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 And I will scatter thee among the heathen,

and disperse thee in the countries,

and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.

Ezekiel 22:15

Why The Diaspora?

 

In order to understand the current re-gathering of Israel, it is first necessary to understand why the Diaspora or the 'scattering' of the house of Israel around the world ocurred in the first place.  What follows is a simple, bullet-style overview of Old Testament history that I copied from another text posted on this site.  Over time I plan to add to this explanation, but this is a good place to start.  If you're just reading the Old Testament for the first time, you'll want to refer to this page frequently.  It should help to answer a lot of questions & to prevent a great deal of confusion.

 

  • Jacob and his sons re-locate from Caanan to Goshen outside of Egypt during a famine.

  • Jacob's lineage increases dramatically in size & abundance over the years.

  • A new pharaoh is intimidated by the growth of Jacob's numbers & decides to enslave the Hebrew population, forcing them to work on the building of his cities.

  • 430 years after Jacob's relocation to Egypt God rescues the Hebrews from their captivity.

  • A system of judges (the Sanhedrin) is established by their leader, Moses, to handle disputes.40 years later the Hebrews begin to battle for the land God gave them in Caanan.

  • About 500 years after leaving Egypt the people demand a king in place of the Sanhedrin.

  • The first king is appointed, Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin.

  • Saul disobeys God's instructions & loses his crown.  David, from the tribe of Judah becomes king & wins God's favor.

  • God promises David that the eternal kingship would pass through his seed.  Solomon, David's son, becomes king & builds God's temple.

  • Upon completion of the temple God gives Solomon a blessing & a curse.

  • Solomon disobeys God by marrying 700 'strange' women & worshipping their gods. He, therefore, incurs God's curse.

  • God promises to rend the kingdom from Solomon's son Rehoboam, with the exception of one tribe, the tribe of Judah.

  • When Rehoboam becomes king God has his prophet ordain a rival king, Jeroboam, from the tribe of Ephraim.

  • Jeroboam travels north of Judea with 10 tribes of Israel & establishes a new capital city in Shekam, later moved to Samaria.

  • Jeroboam is fearful that his newly established kingdom will weaken if his people are tempted to return to Jerusalem in order to to honor God's holy days. His solution is to build 2 golden calves for the people to worship instead.

  • God tolerates the pagan practices of the Northern tribes for about 2 centuries.

  • God allows the Assyrian Empire (modern day Germany) to invade 10 northern tribes of Samaria, disseminating the Israelite culture by scattering them throughout the vast empire. The Israelite dispersion & loss of identity is called the diaspora. The 10 Northern tribes NEVER returned to Israel.

  • About 120 years after the Assyrians invaded Samaria, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon invades Jerusalem. All Judean nobility, including the male children of their king, Zedekiah, are killed & Zedekiah himself dies a blinded Babylonian prisoner. Those Jews Nebuchadrezzar does not kill are taken in chains to Babylon where they remain for 70 years.

  • Close to the end of the 70 year captivity the Medo-Persians invade & conquer Babylonia.

  • The Medo-Persians are kind to the Judean people & permit some of them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple that had been burned during Nebuchadrezzar's attack. Thus, while many remained assimilated throughout the Medo-Persian Empire, a small segment of the tribe of Judah was able to return to Jerusalem & preserve its identity & heritage. These are the people we call Jews today.

 

Isaiah 6:13

But yet in it shall be a tenth & it shall return....

 

(This refers to the 10% remnant of the tribe of Judah that returned to Jerusalem 70 years after the Babylonian invasion (aka the 'first' re-gathering).  It is only the offspring of this small segment of one tribe of Israel that we call 'Jews' today.  The entire house of Israel consists of a total of 12 tribes plus the Levites.  The remaining 90% of the tribe of Judah, as well as the other 11 tribes of Israel, are still 'out there' & unaware of who they are or what God wants to give them.)