Recently, I have been reviewing books that I have read in the past and I find that the treatment by many scholars of the exile of Judah correctly defined the details while leaving the readers confused. I feel that this is an important issue because many look to the Jews of Palestine to fulfill the prophecies concerning Judah. The most important point of confusion is the expected union with Israel when Christ returns and His angels gather His people from the ends of the earth into His kingdom to rule with Him for a thousand years. It seems to me rather unlikely that a people who have denied Christ, the King of the Kingdom, for two thousand years will be given such a reprieve when Jesus said that many that call Him Lord will be told, “Depart from me, you that do iniquity; I never knew you.”
A further complication concerning Judah, is that the tribe’s entire history does not occur in Scripture. Let me touch on the basics. Judah had three sons by a Canaanitish woman, Er, Onan and Shelah. Er was married to Tamar, a Hebrew girl, and the Lord took him for iniquity. Tamar was then given to Onan in marriage, according to the law, but the same result occurred. Judah was reluctant to give her to Shelah so she deceived Judah into thinking she was a harlot and conceived twins, Pharez and Zarah, by Judah.
the 200,150 men of Judah and Benjamin were united with the ten tribes and migrated westward with their brothers.
You will recall from the Bible story that the midwife tied a scarlet thread to Zarah’s hand before it was withdrawn and Pharez was born. His name means “a breach”. So, undoubtedly there was conflict over who should be the oldest of the twins, since “the scepter would not depart from Judah until Shiloh comes whose right it is.” At that time, Pharez was deemed to be the older which led to Jesse, David, Solomon and Christ.
The breach had a secondary reaction. The Tribe of Zarah left Egypt before the exodus under Moses, branching into two groups under Zarah’s two sons, Calcol and Darda. Calcol led his group to Ireland where he established the line of Irish kings. Darda took his group into Asia Minor naming the Dardanelles and founding Troy. The Greeks, actually the Tribe of Dan, defeated the Trojans and the remnant was led into Britain under their King Brute (or Brutus). The name Brute became Brit and the people became known as Britons. So we have one half of the Tribe of Judah settled in Ireland and Britain. But that is not all!
After the Kingdom of Solomon was divided into two parts under his son Rehoboam, Sennacherib of Assyria launched his campaign of conquest. First he conquered Gad, Reuben and the half tribe of Manasseh, deporting them to the land of the Medes. Then, he attacked Samaria and likewise deported them. Phase three was to attack all the fenced cities of Judah, which included the Tribe of Benjamin, where he was again successful, deporting 200,150 men. Women and children would augment this number by at least five times.
Phase four was to defeat Jerusalem but it never happened. God had other plans! The angel of the Lord in the night destroyed Sennacherib’s army and he returned to Assyria where his sons murdered him. God had to protect a remnant of His people to receive the Lord Jesus Christ at the First Advent. The attacks continued until Nebuchadnezzar defeated and destroyed Jerusalem. They were then deported to Babylon for seventy years, until Darius decreed that they could return home and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. About 50,000 Jews returned and their families are listed in Scripture. It was this returning remnant that became known as Jews.
So, the 200,150 men of Judah and Benjamin were united with the ten tribes and migrated westward with their brothers. Those of the tribe of Judah were known as Jutes and made their way through Jutland to Britain where the Zarah tribe had migrated. Now, I am sure you all know the story of the union of Tea Tephi with the Irish (Zarah) king under the guidance of Jeremiah. This brought the royal line of Pharez and Zarah into union and fulfilled the promise to David that he would never want a man to sit on the throne of the Lord.
I hope that this article reinforces the understanding that a major part of the Tribe of Judah, 200,150 men migrated westward with the ten tribes, and Benjamin did so also! So, although all our writers insist on speaking of the migration of the ten tribes, it was in fact all twelve tribes except those who opted to stay in Babylon and the 50,000 who returned to rebuild Jerusalem.
We all know the prophecy of the two sticks, one marked for Israel and one marked for Judah. The Lord used that means, through the prophet, to tell of the reunion that would/did occur in due course in the British Isles. The union is history! It’s the union of Jacob. Its reality is shown in the flag, the Union Jack!
That is the reason that James’ epistle begins with the greeting, ”James, a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.”