Comprehensive guide to the Twelve Tribes of Israel

What’s in a name?

The name of a person was very important in the Israelite community, because it had great significance on the destiny on that person. In some cases, the name would be connected with the child’s birth (such as Peleg in Genesis 10:25), or hopes for the child’s future (Genesis 30:24 referencing Joseph). However, God would sometimes direct parents to give a name that would prophesy events (such as Jezreel in Hosea 1:4 & there are a few more names in the same chapter prophesying).

God would change names as well, if He felt that the destiny of that person changed. Abram, for example, had his name changed by God to Abraham, as he was to be the father of many nations. We see this in Genesis 17:5, “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.” His name was changed to fit his calling.

Jacob the Supplanter

Jacob was born as the son of Isaac, and had a brother named Esau. Isaac and Rebekah gave the second of these twin sons the name “Jacob,” which means, “to hold the heel.” At birth, Jacob’s hand grabbed the heel of Esau (Genesis 25:24-26). When they grew, Jacob proved his name by taking what belonged to Esau – which was the family birthright and the father’s blessing (Genesis 27:36). God was clear that Jacob was chosen, and through him, God would fulfill the promises to Abraham. God used this man to continue the line of descent from Abraham, to Isaac, and then to Jacob. The nation that God wanted was one that would be a passage of blessing. That nation was commonly called Israel, which was after the name God called him in Genesis 32:28.

For Israel, the Prince then… Israel means, “God’s fighter, God’s hero, wrestler with God, ruler with El (God), Prince of God.” The blessing would not come to Jacob until he dropped his old “Jacob” nature, to which, he would need to take on the new princely nature of the Lord with whom he had wrestled. Before God was to raise him up as the mighty father of the holy race, God had to sanctify him. However, all of his sons, unfortunately, except for Benjamin, were born of the old Jacob – not the new man. This would be why they had so many faults and weaknesses, which needed dealt with before they could become great patriarchs of the Nation of Israel. Jacob fought his old nature to conquer it that he might be reborn for greater and nobler things. God must come into the darkness of our lives and bring us face to face with reality. Jacob’s greatest victory was not strength to hold onto the mighty Wrestler, but when asked by the Lord, “What is thy name?” Jacob would have to confess “Jacob.” God wants us to look at ourselves and see what we really are, for He cannot change us until we see a need for change in our life.

He calls himself Jacob and Israel, and calls them sons of Jacob reminding them that they were born while he was still the supplanter and that they were therefore born in sin and conceived in iniquity. However, they must listen to the word that the rebirthed Jacob, the Israel of God, the overcoming prince, had to say to them. He was God’s mouthpiece to them and had God’s authority. For telling them what would happen in the last days, he was speaking concerning this time in which we are living now. He was not speaking only about the time until they were carried into captivity, but far down in to the millennia of time when the tribes would be gathered again by the Holy Spirit and would fulfill all the Word of God spoken to them by Jacob.

Esau may have been a son of Isaac, but he didn’t have the mark of inheritance. God loved Jacob, but hated Esau (Malachi 1:3). Although Esau was good, Jacob was the one who would be later renamed Israel to lead God’s People. This all simply means that God preferred Jacob over Esau (not that He actually hated him).

On the other hand, Esau did put his physical needs over his God-given blessing, and sold his birthright to Jacob (Genesis 25:27-34). Esau also obviously had ill intentions or malice, as he threatened to kill his brother, when the blessing was given to Jacob. It is good that years later the two of them were reconciled. Esau’s original choice to sell his birthright is symbolic of ungodliness that we see in the New Testament – for a “godless” person would put physical desires over spiritual blessings (Hebrews 12:15-17). God knew what He was doing, as He didn’t want someone ungodly leading the Messianic Line. The matter of preference had also to be due to God’s foreknowledge, as we see hundreds of years later that the Israelites (led by Jacob originally) were bitter enemies with the Edomites (those led by Esau). Esau’s descendants brought a curse upon themselves – God’s curse.

Reuben

Genesis 49:3-4, “Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.”

Reuben’s mother was Leah, and we see the circumstances surrounding his birth in Genesis 29:31-32, “And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.” Jacob’s prophecy for Reuben was found in Genesis 49:3-4, “Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.” Through Jacob’s irresponsibility and/or lack of self-control, he lost leadership of the nation. Such a sin leaves a lasting infamy on the family, therefore, they couldn’t let him lead anymore.

Moses’ prophecy for Reuben was found in Deuteronomy 33:6, “Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few.” Even though the Tribe of Reuben lost the rights of the firstborn (lost their birthright), they were not allowed to become weak.

Reuben’s great sin was laying with Bilhah, his father’s concubine, as we see in Genesis 35:22, “And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve.”

Reuben was the firstborn of Leah, and Joseph was the firstborn of Rachel. Leah and Rachel were rivals, and therefore, all of the brothers of Reuben would then hate Joseph – because Joseph would probably obtain firstborn rights, simply because Rachel was Jacob’s favorite. Reuben became bitter when he saw that Jacob loved Joseph more, and it seemed that Reuben was not conniving or cruel. Consequently, we see in Genesis 37:28-30, we see that Reuben and his brothers sell Joseph to some traders who took him to Egypt, where Joseph became a slave in the house of Potiphar – which was one of Pharaoh’s chief officers.

