The Red-Headed Israelite – Part Two
Destination Yisrael began this series of articles titled, “The Red-Headed Israelite” first by analyzing the amazing puzzle of how “Red Hair” genetically is very rare yet has its highest concentration along the western Atlantic coastlines of Europe from western Norway and Ireland to the Basque region of Spain. Surprisingly this is the homeland today of the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel.
This Series can first be read in the article, titled, “The Enigma of the DNA Quest to find the Lost “Red Headed Israelites.” We will continue our quest to rediscover the Lost Israelites but to do so we have to go to the home base, the homeland of the House of Joseph where the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh once lived and whose remnant are struggling today to keep a dynamic presence before they are reunited and absorbed into the Greater Jewish society in the State of Israel.
Destination Yisrael began this series of articles analyzing the amazing puzzle of how “Red Hair” genetically is very rare yet has its highest concentration along the western Atlantic coastlines of Europe from western Norway and Ireland to the Basque region of Spain. This investigation can be read in the article, titled, “The Enigma of the DNA Quest to find the Lost “Red Headed Israelites.” We will continue our quest to rediscover the Lost Israelites but to do so we have to go to the home base, the homeland of the House of Joseph where the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh once lived and whose remnant are struggling today to keep a dynamic presence before they are reunited and absorbed into the Greater Jewish society in the State of Israel.
It was in the 8th century BCE that the Samaritans of the House of Joseph, later called the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel were collectively ruled by the Tribe of Joseph whose descendants were the Tribe of Ephraim and Manasseh. They were cast out of their homelands by the Assyrians and sent into exile in the land of Khorasan, by the Caspian and the Black Seas by the G-d of Israel.
The seriousness of their crimes against the Holy One of Israel was for their apostasy, corruption, and rebellion against the dynastic rulers of Kings David and Solomon. They refused to worship in the Temple of Solomon, refused to enter the city of Jerusalem and celebrate with the Jews during the yearly Jewish festivals, and refused to accept the Mechoquek of Judah, the Jewish rabbanim as the legal Torah scholars for 12-Tribed Israel.
In the Book of Ezekiel, they were called the “Brazen-faced and Hard-hearted:
Ezekiel 2:4 – “He said to me, ‘Son of Man, I send you to the Children of Israel to the rebellious nations that have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have defiantly sinned against Me to this very day; and the children are brazen-faced and hard hearted – I send you to them.”
These tribes were called the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The central governance of their kingdom was the tribal land of Samaria, where the modern Palestinians people are trying today to take this land to be the “Nation of Palestine”, but there is one problem. This deed of trust and the title to the land has already been promised by the Creator of the Universe to be for the restoration of the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel (Ezekiel 36).
These tribes were instead exiled to the land that today encompasses the region of Northern Iran, Eastern Afghanistan and Western Pakistan. These tribes still exist today and are populated by the largest tribe of the region; the Bani-Israel peoples called the Pashtuns Tribal peoples.
With their Jewish cousins, now exiled to the land of Babylon and under the rule of the Jewish Exilarchs of Baghdad, the Lost Ten Tribes continued to live through the Achaemenid Persian Empire of King Cyrus the Great and Queen Esther, through their son, King Darius. In fact, the entire military forces of Cyrus the Great were from the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel.
Not only that, their general was Gobryas, a king from the Guti tribe or the Tribe of Gad. Collectively, they invaded and conquered the most impregnable city in the world, the city of Babylon. They did this without shedding even a drop of Jewish blood.
Yet through the royal descendants of King Darius, the Israelite royal dynastic lineage continued through the Second Sassanid Persian Empire. While these Israelites were empire building, their other tribal cousins were migrating through the region between the Caspian and the Black Sea where the Georgian Empire was once ruled during the era of the Roman Catholic Crusades in Israel, as the largest empire of the region; the Georgian Empire that was ruled by descendants of King David. The rest of the migrating Israelites migrated above and below the Black Sea heading west and became known as the “Great Wanderers.”
They were known as the Royal Scythians as they migrated above the Black Sea as first the Ghomerians (House of Omer, father of King Ahab), later the Cummerians or Cimmerians, and even later as the Celtic and Cymric peoples migrated from the Caspian Sea regions. They traveled under the Black Sea towards the west. There they scattered themselves from this region into ancient Gaul to the north, east and west.
Not only were they known in the northern regions above the Black Sea as the Scythians, but also the Sarmatians, and to the south east of the Caspian Sea as the Parthians. The Lost Ten Tribes became a people, independent yet allied on and off over the centuries with each other as they eventually entered into Northern Gaul in the 3rd to the 2nd century BCE.
One hundred years later after the Northern Kingdom of Israel was sent into exile around 702 BCE, the Jewish people in the Southern Kingdom of Judah began their rebellion against the same G-d of Israel. He pled and admonished them through the pen and the voice of the prophetic sage’s advice of the Prophet Jeremiah; speaking the “words of the L-rd”.
Like their Northern cousins, the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel, the Southern Jewish Kingdom of Judah revolted and rebelled against and were destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar, the rising star of the imperial state of Babylon in 586 BCE.
Keeping true to the biblical or Jewish historical calendar instead of the anthropological calendars of ice ages represented over tens of thousands of years, we have to decipher what life was like in Central Eurasia in the era after the Great Noachian Flood (2350 BCE), the Great Exodus from Egypt about 1575 BCE, and the era of the Davidian Dynasty during reigns of Kings David and Solomon around 1000 BCE.
As the flood waters began to recede, it is safe to assume that it took centuries as more and more land that was under global flood waters receded and restored the regions of the Middle East into vast plains of pristine forests, meadows and prairies.
