Exit and Support Network

Where Are the Tribes of Israel Located?

(A Critique of Herman Hoeh's Article)

 

Pt. 1 | Pt. 2

DAN 7:

Dan was originally divided into two parts, one about Joppa, a seaport, and the other in the north of Palestine. Dan refused to fight along side the other tribes against the Gentiles (Judges 5:17). Dan would judge, or stand up to rule, his own people as one of the separate tribes of Israel--indicating he would gain self-government in the following manner: "Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a horned snake in the part, that biteth the horse's heels, so that his rider falleth, backward." Ireland has done just that to England. In fact, the symbol of the illegal Irish Republican Army was the coiled snake!
Dan would also be like a young lion leaping forth, an apt description of Denmark which acquired the Virgin Islands, Greenland, Iceland and other islands in her heyday. Especially unique is the fact that of all the tribes Northern Dan still preserves their father's name--the Danes!

Here, Hoeh states that Dan has broken up into two tribes. The first tribe is located in Ireland, and the second in Denmark. Hoeh states that one of this "proofs" of Dan's location is the symbol of the snake on the Irish Republican Army's flag. The Irish Republican Army's flag is different than the national flag of Ireland. The national flag of Ireland consists of three broad, vertical green, white, and orange stripes--and no coiled snake. The tricolor flag has been Ireland's flag since 1848. The Irish Republican Army (a terrorist group or freedom fighters, depending which side of the conflict one is positioned) didn't come into existence until 1916, sixty-eight years later. Hoeh gives more credence to the IRA's flag than to the national flag simply because it gives legitimacy to his claims. And why doesn't Hoeh use the same criteria when identifying the second tribe of Dan? If looking for animals on a nation's flag is a credible method, then we should find a lion as the symbol ("a lion leaping forth") on the Danish flag, but of course, we don't. Hoeh continually shifts his requirements while looking for "identifying signs," seeking out only those things that give his theories credibility.

Hoeh identifies the country of England as "the rider that falleth, backward." If fighting England "to gain self-government" is one of the identifying signs (assuming this is what he is trying to imply), then the tribe of Manasseh has held this same sign. Manasseh (United States of America) resisted England for over a decade, finally fighting and gaining its independence and right to "self-government" in 1776. Why did Hoeh ignore this well-known piece of United States history? Let's continue with the second half of the prophecy:

Dan would also be like a young lion leaping forth, an apt description of Denmark which acquired the Virgin Islands, Greenland, Iceland and other islands in her heyday. Especially unique is the fact that of all the tribes Northern Dan still preserves their father's name--the Danes!

Hoeh informs us that acquiring territory is another identifying sign (assuming that's what he meant when he said, "like a young lion leaping forth"). He states that Denmark acquired the Virgin Islands, Greenland, Iceland and other islands "in her heyday." When exactly was this "heyday" period? Greenland and Iceland had become part of Denmark in 1397 under the Kalmar Union. Concerning the Virgin Islands, Denmark established its first colony on the island of St. Thomas in the second half of the 17th century, eventually expanding into the island of St. John, and finally purchasing St. Croix in 1733 from France. Why does Hoeh not provide a few simple facts? Is it possible that other nations, during this "heyday" period, were also "acquiring" territory? What about the European colonial expansion of the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries involving countries such as France, England, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Belgium? Notice how Hoeh deceptively uses the phrase "acquiring territory" instead of "colonizing." Denmark was simply part of the European colonial expansion. The dates of Denmark's "heydey" clearly coordinate with these historical dates. Apparently, Dan wasn't the only lion leaping forth during this time period.

Hoeh reiterates HWA's propaganda concerning the country of Denmark being named after "their father, Dan." One would think that a country, named after "Dan," would be filled with towns and cities bearing his name. On the contrary--there is not one single town, city, county or body of water that bears the name of Dan in any of its "required" forms--no Dan, Den, Din, Don, Dun, or Dn in all of Denmark! Not one single body of water or island bears his name. This is rather strange considering that HWA claimed "It is a significant fact that the tribe of Dan…named every place they went after their father Dan."3 Also according to HWA, Denmark supposedly means "Dan's Mark."4 In old German, Denmark actually means "border region inhabited by Danes" and not "Dan's Mark" as HWA led his followers to believe.

