“In those days and in that time, the children of Israel shall come, they and the
children of Judah together.” Jeremiah 50:4
After you read the Old Testament, it’s very clear the nation of Israel has had a historically difficult time. It’s probably one of the most hotly contested pieces of land on earth. Though the Jewish people had periods of oneness, most of the time, the nation was divided into two kingdoms—Judah and Israel.
These two kingdoms didn’t divide just land; it also divided hearts and, eventually, culture. And, evidence of the division continues to this day.
Before you study any Bible maps or atlases, it’s important to understand how the nation we call Israel was split, how it affected Jesus’ ministry, and what God’s plans are for His people. Knowing this simple geography helps us to understand the Bible better and make it come alive.
Two Kingdoms and Kings
The nation of Israel began with the patriarch Jacob, son of Isaac, and twin to Esau. God changed his name to Israel, which means “one who struggles with God” in Genesis 32:28 after Jacob wrestled with an angel. Jacob eventually had twelve sons who later became the twelve tribes of Israel, most predominantly Judah and Benjamin.
For hundreds of years, Israel was a unified nation under King Saul, Israel’s first king. After his death, however, certain Israelites followed David while others preferred Saul’s son, Ishbosheth.
The people’s divided ideologies split the country in two. Eventually, David became the king of Judah, also known as Judea. It became the southern kingdom containing Jerusalem as its capital and the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
Ishbosheth remained king of Israel, although now a smaller version of itself. This half of the country became the northern kingdom containing its capital Samaria and the other ten tribes. Ishbosheth reigned for seven years until David conquered him and reunited the nation (2 Samuel 5:5).
Israel reunited and prospered for many years under David and his son, Solomon. But after Solomon’s death in 930 BC, his son, Rehoboam, threatened to raise taxes on the northern tribes despite the northerner’s efforts to keep the peace. And so, the country split again.
So, Rehoboam became king of Judah with the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and one of Solomon’s servants named Jeroboam was chosen by God to lead Israel and the other ten tribes (2 Kings 11 and 12).
The Jewish-Roman Wars
Both nations fought each other in the coming years, and sometimes they fought as allies. But, eventually, both kingdoms came to an end. The Assyrian Empire conquered the northern kingdom in 722 BC, and the southern kingdom was taken captive by the Babylonian Empire in 587 BC.
Seventy years later, the Israelites were liberated from the Babylonians and sent back home. However, evidence of cultural and tribal differences between the northern and southern kingdoms persisted. But bigger troubles lay ahead.
In 63 BC, the Israelites were conquered again, this time by the Romans.
As the Roman army invaded Israel, ten of the original twelve tribes scattered and became the first diaspora. The scattering essentially dissolved the northern kingdom and left only Judah, the southern kingdom, to be conquered.
Several years later (66-73 AD), the First Jewish-Roman War (also known as the Great Revolt) broke out. Roman general Titus destroyed Jerusalem and laid siege to the Masada fortress, causing its last defenders to commit suicide rather than be taken captive. The crushing defeat scattered the Israelites again. Others were sold into slavery.
In 115-117 AD, the Second Jewish-Roman War (also called the Kitos War) broke out. The Romans slaughtered the Israelites in huge numbers, which caused even more of the Jewish people to scatter.
The Bar-Kokha Revolt
A fourth diaspora occurred after the Third Jewish-Roman War in 132-136 AD. The revolt (commonly called the Bar Kokhba Revolt) began after the Roman emperor Hadrian decided to build a new city called Aelia Capitonlina on top of the ruins of Jerusalem and dedicate a new temple to the god Jupiter on the Jews’ holiest site, the Temple Mount.
The Jewish people were successful in repelling the Romans this time, and they again enjoyed autonomous rule, but only for a short time. Three years later, the Romans attacked again, killing the Jews by the thousands and again scattering the people. The kingdom of Judah was officially destroyed.
Empire after empire continued to invade God’s holy land for thousands of years. Israel remained under Roman rule until Arabia invaded in the 12th century. The northern kingdom then became known as Palestine. Later in 1917, the Ottoman Empire renamed it as “Southern Syria” after they too conquered the area.
