In yet another current event that has striking parallels to Bible prophecy, a group of Asian Jewish believers have immigrated to Israel recently. This group considers themselves to be descendants of the tribe of Manasseh and is known as “Bnei Menashe” (“my son Manasseh” or “son of Manasseh”). The tribe of Manasseh was exiled from Israel over 2,700 years ago and is thought to have eventually taken refuge in Asia. Recently, about 100 immigrants from Mizoram in northeast India arrived in Israel. Ethnically, they are part of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribes from Mizoram, Assam and Manipur in Northeastern India, on the border with Myanmar Burma. The immigrants from the tribe of “Bnei Menashe” happily clutched their newly issued blue Israeli Identification cards as they spoke of a 2,000 year old dream finally coming to fruition. Expressing his joy, Leon, one of the immigrants, told Israel’s YNet News, “It’s a commandment for every Jew to live in Israel, so I’m fulfilling my duty.” Another immigrant, Shlomit tearfully said, “I tried to get here for so long … now we’re finally here. It’s so wonderful.”
Efforts to Reach the Lost Tribes
Currently in Israel, there are more than three thousand members of the tribe of Manasseh who have returned over the years. This year they will be joined by another 700. After a long hiatus, Israel has renewed the “Bnei Menashe” operation to bring in the descendants of the tribe of Manasseh. Rabbi Michael Freund, CEO of Shavei Israel Organization (Shavei Israel means Returners of Israel) said, “This is the first wave of the 700, who with God’s help, we intend to bring in.” Freund added “7,000 Bnei Menashe were left behind, in India. In the coming years, we will bring all of them because this is their rightful place.” Shavei Israel is an organization that reaches out to, and assists, members of the Lost Tribes who are seeking to return to the Jewish homeland. However, it is important to recognize that the concept and terminology of the “lost tribes” of Israel is somewhat of a misnomer. They may have been lost to men, but they were never been lost to God.
Relevant Bible Passages
The Bible clearly looks forward to a time when the whole house of Israel will be regathered from all the tribes that are scattered throughout the nations of the world. The book of Revelation even declares that in the time of Daniel’s 70th Week (the Tribulation), 12,000 Jews – 1,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel – will experience a conversion to Christ and be sealed (see Rev. 7). Likewise, the Old Testament definitely states that God will regather Israel, from even the four corners of the earth (Jeremiah 23:3; 31:7-8; 32:37; Isaiah 11:11-12, 16). Similarly, Ezekiel predicts a time when the nation of Israel will be regathered physically and spiritually (Ezekiel 37:1-28). Furthermore, Romans 11 teaches of God’s future work for the nation of Israel. As we see more and more Jews returning to Israel and embracing their heritage as God’s chosen people, we can only become more and more excited to think that the stage is being set for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.
PRAY: Pray for these Jewish members of the Tribe of Manasseh to settle into their new homes in Israel quickly. Pray also that through the efforts of the thousands of Messianic Jews that the truth of Jesus as their Messiah would be made known to them.