When the Children of Israel fled from Egypt around 1575 BCE, it was only 700 years after the Great Flood of Noah. Huge regions of Eurasia were still covered with immense lake regions. Grassy meadows spread across the arc from Europe in the West and Greater Asia in the East. This vast lake region centered from Van where the Ark of Noah settled to its final resting place near Mount Ararat.
Here was the home of Noah and Shem for many centuries, a place of refuge where Abram, the young son of Terah, the Oracular Priest of Nimrod’s Kingdom was taken as a place of safe keeping away from the long arm of the executioners in the days of King Nimrod. It was he who observed the oracles in the heavens at the birth of Abram, knew that this young male child would someday be responsible for Nimrod’s demise.
Abram was tutored by Noah and Shem on how life was like in the pre-diluvian world before the flood. We can learn more about these great regions of lush meadows and prairies during the time of the Exodus as preserved in the Destination Yisrael article titled, “Was the Sinai Peninsula a Rocky Desert or Lush Wilderness Plains during the Exodus?”
Destination Yisrael – “We would expect to find this same lush beauty in the days of Abraham, when he was living in the biblical heartland of Israel in Shomron and later in the southern regions of Canaan in the southwest where he was pasturing his vast flocks of sheep and cattle. Nearby, his nephew Lot chose to go east to a beautiful and lush garden region called the Vale of Siddim where the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were located.
We do know that Abram and Isaac had to dig wells to water their vast flocks, but there is no indication that they had to irrigate fields in which to grow grains or grass for their flocks to eat. In those days, Abram, who once was the son of an oracular high priest of Sumer, was now a Potentate from the region of Sumer, now living in the land of Canaan. He was well known and highly respected.
Consider the fact that Abraham (2056-1881 BCE) was only ten generations from the Great Flood of Noah that destroyed the whole earth about 2350 BCE. If the biblical Exodus did occur somewhere between 1550-1575 BCE, it was about 450 years after the birth of Isaac, and 210 years after Jacob descended into the land of Egypt. According to a strict chronology of the patriarchal ages, it would suggest that the historical era from Abraham’s ancestral Patriarch Noah to the day of the Exodus was only about 800 years after the world catastrophe called the Noachian Flood; about the same number of years since the Roman Catholic Crusades in the 13th century BCE and today.
During this era of catastrophic upheavals, about 775 years after the Flood, the Nile apocalypse of 10 plagues would cascade down upon the land of Egypt. Six months later, two million Hebrew-Israelites were fleeing towards the biblical lands of the Patriarchal forefathers; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in which would be still be remembered three and a half millenniums later as “The Exodus”.
Yet the fullest extent of this catastrophic era was not over when the Hebrew-Israelites fled Egypt. Neither did the two million Bnei Yisrael leave an ancient land of antiquity behind, but rather they left a destroyed imperial state; there were more catastrophes still to come.
The great devastation in Egypt was only a part of a larger Middle Eastern catastrophe that had not ended. All across the Middle East, volcanoes were erupting, the seas were boiling. If it appeared that they were leaving a land of destruction, what was not anticipated was that in seven days, they would be experiencing the most dramatic of all catastrophes that have occurred in the world to date; the parting of the Red Sea. Yet during these few days, the Hebrew-Israelites were racing for their lives across virgin meadows and wilderness plains that would allow them to reach the place of their ultimate destination.”
You might want to Read the Series:
“From Exodus to Sinai”
The Lost Israelites that were “left behind” after being banished from their tribal homelands in the 8th century BCE, were then amalgamated with the populations of prisoners transported from other regions of the Assyrian Empire to inhabit the ancient land of Israel.
Let us not forget, those left behind were the farmers who could still care for themselves, and it was they who became the Samaritans or those who lived in the land of Samaria, living near the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel called Samaria.
They would become the aboriginal Samarians that would eventually be known as Samaritans. Today, their descendants live in two communities near Mount Gerizim in Samaria; Kiryat Luza located in the West Bank and in the city of Holon, near Tel Aviv in Israel.
Strange as it may be, the few hundred Samaritans left living in these regions today, are a testimony that 12-Tribed Israel once lived throughout these regions. What is known, they are also not the ancestors of the modern Palestinian Arab people.
Today the number of Ethnic Samaritans that live in the region of Samaria called “Shomron” number only about 700. Yet, it is feared by many that they may be doomed to extinction as they once numbered about 1.5 million between the 4th and the 5th centuries and dwindling down since that day.
Part of it is the continuing assimilation of the Samaritan peoples back into Judaism and Jewish cultural and pluralistic society. Those that live at Kiryat Luza in Shomron (Samaria) today are being threatened there by the Palestinian State who through the United Nations or the International Criminal Court of Justice in Brussels is seeking to create a Jundenrein (“clean of Jews”) State or a Judenfrei (“free of Jews”) region. To the radical Muslims, the Samaritans are the same as the Jews.
This land devoid of Jews was Yasser Arafat’s vison of a modern Fatah State of Palestine or Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshaal’s vison as a modern day “Haman” to rule an Amalekite government, “Hamas” as a Palestinian State. It is also Meshaal’s fondest dreams to complete the failed Persian genocide of the Jewish people in Persia that was fulfilled in part by Adolf Hitler, the Rothschild Jewish descendant who virtually wiped out the Jewish presence in Europe and completed the Jewish Holocaust.
This was first dreamt about in the mind of the Persian prime minister, Haman in the days of King Cyrus the Great (King Ahasuerus) and his Jewess Queen Esther. This time, they seek to complete Haman’s dream of a Holocaust by the Hamas, the modern day Amalekites seeking to incite the whole region of the Middle East into a land devoid of Jews. Yet, the G-d of Israel has other plans:
Psalms 83 – “Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; and those who hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, and consulted together against Your sheltered Ones.