Sadly, Israel would not be its own nation again until 1947-1948 when the United Nations officially recognized its existence.
Despite the Roman occupation, there was always a remnant of Jews who remained in the northern kingdom area. And by the time Jesus began His ministry in the first century, the North vs. South idea was still simmering.
Jesus often encountered a sort of discrimination that plagued the country because of the two-kingdom mentality. A great example of it was His encounter with the woman at the well in John 4:4-42. The discrimination was so strong it was unheard of for a southern man to have anything to do with a northerner, especially a northern (Samaritan) woman.
Jesus later made the divisiveness the basis for the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37).
We might speculate that Jesus might also have been discriminated against simply because He grew up in Nazareth, which was technically in the northern kingdom though more on the border of the two kingdoms. The Pharisees had an obvious disdain for Him even before they considered Him a threat. Even the people initially rejected Him (John 1:46) and His band of ragtag disciples. Though whether it was regional discrimination, we don’t know. But it’s possible.
Despite it all, Jesus continually aimed toward reuniting Israel and turning the hearts of its people back to God. His message of love and faithfulness, of loving thy neighbor as God loves us, was always at the forefront of His mind, and it won over the people both northerners and southerners.
Later, the apostle Paul also addressed Israel’s divided nature when he said he is both a Jew (Acts 21:39) and an Israelite (Philippians 3:5), highlighting the fact that he was loyal to the entire nation and not just one kingdom.
As an important side note, though He grew up in the northern kingdom of Israel, Jesus is still referred to as the Lion of Judah. He received the title because He was born in Bethlehem in the southern kingdom of Judah. Jesus also being God had His temple in Jerusalem as well, which is also in Judah. Therefore, the title is rightfully His.
The Bible tells us God has plans to reunite His people and the nation of Israel.
“In those days and in that time, says the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, with continual weeping they shall come and seek the LORD their God.” Jeremiah 50:4
“Say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD GOD: Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they will be one in My hand.’” Ezekiel 37:19-20
But these prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. We know this because of what God promised Abraham in the book of Genesis.
“For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.” Genesis 32:12
Considering the current percentage of Jewish people in the world compared to the world’s overall population of 7.8 billion, Abraham’s descendants are not yet without number.
We also read in Genesis 48:17-20 where Jacob placed his right hand of blessing on his grandson, Ephraim, and his left hand on Manasseh. Both Ephraim and Manesseh were Joseph’s sons, but Manesseh was the first-born, not Ephraim. So, Jacob should have put his right hand on Manesseh, but he didn’t. Joseph was quick to correct his father, but Jacob (Israel) meant what he did.
“But his father refused and said, ‘I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great, but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” Genesis 48:19
Jacob prophesied that Ephraim would become a multitude of nations. Though Ephraim did eventually become the national designation of the ten northern tribes, neither it nor its descendants have yet become a multitude of nations.
Gathering His Children
The current nation of Israel is still largely made up of the original southern kingdom of Judah, while the tribes of the northern kingdom remain scattered. But we know God promises to gather His children (Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27) and reunite the two kingdoms one day.
Unfortunately, the day of that reunion has not yet come. And it may not come at all until Jesus returns to claim His kingdom fully and restore His people to Himself.
But we’ll know when the day comes because the Israelites will once again proudly proclaim, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord (Matthew 23:39).”
Hello, would you mind sharing the source of your information? Also, I think it would be great if you could cite your source.
We use a wide variety of reputable resources, most importantly the Bible itself. Most of the information comes directly from God’s word. But if you’re looking to do your own research, two great sources are the Jewish Virtual Library and “The Complete Works of Flavius Josephus.” Thanks for stopping by.
At least we know that the people over in Israel right now are liars.
Actually, that’s not true. Many of them are coming to Christ and realizing the truth about the true Messiah. Yes, there are still many more who remain blind, but eyes are beginning to open.