Later, in 42:21-23, the brothers realize what wrong they did in their unjust treatment of Joseph. Reuben was one of the first to speak up, saying, “Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.” The brothers stood before Joseph, not knowing it was he. Joseph knew it was his brothers, as he recognized Reuben’s tongue that he used. Eventually, the brothers were released and returned unto their father, still not knowing whom Joseph is, however, the famine continued and the brothers needed to return to Egypt for more grain. Jacob refused Benjamin to go (because he was afraid something similar would happen to Benjamin that happened to Joseph). Reuben, however, speaks up that he would sacrifice himself and his two sons, if Benjamin were not brought back safely.

Reuben felt guilty that Joseph was sold into slavery and that his father thought that Joseph was dead. Therefore, Reuben wanted to atone for his mistakes (or their mistakes, which he took responsibility), and decided that he would put his life and his two sons’ lives up for ransom if Benjamin were to be endangered. This deal defined his concern for his family.

Weakness: Unstable as water (Genesis 49:4) – It is impossible to make water stand up in the corner, for it takes on the shape of the vessel that contains it. It adapts itself to any situation. This is good when it is controlled by the Holy Ghost; however, under the wrong influence, it can be detrimental. Those of self-will are easily taken astray. He is easily strayed or moved. You may be like a pawn. Their strength: a peace loving people, who were generous.

As Reuben reverted back to the way he used to be – as we see in Judges 5:15-16. But, they were called to come back out and help, and Deborah sent it to them also. However, when the call came, they just mocked and hissed, saying, “Ha, who is going to battle? Not me. No thanks! I don’t want to be involved.” This was their last chance, and they failed it making the whole of Israel suffering.

In the fortieth year of the reign of David, the Reubenites were called for active duty – to which, King David sent out a party to search out the great men of Reuben. He found among them mighty men of valor at Mazer of Gilead. David found 2,700 mighty men whom he made rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, “for every matter pertaining to God and affairs of the king” (1 Chronicles 26:31-32). Reuben was placed on the south side between Gad and Simeon, which was very important, because each tribe had to complement each other in some way and flow together in harmony.

The character of the Tribe of Reuben is that of a lover, and we see compassion, understanding, and strength. The weakness of Reuben shall be overcome through the working of the Holy Spirit, leaving a gem-like quality through eternity.

Simeon

Genesis 49:5, “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.”

Leah was his mother, and the circumstances involving his birth are given in Genesis 29:33, “And she conceived again, and bare a son: and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.” Leah felt that she was hated, and a son was given unto her. Through the first four sons’ naming pattern, Leah may have been trying to get Jacob’s attention that Leah truly loves him.

Regarding the history of Simeon: He, with Levi, committed an attack on Shechem. He was also kept by Joseph as a hostage. He entered Egypt with Jacob, taking his six sons with him. The lot of Simeon was in the extreme south, having the Philistines on their west and the desert of Paran on their east. When Canaan was divided among the twelve tribes, Simeon did not receive an independent tribal area of its own, but received part of the area of Judah, because that area was too large. Eventually Simeon became part of the more powerful Tribe of Judah. However, the Simeonites continued their genealogy.

Simeon seemed to have much to do with the hate spirit against Joseph (including jealousy). Simeon was one with the other brothers to sell Joseph into slavery, but then later, he was the one who was locked away in the Egyptian jail. It seemed overall that Simeon was a key instigator in trying to destroy Joseph, to which, God humbled him in to an Egyptian prison so he would learn character.

Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites, boldly and brazenly, brought a Midianitish woman by the name of Cozbi, the daughter of Zur, who was head over a people and a chief of Midian, into his tent. It was a gravely wicked sin, and if not dealt with, the entire camp could fall into defiling. This relates to Simeon, in that, this was Zimri was a leader in the Tribe of Simeon, therefore, whatever he did could have had a ripple effect on the whole tribe or at least a section for he is supposed to be setting an example for others to follow.

As Simeon was preparing to come into the Promised Land, we see him linking with Judah, which is an indication of spiritual growth into maturity through trial and suffering. Judah then asks Simeon to go with him, because he knew the power behind the consecrated sword, and together, they overcame the enemy.

There were two great revivals in the Old Testament days, on under King Asa and one under Josiah. The one that Simeon was involved in was in 2 Chronicles 15:9, “And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.” A portion of that tribe was located within Judah, but they were already subjects of the southern kingdom. A small body of Simeonites formed in the norther kingdom, but many returned of their own free will.

The Simeon of the Temple was one to recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah. Unlike most Jews, I think Simeon had more spiritual insights of what the Messiah would be like (maybe he studied the prophecies more deeply). He acknowledged Jesus, and looked forward to the glory coming to Israel and Salvation to the Gentiles. He knew that Jesus would one day bring division among the people, but that He would be a source of Salvation after the rejection of Him.

Weaknesses: A Simeonite is in danger of using his God-given gifts to his own destruction. Prone to fighting God’s battles but not in God’s timing or His Will. Too ready to use the sword. When Simeon is ruled by his own hand, is passion, his own temper, he can, though trying to do God’s job for God in his own strength and wisdom, do a work of destruction against God rather than for God. Can be instigators.

Strengths: Fighters – Diligence in the call to battle. Earthliness Zeal for God’s Will fulfillment.

Simeon was definitely not lazy, and by all means made Reuben look very bad, as Simeon was aggressive and cunning – fully willing to take action when needed. Overall, this shows the common, aggressive or foolish person who will do something quickly without thinking, but be reprimanded so he can learn from his mistakes. Those in this category would do well with listening first, and then taking action so that they may not fall into foolish traps – especially those set by the enemy.

