ALL THINGS IN CHRIST
In all wisdom and prudence making known to us the mystery of His will according to His
good pleasure which He purposed in Him the plan for the fullness of the times
TO HEAD UP THE ALL THINGS IN THE CHRIST ,
the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, in Him ….
(Ephesians 1:8b-10)
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
Article #35
Prophetic Israelite Tribal Names
December 2011 (rev 3)
As Jacob-Israel was on his deathbed, he gave a prophetic blessing to each of his 12 sons that
spoke of the future of their descendants (Genesis 49). Shortly before this, Israel also adopted
Joseph's two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 48). Adding these two sons to the 12,
including their father Joseph, actually totals 14 sons of Israel . However, when Manasseh and
Ephraim are included with the 12, Joseph is sometimes excluded, which brings the total back
down to 13. Also, Levi is often left out due to his unique place among the tribes.
While John was in spirit, he was told the number of the bond-servants of God that would be
sealed from the 12 tribes of the sons of Israel. But, an examination of the listed tribes presents
a challenge, for they do not match any listing found in Scripture, either in order or content.
(4) And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand
sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: (5) from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand
were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve
thousand, (6) from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve
thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, (7) from the tribe of Simeon twelve
thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,
(8) from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed. (Revelation 7:4-8 NASB)
In the above, Dan and Ephraim are left out. Most likely, Dan was replaced by Levi, and Ephraim
was replaced by his father Joseph. However, Ephraim's older brother Manasseh is included.
Further, the tribes are listed in what appears to be a strange order. They are not listed by age or
mother, and there seems to be no historical perspective.
Many commentators believe that Dan was excluded due to his idolatry when he stole the
graven images, the ephod, and the household idols from Micah's house (Judges 18:14-31).
However, if this were the sole basis for exclusion from the list, there would be others that
should have been left out as well. The fact of the matter is that Jacob's sons and their
descendants were often a troubled, rebellious, dysfunctional lot.
So, what criteria were used by the Spirit of God in listing the tribes? Perhaps, the answer lies
with the meaning of the tribal names themselves.
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Prophetic Israelite Tribal Names
December 2011 (rev 3)
When each of Jacob's 12 sons was born, Leah and Rachel named their sons and spoke a special
word that signified the meaning of the name. For example, Judah means "praise," for when he
was born, Leah declared: "I will praise the Lord."
It has been proposed by others that there is a prophetic message revealed in the meanings of
the names in the order they are presented. As to be expected, there are different
interpretations of the message and to whom it applies. However, regardless of the
interpretation, it seems clear that Ephraim was excluded because the meaning of his name
essentially matches that of his father Joseph ("fruitful"; Genesis 41:52; 49:22). Ephraim's older
brother Manasseh is included because the meaning of his name is needed to form the message.
Dan is excluded because the meaning of his name does not fit into the message. Simple answer!
Let us begin with what Scripture says on the matter. To do this, three charts are presented.
Chart #1
Jacob's Sons
"Commentary on Birth" [Mother]
Genesis 29:31-35; 30:1-24; 35:17-18; 41:50-52
1. Reuben
"Because the LORD has seen my affliction ; surely now my husband will
love me." [Leah]
2. Simeon
"Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved , He has therefore given
me this son also." [Leah]
3. Levi
"Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have
borne him three sons." [Leah]
4. Judah
"This time I will praise the LORD." [Leah]
5. Dan
"God has vindicated me, and has indeed heard my voice and has given me
a son." [Bilhah; commentary and name from Rachel]
6. Naphtali
"With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister , and I have indeed
prevailed ." [Bilhah; commentary and name from Rachel]
7. Gad
"How fortunate !" [Zilpah; commentary and name from Leah]
8. Asher
" Happy am I! For women will call me happy." [Zilpah; commentary and
name from Leah]
9. Issachar
"God has given me my wages because I gave my maid to my husband."
[Leah]
10. Zebulun
"God has endowed me with a good gift ; now my husband will dwell with
me , because I have borne him six sons." [Leah]
11. Joseph
"God has taken away my reproach ." "May the LORD give me another son."
[Rachel]
12. Benjamin
Ben-oni (the son of my sorrows ) [Rachel]
Benjamin (the son of my right hand ) [named by Jacob]
13. Manasseh
"God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household."
[Asenath; commentary and name from Joseph]
14. Ephraim
"God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction ."
[Asenath; commentary and name from Joseph]
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Prophetic Israelite Tribal Names
December 2011 (rev 3)
All fourteen sons of Israel are listed because Joseph's two sons, born by an Egyptian mother,
were adopted by Jacob-Israel at the end of his life and given the birthright name of Israel . At
the birth of each son, a statement was made about the son, based on the situation the parent
faced in bringing the child into the world. From the statement came the son's name, along with
its meaning. Thus, within each statement, there are key words (in bold ) that had some bearing
on the naming of each son.