What about the name of Dan being found in Ireland? Even in the country of Ireland, of the 602 cities and towns, only 18 of them contain the required prefix.5 Northern Ireland contains only 5 cities out of 120 using the required prefix. There is nothing extraordinary about finding the name of Dan in Ireland. Hoeh fails to mention that one can find a comparable number of "Dan" names in Scotland. Out of 610 towns and cities, there are 18 that contain the required prefix. One can also find towns and cities using the names of Dan in the United States. Iowa has 12 of them, one of which is called "Denmark." Evidently, locating the name of "Dan" as proof of national identity is not a reliable method.

More importantly, HWA claimed that the "Lost Tribes of Israel" completely lost their identities, no longer knowing who they were and thinking themselves to be Gentiles. Obviously the tribe of Dan had not forgotten their identity if they're going around naming towns, countries and rivers after their father.

BENJAMIN 8:

Benjamin constitutes Norway and Iceland. The Icelandic people in reality are a colony of Norwegians. Benjamin was given to David because Jerusalem, David's capital, was in the tribe of Benjamin, not Judah. God said He would give David light in Jerusalem (I Kings 11:36). This verse could not refer to Judah which did not have to be given to the Jewish House of David. Benjamin was told to flee the destruction of Jerusalem (Jer. 6:1) which many of them did.

Hoeh employs HWA's smokescreen techniques: Jump around different topics so the reader can't discern exactly which topic he's actually discussing. In this case, Hoeh reveals that Benjamin is Norway and Iceland, but elaborates no further. He quickly jumps to an unrelated topic (Benjamin being given to David), which has no relation to the first topic, but before the reader can think through what's being said, Hoeh quickly jumps to yet another unrelated topic--Benjamin fleeing the destruction of Jerusalem. Why any of this information bears any relationship to Norway and Iceland remains unexplained by Hoeh. Cults are notorious for keeping their members sidetracked with irrelevant information. Hoeh continues:

Benjamin is compared to "a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he devoureth the prey, and at even he divideth the spoil" (Gen. 49:27). This is certainly an apt description of the Vikings who pillaged Northern Europe, and even Mediterranean regions. Almost all Viking raids came from Norway.

The tribe of Benjamin became well known for their fighting abilities displayed by their archers and slingers (Judges 20:16; I Chr. 8:40; 12:2; II Chron. 14:8; 17:17) and their warlike temperament (Judges 19, 20). Hoeh insists that this fighting (pillaging) quality is proof that Benjamin is Norway since Viking raids came from Norway. True, the Vikings came from Norway, but Vikings also came from Denmark and Sweden. The Danish and Norwegian Vikings first traveled west and south, arriving in England, Europe, Iceland, Greenland, and North America. The Swedish Vikings traveled east and seemed more interested in colonizing than their westward counterparts. According to the encyclopedia, the Vikings were:

Scandinavian warriors who raided the coasts of Europe and the British Isles from the 9th to the 11th century…At the beginning of the Viking Age, they were the best shipbuilders and sailors in the world, venturing as far as Greenland and North America….Many Vikings settled where they had raided. The Scandinavian raiders in Russian were known as Varangians; their leader Rurik founded the first Russian state…Elsewhere Vikings came to be known as Danes, Northmen, Norsemen, or Normans. ("Vikings," Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2005).

The Vikings were known as Danes, and the country of Denmark played a significant role in the Viking raids of Europe, even though Hoeh does not mention this. The Vikings also settled in Normandy, France, and were called Normans, but Hoeh ignores this as well and does not include them as part of Benjamin. So having Viking roots (a pillaging people) is not an exclusive "sign" for Norway, since the Vikings also came from Denmark and Sweden.

