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Where Are the Tribes of Israel Located?

(A Critique of Herman Hoeh's Article)

 

After proclaiming the British-Israel doctrine proved who were God's chosen people, Herbert Armstrong began to receive questions about the identity of the "other tribes of Israel." Having no authentic source to substantiate his claims, HWA assigned this task to the Worldwide Church of God's "historian," the distinguished Dr. Herman Hoeh.1 Being recognized as one of the first four graduates of Ambassador College, HWA conferred upon Hoeh his "doctorate" in "Theology." Members were taught to put their trust in Hoeh. He was painted as an individual so highly gifted in intellect and scriptural discernment--on par with Daniel and Solomon-- that his eccentric behavior was a by-product of what was considered a special blessing. Sermons given by Hoeh left the members feeling "enlightened" even though they reluctantly admitted that they couldn't understand half of what Hoeh was talking about. Ministers simply smiled. Members were taught that Satan had distorted history, but God raised up Hoeh to handle the special task of restoring it. At least members took great comfort in knowing that God was "directly guiding" Hoeh in his academic pursuits as he valiantly corroborated HWA's teachings.

Every "cult" engages in fabricating its own sacred history. Hoeh earned his pay through this activity. Engaging in "extra-biblical revelation," Hoeh wrote the "Location of the Tribes of Israel" to validate HWA's teachings. While reading this article, notice carefully, the lack of sources to back up Hoeh's claims, the use of smokescreens (changing topics continually), the use of capital lettering, and scripture hacking. Hoeh's technique is to say something without really saying anything. Much like his sermons, Hoeh rambles aimlessly, hoping to induce boredom, so one cannot think through what is actually being said. (Hoeh's words are in blue and indented and my comments are in black type.
LOCATION OF THE TRIBES OF ISRAEL
by Herman Hoeh

We are often asked this question: "If the British Commonwealth is Ephraim and the U.S.A. is Manasseh, where are the other tribes of Israel"? The British-Israel World Federation has never given a satisfactory answer. In fact, they have contended at times that the half-tribe of Manasseh, which lived east of the Jordan, is Japan, and that Dan is Germany. All their attempted historical research neglects the Bible as the only guide to INTERPRETATION of historical evidence.

Herman Hoeh begins his historical revelations with the typical HWA discrediting technique. In order to make one's claims valid, he must ensure that other sources of information are rendered null and void. He lets readers know how grossly incompetent the British-Israel World Federation is for misidentifying the tribes of Dan and Manasseh. According to Hoeh, these errors are a result of "neglecting the Bible" as part of their research. Hoeh, having this burden foisted upon him, will step in and fill this gap. Relying on his scholarly intellect and armed with the Bible as his only guide, God will certainly endow him with supernatural wisdom to understand scriptural "identity markers" to discern "historical evidence." Hoeh is setting the reader up to believe that his version of ancient history is the only true version. Operating on the assumption that his method of pinpointing the ancient tribes is the only correct approach, all other opinions will be strained through this measure and predictably, will be found wanting. Hoeh continues below:

We already understand the undeniable identity of Ephraim and Manasseh. By a process of elimination, the other tribes appear quickly--knowing first of all that the Scandinavian peoples and those of Western Europe are Israel. In these nations we have all the required characteristics which we find in no other group. To prove which tribe each is today, we need to prove which country has the identifying signs of each tribe AND prove that no other country has such signs.

Stating the identity of Ephraim and Manasseh as undeniable fact, he quickly moves on. He lets readers know that through an elimination process, the other tribes appear. What "elimination process" did Hoeh utilize to immediately conclude that Scandinavia and Western Europeans were the remaining "Lost Tribes?" Hoeh states that:

  1. One must find the identifying signs of each tribe and
  2. One must prove that no other country has them.

After millennia of intermarriage and migrations, Hoeh's methods are obviously too simplistic. He has no degree in archeology, anthropology, ancient history, linguistics, etc., but we are to believe that somehow he can bypass any expertise in these fields and still provide precise information. Notice that Hoeh carefully does not say that he is using "secular history" as one of his "elimination processes." But that's okay. Using his own methods, let's see whether we can come up with the same conclusions as Hoeh, or whether Hoeh has resorted to fabrication of history in order to agree with HWA's teachings, since it was HWA that awarded Hoeh his "doctorate degree."