It should be noted that in the case of the surrogate mothers (maids), Leah and Rachel made the
statements and gave the son the name. In the case of Benjamin, Jacob overrode the name
Rachel gave her son as she died. In the case of Manasseh and Ephraim, Joseph named his sons.
Next, Chart #2 is reordered to follow Revelation 7, but with Dan and Ephraim left out. Chart #3
takes the same order but lists a simplified meaning of each name, along with Jacob-Israel's
prophetic blessing given to each of his sons.
Chart #2
Jacob's Sons
"Commentary on Birth" [Key Word]
Ordered according to Revelation 7:4-8
1. Judah
"This time I will praise the LORD."
2. Reuben
"Because the LORD has seen my affliction ; surely now my husband will love
me."
3. Gad
"How fortunate !"
4. Asher
" Happy am I! For women will call me happy."
5. Naphtali
"With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister , and I have indeed
prevailed ."
6. Manasseh
"God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household."
7. Simeon
"Because the LORD has heard that I am unloved , He has therefore given me
this son also."
8. Levi
"Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have
borne him three sons."
9. Issachar
"God has given me my wages because I gave my maid to my husband."
10. Zebulun
"God has endowed me with a good gift ; now my husband will dwell with me ,
because I have borne him six sons."
11. Joseph
"God has taken away my reproach ." "May the LORD give me another son."
12. Benjamin
"The son of my sorrows " became "The son of my right hand ."
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Chart #3
Tribal Name Meaning Prophetic Blessing (Genesis 48-49)
1. Judah Praise of God His brethren shall praise; the scepter shall not
depart from Judah
2. Reuben A son seen My first born; you shall not have pre-eminence
3. Gad A troop or band A troop shall overcome him
4. Asher Proceeding right His food (bread) shall be rich (fat)
5. Naphtali My wrestling A hind let loose; gives beautiful words
6. Manasseh He made to forget; forgetting Grow into a multitude, a great people
7. Simeon Gracious hearing Instrument of cruelty; dispersed in Jacob,
scattered in Israel
8. Levi My joining; associated Instrument of cruelty; dispersed in Jacob,
scattered in Israel
9. Issachar He brings reward A strong ass; a slave at forced labor
10. Zebulun Dwelling wished for Shall dwell at the seashore; a haven for ships
11. Joseph He increases A fruitful bough; a crown on the head
12. Benjamin The son of my right hand A ravenous wolf; devours the prey, divides the
spoil
How are we to interpret these charts? Before offering my view on the matter, let us consider
what others have said.
Various commentators have taken the meanings of the tribal names and, by adding words to
create readable sentences, have formed what they believe to be prophetic messages about the
Church and her struggle to victory; the last one relates it to "repairing the breach." Here are
three good renderings.
I will praise the Lord for he has looked on me and granted good fortune. I am happy because
of my wrestling, God is making me to forget. God hears me and is joined to me. He has
purchased me a dwelling and will add to me, the Son of His right hand.
I will praise the Lord for He has looked on me and granted good fortune. Happy am I because
my wrestling God is making me to forget. God hears me and is joined to me. He has
purchased me a dwelling. God will add to me the Son of His right hand.
Praise Confession: Behold, a Son, a whole troop whose fortune has come. They are happy and
blessed after wrestling and striving, forgetting their past troubles, hearing and obeying,
united as one . Their recompense for their labor is to dwell with God, and He will increase and
add to them many sons of His right hand.
These pretty much sum up the heart of the matter; however, by joining into one paragraph the
scriptural commentary on each birth as shown in Chart #2, we discover that it tells a story
consisting of several themes.
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"This time I will praise the LORD. Because the LORD has seen my affliction ; surely now my
husband will love me [ first son ] . How fortunate ! Happy am I! For women will call me happy.
With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister , and I have indeed prevailed . God has
made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household. Because the LORD has heard that
I am unloved , He has therefore given me this [ second ] son also. Now this time my husband will
become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons. God has given me my wages
because I gave my maid to my husband. God has endowed me with a good gift ; now my
husband will dwell with me , because I have borne him six [ six ] sons. God has taken away my
reproach . May the LORD give me another son [ seventh ] . The son of my sorrows has become
the son [ eighth ] of my right hand. "
So, what story does this tell us? What themes are interwoven in this statement?
