There were twelve tribes at the base of the Mount of Horeb the day Yahuah, in an audible voice, gave them the ten commandments. Scripture says, “and he added no more”. He also gave Moses more detailed instructions, which the people agreed to in a marriage type of covenant with the Creator, Yahuah, who is represented by the four Hebrew letters Yod, Heh, Waw, Heh.
Exodus 24:4–8 (LEB): 4 And Moses wrote all the words of Yahweh, and he rose early in the morning, and he built an altar at the base of the mountain and set up twelve memorial stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men from the Israelites, and they offered burnt offerings, and they sacrificed sacrifices as fellowship offerings to Yahweh using bulls. 6 And Moses took half of the blood, and he put it in bowls, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 And he took the scroll of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people, and they said, “All that Yahweh has spoken we will do, and we will listen.” 8 And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and he said, “Look, the blood of the covenant that Yahweh has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
Moses read all the words he had written down which the Father gave him, along with the ten commandments given in an audible voice, and read them to the people; “and they said, ‘All that Yahweh has spoken we will do, and we will listen‘”. There were also non-Israelites among the tribes that came out of Egypt. This entire group of people entered into a marriage type covenant with the Creator.
Exodus 12:49 (LEB): 49 One law will be for the native and for the alien who is dwelling in your midst.”
Numbers 15:15–16 (LEB): 15 For the assembly, there will be one decree for you and for the alien who dwells among you; it is an eternal decree for all your generations. You as well as the alien will be before Yahweh. 16 There will be one law and one stipulation for you and for the alien dwelling among you.’ ”
It was much later in history that it became illegal for a Jew to interact with an alien. We see Peter witnessing the reset the Father did through the Messiah to return to the stipulations of the original covenant. This was the refreshing spoken about by Isaiah and again by Peter in Acts chapter three. The verses that most people in Christianity use to justify eating unclean animals were actually talking about people. God was doing something miraculous and Christians use it to justify eating a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.
Acts 10:25–29 (LEB): 25 So it happened that when Peter entered, Cornelius met him, fell at his feet, and worshiped him. 26 But Peter helped him up, saying, “Get up! I myself am also a man!” 27 And as he conversed with him, he went in and found many people gathered. 28 And he said to them, “You know that it is forbidden for a Jewish man to associate with or to approach a foreigner. And to me God has shown that I should call no man common or unclean. 29 Therefore—and without raising any objection—I came when I was sent for. So I ask for what reason you sent for me.”
What is the “fullness of the gentiles” spoken about by Paul? “Gentile” is simply a word that comes from Latin that means people from the nations. I do not claim to know what the “fullness of the gentiles” means, but I want to discuss this subject and look at some possibilities.
Romans 11:25–27 (LEB): 25 For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you will not be wise in your own sight, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and so all Israel will be saved, just as it is written, “The deliverer will come out of Zion; he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 And this is the covenant from me with them when I take away their sins.”
Judah and Benjamin were the only tribes represented by the time of the first century. There were some Levites as well. This statement is not supported by everyone because there are different views about the identity of the Jews when discussing the twelve tribes. Today, it is common for people to believe that there are Jews and non-Jews or “gentiles”. This is true in a sense because it is how the world has been shaped politically. The “Jews” are the people from the nation state of Israel in the Middle East, or who practice the religion of Judaism. This is our geopolitical reality today. In this sense, the “fullness of the gentiles” may mean anyone who is not a “Jew”, becoming a Jew inwardly as Paul describes in Romans. Romans 2:29 (LEB): 29 But the Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter, whose praise is not from people but from God. There is; however, more to discuss.
There were twelve tribes that entered the covenant at Mount Horeb, not two or three. Where are the people representing the tribes of Asher, Ruben, Simeon, Issachar, Gad, Dan, Joseph, Zebulon, and Naphtali? Some will claim all these tribes make up the people called “Jews” today, or they were all represented on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter two. I disagree with these arguments because there is so much scripture to lead us in other directions.