Hoeh revealed that the tribes of Judah (Jutes), Dan (Denmark), Issachar (Finland), and Napthali (Sweden) make up the peoples of Scandinavia. In truth, the ethnic origins of Scandinavia are so interwoven that Hoeh's suggestion that each country is a distinct tribe of Israel simply isn't true. We also must revisit the question as to why Hoeh insists that locating the name of Levi among Israel as an identifying factor, while he ignores that the name Benjamin has remained unchanged and still can be found among the Jewish communities today.

It is also significant that Benjamin, the smallest tribe, still is the smallest today. There are fewer Norwegians (plus 148 thousand from Iceland) than any other Israelite nation. (Moses' blessing in Deut. 33 has particular reference to this fact that Jerusalem was in the tribe of Benjamin.)

Can we really disregard centuries of historical documentation and simply peer into the future at population numbers to arrive with factual comparisons? Yet this is exactly what Hoeh has done. He wants us to ignore historical facts and focus on the similarities that he has carefully chosen--in this case, the small size of the tribe of Benjamin in comparison to the small population size of Norway/Iceland. Hoeh's method of meandering through history and plucking out information that agrees with his speculations is unscientific and crude. In this case, his search for "identifying signs" spans a period in Jerusalem during the time of David, then fast-forwards into the 9th to11th centuries, during the time of the Vikings, and then fast-forwards into the 20th century (when Hoeh wrote the article) and looks at the population numbers, all the while disregarding factual details and historical information.

Issachar

9: Issachar is compared to a "large-boned ass," Jacob continues: "For he saw a resting-place that it was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and he BOWED HIS SHOULDER TO BEAR, and became a SERVANT UNDER "ASSWORK." (Gen. 49:14-15.) An ass is not the most intelligent of animals, but it is a willing worker. Such is Finland.

Can Hoeh prove that other countries don't have "willing workers"? If this is one of the identifying signs (being a "willing worker"), can we easily ascribe this same, ethereal quality to the other nations? This description cannot be introduced as concrete evidence since it cannot be proven either way whether a country has "willing" or "unwilling" workers, and whether this is an exclusive characteristic to Finland or any other country for that matter.

Finland is the ONLY nation that has voluntarily taken the full responsibility of her debts. She is today paying off a huge indemnity to Russia. Her land is pleasant and good, not extraordinarily rich. According to Deuteronomy 33:19 she derives wealth from fishing and from hidden treasures of the sand--gigantic peat bogs and the finest sand for glass-making. Issachar is not a colonizing people--they dwell pastorally "in tents," said Moses.

Hoeh qualifies Finland as Issachar because, he asserts, she is the ONLY nation that is paying off her debts (assuming that's what Hoeh meant). From where did Hoeh derive this information? How can we be sure that the other nations aren't paying their debts? An online search brought up some interesting information. A data list of each country's national debt shows that five "Israelite" nations qualified in the Top 100 (The United States of America came in first):

Rank $Billion
Sweden 66.5
Finland 30
Belgium 28.3
Denmark 21.7
Ireland 11

If paying off the national debt is one of the "identifying signs" of Issachar, then what about these other nations? What exactly does Hoeh mean when he says that Finland has "voluntarily taken the full responsibility of her debts"? Does this mean the other nations are involuntarily taking responsibility for theirs? How can we be sure that other nations aren't paying their debts and that Finland is the ONLY nation paying theirs? If Hoeh doesn't provide the evidence, then we cannot verify the accuracy of this particular claim, therefore we cannot accept this as concrete proof of Finland's identity.

According to Deuteronomy 33:19 she derives wealth from fishing and from hidden treasures of the sand--gigantic peat bogs and the finest sand for glass-making. Issachar is not a colonizing people--they dwell pastorally "in tents," said Moses.