First, it begins and ends with a good theme . It starts with praising the Lord and ends with a son
of my right hand . The hand signifies "power," and the right hand signifies "eminent" or "divine
power." Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33). Stephen, being
full of the Holy Spirit, saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Acts 7:55). In his Patmos
vision, John saw Jesus holding seven stars in His right hand (Revelation 1:16). Further, the right
hand was always used when a patriarch wanted to bestow a special blessing on a son,
especially one being afforded the blessing of the inheritance of a firstborn (Genesis 48:14).
Second, sonship is the central theme . Sonship is all about maturing from a child of God into a
son of God, and this comes about through spiritual perfection that is ultimately manifested
through resurrection and transfiguration into an immortal, glorified, spiritual, celestial body in
the image of the Son of God. This speaks of the 8 th day, which is the resurrection day. When we
first believe, we are born from above with the seed of God residing within us (1 John 3:9), but
this seed must grow and mature until one day it births the new man in us.
Technically, all believers are sons of God, but the question of when one will be manifested as a
son depends on being counted worthy of the kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12). All will
be in glory in God's Day. The question is who will reign with Christ in the age to come or the
Lord's Day or the Day of Christ (Kingdom Age, Tabernacles Age). Only those who conquer
(overcome) will be counted worthy to enter eonian and immortal life to reign with Christ, both
in the earthly and heavenly realms, for 1,000 years. The rest of the dead will not come to life
until the end of the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-6), saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians
3:15).
The above scriptural statement reveals a very important point regarding what it takes to be a
conqueror, and it is discovered in the prophetic meanings of the 7 th and 8 th names listed.
Clearly, there are 12 sons in view in the statement, but notice that three sons, then six sons,
then another son, and then finally a son of my right hand are mentioned, and in this order. In
other words, the number of sons builds until what appears to be 8 sons, not 12. Another son
and the son of my right hand would presumably be the 7 th and 8 th sons, respectively.
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This might seem strange but perhaps it is by design. Between Leah and Rachel, the two free
wives of Jacob, were 8 sons, 6 from Leah's womb and 2 from Rachel's womb. However, special
note needs to be made that it is not until after stating "God has taken away my reproach " that
the 7 th and 8 th sons come into view. In other words, reproach must be removed before the last
two of the eight sons come forth.
The numbers alone are prophetically significant. The number 7 signifies " spiritual perfection ,"
and the number 8 signifies " new birth, new creation, or new beginnings ."
In light of this, consider the following chart of the sons of Israel in the order as presented in
Revelation 7; take special note of the 7 th and 8 th sons on the list.
As a reminder, these brothers and their ancient descendants are long gone, and the identity of
their modern-day descendants is lost in a vastly diverse gene pool. As such, it is important to
approach the 12 tribes of Revelation prophetically and symbolically, as given to us in the
meaning of their names, as well as the statements made by the two mothers when their sons
were born.
Tribal Name
Mother's Meaning
Prophetic Meaning
1. Judah
"I will praise the Lord"
praise, confess, give thanks
2. Reuben
"He has looked on me"
behold, a son
3. Gad
"He has granted me good fortune"
a troop, fortune has come
4. Asher
"Happy am I"
happy, bless
5. Naphtali
"My wrestling"
my wrestling, strife
6. Manasseh
"Making me to forget"
forgetting, one who forgets
7. Simeon
"God hears me"
hearing/obeying, being in agreement
8. Levi
"Joined to me"
joiner, adhesion, unification
9. Issachar
"Purchased me"
hired, there is wages/recompense
10. Zebulon
"Dwelling"
dwelling, habitation
11. Joseph
"God will add to me"
He will add
12. Benjamin
"Son of His right hand"
son of the right hand
Simeon means "to hear ," and, at his birth, Leah said: "Because the LORD has heard that I am
unloved , He has therefore given me this son also." Levi means "to unite ," and, at his birth, Leah
said: "Now this time my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three
sons."
Prophetically, there seems to be two ways to view these meanings. One is from God's
perspective; that is, He hears His people and attaches/unites them to Himself. The other is from
the individual's perspective; that is, one hears God and becomes attached to God. Herein lies
the secret of the conqueror, for one who conquers or overcomes is one who hears God and
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becomes attached to Him in a living, personal, intimate way. Of course, the attachment comes
when one not only hears but obeys what he hears, walking by faith and not by sight. So faith
comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
In this light, Simeon and Levi are types of conquerors or overcomers. But how could this be so;
after all, the testimony of their lives and the prophetic blessing given to them by their father
Jacob-Israel was not so good.
