neo-Assyrian Empire brought about the Assyrian Captivity around 740-722 BCE. Babylonia had been ruled by the Neo-Assyrian Empire, rebelled in 627 BCE. Subsequently, Neo-Assyrian Empire was ruined by Neo-Babylonian Empire, Scythia, and Media (a tribe of present-day northern Iran) in 612BCE.
Neo-Babylonian Empire brought about the Babylonian Captivity around 588 BCE.
Achaemenid Persian Empire rose in 550 BCE from present-day southern Iran and defeated Media, Neo-Babylonian Empire, and Lydia. Achaemenid Persian Empire called the Scythians and the Cimmerians as "Saka."
The Israeli-Scythian-Cimmerian nomadic theory seems a collection of word games as a whole.

3.3.8.2.9 Persian Jewish Population

Persian Jewish are Jewish population inhabited in present-day Iran. The Persian Jewish population is some 300,000 as of 2012 CE. However, most Persian Jewish people have moved to Israel as of 2012 CE. Persian Jewish population derives from the release from the Babylonian Captivity by Achaemenid Persian king Cyrus the Great in 538 BCE. As the Book of Esther tells, a lot of Jewish people were in Persia eventually supported by Persian king. Persian Jewish population would be naturally descendants of the Southern Kingdom of Judah. Accordingly, they would not be the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel.

2.3.8.2.10 Pashtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan

Pashtuns are an Islamic ethnic group in present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to their tradition, they are said to have descended from the Israelites. The population of Pashtuns is some 50,000,000 as of 2011 CE. (Some 29,000,000 are in Pakistan, some 13,000,000 are in Afghanistan as of 2011 CE.) On the other hand, Pashtunization, a social process changing into Pashtun lifestyle, is reported.
The origin of Pashtuns is unclear. There are 2 streams involving the Pashtun Israeli origin theory.
According to Tabaqat-i-Nasiri, a Persian history book by Minhaj-i-Siraj in 1259 CE, supposedly involving the 7th century CE, "In the time of the Shansbani dynasty there were people called Bani Israel living in Ghor," and that "some of them were extensively engaged in trade with the neighbouring countries."
On the other hand, it seems 2 streams for the Israel origin.
One is associated with the 10 Lost Tribes.
According to the Bible, a part of the Israelites (supposedly Ruben, Gad, and Manasseh) of the Northern Kingdom was sent to "Halah," "Habor," and "the River of Gozan."
*"Now the king of Assyria went throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes" (2Ki 17:5-6).
*"So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, that is, Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He carried the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into captivity. He took them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river of Gozan to this day" (1Ch 5:26).
The River Gozan would be identified as present-day Amu Darya in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. Halah as present-day Balkh in Afghanistan. Habor as present-day Peshawar in northrrn Pakistan. Hara as present-day Herat in Afghanistan.
* "Amu Darya in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amu_Darya
* "Balkh in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkh
* "Peshawar in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peshawar
* "Herat in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herat
In addition, Yusufzai is one of the largest groups of Pashtuns. The original meaning of Yusufzai is "sons of Joseph," consistent with the biblical narrative involving Manasseh's descendants sent to Gozan, Halah, and so forth.
* "Yusufzai in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yousafzai
Yusufzai is described in Makhzan-i-Afghani as well. Oral traditions of Yusufzai involving Pashtun origin are compiled in Makhzan-i-Agfhani, completed in 1635 CE by a Mughal Emperor.
* "Nimat Allah al-Harawi, Makhzan-i-Afghani in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makhzan-i-Afghani
The other stream is associated with descendants of Afghana, a grandson of King Saul (the tribe of Benjamin), also derived from an oral tradition in Makhazan-i-Afghani. According to the oral tradition in Makhzan-i-Afghani, Afghani, the grandson of King Saul, was brought up in David's and Solomon's palace. (Michal, David's wife, was Saul's daughter. Michal saved David, although Saul plotted to kill him.) Descendants of Afghani remained royal in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, eventually escaped to present-day Afghanistan possibly around 590 BCE before the Babylonian Captivity.

2.3.8.2.11 Bukharan Jewish People

Bukharan Jewish people or Bukharian Jewish people were an ethnic group ever lived in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, to the east of the Caspian Sea. They claim descended from the Israelites. They have mostly moved to Israel and the USA as of 2011 CE. The Bukharan Jewish population is some 150,000-200,000 as of 2011 CE. Some 100,000 are in Israel, some 50,000 are in the USA as of 2011 CE. It seems roughly 3 theories involving their Israeli origin.
First, their ancestors might have traveled to Central Asia during the reign of King David.
Second, their ancestors might have escaped from the Assyrian Captivity.
Third, their ancestors might have traveled after the Babylonian Captivity.
* "Bukharan Jews in Wikipedia" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukharian_Jews

2.3.8.2.12 Bene Israel of Mumbai, West India

Bene Israel of Mumbai were an ethnic group ever around Mumbai, west India. They claim their ancestors arrived near Mumbai, west India, from Judea through a shipwreck around 100 BCE. They had synagogues such as in Ahmedabad. The population of Bene Israel of Mumbai is some 65,000 as of 2005 CE. They have mostly moved to Israel as of 2005 CE. Accordingly, they would not be the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel.

2.3.8.2.13 Cochin Jewish People of South India

Cochin Jewish people were an ethnic group around Cochin, south India. They claim their ancestors moved from the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Judea to south India. The Cochin Jewish population is some 8,500 as of 2010 CE. They have mostly moved to Israel as of 2010 CE. According to their tradition, traders from Judea arrived around Cochin, south India in 562 BCE. Subsequently, other Jewish people moved from Judea to Cochin in 70 CE. Then they would not be the Lost Tribes of Israel.

2.3.8.2.14 Bnei Menashe in East India

Bnei Menashe are an ethnic group in East India. They started to claim descendants of Manasseh around 1970 CE. The population of Bnei Menashe is some 9,000 as of 2010 CE. Among them, some 1,700 have moved to Israel as of 2010 CE. The claim originates from a man's dream in 1951 CE to request to return to Israel. Then legitimacy of Bnei Menashe is controversial.

2.3.8.2.15 Kaifeng Jewish People in East China

Kaifeng Jewish people are an ethnic group in Kaifeng, east China, some 600 km to the south of Beijing. The Kaifeng Jewish population is possibly over 400 as of 2010, while the accurate population might be rather numerous. The accurate population seems unclear due to political or social reason. According to historical records involving Kaifeng Jewish people, a Jewish community of Kaifeng would date back to around 1000-1200 CE and possibly to around 700-900 CE. It is said that they had maintained Jewish traditions, while their origin is unclear. They started to lose Jewish characteristics since the 17th century CE. The Kaifeng Jewish communities have reduced as of 2010 CE anyway.

2.3.8.2.16 Japanese Population

Japanese population is the predominant ethnic group of Japan. As mentioned later, Japanese population would be the mainstream of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel descended from Ephraim. The Japanese population would be some 130,000,000 as of 2010 CE. The term "Japanese people" commonly includes "Ainu people" mostly in Hokkaido and "Ryukyuan/Okinawan" mostly in Okinawa.

2.3.8.2.17 American Indians

American Indians are the aggregation of native ethnic groups of present-day USA.
Mordecai Manuel Noah claimed American Indians descended from the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel. The population of American Indians is some 2,500,000 - 4,000,000 as of 2011 CE.
The Book of Mormon claims Lehi, a descendant of Manasseh, and his friends left Jerusalem and reached present-day USA around 600 BCE before the Babylonian Captivity. Then the Book of Mormon claims American Indians include descendants of the Israelites including Manasseh.






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