Is mankind descended from the 12 tribes of Israel?
by Marsella Harrison
(Washington Courthouse, Ohio, US)
We Gentiles are not biological descendants of Israel. We are all descendants of Adam and Eve. But speaking in today's terms of being, biologically related, no. We are related in one sense: Abraham was the Father of Faith and we are children of faith.
The Israelites were to be a tribe of priests.
Prophet: One who relays God's word to man.
Priest: One who speaks to God on man's behalf.
King: One who is to rule man under God.
The Law was given. An unprofitable law to the salvation of man. The Old Testament are literal events brought forth from God to be recorded for the edification of man. And we are to learn of the law, realize through it God's idea of right and wrong and come to the realization of how imperfect we are, and that through no acts of our own can we be saved.
These ceremonies of Israelites could not provide salvation. Could not cleanse and purify a man and make him acceptable to God. But through faith and belief, righteousness was imputed upon man in place of such, and one was pardoned temporarily till the death of Christ who was the true lamb and sacrifice for all men to come after him, but also those before him.
The New Testament teaches a new way and introduces to us the church and the fact that salvation was not only for the first chosen (Hebrews), but also for the Gentiles. The Ten Commandments were not washed away. But two were added. Love thy neighbor and love God with all thy might, etc.
Actually if we loved as we should in obedience, we keep all the laws. For how then could we lie on another, steal from them, commit adultery, covet, murder, and so on. So to keep the law of love is to keep all the commandments as a whole.
But there are the Israelites of Old and Church of the New. They are the vine. We are grafted in. They were first, we are last.
And The 12 tribes were descendants of Jacob. They were not to mess with other peoples, to enter-marry. When they did they were to be excommunicated. Any Israelite line diluted to a great degree is no longer Israelite by law anyway. Samaritans are good examples of this. They were mixed Jews and considered to be dogs by the Jews.
They are a people and a special people. And with the penalties they are paying for prior sins they committed why would one want to insist their related? The things our Israelite brethren suffer and have suffered so long is heart wrenching.
But if you read the book of Hebrews you find that priesthood had problems. And it was an unprofitable one. And another had to come forth. A new order, new law, new way. Jesus is the head and high priest of the new. The laws have been changed (not done away with). He is the head and the church the body or new order under him. And a profitable one at that. There is a lot more to priesthood in that book but we are keeping it very slight right here. I'm speaking of Melchisedec who was not born and shall never die and so on . He was the spiritual/spirit head over the first and Jesus over the second Heb 7. And to replace the first there was of necessity a new law, new head/High priest.
Two individual orders.
If we were Israelites we'd be suffering the same penalties as they and be under the first law. Law and priesthood of bondage. For through it, once you sinned the penalty was death. Eternal death. But through the new order, new way, under the new head there is mercy and grace. And grace is unmerited favor. And through these we are saved.
Three peoples are represented in Noah's three sons and came forth from those three: Shem= Israelites and priesthood from which Jesus would come forth from.
Japheth = Gentiles and/or overcomers = secondary order or secondary priesthood (I John 5:4; Rev 3:22). I like the comparison between Gen 3:22 and Rev 3:22.
Ham-Canaan = All the rest, or non-overcomers. Those who reject the Father and the Son. And in the case of the two priest hoods, that which is last is greater than the first.