(5) "Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are implements of violence. (6) "Let my soul
not enter into their council; let not my glory be united with their assembly; because in their
anger they slew men, and in their self-will they lamed oxen. (7) "Cursed be their anger, for it
is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel. I will disperse them in Jacob, and scatter them in
Israel. (Genesis 49:5-7 NASB)
According to the record, both brothers were what could be called hotheads ; that is, one of their
dispositions was anger. This manifested itself when they learned that Shechem had forced
himself on their sister Dinah. In their anger, they fiercely killed Hamor, Shechem, and their sons
(Genesis 34). So, when it came time to give his sons a prophetic blessing, Jacob-Israel joined the
two brothers together in one blessing based on their anger. Notice that both were to be
dispersed, divided, or separated in Jacob, and scattered or cast abroad in Israel.
Simeon and Levi seem to be the least likely candidates for such a task. How could two brothers,
known for their anger and fierceness, be types of conquerors? Actually, their cruel character
makes them the perfect candidates for becoming conquerors, just as their father Jacob was a
twisted character. After all, God seems to take the most unlikely and outwardly disqualified
ones and uses them the most so that, in the end, the boast is not in man but in the Lord (1
Corinthians 1:31). In fact, God seems to delight in taking the most unlikely ones and turning
them into overcomers. Consider your own life! With God, all things are possible.
Third, let us look at the prophetic statement again for another theme.
"This time I will praise the LORD. Because the LORD has seen my affliction ; surely now my
husband will love me. How fortunate ! Happy am I! For women will call me happy. With mighty
wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister , and I have indeed prevailed . God has made me
forget all my trouble and all my father's household. Because the LORD has heard that I am
unloved , He has therefore given me this son also. Now this time my husband will become
attached to me, because I have borne him three sons. God has given me my wages because I
gave my maid to my husband. God has endowed me with a good gift ; now my husband will
dwell with me , because I have borne him six sons. God has taken away my reproach . May the
LORD give me another son. The son of my sorrows has become the son of my right hand. "
Suffering, affliction, hardship, conflict, and wrestling together form another theme. Reading
the statements as a unit, one can sense the conflict and the wrestling that went on between
the two sisters, Leah and Rachel. They struggled with each other over having sons. We could
say that it was a troubled love triangle between two women and one man. Who would be
loved? Who would prevail? Who would get to dwell?
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Fourth, just as Leah and Rachel were in conflict with each other so were their sons and their
descendants. For example, the brothers entertained the thought of killing their youngest
brother Joseph, but in the end they sold him as a slave to the Midianites and then deceived
their father into believing he was dead. We can only imagine what other conflicts and intra-
fraternal arguments ensued as they were growing up.
Further, down through the centuries, the history of the sons of Jacob and their many
descendants reveals a rather dysfunctional and vengeful lot that often fought against and killed
each other as enemies. A case in point is the near total destruction of the tribe of Benjamin
(Judges 20-21).
A little over 650 years from the time all 14 sons of Israel (includes Jacob's two adopted sons of
Joseph), were reunited in Egypt, David became king over all of Judah and Israel. Truly, the
kingdom that David built and passed on to his son, who then expanded and enlarged upon it,
was a united kingdom. However, with the death of Solomon, all of this was lost as the Lord had
prophesied because Solomon's heart had turned from the Lord (1 Kings 11:11).
The Lord's word was fulfilled, for after Solomon's death, the United Kingdom of Israel ceased to
be as it was split into two separate kingdoms that were at odds with one another. The northern
kingdom consisted of ten tribes that took the birthright name of Israel and settled in Samaria .
The southern kingdom consisted of two tribes (Judah and Benjamin) plus most of Levi that took
the scepter name of Judah and remained in Judea .
Consequently, a breach occurred in the house of David dividing Joseph [holder of the
birthright] from Judah [holder of the scepter] . A breach means " a break or interruption in
friendly relations ."
However, a much greater and more significant breach also occurred between the two nations
and their relationship to the Lord as both Israel and Judah broke the covenant that the Lord
had made with their forefathers , which brought iron-yoke judgments on both houses
(Jeremiah 11:10).
Israel (ten tribes) was the first to be judged as they went into Assyrian captivity from 745-721
BC and were later scattered among the nations, losing their national identity as Israel , the
holder of the birthright (Genesis 48:14-16; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2). Their identity continues to
remain a mystery to most people in our day, including many Christians, nearly 2,700 years later.
By the way, do not look to the modern state of Israel as a re-gathering of Israel. To locate Israel
today, one needs to look to the Western nations of Europe, British Isles, America, and
elsewhere.
At any rate, the heart of ancient Israel had turned so far from the Lord that He gave them a writ
of divorce (Jeremiah 3:6-8). They were removed from their land and scattered and lost among
the nations.
Judah was just as bad as Israel, so the Lord later sent them into Babylonian captivity around
620-604 BC. However, their captivity was limited to 70 years, after which they were allowed to
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return to their land. Judah was not divorced from the Lord at that time, for the King of Judah
(Jesus) had to come forth from this tribe in fulfillment of Jacob-Israel's prophetic blessing on his
son Judah and for the laying hold of the good figs of Judah who received their King and went
from being the Passover Church to the Pentecostal Church.