Deuteronomy 4:25–31 (LEB): 25 “When you have had children and grandchildren and you have grown old in the land and you act corruptly and you make a divine image of the form of anything and you do evil in the eyes of Yahweh your God, thus provoking him to anger, 26 I call to witness against you today the heaven and the earth, that you will perish soon and completely from the land that you are crossing the Jordan into it to take possession of it; you will not live long on it, but you will be completely destroyed. 27 And Yahweh will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations to where Yahweh will lead you. 28 And you will there serve gods made by human hands, of wood and stone, gods that cannot see and cannot hear and cannot eat and cannot smell. 29 But from there you shall seek Yahweh your God and will find him, if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 In your distress when all these things have found you in the latter days, then you will return to Yahweh your God, and you will listen to his voice. 31 For Yahweh your God is a compassionate God; he will not abandon you, and he will not destroy you, and he will not forget the covenant of your ancestors that he swore to them.
During the reign of king Solomon, God took part of the kingdom away from Solomon because he had turned to idolatry to please his hundreds of foreign wives. Solomon retained the southern kingdom of Judah which mostly contained the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi. The other tribes were in the northern kingdom which as a whole, is referred to the house of Israel, Ephraim or Joseph. Sometimes we see all the tribes of Israel referred to as the house of Jacob. It is important to know that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.
Genesis 32:26–28 (LEB): 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for dawn is breaking.” But he answered, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 Then he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 And he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.”
Genesis 35:10 (LEB): 10 And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob. Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” Then his name was called Israel.
It may not be clear why Jacob’s name was changed to “Israel” while reading these words in English. The Hebrew word spelled Shin, Resh, Heh is the verb meaning to struggle. “El” means “God”. The “Yod” in Hebrew represented by the “I” in English is a prefix meaning “He”. This is where we get “he struggled with God”. Israel means “he struggled with God”. Looking at it prophetically, it does not have to be just past tense because in Hebrew, this is in the imperfect tense, meaning it is an action that has not been completed. These are just thoughts I have based on my limited knowledge of the language.
The northern kingdom completely forsook the Creator and the covenant made on Mount Horeb after the kingdom was divided. They went after strange gods and were eventually conquered by Assyria in 722 BCE. They were taken away and scattered to the four corners of the earth. They never came back to be a people again, assimilating into other nations. This prophecy was given by Moses much earlier.
Deuteronomy 32:16–21 (LEB): 16 They made him jealous with strange gods; with detestable things they provoked him. 17 They sacrificed to the demons, not God, to gods whom they had not known, new gods who came from recent times; their ancestors had not known them. 18 The rock who bore you, you neglected, and you forgot God, the one giving you birth. 19 Then Yahweh saw, and he spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters. 20 So he said, ‘I will hide my face from them; I will see what will be their end, for they are a generation of perversity, children in whom there is no faithfulness. 21 They annoyed me with what is not a god; they provoked me with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those not a people, with a foolish nation I will provoke them.
Who is this foolish nation by whom Yahuah is going to provoke Israel? When it says Israel, are we talking about simply “the Jews” that exist today, who are technically the only identifiable remnant of Israel that currently exists? By the dispersion that happened to Israel, scattering them into the nations for thousands of years, is it possible that the entire world has been seeded and the gentiles are now the house of Israel by default? A remnant of the southern kingdom, Judah, was able to return to the land and this is recorded in the book of Ezra.
Ezra 1:2–7 (LEB): 2 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: Yahweh, the God of the heavens, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. And he himself has appointed me to build a house for him in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever among you who is from all of his people, may his God be with him and may he go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and may he build the house of Yahweh, the God of Israel. He is the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And let every survivor, from wherever he resides be assisted by the men of that place with silver and gold, with possessions and domestic animals, and with the freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.” 5 So the heads of the families for Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites—to all whose spirit God had stirred—prepared to go up and build the house of Yahweh which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all of their neighbors helped them with objects of silver, gold, possessions, domestic animals, and with valuable gifts—besides all of the freewill offering. 7 And Cyrus the king brought out the objects of the house of Yahweh that Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods.