Here is the Biblical and historical evidence placing the tribal boundaries today:

Hoeh previously chastised the BI Federation for research that "neglects the Bible as the only guide to INTERPRETATION of historical evidence." Here, Hoeh is claiming that his evidence is based solely on the Bible and his interpretation of the historical evidence found therein. In other words, one must put their faith in Hoeh and his interpretation, and ignore secular history. Below, Hoeh will claim to use Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33 as his main guides to correctly interpret obscure history:

In Genesis 49 we have a prophecy concerning the state of each of the tribes in the "Latter days" and also in Deuteronomy 33, a chapter dealing with the blessings. With these two main chapters as guides, we can rightly INTERPRET obscure historical evidence that no history book yet clarifies.

Hoeh begins with the term "Latter days" so that readers will think he means the 20th century. He does not point out that Deuteronomy 4:30 and 31:29 also use this term, clearly showing that "Latter days" does not necessarily mean 3000 years into the future, but the latter days of Israel's reign as a nation.

Hoeh gives his legitimacy a boost by claiming that, "we can rightly INTERPRET obscure historical evidence that no history book yet clarifies." When one reads between the lines of this sophisticated speech, Hoeh is saying that he is correctly discerning vague historical evidence, and why not? How can anyone refute him? Since history books can't clarify (or verify) his interpretations, then he is free to reinterpret history. It worked for the Mormons--it should work for him.

Hoeh uses Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33 as his main chapter guides to trace the "Lost Tribes." Though he claimed earlier that he used historical evidence, he will not give a single source from which his information was derived. So we will provide the complete scriptural quotes when needed, just in case Hoeh "misses" anything.

EPHRAIM, MANASSEH, AND JUDAH

1 and 2: Ephraim and Manasseh are already designated.

3: Judah constituted mainly of the House of Judah, to be scattered among all nations, becoming a taunt and a byword. We are not to expect them as a separate nation among Israel today, defying all who would come against them. A small part of Judah was carried captive with Israel (II Kings 18:13), as found in the records of the Assyrian kings. Thus, among Israel we should find a small remnant of Judah. We locate the name as Jutes, and living in Jutland, Denmark. Some migrated to England.

Hoeh states that the House of Judah is to be scattered among all nations, and are not to be a separate nation "among Israel today." He concludes that we should find a small remnant of Judah amongst Israel, which had been taken captive by the Assyrians. He states that the Jutes living in Jutland, Denmark fit this description, and that some of them migrated to England. Later in the article, Hoeh will inform his readers that the tribe of Dan also settled in Denmark. From this we will assume three things since Hoeh is intentionally vague on this matter. The first assumption that we will make is that Hoeh is implying that the modern day Jutes are Jews. The second assumption is that these Jutes were descended from the Jews that were carried away into captivity by the Assyrians (along with the Northern Kingdom), and eventually migrated into Jutland, Denmark. Hoeh never states how these Jews arrived to Jutland, but we know that HWA taught that the "Lost Tribes" were carried off by the Assyrians, and later settled in Western Europe and Scandinavia. The third assumption is that Hoeh's comment, "among Israel, we should find a small remnant of Judah" means that we should find a remnant of Judah living in an Israelite country. In this case, a remnant tribe of Judah is living amongst the Israelite tribe of Dan in Denmark. Now we will prove whether this information is truthful and can be validated. We will also use Hoeh's own evaluation methods to see whether we come up with the same results.

In the remainder of Hoeh's article, we see that he clearly lists the other Israelite nations as France, Ireland, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Holland (Netherlands), Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Remember that Hoeh previously stated in his "process of elimination" that he used two methods: "One must find the identifying signs of each tribe and, one must prove that no other country has them." Let's see if any of these other modern-day Israelite nations have the tribe of Judah (Jews) living among them, but not as a separate nation.