I felt so happy that they will be both united soon, Judah and Israel but can you tell what part is Palestine in this kingdom? I am really confused in this division of land. I want to know because I need to understand why they are fighting, Israel and Palestine. Thank you and I will wait for the response. God bless
The state of Israel was established officially in 1948, fulfilling prophecy. Judah no longer exists. Palestine is a narrow strip of land situated along the Mediterranean Sea. One reason Palestine and Israel are fighting is because both claim Jerusalem as their capitol. After Israel was established and in subsequent years, the Palestinians were forced to relinquish whatever historical land they once claimed. While it seems Palestine is content to keep the land they have, they still want Jerusalem even though the city sits squarely in Israeli territory. The Palestinians, a Muslim nation, wants control of the Dome of the Rock, a mosque which was built on top of Herod’s Temple, also called the Temple Mount, which the Romans destroyed in 70 A.D. The Jews want to retain control of the Temple Mount. The country of Jordan has agreed to be a peaceful administrator of the temple/mosque, but skirmishes continue. The fighting that is occurring right now is a proxy war the Iranians are trying to start through Hamas, a terrorist organization that controls Palestine and the Gaza Strip. If Iran/Hamas can provoke Israel into attacking them, then they can declare outright war. Their goal is both control of Jerusalem and the eradication of Israel. I hope this helps you understand the issue. It’s very disturbing, but as the Bible tells us, these things must happen before Jesus returns for us in the rapture.
Excellent summation – thank you!
You’re very welcome. Thanks for stopping by.
Prophecy has not been fulfilled
Revelation 2:9 says those who claim they are jews and are not are the synagogue of Satan. Arthur Koestler already told the truth in his book the 13th tribe. I’m sure you won’t post this, but that’s ok.
No, it hasn’t. But it will. All of it will.
Praise God of Abraham
God of Isaac
God of Jacob..
I can use your help
I Understand that there is a lot of error pertaining to humans/Man Kind However from reading the Bible it all will come to a end This i know to be true that I must be established in Love. The problem Is Hate and are Weapons are not Carnal I fought Hate And that hate made me sick The Weapons of are Warfare are Spiritual And we worship God In Spirit and Truth the Father,Son,Holy Spirit Wants to Abibe in the hearts and Minds Of All Man Kind The Mystery which was always his plan that All accepts Our Lord and Savior Jesus,Jahushua,Messiah, and all will confess and Bow ♂️ But until then we Love are neighbors And walk in Love The Holy Shepherd was kind to me And I was drown By The Grace He Loves His Chosen People And I Love Them and Pray that they Repent and Believe in The Lamb of God That The Church Be Complete.Peace and Love Find you in The Mighty Name The Name Above All Names
I wish this allowed me to print. I really wanted to share your content with my women’s Bible study.
Sorry, Kelli. There have been some instances of plagiarism, so I found it necessary to make sure my content could not be printed off the web. I hope your friends will still come and visit me here.
I believe Abraham’s descendants have become a multitude of nations. His lineage leads to Jesus and all who embrace the same faith have been grafted into the same family tree, thus making his descendants a multitude of nations.
I agree. Plus, we all came from Abraham. We are all descendants of Abraham.
I take back what I wrote. I couldn’t delete. But, I was thinking about it, after I posted. The Jewish people come from only Issac and his lineage, therefore, it doesn’t seem that the multitude has happened yet.
Is it not true that the current nation of Israel is inhabited by Ashkenazi Jews from the Caucasus mountains ? That they came to Israel at the request of lord Rothschild thus the Balfour declaration?
It is true. The real Jews are nowhere near Israel. The real Jews have been scattered but are now being gathered back unto our Messiah because the truth is finally coming out about the Chosen Children of God. You must repent and be baptized and accept who the Real Israel is worship him as The Most High as we do
The Jews are being regathered in Israel now in unbelief in preparation for judgment (the tribulation/Time of Jacobs Trouble) The true regathering in belief will take place after the Tribulation when Israel calls on the name of the Lord Jesus and says, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”.