Levi

Genesis 49:5-7, “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”

His mother was Leah, and he was born as the third son of Jacob and Leah. The name Levi means, “joined, to be fastened to, devoted to, attached to, veering, united, joined to, knotted.” She needed someone to bring unity to her husband and her, and therefore, was the basis of the name Levi.

The purpose of this tribe was to become the priestly family of Israel – those that would stand and offer sacrifices on behalf of the bride (Israel). How it differs from the rest of the Tribes is that the Tribe of Levi were specifically chosen to represent the priestly family due to their zeal against idolatry, and due to the significance of being born third and given the name that means “unity.” The most important, however, is that there were three different sections of this tribe, and the Aaronic Line was the one chosen for High Priest duties. Other Levites were responsible for cleansing of the temple and preparing of sacrifices, but those of the Aaronic Priesthood were responsible for conducting the sacrifices, especially of carrying the blood into the Mercy Seat and surrendering unto God in atonement for the people’s sins. Other Tribes could not accomplish the duty given unto the Tribe of Levi, because God created their tribe as a special tribe – one called for His Service in the Temple.

The symbol of Levi is the breastplate, which holds the twelve different stones that are engraved with the names of the Tribes of Israel – joining Manasseh and Ephraim under the name of Joseph. The breastplate was of utmost importance. It is one of the most beautiful in Israel, because it shows the loving care that the Lord has for each one of the Tribes.

Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49:5-7 (similar to Simeon’s): “Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” Due to Simeon and Levi’s violence, their tribes have been scattered in Israel. These two were unofficially named the “hot-blooded brothers,” which was similar to what we see in the New Testament for the “sons of thunder,” James and John. Even though Simeon and Levi were passionate, they were also vengeful. Jacob curses their lusts, but still blesses them as he corrects them. The Tribe turned things around eventually and performed an acceptable service in their zeal against idolatry.

Moses’ prophecy found in Deuteronomy 33:8-11, “And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. They shall teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine altar. Bless, LORD, his substance, and accept the work of his hands: smite through the loins of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.” We see that Tribe of Levi, the one Aaron and Moses belonged to, had responsibility of teaching of the Law and for religious services. Men of this tribe passed God’s test at Massah and proved their faithfulness at Sinai – but they rebelled at Meribah.

The Levites were unpermitted to be numbered, because the Lord had chosen them as His Firstfruits Company – as we see in Numbers 1:47-49. He chose Levi as His Priestly Family, to which, was His Firstborn Family out of Israel. They represented all of Israel before the Lord.

God demanded purity of Levi – for they were chosen to set a perfect example before Israel for His Word and His Covenant. They had to place incense and whole sacrifices on the altar withholding nothing for them. God said He would be the inheritance of Levi. If they teach the Law, they must live the Law. A Levite is called to offer prayers and praise – not part time, but their whole life through. He not only offers sacrifices for other men, but is a sacrifice himself unto God. Levites must offer only pure sacrifices.

We see his horrible mistake, his sin that is, in Numbers 20: There was a shortage of water for the people, and they complained. When Moses and Aaron told God about the complaints, God told Moses to speak to the rocky hill beside where they were camped and the rock would flow with water. Sadly, Moses misrepresented God, instead of doing as He asked. Moses, in anger, struck the rock, and called the people rebels – rebuking them for their constant demands on him as their leader. This was disobedience to God and deserved punishment. God decreed that Moses should not enter the Promised Land (even Aaron his supporter would not be allowed in).

Judah

Genesis 49:9, “Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?”

Leah was his mother, and the circumstances surrounding his birth were similar to Reuben, Simeon, and Levi. Leah was attempting to win favor from Jacob, to which, Judah was named as so, because she defined: “Now will I praise the Lord.”

Jacob’s prophecies on Judah were in Genesis 49:8-12, “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.”

Judah was born at a moment of despair for Leah, for Leah was on the brink of deep depression, however, this was a breakthrough for Leah to birth Judah. She named him something that would cause her to invoke a spirit of praise, because every time she’d hear “Judah,” it would be to her, “I praise the Lord.” He would grow older and have sons – to which, he established a strong family. Jacob saw that his tribe would become the leading tribe in the Israelite nation, and it would conquer many enemies and rule over other tribes. We see from the Tribe of Judah that David descends, as well as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We see here in the context of Genesis 37:26 that the brothers sold Joseph to some traders who took him to Egypt. This verse is speaking that it would be no advantage to them to conceal his blood – for if it was discovered, they would be responsible for his blood and God would take vengeance upon them, therefore, it would be more profitable to sell Joseph instead of destroying him.

Judah reveals his gift as an advocate and intercessor as we see in Genesis 37:27. Judah has a good influence with his brothers and is a gifted mediator. He is seen as settling crucial and difficult problems, including crises. He also speaks and others agree with him. His brothers support him well, and he makes a great international statesman.

He declared that Tamar had to die for being pregnant, as she wasn’t already married, however, he was realized to have been the one to cause her pregnancy. He was so quick and lawful, instead of asking questions – therefore, it caused problems for him. Lastly, it seems in the midst of passion, he is reckless and unconcerned – but definitely didn’t want his reputation damaged.

When Jacob was to send his sons to buy more food, Joseph told them they were to bring their brother, Benjamin, otherwise, he will not see them. When Jacob was reluctant, even at Reuben’s guarantee Benjamin would be okay, Judah spoke up and advised Jacob of the situation that they were only guaranteed to be able to buy if Benjamin came with them, therefore, if he cannot go then all of them cannot go. If they would like to actually eat, then Benjamin would have to go with the promise of protection over him.