They have said, ‘Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.’ For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy against You:
The tents of Edom (Saudi Arabia) and the Ismaelites; Moab and the Hagerites; Gebel, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assyria also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot. Selah"
The facts exist that most Westerners do not realize that the Samaritans still exist today. For any person walking down the street, you cannot identity a Jew from a Samaritan. The Samaritans speak Modern Hebrew and/or Palestinian Arabic as their mother tongue. A language known as Samaritan Hebrew and Samaritan Aramaic is used for their worship services.
Many Christians today visiting the Land of Israel associate these indigenous Israelite peoples with the New Testament parable called “The Good Samaritan.” They also relate to the encounter between the Prince of David, the Hasidic rabbi called Yahshua and the Samaritan woman at the well, whom he elevated her sense of spiritual consciousness with the concept that she also had destiny and a future in the World to Come.
Yet over the last two millenniums, the Samaritan peoples have diminished in number due to forced conversion, persecution as a people, and murdered. According to Rabbi Arnold Mark Belzer:
Rabbi Arnold Mark Belzer – “Many of these peoples have found that it is a lot more comfortable to live in the Israeli culture than in the predominately Arab culture.”
Even though they were rivals in ancient times, when the Samaritans tried to sabotage the rebuilding of the walls of Ancient Jerusalem and the Temple of Zerubbabel during the era of the Nehemiah, the governor of Judea for the Persian Shah Darius; today they see each other as allies in a Middle Eastern world that today does not want any Semitic presence.
As they have sought to find a solution of peace between tribal brothers from Ancient Israel, the Samaritans are also providing a model for the future day, when the House of Joseph, represented by the ancient Lost Israelites Ephraim and Manasseh will also return to the Land of Israel and be settled once again into the lands of their forefathers.
Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War when the Jewish people gained sovereignty rights over the region of Shomron, the mountains of Judea, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, we can see in this prophetic mini-vignette that the House of Israel and the House of Judah are both ripe for the final revealing of Klal Yisrael, “All 12-Tribed Israel” and the future Greater Israel to the 70 nations of the world at the “time of the end.”
Rabbi Arnold Mark Belzer – “To be able to say in this world that an ancient people still exists and actually is growing in numbers, I think that's one of your modern miracles. That's a miracle all the Jewish people share with them.”
The First Schism between the Jews of the House of Judah and the Northern Ten Tribes of Israelites called the Samaritans
It was about 1352 CE, that Ibn Al-Hasan al-Samiri al-Danafi (Abu-I-Fath), a Samaritan chronicler wrote about a major rift between the Northern 10 Tribes of the Israelites and the Jews to the south in Jerusalem. He was commissioned to write his major work titled, “Kitab al-Ta’rikh” in the 14th century by Pinhas, the Samaritan high priest. In the year of 1356 CE, he wrote a compilation of the history of the Samaritan peoples using more ancient sources from the days of Adam to Mohammed.
The Samaritans who prefer to call themselves “Israelites”, are the remnant of the twelve tribes of Israel who lived in the days of the “Judges” in the 11th B.C.E. During these years the twelve tribes of Israel were not located in their separate kingdoms but rather they settled in their own tribal boundaries as partitioned to them by Joshua (Jesus) son of Nun, who carried the mantle of Moses the Prophet and conquered the land of Canaan.
Yet, even in this era, three hundred fifty years before the reign of Kings David and Solomon, the demarcation between the tribes of the North and the tribes of the South were already laying their roots of dissent and division. The Northern Tribes were laying claim to their historical traditions that the Mishkhan (Wilderness Tabernacle) should reside on Mount Gerizim.
Destination Yisrael wrote about this era in the article title; “Joshua’s Altar: Where the Democratic Nation of Israel honored G-d on Mounts Ebal and Gerizim.” As was written by Destination Yisrael:
Destination Yisrael – “The performance of the ceremony in the book of Joshua differs somewhat from the instructions that were given in the book of Deuteronomy. For various reasons, the student (Joshua) deviated from the instructions of his teacher (Moses). The people were divided into two in the valley – half of them looked westward toward the summit of Mount Ebal, while the other looked eastward, toward the summit of Mount Kabir, which, according to Zertal, is the biblical Mount Gerizim. In any case, it is likely that those in attendance were careful not to turn their backs on the Ark of the Covenant, which, according to scripture, stood beside the altar.
Another aspect that is important to the ceremony is acoustics. The valley is laid out in such a way that speakers near the altar are audible from everywhere in the valley. We stood approximately 600 meters away from the altar and two soldiers ascended it and called out: “Am Yisrael hai” (long live Israel). Despite the airplanes up above, the murmuring of the group and the ringing of the cell phones, we heard it very well.
Professor Adam Zertal – “In recent decades, during which the debate over the Bible’s historical accuracy has broken out with even greater vigor, I can say with absolute certainty that going out in the field, the archaeological survey that we have been conducting over the past 34 years and the excavations have revealed that the vast majority of the historical data that appears in the Bible about the beginnings of the Israelite nation are accurate.”
It was in this era when the Wilderness Tabernacle was still residing at the site of Joshua’s Altar at Mount Gerizim that an “elderly priest” called Eli, the son of Yefune, who was a descended from the lineage of Itamar, the son of Aaron, the high priest, that the northern tribes rose in dissent concerning where the “Chosen Place” was eventually be located and where the future Temple of G-d would eventually be located.
