What Tribe of Israel Am I Descended From?
The Assyrian Christians, Mormons, Afghans, Ethiopian Beta Israel, American Indians, and Japanese have all claimed to be descendants of the lost tribes at one time or another.
If you’ve been wondering what tribe of Israel you’re descended from, you’re not alone. This article will cover the four most common questions people ask themselves and explain the answers to these questions.
While you may not have the exact answer to your question, you should have a good idea of the essential background of each tribe. If you have trouble figuring out which one you’re descended from, you can try this simple quiz.
Judah, was named for the youngest of the Israelites, Benjamin. Judah promised to protect them when the Israelites traveled to Egypt to buy grain. Judah pleaded to be held for his brother when Joseph threatened to take Benjamin as an enslaved person. Benjamin’s descendants eventually settled in a small area northwest of the Dead Sea, but Judah’s large territory included Jerusalem.
The tribe was exiled from their homeland in the sixth century BC. In the eighth century BC, the northern tribes were taken into captivity by the Assyrians. During this period, only Judah remained, and the Bible records that they returned to their homeland in the fifth century BC. Interestingly, many Christian cults claim that their members are descended from the ten northern tribes. Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses are two such groups, and they have influenced the Christian Zionist movement.
The tribe was also the preserver of the written laws of God. Paul said that Jews have an advantage over the rest of the world because we have preserved the Hebrew calendar and Old Testament. Judah, the tribe of Israel I am descended from
The tribe of Ephraim was one of the earliest in Israel. According to Joshua 16:1-10, their land encompassed most of Samaria, later to be separated from the other two tribes of Israel. The tribe’s land lay at the center of all the traffic in Israel, from the Jordan River to the sea. This land was where the tabernacle was deposited. The ark and tabernacle remained in the Shiloh region for 400 years. The Ephraim tribe had a domineering spirit, especially during the judges’ time.
The tenth son of Jacob, Zebulun, was mentioned alongside Deborah and Barak. In the Bible, he took part in the fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy. The tribe of Ephraim symbolizes the struggle of man with God and the Northern Kingdom of Israel as a whole. In this way, the tribe of Ephraim is the most prominent in Israel’s history.
Interestingly, the tribes of Israel were not separated by the Covenant of Abraham as it seems today. However, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh later became modern nations in Great Britain and the United States. The Song of Deborah, written in the Old Testament, gives insight into the ancestry of Israel’s tribes. It is interesting to learn how these two tribes have intertwined in history.
As the second greatest tribe in Israel, the Manasseh did not have the fame of Ephraim and Judah. However, Jacob assured Joseph that this tribe would be great too. Throughout its history, Manasseh has produced many great men and judges. Manasseh was one of the fiercest tribes in the nation, playing a vital role in the conquests of Transjordan and Canaan.
The family tree of Manasseh is given in I Chronicles 7: verses 14-19 list the descendants of this man. Manasseh’s second son, Zelophehad, was born to an Aramean concubine. His older brother was Machir, and his uncle was Gilead. Zelophehad’s children were only daughters, which is unfortunate in antiquity.
West Manasseh was characterized by lower elevations and was less mountainous than its eastern counterpart. In addition, it was much easier to traverse than Samaria. The softer limestone of West Manasseh was conducive to easier erosion, and its valleys were broad, allowing travel to be more accessible. In ancient times, this was the land of Abraham, and he built an altar to God Almighty there.
The instructions given to Joseph in the wilderness are also found in Numbers 21-2. Interestingly, Joseph was jealous of his father’s firstborn but did not feel worthy of a double portion. Genesis 48:19, he interrupted Jacob’s blessing and pointed out that Manasseh was the firstborn. This led Jacob to “reject” Joseph as the eldest son and continue to bless his other sons instead.
If you’ve ever wondered if you are a descendant of the ancient Hebrews, you’ll be surprised to find out that you are. While it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when you were born, it is possible that your ancestors migrated from the Aegean region to Israel after crossing the Red Sea. According to the Naked Archaeologist Simcha Jacobovici, the Dan tribe migrated to Mycenae following their migrations from the Aegean. As they settled near the native Grecians, they intermarried with them and participated in the migrations from the Aegean region.
The descendants of Dan are notoriously corrupt and promiscuous. Their descendants are even intermixed with non-Jews. However, they may be descendants of settlers who left the Tribe of Dan to settle in Israel, or they may be reincarnations from the Dan tribe. Either way, they were once faithful and protected their nation, and in return, they became idolatrous and ungrateful.
The Tribe of Dan was originally part of a loose confederation of Israelite tribes and had no central government. Instead, the Dan portion was led by ad hoc leaders known as Judges. Later, these tribes came together and formed a centralized kingdom with Saul as its first king. It was in this period that their history ended. The Bible mentions that they were a part of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Asher is one of the less-known tribes of Israel. Its history is unclear, but it may have been geographically disconnected from the other tribes of Israel. Although they lived in Phoenicia, Asher did not seem to have a continuous territory. Instead, it appears to have been a scattered group of settlements. This is consistent with the biblical record. In Joshua 17:7, the tribe of Asher is mentioned, but its territory is unclear. It is unclear whether this tribe of Israel lived in the area where today’s Lebanon is.
The descendants of Asher were able to become priests. This means they were able to serve as kings and high priests. In Jewish thought, olive oil represents wisdom. Thus, the Asher tribe exemplifies a people with high spiritual and religious values. This tribe was a part of the Israelites and is known for being peaceful. However, they could not overthrow the Canaanites, and Deborah was upset about it.
The Asher tribe of Israel constituted certain clans associated with different areas of the country. However, as a whole, Asher did not become an official part of Israel. In other words, it remained outside the body politic. This tribe was primarily isolated from the rest of the people. But it has strong Jewish roots and was part of the ancient nation. Its descendants were the first peoples to settle in the Promised Land, which is a sign of their faith in God.
The majority of the Jewish people descended from the tribe of Naphtali. The Naphtali was once a loose confederation of tribes. Before the Israelites had a central government, their leaders were ad hoc, and the judges, or “judges led them.” However, in response to the growing threat from the Philistines, the tribe of Israel united and formed a solid centralized monarchy, with Saul as its first king.
The tribe of Naphtali was also the conflicting primary tribe with Israel. According to the Bible, Naphtali fought against the Israelites. Still, their chief warrior, Barak, was called by God to lead the army against the Canaanite oppressors. Barak’s response was one of fear, but he decided to join the battle against King Jabin’s army. Deborah, a musicologist, and prophet, had prophesied that if Barak won the battle, she would be given the honor of the victory. This prophecy was fulfilled in Judges 4:17-22.
While this is an intriguing question, it is worth considering the Biblical account. The Bible states that the tribe of Naphtali had the sixth-largest number of fighting men of all the other Israelites. Interestingly, the tribe of Naphtali lost many of its men in the desert wandering. Ultimately, the Israelites conquered the Canaanite lands.