Study to show thyself approved, the real Jews are so called African Americans-they are the true Jews of the Manuscript and no one can change that-over centuries they have lost knowledge of whom they are-they are often called by-words-believe it are not-they are Yahushua jewels-CHOSEN PEOPLE.
Please show scriptural proof of what you are talking about.
I believe through this chapter you may get connection regarding your question and you may understand why JESUS in REVELATION chapter 2:9 and REVELATION chapter 3:9 why he call those who called themselves that are JEWS.
Thank You for these scriptures. They are very helpful
I agree, I have found many black Jews in Africa. Some are proven to be the seed of Jacob.
Read your article and the whole thing is misinterpreted and lies about the “fake jews” according to Revelation 2:9. They that say they are jews but are of the synagogue of satan. You all are in for a big awakening. Get ready…satan has fooled the whole world,, from the Messiah real name to the fake jews/ true Israelites
We invite you to be open minded to the truth of God’s word. We also pray you find that truth. All of us have turned away from God at some time or another, even certain Jews and certainly many others. We are all sinners. All of us. We have all fallen short of God’s perfection, and we will continue to do so (which is why we all need Jesus). It does not make anyone “fake.” Instead, the fact that some have fallen away from God should break our hearts and move us to pray for them.
Salvation comes only through acknowledging Jesus is the Son of God, that He died on the cross in our place to pay the penalty of death we owe, and He rose again three days later to conquer death forever. Salvation can never come by good works or what some consider appropriate behavior. Salvation cannot be earned by human effort. It can only come through Jesus’ atoning work on the cross on our behalf. And that salvation should reflect in our daily lives, how we treat others (i.e. the fruit we show). Those who have drifted away from their salvation or are not showing their fruit as they ought for one reason or another should be kindly counseled, and we should keep praying diligently for them. Not falsely accuse them based on incomplete information. Such actions only divides people and the church and does nothing to promote the kingdom of God. It also shows such actions are not from God but rather from Satan who is constantly working to seek and destroy.
We encourage you to keep seeking truth and that you have an intimate experience with God and His great love. In the meantime, hate speech will not be tolerated here.
The summary is on point. but I would like to know about the current settlements of the scattered Jews. Wherever they are, are they still living antagonistically as divided people if they live in the same neighbourhood? How about the origin of Palestinians and how did they find their way into Gaza and the West Bank?
I cannot speak to how neighbors behave. I would assume they’ve learned to get along, though I believe the orthodox sect of Jews tend to live separately from other Jews. As for the Palestinians, they are descendants of Esau. After Esau and Jacob had their falling out, Esau moved south and married an Egyptian woman and began a healthy career in trading. Eventually, his descendants developed trade routes leading up to Gaza because it was the largest port on the Mediterranean Sea at the time. It became a highly traveled route for many years, and the Palestinians defended their claimed land relentlessly, which we still see today. Hope that helps. Thanks for stopping by, and God bless.
is the God of the Jews the same God Christianity believes? Our pastor said it is not as we believe in the trinity and they do not?
What?! With complete respect, either your pastor is a false teacher or you are misunderstanding. We all serve the same God. He is the Creator, Almighty God, Everlasting Father. Yes, Jews and Christians serve the same God. Perhaps what your pastor is trying to say is that Jews only recognize the Father whereas Christians recognize God as 3-in-one–Father, Son, Holy Spirit. It is unfortunate the Jews do not realize Jesus is the promised Messiah they’ve been waiting for thousands of years. Yet, we know He is (praise the Lord!). Regardless, He is the same God. Deuteronomy 6:4 tells us that God is “one,” where the Hebrew word for “one” used here means “unity” and not “singleness,” indicating that God is a triune God. We can also see evidence of it Genesis 1:26 when He refers to Himself as “we.” These verses are important because they are not only in the Christian Old Testament but also in the Jewish Torah. We all serve the same God. The Jews just don’t recognize or refuse to acknowledge that God is triune. It is very heartbreaking, I think. It is why we need to pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters. Because unless and until they see God this way–until they accept the truth that Jesus is God’s son–Jesus will not return for His church. I hope that answers your question. Thank you for commenting. God bless.