Since Hoeh does not give specific historical evidence, we must resort to looking up information ourselves. HWA said "prove all things" to see whether they are true, so I'm sure he wouldn't mind if we consulted an encyclopedia to substantiate Hoeh's information and claims. Do the other nations of "Israel" have Jews living amongst them? According to the Colliers Encyclopedia (which will be quoted throughout) we find these interesting bits of information concerning the other tribes of Israel: [emp. mine]

Netherlands, Ethnology and Population, Racial Origins and Religions, p. 480: …The number of Jews has declined greatly because of mass deportations carried out by the German occupation forces during World War II.

Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of, Ethnology and Population, p. 605: …The population is mainly Roman Catholic, but the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and there are Protestant and Jewish communities in the larger cities.

Switzerland, Ethnology and Population, Religion, p. 357: …More than 40 percent of Switzerland is Roman Catholic, and there are also some old Catholics (0.6 %) and Jews (0.4%)…Most of the Jews are concentrated in the big cities of Zurich, Basel, and Geneva.

France, Population and Ethnology, Religion, p. 345: …There are about 200,000 Jews in France, and 300,000 immigrants from Algeria are Moslems.

Belgium, The People, Religion, p. 303: …There are only 50,000 Protestants and fewer than 25,000 Jews.

Using Hoeh's methods ("one must find the identifying signs and prove that no other county has them"), we have proved that other "Israelite" countries do, indeed, have the same identifying signs as the supposed Jutes living in Denmark. We see Jews (Judah) "living among Israel but not as a separate nation"--the very same requirements Hoeh used to arrive at his erroneous conclusions. If finding Jews living among an Israelite nation is the method used to locate this remnant tribe carried off by the Assyrians, then why has Hoeh disregarded the Jews in these other countries as viable contestants? Maybe the Jews in Luxembourg are these "remnant" Jews? Or maybe the Jews in Switzerland or Belgium are this special remnant?

Notice that Hoeh speaks as if his findings are "fact" but gives absolutely no proof. He quotes only one scripture in II Kings 18:13 as evidence, but the scripture simply states "In the fourteenth year of Kind Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them." This Scripture says that Assyria did take those in the fortified cities of Judah as captives but states no more. If Hoeh is going to declare that the Jutes are the tribe of Judah living in Jutland today, where is the evidence? It certainly wasn't contained in that particular scripture. What other sources did he use to reach his conclusions? Hoeh has given no facts whatsoever that can be validated. Although Hoeh states that the British-Israel World Federation couldn't give him a "satisfactory answer," one would hope that they provided more information than Hoeh has at this point. Now let's take a look at where the Jutes really came from. [emp. mine]

The Teutons (Teutones) were mentioned as a Germanic people in early historical writings by Greek and Roman authors. Their homeland was given as Jutland, the western peninsula of modern Denmark. There is debate as to whether they were a Celtic or Germanic people since the name Teutones itself appears to be Celtic; Strabo and Velleius, however, counted them among the Germanic tribes. German historians did not associate the name Teutons with their Germanic ancestors until the 13th century.
More than 100 years before the birth of Christ, many of the Teutoni, as well as the Cimbri, migrated south and west to the Danube valley, where they encountered the expanding Roman Empire. (For more information see offsite article Teutons.)

Hoeh would have saved himself a lot of grief had he consulted an encyclopedia. The Jutes are not captives from Judah, but are a Teutonic people. The Teutons are either Celtic or Germanic, and migrated into the Danube valley. These Teutons are the descendents of the modern day Jutes, as well as the Germans. (The Germans are not the ancient Assyrians. See my article on Germany and Ancient Assyria, which will corroborate this). Now let's see what Collier's Encyclopedia says concerning the population of Denmark:

Denmark, Population, p. 386, para. III: Danish is the official language of the country, although German is also spoken in the southern part of Jutland. The state religion is Lutheran, but religious liberty is guaranteed by law. The non-Lutheran population, numbering about 70,000, includes Catholics, Jews, Methodists, and Baptists.