Until the days of the Judge Eli, the Mishkhan (Wilderness Tabernacle) had rested on the Mount called Gerizim where the “Blessings and Curses” were given by the Israelite General, Joshua ben Nun (Joshua son of Nun or Yeshua ben Nun or Jesus son of Nun). At this time the Promised Land of Israel was divided into the tribal homelands. Here was the place where the “Declaration of Independence of the Nation of Israel” was first fulfilled after being first instituted at the mount called Sinai as the Nation of Israel.
Mount Moriah was still under the control of the Jebusites at their military fortress called Salem. It would be decades later before the Wilderness Tabernacle called the Mishkhan would be taken to Jerusalem in the days of King David when he began making preparations for the construction of the Temple of Solomon.
Now decades earlier, in the days of Judges of Israel, a dispute arose as to who represented the authentic lineage of the high priest from the genealogical lineage of Aaron, the chosen High Priest at the Mount called Sinai. Which of the priestly lineages would continue to be the care-taker of the Mishkhan, the Wilderness Tabernacle and the Guardian of the Ark of the Covenant?
Uzi, the son of Bachki, of the priestly lineage of Phineas, the son of Aaron was the promised and chosen High Priest in the era of the judges. Yet the “old priest” Eli, the son of Yehune, who was a descendant from the lineage of Ithamar, the son of Aaron left Mount Gerizim and took with him the Mishkhan, the Wilderness Tabernacle and the oracular throne of G-d’s presence to the Children of Israel in the Ark of the Covenant. According to the story of the Samaritans, Eli the Judge, usurped the lineage of the High Priesthood from the descendants of Phineas and established a new cultic site at Shiloh, now rivaling the site at Mount Gerizim.
Understandably this was before the rise of the United Monarchy of Kings David and Solomon, where the Holy Temple of Solomon was erected not on Mount Gerizim but now on Mount Moriah, where according to the history of the Jews, Abraham offered Isaac upon the altar, but Isaac’s life was saved by angelic intervention. In a way, we may assume that with the miraculous presence of the Divine first shooting down from the heavens daily upon the fire altar in the temple was but a reminder that HaShem, the G-d of Israel was giving his Divine blessing upon Mount Moriah and the temple at Mount Gerizim continued to fade into the mist of history.
This story of the Samaritan Temple on Mount Gerizim has been recounted in detail in the article on Samaritan.com titled, “The Schism between the Jews and Samaritans” that records the writings of the author of the major work of Samaritan history, the Samaritan chronicler, Abu’l –Fath, of the fourteenth century C.E., who tells the story as follows from the perspective of the feud between the Ancient Samaritans and the Jews in the days of the Judges of Israel:
Samaritan chronicler, Abu’l –Fath, of the fourteenth century C.E. - “A terrible civil war broke out between Eli son of Yafni, of the line of Ithamar, and the sons of Phineas, because Eli, son of Yafune, resolved to usurp the High Priesthood from the descendants of Phineas. He used to offer sacrifices on the altar of stones. He was 50 years old, endowed with wealth and was in charge of the treasury of the Children of Israel.
He offered a sacrifice on the altar, but without salt, as he were inattentive. When the Great High Priest Azzi (Uzzi) learned of this, and found that the sacrifice was not accepted, he thoroughly disowned him and it is said he rebuked him (Eli).
Thereupon he (Eli) and the group that sympathized with him, rose in revolt and at once he and his followers and his beasts set off for Shiloh. Thus Israel split into factions.
He sent to their leaders saying to them, “Anyone who would like to see wonderful things, let him come to me.” Then he assembled a large group around him in Shiloh, and built a Temple for himself there.
Now, he (Eli) had two sons, Hophni and Phineas, who rounded up young women of attractive appearance and brought them to the Tabernacle which had been built by his father. He let them savor the food of the sacrifices, and had intercourse with them inside the Tabernacle. At this time the Children of Israel became three factions:
A loyal faction on Mount Gerizim
A heretical faction that followed false god.
A faction that followed Eli to Shiloh
This event, not only brought a major separation, between the Israelites, but also marked the end of the ‘Rhuta’ (means grace in Aramaic) – “The Days of the Grace”, and the beginning of the ‘Fanuta’ (means concealment in Aramaic) – the days of the concealment of God from his people. The latter will end, according to the Samaritan tradition, in “The End of the Days” when the Saviour (‘Thab’ – means the Returner) will show up.
There is no rational interpretation, in the Jewish sources, for the passage of the High Priesthood from the lineage of Phineas to continue to the lineage of Itamar. The Tabernacle (Mishkhan), according to the Jewish Sources, was transferred after the death of Eli, to Nob (a village near Jerusalem) and after the death of Samuel it was transferred from Nob to Gibeon (a city north of Jerusalem).
Only after 440 years, since the entrance of the Children of Israel to the land Canaan, the cult site, was transferred by kings David and Solomon, to Jerusalem, while the Samaritans still keeping the Holy Chosen Place on Mt. Gerizim.”
To gain a perspective of the lineages of the High Priest from the House of Aaron, let us remember that Ithamar was the youngest son of Aaron the High Priest: that included Nadav and Avihu, Eleazar and Ithamar as noted in Exodus 6:23. Nadab and Avihu were known to be righteous men, and spiritualists seeking to mend the whole earth.
Regardless of Nadab and Abihu's transgressions, their intentions and motives were noble and devotional. They desired to be close to G-d. They were filled with passion and fervor. They felt holy and pure, and by extension, they felt that their every thought and action was holy and pure. They thought that they had a better idea with their offering to G-d in the Tabernacle. Yet, G-d did not ask for this offering that neither did they consult with Moshe their tzaddik.
Even so the experience they had received just prior to this moment of time was one of exaltation and now they were special. They had just been asked by the Almighty One of Israel to come close to Him at the Mount called Sinai as G-d was to give instruction to Moses on the mount in preparation of giving the Torah.
