In the days of antiquity, soon after the foundation of the earth was laid, 12 Tribes of people - all descendants of one man who had received a tremendous promise - emerged from all of humankind as one nation through which all of world history can be viewed.
12 Tribes is a celebration of the legacy this ancient people left for those of us who live today!
These 12 Tribes originated from the sons of Jacob, the Biblical patriarch....12 in number from different mothers. Their story is far from being dry or boring...the human drama excels the best plot-lines of even modern dramas, action-adventures, and romance!
For this post, I am simply sharing their names...and the idea that each of their names hints at a wonderful legacy for us to inherit.
You see, in Biblical times, great care was taken in giving a child their name. Frequently, inquiry was made to God on what name a child should be given. The name of someone was believed to represent 3 ideas: the very person; all that is known about the person, and the very presence of the person...you can see how incredible this concept is when considering that Christians asked to pray "in Jesus' name"! To find the meaning of someone's name was to know quite a bit about the person and the destiny of that person.
So, relating this to the 12 sons of Jacob, first we investigate the meaning of their names. The Tribes (in order of birth) and the meaning of their names are as follows:
Reuben - viewing (or behold) the son
Simeon - hearing and obeying
Levi - joining or cleaving to
Judah - confession or praise of God
Zebulon - home or dwelling place
Issachar - reward or what is given by way of reward
Dan - judging
Gad - a company
Asher - happy or blessed (blessings). This word is always in the plural form.
Naphtali - a wrestler or striving with
Joseph - added, an addition
Benjamin - son of the right hand
After some prayer and a leading to reduce the meanings of the names to one word which would convey the same idea in more modern terms for our use here, I developed the following list:
Reuben - Adore/Worship
Simeon - Wisdom
Levi - Embrace
Judah - Praise/Declare
Zebulon - Abide
Issachar - Reward/Treasure
Dan - Discern
Gad - Fellowship
Naphtali - Conqueror or victory
Joseph - Increase
Benjamin - Honor