Query: Are you blaming the failure of Jews to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Messiah as the impediment to His return to Earth?
It’s not for me to place blame. It is not for me to judge. But Jesus Himself said He would not return until the Jews acknowledge Him as the promised Messiah (see Matthew 23:39). Until they do, we will not see the Lord’s return.
This is actually true,d end is finally in our midst.Jesus talks abt it in Matt 24:3-44
An eye openner really. Thanks. May I know if the two groups believe in the same Jesus Christ or they are still holding onto the OT Messiah who is still to come.
Unfortunately, they do not. Many are still waiting for the Messiah to come.
You say you don’t think the time to be anywhere near. But what about the generation of the fig? isn’t it in 1948. So how do we determine how long the generation is? does he give us the formula in the end of Daniel?
Most people believe it was in 1948 when Israel was recognized as an official nation. But you’re right, Daniel gives us the answer when he prophesies about end times. You’ll find it in Daniel 9:25-27 when he talks about the 70 groups of 7 weeks. In verse 25, the anointed prince is Jesus. Verse 26 refers to His death, the destruction of the second temple in 70 AD, and the subsequent trouble the Isrealites would have. There is prophetic stop to the clock at this point. Verse 27 refers to the final “week” of seven years which will occur when the anti-Christ creates a covenant of peace for 7 years. He will make this peace deal before he desecrates the third temple (which is not built yet). It’s at this point the tribulatoin period will begin. I hope that answers your question.
I enjoyed the lesson above and need more.
It was an eye opener. I now want to know how this history relates to current events.
Everything happening today is setting up for Christ’s return. More Jews are moving back to Israel, we’re seeing more instances of natural disasters, the Sanhedrin has come back to life and is trying to perform animal sacrifices at the temple in Jerusalem, there are more people calling for the rebuilding of the temple, and we’re encountering more and more false teachers. Jesus said all these things would happen before His return. Though I don’t believe His return is any day now, if we pay attention, we can see the signs of things beginning. What’s most important, though, is that we are ready when He comes.
who are Sanhedrin?
It was a council of 70 elders and a High Priest that governed Jewish morality according to the Torah. They were called the Great Sanhedrin. Smaller groups of 23 elders throughout Israel were the local Lesser Sanhedrin. Here is a great summary from the Blue Letter Bible. blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_1313.cfm
It is known that the Jewish people occupying Isreal are NOT the TRUE Jews. They are Khazarians. THE true HEBREWS were sent to America on slave ships. Read Deuteronomy 28. It describes the TRUE Hebrews.
It is known that the Jewish people occupying Isreal are NOT the TRUE Jews. They are Khazarians. THE true HEBREWS were sent to America on slave ships. Read Deuteronomy 28. It describes the TRUE Hebrews.
It is known that the Jewish people occupying Isreal are NOT the TRUE Jews. They are Khazarians. THE true HEBREWS were sent to on slave ships and scattered around the world. Read Deuteronomy 28. It describes the TRUE Hebrews.
For the most part, well done.
But to be more accurate the Northern Kingdom is scattered during the Assyrian Captivity that began in 722 BC. The Northern Kingdom was comprised of the Tribes that followed King Jeroboam, while Judah, Benjamin, and the Levite’s (Charged with care of the Temple in Jerusalem) remained loyal to Rehoboam. From 722, I see no biblical reference these tribes ever returned to the fertile crescent.
587 BC Is marked as the beginning of the fall of the southern Kingdom (Judah, Benjamin, and the Levite’s). After captivity some of the Jewish people did not choose to leave Babylon, but elected to remain, establish a significant stream of Judaism that continues unto today.
In 70 AD. Rome Conquered Judah and destroyed the Temple and the Jewish Remnant has been scattered throughout the world.
I appreciate your insights. I’ll take another look. It’s important to have accurate information, and I always enjoying learning. Thank you for your comments. God bless.