As Rabbi Ari Kahn wrote in the Midrashic and Kabbalistic Illuminations on M’orey HaAish the article titled, “The Sons of Aaron: Sinners or Saints”:
Rabbi Ari Kahn - “The Torah recounts God's instructions to Moses at Mount Sinai in preparation for the giving of the Torah:
Exodus 24:1, 9-11 – “To Moses [God] said, ‘Ascend to God, you, and Aaron, and Nadav and Avihu, and the seventy elders of Israel, and they shall prostrate themselves from afar ...’ Moses and Aaron, Nadav and Avihu, and the seventy elders arose. They saw the Lord of Israel and beneath His feet, like a brickwork of sapphire ... And to the aristocracy of the Children of Israel, He [God] did not strike His hand. They viewed the Lord, they ate and drank.”
This enigmatic passage may hold the key to understanding the offense of Nadav and Avihu. They are separated from the rest of the nation, leading them to think of themselves early on, at the time of the giving of the Torah, as future leaders. They are invited to join Moses, and they have a better vantage point than the rest of the nation. The purpose of the ascent is to bow from afar; instead, they stood and stared.”
Apparently as they were heading to the Wilderness Sanctuary, they had the young impulses to correct and rectify past mistakes that occurred with Adam and Eve, the Golden Calf near the mount called Sinai and now we read from the Talmud Bavli (Babylonian Talmud) that reported on a strange event:
Talmu Bavli, Sanhedrin 52a – “Moses and Aaron were walking along, as Nadav and Avihu were behind them, and all of Israel behind them. Nadav said to Avihu, ‘When these two elders die, you and I will lead this generation.’ God said to them ‘Let's see who buries whom.’”
Let us reconsider their actions on the 8th day of the dedication of the Tabernacle. On this day, the day which represents the metaphysical (the number 8 is one beyond the natural, which is represented by 7), their father is called upon to offer the calf and bring about forgiveness for the sin of the Golden Calf. The people will offer a goat and bring about forgiveness for the sale of Joseph. Perhaps the only major sin which still needed rectification was the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. If that can be accomplished, a new world awaits.
Adam drank and hid from God; Nadav and Avihu drank after staring at God. When, in the dedication of the Tabernacle, the fire came down and filled the area, the people hid their faces. Nadav and Avihu felt that this generation needed a new approach, one that should have been adopted in the Garden – instead of hiding from God, they confronted God. They offered the fire back to God, but God took them as well.
This, then, may unify all the opinions regarding their sin: they sought a new direction for this generation, as referred to in their speculations about leading the nation. They were infused with the sense of an historic mission which would set the world on a new course, and they therefore had no time or energy to spare for wives or child.”
The death of Nadab and Abihu was a significant loss to Moses, Aaron, Eleazar (Elazar) and now Ithamar (Itamar). Ithamar, the youngest would continue to serve as a priest alongside with Eleazar who would serve as High Priest after the death of Aaron (Numbers 20:28). All through the travels in the wilderness regions, Ithamar stood as the head of the children of Gershom and Merari, who were the chosen carriers of the Tabernacle (Numbers 4:28). Ithamar was also the overseer of all the work assignments of the Levites in general (Exodus 38:21).
Besides the lineages of the Eleazar and Phineas his son, who came to be the next ascending high priest, the lineages of Itamar were also an approved and chosen lineage by the G-d of Israel.
Levi27 ben Yacov, had children; Jocheved and Kohath >
Kohath28 ben Levi >
Amram29 ben Kohath (married his aunt Jocheved and had three children;
Moses, Miriam and Aaron) >
Aaron30 ha-Levi(1st High Priest) >
Eleazar31 ben Aaron(2nd High Priest) >
Phineas32 ben Eleazar(3rd High Priest) >
Abishuah (Abishua) 33 ben Phinehas (4th High Priest) >
Bukki34 ben Abishua(5th High Priest) >
Uzzi35 ben Bukki (6th High Priest) in the days of the Schism of the Samaritans >
Zerahiah36 ben Uzzi> in the days of Eli the Judge >
Meraioth37 ben Aerahiah >
Amariah38 ben Meraioth >
Ahitub39 ben Amariah >
Zadok40 ben Ahitub the (High Priest of King David and Solomon (1000 BCE) >
The historical story by the Samaritans of the first great schism between the Jews of the House of Judah and the Israelites of the House of Israel comes from a secondary source outside of the canon of the Old Testament, called the TaNaKh. Yet, we have to admit that here is a critical historical record of those fateful years that surrounded the story of the rise of the prophetic ministry of the Prophet Samuel. This young Levite was dedicated to HaShem at the time of his weaning from the breast, by a barren Israelite, Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, a Levite living in the village of Ramathaim-zophim, nearby to Mount Ephraim in the land of Samaria. (1 Samuel 1:1-3). Samuel’s and his father’s lineages were recorded in I Chronicles 6:18-23.
What began as a breech in the House of Aaron during the days of Eli the Judge, we ponder over how HaShem in His mercy delays judgment in order to accomplish His Divine Will. Eli was a descendant of Ithamar, the fourth and youngest son of Aaron the High Priest. He became High Priest (Kohen Godol) after the death of Phineas (Pinehas), the son of Eleazar, Ithamar's older brother.
During this era, we read of how a Levite of the house of Ithamar, later known as Eli the Judge, offered an imperfect offering not approved by the Divine, when he failed to provide the right amount of salt in the meat offering; according to the testimony of the Samaritans. Yet we strangely note, G-d did not smite Eli the Levite priest down because Eli still had a mission to accomplish for the G-d of Israel. Eli was reprimanded by Uzzi ben Bukki, the 6th High Priest since the High Priest, Aaron. Unlike the earlier fate of Nadab and Abihu, Eli lived and was not taken away by G-d.