Hoeh also bows to deception by partially quoting Deuteronomy 33:18-19. Below is a full quote:

And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. (KJV)  

Moses gave the same blessing to both Issachar and Zebulun together. If the proof of Issachar lies in its fishing industry, peat bogs, and glassmaking, why does Hoeh avoid using these same standards to identify Zebelun (see number 11 below)? This verse clearly states, "They." And how does Hoeh get a non-colonizing people from "dwelling in tents"? Can we begin to realize how much we allowed our trust in Hoeh's interpretations to be our guide, and not the Word of God, nor any credible sources?

NEPTHALI

10: Nepthali represents Sweden--"satisfied with favor, full with the blessings of the Lord." She is compared to a prancing hind or deer and "giveth goodly words" (Gen. 49:21). From Sweden, with a well-balanced economy, come the Nobel prizes in token to great world accomplishments. Sweden, during two world wars and the recent trouble in Palestine, sent her emissaries to speak words of conciliation and peace. The promise by Moses to possess "the sea and the south" is applicable both to ancient Nepthali and modern Sweden: notice the position of the Sea of Galilee and Baltic relative to the position of this tribe.

A well-balanced economy?--To the tune of $66.5 billion dollars of debt! Sweden, of all the supposed European "Israelite" nations, holds the number one position for national debt! (See debt chart above.) If having a "well-balanced economy" is one of the identifying factors, then Hoeh has clearly misidentified the tribe of Napthali! Hoeh also does not inform readers that the Royal Swedish Academy is not the only institution that awards Nobel Prizes. The Norwegian Nobel Institute also awards recipients for the world-renowned "Peace Prize." Since we have another tribe (Benjamin) "giving goodly words" (Nobel prizes), we can easily disqualify Sweden as the sole bearer of this particular sign. Hoeh mentions that Sweden sent emissaries to "speak words of conciliation and peace," but does not tell us who these emissaries were, nor gives any dates. Why does Hoeh, over and over again, resort to ambiguity, but lauds himself at the end of the article for his precision?

What does the position of the Baltic and the Sea of Galilee have in common? Nothing. Hoeh's attempts to link them with imagined similarities that simply aren't there. If the position of Sweden to the Baltic Sea is a significant factor for proper identification, then what about Finland? The Baltic is located south of Finland as well. So this characteristic is not unique to Sweden.

ZEBULUN

11: Zebulun settled in Holland (The Netherlands). Zebulun dwell at the "shore of the sea, and he shall be a shore for ships, and his flank shall be upon Zidon"--a Gentile country. Moses said: "rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out." She takes also treasures from the sea and the sand, Zebulun, then, is a colonizing people. She is not a pillaging people as Benjamin.

Concerning the tribe of Zebulun, which Hoeh has identified as Holland, details are sparse. Hoeh points out that Zidon is a Gentile country but does not elaborate on why knowing this is significant, or even how this relates to Holland. Hoeh gives no facts, leaving one to engage in endless speculation. And what exactly does Hoeh mean when he quotes Moses saying, "rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out"? Going out where? Hoeh introduced this as evidence, but gives no explanations. Hoeh then concludes that taking treasures from the sand and sea makes Zebulun a colonizing people. This statement is as illogical as it gets. How does taking "treasures from the sand and sea" make one a colonizing people? Hoeh, earlier under Issachar, used the fishing industry, peat bogs, and glassmaking as evidence, but we do not see him give that same evidence here under Zebulun, even though the same prophecy was given to both tribes together in Deut. 33:19.

Since we must prove that other countries cannot have these same "signs," this naturally leads us to ask, "Are there other countries that have seaports ('a shore for ship') and colonies? What about France?" There are seven major seaports in France. France also established colonies throughout the Americas, Africa, and Indian Ocean, but Hoeh does not bring this up. Belgium has four major seaports and established colonies in Africa. England, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Norway also have seaports and established colonies. Other countries share the same characteristics, so Holland has easily been disqualified.