(9) "Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies
down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him up? (10) "The scepter shall not depart
from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes, and to him shall
be the obedience of the peoples. (Genesis 49:9-10 NASB)
When Jesus came to Judah and took the scepter as the King of Judah, the religious leaders of
Judah rejected Him and demanded His crucifixion. As a result, the bad figs of Judah were
divorced from the Lord just like Israel had been and their city and temple were destroyed in 70
AD by God's Roman army (Matthew 22:7).
Divorce and Remarriage
As an aside, this raises a question: How could the Lord remarry His people once He had
divorced them without breaking His own law on marriage and divorce? The answer is simple:
He died and rose again as a new man. In other words, the Cross enables all who previously
rejected the Son of God to have faith to believe on Him and ultimately to be married to Him.
Paul the apostle, a former Pharisee who lived under the Law, explains it for us.
(2) For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her
husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. (3) So then, if while her
husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her
husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to
another man. (4) Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the
body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead,
in order that we might bear fruit for God. (Romans 7:2-4 NASB)
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to
Christ I might present you as a pure virgin (2 Corinthians 11:2 NASB).
In like fashion, the breach between the Lord and Israel and Judah is repaired in Christ. There is
no other way, for He is the Way. Jesus is the repairer of the breach and all who believe on Him
are no longer breached, so to speak, but are now new creations in Christ and ambassadors of
the word of conciliation [God's peace with the world] (2 Corinthians 5:16-21).
The same concept could be applied to unbelievers divorcing, then becoming believers, and then
marrying believers (not unbelievers). When they divorced, they were dead in their trespasses.
When they believed, they became new creations in Christ, and they married new creations as
well. This is the same principle upon which Jesus is able to remarry and not break God's law.
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Fifth, there seems to be two levels upon which the breach is repaired. The highest or grandest
level is in Christ. The second level involves the brothers themselves.
Obviously, repairing the breach requires a reunification or joining together of what has been
separated or broken apart. In this regard, as already presented, two names, in particular,
should catch our attention, Simeon and Levi. Again, Simeon means " to hear " and "be in
agreement." Levi means " to unite. " There was a reason why they were dispersed among their
brothers. In type, they point to the fact that the breach between the sons of Israel is repaired in
Christ. On a brotherly level, the breach is repaired when they all come into agreement by
hearing God's word. Out of obedience, they forgive and are united as one in Christ.
Truly, this is an application for all the church of our day that seems so divided on so many
grounds. We need to hear to come into agreement and unity.
The Unloved Wife
Sixth, returning to the prophetic statement; can you feel the heart of Leah as she desired to be
loved by Jacob, knowing that he truly loved her sister Rachel? Leah was an unloved wife who
bore Jacob his firstborn son.
In God's economy, the firstborn son is afforded special status when it comes to a father's estate
and his heirs. In His compassion and mercy, the Lord made provision for the unloved wife and
her firstborn. The provision is explained in the law of the son of the unloved wife .
(15) "If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and
the unloved have borne him sons, if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved, (16) then it
shall be in the day he wills what he has to his sons, he cannot make the son of the loved the
firstborn before the son of the unloved, who is the firstborn. (17) "But he shall acknowledge
the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he
is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn. (Deuteronomy
21:15-17 NASB)
According to this law, Rueben should have received a double portion; however, he defiled his
father's bed and was disqualified as a firstborn: You shall not have pre-eminence .
Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he
defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; so that
he is not enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright. (1 Chronicles 5:1 NASB)
Receiving a father's inheritance as a firstborn son requires worthiness to be the executor of the
father's estate. In other words, a son could be disqualified from receiving the double portion. In
this case, the birthright name of Israel went to Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of an Egyptian
woman and begotten by Joseph, and not to any of the sons of Leah and begotten by Jacob.
Now, I may be stretching this a bit, but it seems to me that, prophetically speaking, a double
portion did go to Leah's son. However, instead of it going to one son, it went to two sons, much
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like the birthright name went to two of Joseph's sons. In other words, together Simeon and Levi
divided up the double portion.
Putting this together, perhaps it could be said that the unloved was heard (typified by Simeon)
and became attached (typified by Levi) to her husband. In the grand plan of God, the husband is
Christ. Again, keep in mind that we are dealing with the prophetic significance of the names.
Prophetic View of the Maturing of the Sons of God
Now, there is perhaps one more way to view the tribal names as they are ordered in Revelation
7. They could be a prophetic progression of how a child of God matures to the adoption of or
placement as a son of God.