Mount Gerizim was a noble mountain, a place where the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob made His presence several times. The Almighty One at Mount Gerizim promised this land to Abraham. Later Jacob dug a well upon this mount. And here also the Twelve Tribes of Israel recited the ‘Blessings and the Curses’.
So Eli, now again in defiance of the High Priest of Israel, Uzzi ben Bukki, who was residing in Samaria near Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, gathered a band of partisans loyal to him, and packed up the Wilderness Tabernacle and made haste to Shiloh. There the Mishkhan was erected and the sanctuary service continued. What is first noticed was the fact that the sanctuary was located first in the tribal homelands of Joseph’s two sons; Ephraim and Manasseh.
The tribes were still living within the boundaries of their tribal homelands and the central region of worship was where the Mishkhan or the Wilderness Tabernacle was located. Now as we have learned in the Great Schism between the Samaritans and the Jews, the reigning High Priest was still officiating at Joshua’s Altar at Mount Gerizim where the Wilderness Tabernacle was first erected and the Shekinah glory still shined from the Holy of Holiest in the ancient Mishkhan.
It so happened that G-d then began to maneuver the geopolitical relationships between the Children of Israel in Canaan who were then governed by the reigning “Judge” of the Land of Israel. The ruling judge at that time was Sampson, the “strong man” of Israel who himself got caught up in an illicit relationship with the temptress, Delilah who lived near Nahal Sorek (Brook of Sorek) known in Arabic today as the Wadi Surar that was along the border region of the Valley of Sorek between the land of the Philistines and the Tribe of Dan.
After the death of Sampson the Judge of Israel, Eli became the reigning Judge of the Children of Israel. Not only that, Eli was the first and the only judge who wore the two miters (crowns); first as the Judge (Shofet) and then as the High Priest (HaGadol) at the age of 58 years. This double crown came only after the death of the Israelite “Strong man”; Judge Samson, called Shimson that was killed, after 20 years as a judge in the destruction ruins of the Temple of Dagon in Gaza. This occurred when the massive temple imploded when in his blinded state, his mighty arms dislodged the two central pillars supporting the Temple of Dagon.
Sampson wrapped his arms around the two supporting pillars in the Temple of Dagon in the Jewish year of 2830. Here he wiped out 3,000 of the leading rulers, aristocrats and oligarchs of Gaza who were blinded in their hatred with the Children of Israel. So, Eli then assumed the role as Judge over Israel and held this august office for the forty years until his tragic death at the ripe old age of 98 years.
Yet in spite of the act of the preservation of the Wilderness Tabernacle first located on Mount Gerizim and later relocated by Eli, the 7th High Priest in Shiloh, the Aaronic lineage of the HaGadol (High Priest), now through a descendant of Ithamar ben Aaron, eventually reverted back in the days of Kings David and Solomon from both the lineages of the House of Phineas and Ithamar to the divinely chosen Zadokian lineage from Zadok ben Ahutum (Ahitub ben Amariah), the 12th High Priest since Aaron.
Eli (7th High Priest), descendant from Ithamar ben Aaron >
Ahitub (Achituv) ben Phinehas ben Eli (8th High Priest, was the grandson of Eli >
Ahijah ben Ahitub (9th High Priest), was the great-grandson of Eli, who presided as the high priest when the Tabernacle was erected at Shiloh (1 Samuel 14:3) >
Ahimelech ben Ahitub (10th High Priest) the brother of Ahijah, also the grandson of Eli was slain by King Saul with 85 other priests (1 Samuel 22:11-18) >
Abiathar ben Ahimelech (11th High Priest), was the last High Priest of the House of Eli, and the House of Ithamar. It was Abiathar (Evyathar who brought the Ephod and the regalia of the High Priest to King David, and co-reigned with the High Priest Zadok during the reign of King David. >
Zadok ben Ahitub ben Amariah (12th High Priest, 6th in descent from Uzzi) became the High Priest of Israel when Abiathar (Abiathar ben Ahimelech (11th High Priest), the last High Priest of the House of Eli supported Prince Adonijah in his rebellion against King David over the selection of Prince Solomon and was later deposed by King Solomon. >
We are not told why Eli succeeded to the High Priesthood, instead of the descendants of Phineas (Pinehas) the son of Aaron the High Priest. The last descendant of Ithamar's lineage as the High Priest was Evyathar (Abiathar ben Ahimelech 11th High Priest, who was a grandson of Eli's grandson Achituv (Ahitub).
Evyathar (Abiathar ben Ahimelech) was High Priest during the reign of King David. However, he was banished by King Solomon (Shlomoh) for his siding with the rebellion of King David’s son, Adoniyah, King Solomon's older half-brother who tried to capture the succession to the throne. The High Priesthood then reverted again back to the lineage of Eleazar ben Aaron, in the person of Tzadok (Zadok) the High Priest and his descendants.
We have now learned that the schism that erupted before the United Monarchy continued to simmer for the next eighty years (forty years for each, Kings David and Solomon) until the day when King Solomon died. At that time the Northern Ten Tribes chose to separate themselves from Jerusalem, the Holy Temple of Solomon, the holy Levitical priesthood and the Jewish rabbanim, the Mechoquek, who were the legal jurists that were the guardians of the Written and the Oral Torah Law.
Yet great finger of the Divine at this time was creating the pathway for the preservation not only of the Davidic Dynasty that would last until the “End of Times” when the “Era of the Messiah” would begin, but also the preservation of the Tzadokian (Zadokian) Lineage of the High Priests from the lineages of Phineas and Ithamar, the latter through the lineage of Eli, the High Priest. This lineage would last until King Herod’s Temple was leveled to the ground by the Romans, the Holy city of Jerusalem was destroyed and taken from the hands of the Jews until it was redeemed back to the House of Judah.
