Israelites in southern Africa: Zebulun with Issachar, Judah, Levi, Reuben and Ephraim

By Mikkel Stjernholm Kragh


The white people of southern Africa are descendants of several different tribes of Israel. Amazing end-time prophecies in the Bible tell us that a God-fearing remnant of Israelites will remain in southern Africa.

Whites in southern Africa

There are two large groups of whites in southern Africa: app. 3.5 mio. Afrikaans speaking whites and app. 2 mio. English speaking whites.

The Afrikaners

The first Dutch settled in the Cape Colony on 6 April, 1652 under Jan van Riebeeck who is considered the father of the Afrikaner people. Today there are some 3,500,000 Afrikaners. “Afrikaner” is today used to describe all white Afrikaans speaking people of Cape Dutch origin and Boer origin. The Afrikaners are primarily descended from Dutch Calvinists and secondarily from Frisians, Germans, and French Huguenots. Smaller groups of other Europeans have also immigrated to South Africa and become Afrikaners, such as Scandinavians, Scots, Irish, Greeks, Portuguese, Spaniards, and Italians. Most of the app. 150,000 whites in Namibia also speak Afrikaans.


Above: Strange Parallel: Zebulun - The Netherlands a Tribe of Israel by Helene Koppejan (1984)


Dutch and Frisian Afrikaners of Zebulun and Issachar

The Dutch are mainly of the tribe of Zebulun (see Holland Identified With Zebulun – Who Was Zebulun?) Since the Afrikaners primarily are descended from the Dutch we would expect them to have characteristics of the tribe of Zebulun.

Many Afrikaners are descended from Frisians. Some people who study the tribes of Israel believe that the Frisians are of the tribe of Issachar, which was closely connected to Zebulun, because Issachar and Zebulun were Leah’s two last born sons. (See Bert Otten: Frisians – Sons of Issachar!)

Moses blessed Zebulun and Issachar thus:

“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 the treasures hid in the sand.” (Deuteronomy 33:18-19)

This prophecy is fulfilled in the fact that South Africa has one of the world’s largest mining industries. South Africa is one of the countries which produce most diamonds. South Africa also has the second largest production of gold in the world, or 15% of the world’s production. In 1993 it was 30%! South Africa is the largest producer in the world of chrome, manganese, platinum, vanadium, and vermiculite. South Africa also has the second largest production of ilmenite, palladium, rutile, and zirconium.[i]

The South African mining industry was established after the Dutch and Frisians left the Netherlands by ship: “Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out”. And this prophecy is confirmed in the fact that most of the South African mining industry is found in inland South Africa, far from the sea: “for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of the treasures his in the sand.” (See map of South African mining here.)

Jacob blessed Zebulun thus:

“Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.” (Genesis 49:13)

This prophecy is for the Afrikaners’ part fulfilled in the fact that the Afrikaner people started with the founding of the Cape Colony, which originally was built as a re-supply point and way station for ships of the Dutch East India Company sailing between the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies.


Above: The Coat of Arms and the flag, the Vierkleur, of the South African Republic (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek), a Boer national state which covered the later Transvaal province and was independent 1856-1877 and 1881-1902. The Coat of Arms displays symbols of the four Israelite camps (Num. 2): The Man (Reuben, Gen. 49:3), the Lion (Judah, Gen. 49:9), the Bull (Ephraim, Deut. 33:17), and the Eagle (Dan, Rev. 4:7).


German Afrikaners of Judah and Levi

Many Germans have become a part of the Afrikaners, which generally are a pro-German people.

Germany is made up of several Israelite tribes, including Reuben (Franks), Simeon and Levi (Bavarians, Alemannians, and Swabians), Judah (Saxons), and Gad (East Germany). The German elements in South Africa must, however, primarily be of Judah and Levi, because South Africa fulfills prophecies about the Kingdom of Judah, which ended in 587 BC when the Babylonians deported many Judahites, Benjamites, and Levites to Babylon.

When the Israelites continually sinned and broke the Law of Moses, God would eventually punish them 2520 years (“seven times” or 7 x 360 years), and then God’s time of punishment would be lifted. The Kingdom of Judah started its 2520 years of punishment in 587 BC, and it ended in 1934 AD. Shortly after, on 26 May, 1948, the Afrikaner-dominated National Party won the elections and established the Apartheid system. Dr. D.F. Malan, who became Prime Minister in 1948, basically declared the Afrikaners’ independence from the British when he said, speaking of the Afrikaners:

“’Today South Africa belongs to us once more. South Africa is our own for the first time since Union, and may God grant that it will always remain our own.’ When Malan said that South Africa ‘belonged’ to the Afrikaners he did not have the White-Black struggle in mind, but the rivalry between the Afrikaner and the English.”[ii]

In 1961 the Union of South Africa left the British Commonwealth and became the entirely independent Republic of South Africa.