GAD

12: Gad, which means "the troop" certainly designates Switzerland--the only Israelite nation in which every man is mobilized for defense. Against Gad would come the foreign troops, said Jacob, but he will "trod upon their heel." Moses declared that Gad does NOT "leap" a characteristic of the colonizing or pillaging tribes. Gad "teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head"--of the Holy Roman Empire, in whose territory "he chose a first part for himself, and there a portion of a ruler was reserved." To Gad come "the heads of the people"--as they do today to Geneva. No other nation on earth so perfectly fits this description of a nation of troops.

Even though Hoeh attempts to make a case for Gad being Switzerland purely by the definition of Gad's name, he has failed to point out one important fact. Switzerland never "trod upon the heel" of any foreign troops--Switzerland has managed to stay neutral through two world wars. Even to this day, the Swiss do not engage in “armed conflicts” with other countries, but serve in “peacekeeping missions”. Since Hoeh introduced this as evidence ("against Gad would come the foreign troops"), of what event was he specifically speaking? If this indeed, is an identifying factor, then Hoeh should be able to supply the facts to back his speculations but he doesn't. He simply skips to the next unrelated subject.

Hoeh also contradicts himself. He says that Gad "does NOT 'leap' a characteristic of the colonizing or pillaging tribes."

Let’s take a direct look at scripture to see what the Bible, itself, has to say about the Tribe of Gad. Clearly, we see Gad "pillaging" (or "leaping," which somehow translates the two as being the same thing in Hoeh’s mind):

I Chron. 5:18-22: The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war. ... and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him. And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand (lots of pillaging going on here), and of men an hundred thousand.
I Chron. 12:8-15: And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains... These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand. These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west. (Scofield Study Bible)

Scripture plainly tells us that the Gadites were the "best of the best" in battle--the elite forces --and had no problems engaging in all out war against other nations. Their abilities in war went above and beyond the average warrior. With all that pillaging, it seems that Gad is "leaping" all over the place, even though Hoeh said they would not! The "interpretations" that Hoeh provided clearly conflicts with the reality of Switzerland’s army, who aren’t even remotely interested in war! Simple reading of scriptures makes the Bible understandable, unlike Hoeh who leaves people in a fog as they attempt to decipher his explanations. Below is a good example of Hoeh's ambiguity:

Gad "teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head"--of the Holy Roman Empire, in whose territory "he chose a first part for himself, and there a portion of a ruler was reserved." To Gad come "the heads of the people"--as they do today to Geneva. No other nation on earth so perfectly fits this description of a nation of troops.

Hoeh has clearly inserted his own meanings to the verses in Deuteronomy 33:20-21. The full verses are quoted below, in the KJV:

"And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad; he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head. And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel." (Deuteronomy 33:20-21)

Where is "the Holy Roman Empire" referenced in these verses? Nowhere. But since Hoeh already decided that Gad was Switzerland, and Switzerland is located north of Italy, he could finagle this verse to agree with his revelations. What about the "heads of the people" going to Geneva? Hoeh insists this is one of the "signs." Are there other countries where international leaders (heads of the people) convene together? What about the United Nations? The U.N. is located in Manhattan, New York (Manasseh). And what about NATO, which is located in Brussels, Belgium (Asher)?

Hoeh wants us to believe that the Swiss are one of the "Lost Tribes" and are of Israelite descent. This is simply not true. The Swiss are descended from four distinct ethnic groups: French Swiss, German Swiss, Italian Swiss, and Rhaeto-Roman Swiss. Any encyclopedia can verify this. When given concrete facts, we begin to scrutinize the details. Once we scrutinize the details questions begin to surface, and rightfully so. When Hoeh can avoid giving details, he can avoid scrutiny.

ASHER

13: Asher--"his bread shall be fat and he shall yield royal danties" (Gen. 49:20). This peculiar expression could have reference alone to Belgium and the kindred state Luxembourg. From Belgium have come the finest Flemish paintings, the royal tapestries which graced the halls of kings, fine cut diamonds, porcelain and Belgian lace. Belgium and Luxembourg are blessed above many another son of Jacob--"Blessed be Asher above sons; let him be the favoured of his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil"--prosperity. Iron and brass shall be thy bars; and as thy days, so shall thy riches increase. Because of uranium, Belgium's prosperity will continue to grow. (The above rendering of Deut. 33:25 is the correct--it is highly obscure.)

