These are the ones who did not return from the captivity of Babylon or for various other reasons spread abroad.
Jacobs Vision at Bethel. (Genesis 28: 13-15)
"....and the Lord,leaning upon the ladder, saying to him: I am the Lord God of Abraham your father, and the
God of Isaac; the land, wherein you sleep, I will give to you and to your seed. and your seed shall be as the dust of
the earth: you shall spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: And IN YOU and your
seed all the tribes of the earth SHALL BE BLESSED. And I will be your keeper wherever you go and will bring you back into
this land. I will not leave you until I have accomplished all that I have said."
This prophesy of dispersion was fulfilled in all the earth in large amount prior to the birth of Christ. And
many of these tribes became the backbone of the Christian church and the civilized nations of the world.
The tribe of Reuben went to France for example, the tribe of Joseph to England and the tribe of Gad to Russia.
This is why the Book of Revelations refers first and foremost amongst the elect to 12,000 from each tribe of Israel,
referring specifically to their vow of celibacy, points them out as Catholic priests. The question arises; - is this
from the end time generation or all generations since the founding of Gods church on earth - Christianity?
The former to my mind at least seems unlikely.