The Two Houses of Israel
The breach that divided the House of Israel and split the twelve tribes into two separate groups occurred about the year 931 B.C.
Probably one of the greatest allegories in scripture, one that defines the 2000-year schism between the Christians and Jews, and which illustrates the change of management over the religion of God, this event circulates around obedience to the House of David. (1 Kings 12:20-33).
It all began when David's grandson, and Solomon's son, Rehoboam, took over the leadership of the Hebrew nation after Solomon died.
An opposition leader named Jeroboamwho had tried to stir up political dissidence among the twelve tribes during Solomon's time, and who operated from a base of exile in Egypt, returned to Israel when Solomon died. He convinced ten of Israel's tribes to reject Solomon's son as their king, and to follow him, instead. Under his guidance the ten tribes set up an opposing temple outside the Law at Bethel (just north of Jerusalem) and another at Dan in the northernmost part of the land of Israel (see map). There they proclaimed that it was golden calfs that had brought the people out of the captivity of Egypt, not the God of the House of David.
The resulting schism irrevocably fractured the House of Israel in Palestine. It also severely weakened the military defense of the land. Invaders soon came in and decimated the divided forces. The ten northern tribes were marched away into a captivity that obliterated their genetic visibility forever. Assyrian immigrants took their place in the lands they had previously occupied.
Soon, the southern part fell under conquering hands as well. They were taken to Babylon for about seventy years, after which time a group of refugees were allowed to return and rebuild the ruins of Jerusalem.
The returning refugees, still loyal to the House of David, proclaimed themselves the chosen race of God, and reconstructed in Jerualem a temple for His worship.
The northern tribes were never seen again. But the prophets insisted they would be found in a mysterious future happening and return, ultimately to be reunited with Judah where the two would form a single people once again.
The story of the division of Israel into two houses is an allegory of the Christians and the Jews. It must be remembered that Jerusalem is not the key to the allegory. It is loyalty to the House of David that is the central issue in its message and the key to its understanding (1 Kings 12:16-19). King Solomon and his son Rehoboam were direct descendants of King David. The dissident ruler was a complete outsider with no royal lineage to David at all. On this fact the entire allegory swings.
"I have made a covenant with my Chosen, I have given my servant David my sworn word: I have founded your dynasty to last forever, I have built you a throne to outlast all time. I shall make him my first-born, the Most High for kings on earth." (Ps.89:3-4, 27).
Jesus came as the King sent by God, the prophesied Son of David. His was the royal lineage that encompassed not only David and Melchizadek, but spread all the way to heaven where it included the Godhead itself: The Trinity.
The House of Israel was given the choice to follow Jesus, the king God had sent them, or to choose, instead, the dissident servant whose associates had beaten and killed the prophets and, who himself, set out to destroy the heir Himself. 'This is the heir, if we kill him, the inheritance will be ours'.
"Seeing the son, the tenants of the vineyard said to each other, 'This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance.' So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants? They answered, 'He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him when the season arrives'. Jesus said to them, 'Have you never read in the scriptures: It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone...I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.' (Mt.21:38-43).
The schism that produced dissident temples at Bethel and Dan is exactly what happened at Jamnia where the Jews in their rejection of the idea that God had sent Jesus, tried to set up an alternative Hebrew religious system outside of Christ.
The events defined at Jamnia are precisely what the allegory of the great Israelite schism was placed in scripture to show us. The Jeroboam decision divided the House of Israel into two parts -- into two spiritual houses -- and that is exactly what the Jews repeated in their rejection of Jesus, codifying that rejection into law at Jamnia.
On both occasions a large group of Hebrew dissidents bolted from God's will and implemented a system for worship that was not authorized by Him. Solomon's son had legal authority over the twelve tribes of Israel because he was born into the House of David (David was Solomon's father). This formed the template.
Jesus had absolute authority over that same house because He Himself was the true son of David which all these prophecies pointed to. The allegory of the schism, remember, (1 Kings 12:20-33) hinges entirely on loyalty to the House of David.
The dissident pretender that hypnotized the tribes to rebel against the House of David, set up golden calfs as altars and informed the people that these were the gods that had rescued them from Egypt. The people believed the rebel, just as many people believe today that the rituals of the Old Testament are the gods that separated the waters, not Jesus or the God that He proclaims is their true Father.
As king of the Jews, Jesus, the divine David, was taken prisoner to Babylon and the whole House of Israel had to go there with Him.
The dissenters who tried to set up a rebel religion in opposition to this trek to the North had all their dissadent temples and houses of worship torn down. They were overrun by military forces far superior to their own and taken off in captivity to foreign lands where they have languished bitterly in exile for almost 2000 years.
The two houses of Israel will not be reunited until the very end of time. Then, during the most chaotic moments the earth has ever witnessed, with the entire globe in ashes and the skies choked black as ink with an acid smoke arising from the cinders of the burning, a small group of refugees of both houses will meet and embrace in Jerusalem in common agreement in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
At that moment the trumpet will sound and all of heaven will suddenly be exposed in brilliant light before the world's eyes, as all of its citizens are whisked into the air to stand before the Judgment throne of God.
1. 'The Clock of God', Chapter 25, 'God Speaks Greek to Israel'
2. History of the House of Israel
3. The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel
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