In this situation, Judah acts as an advocate and a guarantor, to which, is for Benjamin’s sake mainly that he stay safe, and so that their family may have provisions further. Judah’s maturity, especially in this situation had shown – for when one takes responsibility over something they are directing and guaranteeing the situation in hopes for a great return. He is willing to take risk for a great return!

Judah was declared a chief ruler in 1 Chronicles 5:2. Further down the line, we see in Micah 5:2 that a ruler shall be in Israel that will come forth from the Tribe of Judah, and from of old and unto everlasting (Jesus was, is, and always will be King, to which, Micah is talking about here).

For Jacob’s prophecies in Genesis 49:8-12, we see that Judah was the leading tribe – one that is fierce and powerful in conquering of its enemies and ruling over the other Tribes. From this Tribe will come the royal family of David, and eventually the Messiah would rule universally in an age of inconceivable prosperity.

Breaking down Jacob’s prophecies, we see that first Judah is compared to a lion enjoying the satisfaction of his power and success without creating vexation for others. He isn’t a raging lion, but a truly great lion. Shiloh that promised Seed in whom the earth should be blessed – the Savior – shall come from Judah. The dying Jacob was able to glimpse toward Jesus’ day, and it brought him comfort on his deathbed to know that not all hope is lost for Mankind. Until Christ’s coming, Judah shall possess authority, however, after Jesus’ crucifixion, this would be shortened for Jerusalem was destroyed. Jesus is the True Vine, the One in whom the most holy of wine descends – the Blood of Jesus that bringeth righteous atonement!

For Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:7, we see that Judah was the most powerful tribe, but besides protecting itself from enemies, it should help other tribes when in trouble. This tribe was also a praying and praising people (Judah’s name means, “Now will I praise the Lord” Genesis 29:35). Sadly, Moses did not speak anything of priesthood, but we know that Jesus did spring up from Judah (Hebrews 7:14).

We see in Matthew 1:1-6/Luke 3:31-34, that Jesus is a member of the Tribe of Judah by lineage. We also see in Revelation 5:5 the apocalyptic vision of the Tribe of Judah – wherein we see Jesus described as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David, who prevailed to open the book and loose the seven seals! Oh Glory to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

Dan

His mother was Rachel and the circumstances are outlined in Genesis 30:1-6, “And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die. And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel: and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? And she said, Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her. And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife: and Jacob went in unto her. And Bilhah conceived, and bare Jacob a son. And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan.”

Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49:16-18, “Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.” Moses’ prophecy in Deuteronomy 33:22, “And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion’s whelp: he shall leap from Bashan.”

Dan was a son of Jacob by Bilhah. The Tribe of Dan was second in numbers to that of Judah before entering Canaan. When Canaan was originally divided, Dan receives its portion on the Philistine coast between Judah and Ephraim. The Danites were characterized as switch and ruthless in their actions, especially when they slaughtered the people of Laish and seized the town for themselves and renaming it Dan (Judges 18:7-10, 27-29). They were one of the first parts of Israel to fall when the Assyrians came and conquered, sweeping the land from under them and taking the people into captivity.

In Genesis 46:23; Numbers 26:42; 1:38-39; 1 Chronicles 2-8… We see that the Tribes are detailed except for Dan’s Tribe. It appears that this tribe was left out of noting down info about it. Even in Revelation 7:4-8, there is no mention of the Tribe, as if the Holy Spirit is leaving the info out about them. Dan would be at the end of different lists as well – wherein, this all remains a mystery nonetheless.

We see “warlike Dan” in Judges chapters 17-18 – The Israelite Nation at the time of this story had no central government and the people in the various tribes did what they pleased, which caused problems overall. In short, people of the Tribe of Dan had never won complete control over their tribal inheritance on the Philistine coast, therefore, they were clutched between Judah and Ephraim – and pressed back from the coast by the Philistines and Amorites.

The Tribe of Dan became sore, because there wasn’t much expanse to call their own. The spies from Dan set out looking for land to claim, and found a suitable area in the far north of Palestine (Laish). The spies returned with good news that the place they explored had well fertile land and quiet people – so an attack would definitely be unexpected. The people of Dan made their way then to conquer Laish and make it theirs.

Micah had been kind to them earlier in the chapter as we see, however, they ignored that and decided to raid his shrine, rob him of his images, and bribe his priest to go with them. When Micah protested, he was threatened. Meanwhile, the tribe voyaged to Laish where they brutally slaughtered the people and scorched the town to crisp. They rebuilt the town soon after, renamed it Dan, and used Micah’s priest and images to establish their own idolatrous religion.

Before Dan went into captivity and before the judgment of God came upon them, God sent a great revival under King Hezekiah of Judah, which seemed to come coincidentally the same year that Dan went into captivity. Those were Dan’s last days as a tribe together.

Samson was a worldly man, and loved the worldly things. God fulfilled the prophecy of Jacob through Samson – to which, he had courage, cunning, strength, and other great things a Danite could have including judgment. God chose out of the Tribe of Dan one of His greatest judges. There was never a judge compared to Samson, for he was a great deliverer in the power of his strength, subtlety, and gifts/anointing.

Dan was one to know that Samuel was anointed to be a prophet (1 Samuel 3:20). God fought for Israel in the domain of Dan, because He was fighting for Dan’s property (Joshua 10:12-14). Jacob’s prophecy for Dan (Genesis 49:18): “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.” Jacob intercedes so intensely more than the other tribes that Dan would be saved, restored, and redeemed.

