The Tribes of Israel. The Tribes of Israel : Banners. Tribe Banner Reuben red with mandrakes Simeon green with City of Shechem Levi red white and black Judah light blue with lion (Genesis 49:9) Issachar dark blue with sun and moon (1 Chronicles 12:33)
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Reuben red with mandrakes
Simeon green with City of Shechem
Levi red white and black
Judah light blue with lion (Genesis 49:9)
Issachar dark blue with sun and moon (1 Chronicles 12:33)
Zebulun white with ship
Dan dark blue with snake (Genesis 49: 17)
Naphtali light red with gazelle ‘ swift of foot’ (Genesis 49:21)
Gad black and white with army tent (Genesis 49:19)
Asher Flaming oil colour with emblem of olive tree
Joseph jet black with 2 half tribes: Manasseh and Ephraim
Benjamin multicoloured with wolf cub; baby of family cared for by brothers (Genesis 49:27)
Reuben – Man or MandrakesReuben =‘ He has seen my misery’ was Jacob’s firstborn son by his unloved wife Leah. ‘You went up on your father’s bed ..and defiled it. Genesis 49:4
He slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah.
He gave mandrakes to Leah to increase her fertility, hence the symbol.
He tried to save Joseph when his brothers plotted against him.
Simeon – CitySimeon = ‘one who hears’ was Jacob and Leah’s second son.‘Simeon and Levi are brothers- their swords are weapons of violence.. They killed men in their anger.’Genesis 49: 5-7
Simeon and Levi killed the Shechemites for raping their
Simeon was left behind in Egypt as a hostage to make sure the brothers brought Benjamin the next time.
The Levites were chosen by God to in the Tabernacle and later the Temple.
The predominant symbol for Levi is the breastplate worn by the High Priest.
It bore a stone which represented each of the tribes.
Reuben Simeon Levi
Dan Naphtali Gad
Opalagate(orange) amerthyst (purple)
Asher Joseph Benjamin
aquamarine onyx(black) jasper(red-brown)
Levi was the tribe that joined Moses at the golden calf incident.
The Levis had special duties in the temple and were given their own cities and pasture land.
Judah – LionJudah = ‘praise’ was Jacob and Leah’s fourth son.‘Your brothers will praise you.. You are a lion’s cub.. The sceptre will not depart from Judah nor the ruler’s staff from beneath his feet.’ Genesis 49:8-10
The Kingly Tribe
Judah persuaded his brothers to sell Joseph to traders.
Jacob’s last words promised Judah a future kingdom.
Jesus is descended from King David of the tribe of Judah.
Judah showed leadership qualities:
It was Judah who talked his brothers out of killing Joseph and selling him to the Ishmaelite traders (Genesis 37:26-27).
Judah acted as spokesman for the brothers on their second journey to Egypt to face Joseph during the famine (Genesis 43:3, 44:14-34)
Since his three older brothers were passed over, Judah inherited the position of the first born of Jacob\'s sons and received the kingly blessing of Jacob(Genesis 49:8-12)
Judah led the conquest of the land of Canaan (Judges 1:1-19)
Judah became the leader of the Southern Kingdom.
Issachar – Donkey or Sun and MoonIssachar = ‘reward’ was the fifth son of Jacob and Leah.‘Issachar is a scrawny donkey... He will submit to forced labour.’ Genesis 49:14-15
The sons of Issachar were remembered for knowing the times and seasons. ( 1 Chronicles 12:32)
Zebulun – ShipZebulun = ‘honour’ was the sixth son of Jacob and Leah.‘Zebulun will live by the seashore and be a haven for ships’ Genesis 49:13
Joined Deborah’s and Barak’s army Judges 4:6, 5:18 and Gideon’s army Judges 7:23
Isaiah prophesied that they and Nathali would see ‘a great light’, fulfilled in Christ’s ministry . Isaiah 9:1-7, Matthew 4:12-16
Dan – SnakeDan = ‘vindicated’ was the first son of Jacob by his concubine BilhahDan – ‘Will Provide Justice for His People...Dan will be a serpent along the roadside’ Genesis 49:16
During the period of Judges, the tribe of Dan migrated from their original allotment on the Mediterranean coast to the city of Laish, renamed Dan (Judges 18)
Dan set up a high place in order to worship the golden calf
under Jeroboam, first king of the breakaway northern kingdom.
