Chapter 8:

The Two Houses of Israel

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Have you ever wondered why the United States has a special relationship with Great Britain, and also with Israel? This is explained by the Two House Theory. This theory is so important that we will come back to it repeatedly through the balance of this book.

Genesis is prophetic. It establishes patterns that are repeated throughout Scripture. For example, when Adam and Havvah (Eve) disobeyed Yahweh, they fell from His favor (grace) and could no longer live in His land. This was the prophetic foreshadow.

Israel had twelve sons, who fathered the twelve tribes of Israel. We will soon see how the ten northern tribes disobeyed Yahweh’s Torah, and thereby fell from His favor, and (like Adam and Havvah) had to leave His land. Therefore, Yahweh sent the Assyrians to take the ten northern tribes out of His land, and scatter them in what is today called Syria and Iraq. This was one prophetic fulfillment of the prophetic foreshadow.

The two southern tribes (Judah and Benjamin) were more obedient to the Torah, so Yahweh left them in the land at the time of the Assyrian invasions. Over time, these two remaining tribes came to be called simply the Jews. In the first century the Jews fell from Yahweh’s favor because they rejected Yeshua as the Messiah. That is why Yahweh could no longer allow them to live in the land, and He had the Romans exile them. This was another fulfillment.

The exiled ten northern tribes eventually forgot about Yahweh and the Torah, and they intermarried with the Assyrian people. When the Assyrian empire fell, it was conquered by several nations from all different directions. The conquerors to the north and west of the old Assyrian Empire, however, showed classic Israelite behaviors and characteristics, and began to be more successful militarily. They were also more prosperous, and they showed greater technological innovation. (This can only be explained in spiritual terms. We will see later how these are all blessings that Yahweh promises to His people.)

In turn, when the empires that conquered Assyria broke up, the pattern repeated itself. The empires to the north and west developed stronger economies. They had greater technological innovation, and had more military prowess. The ten northern tribes were migrating, so to speak, by an unseen spiritual process.

This invisible spiritual migration continued through the centuries, but when it reached northwestern Europe, there was no place left to go, so the migrations halted temporarily. Centuries later, northwestern Europe underwent the Protestant Reformation. Because the Protestants began seeking Yahweh’s face directly, and began reading Yahweh’s word themselves, Yahweh blessed the Protestant people, making them the richest, the most militarily successful, and the most technologically advanced people on earth.

Even while Yahweh was blessing the European Protestants, there was a spiritual split as Protestant separatists chose to migrate to the New World in order to escape persecution by the state-run churches of Europe. They wanted to worship Yahweh according to their understanding of Scripture (rather than as their state-run churches said to do). The United States is one of the nations where Yahweh’s faithful went to seek religious freedom in Him, and it would eventually become the richest, most militarily successful, and most technologically advanced nation on earth. This was a blessing that came from Yahweh.

Let us realize that the Two House Theory does not favor any one race over another. It merely shows how Yahweh historically used the European peoples to spread the Good News of His Son around the world. It does not suggest any ultimate genetic superiority. In fact, today the greatest rise in Protestantism is taking place in Asia, and in the southern hemisphere. Wherever people draw closer to Yahweh and His Son, and seek to follow His Spirit, Yahweh will send His blessings (individually or corporately).

We need to know that Scripture calls the lost ten tribes the house of Israel, or the house of Ephraim. If we understand that these terms are interchangeable, we can see some surprising things about the Messiah’s ministry.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 15:24
24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent [at this time] except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel [the lost ten tribes].”

The reason most Jews did not accept Yeshua at His first coming was simply that He was not sent for them at that time. Rather, He was sent to begin a long, multi-phase regathering process for the lost ten northern tribes of the house of Israel.

Yeshua established the Nazarene faith. However, as we saw earlier, the lawless Christian counterpart was also active in Yeshua’s day (and in the apostles’ time). This lawless Christian variation adopted sun-worship festivals, and then Roman Emperor Constantine mixed Mithraic rites and rituals with Christianity to form the Catholic (Universal) faith. Since the Catholic faith exalts the Roman emperors and popes above their brethren, the emperors and popes had an interest in spreading their substitute version of the Good News around the world—yet Yahweh even uses this for ultimate good.

We already saw that the Nazarene faith had difficulty spreading outside the land of Israel, because people were not familiar with the idea of the Torah being a marital covenant. It was much easier for the gentiles to accept the lawless Christian version of the Good News, than it was for them to accept the Torah-obedient Nazarene faith. The Christian variation was therefore able to spread the Good News of a Jewish Messiah around the world much faster than the Nazarene faith would have been able to do—if it would have been able to do it at all.

But, once the 1,260 years of oppression by the papacy were over and the Protestant Reformation took place, people began paying attention to Scripture, rather than the pope. Further, some of them began seeking a one-on-one relationship with the Spirit. Ironically, all of this study caused the body of Messiah to fragment; but as we will show later, Yahweh is calling a remnant of His people to come back to the original Nazarene Israelite faith, as they are led by His Spirit.

Yeshua tells us that while many are called, few are chosen.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 22:14
14 “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Scripture tells us that though the children of the house of Israel be as the sand of the sea (which can be neither numbered nor counted), only a remnant will return.

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 10:22
22 For though your people, O Israel, be as the sand of the sea, A remnant of them will return; The destruction decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

If we dig deeper, we see the roots of the two houses in Genesis. Israel’s eleventh child was named Joseph, and Joseph had two sons (Manasseh and Ephraim). Joseph’s father Israel said that Manasseh and Ephraim would be thought of as two separate tribes (indicating that Joseph would have a double portion inheritance).