Here, Hoeh lumps Belgium and Luxembourg together as the tribe of Asher. He quickly summarizes that "yielding royal dainties" is a "peculiar expression" that easily points to these countries. Let's suppose for a moment that Hoeh's interpretation is correct. Using his own methods of identification, could there possibly be other nations that have these same qualifications? What about the fine paintings of Van Gogh and Rembrandt found in Holland? Dutch painters are equally legendary. The artwork displayed in the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam is testimony to this. Holland is also known for it fine cut diamonds from its South African mines. Why didn't Hoeh bring this up? Hoeh mentions Belgian porcelain, but the Dutch are also well-known for their Blue Delft porcelain. Dutch floral tapestries have also graced the halls of chateaus and castles of Europe, and the Dutch also produce beautiful lace. So Belgium shares all the same identifying characteristics with Holland, but Hoeh fails to point any of this out. In conclusion, Belgium and Luxembourg cannot decisively be the tribe of Asher since another tribe (Holland) easily shares the same identifying characteristics. Hoeh's own requirements have cancelled Belgium and Luxembourg out.

Now let's take a closer look at Hoeh's reference of Deuteronomy 33:25:

Iron and brass shall by thy bars; and as thy days, so shall they riches increase. Because of uranium, Belgium's prosperity will continue to grow. (The above rendering of Deut. 33:25 is the correct--it is highly obscure.)

Hoeh asserts that this particular translation of Deut. 33:25, though "highly obscure," is the correct rendering. Predictably, he does not disclose what version of the Bible he is quoting from, or whether he is attempting to derive this from his own interpretation of Hebrew. This is very shoddy research from one who holds a doctorate. The full verses in the KJV is quoted below:

And of Asher he said, "Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes [or under thy shoes] shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall they strength be. (Deut. 33:24-25)

Adam Clarke Commentary plainly states:

Verse 24
Let Asher be blessed with children - Let him have a numerous posterity, continually increasing.
Let him be acceptable to his brethren - May he be in perfect union and harmony with the other tribes.
Let him dip his foot in oil - Let him have a fertile soil, and an abundance of all the conveniences and comforts of life.
Verse 25
Thy shoes shall be iron and brass - Some suppose this may refer to the iron and copper mines in their territory; but it is more likely that it relates to their warlike disposition, as we know that greaves, boots, shoes, etc., of iron, brass, and tin, were used by ancient warriors. Goliath had greaves of brass on his legs, 1 Samuel 17:6; and the brazen-booted Greeks, χαλκοκνημιδες Αχαιοι , is one of the epithets given by Homer to his heroes; see Iliad. lib. viii., ver. 41.

Maybe if Hoeh had stuck with the translations he rejected and consulted a theologian, he would have discovered the plain meaning of this "highly obscure" verse. Once again, observe how good scholarship, as used in this Bible footnote, makes scripture easy for the common layperson to understand, not more difficult.

Now let's examine the second half of this prophecy:

Belgium and Luxembourg are blessed above many another son of Jacob--"Blessed be Asher above sons; let him be the favoured of his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil"--prosperity. Iron and brass shall be thy bars; and as thy days, so shall thy riches increase. Because of uranium, Belgium's prosperity will continue to grow. (The above rendering of Deut. 33:25 is the correct--it is highly obscure.)

Hoeh informs us that "prosperity" is one of the identifying signs of Asher. He explains that Belgium's prosperity will continue to grow because of uranium. Hoeh gives the impression that uranium was discovered in Belgium, but the truth is, the uranium came from the Belgian Congo. The Congo, a country in Africa, had become a colony of Belgium in 1908. Belgium held a monopoly on uranium until the mid-1930s when Canada entered the market, stealing 40% of the share. The Congo mine closed in 1937 and the 20-year stockpile of uranium was transferred to the U.S. in 1940.6 The Congo finally gained its independence from Belgium in 1960. Hoeh does not reveal these historical facts to cover his tracks. Hoeh didn't mention the closing of the Congo mine, nor Canada's offering of lower priced uranium. Wouldn't these events have a major impact on Belgium's future prosperity? If Belgium's prosperity depended on uranium, then it has certainly taken a blow.

