Israel

2 Chronicles 12:5-6; 2 Chronicles 21:2; 2 Chronicles 28:19; 2 Kings 15:12; 2 Kings 17:13-18; Hosea 13:16; Hosea 14:1-9; Ezekiel 48:1-29; Matthew 19:28; Acts 26:7; James 1:1; Revelation 7:5-8; Ezekiel 20:34-38; Zechariah 13:6-9; Ezekiel 37:1-28
Name given to Jacob after “a man” had wrestled with him, to whom he clung when he was by him crippled. It signifies “a prince of God,” and it was said, “as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” It thus indicated the way of blessing with regard to the nation in which God’s government in the earth was to be established. The twelve sons of Jacob became the heads of the twelve tribes, and they and their descendants were called the children of Israel, or simply Israel. At the division of the kingdom, the ten tribes were called “Israel,” and the two tribes “Judah,” though this distinction is not at all times rigidly adhered to: thus the princes and kings of Judah are called princes of Israel, and kings of Israel (2 Chron. 12:5-65Then came Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, that were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. 6Whereupon the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous. (2 Chronicles 12:5‑6); 2 Chron. 21:22And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. (2 Chronicles 21:2); 2 Chron. 28:1919For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord. (2 Chronicles 28:19)). So those who returned from exile, though they were in the main of the two tribes, are called people of Israel, or Israel. In the prophets also, though the ten tribes are not called Judah, the two tribes are at times called Israel. The ten tribes in the prophets are often spoken of as EPHRAIM, which was the chief of the ten. Though Israel was reckoned as ten tribes, it is most probable that the portion of Simeon, being situated on the extreme south, was united to Judah, as well as the territory of Dan in the S.W., though the people of Simeon may have scattered themselves among the other tribes, and those of Dan have gone north and joined their tribe there.
THE KINGDOM OF ISRAEL commenced when Jeroboam was made king, to whom it was promised that his house should be established if he followed the Lord. He, on the contrary, to prevent the people going to Jerusalem, immediately set up the golden calves at Dan and at Bethel. The kingdom was given up to idolatry, and a series of judgments followed. Baasha murdered Jeroboam’s son and successor; and his own son and successor was slain by Zimri; Zimri was killed by Omri, and after a civil war of four years with Tibni, Omri became king and reigned with his successors forty-five years, ending with Jehoram the son of Ahab. He and the survivors of the house of Ahab were slain by Jehu directly or indirectly, and Jehu began the 5th dynasty, B.C. 884. He and his successors reigned, with varying judgments upon them, for a hundred and twelve years. Zachariah was the last, being the fourth successor of Jehu, as God had said, 2 Kings 15:1212This was the word of the Lord which he spake unto Jehu, saying, Thy sons shall sit on the throne of Israel unto the fourth generation. And so it came to pass. (2 Kings 15:12): he reigned only six months and was murdered by Shallum. During another fifty years the kingdom was spared: but there was no repentance. About B.C. 740 the two and a half tribes east of the Jordan were carried into captivity, and Israel became tributary to Assyria. Hoshea murdered Pekah, and after nine years of anarchy succeeded to the throne. He revolted against Assyria, trusting to Egypt; but Samaria was taken, and Israel carried into captivity. Thus ended the kingdom of Israel (B.C. 721). From about B.C. 784 to 725 Hosea was God’s prophet in Israel. He solemnly pleaded with them, protesting against their evil ways, and was ever ready to help them to turn to God, though his efforts were, alas, in vain (2 Kings 17:13-1813Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. 14Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. 15And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them. 16And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. 17And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. 18Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. (2 Kings 17:13‑18); Hos. 13:1616Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. (Hosea 13:16); Hos. 14:1-91O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. 2Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips. 3Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. 4I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. 5I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. 6His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. 7They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. 8Ephraim shall say, What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard him, and observed him: I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. 9Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein. (Hosea 14:1‑9)).