“So the heads of the families for Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites—to all whose spirit God had stirred—prepared to go up and build the house of Yahweh which is in Jerusalem.” Here we are told the three tribes that went back to Jerusalem to rebuild. There is no mention of the other tribes because they were not involved. They had assimilated into Assyria hundreds of years earlier. Also, not everyone returned to Jerusalem from Babylon. All of these Israelites lost their identity, but we get some information concerning all the tribes in the book of Hosea.
Hosea 1:10–11 (LEB): 10 The number of the children of Israel will be like the sand of the sea that cannot be measured or counted; and in the place where it is said to them, “You are not my people,” it will be said to them, “Children of the living God.” 11 Then the children of Judah and Israel will be gathered together, and they will appoint for themselves one head; and they will take possession of the land, for great is the day of Jezreel.
Jezreel has a meaning of “place”, but just as “Israel” means “he struggled with God” Jazreel seems to have more meaning than simply “place”. The root of Jazreel is “zera” and it means seed and offspring. Learning some basics in Hebrew and looking at these words in lexicons and software, such as Logos, can give us so much more insight than settling for what one translator gives us. Perhaps Jazreel does mean “place”, but the context is more conducive to it referring to seed and offspring.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul quotes the verses preceding these found in Hosea. I do not see a point in history where Judah and Israel came together as one people having one leader to date.
Romans 9:25–26 (LEB): 25 As he also says in Hosea, “I will call those who were not my people, ‘My people,’ and those who were not loved, ‘Loved.’ 26 And it will be in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’ ”
There are places all through scripture that discuss an event that has not happened concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. There has not been a house of Israel since it was captured in 722 BCE. The event where they are officially reunited with one leader will be a great time.
Isaiah 11:11–13 (LEB): 11 And this shall happen on that day: The Lord will again extend his hand a second time to acquire the remnant of his people that is left,from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the coastlands of the sea, 12 and he will raise a signal for the nations. And he will gather the outcasts of Israel, and he will gather the scattered ones of Judah together from the four corners of the earth. 13 And the jealousy of Ephraim shall depart, and the enemies of Judah shall be cut off. Ephraim shall not be jealous of Judah, and Judah shall not be an enemy of Ephraim.
Yeshua made it possible for people who were formerly “cut off”, due to sin, to repent and return to the covenant. Does the fullness of the gentiles refer to the time when this stops happening? As the world turns against God’s ways more than ever before could we see the fullness of the gentiles in our lifetime? In an earlier blog post, Understanding the Law of Christ (link here), I shared an article where a church was having a “drag me to church” event. At this event, a drag queen was entertaining the congregation of this church. We see churches everywhere spiraling into complete apostasy and disregard for God’s ways. What started out as some idolatry and rebellion to God’s commandments has turned into possibly being the full number of the gentiles coming in. Perhaps this is the “foolish nation” that God is provoking others with to return to the commandments? Traditionally being “provoked by a foolish nation” was supposedly the “church” being so holy and prosperous they would provoke the “Jews” to want to accept Jesus and be saved. That narrative is falling off of the edge of the cliff when we see “drag me to church” events, not to mention the years of antisemitism the “church” practiced. I certainly have been provoked by the “church” to return to the bedrock of the Creator’s instructions for living a blessed life.
I believe once the “fullness of the gentiles” event happens we will see the resurrection and coming of the Messiah Yeshua. He will unite all of Israel. My theory currently is that by dispersing the twelve tribes into the world, the entire world was seeded, thus extending the promise of the covenant to the entire world. Yeshua made a way to reconcile people previously cut off by sin to come back into the eternal covenant. This is how the world was blessed by the seed of Abraham. Those who will repent and covenant with (confess) Yeshua will be part of this number. There will be those from Judah and Israel.
Revelation 22:12–15 (LEB): 12 “Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to repay each one according to what his deeds are! 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are the ones who wash their robes, so that their authority will be over the tree of life and they may enter into the city through the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral people and the murderers and the idolaters and everyone who loves and who practices falsehood.
While many in the church are looking for a so-called secret rapture of the church, I am watching the church degrade to a point of no return with their prideful disregard of the commandments of God and His eternal covenant. I am waiting for Yeshua to return and physically establish His kingdom on earth.
Featured photo was provided by Emma Vail Photography.
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