So Jews live in Jutland, but they are not called "Jutes," nor does this say they are descended from the Jutes. They are simply called "Jews." Hoeh has taken advantage of members' weakness in history. By using similar sounding names ("Judah" and "Jutes") members thought Hoeh knew what he was talking about, and never questioned it. Because he was one of the first Ambassador College graduates, members instantly trusted him. Hoeh clearly took advantage of this and violated that trust by fabricating historical evidence and lying to the membership.

Finally, let's use Hoeh's main biblical evidence that he claimed to use to determine the identity of the "Lost Tribes." Let's look at Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33 and see what these Scriptures have to say concerning Judah:

Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise. Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies. Thy father's children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart form Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering to the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garment in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes shall be red with wine and his teeth white with milk. (Genesis 49:8-12)
And this is the blessing of Judah: and he said, Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people: let his hand be sufficient for him; and be thou an help to him from his enemies. (Deu. 33:7)

Hoeh stated at the beginning that the "latter day prophecies" were found here, and that he used these main chapters "as guides" to rightly interpret obscure history. Notice that Hoeh did not go out of his way to quote these verses, even though it would have been easy for him to do so. Why? Because these verses do not prove that these remnant Jews are Jutes, and that they are dwelling in Jutland, Denmark. He knew he could not conjure up this false teaching from these verses, so he avoided quoting them. The Jutes are not a remnant tribe of Judah. They are Teutonic by descent, and not Semitic. Hoeh gives no evidence that can be verified and no proof to this claim.

What about the main tribe of Judah? Let's go back and re-examine the first part of Hoeh's revelation concerning the tribe of Judah:

Judah constituted mainly of the House of Judah, to be scattered among all nations, becoming a taunt and a byword. We are not to expect them as a separate nation among Israel today, defying all who would come against them.

On Friday, May 14, 1948, the day in which the British Mandate over Palestine expired, the Jewish National Council proclaimed the independent State of Israel. Over the past 50 years, Israel has survived and flourished as a "separate nation" and they have certainly defied all who have come against them. Hoeh was aware of this, but avoided mentioning it. It has become obvious that Hoeh has not "rightly interpreted obscure historical evidence" and the history books have, indeed, clarified this.

LEVI

4: Levi, the priestly tribe, was to be scattered in Israel (Gen. 49:5-7). God never gave them land to inherit as the other tribes. Therefore, we should not expect them to be given territory today. Nothing is said in Deut. 33 about inheriting land. Among the Jews today we find many bearing the names: Levi, Levy, Levine. Others bear the name "Cohen" and its variations. The Hebrew word "Kohen" means priest and is so translated 725 times in the King James version. Here then, we have the great bulk of Levi--scattered among Judah because they left their priestly functions in Israel almost totally (I Kings 12:31).

Hoeh informs us that the great bulk of Levi is scattered among Judah today, but he doesn't give us any specific details. Does he mean Judah is in the Holy Land of the modern-day nation of Israel? He doesn't say. Although Hoeh seems to be revealing in-depth information, it's really quite vague. One would think that Hoeh could do better since he informed readers what a poor job the British-Israel World Federation had done with this task. What exactly is the significance of Kohen being mentioned 725 times in the KJV of the Bible? Hoeh informs us that it means "priest" and that they have left their "priestly functions," but delves no further. He simply insists they weren't given any territory and that the great bulk of them are "scattered among Judah." If finding the names of Levi and Kohen (and their derivatives) among Judah is an "identifying sign," then why doesn't Hoeh mention that the names of Simeon, Judah, Benjamin, Reuben, Issachar, Zebulun, Asher and Gad--names that have remained unchanged to this present day--can also be found among Judah? If finding names is a surefire technique for tribal locations, then Hoeh should apply this equally to the other tribes, but he doesn't (as we will observe later in this article).

SIMEON

5: Simeon received no blessing from Moses. In fact, he does not even mention the tribe! Jacob said God would scatter them throughout Israel. How? Take a map of Palestine for the time of the division of the land. Notice that Simeon did have an inheritance SOUTH of Judah. When Judah separated from Israel, Judah occupied that territory, yet Simeon went with Israel! The only explanation is that Simeon migrated into Israel generally, but no new territory was assigned to Simeon. This tribe became scattered. It is possible that the small scattered tribes in Western Europe, variously called the Senones or Semaones or Sennones, represented the fragments of the tribe of Simeon.