Israel when carried away were placed in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan (in the neighborhood of the river Khabour, an affluent of the river Euphrates), and in the cities of the Medes. As far as is known they never returned, though doubtless individuals found their way back in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, and in the four hundred years that followed before the Lord appeared. Jews from those districts were present on the day of Pentecost; but as a body they are still commonly regarded as “the Lost Tribes.” God knows where to find them when His set time of blessing arrives. The twelve tribes surely exist, and remnants of them will again come into the land (Ezek. 48:1-291Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan. 2And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher. 3And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali. 4And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh. 5And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim. 6And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben. 7And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah. 8And by the border of Judah, from the east side unto the west side, shall be the offering which ye shall offer of five and twenty thousand reeds in breadth, and in length as one of the other parts, from the east side unto the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the midst of it. 9The oblation that ye shall offer unto the Lord shall be of five and twenty thousand in length, and of ten thousand in breadth. 10And for them, even for the priests, shall be this holy oblation; toward the north five and twenty thousand in length, and toward the west ten thousand in breadth, and toward the east ten thousand in breadth, and toward the south five and twenty thousand in length: and the sanctuary of the Lord shall be in the midst thereof. 11It shall be for the priests that are sanctified of the sons of Zadok; which have kept my charge, which went not astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. 12And this oblation of the land that is offered shall be unto them a thing most holy by the border of the Levites. 13And over against the border of the priests the Levites shall have five and twenty thousand in length, and ten thousand in breadth: all the length shall be five and twenty thousand, and the breadth ten thousand. 14And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the Lord. 15And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof. 16And these shall be the measures thereof; the north side four thousand and five hundred, and the south side four thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four thousand and five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred. 17And the suburbs of the city shall be toward the north two hundred and fifty, and toward the south two hundred and fifty, and toward the east two hundred and fifty, and toward the west two hundred and fifty. 18And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city. 19And they that serve the city shall serve it out of all the tribes of Israel. 20All the oblation shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand: ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city. 21And the residue shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy oblation, and of the possession of the city, over against the five and twenty thousand of the oblation toward the east border, and westward over against the five and twenty thousand toward the west border, over against the portions for the prince: and it shall be the holy oblation; and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the midst thereof. 22Moreover from the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of the city, being in the midst of that which is the prince's, between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, shall be for the prince. 23As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion. 24And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion. 25And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion. 26And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion. 27And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion. 28And by the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar unto the waters of strife in Kadesh, and to the river toward the great sea. 29This is the land which ye shall divide by lot unto the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their portions, saith the Lord God. (Ezekiel 48:1‑29); Matt. 19:2828And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28); Acts 26:77Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. (Acts 26:7); James 1:11James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (James 1:1); Rev. 7:5-85Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. 6Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 7Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. 8Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand. (Revelation 7:5‑8)).
The ten tribes will be dealt with differently from the two, who were in the land when the Lord was presented to them, and who rejected Him, and demanded His crucifixion. The ten tribes will, by a mighty hand and with fury poured out, be brought into the wilderness, and there God will plead with them, cause them to pass under the rod, and bring them into the bond of the covenant; but the rebels will be purged out (Ezek. 20:34-3834And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. 35And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. 36Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. 37And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 20:34‑38)). The question as to the wounds in the hands of the Lord, which He received in the house of His “friends” is connected with Judah, who will be judged when in the land, and only one third of them after being refined, will be owned as God’s people (Zech. 13:6-96And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. 7Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. 8And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. (Zechariah 13:6‑9)). When God thus purges and restores a remnant of all the tribes, and brings them into full blessing in the land, the name of ISRAEL will embrace them all as it did at the first, and God will be their God forevermore (Ezek. 37:1-281The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. 4Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 7So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord. 15The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, 16Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: 17And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. 18And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these? 19Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. 20And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. 21And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: 23Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. 24And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. 26Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore. (Ezekiel 37:1‑28)).