You are here:

Bible Studies/assyrian captivity of the jews


hello and thank you for taking my question - I would like to know whats going on with the so called "Ten Lost Tribes." It says in kings that Israel was captured by assyria and dispersed while assyrians were put in their place in the land. But by the time we get to the book of Ezra we have the Israelites returning to the land to work on the temple - so are the tribes lost and dispersed or not, I dont understand. THank you.

Hello Peter.

Thank you for your question - which has mead me really delve into Jewish history in a way that I had never done before!

After the death of Solomon, the United Monarch was divided into the Northern Kingdom, under the rebellious Jeroboam, and the Southern Kingdom under Rehoboam.  It is the Northern Kingdom that is generally accepted as having consisted of the Ten Tribes.  We learn, from II Kings 15:19 that Tiglath-Peleser, king of Assyria, demanded tribute from the Northern Kingdom, and most of the area was under Assyrian control.

It was Tiglath-Peleser's son, Shalmneser, who was responsible for the exile of the people of the Northern Kingdom (II Kings 17:3ff) in about 722 BC.  We are even provided with the names of the areas in which these people were settled (v.6) although to identify them, accurately, in modern terms is, to say the least, difficult!

Now we jump forward in history to about 586 BC, when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple and took the people of the Southern Kingdom into exile (II Chronicles 36).  The final verses of that chapter lead straight into the following book of Ezra (cf v.23 with Ezra 1:2-3).

So, I believe that the answer to your problem is that we are dealing with two different groups of people!  It was not the people of the Northern Kingdom who returned to rebuild the Temple, but the exiles from the Southern Kingdom!

As to what eventually happened to the people of the Northern Kingdom - the Ten Lost Tribes - speculation is rife!  For what it is worth, I do not subscribe to those theories that have them as the ancestors of either the British, or the native American, people.  However, the Lord knows and, as He has promised that Israel shall be gathered together again, then I have no hesitation in stating that that will happen - in His perfect time!

I do hope that the above is of some assistance to you.

Blessings, and shalom.

Bible Studies

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Rev C.Brian Ross


I am happy to offer answers to anyone with a question that refers to the Christian Faith in its widest possible sense. I believe that the Bible is the living Word of God, and seek to base all of my life on its teaching. I also have some knowledge of some of the cults, and of Islam and Judaism. Of course, my answers are just one man's thoughts, and I would always advise a questioner to check with others, and with the Word of God.


Served as a full-time parish minister in Scotland for about six years, and then spent the last thirty as a teacher (now 'retired') of Religious Education in Secondary Comprehensive schools (ages 11-17) while continuing my own preaching and teaching ministry. I have spent three years as a voluntary Chaplain with Strathclyde Police Force. I also believe that learning is a life-time process, and have recently completed a Master's degree in Divinity. I now spend most of my time in France, ministering mainly to English-speaking groups.

Former Presenter on Revival FM - a local Christian, community radio station, broadcasting in west central Scotland, and online at Involved with a number of organisations that support Christians who are currently suffering persecution in some 70 countries around the world. Until the formation of the new Police Scotland Force, I was a Chaplain with Strathclyde Police Force, deployed within 'Q' and 'N' Divisions, and also responsible for the Force Training and Recruitment Centre.

Various articles in Christian magazines. I also maintain a blog - My first book, Great Words of the Faith, is available as a Kindle e-book at My second book, Foundations of the Faith, is available as a Kindle e-book at*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Diploma of The Bible Training Institute, Glasgow; Licentiate in Theology of the University of Glasgow; Associateship of The Philosophical Society of England; Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons) in History from The Open University; Post-grad Certificate of Education - Religious Education and History; Post-grad Certificate in Learning and Teaching; Post-grad Diploma in Management and Learning in Education; Master of Science Degree from the University of Strathclyde; Master of Divinity Degree (with Distinction) from Trinity College and Seminary (accredited by the University of Liverpool)

©2016 All rights reserved.