"A Tribe", like "a nation", "a people", "a family", "a house", "a synagogue", "a church", is just another type of "Assembly". When an assembly is lost, it simply means that it is no longer an assembly. A lost assembly is not a physical entity wandering around out there waiting to be found. I think that the single error which has caused the greatest departure from the real story of scripture, is that people have interpreted singular words as if they were plural. For example; "The Chosen People" was not an assembly of chosen individuals, it was an "assembly of Individuals" which was chosen.
When you disperse an assembly, it is simply no longer an assembly, but individuals who are committed to resurrecting the lost assembly, are an "assembly-in-spirit". Covenant Israel ceased to exist when it's people became divided, but the unassembled individuals who are committed to Israel's resurrection from the dead, are "spiritual Israel".
Spiritual things only exist in hearts and minds.
People generally assume that the Children of Israel (north) were carried away to Assyria and subsequently were completely lost ... while the Judah tribe was carried away to Babylon.
Careful study of the Bible records doesn't indicate that at all. It indicates that a bunch of people in the region of Samaria were transplanted to another location, with others being brought in to replace them ... an exchange program, in other words. (Which is why the Samaritans were always hated ever-after and never accepted as being true Israelites.)
But the vast majority of Israelites in the north simply stayed right where they were and simply switched cultures to fit with the culture of their captor.
The same thing is true of the Babylon migration. Only a select group went to Babylon. Most of the Judeans stayed right where they were. (A bunch of them, later, moved to Egypt, along with Jeremiah).
So when people talk about the "lost tribes" they're likely talking about Palestinian Arabs.
Someone help me here. Weren't there twelve lost tribes? Twelve lost tribes; Hmmmm! Jesus was twelve when he decided to undergo Transfiguration; twelve Apostles "found" under Christ (mind) at the Last Supper symbology.
The following is what I'm thinking at this point in my spiritual evolution. As I've posted before, I don't have a background in science, and not doubt will use wrong words in wrong places, but hopefully what I'm fumbling around to say will come through. Is the following etched in granite in my thinking ? no, its just what I'm thinking now. I'm open to correction; to change my mind.
1) the interaction of the positive-negative, spirit-matter aspects of planet Earth created response; very dim response, but response nonetheless.
2) eons pass, spirit-matter-response have evolved to become sentiency.
3) Spirit-matter-Sentiency, following millions of years of evolution, becomes instinct.
4) Spirit-matter-instinct evolve to finally flash forth as mind; that which the Creator Aspect in Genesis created from Earth stuff. Earth stuff tainted with a residue of the above impacts.
Now that mind is created (the serpent symbol) mind begins to evolve in quality. In the Bible, this begins withGenesis 3:22). As is at times depicted by the violence in the Old Testament, instinct "dies daily" as it is replaced by the ever strengthening human mind.
The dualistic, at first illusory mind, symbolically depicted by Adam and Eve, has evolved to become Joseph and Mary...human mind.
Mary, as the ancient allegory goes, gives birth to Jesus, a symbol for human mind capable to evolve, appears, is born. Jesus mind lives with its parents (remains inits human mind quality). It (symbolically) lives with its parent Mary and Joseph, the dualistic human mind until the human mind which Jesus represents reaches that point of its highest quality possible.
Included (and here is where my lack of a science background wii show through) we might say, in the genetic 'spiritual make-up of Jesus mind are all of the twelve characteristics inherited from the response period mentioned above to the appearence of mind in animal man. These twelve hindrances to Christ mind have to be transfigured...transmuted into the twelve apostles (characteristics). The frequency of matter has been raised to that of pure electricity. Judas, the symbol for human mind embodying the past eons is kissed goodbye.
So the twelve year old Jesus, human mind at its highest, along with the twelve characteristics "lost" in the wilderness of spiritual DNA, have to be brought out into the radiance of the "Light of the World" purified, sanctified, and made meet for the Master's use. What Master? Christ mind. The Transfiguration process is the purifying process.
Once purified, human, Jesus mind, no longer exists. It has been replaced by Mind quality free of all hindrances to at-one-ment with Source.. The twelve apostles under the control of the Christ at the Last Supper are, I believe, the twelve tribes (called "Guna's in the Orient) are the twelve qualities which are found in mind that has become Christed.
I offer the possibility that the twelve lost tribes equate to the twelve stage of evolution during which mind was forming. After all, how likely is it that even one, never mind twelve, tribes became lost in their home area?
Joseph (his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim)
That's 14 but Joseph himself wasn't counted because he stayed in Egypt as King (I guess?) .... but his two sons took his place.
Reuben, the oldest son, had slept with his father's wife and so he was disenfranchised. Because Reuben was the oldest, he was alloted -by "God's law,"... a DOUBLE portion or twice as much as any single one of the other brothers. Because he was disenfranchised though, HIS PORTION went to Joseph's 2 sons.
So that makes 13 actual individuals who received inheritance but the 2 sons of Joseph were treated as effectively, one. (God works in strange ways).
So the northern tribes who ostensibly broke away included everyone except Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim.
So, ok ..... that leaves 10 tribes for the north and 3 for the south, right? It's a bit fuzzy, but it almost seems like Benjamin replaced Manasseh in the twin deal.
The 10 northern tribes were conquered by the Assyrians and essentially merged into that culture. That left Judah, Benjamin and Ephraim to the south, in the southern Kingdom. The south was taken over by Babylon around 600 BC and ceased to exist for an alleged 70 years. Then it started up again. The resume became just "Judah" .... from which we get "Jews".
...which believes that the Danube River is named after the lost tribe of Dan, which travelled the river on it's way to Denmark, which is also named after the tribe of Dan. Remember, Hebrew had no vowels.