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The 12 Tribes of Israel
Genesis 49:1-2 - And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
|List of the 12 Tribes of Israel in the Old Testament|
|12 Tribes||Mother||Jacob's Blessing and Notes|
|Rueben||Leah||Although Rueben was Jacob's firstborn son, he lost his privileges and the tribe was given over to obscurity. Rueben was rash and was guilty of committing adultery with Bilhah, his father's concubine and his brother's mother.|
|Simeon||Leah||Simeon was to be scattered in Israel, and later became one of the weakest of the tribes. They were mainly absorbed by Judah and lost their identity there.|
|Levi||Leah||Levi would be divided from the tribes of Israel. Simeon and Levi were guilty of murdering the men of Shechem, and were therefore reprimanded by Jacob. The Levites were destined to be the priestly tribe who would not receive a tribal inheritance.|
|Judah||Leah||Judah was to increase in strength until Shiloh (the Messiah of peace). The right to rule (septre) would not depart from Judah. David descended from Judah. Jesus would descend from the line of David and he was called "the lion of tribe of Judah". Judah's name means praise.|
|Dan||Bilhah||Although Dan was given a small inheritance they would become a leading tribe, shrewd and clever, though they would be predators.|
|Naphtali||Bilhah||They would be free and prosperous, and later they were privileged that the Messiah would begin his ministry in their region and the light would dawn.|
|Gad||Zilpah||Gad was to be a victim of invaders but they would ultimately triumph. Their inheritance was east of the Jordan and subject to plunderers.|
|Asher||Zilpah||The tribe of Asher would enjoy prosperity and the blessings of God.|
|Issachar||Leah||Patient and capable as a worker of agriculture doing peaceful things.|
|Zebulun||Leah||They would settle in the coastal regions and trade. They were also privileged that the Messiah would minister in their region when He came.|
|Joseph||Rachel||Joseph would be numerous and blessed above the others and receive spiritual prosperity. God work it out that Joseph two sons Ephraim and Manasseh would partake of his inheritance and represent him among the tribes.|
|Benjamin||Rachel||Benjamin would be adventurous and warlike gaining the spoils of war. The first king of Israel, Saul, and also Saul of Tarsus (Paul the Apostle) were among those who descended from this tribe.|
Jacob's blessings on the 12 tribes reflects a remarkable history of the tribes. Genesis 49
Genesis 49:10 - 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.