Possible? What does Hoeh mean by "possible"? This is the man that declares at the end of his article that "IN ALL THE WORLD THERE IS NO GROUP OF NATIONS SO PERFECTLY CORRESPONDING TO THE PROPHECIES. He even uses the typical Armstrong attention-grabbing capital lettering to emphasize his point. But right here, we see Hoeh stumble. In the beginning of his article, he states with confidence that "through the process of elimination, the other tribes appear quickly," but here we see no definite statement of the identity of modern-day Simeon. If, indeed, the tribe of Simeon is a "small scattered tribe in Western Europe called the Senones, Semaones, or Sennones," then he should be able to easily prove this. The only historical evidence that I was able to locate on the Internet encyclopedia concerning the Senones is quoted below. The other two spellings are either non-existent or incorrect. Here we see a very short description of the Senones:

Senones, name of two distinct groups of ancient people of Gaul. One settled in NE Italy S of the Po in the 4th cent. B.C; the other lived in the valley of the Seine.

Did Hoeh purposefully target this group because it sounded close enough to Simeon, just as the Jutes sounded similar to Judah? The Senones were the ancient people of Gaul, which today is known as France. Where exactly in Western Europe do these "Senones" live today and why doesn't Hoeh tell us outright? If he knows they live in Western Europe, how difficult would it be for him to give their precise location? Could it be because Hoeh had already determined that the tribe of Reuben is modern day France and the Senones would conflict with his story?

Although Hoeh correctly states that Simeon did not receive a blessing from Moses in Deuteronomy 33, he did not quote Genesis 49. Let's take a look at this latter day prophecy, the very one Hoeh insisted he used at the beginning of his article to correctly interpret the "Lost Tribes'" identity:

Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments [or a pair in violence] of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. (Gen. 49:5-7)

Carefully notice that the tribe of Levi is mentioned along with the tribe of Simeon in this scripture, which Hoeh conveniently did not quote. Simeon and Levi are given the same prophecy--they would be scattered amongst Israel. Since Levi and Simeon were given the same prophecy, Hoeh should then follow the same criteria he used to identify Levi. If Hoeh insists that finding the names Levi or Kohen as one of the identifying signs, then why does Hoeh failed to mention that the name of Simeon occurs hundreds of times in the New York phone directory? Apparently, fragments of Simeon can easily be located in Manasseh (a. k. a. the United States of America, according to Hoeh). Why does Hoeh insist that Simeon's name changed to "Sennones" while Levi's stayed the same? Here, we see Hoeh engaging in shifting his criteria to accommodate his fabrications. If Hoeh's assertion that the Sennones of Western Europe are descended from Simeon is correct, he should be able to provide ample evidence, but he doesn't. Hoeh's avoidance of specifics, continued failure to give concrete proof, and inconsistent requirements should rightly make one suspicious.

REUBEN

6: Reuben, unstable as water and having the excellency of greatness, we have recognized as France. Southern France, settled by the descendants of Javan (the Greeks), is gentile. The only democratic country, that is unstable, yet sets the styles for the world, has the form of real excellency, and has the same sex weakness as Reuben, is France. When rightly translated, Moses says: "Let Reuben live, and not die in that his men become few" (Deut. 33:6). Of all the western nations, France has the lowest birthrate, although at one time France was the most populous country in all Europe, outnumbering England nearly 6 to 1. No other country in all the world fits all these qualifications. And is it not significant that the very country at war with England around 1800 should be France (Reuben), who would lose the birthright in the Napoleonic war? (Napoleon was Italian.)

Hoeh's criteria for identifying the tribe of Reuben is lame at best. By partially quoting Genesis 49:3, and infusing it with modern comparisons, he concludes Reuben is the country of France. Let's take a closer look at how this highly educated AC graduate came to this conclusion. He states the identifying marks of Reuben are:

  1. The only democratic country, that is unstable
  2. Yet sets the styles for the world
  3. Has the form of real excellency
  4. Has the same sex weakness

Let's look at requirement number 1 above. Are there other countries that have "unstable democracies"? The Philippines is one, and Russia is another. (Remember, Hoeh says, "No other country in all the world fits all these qualifications.") Certainly there are more. If Hoeh is using the Bible as his guide, then where are the Scriptures that say that Reuben was an unstable democracy? Genesis 49:4 states, "Unstable as water." How did Hoeh get "democracy" from "water"?