Nathali - DeerNaphtali =‘struggle’ was the second son of Jacob by Bilhah‘Nathali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns.’Genesis 49:21
Joined Deborah’s and Barak’s army Judges 4:6, 5:18 and Gideon’s army (Judges 7:23)
Isaiah prophesied that they and Zebulin would see ‘a great light’, fulfilled in Christ’s ministry . ( Isaiah 9:1-7, Matthew 4:12-16)
Gad – Tents or WarriorGad = ‘troop’ or ‘good measure’ was the first son of Jacob by his concubine Zilpah.Gad – ‘ Will be Attacked by a Band of Raiders but he will attack them at their heels.’Genesis 49:19
The tribe of Gad occupied the central area of Trans-jordan Joshua 13:24-28
Benjamin was Jacob’s youngest and favourite son.
The tribe was almost wiped out for the sin of Gibeah (lust, rape and murder of the Levite’s concubine Judges 20:12-48, and wives had to be found for the remnant (21)
King Saul and Paul of Tarsus came from the tribe of Benjamin.
Asher - Olive Tree or GobletAsher =‘happy’ was the second son of Jacob by his concubine ZilpahAsher – ‘ His Food Will be Rich.’ Genesis 49:20
The tribe of Asher were amongst Gideon’s army (Judges 6:35)
They were slow to fight (Judges 1:31-32, 5:17)
Joseph’s two sons Ephraim and Manassah became tribes in their own right. Manasseh – Olive Branch or ArrowsManasseh = ‘forgot’. He helped Joseph to forget all his troubles.Genesis 41:51
Manasseh was Joseph’s eldest son born in Egypt.
The tribe occupied territory east of the Jordan.
Ephraim was the younger of Joseph’s sons born in Egypt.
He was adopted by Jacob his grandfather and inherited double portion .
One of the Trans-Jordan tribes.
1.Ezekiel’s vision of 4 creatures (Ezekiel 1)
2. the symbols of the apostles:
John : Eagle
Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh settled on the east side of the Jordan.
Judah, the other half tribe of Manasseh and Ephraim had large territories on the West.
Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh
asked Moses if they could stay on the East of the Jordan. He agreed on condition that they fight with the other tribes until the whole land of Canaan was taken.
The other tribes were settled on the West by lot under God’s guidance.
NORTHAsher, Naphtali, Zebulun and Issachar- West of Lake Galilee
CENTRAL Ephraim and half tribe of Manasseh
SOUTH Judah, Simeon, Benjamin
Dan originally on the coast north of Judah, then moved to a northern settlement.
In 980 BC, the northern tribes (plus Simeon)
rebelled against Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, as
he unwisely imposed heavy taxes .
They made Jeroboam, a servant of Solomon
king and established their capital at Samaria.
They set up false gods at Bethel and Dan.
Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to
Israel (Northern Kingdom) was taken to Babylon by the Assyrians in 2 groups 734-732 BC and 722 BC.
They never returned and were scattered in the nations.
Judah (Southern Kingdom) was taken to Babylon (2 Kings 24:1-16) by the Babylonians between 604 and 587 BC.
They were permitted to return from the exile by Cyrus (2 Chronicles 36:20-23) in 2 groups 538 BC and 458 BC under Ezra and Nehemiah. Only 50,000 chose to return (Ezra 2:64)
The Jews fled and were scattered in the nations (Diaspora) and persecuted throughout the centuries.
Ezekiel 36: 19 ‘I dispersed them among the nations ..I judged them according to their conduct. Wherever they went. they profaned my holy name.’
It is thought that the tribes who were taken into exile in Assyria may have migrated north towards the Black Sea and into Europe.
There were two main groups with names derived from Israeli clans.
Sythians- possibly from Judah to the north Caucasus, to Germany and Scandanavia (Saxons, Normans and Vikings)
Cimmerians - to the Danube Valley and west to Spain and Britain (Cimbri, Cymri, Celtic people )
Reuben Northern France
Levi Scotland teachers, religious leaders
Dan Ireland sailors /adventurers
Asher Belgium / Luxemberg
Issachar Finland, Holland & Germany engineers, farmers
Zebulun Netherlands merchants, printers Ephraim UK/British Commonwealth colonists
Manasseh United States of America
Benjamin Norway merchants, Vikings
[See YairDavidy ‘ Origin’]
American Seal UK Coat of Arms
Eagle Lion and Unicorn
The Return of the Jews to the Land of IsraelGod scattered the Jews because of their disobedience and idolatry but promises to re-gather his people in the End Times
‘I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture.’
‘I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries and I will bring them into their own land.’
Theodore Herzl, an Austrian Jew, founded the Zionist
movement with a vision for re- establishing a Jewish
Homeland in Israel.
Between 1880 and 1914 Jews started to return to the land
of Israel, mainly from Russia.
In 1897 the first Zionist Congress was held in Basel,
Lord Balfour The letter promising a homeland to the Jewish peopleSadly Britain reneged on her promises and much of the land was given to the surrounding Arab nations.
The British Mandate
After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1917, under the Lord Balfour Declaration, Britain was given the mandate to administer and Palestine and Trans-Jordan 1920-1948.
The Jews have a land of their own for the first time in 2,000 years! Over a million have made aliyah, (returned to Israel) mainly from the former Soviet Union.The in-gathering from all the nations is a major sign before the Second Coming.
1n 1948 The State of Israel was established under David Ben Gurion, the first president.
God promises to restore the Jewish people to their own land and bring her back to life.
‘I will put My Spirit in you and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.
After the State of Israel was formed in 1948 and from the 60’s onwards there have been an increasing number of Jewish people coming into revelation of Jesus as the Messiah and receiving the Holy Spirit.
"The word of the LORD came to me, saying, As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it, ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel his companions. Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions. Then join them one to another into one stick; and they will become one in your hand.“
God has promised bring the tribes together again as one nation.
Amos 9:11 ‘ In that day I will restore David’s fallen tent.... I will bring back my exiled people Israel... I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them.’
James quotes this scripture at the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15:16
Paul says in Romans 11:26‘All Israel will be saved’ after the time of the Gentiles has been completed.
The 2 houses will be re-united in the land.
Revelation 7 tells us that 12,00 from each of the tribes will be sealed with a sign on their foreheads so that they cannot be harmed:
Judah , Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naohali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin.
Notice: Joseph is mentioned instead of Ephraim.
Dan is missing – probably because of idolatry: setting altars to foreign gods.
"And the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel: three gates northward; one gate for Reuben, one gate for Judah, one gate for Levi. And at the east side four thousand and five hundred cubits: and three gates; and one gate for Joseph, one gate for Benjamin, one gate for Dan. And at the south side four thousand and five hundred cubits: and three gates; one gate for Simeon, one gate for Issachar, one gate for Zebulun. At the west side four thousand and five hundred cubits, with their three gates; one gate for Gad, one gate for Asher, one gate for Naphtali."
(Ezekiel 48:31-34 )
NB Joseph rather than his 2 sons are mentioned.
- a perfect square with the names of the tribes on each gate.
The land of Israel was divided with the Levites in the centre, six tribes to the north and six to the south. (Ezekiel 48)
The same gates mentioned in Ezekiel 49 are also mentioned in Revelation 21:12-13, in the description of the new Jerusalem after the Millennial kingdom.
"...(The city) had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: east three gates on the east; three gates on the north; three gates on the south; and three gates on the west."
The arrangement of the Stones of the Tribes on each gate .
For banners/ heraldry see
Celto-Saxon Heritage WH Bennett