Judah: Praise, Confession, Thanks. It all starts with Judah as a type of Jesus as King. When one's
eyes are first opened to Jesus and His saving grace, he sees Jesus as not only Savior but also as
King, and this brings forth praise and confession of who He is. It all begins with the King of kings
and Lord of lords.
Reuben: Behold, a Son. One soon realizes that he is a child of God growing up to be a son of
God. He has not arrived yet, but he knows that God sees him as a son.
Gad: Good Fortune. One soon learns that God causes all things to work together for good for
those who love God, to those who are called according to purpose (Romans 8:28).
Asher: Happy, Blessed. Being saved and called according to God's purpose is truly a cause for
celebration. After all, the inheritance of the Kingdom is set before all who are called to become
sons in the next age. Happy are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God
(Matthew 5:1-12).
Naphtali: Wrestling, Strife. The future is glory for a son, but the path to glory involves struggles
and sufferings, for without trial and tribulation, there is no glory or inheritance in the coming
Kingdom of Christ.
(16) The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, (17) and if
children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so
that we may also be glorified with Him. (18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present
time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (19) For the
anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans
8:16-19 NASB)
"Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22 NASB)
(3) We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your
faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever
greater; (4) therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your
perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
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(5) This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you will be considered
worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. (2 Thessalonians 1:3-5
NASB)
Manasseh: Forgetting. As a son of God matures, his eyes are opened to the glorious destiny
that is set before him that is brought about through resurrection and transfiguration into the
image of the Son of God. This causes him to forget what lies behind as he presses on toward the
goal for the prize of the out -resurrection into a son brought unto glory.
(10) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His
sufferings, being conformed to His death; (11) in order that I may attain to the [out-]
resurrection from the dead. (12) Not that I have already obtained it or have already become
perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ
Jesus. (13) Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, (14) I press on toward
the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:10-14 NASB)
Simeon: Hearing, Obeying, Agreeing. Sonship in the next age is about conquering in this age.
Ones who hear the Lord and obey Him are conquerors, and they will reign with Christ in the
next age as a manifested son of God. But hearing is a two-way street, for the Father hears His
son, and the son knows and hears the voice of his Father.
Levi: Joiner, Unifier. Being a conqueror worthy of sonship in the next age is also about being a
unifier not a divider, a builder not a destroyer, a repairer of the breach not a widener of it. As
Paul the apostle testified: "The Lord gave me for building up and not for tearing down" (2
Corinthians 13:10).
Issachar: Purchased, Wages, Recompense. Clearly, all who believe know that they have been
purchased with the precious blood of God (Acts 20:28). But there is more to the meaning of
Issachar's name, especially in relation to the conqueror. According to John's Patmos vision, the
blood purchases all of mankind.
And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals;
for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue
and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9 NASB)
However, there is a first fruits purchased from among men that precede the rest of mankind.
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from
among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4 NASB)
The first fruits are the conquerors who are rewarded for their faithfulness to the Lord. They are
the first to inherit the Kingdom of the oncoming age.
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(23) Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, (24)
knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ
whom you serve. (Colossians 3:23-24 NASB)
If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. (1 Corinthians
3:14 NASB)
(3) "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." … (5) "Blessed are the
gentle, for they shall inherit the earth." … (10) "Blessed are those who have been persecuted
for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:3, 5, 10 NASB)
Zebulon: Dwelling. There are many references to God's people being the house or dwelling of
God; but there is a special exhortation to conquer in reference to God's house.
(4) For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. (5) Now Moses
was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be
spoken later; (6) but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house─whose house we are, if we
hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end. (7) Therefore, just as
the Holy Spirit says, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE…. (Hebrews 3:4-7 NASB)
Take note that this is a conditional statement. If we hold fast our confidence and the boast of
our hope firm to the end. In others words, do not give up, heed the voice of the Spirit of God. If
we endure, we will also reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12) in the glory of His coming Kingdom.
Joseph: Add, Fruitfulness, Crown on Head. Joseph is a type of Christ and a type of a conqueror.
Christ is crowned with glory and honor, and He is coming as the victorious King to reign with His
conquerors who He will crown with the victors wreath and who will sit upon His throne
(Revelation 3:21). Also, built into Joseph's name is fruitfulness , for this is what it means to add.
The blessing given to Joseph by his father Jacob-Israel was to be a fruitful bough (Genesis
49:22). A conqueror bears the fruit of the Kingdom.
As the seventh son born from the wombs of Jacob's free wives, Leah and Rachel, Joseph also
speaks of the spiritual perfection that will be attained by the sons of the resurrection who will
reign on earth over the nations during the seventh day or the Kingdom Age.
