F-BernisSince the Assyrians invaded their land and led them into captivity in 722 B.C., the whereabouts of the northern tribes of Israel has remained one of the great mysteries of antiquity. Unlike those in the southern kingdom of Judah, who returned to Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple after 70 years in captivity under the Babylonians (586-516 B.C.), there is no record in the Bible of the northern tribes ever returning. In fact, these “lost tribes of Israel,” in a wider sense, include more than just the 10 tribes that vanished from the stage of history after the Assyrians took them captive. Ezra and Nehemiah both relay that only a remnant returned to Jerusalem with them from the Babylonian captivity. What happened to the rest of the southern kingdom, members of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin? And what of the Jews remaining in Israel following the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. and the final revolt against the Romans in 136 A.D.? They were banished from their land, scattered to the nations of the world and became known as the diaspora, or dispersion. More