It was during this era that Eli, known to his people as a kindly man in nature was one that was beloved as they yearned for his spiritual guidance. It was during this era that Hannah, the wife of a prominent Levite called Elkanah came yearly to pray for HaShem to take away her barrenness and give to her a son. She not only prayed but also promised to the G-d of Israel that she would dedicate her son to the service of the L-rd for his entire life.
When Eli heard the prayer, he prayed for her that her heart’s greatest wish would be granted. Within one year, her prayers were fulfilled when she gave birth to Shmuel whom we know today as Samuel the Prophet and the eventual successor of Eli as the judge of all the Children of Israel.
Samuel was the joy of Hannah’s life. She kept him close to her for several years until he was weaned and as good Israelite mothers, taught him the ways of the L-rd. She took him to Eli, and there under his custody and guidance he grew spiritually as a student worthy of being a Cohen.
Samuel became the shining star in Eli’s life, and a great contrast arose between Samuel, whom Eli was very proud of and the two sons of the High Priest Eli, who were destined to follow in the pathway and esteemed role as their father, as the High Priest and Judge of Israel. But his two sons, Hophni and Phineas (Pinehas) were not spiritually worthy to be priests or judges of Israel.
They were honored to hold august and privileged role in the Tabernacle of the L-rd, yet in the eyes of the Children of Israel, they understood the priesthood was being degraded by two who were corrupt and lived immoral lives. With treachery and with bribery they took the meat and the fat offerings from the people that which belonged to the G-d of Israel and used them for their licentious ways. Soon the oracles of G-d would be begin to mount against the family of Eli the high priest.
During these days, the young priest, Samuel was being tutored under his mentor, Eli the Judge and High Priest. Out of this tzaddik and student relationship, the esteem of the young Levite Samuel began scatter throughout all of the tribe lands of Israel.
It was later that the Prophet Samuel began to reveal the sins of Hophni and Phinehas when he wrote:
I Samuel 2:2:12 – “Eli’s sons were lawless men; they did not recognize HaShem.”
Their wicked ways not only defiled the Holy Place in the Tabernacle of the L-rd, but like their father, Eli, they did not take care to follow explicitly every commandment of G-d in reference to the sacrificial worship in the House of G-d. When Hophni and Phineas (Phinehas) were attending the sacrifice of an animal, they would take their three-pronged fork and they ate any portion of the meat that they would bring out of the pot even when they were commanded to by G-d to eat only the breast and upper thigh of the animals (Leviticus 7:30-34).
They also ate raw meat that had not been cooked against the command of HaShem not to eat any meat with blood on it.
Leviticus 17:10: “Any man of the House of Israel and of the proselyte who dwells among them who will consume any blood – I will concentrate My attention upon the soul consuming the blood, and I will cut it off from its people. For the soul of the flesh is in the blood and I have assigned it for you upon the Altar to provide atonement for your soul for it is the blood that atones for the soul.”
The Levite sons of Eli also intimidated the Israelites and they were abusive to their roles as agents of the Most High G-d for anyone bringing an offering to HaShem, they would say;
1 Samuel 2:15-17 - “Give some meat for roasting for the Kohen; he will not take cooked meat from you, but only raw [meat]. The man would say, “Let them first burn the fat [upon the altar] and then take for yourself whatever your soul desires. But [the attendant] would say, “No give it now, or else I will take it by force.”
The sin of the attendants was very great before HaShem, for the sons of Eli had disgraced HaShem’s offering. Not only that, the sons of Eli were sleeping with the woman according to the figurative meaning in the Midrash in that they deliberately delayed bringing the women’s bird-offering in order that these women were unable to return home the same day to their husbands and had to stay overnight in Shiloh. This became a breach of modesty and a severe breech of Torah Law forbidding adultery. (Exodus 20:14) Other interpretations suggested that Eli’s sons were sleeping with the women who were dedicated to the service of the tabernacle and was also offering to them the meat offerings dedicated for the priests (I Samuel 2:22).
Suddenly a “man of G-d” came to Eli with an oracle from G-d that for his permissiveness for failing to censure his priestly sons for their desecration of G-d’s Torah; the judgment of G-d would come down upon the entire House of Eli:
I Samuel 2:30- 34 - “This is the word of HaShem, G-d of Israel, ‘I had indeed said that your family and your fathers’ family would walk before Me forever – but now,’ …be it from Me [to do so]; for I honor those who honor Me, and to those that scorn Me will be accursed.
Behold the days are coming are coming when I shall cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s family, from here being any old person in your family… And you will see a rival [Kohen in My] dwelling place throughout all the good [times] that He will bring upon Israel, for there will be no old people in your family for all time…’ This [will be] the sign for you, that which will befall your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas - they will both die on the same day.”
This same prophecy would soon be repeated but now through the mouth of a child for one evening, when Samuel laid down to rest at the Sanctuary, he was awakened with a voice calling his name; “Samuel, Samuel.” He awakened and went to see El, who told him that he had not called. This occurred three times, and then Eli suddenly realized that here was the Divine summons. He told the young lad, that if the voice came again, for him to reply, “Speak L-rd for Thy servant hears.”
When the voice came again, Samuel was receptive and the Almighty One spoke directly to him.
I Samuel 3:11-14 - “Behold, I am going to do [such] a thing in Israel that when anyone hears about it, both of his wears will ring. On that day, I will fulfill for Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, beginning to destroy.”
