@Relates, aka Roger,
Everything you say is reasonable and worthy of consideration.
But what you say doesn’t actually resolve the question of the terminology: the “Ten Tribes of Israel” - - or when they use the phrase “Ten Tribes” all by itself without reference to “Israel”. . . which seems especially awkward!:
1 Kings 11:31
And he said to Jeroboam, Take thee ten pieces: for thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes to thee:
1 Kings 11:35
But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand, and will give it unto thee, even ten tribes.
And with him ten princes, of each chief house a prince throughout all the tribes of Israel; and each one was an head of the house of their fathers among the thousands of Israel.
2 Sam 19:43
And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king?
And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.
2 Sam 20:3
And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.
One last footnote on the Tribe of Levi:
**For Moses had given the inheritance of two tribes and an half tribe on the other side Jordan: but unto the Levites he gave none inheritance among them. **
For the children of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim: therefore they gave no part unto the Levites in the land, save cities to dwell in, with their suburbs for their cattle and for their substance.
This clearly talks about the disposition of property (or the lack of disposition) to the Levites.
But that’s really beside the point, right?
I’m not asking about the “X Number of Landowning Tribes of Israel” – I was investigating the whole practice of referring to Israel as “The Ten”!
Was it a literal ten tribes? Frankly, it doesn’t really look or act like a real ten tribes. The Levites are headquartered at the Temple in Judah … but they are not assigned to Judah as the “Third Tribe of Judah”. And Simeon doesn’t appear to be the “Fourth Tribe of Judah”.
Not a very clever way to run a kingdom - - even if you are the Chosen People…