It all started with a man named Abraham
We Read in Genesis 12 How YHWH Called Abraham:
12:1 Now YHWH had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
12:2 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:
12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
12:4 So Abram departed, as YHWH had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
12:5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
12:6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
12:7 And YHWH appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto YHWH, who appeared unto him.
12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto YHWH, and called upon the name of YHWH.
12:9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
13:14 And YHWH said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
13:15 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
13:16 And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
13:17 Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee..."
Abraham Had a Son who He Called Isaac:
17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, YHWH appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am El-Shaddai; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and YHWH talked with him, saying,
17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a Mighty One to thee, and to thy seed after thee.
17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their Mighty One.
17:19 And YHWH said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
17:21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
17:22 And he left off talking with him, and YHWH went up from Abraham.
21:1 And YHWH visited Sarah as he had said, and YHWH did unto Sarah as he had spoken.
21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which YHWH had spoken to him.
21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.
Isaac Had a Son Jacob Who Became the Father of 12 Sons
25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padan-aram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
25:21 And Isaac intreated YHWH for his wife, because she was barren: and YHWH was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of YHWH.
25:23 And YHWH said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.
25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.
25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.
28:1 And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
28:2 Arise, go to Padan-aram, to the house of Bethuel thy mother's father; and take thee a wife from thence of the daughters of Laban thy mother's brother.
28:3 And El-Shaddai bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
28:4 And give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee; that thou mayest inherit the land wherein thou art a stranger, which YHWH gave unto Abraham.
28:10 And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran.
28:11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of YHWH ascending and descending on it.
28:13 And, behold, YHWH stood above it, and said, I am YHWH the Mighty One of Abraham thy father, and the Might One of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely YHWH is in this place; and I knew it not."
Jacob begat 12 sons, and from those twelve came the twelve tribes. So here we have the beginning of we know as the 12 tribes of Yisrayl.
As we have read, the history of Yisrayl began with the account of Abraham, then Isaac and Jacob. From Jacob , the 12 tribes of Yisrayl descended. Without going into a lot more history at this point, one of Jacob’s sons, Joseph is sold into Egypt where he is later made ruler over all the land. The book of Exodus tells his story in chapters 37-50. The book of Exodus begins with a new king over Egypt who did not know Joseph, and the children of Yisrayl (Jacob) who were now greatly multiplied were put into slavery as Exodus chapter 1 records. There they were slaves for a period of 400 years. After that, YHWH raised up a man named Moses to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt and bring them into the land which He first promised to Abraham.
The children of Yisrayl were delivered out of Egypt, but ended up wandering 40 years in the desert because they did not believe and obey YHWH. After Moses, one called Joshua arose as his successor, and the Children of Yisrayl began to occupy the land of Canaan.
Saul was Yisrayl's first king and ruled from 1033 - 1011 BC. Among Saul's warriors was the son of Jesse, the Shepherd David who was from Bethlehem.
David became the second king of Yisrayl, and his first military act, was to capture the Jebusite city of Jerusalem, and declare it his new capital. From Jerusalem, David increased in strength and his reign lasted 40 years. After David, his son Solomon, Yisrayl's third king came to the throne, and reigned from 971-930BC. Solomon was known for his wisdom and much wealth. His most famous project was the building of a temple in which the ark of YHWH was housed….Solomon's Temple (also known as the First Temple) was, according to the Torah, the first Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.
Sad to say, even though Solomon had a good beginning, it says in I Kings 11: 1-3 "But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which YHWH said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave to these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with YHWH his Mighty One, as was the heart of David his father.
These brought foreign and cultural influences to Jerusalem and acts of disloyalty to YHWH which resulted in the division of the kingdom after Solomon's death.
As we read briefly on our Home Page, after the death of King Solomon in 931 BC, Yisrayl split into TWO KINGDOMS. The northern ten tribes maintained the name “House of Yisrayl”, and the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin, along with part of Levi - became known as “the House of Judah (or Yehudah ) and its people known as Yehudim. 2 Kings 16:5-6.
Rehoboam was king over Judah in the South, and Jereboam became king over Yisrayl in the North.
Even though Yisrayl was scattered, YHWH promised to re gather His people:
Ezekiel 34:5-6 "And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them."
34:11-16 "For thus saith the Sovereign YHWH; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Yisrayl by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Yisrayl shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Yisrayl. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Sovereign YHWH. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick"
Jeremiah 23:2-4 "Therefore thus saith YHWH Mighty One of Yisrayl, against the pastors that feed my people; You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith YHWH. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith YHWH."
Jeremiah 50:4-6 "In those days, and in that time, saith YHWH, the children of Yisrayl shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek YHWH their Mighty One. They will ask the way to Zion with their faces thither ward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to YHWH in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.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."
Isaiah 43:1-6 But now thus saith YHWH that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Yisrayl, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am YHWH thy Mighty One, the Holy One of Yisrayl, thy Savior: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth."