The tribes

The tribes

Territorial groups and primary social organizational units in Israel’s social structure before the establishment of the monarchy (late eleventh century BCE). The tribes can be viewed as distributive parts of one larger entity, Israel, whose identity is traced to an eponymous ancestor, Jacob (Israel). The lists of tribes in the OT, of which there are more than twenty, differ from one another in several respects (Gen 49; Num 1:20-43; Num 26:5-50; Deut 33; Judg 5). The listing in (Gen 49) is the one maintained in most of the other lists in the OT (Gen 35:22-26; Deut 27:12-13; 1Chr 2:1-2; Ezek 48:1-7). In any case, the ideal of twelve remained long after the tribal organization disappeared, even into the NT, where it provides incentive for Jesus to have twelve disciples, who he said would judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt 19:28; Luke 22:30). Paul also refers to the twelve tribes (Acts 26:7), and the book of James is addressed to Jewish Christians called “the twelve tribes in the Dispersion” (Jas 1:1).

Gen 49

Jacob's Last Words to His Sons
1Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.2Assemble and ... View more

Num 1:20-43

20The descendants of Reuben, Israel's firstborn, their lineage, in their clans, by their ancestral houses, according to the number of names, individually, every ... View more

Num 26:5-50

5Reuben, the firstborn of Israel. The descendants of Reuben: of Hanoch, the clan of the Hanochites; of Pallu, the clan of the Palluites;6of Hezron, the clan of ... View more

Deut 33

Moses' Final Blessing on Israel
1This is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites before his death.2He said:
The Lord came from Sin ... View more

Judg 5

The Song of Deborah
1Then Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying:2“When locks are long in Israel,
when the people offer themselves willingly— ... View more

Gen 49

Jacob's Last Words to His Sons
1Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.2Assemble and ... View more

Gen 35:22-26

22While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine; and Israel heard of it.
Now the sons of Jacob were twelve.23The sons ... View more

Deut 27:12-13

12When you have crossed over the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim for the blessing of the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. ... View more

1Chr 2:1-2

The Sons of Israel and the Descendants of Judah
1These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun,2Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, ... View more

Ezek 48:1-7

The Tribal Portions
1These are the names of the tribes: Beginning at the northern border, on the Hethlon road, from Lebo-hamath, as far as Hazar-enon (which is ... View more

Matt 19:28

28Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will a ... View more

Luke 22:30

30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Acts 26:7

7a promise that our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship day and night. It is for this hope, your Excellency, that I am accused by Jews!

Jas 1:1

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:

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