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History question - 13 tribes?

Discussion in 'Messianic Judaism' started by iitb, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. iitb

    iitb a.k.a. insaneinthebrain

    +7
    Judaism
    Okay, this has always bugged me, and I've never been given a good answer:

    Tradition says that there are 12 tribes of Israel, each one named for one of Jacob's sons. However, there are 2 tribes of Joseph, which means that there are technically 13 tribes. Since they were set apart to serve in the Temple, do the Levites not technically count as a tribe?
     
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  2. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5
    Sorry, ignore this and go to my next post.

    Thanks.

     

    Missy
     
  3. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5
    Hello Justin, Please see Gen chapters 29 to 30 reguarding this subject. The bible is the best source for this info but I offer you these sources as well:

    "Jacob fathered 12 sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph and Benjamin. They are the ancestors of the tribes of Israel, and the ones for whom the tribes are named. Joseph is the father of two tribes: Manasseh and Ephraim."

    Source: http://www.jewfaq.org/origins.htm#Jacob

    "The Promised Land [Canaan], plus an area on the east side of the Jordan River, was allocated among the 12 Tribes. [Num 33.54; Num 36.3-9]

    As the priestly Tribe, Levi was given no land. [Num 18.20, 18.24]
    Instead of land, God gave Levi the tithes of the people of Israel.
    Jacob's son Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
    By Jacob's command [Gen 48.5], Joseph's sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, were regarded as de facto "Tribes" of Israel.
    Thus, the land allocations of Joseph and Levi were given instead to Ephraim and Manasseh, preserving *twelve* as the number of tribes. [Josh 14.3-4] "

    Source: http://www.biblestudy101.org//Lists/12tribes.html
     
  4. iitb

    iitb a.k.a. insaneinthebrain

    +7
    Judaism
    Thanks!
     
  5. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5
    No prob. Glad to help when I can.

    Missy
     
  6. Talmid HaYarok

    Talmid HaYarok Active Member

    475
    +8
    Messianic
    Ethnically they would have been seperate "tribes". However, they're often referred to as half-tribes.

    Its the theological 12 tribes which is of course most important. Plus counting Joseph as one equal brother despite his descendants being divided into two tribes (and Manasseh even further divided later on).

    Note than in the Torah when each of the 12 tribes is listed a different one is left out each of the 13 times they're listed. So no tribe is left out twice.

    12 is also very important in the Genealogies. Pay attention every time you see it because its meant as a reminder and also to compare and contrast.

    Heh, and some so-called scholars like to call the Torah a sloppy work of multiple authors! Every single letter of the Torah seems to be very deliberate to me.
     
  7. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5
    Huh ? Talmid.. sometimes I wonder.. LOL!

    I have to ask.. do you agree with what the source I quoted said about the 12 tribes or no ? Because I really don't get what you are saying reguarding the tribes.. it's either 12 or it isn't.. so what is your stance here ?

    Missy
     
  8. Ruhama

    Ruhama 25 'הושע ב

    647
    +16
    Messianic
    That's fascinating Talmid. Some time I shall have to sift through the online index and see where it all is at.

    Missy, your insight is also interesting, I hadn't thought of that.

    In Revelation I remember they leave out a tribe once or twice, but always come out with 12.
     
  9. Ruhama

    Ruhama 25 'הושע ב

    647
    +16
    Messianic
    oh... and Levi is most definitely a tribe, probably one of the most important since it's one of the only ones that people today can trace back their ancestry to. In actuality ten of the 12 tribes that had land were lost. Only Judah, Levi and Benjamin were left after the Exile. And yet there are prophetic predictions involving all 12 tribes.
     
  10. Talmid HaYarok

    Talmid HaYarok Active Member

    475
    +8
    Messianic
    The blessings are bestowed upon 13 tribes if that is what you mean by prophecies.

    13 or 12 tribes? That depends on your definition of tribe and your purpose.

    For the purpose of Genealogies, liturgy, brotherhood, etc there are twelve tribes.

    For the purpose of customs, land, census, etc there are 13 tribes (and East and West Manasseh ;) just for further historical confusion).

