Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The 12, 13, 14 Tribes of Israel

Can you name the sons of Jacob (Israel)? Neither can I. What I have writen I knew about, but did not know. It's really very interesting to compare the names of Israel's sons and their literal meanings. Here they are in order of birth;
Reuben       "See, a son"
Simeon       "Heard"
Levi            "Attached"
Judah          "Praise"
Dan             "Judge"
Naphtali      "My Wrestling"
Gad             "Troop or Fortune"
Asher          "Happy"
Issachar       "Wages"
Zebulun       "Dwelling"
Joseph         "He Will Add"
Ben-Oni      "Son of My Sorrow"  named by Rachel
Benjamin    "Son of the Right Hand"  renamed by Jacob (Israel)
Each of these names and their literal meanings were taken from the record in Genesis in the NKJV. For background, Joseph had two sons while in Egypt and in this order; Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob set Manasseh over Ephraim when he blessed them [Genesis 48:20].  Before he died Jacob called his sons together and spoke to them saying, "...that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:" [Genesis chapter 49]. Moving to Revelation chapter seven which speaks of the sealing of the 144,000, twelve names appear in this order:
Judah       "I will Praise The Lord"
Reuben    "The Lord has Looked on My Affliction"
Gad         "A Troop Comes"
Asher       "I Am Happy"
Naphtali   "I Have Prevailed"
Manasseh  "God Has Made Me Forget"
Simeon     "The Lord Has Heard"
Levi          "My Husband Will Become Attached"
Issachar     "God Has Given Me My Wages"
Zebulun     "God Has Endowed Me"
Joseph       "God Has Taken Away My Reproach"
Benjamin   "Do Not Fear"
The meanings here differ from the transliterations of the names and include what the mothers said as their sons were born. The tribe of Dan is missing. The fate of Ephraim is described in Hosea.
The words of Jacob were particularly engaging where he tells his sons what is going to happen to them in the "last days." Regarding Dan (absent in Revelation) Jacob says; "Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpant by the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider shall fall backward. I have waited for your salvation, O Lord! Judges chapter 18 tells of the beginnings of the Tribe of Dan slipping into idolatry.
What is the point of all this? And you may rightly ask; it is the story of the children of Israel who, without God as their King, and being without a king, they "...did what was right in their own eyes." [Judges 21:25]. I'm not smart enough to be able to offer a reliable explanation of these events. On this one, each one has to go figure for themselves. Perhaps the best conclusion is this: it describes today. e.c.

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