Naphtali

Naphtali is the second son of Bilhah, but the sixth son of Jacob. The circumstances of his birth are outlined in Genesis 30:7-8, “And Bilhah Rachel’s maid conceived again, and bare Jacob a second son. And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.”

The symbol of Naphtali is taken from the prophecy that Jacob, their father, gave them, “Naphtali is a hind let loose.” A hind is the female of the red deer. They swim well and are active. The prophecy, though, to Naphtali is a sign of reckless immaturity, and God said to His people that He wanted to bring them into maturity. The strong self-will of Naphtali needs to be brought under the Lord’s rule and will.

The gemstone of the Tribe of Naphtali is the diamond. Its hardness and ability to reflect the light are both of the core characteristics. They may sparkle, but once you get to them, they are hard. They have their own minds and are going to use them. The ability to reflect light for Naphtali is in the revealing of the truth of the prophecy given by the Prophet Isaiah in his book chapter 9, to which is fulfilled in Matthew 4:15-16. However, Jesus Christ will be the one to light up her life!

Jacob’s prophecy: “Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words” (Genesis 49:21). There are many similarities between Naphtali and Zebulun, for they always get along very well together. Naphtali has the ability to “scribe” the words God gives her, which in this way and in her gift of light, she is close to Zebulun. Moses’ prophecy: “And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the Lord: possess thou the west and the south” (Deuteronomy 33:23). The west speaks of the land that lay to the west of Naphtali, which was the mighty Mediterranean Sea, and was the gateway to new lands and adventures – for God wants Naphtali to possess the nations and move out across the waters in new places in God both spiritually and naturally. The south speaks of the pleasant things at the foot of Naphtali, for just west of Naphtali was Zebulun. God wants the uniting of Naphtali and Zebulun, for it was in the southern coast of Naphtali that Jesus preached most of his life. God wants Naphtali to even possess the message of the Sermon on the Mount.

Barak is the great hero of the Tribe of Naphtali, who has been admired and loved for centuries. His name means, “lightning, lightning sword.” He was a typical Naphtali who had to take up a challenge of going to war against the hosts of Sisera.

Naphtali did not complete their God-given task of driving out the enemies. They dwelt among the Canaanites; claiming taxes from people. Nonetheless, he dwelt among the inhabitants in cowardice and sloth. Instead of collecting tribute, they should have expelled them.

Because of her backsliding, God began to punish Naphtali. It began against Naphtali when King Asa of Judah leagued with King Benhadad of Syria to invade Israel (1 Kings 15:20). Eventually, the Naphtalites would be taken captive (2 Kings 15:29). More details, such as the listing of her sins was done in 2 Kings 17:6-23.

Isaiah 9:1 shows God’s wonderful end-times promise to Naphtali and Zebulun, which was partially fulfilled when Jesus came preaching in their borders – but it will be completely fulfilled in the future, for Naphtali is able to travail herself through to victory. She knows the key to redemption and will cry and travail. She needs to praise, sing, prophesy, fight, leap over the hills, and trust in God as her covering. One day she shall be made glorious!

Gad

His mother was Zilpah, who bore him, as the handmaiden of Leah. She was the sister of Bilhah. However, Leah named Gad. This situation between Jacob and Zilpah was only for birthing a child, and not for a love affair.

The symbol is three tents. The largest of the three is in the foreground at the center and the other two are on either side in the background. In those days, the tent was the dwelling place of the Children of Israel, the sons of Jacob. They would not live in houses until they came into Egypt, and then most of their dwelling places would be very primitive. Once they possessed the land of Canaan, they would dwell in houses. The three tents are also noted to be a symbol of Calvary where Jesus was crucified.

The prophecies concerning Gad given by Jacob included in Genesis 49:19, “Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.” Gad on the east of Jordan, was more open to attack than the western tribes, but its men were fierce fighters who drove back the invaders. Gad, however, is overcome with self, the independence and strong will – God will help him overcome himself so that he may be redeemed.

Moses’ prophecy to Gad is found in Deuteronomy 33:20-21, “And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head. And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.”

God promises a blessing to those who bless Gad. Moses also sees Gad as a “lion” – the king of beasts, resting in confidence and strength. This depicts the ferociousness also of this tribe. Overall, they kept their promise to help other tribes conquer Canaan and they were fierce fighters. God will enlarge Gad, expand his territories, and keep him safe and secure from his enemies. He destroys his enemies at the head and the seat of the crown – hurting the subject of their strength.

Their possession of more land was not done until later/ Gad decided to stay on the eastern side of the Jordan River, as Moses wanted them that they would weaken the fighting strength of their brothers if they did not continue fighting at their side. They continued, then, to battle Israel, even though their families stayed behind. Gad had to be careful; however, as they had the tendency for doing their own will. Doing their own will would cause problems for the rest of Israel. The Gadites are warriors, ready for the battle once they get stirred up. Otherwise, they will keep to themselves. They took the land of the Ammonites, which were very cruel. Some of them would attack the Gadites repeatedly. Gad had to become a warring tribe, ready for instant warfare.

The whole of Israel was given to idolatry and needed help. Soon, and suddenly, a man across the Jordan River from the Land of Gilead called Elijah right in the midst of the courts of Jezebel and Ahab. He lifts up his voice and announces that he is going to stop the rain from falling from heaven. Elijah assuredly removed the power from Jezebel’s hand and tore the crown from her head. He became the lion-man when the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. He left us an example of a Gadite who breaks through into ultimate and perfect victory through the power of the Holy Ghost in his life.