Hoeh, earlier (under the tribe of Gad) described that "leaping" is a characteristic of colonizing or pillaging people. Here we see Belgium as a colonizing people, but Hoeh completely ignores this. It appears that a tribe does not necessarily have to have "leaping" qualities in order to be a colonizing people.

If Hoeh declares the characteristic of "prosperity" as a sign, then it is fairly easy to prove that this quality can be held by other nations, especially since HWA himself stated, "yet the other eight tribes of Israel were also God's chosen people. They, too, have been blessed with a good measure of material prosperity…"7

CONCLUSION

Below is Hoeh's summary to his research:

SUMMARY: Here we have a recapitulation of Jacob's prophecy for the latter days, and of Moses' blessings (some of which apply to the millennium). IN ALL THE WORLD THERE IS NO GROUP OF NATIONS SO PERFECTLY CORRESPONDING TO THE PROPHECIES. And within this extraordinary group of nations each nation has its own characteristics. To alter the placement of these tribes, as does the British Israel Federation, would obscure the marvelous proof that each of these nations does represent a tribe of Israel. True, Gentiles are found in almost every one (the Negro, the Indian, the Lapp, the descendants of Javan and Phoenicians), but so was it in ancient Israel. True, in some of these tribes there are to be found descendants of the other tribes--but there are less variations in these continental nations than in Ephraim (Great Britain). Notice, too, that GERMANY does not belong among Israel, although there may be some Israelites still dwelling within her borders.

Hoeh has pronounced his findings as accurate fact. Extolling his claims in capital letters, he assures us that there are no other group of nations that perfectly correspond to these prophecies. He, once again, lets us know the failings of the British Israel Federation and their placement of these tribes. Although Hoeh mentions the BI Federation's incorrect placement of Dan and Manasseh, he never discloses what they said concerning the remaining tribes for our comparison. Why not? Did he plagiarize their findings and he doesn't want anyone to get suspicious? Or were their conclusions better than his and he didn't want anyone figuring that out? If Hoeh's discoveries were superior to the BI Federation, then he shouldn't be afraid to reveal their conclusions. In Hoeh's final paragraph, he states:

In choosing Manasseh as the tribe through whom He does His work, God is using the same pattern as He used for the Levites. God originally gave the priests 13 cities to dwell in, and He added 35 more for the Levites. Totaling 48. So Manasseh began with 13 primary states which were added 35 others, making 48. Is it any wonder God's work developed in Manasseh--the only tribe that can finance it?

Where in the Bible can we find God choosing Manasseh to do His work on the basis of being the "only tribe that can finance it"? Why does Hoeh conclude that Manasseh is the only country able to finance HWA's work, especially since the United States is the number one debtor nation? What about Switzerland and their world famous currency and Swiss banks? Aren't they in a better position to finance the work?

Hoeh said that Levi was found in Judah, but now he wants us to believe that there is a correlation between the number of states in the United States of America and the number of Levitical cities, and that this is more than coincidence. Our loyalty to Hoeh had blinded us to believe whatever he said, no matter how far-fetched his statements could be. Today, there are 50 states in the United States of America, clearly canceling out this parallel comparison made by Hoeh. As history progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that many of Hoeh's requirements for identifying tribal locations have become non-existent. His interpretations of these "prophecies," like his teacher before him (Herbert Armstrong), have utterly failed.

In closing, Hoeh does not give one speck of concrete, detailed proof that is indelibly conclusive. He partially quotes Scriptures, does not fully disclose details--especially if it contradicts him--and does not provide sources. By using his own required "methods" his findings were easily debunked. This kind of "research" from a "doctor of theology" is clearly lacking and pathetic.