Benjamin: Son of the Right Hand. Just as Joseph is a type of Christ so is Benjamin a type. Jesus
is at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 7:55-56), and He has called and chosen a company
of conquerors to do likewise in the next age. Further, just as Joseph's birth order is significant
so is Benjamin's birth order, for he was the eighth and last son of the two free wives. As
previously shown, the number eight signifies a new birth or new creation. Surely, the
conquerors are the first fruits of the New Creation; the first to be fully transfigured into the
likeness of the Son of God, the Firstborn of all creation. They are the saints through whom the
Lord will judge the world and the angels (1 Corinthians 6:2-3) according to His fiery law.
(2) And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth
from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a
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fiery law for them. (3) Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat
down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words. (Deuteronomy 33:2-3 KJV)
Notice that the saints are in His hand, presumably His right hand, and that His fiery law goes
forth from His right hand. Stated another way, His law will go forth from the sons of His right
hand.
By the way, Benjamin is also the twelfth son in the order of sons listed in Revelation 7. Again,
the number twelve signifies governmental perfection. Thus, Benjamin, as a type of the Son of
God and the many sons of glory, brings about the perfect government of the Kingdom of God.
Gematria of the 12 Sons of Israel
Finally, as I was researching the number code found in the Bible, I came across a very
interesting fact about the gematria of the names of the 12 tribes of the sons of Israel.
In case you do not know, gematria is based on the fact that Hebrew and Greek alphabets are
dual character systems . This means that their letters serve two purposes. One system is for
sound or phonetics, and the other system is for amount or numbers, meaning each letter is
assigned a numeric value.
Hebrew and Greek words consist of letters or symbols with each having a numeric value.
Summing up or multiplying the value of each letter in a word yields another number. Likewise,
the same thing can be done with sentences or phrases to yield another number. Studying these
numbers as revealed throughout Scripture often reveals spiritual meanings to the numbers that
speak mightily of God's plan and purpose. This is the science of gematria.
Amazingly, the 12 sons of Israel, as listed in Revelation 7, gematrically total to the number
8880.
Tribal Name
Numeric Value
1. Judah
485
2. Reuben
630
3. Gad
8
4. Asher
309
5. Naphtali
650
6. Manasseh
700
7. Simeon
1495
8. Levi
445
9. Issachar
1112
10. Zebulon
1360
11. Joseph
1518
12. Benjamin
168
Total
8880
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The amazing fact is the gematria for the name Jesus is 888 . The gematria for the phrase "I am
the life," which speaks of Jesus, is also 888 . As if to drive the point further, the sentence "He
must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet" (1 Corinthians 15:25) is 8888 .
This is no coincidence. The Holy Spirit has placed a neon sign before us telling us of the identity
of the 144,000. The sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel not only belong to Jesus but are
representative of the very life and character of Jesus. We could say that they are the very
embodiment of Jesus Himself. They are fully identified with Him in the number 888.
Think about what this means in light of the history of the ancient tribes that were divorced
from the Lord. In Revelation 7:4-8 and, we could add, Revelation 14:1-5, they have arrived at
the greatest and highest calling anyone could ever hope to achieve. They are the first fruits to
God and to the Lamb (14:4). Those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful
(Revelation 17:14).
But I cannot stress enough the point that we must not view the 144,000 as literal Jews or even
literal Israelites according to the flesh. No! The 144,000 represent the true spiritual Israel, the
conquering Body of Christ that is destined to rule and reign with Christ for 1,000 years;
intimately joined to Him and fully engaged in His work of summing up all things in heaven and
on earth.
(9) He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He
purposed in Him (10) with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times,
that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.
(Ephesians 1:9-10 NASB)
The number 144 is derived by multiplying the number 12 by 12, and the number 12 signifies
" divine government ." Consequently, it signifies that God is going to have a perfect complement
of rulers to reign with Christ as the government (kingdom) of God is established among the
nations on earth in the next 1,000-year age. That the number is intensified by 1,000 further
adds to its signification. Whether the 144,000 is a literal number or simply symbolic, I will leave
to others to debate. However, if we hold the 1,000 years as literal, which I do believe, is it not
logical that the 144,000 should be literal as well? Can we or should we make some numbers in
the Revelation literal and others only symbolic or figurative? I leave this for you to discern.
The 144,000 are not sealed based on their flesh or bloodline but on their spirit life in the Lord
Jesus. This is their testimony…
"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their
testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death." (Revelation 12:11
NASB)
These are the conquerors. The whole church might not overcome in our present wicked age,
with many saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:15) at the Great White Throne
Judgment; but God has His remnant that He is preparing to rule and reign with His Son in the
next age when the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9). A remnant will
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be counted worthy, for they walk in a manner worthy of God who calls you into His own
kingdom and glory (1 Thessalonians 2:12).