B’reisheet (Genesis) 48:5
5 “And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.”

While the tribe of Joseph was taken away, Manasseh and Ephraim were added in their place, so instead of there being twelve tribes in Israel, now there were thirteen. However, Levi is not normally numbered among the tribes, as he was later dispersed among the tribes, to minister to them—so that brings the number back down to twelve.

When Joseph’s brothers were angered by his dreams, Judah suggested he be sold into slavery in Egypt.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 37:26-27
26 So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened.

When Joseph was in Egypt, he was thrown into prison for an adultery he did not commit. This foreshadowed how our Jewish brethren would accuse the Nazarenes of idolatry (i.e., spiritual adultery) for believing on Yeshua. The Nazarenes were forced to go out into the world (which is a type of spiritual Egypt). They then took the Good News to the house of Israel (which is also called the house of Joseph).

After spending time in prison, Joseph was called before Pharaoh for his ability to interpret dreams. Because he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams correctly, and gave wise advice, Joseph was seen as wise. He was appointed to rule over all the land of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. Joseph then used his power to help Pharaoh consolidate his hold on Egypt, and he was given Asenath, the daughter of the Egyptian high priest Poti-pherah, for a wife. She bore him two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Genesis 1 tells us that living things reproduce after their own kinds. Since this also applies to humans, we might expect Joseph’s children to be partly good Hebrews (because of Joseph), and partly spiritual pagans (because of Asenath’s father, Poti-pherah). This is in fact what we see. Protestant Christians in general behave as if they are part Hebrews and part pagans, blending numerous pagan sun worship rites, rituals, and festival days into their worship.

Manasseh’s name translates he will forget his toil and his father’s house. This is a prophetic picture of England, where the Industrial Revolution began. The Industrial Revolution helped the British people (and their colonies) to forget their toil. Sadly, they also forgot their Father’s house (the temple).

While both of Joseph’s sons were to become great, Joseph’s younger son Ephraim was to become the greater of the two.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 48:12-16
12 So Joseph brought them from beside his knees, and he bowed down with his face to the earth.
13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him.
14 Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 And he blessed Joseph, and said:
“Elohim, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the Elohim who has fed me all my life long to this day,
16 the Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the youths! Let my name be named upon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

Sometimes translators make errors. In verse 16, the phrase “grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth” is better translated as, “let them teem like a multitude of fishes in the midst of the earth.”

Genesis 48:16
16 “The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the youths! Let my name be named upon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them teem like a multitude of fishes in the midst of the earth.”
(16) הַמַּלְאָךְ הַגֹּאֵל אֹתִי מִכָּל רָע יְבָרֵךְ אֶת הַנְּעָרִים וְיִקָּרֵא בָהֶם שְׁמִי וְשֵׁם אֲבֹתַי אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק | וְיִדְגּוּ לָרֹב בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ

In Hebrew, this kind of hint is called a remez (רמז). It gives us a hint at some hidden meaning. What people have grown into a multitude in the midst of the earth, and have adopted the fish as their symbol? Why, the Christian people, of course.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 48:17-19
17 Now when Joseph saw that his father [Israel] laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.
18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
19 But his father [Israel] refused and said, “I know, my son [Joseph], I know. He [Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother [Ephraim] shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”

In verse 19, the phrase “multitude of nations” is melo ha-goyim (מְלֹא הַגּוֹיִם). This can also be translated as fullness or completeness of the nations.
Scholars have different interpretations about what the fullness/completeness of the nations is, but taken in context, it seems to suggest that the Ephraimite people would ultimately become a multitude of (Israelite) nations who are greater than their older brother (i.e., they are more numerous and more prosperous).

Originally settled by Protestant Christian refugees and separatists, America is richer and more populous than England. It is a “multitude of nations” in that it was first established as a union of independent states. Further, the United States is comprised of people from virtually every tribe and tongue and nation—therefore it serves as the fullness or the completeness of the nations.

In Scripture, names are always prophetic. Ephraim’s name means doubly fruitful and prodigious. When we look for a Protestant Christian nation that is greater than its older brother (England), is a multitude of nations, and is doubly fruitful and prodigiously blessed, the only logical candidate is Protestant Christian America. This is why we will often refer to America as the prophetic tribe of Ephraim.

However, Ephraim can also be translated like the dust, meaning extremely numerous (everywhere). This refers to the growing body of Christians all around the world who are returning to their heritage as Israelites. In fact, we will see that Yahweh has always planned for salvation (Yeshua) to be offered to every tribe, every family, every nation, and every clan, so that many could be saved in both the east and the west.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 8:11
11 “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Sometimes groups like the British Israelites and the Hebrew (Black) Israelites try to turn the Two House Theory into a racial thing. This is a mistake. Yahweh does not care what color or race we are, because Yahweh does not glory in our flesh. In fact, He does not care about our physical appearance at all—but rather, He only looks at our hearts.

Shemuel Aleph (1 Samuel) 16:7
7 But Yahweh said to Samuel, “Do not look at his [physical] appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For Yahweh does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart.”

The special relationship that exists between the US and England is a result of the brotherly sentiment that exists between Joseph’s two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Likewise, the relationship that exists between the US and Israel is the reflection of the brotherhood between the house of Joseph (Ephraim) and the house of Judah.

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