Gad, Reuben, and the half tribe of Manasseh were the first parts of Israel to be whittled down by Hazael, king of Syria, who murdered his master according to the prophecy that Elisha gave him. Elisha wept because of the evil and cruelty of this man.

You can sense a war kind of spirit, that Gad has, that makes him such a warrior that he would make an excellent spiritual warrior. If that is so, whenever the Spirit of the Lord comes upon a Gadite, they must be strong in the Lord and the power of His Might. It is amazing that they have such a passion to be a warrior, they just need to make sure it doesn’t get the best of them or bloat their conscience.

Asher

Asher’s joy is a challenge to other tribes, as many times people will think that Asher has no troubles at all (which is not true). Asher has the same share of problems and heartaches, it’s just Asher has learned of the great blessing of turning the troubles into “bread.”

In Zechariah 4, we read about two olive trees that stand on either side of the candlestick, which has a bowl for holding the oil. From the olive trees there are two golden pipes that drain the oil from the trees into the bowl. God tells Zechariah that these two trees are His two anointed ones, Zerubabel, the governor of Judea and also Joshua the High Priest. These two trees are typical of Asher, who has the constant supply of oil that keeps the lamps lit.

This oil is a type of the Holy Spirit, and is called, “golden oil.” Gold speaks of deity in the Bible, so we know that this is Divine oil. The tribe of Asher is called to be the source from which the Holy Spirit can be poured out to bring light and blessing to many. Asher then can be a shining light in the Temple. Now, in Revelation 11:4, we see that God is going to have His anointed ones during the tribulation times who shall know that they have the source of their power and strength to witness from the Holy Spirit that dwells within. They will be as olive trees, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they are from the Tribe of Asher, but that Asher is a type of the kind of witness God will need in the tribulation times.

The gemstone of Asher is the agate, and the characteristics of Asher found in this gemstone include being created by the workings of the Holy Spirit erupting from his innermost being in the intense flame of Pentecost (similar to the agate created by the intense hear of the erupted lava pouring through the earth). The water of the word is poured over Asher’s being so he becomes the gemstone of beauty and strength. The agate can take on so many colors, as can Asher adapt themselves easily to all kinds of situations. They are not easily irritated by change of scenery. The softness of the stone makes it adaptable to carving, to which, Asher can be adaptable so he can be “carved” into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ!

God is saying through Jacob that out of the tribe of Asher there will come a very rich, strong meat. They have interest in the deep meat (of the Word of God for example). Bread is usually symbolic of God’s Word, so the bread that Asher has to give to others is the Word of God (which is anointed, plenteous, and truly rich food for the soul). We see by this how Asher shall be able to give forth words that will not only be strong, healthy meat, but also choice pieces that are real delicacies. People may be uncomfortable with his preaching, but God gives this balance into the soul of the Asherites that they can give forth truths that are just a pleasure to receive, a joy and comfort to the soul.

We see what enables Asher to rise up in anointing to take their place as a soldier of the Lord in 1 Chronicles 7:40, “All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father’s house, choice and mighty men of valour, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was twenty and six thousand men.” These men were eminent in courage and valor, willing to rise up as the heads of their fathers’ families. They had a large militia and were equipped of the Lord to battle!

We see the information about the revival that occurred in 726 BC in 2 Chronicles 30:10-11, “So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh even unto Zebulun: but they laughed them to scorn, and mocked them. Nevertheless divers of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.” They were seen confessing their sin and expressing sorrow and repentance – and then they were willing to obey God and attend his worship and ordinances.

Anna was one of the most prominent members of the Tribe of Asher. Part of her life is best explained in Luke 2:36-38, “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of im to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.”

Anna was an 84 year old widow, who was widowed after only being married 7 years and never to remarry. She dedicated her entire life to God, lived in the Temple, and spend her time in prayer and service to the Lord. She had many fastings and also served God by witnessing to people. She had the calling of being a prophetess, as she knew the secrets of God. Her life of fasting and prayer brought her to such a high amount of revelation that she was able to know what God was going to do. She was surely led by God, especially when she came to the temple that day to see Baby Jesus. Some of His relatives didn’t know who He was, but Anna truly did. She had the anointing that leads Asher into the perfect will of God.

Issachar

The issue between Leah and Rachel started by the time of Reuben when he was young and brought mandrakes from the field for Leah, but Rachel took them. This made Leah angry, and demanded in Rachel’s tent, a reason for taking the mandrakes. Leah birthed Jacob four sons, and Rachel had not born him any, but had his love. Rachel was miserable for not having children, and Leah was miserable for not having Jacob’s love.

Mandrakes were believed to have made women fruitful, which is probably why Rachel was so quick to take them. However, Leah stopped bearing children and wanted to be able to again. Leah once made a deal with Rachel that Jacob could be rented out for one night in exchange for the mandrakes. After a while, this was getting old. Leah even prayed with all her heart and cast herself to God, including that she’d rather trust God than the fruit of the mandrakes. At least she could hold her children, since Jacob would not be with her. Her cry based the name of Issachar, “I paid for what I hired,” or “I got paid back.” Or even, “It was worth it all.”

