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History of IsraelInformation about Israel12 Tribes of IsraelGeography of IsraelHoly days of IsraelJewish jokes

The Twelve Tribes of Israel come from the 12 sons of Jacob, grandson of Abraham.

Jacob, also called Israel, had
6 sons by Leah his first wife (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun),
2 sons by Rachel his second wife (Joseph, Benjamin),
2 sons by Leah's maid Zilpah (Gad, Asher) and
2 sons by Rachel's maid Bilhah (Dan, Naphtali)

Asher -  means "Blessed"   2nd born of Zilpah.

The blessing of Moses said of him: "...Let him dip his foot in oil.

Benjamin -  means "Son of the right hand"   2nd born of Rachel.

Responsible for the rape of a concubine, that caused the husband to dismember her body into twelve pieces to send to the other tribes of Israel to make war on Benjamin, (Judges 19:29).
Now the church is described as a body with many members in 1Cor12:13, and we see Jesus is the REAL son of the right hand.

Dan -  "God is judge". 1st born of Bilhah.

Type of Judas or the anti-christ? Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path.." Gen49:17, also Amos8:14. Missing from the Rev 144,000. (This was Samson's tribe).

Gad - means "A troop comes".   1st born of Zilpah.

The blessing of Moses, Deut33:20 KJV, says of Gad "he dwells as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.

Issacar - means "Wages".   5th born of Leah.

Joseph -  means "The Lord will add a son".   1st born of Rachel.

His coat of many colors was a precept of how Jesus had his vesture dipped in blood as saviour to all colors and races of men.

Joseph was Jacob's favorite, which caused the siblings to become very jealous.  They plotted to get rid of him by selling him to some traders, telling their father that instead he had died.  However, what these brothers had meant for evil, God meant for good.  Once in Egypt, Joseph became a slave of high standing until some years later, he became 2nd in command to only the Pharoh himself.  This was done by God to save his 'chosen', the other remaining tribes, from annihilation by a famine that came upon the land.

Joseph's tribe was divided into the 1/2 tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.  The Levites were not allotted any inheritance in the promised land along with the other tribes.  Therefore the removal of Levi and Joseph to be replaced by Ephraim and Manasseh., restores the tribal allocation back to 12.
Ephraim -
Manasseh -

Judah - means "Praise"   4th born of Leah.

His was the line that proceeded to the House of David and to Jesus. He acknowledged Tamar (means "Palm") was more righteous than himself. Gen38:26.  Judah was the 4th son of Leah and Jacob. His older brothers were Reuben, Simeon, and Levi.  Judah is a name that grows from one person, to a tribe, to a kingdom, to a nation. The name of Judah is what leads to Judaism and the Judean-Christian era, and is the root of the word "Jew".   Judah eventually becomes the largest tribe, and the one that 'goes first' in the marching order.   Rev5:5 calls Jesus "the lion of the tribe of Judah". The genealogy of Jesus, like David, comes through Judah and his descendants.

Levi -  means "Joined".   3rd born of Leah.

This was the priestly line--only Levites were permitted to be priests and even then they weren't allowed any physical blemishes.
The Levites are a priestly tribe, set apart by God to serve Him on behalf of the rest of the tribes.

Naphtali - means "Wrestling"   2nd born of Bilhah.

Wrestling was what Jacob did prior to receiving the new name of Israel. It's a word used uniquely in the Armor of God.

Reuben - means "Seeing".   Mother: Leah.

Reuben is the firstborn, and by birthright should have inherited the generational 'Blessing', however due to the sin of adultery with his father's maid, Bilhah, he lost the blessing.

Simeon - means "Hearing"  2nd born of Leah.

He was left as hostage in Egypt when the brothers went back to Canaan with orders to return with Benjamin.

Zebulun - means "Dwelling with husband"   6th born of Leah.

Spelled Zabulon, with an a and o, in Matthew and Revelation, and the tribe called "Zebulonites" in Judg12:12.

Some information about the twelve tribes of Israel, obtained from: http://www.cswnet.com/~duxrow/12Tribes.htm