It's been almost 3,000 years since the kingdom of Israel was split in two. Ten of the 12 tribes of Israel rebelled against King Rehoboam, the son of King Solomon and grandson of King David. The Bible continued to refer to these 10 tribes as Israel while the other two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) that remained loyal to David's descendants were known as the kingdom of Judah or simply Judah.
In my opinion....this is a big stumbling block for many. If you cannot separate the Children of Israel in scripture....you cannot understand prophecy. Many prophecies for the end times are made to both houses....some to only one house. If you do not know this....you are quite possibly putting the wrong events on the wrong people at the wrong time!
Scripture never mentions the return of Israel from Assyria [II Kings 17:22-23]. Scripture speaks volumes of the return of Judah from Babylon....200 years later [Ezra and Nehemiah]. During the first century Josephus tells us where Israel still is [Antiquities XI, Chapter 5, Paragraph 2]. He even tells us that Judah (Benjamin and Judah) are the only tribes under the control of the Romans. This was very common knowledge in the first century....but since then history has lost track of the Nation of Israel. Prophecy tells us that they will be spread throughout the world by the end times [Amos 9:9] and [Hosea 1:10] tells us they will be like the sands of the seashore.....uncountable as well.
But....yet, most people....reading in scripture of end time Israel....think only of a little country in the Middle East surrounded by hostile Muslims. They should be placing the prophecies of Judah on this little country instead.
Definitely my friend. Thanks for pointing it out. It makes a huge difference and makes the prophecies come alive.