The Hidden People
The Christian focus in the world today is on the Jewish people, who are traced to the two tribes of the biblical House of Judah; but the greater promises were to be inherited by the ten-tribe House of Israel -- although they were to become "hidden ones" in the world.
In Psalm 83, verses 2 to 4, we read of Israel, "...thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance." (King James Version) This passage specifically concerns Israel, who were prophesied to become "hidden ones." Yet this important prophecy definitely doesn't apply to the Jews, for they have never been a hidden people.
Mainstream Christianity apparently realizes this, for you will find no preaching on the subject of "the Jews a hidden people." Yet the Bible teaches this about Israel! With millions of books in print, you might think that every subject in Scripture has been analyzed in great detail by now. Well, you may be surprised to learn that among all of the millions of religious books written throughout time, apparently only a couple of Christian books have carried the title, "the hidden people." One of these was a book on the subject of Catholic-Jewish relations, and the other on women in the church!
So although Christians may be unaware of this fact, it is the ten-tribe House of Israel who are the hidden people of the Bible and history. We can turn to the prophet Isaiah, who also confirmed in the 8th century, B.C. that Israel was to become a hidden people. This "hiding" was actually a losing of their identity, and is linked to the events following the Assyrian conquest and captivity of YEHOVAH's people: "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation [YEHOVAH's punishment of Israel beginning with the Assyrian captivity] be overpast... He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit." (Isa. 26:20; 27:6)
The lack of understanding concerning Israel becoming lost and "hidden" in the World has caused many modern translators to mistranslate Psalm 83:3 quoted above, eliminating the term, "hidden ones," and replacing it with a variety of other phrases, such as "protected ones" (Revised Standard Version), "treasure" (New English Bible), or substituting the rather vague term "people" (New International Version). Not understanding that Israel had become lost and "hidden" in the world, they deliberately avoid the plain meaning of the Hebrew text! This is verified in The Interlinear Hebrew-Aramaic Old Testament (iii: 1467) by Jay P. Green, Jr., which shows that the Hebrew word in question is "tsaphan" and that it means "hidden ones." This Hebrew word is also defined in Strong's Concordance (Strongs #6845) as "a primary root, to hide (by covering over)."
The House of Israel is typified in Scripture as a vine (Isa. 5:7), and YEHOVAH God shows us in the Scriptures that Israel would be like a plant or root hidden underground until their time of punishment was fulfilled, after which they would burst forth from the earth and fill the world with the fruit of righteousness.
Even while Israel became hidden, lost and unknown in the world, they would still be receiving the unconditional Abrahamic promises of physical and spiritual blessings and an increase in numbers. These promises are enumerated in a number of passages of Scripture, beginning with Genesis chapter 12.
In Genesis 12:2, Abraham receives covenanted promises from YEHOVAH God to be fulfilled in his descendants: "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing." The Hebrew words translated "great nation" are "goy gadol." Abraham's descendants were to become the goy gadol of history! It is interesting and no doubt significant that the term, goy, has historically been applied to the so-called Caucasian peoples of the world, who, as their name indicates, trace their origin to the tribes of unknown or hidden origin who suddenly appeared in the Caucasus Mountain region of the Mideast gateway to Europe in the early pre-Christian centuries. Historians today refer to their ancestors by the name of Scythians. Interestingly, the prophet Jeremiah refers in chapter 6, verse 22 of his prophecy to a mysterious people found in the region of the Caucasus that most scholars identify as Scythians, the ancestors of modern Europe: "Thus saith the LORD, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth." The Hebrew words used here are "goy gadol. " YEHOVAH God prophesied that this exact designation, which Jeremiah used for the Caucasian Scythians, would be applied to Abraham's descendants!
We know that the biblical kingdom known as the House of Israel was conquered by Assyria in several invasions between 745 and 676 B.C. and exiled out of Palestine. Where did they go from there? The Prophet Jeremiah declared, "My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place." (Jer. 50:6) Israel became lost to history, becoming a hidden people who forgot their homeland.
The Prophet Amos stated, "And Israel will certainly go into exile, away from their native land." (7:17, NIV) Where would this exile lead them? Amos says, "You will be cast out toward Harmon." (4:3, NIV) Respected Professor Dr. Cunningham Geike, in his Hours With The Bible (IV:202 note) says that the name of this land should be translated, "Armenia." Israel thus migrated northward to Armenia in the time of Amos, on the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, at the gateway to Europe!
The word, "Scythian," simply means, "tent dwellers." Israel was exiled to the region of the southern Caucasus, the very place where such tent-dwelling tribesmen far from their homeland lost their individual tribal identities and became known to other nations as "Scythians." It is easy to see how Israel could receive this designation during their exile.
The House of Israel, divorced and cast off by YEHOVAH God for their sins, became a lost and hidden people in the world. Yet they were to become more numerous than the House of Judah, for Isaiah says, "...for more are the children of the desolate [House of Israel divorced and exiled by YEHOVAH God] than the children of the married wife [House of Judah, who were not divorced], saith the LORD. Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the [nations], and make the desolate cities to be inhabited." (Isa. 54:1-2)
The prophet Isaiah foretold concerning the House of Israel, "But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the [nations], and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves." (Isa. 61:6) This priesthood prophecy to Israel was confirmed in the New Testament by the Apostle Peter: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people [i.e., were lost and hidden in the world], but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy." (1 Pet. 2:9) It is clear that in the New Covenant, Israel was to become a royal priesthood of believers radiating the light of the Messiah.
It is surprising that although historians admit that the Scythians migrated through the Caucasus into Europe to found modern nations, they do not see that these people were lost Israel -- despite the fact that YEHOVAH's people became hidden to history at the same time-period in which the Scythians suddenly appeared in history. The Israelites were also tent-dwelling nomads during their exile, identical to the Scythians.
Despite their lost condition, and hidden in the world, the tribes of the House of Israel can be located by their identifying marks. May YEHOVAH God bless your understanding concerning his hidden people!
-- Jory Steven Brooks
Hope of Israel
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.