Requirement number 2 is quite comical when you think about it. Are there other countries that, "sets the styles for the world"? How about Milan, Italy or New York? More importantly, where in the Bible does it say that the tribe of Reuben was "fashionably correct"? Why doesn't Hoeh give at least one Scripture to back this up?

The third requirement is about as vague as it gets: "Has a form of real excellency"--what is that supposed to mean? Excellency in what? Does this mean wealth? Military power? Fine art, cheese and wine? Hoeh doesn't elaborate. Is this vague characteristic exclusive to the tribe of Reuben, or could there be other nations that possess "a form of real excellency"? If Hoeh claims this as "one of the identifying signs," it certainly could be assigned to any country since we don't specifically know what Hoeh was implying. Let's examine the Scriptures to see what they have to say:

"Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power. Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel [his precedence is forfeited]; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it; he went up to my couch." (Genesis 49:3-4)

Adam Clarke Commentary gives the plain and simple interpretation of these Scriptures:

Genesis 49, Verse 3
Reuben as the first-born had a right to a double portion of all that the father had; see Deuteronomy 21:17 …. “But because thou hast sinned, the birthright is given to Joseph, the kingdom to Judah, and the priesthood to Levi.” That the birthright was given to the sons of Joseph we have the fullest proof from 1 Chronicles 5:1.
Verse 4
Pouring out like the waters - This is an obscure sentence because unfinished. It evidently relates to the defilement of his father‘s couch; and the word פחז (pachaz), here translated pouring out, and in our Version unstable, has a bad meaning in other places of the Scripture, being applied to dissolute, debauched, and licentious conduct. See Judges 9:4; Zephaniah 3:4; Jeremiah 23:14, Jeremiah 23:32; Jeremiah 29:23.
Thou shalt not excel - This tribe never rose to any eminence in Israel; was not so numerous by one third as either Judah, Joseph, or Dan, when Moses took the sum of them in the wilderness, Numbers 1:21; and was among the first that were carried into captivity, 1 Chronicles 5:26.
Then thou didst defile - Another unfinished sentence, similar to the former, and upon the same subject, passing over a transaction covertly, which delicacy forbade Jacob to enlarge on. For the crime of Reuben, see Clarke on Genesis 35:22 (note).
1 Chronicles 5, Verse 1
The sons of Reuben the first-born - As Reuben was the eldest son of Jacob, why was not his genealogy reviewed first? This verse answers the question; he lost the birthright because of the transgression mentioned Genesis 35:22; Genesis 49:4, and the precedency was given to Judah; from him therefore came the chief ruler. This appears to be the meaning of the place. (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)

Scripture plainly states that Reuben lost his birthright when he committed adultery with Bilhah, and not in the Napoleonic war thousands of years later. Notice how the footnote backs up each comment with supporting Scriptures, and a clear explanation. Why can Hoeh, a supposed "scholar," not do the same?

The fourth requirement is tied into the above verse and is just as questionable: "Has the same sex weakness." Reuben committed adultery with his father's concubine, Bilhah, the mother of Dan and Napthali (Gen. 35:22). If having a "sex weakness"--this term could cover a range of sexual activity since we are uncertain whether Hoeh is speaking specifically of adultery, promiscuity, or incest--is one of the "identifying signs" and "no other country" should have this same sign, then we need to investigate whether this characteristic exists in other countries or if this characteristic is exclusive to France. What about Holland (which Hoeh identifies as the tribe of Zebulum)? Holland is well known in Europe for its sexual immorality. What about the United States (Manasseh)? Could the United Kingdom (Ephraim), and Sweden (Napthali) also contain sexually immoral people? This "sign" could certainly be applied to any (if not every) country in the world. If we use Hoeh's methods (find the identifying signs of each tribe and prove that no other country has them) then we can easily disqualify Reuben as France since there are other countries that can be identified as sexually immoral.

