Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Native Americans and belief in lost tribes of Israel by American Jews

I’m not sure when I first heard of the Lost Tribes of Israel, it was years ago and never part of my faith tradition,  but I think it was in connection with the Mormons.

This article at Jewish Learning traces the belief that Native Americans were descended from the Jews dispersed in the 8th century BC by the Assyrians to a 17th century Dutch Rabbi, Manasseh ben Israel who wrote The Hope of Israel (1650).  The article doesn’t mention Mormons, but speculates what this belief did for both Christians and Jews.

“The Lost Tribe theory had significant symbolic stakes — for Jews, Christians and Native Americans. Linking America and its earliest inhabitants with the Bible and its theology, meant staking a claim on America–and championing God’s plan for the New World.”
Here’s a copy of the 1650 text in English.

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