How could Hoeh not know that he was conning innocent people? How could he go on for decades, knowing that he was earning his living by duping people? Was his burning conscience the catalyst for his conversion to Buddhism? Hoeh admitted, during the Tkach, Sr. reforms, that the Compendium of World History was full of errors.8 Why did he wait until his paycheck was threatened before candidly admitting that his research was bogus? The "Lost Tribes of Israel" being the modern nations of Western Europe and Scandinavia is nothing more than a fable9--and both Herbert Armstrong and Herman Hoeh knew this, but chose to perpetuate this myth for their financial gain.

I hope we have all learned to better discern false teachers and their deceptive methods, and may we be better equipped to not fall into any more traps that may come our way in the future.

By Kelly Marshall
Exit & Support Network™
March 8, 2005
Updated February 21, 2014

Also read: British-Israelism--True or False?

Update: Thank You For Your Article on the So-Called Lost Tribes of Israel (This is a June 14, 2008 detailed letter, followed by: Fallacies Built Up by Men, reply from Kelly Marshall.)

Footnotes:

1 Herman Hoeh died November 21, 2004. It has been reported that he was receiving a salary of $130,000 when he was an evangelist in the Worldwide Church of God. As Herbert Armstrong, Hoeh gave many false prophecies, which are recorded in The Plain Truth magazine.

2 S. E. Anderson (author of Armstrongism 300 Errors Exposed) says, "HWA's Hebrew years have only 360 days each; he is short 5 l/4 days in each of 2520 years; this means he is short 13, 230 days, or about 36 l/4 years." To see where HWA copied this from and why it doesn't add up, read 2520 Years Punishment from Kelly Marshall's critical review of Mystery of the Ages, chapter. 5

3 The United States and Britain in Prophecy, p. 96, 1980.

4 Denmark means "Dan's Mark." (Ibid., p. 99)

5 The Hammond Universal World Atlas, p.16, 1988

6 Information derived from online article, "Uranium's Scientific History 1789-1939," Dr. Bertrand Goldschmidt, 1989.

7 Mystery of the Ages, p. 187, 1980.

8 The Compendium of World History by Herman Hoeh was used as history curriculum at Ambassador College when Hoeh taught history. It was dropped from publication in the early `70s but remained in church libraries through the `90s. During the Tkach reforms, Ron Kelly gave a June 2, 1990 sermon titled, "Fun With Prophecy." In it Kelly caused members to laugh at, and think silly, the teachings they had previously believed, including the "place of safety." During this same period of time members watched a headquarters video where Herman Hoeh laughed about his Compendium and said, "If you believe everything we said, then you're not thinking." Feigning good humor, he waved his hands and said, "Just throw it out!" His grinning face and casual demeanor was an attempt at setting the members at ease over this discomforting revelation. This was all part of the propaganda to get members to throw out their old literature, change their established beliefs, and accept the new doctrinal changes.

9 J. Vernon McGee said, "If you search through the Bible from the time Israel returned to the land after the captivity, you can pick up practically all of the tribes." (Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee, Vol. 4, p. 255.) Following are a few scriptures in the Bible where he shows the tribes of Israel were not "lost": II Chronicles 34:9 (Here a remnant of the northern kingdom of Israel is sending in money for the repair of the temple); Mark 2:13-14 (mentions Levi who belonged to the tribe of Levi); Luke 2:36-38 (Anna is of the tribe of Asher); James 1:1 "To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting." (James refers to believers in Israel, Christian Jews of that day). Regarding James 1:1 McGee says: "It is obvious that James is referring to the believers in Israel. He is writing to the Christian Jews of that day. After all, the early church was 100 percent Jewish for quite a period of time ... Today people speak of the 'ten lost tribes of Israel,' but no tribes really got lost. God scattered them throughout the world. ... They are on every continent of the world." (Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, Vol. 5, p. 627.) [emp. ours]

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