The fact that the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel are sealed for the living God indicates that
the breach has been repaired in Jesus Christ, and there is truly only one kingdom, the kingdom
of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15). Again, this is clearly proven by the gematria of
888 that signifies Jesus.
It could be said that the 144,000 represent those who have been (and will be) betrothed to
Another who was raised from the dead (Romans 7:4; 2 Corinthians 11:2).
With this light, the following is a reedit of the scriptural statement presented earlier. As you
read this, read it as if you were speaking it from your heart.
"We praise the LORD, for He has seen our afflictions ; surely the Lord loves us. How fortunate
and happy we are! With mighty wrestlings we have wrestled with one another and with the
Lord Himself, and we have indeed prevailed , for God rules. God has made us forget all our
troubles. Because the LORD has heard that we are unloved , He has therefore given us sonship.
He is our Husband and we are attached to Him. God has given us our wages . God has endowed
us with a good gift ; now our Husband will dwell among us . God has taken away our reproach .
The LORD has given us another Son , the Son of Sorrow who died and now lives as the Son of
His right hand. "
The fact of the matter is that the conquering Body of Christ is the true Israel today, the
spiritual Israel as represented by the 12 tribes, and this statement is the testimony of all the
conquerors in Christ and, ultimately, of the entire Church at the beginning of God's Day.
Don't fall for the teaching that this is about 144,000 young Jewish men according to the flesh or
even ones residing in the modern-day state of Israel, for it is not. The true Israel is destined to
be sons of His right hand, reigning with Christ on earth and in heaven in the age to come.
Given the gematria of 888 for the name Jesus, we could say that our Beloved is the 8 th -Day
Man , the Resurrection Man, and the One who unites not only His Body but all of creation. He is
the Repairer of the Breach of all things that have been breached in creation. So, let us never
lose sight of the fact that Jesus is central and supreme in all the work that God is doing to
accomplish His plan to bring about His ultimate purpose of ALL.
Now, here is one more intriguing fact. Dropping the zeroes from 8880 and 12,000 (number
from each tribe) and multiplying 888 x 12 yields the number 10656 .
The gematria of the sentence "And I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of
the City of my God, the New Jerusalem" (Revelation 3:12) is 10656 .
This alone has some intrigue, but when it is joined with the gematria for the original 12 apostles
of Jesus, the intrigue becomes a clear sign of the hand of God.
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Apostles
Numeric Value
1. Peter
755
2. Andrew
361
3. James
1103
4. John
1119
5. Philip
980
6. Nathanael
150
7. Levi (Matthew)
445
8. Thomas
1050
9. James (son of Alpheus)
2115
10. Labbaeus (Thaddeus)
320
11. Simon the Canaanite
1573
12. Judas
685
Total
10656
Just as Jesus was with the 12 sons of Israel, so He was with His original 12 apostles. Spiritually
speaking, this means that Jesus will not fail to unite all into one, repairing the breach and
bringing all to the glory of God, even to the point that all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26),
even to the point of saving Judas through the Great White Throne Judgment.
As s side note, Paul, who is not included in the above list, went from being Saul (gematria =
901) to Paul (gematria = 781). Numerically, the difference between the two names is 120,
which is a factor of 12 times 10. According to E.W. Bullinger, the number 10 signifies:
"Completeness of order, marking the entire round of anything, is, therefore, the ever-present
signification of the number ten . It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order
are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete. … It signifies the perfection of Divine order "
( Number in Scripture , 1967, Kregel Publications). Saul became Paul, the apostle of the nations,
to signify that God, through His Son, was and is bringing Divine Order, that is, Divine, perfect
government, to all the nations. This is the plan of God to achieve His ultimate purpose of all in
all.
The Son upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3), and He will sum up all
things, even subject all things to Himself so that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:27, 28).
When God has reached His ultimate purpose of being all in all, New Jerusalem will fill the new
earth with the glory of God that will shine into the entire universe. The names of the 12 tribes
of the sons of Israel are written on the gates of New Jerusalem, and the names of the 12
apostles of the Lamb are written on the foundation stones of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:12,
14). New Jerusalem is the Holy Temple in the Lord made up of all the conquerors of Christ built
together into the dwelling of God in spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22).
This is a glorious subject but beyond the scope of this article. The point is that the above
gematria speaks to the very heart of what God is doing and will ultimately do through His Son
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and His conquering Body. Love never fails , and so there is no doubt that "God is love" will not
fail to accomplish all that He has purposed.
(9) "Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God,
and there is no one like Me, (10) declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient
times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will
accomplish all My good pleasure'…. (Isaiah 46:9-10 NASB)
Glory to God!
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