The Story of The 12 Tribes of Israel

God called Abraham,
He said, “Walk with Me.”

“Get out of your country,
From your family,
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you.
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth
shall be blessed.”
(Genesis 12:1-3)

The Lord God promised a child to Abraham,
But Abraham was old, and Sarah was passed
the age of childbearing. Sarah had an Egyptian
handmaiden named Hagar, and she did give this foreign
woman to Abraham, to give him an heir.

But God said, “no.”
Ishmael, the son born from Hagar
was not to be heir.

The Lord sent three angels
to give him news that the promise was
to be fulfilled in a year’s time..

Sarah eavesdropping, laughed within herself,
and the angel hearing,
“Why did you laugh?”

Sarah filled with fear,
denied laughing."

“No, but you did laugh.”

The Lord visited Sarah opening her
and she named her son,

Years later,
Isaac was to be sacrificed,
on the alter,
to test Abraham.
He bound the boy from head to foot,
and when he took the dagger out of it’s sheath,

The Angel of The Lord appeared
“Do not slay him, for you have not witheld your son,
your only son from Me.”

Isaac grew to manhood,
and the servant of Abraham found him
a young beautiful woman named Rebekah
to be his wife

Rebekah’s womb was barren for nearly 20 years,
when she had the semblance of two nations
wrestling inside her body causing her great distress
and suffering.

She bore Esau and Jacob,
Esau the elder twin,
Jacob the younger
both grew to manhood.

The children grew up
distinct from one another
although they were twins.

Now Isaac preferred Esau,
a hunter of venison,
and a hairy man,

Rebekah favored Jacob,
who was a smooth man,
a shepherd.
Esau sold his inheritance
for lintel soup out in the field

When it was time for the blessing
Rebekah prepared Isaac’s favorite venison
strapped hair on her son’s smooth arms

Issac was old, and had become blind
Jacob asked for his father’s blessing.
But he hesitated.

The voice is Jacob’s, but the arms are Esau’s"

“Are you really my son Esau?”

“I am.”

Come near."

The Blessing:"

“Surely, the smell of my son
Is like the smell of a field
Which The Lord has blessed.
Therefore may God give you
Of the dew of the heaven,
Of the fatness of the earth,
And plenty of grain and wine.
Let people serve you,
And nations bow down to you.
Be master over your breathren,
And let your mother’s sons bow down to
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
And blessed be those who bless you!”
(Geneis 27:27-29)

“Later Esau came to discover
to his great dismay, his blessing had
been stolen.
With bitterness in his voice,
“Bless me also, O’ My Father.!”

Esau hated Jacob.

Rebekah sent Jacob to her brother Laban’s
To escape his brother’s wrath.
He set his eyes on his daughter Rachel.
From then on Jacob loved Rachel
But there was another sister Leah.
Who was not beautiful as Rachel,
but she was the eldest.

“I will work seven years for Rachel
Laban a crafy man gave another for his wife
on the night of his wedding.
In the morning, Jacob saw that it was Leah,
and not his beloved Rachel.

“What have you done to me?”

“It is the custom that the elder should be wed
before the younger, give me another seven years
of work for Rachel, and in a week I will give her
to you also.”

“Now, there were two maids besides,
Leah’s maid was Zilpah,
and Rachel’s maid was Bilah.”

But The Lord saw Leah was unloved,
and so opened her womb,
closing the womb of Rachel

Leah conceived and bore a son and she
named him Reuben.

“The Lord has surely looked on my affliction.
Now therefore my husband will love me.
(Genesis 29:32)

She conceived and bore a second son,
his name she called Simeon."

“Because The Lord has heard that I am unloved,
He has therefore given me this son also.”
(Genesis 29:33)

A third time The Lord opened Leah’s
womb, and she bore a son named Levi."

“Now this time my husband will become
attached to me, for I have borne him three sons.”
(Genesis 29:34)

The Lord opened Leah’s womb a fourth time.
She called her son Judah.

“Now I will Praise The Lord.”
(Genesis 29:35)

Then she stopped bearing."

Rachel died everytime her sister’s womb
was opened and hers remained closed.

She begged Jacob, “Give me children or else I die!”
“Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you
the fruit of the womb?”
(Genesis 30:2)

She mourned the loss of children
Grief made her give Jacob
Bilah her maid to have children with

“Jacob married Bilah, and bore him a son
The son Rachel named Dan.

“God has judged my case and he has also heard my voice, and given me a son.
( Genesis 30:6)

Then Jacob entered Bilah, and they had a second son
Rachel named him Naphtali.

“With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and I have
(Genesis 30:8)

Then Leah took her maid Zilpah, and gave her to Jacob
as a wife, to bear more children through her.

