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Catholic Dictionary




The ten social units of Israel that, after the death of Solomon (933 B.C.), separated from the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin to form the Kingdom of Israel. Those two tribes formed the Kingdom of Judah. When Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in 721 B.C., many of the more prominent Jews were exiled to Assyria, and their descendants either merged with the Gentiles or became part of the later Jewish Diaspora.