    Historians will tell you that there were 13 tribes. Theologians will tell you twelve. They're both right, for their own intents, purposes, and definitions.
     
  11. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5
    Didn't say they weren't.. what I am saying is that their land allocations went to Ephraim and Manasseh..doesn't mean Levi wasn't a tribe. They would have had to been in my opinion since Levi was one of Jacob's sons..so automatically they are part of the tribes.

    Missy
     
  12. MissytheButterfly

    MissytheButterfly Back and Better than EVER!

    +5
    Well we could always go directly to the bible that way we can definitely be sure, because we can't change what the bible says reguarding the tribes.

     Check this out: Numbers 1:19-50

    19 As the LORD commanded Moses, so he numbered them in the wilderness of Sinai.
    20 And the children of Reuben, Israel's eldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    21 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Reuben, were forty and six thousand and five hundred.
    22 Of the children of Simeon, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, those that were numbered of them, according to the number of the names, by their polls, every male from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    23 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Simeon, were fifty and nine thousand and three hundred.
    24 Of the children of Gad, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    25 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Gad, were forty and five thousand six hundred and fifty.
    26 Of the children of Judah, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    27 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Judah, were threescore and fourteen thousand and six hundred.
    28 Of the children of Issachar, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    29 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Issachar, were fifty and four thousand and four hundred.
    30 Of the children of Zebulun, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    31 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Zebulun, were fifty and seven thousand and four hundred.
    32 Of the children of Joseph, namely, of the children of Ephraim, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    33 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Ephraim, were forty thousand and five hundred.
    34 Of the children of Manasseh, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    35 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Manasseh, were thirty and two thousand and two hundred.
    36 Of the children of Benjamin, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    37 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Benjamin, were thirty and five thousand and four hundred.
    38 Of the children of Dan, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    39 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Dan, were threescore and two thousand and seven hundred.
    40 Of the children of Asher, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    41 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Asher, were forty and one thousand and five hundred.
    42 Of the children of Naphtali, throughout their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war;
    43 Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Naphtali, were fifty and three thousand and four hundred.
    44 These are those that were numbered, which Moses and Aaron numbered, and the princes of Israel, being twelve men: each one was for the house of his fathers.
    45 So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel;
    46 Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.
    47 But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.
    48 For the LORD had spoken unto Moses, saying,
    49 Only thou shalt not number the tribe of Levi, neither take the sum of them among the children of Israel:
    50 But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle.


    And this earlier:
    Gen. 49:1-28
    1 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.
    2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
    3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
    4 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.
    5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
    6 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.
    7 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.
    8 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.
    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?
    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.
    11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ***'s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
    12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
    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.
    14 Issachar is a strong *** couching down between two burdens:
    15 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.
    16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
    17 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.
    18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
    19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
    20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
    21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
    22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
    23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
    24 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:)
    25 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:
    26 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.
    27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.
    28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.

    And then: Gen. 48:1-5 reguarding Ephraim and Manessah.

    1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
    2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.
    3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
    4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.
    5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
    6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.

    So in any event, it's obvious the 12 tribes encompass all of Jacobs sons including Levi, but Joseph and Levi's land were given to Ephraim and Manasseh. I just wanted to point out though just because someone isn't allocated land, it doesn't mean they aren't part of the tribes. It simply means they have a different blessing..such as the Levites being the priests..

    Also check out this: Numbers 1:47 "But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them."

    So obviously someone took their accounting..which again the bible seems to point right to Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph's sons.
    Missy
     
  13. SonWorshipper

    SonWorshipper Old Timer

    +30
    Messianic
    This is something that might be interesting to you Justin, this was part of last week's parsha:

    Deut 10

    8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.

    9 Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.


    The L-rd is his inheritance, I think that is beautiful. When I read this It reminded me of something I have been studying recently, Revelations beginning chapters.

    Revelation 1
    1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
    2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
    3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
    4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
    5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
    6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    And here too:

    Ephesians 1
    1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
    2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
    4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
    5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
    7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
    18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
     
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