“Leah’s maid bore Gad, which means, "A troop comes.

Zilpah bore a second time, Asher.

I am happy for the daughters will call be blessed.

The Lord blessed Leah again. And she named her son Issachar

And the last she bore was Zebulun.

“God has endowed me with a good endowment;
now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne
him six sons.”
(Genesis 30:20)

(Afterward she bore Jacob a daughter and named her Dinah.)

In time, God remembered Rachel, and opened her womb.

“God has taken away my reproach.”
(Genesis 30:22)

Rachel finally bore Jacob a son, and named him, Joseph, and said,
The Lord shall add to me another son."
(Years later she bore her second and last son Benjamin.)

After years of service to Laban Jacob left with his family.

It was in the wilderness,
A Man wrestled with Jacob,
all night until dawn,

Now when The Man saw that He did not prevail
against him, He touched the socket of his hip;
and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint
as He wrestled with him.

And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.”

But Jacob said, " I will not let You go unless you
bless me!"

So The Man said to Jacob,
“What is your name?”

He said, Jacob."

“And He said, “Your name shall no longer
be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have
struggled with God and with men, and have
(Genesis 32: 24-28)

The 12 Tribes of Israel:

1. Reuben-Leah’s son
2. Simeon-Leah’s second son
3. Levi-Leah’s third son (The Tribe of The Prophet Moses, The Priestly Tribe.)
4. Judah-Leah’s fourth son (The Tribe of Our Saviour Jesus Christ.)
5. Dan-Rachel’s maid, Bilah’s son
6. Naphtali-Rachel’s maid, Bilah’s second son
7. Gad-Leah’s maid, Zilpah’s son
8. Asher-Leah maid, Zilpah’s second son
9. Issachar-Leah’s fifth son
10. Zebulun-Leah’s sixth son
11. Joseph-Rachel’s firstborn (His sons were Manasseh, and Ephraim)
12. Benjamin-Rachel’s second born.

Taken from the Book of Genesis, the story of the beginning of Israel, which is composed of 12 tribes, later 13.

When Joseph was born, Israel favored Joseph, the son from the woman he loved Rachel. Because Israel loved Rachel, Joseph was his favorite. Rachel gave birth a second time to a son Benjamin where she died in child birth.
When Joseph was 17, Jacob gave him a multi-colored robe. Thus, arousing the jealousy and bitterness in his brothers. The ten envious brothers, could not speak peacably to him from that day on. It was then that Joseph, had strange dreams.

“Please, hear this dream which I have dreamed. There we were binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.
(Genesis 37:6)

Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said,
“Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
(Genesis 37:9)

Later, Israel sent Joseph to look for his brothers who were tending the sheep in Shechem. When they saw him coming, their anger boiled, and they plotted to kill him. The brothers, mockingly threw him down, stripped him of his coat, took turns wearing it, then ripped it. Ruined the coat lay in strips on the ground, then they cast him into a deep pit. Betrayed by his brothers, Joseph wept at the bottom of the pit. Only Reuben intervened and begged the others not to slay their brother Joseph. They heeded him not, as their souls were so engulfed with bitterness. They dipped his coat in goat’s blood then sold him into slavery to Midianite traders.

Joseph, the son of Rachel, was sold into Potiphar’s house. His master saw that The Lord was with him, and put him in charge of all he had. However, Potiphar’s wife found Joseph’s appearance pleasing and attempted to seduce him. He fled, and she stayed with his outer garment. Joseph was accused of rape, and thrown into prison.

In prison, he began to intepret dreams. There he interepreted the dreams of a baker and a butler. Upon his was release, he began interperating the pharoah’s dream, who dreamed of famine in the land.

“There came out of the river, seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the cows on the bank of the river. And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharoah awoke.”
(Genesis 41:2-4)

As famine swept the land, his brothers traveled to Egpyt to buy food. When they arrived, Joseph immediately recognized his brothers and accused them of being spies. Joseph tested them, to see if they still held bitterness in their hearts. He commanded them to bring Benjamin the youngest brother back to Egypt to prove they were not spies. As agreed Simeon stayed behind in prison to prove that his brothers were not spies.

The ten tribes returned with Benjamin, their youngest brother. Joseph then released Simeon. All seemed well, until a gold cup was found in Benjamin’s bag. Furious, Joseph demanded that Benjamin become his slave.

Judah begged to stay in his stead. The tribes begged him, to spare Benjamin.

So, Judah stayed in his stead, until they brought their father Israel to prove to Joseph that their story was the truth. They admitted to him tearfully that their father Jacob was old, and could not lose another son.

Joseph, took off his Egyptian wig, the black eye liner stained his cheeks.