I have told him that I am executing judgment against his house forever for the sin that [he committed] that he was aware that his sons were blaspheming themselves’ and he did not censure them. Therefore I have sworn concerning the house of Eli that the sin of the House of Eli would never be atoned (purged) for by sacrifice or meal-offering.”
Eli’s only response was: “He will do what is good in His eyes!”
At that time, the reputation of Samuel rose throughout the Land of Israel. He would ennoble himself as one whose grew up full of faith, emuna, in the sovereign will of G-d, and in his life, now knew that in the days when the spirit was almost in exile, that Samuel would rise up like champion and carry the mantle of G-d judgment upon his people.
The first decades of Eli’s judgeship, the Children of Israel lived in peace and trouble in the western portion of Canaan was dormant. Yet, in the 4th decade, there was restlessness, especially after the Sampson the Judge of Israel was killed when after he was blinded, was taken to the House of Dagon in Gaza and there sacrificed his life for his people, by toppling the two central pillars of the temple and thousands of Philistine nobles and peoples were destroyed.
The war drums were beginning to rumble and troublous times were again on the western Mediterranean coastline of Canaan with the Philistines. Battle formations were prepared near Aphek and the two enemies were in battle for their lives. The Israelites were driven back and four hundred Israelite warriors lay dead on the battlefield.
The military chiefs and the politicians of the land of Israel, remembered how the Ark of the Covenant was used to win battles for the Children of Israel in the days of Joshua, the Commander of the Israelites hosts. So in league with each other, they went to demand that the Ark of the Covenant be taken out of his sacred premises, the Holiest of Holy, and brought to the battlefield against the Philistines.
The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas personally accompanied the Ark and as they approached the battlefield, the shofars rang out and a great cry rang out throughout the land as the earth trembled as though the presence of G-d was joining this great battle.
Yet, it was not the will of G-d to desecrate the Ark of the Covenant and use it as a talisman for military war. In spite of their great courage, the Philistines prevailed and once again, now thirty thousand Israelites were routed and dead while the rest fled in a milieu of great confusion.
Along with the Israelites warriors were the bodies of Hophni and Phineas among the dead and the Ark of the Covenant was for the first time, now under the control of the military leaders of their arch enemies. The calamity of the fall of the House of Eli was unfolding.
Back at Shiloh and the now the empty Tabernacle devoid of the presence of G-d stood as a forlorn testimony of G-d’s judgment upon His people. The citizens of Shiloh along with Eli were breathlessly awaiting news of the battle, a suddenly there loomed over the horizon, the figure of a swift runner, a Benjaminite with his clothes rent from his body and his hair matted with dirt and blood, from grief and remorse, entered the gates of the city.
According to the sages of Judah, this Benjaminite was non-other than the future king of Israel, King Saul the Benjamanite. The tiding were horrendous and its implications were more devastating. The sad imagery of war and devastation spilling from his mouth were prefaced with these words, “Our people fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons, Hophni and Pinehas, are dead, and the Ark of G-d is taken.”
When the High Priest Eli heard these words, the devastation tore through his aging body of 998 years and he fell backwards from his chair he was sitting, broke his cervical spine and immediately died. The wrath of the Divine this time proclaimed His own. When the G-d of Israel spoke, He meant what He said. Those implications are still in effect today.
The Mishkhan (Wilderness Tabernacle) now became the center of the religious life of the Children of Israel. Here was the residence of Eli, the Israelite Judge and now High Priest who was the 4th in lineage of the unbroken chain of the Oral Law (Massorah) that began with humble servant of G-d, Moshe Rabbeinu and had continued through Joshua (Jesus) and Phineas (Pinehas).
Soon, the G-d of Israel would show his hand of approval upon Kings David and Solomon and with the blessing of the Divine, the House of the L-rd was constructed on Mount Moriah as the Temple of Solomon. As long as the miraculous and daily fire from the heavens lit up the Altar to the L-rd, the approval of G-d was assured. Even so, the “Brazen-faced and Hard-hearted Israelites” continued their defiance of the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, even to this very day.
The G-d of Israel proclaimed that there are only two groups of people whom He has promised that He will restored back into covenant with Him, the Jews of the House of Israel and the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel. Both families, the Jews and the Israelites were scattered across the face of the earth and would become HaShem emissaries incognito sent to elevate the 70 nations of the world, so that even Righteous Gentiles could become part of the covenant.
Even the children of Ishmael still rooted in Islam, the children of the Lost Ten Tribes who today are now Buddhist, or the Lost Ten Tribes who today call themselves Christians will be assimilated into the Jewish culture. This will be because deep in their hearts they are known by the Divine to be “safe to save” and willing to live in peace with their brothers; all descendants of the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Only the G-d of Israel knows who they are.
We are quickly being polarizing a world in which there will be only two choices; we are either for the Hebrew Israelites; both now part of the Jews of the house of Judah and the Lost Israelites of the House of Israel or we will be against them. This comes to one sobering conclusion, if you are a descendant of the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel, whether Muslim, Buddhist or Christian, and you still despise your brothers, the Jews, you may be left outside, not redeemed to participate in the coming “Era of the Messiah” even though you think you want to be a part of them.
If you have wondered how biblical prophecy fits into your life, and how it will affect the Return of the House of Israel, then the G-d of Israel is beginning his “call” to bring you home, too. You might desire to reconnect with the Biblical portrayals on what is and may be happening in your near future. This Biblical portrayal includes Prophecies that the Lost Tribes of the House of Israel are about to return to the Land of their Biblical Inheritance. This is Divine Destiny in living reality as the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel return to their Homelands first in Shomron (Samaria), Israel.
For inquiries about the Kol Ha Tor Vision for the Lost Tribes of Israel,
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