The symbol of Issachar is most typically the “humble donkey.” This depicts Issachar as a type of a “Pentecostal” as he was born “in the days of wheat harvest” – later known as Pentecost. This speaks of God within – and only those willing to humble themselves under God’s Mighty Hand will receive His Spirit. How can the Lord fill someone who’s already full of themselves? It makes sense those under His obedience will receive His Spirit, and therefore, Issachar is the humble donkey. His name is derived from the root-word, “nasa,” which means, “to lift up, high, loft, etc.” How evident that the humble will be exalted.

There could also be the sign of a sun shining at noon-day surrounded by four stars to the left that shine out of a dark night and four to the right that are darkened because of the brightness of the day. This is a picture of outer space with the heavenly bodies in plain view. This reflects on the root word of his name, “nasa,” and reflects on “humble donkey.”

The prophecies are as such: Jacob’s, found in Genesis 49:14-15, “Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.” We see that Issachar gained good prosperity from the good farming area they were part of, to which, they sadly submitted too often to the powerful Canaanites that controlled most of the area. Moses’, found in Deuteronomy 33:18-19, “And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.” We see that Issachar would prosper (as well as Zebulun) through the agricultural success of their region.

Under the Jewish Law, they were not allowed to eat the Passover; however, Hezekiah prayed for them, and though they didn’t go through laws of purification, God saw their hearts were pure before Him and He spared them and let them receive a blessing. (Also, this was a great revival!)

Zebulun

His mother was Leah, and with his birth, Leah breaks forth in tremendous maturity in God, for her striving, struggle, has been transcended. She moved into maturity without knowing God has done it. God endued her with “dowry” or a “gift.” The symbol of Zebulun is the ship. It comes from the prophecy that Jacob gave Zebulun and also from the one that Moses gave him.  The ship is usually the symbol used for something that is tossed on the sea of disbelief, worldliness, and persecution – but finally reaching the safe harbor. It describes a waywardness of thinking, and describes someone or a group of people that tend to be swayed from one side to the next (as if manipulated). Then again, it could also mean they have a concern for distant lands.

Prophecy of Jacob, Genesis 49:13, “Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.” The Tribe of Zebulun that settled near the Mediterranean Coast was enriched with trade that passed through its territory to the sea. In addition, the burden for souls will motivate the life of Zebulun. They will go and go when she cannot go any longer to help those shipwrecked souls crying for help.

Prophecy of Moses, Deuteronomy 33:18-19, “And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.” Just as Issachar, they will also prosper through their agricultural activities. You may not get to the mission field, but you will always have a burden and call for missions overall in your life. Zebulun shall dwell in the light and attract others to her.

He makes a wonderful fisherman but a bad soldier. She will avoid confrontation for as long as possible. When the time comes, however, she must defend her fold and then she is ready to muster her army. When that happens, be careful, as if she has saved all her energy for one big battle. In addition, they were ready to obey the command of the Lord, and convinced if God has spoken, nothing will hold her back. Love and compassion motivated them, and this causes God to honor their tribe.

They did serve with King David, 1 Chronicles 12:33, “Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.” They likely had around 50,000 noted in the verse. She hears the call of the Holy Spirit, which helped with the tides of battle!

God has given Zebulun the gift and the anointing to use the pen as other men use the sword. They write very well, had the rod of counseling, and could give correction to those who needed it. She has the staff for guidance, and scepter for ruling her tribe as part of her inheritance. The pen will score a mark, tally up, record, and write out what God wants recorded. Their calling is vital, for it utilizes an important part of God’s communications to His People (and not have to be a prophet).

In Judges 12:11-12, we read about the judge, Elon, a Zebulunite, “And after him, Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel 10 years. And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulon.” Elon means, “the prominent, elated, exalted, noble one; oak, strong one.” He is named after one of the sons of Zebulun.

We see in Isaiah 9:1-5 the five good prophetic verses about Zebulun, which are full of promise. Out of the darkness of the conquered regions of the north, the Messiah, the one to lead His People to victory is coming to introduce an era of light, of joy, and of peace. Oppressors will be overthrown and war will be banished (which is good news for all of the tribes, especially those aiming for peace – such as Zebulun).

Manasseh and Ephraim

The symbol of the Tribe of Manasseh is the palm tree (even the royal palm tree), for it is one of the most beautiful and most loved trees in the world. The gemstone of Manasseh and Ephraim is the onyx – which means that God did a great work in the onyx (because of so many layers and unique features) as in he did great and fine work in each of these tribes to develop the people so well that they make beautifully perfected, tribal people.

In Genesis 49:22-26, “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.”

Moses’ prophecy to Joseph is found in Deuteronomy 33:13-17, “And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”

The Joseph tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, were to inheit the best part of Canaan, and the God who once appeared in the burning bush to Moses would give them special power, so that they would become the leading tribes in the northern kingdom

The symbol of Ephraim was a cluster of grapes, because it reminds one of the cluster of grapes that the children of Israel brought back from the Land of Canaan and that they had cut down from the Brook of Eshcol. It was so large that they had to carry it between two men on a staff.

In Judges 7:24, we see that Gideon sent to war against the Midianites, and sent the messengers through all the mount of Ephraim. The Ephraimites had great victory, but then they wondered why he wanted to war with the Midianites. They blamed Gideon (a Manassite), for what God had not enabled them to do. There seemed to be quite a brotherly jealousy between the two.