“I am he, that you sold into slavery. I am Joseph, your brother.”

A prophecy fulfilled. His 11 brothers prostrated themselves to the ground, as the sheafs in the dream, to the one sheaf, Joseph.

Do not by grieved with yourselves, for God sent me ahead because of you to preserve life.

Tell me about our father. Is he well?

“Hurry up and go to father and say to him, "God has made me lord of the house of Pharoah, come down and do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near to me, you and your children, your children’s children, your flocks and your herds.

Then they departed to the land of Canaan To Jacob their father.

“Father, Joseph is still alive, and he is the governor of Egypt.”

Jacob’s heart stood still. “My son is alive? How can this be?”

But he saw all of the gifts Joseph had sent. He saw the countenance of each of his sons. Then he felt revived in his spirit. Then in his old age Israel traveled to Egypt. When his eyes beheld his son, with a weak gait, he met Joseph, and wept

While, in Egypt, Joseph’s wife Asenath, bore him two sons, first Manasseh, then Ephraim. The two which were born to him in Egypt also became part of Israel.

There the 12 tribes dwelt in Egypt, multiplied and grew in strength. Many years passed. Until, a pharoah who did not know Joseph enslaved them. There the children of Israel served every pharoah for 400 years. Then God raised up a deliverer named Moses who led Israel to the land flowing with milk and honey.
When he died God raised Joshua, then the people had judges over them. Until finally the people asked for a king. The Lord God gave them Saul to be their king. King Saul fell from favor, then The Lord anointed a shepherd youth named David.

After The Reign of David, his son Soloman reigned. But Soloman married many foreign wives, and so God ripped ten tribes away. God left the tribes intact until the death of Soloman, for the sake of David his servant. God left Soloman’s son Rehoboam only two tribes, Judah, and Benjamin. The Lord gave to a man named Jeroboam the remaining ten. The ten tribes were then referred to as Israel, and the remaining two were known as Judah. The ten tribes were the Northern Kingdom who worshiped in Samaria, and the Southern Kingdom known as Judah worshiped in Jerusalem. The ten remaining tribes were carried away by the Assyrians in the year 722 B.C. for their idolatry. The Southern Tribe of Judah was conquered in 586 B.C.E. by The Babylonians. After 70 years The tribe of Judah began returning to Jerusalem.

By the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, the land of Judea was occupied by the Romans.

As prophesied by dying Israel (Jacob), “The Sceptre did not depart from Judah”

“For there is born to you in this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ The Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

May you be blessed by The Salvation that is found only in Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Story of The 12 Tribes of Israel

Matty B. Duran

Fresno, United States

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 6

Artist's Description

Taken from the Book of Genesis, the story of the beginning of Israel, which is composed of 12 tribes, later 13. In Egypt, Joseph’s wife Asenath, bore him two sons, first Manasseh, then Ephraim, which were born to him in Egypt also became tribes. As prophesied by dying Israel (Jacob),“The Sceptre did not depart from Judah”, Jesus Christ was a son of Judah, also called Jews.
In The Book of Exodus, generations after Joseph, a new pharoah did not know him or the tribes of Israel. They were enslaved for 400 years, until God sent a deliverer named Moses. By The Hand of God, Moses led Israel out of Eygpt in The Book of Exodus.
In The Book of Judges, God raised up judges to rule the tribes of Israel through, for hundreds of years, until the people asked for a king.
God raised up King Saul, who was not a man after his own heart, and died in battle.
The Lord raised up a shepherd boy named David. He groomed him for many years. During this time King Saul saught his life.
After The Reigns of David, Soloman became king. But Soloman committed idolatry, married many foreign women, had 700 wives and 300 concubines. The Lord allowed Soloman to reign with The Kingdom of Israel intact, He said for the sake of His servant David.
During the reign of Soloman The Lord God raised up a man named Jeroboam. Jeroboam met with a prophet named Ahijah, who told him to rip ten pieces for himself from the garment he wore. The remaining two The Lord Almighty left in the hand of Soloman’s son, a stubborn king named Rehoboam. The ten tribes were then referred to as Israel, and the remaining two were known as Judah. The ten tribes were the Northern Kingdom who worshiped in Samaria, and the Southern Kingdom known as Judah worshiped in Jerusalem. The ten remaining tribes were carried away by the Assyrians in the year 722 B.C. for their idolatry. The Southern Tribe of Judah was conquered in 586 B.C.E. by The Babylonians. The last king to rule was Zedekiah who had his eyes ripped out. Then After 70 years The tribe of Judah began returning to Jerusalem. By the time, of Christ, the land of Judea was occupied by The Romans.

Artwork Comments

  • Reynaldo
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