Now let's examine Hoeh's comments concerning Reuben in Deuteronomy 33:

When rightly translated, Moses says: "Let Reuben live, and not die in that his men become few" (Deut. 33:6). Of all the western nations, France has the lowest birthrate, although at one time France was the most populous country in all Europe, outnumbering England nearly 6 to 1.

Hoeh has certainly learned from the knee of Mr. Confusion. In one breath he informs us that France has the lowest birthrate, but at one time was the most populous country in all Europe. If the low birthrate was used as an identifying factor, was France still Reuben when it had a high birthrate? The following information (taken from the web) easily contradicts Hoeh's assertions:

France's birth rate was among the highest in Europe from 1945 until the late 1960s. Since then, its birthrate has fallen but remains higher than that of most other west European countries.

Apparently, France is having no problem with their birthrate and still maintains the largest population among the "Israelite nations" located in Western Europe. This fact can also be corroborated by the 2004 Census chart listed below:

Country Population
Iceland      293,966
Luxembourg      462,690
Ireland   3,969,558
Norway   4,574,560
Finland   5,214,512
Denmark   5,413,392
Switzerland   7,450,867
Sweden   8,986,400
Belgium 10,348,276
Netherlands 16,318,199
United Kingdom 60,270,708
France 60,424,213

Once again, the statements made by Hoeh support the myth that he is trying to construct, but are not based on actual facts. If having a low birthrate is an identifying sign, could there be other countries in Europe that have this characteristic?

At present, Denmark has a very low population growth rate. [web article]
Spain has a population of nearly 40 million people, with 77 inhabitants per square Km. It has the lowest birth rate in the world, at only 1.1 children per woman. [web article]

It appears that there are other nations that have low birthrates, proving this characteristic is not exclusive to France. Let's continue with Hoeh's remarks:

And is it not significant that the very country at war with England around 1800 should be France (Reuben), who would lose the birthright in the Napoleonic war? (Napoleon was Italian.)

Hoeh once again resorts to hazy details. Does he mean that France lost its birthright when Napoleon, an Italian by birth, ascended the throne as Emperor of France (something he seems to imply)? Or does he mean France lost its birthright when Napoleon was defeated in 1815 during the Battle of Waterloo? Can we begin to see how Hoeh's ambiguous remarks can lead to various assumptions? Why can't Hoeh simply give specific, verifiable details on what he is discussing? Why must he surround himself with smokescreens instead of giving direct answers?

What exactly is the significance of Reuben being at war with England, especially around 1800? None, actually. France and England have been at war with one another for centuries, and this war was just another in the series. This particular group of wars, known as the Coalition wars (the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Coalition Wars), began in 1792, finally ending in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon was exiled after this final defeat. Hoeh could have easily given this information, but didn't. Why? Hoeh emphasized the 1800 date as an attempt to corroborate HWA's claims that this date was significant (the 2520 years2 punishment had ended and now God was obligated to bless Ephraim and Manasseh unconditionally). He was careful not to go into details lest one figure out that the "blessing" for Ephraim turned out to be another war with France! Hoeh is clearly sleeping in the same bed of deception as HWA.

Although Hoeh informs us that Napoleon was Italian, he was actually Corsican. He was born on Corsica, a French-controlled island located in the Mediterranean Sea, north of Sardinia and west of Italy. Napoleon's parents were from northern Italian stock; therefore, Napoleon would be considered a French citizen. So the tribe of Reuben did not lose its birthright when Napoleon ruled the country.

Hoeh indicates that Reuben lost his birthright in the Napoleonic war, but never gives specific details on how and when this happened. I Chronicles 5:1 states, "…his [Reuben's] birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel." Are we to believe that Reuben lost his birthright--twice? Scripture plainly states that he lost his birthright when he committed adultery, and it was "given" (past tense) to the sons of Joseph. Now Hoeh wants us to believe Reuben lost it again during the Napoleonic wars. Can a birthright be lost more than once? How did Reuben gain it back so he could lose it again? This certainly defies logic.

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