Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tribal Identity of Israelites

Maintaining Tribal Identity

Q. My question is, during the time of Jesus Ministry, was there tribal identity? If yes, is that the reason Luke and Matthew were able to accurately write the genealogy of Jesus in the gospels? Did the Jews have some remnant of the other 10 tribes of Israel in their midst during the ministry of Jesus?

Also, how do the present day people of Israel tell to which tribe they belong to? Can the tribal identity be found out through some of the latest Bio-technologies using DNA samples of a Jewish person? And how does God separate the twelve tribes apart in Rev 7:4-8 before the Great Tribulation begins? Will He be the first to separate the tribes of present day Israel through His omniscience and allow them to enter the Millennium once again by their tribal identity?

A. All I can tell you from the Bible is that portions of all the 10 northern tribes moved into Judah after Solomon died. (2 Chron. 11:16). From this I assume that some of their descendants also returned from Babylon. Joseph and Mary knew they were of the tribe of Judah, John the Baptist and Matthew knew they were Levites, and Paul knew he was of the Tribe of Benjamin, so there must have been some tribal identity in New Testament times. Jewish people have told me that their last names help them maintain tribal identity today. Also, I believe a genetic marker has been discovered identifying the descendants of the Kohanim so the Jews can prepare priests for Temple service again. Obviously from Rev. 7 we know that God can determine the tribal identities. This is about all I know for sure. But I believe that God has always preserved a remnant from all the 12 tribes.

Do Jews Know Their Tribal Origins?

Q. Thank you for your ministry. I suppose the 144,000 will somehow know their tribal ancestry. Perhaps, you’ve already dealt with this subject and I haven’t located it yet. Thank you.

A. I don’t know if they do but they could. Some could easily do so by their names. Levitt, Cohen and other Jewish names provide obvious clues. In addition there are inexpensive computer programs that can help any one trace their ancestry.

But the real answer to your question is that God knows exactly where everyone of us came from, and when the time comes He can call the 144,000 to action whether they know their tribal origins or not.


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