The Afrikaners have many things in common with the Jews. The Jewish state was founded when David Ben-Gurion declared its independence from the British Mandate of Palestine on 14 May, 1948. The Afrikaners and the Jews thus got their national states at the same time, and they both seceded from British administration. This is of course not a co-incidence!

The Jews represent a part of Judah, even though the Edomites, many of the Khazars, and many other people have become Jews. Both the Afrikaners and the Jews must therefore represent the descendants of the Kingdom of Judah of the Old Testament. The Jews obviously represent those Judahites which remained in Judea and for the most part rejected Jesus Christ. The Judah-element among the Afrikaners must, however, represent:

  • those Judahites which were deported to Babylon in 587 BC but did not return to Judea, and
  • those Judahites which were in Judea in the 1st century AD and received Jesus Christ and became the first Christians.

French Afrikaners of Reuben

Many French Huguenots have also immigrated to South Africa and have become a part of the Afrikaners. Many of the most common Afrikaner surnames are thus Huguenot names, such as Cronje, Joubert, de Klerk, Malan, Nel, du Plessis, Terreblanche, Theron, du Toit, Viljoen, etc. The French are of the tribe of Reuben. (See Origin of France and its Peoples.) The Afrikaner French Huguenot elements are therefore of Reuben.


Above: Flag of the Republic of South Africa 1961-1994


The English-speaking white South Africans of Ephraim

The British are primarily of the tribe of Ephraim. The app. 2 mio. English-speaking white people of southern Africa of British descent, or Anglo-Africans, are therefore primarily of the tribe of Ephraim.

A part of Jacob’s blessing to Joseph, Ephraim’s father, was: “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22) This promise is fulfilled in the fact that the British have spread out all over the world, to southern Africa, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere like “a fruitful bough whose branches run over the wall”.

The land “beyond the rivers of Kush”

The Bible speaks prophetically about Israelites in a land “beyond the rivers of Kush” (in Zephaniah 3 and Isaiah 18). The original word used in the Hebrew text is Kush/Cush, but in some Bibles it is translated Ethiopia and Nubia.

Zephaniah, whose name means “Hidden by YaH”, writes:

“From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshippers, my scattered people, will bring me offerings. On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill. But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the LORD.” (Zephaniah 3:10-12 NIV)

The Kingdom of Kush was an ancient kingdom south of Egypt centered on the confluences of the Blue Nile, the White Nile, and the Atbara River. The Kingdom of Kush was established c. 1070 BC and disestablished c. 300 AD.


Above: The Kingdom of Kush (5th century BC)


Zephaniah and Isaiah prophesied from the Kingdom of Judah. When they stood in the Kingdom of Judah and looked in the direction of the “rivers of Kush”, then beyond the rivers of Kush were the Congo and southern Africa, including what today is Zimbabwe and South Africa. The people which will be beyond the rivers of Kush and trust in the name of the LORD are therefore a part of the white people of southern Africa.

Zephaniah’s prophecy also fits the present situation in South Africa which has become very bad for whites since 1994. The crime rates per inhabitant for violent crimes such as murder and rape in South Africa are among the highest in the world. More than 3,600 white farmers and their family members have been murdered in farm attacks since 1987.[iii] The ANC government has made racial employment laws, Black Economic Empowerment, which bar whites from large parts of the job market. Many white South Africans had become so poor that in 2008 more than 600,000 Afrikaners lived in squatter camps.[iv] One million white South Africans have emigrated since 1994.[v] Many fear that South Africa will follow Zimbabwe’s example and completely drive out the whites. Many even call it a genocide.

Despite the grave situation the white peoples of southern Africa are in, God will protect the remnant which put their trust in Him!

June 2010





Authorized King James Version of the Bible

New International Version of the Bible

Internet sources:

J.B.L.: Holland Identified With Zebulun – Who Was Zebulun? (2005)

Bert Otten: Frisians – Sons of Issachar! (c. 1995) (Retrieved 23 June, 2010)

David James Skelly: Origin of France and its Peoples

Wikipedia article Kingdom of Kush (Retrieved 22 June, 2010)

Wikipedia article Mining industry of South Africa (Retrieved 24 June, 2010)