“5Fear not, for I am with you: I will bring your folk from the East, Will gather you out of the West; 6I will say to the North, “Give back!” And to the South, “Do not withhold! Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the end of the earth—” Isaiah 43/5-6 Tanakh JPS 1985.
1But now thus said the Lord—
Who created you, O Jacob,
Who formed you, O Israel:
Fear not, for I will redeem you;
I have singled you out by name,
You are Mine. Isaiah 43/1 Tanakh JPS 1985.
14Thus said the Lord,
Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
For your sake I send to Babylon;
I will bring down all [her] bars,
And the Chaldeans shall raise their voice in lamentation.
15I am your Holy One, the Lord,
Your King, the Creator of Israel. Isaiah 43/14-15 Tanakh JPS 1985.
19I am about to do something new;
Even now it shall come to pass,
Suddenly you shall perceive it:
I will make a road through the wilderness
And rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43/19 Tanakh JPS 1985.
25It is I, I who—for My own sake—
Wipe your transgressions away
And remember your sins no more. Isaiah 43/25 Tanakh JPS 1985.
26So the God of Israel roused the spirit of King Pul of Assyria—the spirit of King Tillegath-pilneser of Assyria—and he carried them away, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day. 1Chronicles 5/26 Tanakh JPS 1985.
“In the days of King Pecah of Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth- maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor—Gilead, Galilee, the entire region of Naphtali, and deported all the inhabitants to Assyria.” 2Kings 15/29 Tanakh JPS 1985.
“In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria captured Samaria. He deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, at the [River] Habor, at the River Gozen, and in the towns of Media.” 2Kings 17/6 Tanakh JPS 1985.
“The king of Assyria brought [people] from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the towns of Samaria in place of the Israelites; they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its towns. 2Kings 17/24-35 Tanakh JPS 1985.
21The king of Babylon had them struck down and put to death at Riblah, in the region of Hamath. Thus Judah was exiled from its land. 2 Kings 25/1 Tanakh JPS 1985.
23“Thus said King Cyrus of Persia: The Lord God of Heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and has charged me with building Him a House in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Any one of you of all His people, the Lord his God be with him and let him go up.” 2Chronicles 36/2 Tanakh JPS 1985.
2The first to settle in their towns, on their property, were Israelites, priests, Levites, and temple servants, 3while some of the Judahites and some of the Benjaminites and some of the Ephraimites and Manassehites settled in Jerusalem; 1 Chronicles Chapter 9/2-3 Tanakh JPS 1985.
“In its widest acceptation, Chaldea is the name of the whole of Babylonia, owing to the fact that the Chaldeans had given more than one king to the country. In the strict sense, however, their domain was the tract at the Northwest end of the Persian Gulf, which was often called by the Assyro-Babylonians mat Tamtim, “the Land of the Sea,” a province of unknown extent. When these tribes migrated into Babylonia is uncertain, as is also their original home; but as they are closely related to the Arameans, it is possible that their first settlements lay in the neighborhood of the Aramean states bordering on the Holy Land.” bibleatlas.org/chaldea.htm
When the city of Babylon rose up and took control of Mesopotamia from the Assyrians in 626 BC, the era of the New Babylonians, or Chaldeans, began. Led by their chief Nabopolassar, the Babylonians never again allowed the northern city-states of Mesopotamia have their independence. When Nabopolassar was succeeded by his son, Nebuchadnezzar II, he continued to ensure that the borders of Mesopotamia were safe from outside groups and even expanded the empire to include Phoenicians and Judah. Nebuchadnezzar II held captive the two succeeding kings of Judah, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, and scattered the people of Judah throughout the empire’s vast lands. With over ten thousand Jewish people from the upper class and crafts trades being removed, this marked the official beginning of the Jewish Exile.
Under the direction of Nebuchadnezzar II, the city of Babylon was rebuilt to become one of the most magnificent cities in the entire Middle East and Mediterranean region. There did, however, remain many cities that were still loyal to the Assyrians. The Babylonian empire was constantly challenged by internal threats. After only five successions, the Chaldeans fell when an Assyrian loyalist king, Nabonidus who angered many of the Babylonian priests by replacing the Assyrian moon-god, Sin, above the Babylonian’s main god, Marduk in 555 BC. The Chaldeans, sensing the internal threat, called on the Persian Cyrus the Conqueror to take over, thus ending the Semitic rule of Mesopotamia around 539 BC. Cyrus soon moved the center of the Middle Eastern world to his capital of Susa. The power would shift again when the Greeks took control of the land and again when the Romans defeated the Greeks. For over two hundred years, Babylon stood as the hub of the Middle East, only to fall to the new wave of power and the return of the Indo-Europeans.
From the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah these verses written by men who were eyewitnesses of the return of all of Israel as one man under the declaration of Cyrus of Persia the HaMoshiach who G-d anointed to clear the way for them to build the second Temple of G-d testify that all twelve tribes (and the tribe of the Levites) returned to the lands of Benjamin and Judah. The lands of Samaria (northern Kingdom of Ephraim also sometimes called Israel) were inhabited by imported gentiles:
1When the seventh month arrived—the Israelites being settled in their towns—the entire people assembled as one man in Jerusalem. Ezra Chapter 3/1 Tanakh 1985.
70The priests, the Levites and some of the people, and the singers, gatekeepers, and the temple servants took up residence in their towns and all Israel in their towns. Ezra Chapter 2/70 Tanakh JPS 1985.
47And in the time of Zerubbabel, and in the time of Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions of the singers and the gatekeepers, and made sacred contributions for the Levites, and the Levites made sacred contributions for the Aaronites. Nehemiah Chapter 12/47 Tanakh JPS 1985.
