T HE S ECRET OF H IS P URPOSE …. T HE P LAN FOR THE F ULLNESS OF THE T IMES
TO HEAD UP ALL THINGS IN THE KING,
E VERYTHING IN THE H EAVENS AND ON THE E ARTH ,
IN JESUS ….
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
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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. Interestingly,
the lists of the tribes in scripture always total to 12, which signifies the perfect government of
God.
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.
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: from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were
sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,
from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from
the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from
the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, 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. 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."
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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]
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
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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
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.
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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.
"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 is our inheritance in the kingdom of God in God's age(s). When we believe,
we become new creations in Christ that progressively go from glory to glory.
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.
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.
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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 diverse gene pool. As an aside, I believe many Christians
today are descendants of the tribes, in fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham. Of course,
no one is saved based on genetics, but I see the glory of God in the possibility that many of us in
the western nations, in particular, are descendants. Nevertheless, this article is not about the
physical nature of the tribes; but rather, about their prophetic and symbolic meaning. The next
chart addresses the meaning of the names from the mother's view.
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 true nature of Israel, which means "God rules." An Israelite hears God, comes under
His rule (obeys), and becomes attached to Him in a living, personal way. To reiterate, 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).
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True Israelites are also true conquerors, and in this regard, Simeon and Levi are types of
conquerors. 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.
"Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are implements of violence. "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. "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
conquerors. 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?
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
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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, 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.
For more on this, check out these links.
Abraham's Multitude of Nations http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art63.pdf
America—Wake Up! http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art67.pdf
Fullness of the Nations—All Israel Saved — http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art64.pdf
Until Shiloh Comes http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art66.pdf
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.
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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 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.
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? "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, the humanity the Father is after. 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.
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. 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. 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 the Messiah of
israel. 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).
Fifth, there seems to be two levels upon which the breach is repaired. The highest or grandest
level is in Yeshua the Christ. The second level involves the brothers themselves.
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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 Israel's Messiah.
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.
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.
"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, 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. "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 begotten by Joseph, and not to any of the sons of Leah 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
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.
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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 God's Son.
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 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. 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. 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)
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; 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. 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.
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…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His
sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the [out-]
resurrection from the dead. 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. 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, 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 God's age is about conquering while still in
mortal bodies. Ones who hear the Lord and obey Him are conquerors, and they will reign with
Christ as manifested, glorified sons 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 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 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 receive the inheritance of the kingdom of the heavens.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 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)
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." … "Blessed are the
gentle, for they shall inherit the earth." … "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)
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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.
For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was
faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be
spoken later; 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. 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 kingdom today and in the
ages to come.
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 victor's 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, starting with the seventh day.
Benjamin: Son of the Right Hand. Just as Joseph is a type of the Anointed One 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 8 signifies a new birth or new creation. Surely, the conquerors
are the fruitful sons of the new creation; the ones that will 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.
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
fiery law for them. 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.
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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 Hebrew and Greek alphabets being dual-character
systems—meaning 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
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 spirit of the Lord 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.
As I point out in my article Until Shiloh Comes , Jesus or Yeshua is Israel. He came to earth in His
inaugural manifestation as Israel's Messiah and as Israel's God. But He also came as Israel itself.
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He suffered as Israel suffered throughout its history, and fully identified with their plight. The
number 888 associated with the tribes makes the point!
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). These 144,000 are representative of the true Israel of God that God has
always intended there to be.
He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He
purposed in Him 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 ages to come. That the number is intensified by 1,000 further adds to its
signification.
(By the way—whether the 144,000 is a literal number or simply symbolic, as well as how all the
144,000 play into the eschatological interpretation of the book of Revelation, I leave to others to
debate. I have chosen to consider the 144,000 purely from a spiritual perspective.)
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)
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
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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.
By the way, this is not replacement theology. It is based on graftage. For more on this topic, check
out the following link.
Dualism, Reversionism, Graftage http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art39.pdf
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 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.
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
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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).
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 Lambkin 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).
A final thought—I use the term conquering body to include the entire body of Christ, which is the
ecclesia Jesus is building. Those called and predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son
are conquerors—designated beforehand to conquer through the one who loves us! Paul gives us
the foundation of this truth.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who
are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to
be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many
brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he
also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30 ESV)
The point is that the above gematria speaks to the very heart of what God is doing and will
ultimately do through His Son 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.
"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, 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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