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Return and/or Convert  (to make a comment, use the form below)

How will the northern kingdom (the lost ten tribes) return from exile?

From its inception Israel has been an open society. In that, if you, as a non-Israelite, wanted to become part of the nation of Israel, you could do so. It has been this way from the time Israel left the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:48)

This process, although uncomplicated, was not to be taken lightly. There were many restrictions and requirements that, as a non-Israelite, you were not subject to. Circumcision was required for all males. Both male and female would, in addition, go into a ritual bath as part of this process. But these physical acts happened only after it was determined that the individual was truly sincere in their desire to become an Israelite.

It has long been the practice of the southern kingdom (Judah) to discourage a Gentile from “converting”; and rightly so. After all, the Gentile does not become a better person by virtue of the amount of laws he needs to obey. He is perfectly fine to remain an uncircumcised “righteous gentile” observing the seven Noahide laws.

A Jew, however, cannot decide to become a “righteous gentile”. This situation is in some ways very similar to being a member of the northern kingdom (the lost ten tribes). Although it may be hard for someone not in this position to understand, we do not have a choice in who we are, even though we have no proof of our identity.

The process of becoming a member of the spiritual nation of Israel has not changed throughout history. Unfortunately the word “conversion” is more associated with abandonment and betrayal than it is with joy and return. Yet, if members of the northern kingdom (or lost ten tribes) are to return at any time in the future, they must certainly go through this process of education ending with circumcision and the ritual bath.

If indeed the northern kingdom is in the process of returning, the exact details of all that will be involved will soon unfold before us. However, the only method of return will be the process that has been practiced for thousands of years.


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