Sunday, May 19, 2024

Tribes of Israel #1 - JACOB/ISRAEL


Tribes of Israel #1 - JACOB/ISRAEL

Today we are starting a new series on "The Tribes of Israel."
I used to think that the Old Testament wasn't worth studying because all we needed was in the New Testament.  That changed when I did the series on the Book of Jude:
(click on each title to view that series)

Recently, our study of the Old Testament has continued with a post on the Book of Esther (click HERE to view "The Book of Esther and the Triangle Cookie") and also another post touching on the story of Nineveh (click HERE to view "The Eclipse & Nineveh").  I have come to the conclusion that studying the Old Testament is just as important as studying the New.

We often read/hear about "God's chosen people" being the Israelites - where in the Bible does that appear?  It began with a covenant between God and Abraham:

On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, “To your descendants I give this land, from the Wadi of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates—the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites,  Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”
Genesis 15:18-21

The Tribes of Israel were established with Abraham's grandson "Jacob" (who later became renamed "Israel").

We will start with the Biblical definition of "tribe".

Tribe - a collection of families descending from one ancestor.

The pathway to these tribes is full of trickery and deception.
Isaac was the son of Abraham and he married Rebekah.  Isaac and Rebekah had twin sons.  Esau (later named "Edom") and Jacob (therefore, Esau was the firstborn).

Isaac favored his son Esau and Rebekah favored Jacob: 

“And Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.”
Genesis 25:28

Here is a quick summary of the trickery that went on before the tribes were established (I encourage you to read through these passages on your own):
- Jacob tricked Esau out of his birthright (the entire chapter of Genesis 27)
- Through Rebekah's direction, Isaac's final blessing on his deathbed was given to Jacob instead of Esau (also in Genesis 27)
- Then, Jacob had to flee Esau's wrath so he went to his Uncle Laban in Bethel.  There Jacob falls in love with Laban's younger daughter Rachel.  Jacob asks to marry Rachel - Laban says that he can have Rachel after 7 years of work on his property (Jacob agrees).  At the end of 7 years Laban tricks Jacob and gives him his oldest daughter Leah instead.  (Entire chapter Genesis 29)
- Laban gets a second 7 years of work out of Jacob in exchange for marrying Rachel (remember - multiple wives was commonplace in the Old Testament).

There are a few more incident's of deception but let's get into Jacob's lineage/children (in order of birth).  Jacob had two wives (Leah & Rachel who were sisters), however, at times when there were unable to conceive - both Leah and Rachel gave their maids to Jacob as concubines.  Therefore, there were four different women in total who gave birth to Jacob's children.  Here is the lineage:

Leah gave birth to:
- Reuben
- Simeon
- Levi
- Judah
Bilhah (Rachel's maidservant) gave birth to:
- Dan
- Naphtali
Zilpah (Leah's maidservant) gave birth to:
- Gad
- Asher
Leah gave birth to:
- Issachar
- Zebulun
- (DAUGHTER) Dinah
Rachel gave birth to:
- Joseph
- Benjamin

In the months to come, we will study each tribe in more detail.

However, let's never forget how the "blood covenant" through Jesus Christ changed everything and made it possible for ALL OF US to be part of the "chosen":
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28

In the weeks to come, as we continue in this series learning about each tribe, let's remember that because of Jesus Christ we are all part of God's chosen family.  We have been adopted or "grafted" into the Family Tree of our heavenly Father.

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo Day_zpsb50f87c9.jpg

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting- replacement theology is not biblical. We have been grafted into the chosen group but we do not replace the Jews. There is a shared blessing for both groups as well as a special blessing for each group. Replacement theology has led to animosity and harsh treatment between the groups. Of course Jews are responsible for the choice they make regarding Jesus. They cannot access salvation through their heritage alone.
    God Bless and thanks for this study.


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