In Judges 12:1, we see envy and contention, as the men of Ephraim were preparing to fight with Jephthah. When they fought, the men of Gilead smote Ephraim. The Gileadites captured the fords of Jordan behind the army of Ephraim and whenever a fugitive of Ephraim tried to cross the river, the Gilead guards challenged him asking if he was a member of the Tribe of Ephraim. If he was not, they wanted him to say, “Shibboleth.” If he couldn’t pronounce it correctly, he was dragged away and killed. 42,000 of them died just then, which was of great humiliation and tragedy.

Benjamin

Benjamin was given two names, first given Benoni, which means in two parts: Ben means, “a son,” and oni, “to exert oneself in vain, to come to naught, affliction, evil, false idols, iniquity, mischief, mourning, sorrow, unjust and unrighteous, vanity and wickedness.” The two parts might be “son of my oni,” which would mean then, “son of my sorrow, son of my iniquity, son of my unrighteousness, son of my vanity, son of my false idols.” When Jacob decided to call him Benjamin, rather, it means, “son of my right hand, fortunate.” This is likely because Benjamin was dear to him as Rachel had died, and brought Jacob comfort.

Rachel was his mother, and concerning the circumstances, we see them outlined in Genesis 35:16-20, “And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.”

Rachel had stolen images of idols from her father’s home as they were departing, and Jacob had no knowledge of this (neither did anyone else) (outlined in Genesis 31:32-34). Jacob placed a “death sentence” on her, for there wasn’t any reason for her to steal such images. There was likely; however, still hidden sin in her life or something secretive. It is likely that her naming her son, “Benoni,” that she was confessing her sin before God hoping to atone. This may have been the reason his name changed from Benoni to Benjamin.

The symbol of Benjamin is the wolf, for the wolf is powerful, savage, fearless, hunt in small groups, and usually sticks close to family more than anything. He was likely given the symbol of a wolf, because he was born from Rachel who was in great travail, and her womb was likely torn and rent in the terrible contractions she endured to push him into the world. She most likely hemorrhaged.

Jacob’s prophecy was in Genesis 49:27, “Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” Benjamin seems to have been declared too warlike for his own good, and brought trouble upon itself that it was almost wiped out. Jacob did not like calling his son this, however, there are two stages to this prophecy: One, in the morning, he ravin’s like a wolf, where he devours his prey. He looks for food, and fights for it (ravin means “tear to pieces.” He had to tear through and make his way into the world from his mother’s womb. It was at a great price he was born. This stage he was immature and youthful. In the second stage, he is seen as the one at night dividing his spoil, to which, he will share with others and reach a place of maturity willing to make sacrifices and give out the good things that God has given him. The only time wolves share the carcass or other “spoils” is with family. God can do wonderful acts of maturity for Benjamin and the Benjaminites.

For Moses’ prophecy, found in Deuteronomy 33:12, “And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.” We see that Benjamin had its special blessing when the Temple in Jerusalem was built in its territory, even though the rest of Jerusalem was in Judah’s territory. The Lord will always watch over and protect them, though, and this is definitely a promise that God will be with them, for that’s what is said for the Benjaminites that a special protection is given to them. They became mighty soldiers of Israel and they shall ask, “Lord, where do you need me on the front lines today?”

God used Joseph as an instrument to test Benjamin, for he had never gone through much of a real trial before, so Joseph ordered his servants to place a silver cup in his sack (of provisions, as they had come to collect a provision for themselves around the time of the famine). After the brothers left to return to their father, Joseph told his officers after them to search their sacks, to which, they found the silver cup in Benjamin’s sack – which was practical humiliation for Benjamin. He was immediately arrested and accused of theft, to which, his brothers attempted to bail him out giving a large sum of money. Judah became an advocate for him and helped him. Soon, Joseph confesses that he is their brother, after he decided in his heart that his brothers had changed (as they were the ones who sold Joseph into slavery in the first place). He welcomed them in to his home (to live with him in Egypt), so the whole family came over and made stay. Benjamin was very blessed as well!

It was terrible for Benjamin that he didn’t drive out the Jebusites, for the Jebusites were sinful, full of sodomy, and every kind of evil. Benjamin fell into the same sins, and in Judges 19-21, the story involves these sins. Because of this, all Israel joined to go to warfare against Benjamin, and although they fought bravely and won two battles, in the end the tribe was almost obliterated. Six hundred were left that fled to the wilderness. Later, they found women to be with and the Tribe of Benjamin was saved. This humbled them overall, so that God may move them in the direction according to His Will.

In 1 Chronicles 12:16, 18, 29, we read that the Benjaminites and the children of Judah were the very first to go down into the wilderness to David while he was still a fugitive. They were indeed of the same tribe as the King, and it proves they were willing to leave their own family connections and loyalty to join David in the wilderness – even though he was of the Tribe of Judah.

The warriors had one unique thing about them, they were left-handed, as we see in Judges 20:16, “Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.” They did so well shooting stones on a sling with their left hand.

When Rehoboam was rejected by the northern kingdom, 180,000 chosen men of the Tribe of Benjamin – warriors – were ready to fight against the house of Israel to bring the Kingdom again to Rehoboam. However, God told them to cease fighting each other, but return to their house. They all obeyed. (It appeared here that Benjamin was fighting with Judah.)

In 726 B.C., we saw the great revival under King Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 31:1), and that Benjamin was in the middle of a new move of God. They went out with Judah and said, “Come and repent.” They pulled down the high places where idols were worshipped and burned up the devil’s idols, and tore up satan’s temples. There were many tribes that did move with revival, and even some mocked and scoffed – however, the Benjaminites were ready for battle, which was similar under the revival of Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:9).

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