17.2. Alternative Theories

There are many different theories and people groups which have been identified with the “lost tribes.”

Various theories, one more farfetched than the other, have been adduced, on the flimsiest of evidence, to identify different peoples with the ten lost tribes. There is hardly a people, from the Japanese to the British, and from the Red Indians to the Afghans, who have not been suggested, and hardly a place, among them Africa, India, China, Persia, Kurdistan, Caucasia, the U.S., and Great Britain.1

Peoples who at various times were said to be descendants of the lost tribes include the Nestorians, the Mormons, the Afghans, the Falashas of Ethiopia, the American Indians, and the Japanese. Among the numerous immigrants to the State of Israel since its establishment in 1948 were a few who likewise claimed to be remnants of the Ten Lost Tribes.2

Before looking at why the myth fails to measure up to Scripture, it is instructive to look at some of the theories connected with the so-called “lost tribes.” Providing the reader with an awareness of these theories and groups which promote them fits with our stated policy of inoculation.


1 Louis Isaac Rabinowitz, “Ten Lost Tribes,” in Geoffrey Wigoder, ed., Encyclopedia Judaica CDROM Edition Version 1.0 (Keter Publishing House, Ltd., 1997), s.v. “Ten Lost Tribes.”

2 Britannica CD 99 Multimedia Edition, s.v. “Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.”