17I censured the nobles of Judah, saying to them, “What evil thing is this that you are doing, profaning the sabbath day! 18This is just what your ancestors did, and for it God brought all this misfortune on this city; and now you give cause for further wrath against Israel by profaning the sabbath!” Nehemiah Chapter 13/17-18 Tanakh JPS 1985.
59The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer—they were unable to tell whether their father’s house and descent were Israelite: Ezra Chapter 2/59 Tanakh JPS 1985.
7Some of the Israelites, the priests and Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants set out for Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes, 8arriving in Jerusalem in the fifth month in the seventh year of the king. Ezra Chapter 7/7-8 Tanakh JPS 1985.
25and I weighed out to them the silver, the gold, and the vessels, the contribution to the House of our God which the king, his counselors and officers, and all Israel who were present had made. Ezra Chapter 8/25 Tanakh JPS 1985.
29Guard them diligently until such time as you weigh them out in the presence of the officers of the priests and the Levites and the officers of the clans of Israel in Jerusalem in the chambers of the House of the Lord.” Ezra Chapter 8/29 Tanakh JPS 1985.
1When this was over, the officers approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the land whose abhorrent practices are like those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. Ezra Chapter 9/1 Tanakh.
5So Ezra at once put the officers of the priests and the Levites and all Israel under oath to act accordingly, and they took the oath. Ezra Chapter 10/5 Tanakh JPS 1985.
6Let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to receive the prayer of Your servant that I am praying to You now, day and night, on behalf of the Israelites, Your servants, confessing the sins that we Israelites have committed against You, sins that I and my father’s house have committed. Nehemiah Chapter 1/6 Tanakh JPS 1985.
10When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard, it displeased them greatly that someone had come, intent on improving the condition of the Israelites. Nehemiah Chapter 2/10 Tanakh JPS 1985.
17The whole community that returned from the captivity made booths and dwelt in the booths—the Israelites had not done so from the days of Joshua son of Nun to that day—and there was very great rejoicing. Nehemiah Chapter 8/17 Tanakh JPS 1985.
1On the twenty-fourth day of this month, the Israelites assembled, fasting, in sackcloth, and with earth upon them. 2Those of the stock of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. Nehemiah Chapter 9/1-2 Tanakh JPS 1985.
3These are the heads of the province who lived in Jerusalem—in the countryside of Judah, the people lived in their towns, each on his own property, Israelites, priests, Levites, temple servants, and the sons of Solomon’s servants, 4while in Jerusalem some of the Judahites and some of the Benjaminites lived: Nehemiah Chapter 11/3-4 Tanakh JPS 1985.
The tribes of Reuben, Gad and the ½ tribe of Manasseh, and the north Kingdom of Samaria were deported north-west of Babylon (Iraq) and to the towns of Media (Iran) and the Kingdom of Judah was deported to Babylon (Iraq).
Jerusalem is within the lands of Benjamin which lands are considered part of the Kingdom of Judah since that is where the Kings of Judah ruled from. That is why there is an emphasis on Judahites and Benjamites in the accounts of the return of the twelve tribes of Israel to the lands of Judah and Benjamin.
“When the seventh month arrived—the Israelites being settled in their towns—the entire people assembled as one man in Jerusalem.”
When the people Israel gather as one man it is all twelve tribes and the Levites (the priestly tribe without an allotment of the promised lands).
Judahites and Benjaminites alone are not Israel though all references to Israelites would include them. All of Israel had returned together to Jerusalem and Judah mindful of all the imported gentiles in the Kingdom of Samaria, many of whom tried to stop the building of the second Temple.
“The first to settle in their towns, on their property, were Israelites, priests, Levites, and temple servants, 3while some of the Judahites and some of the Benjaminites and some of the Ephraimites and Manassehites settled in Jerusalem;”
Ephraim and Manasseh were not lost tribes as many believe from writings outside of the Bible. There never were lost tribes according to the Jewish bible. If there were lost tribes then Isaiah made a prophecy that was false and was not fulfilled.
“Fear not, for I am with you: I will bring your folk from the East, Will gather you out of the West; I will say to the North, “Give back!” And to the South, “Do not withhold! Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the end of the earth—”
Isaiah’s prophesy is to all exiles returning by the words of G-d. The return of the exiles to the land of Israel given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by covenant and partitioned among the twelve tribes of Israel by Moses and Joshua is not just the Babylon exiles of Judah.
They were the last to be deported to the vast lands of Babylonia which includes all the lands of Assyria after defeating Assyria where all the exiles were and by this time scattered far and wide throughout Babylonia whose capital was Babylon along many different rivers. The “Babylon exiles” are all thirteen tribes in Assyria.
This is not an end times prophecy. It was fulfilled.
“But now thus said the Lord—Who created you, O Jacob, Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I will redeem you; I have singled you out by name, You are Mine. Thus said the Lord, Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: For your sake I send to Babylon; I will bring down all [her] bars, And the Chaldeans shall raise their voice in lamentation. I am your Holy One, the Lord, Your King, the Creator of Israel. I am about to do something new; Even now it shall come to pass, Suddenly you shall perceive it: I will make a road through the wilderness And rivers in the desert. It is I, I who—for My own sake—Wipe your transgressions away And remember your sins no more.”
The road through the wilderness and rivers in the desert were provided by the gentile HaMoshiach Cyrus of Persia whom G-d anointed for the purpose of having His Temple rebuilt by His Holy seed forgiven of all sins the Assyrian exiles who were Israel, the twelve tribes and the Levites.