Ch.12  The Twelve Tribes

Volumes of books could be written on each of the Twelve Tribes and there have been many dedicated academia and institution from all over the world aiding the excavation of the Levant committed to the archaeological research, preservation and conservation of discovered artifacts relating to the tribes of Israel.

Archaeological digs are carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) along with the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ministry of Tourism and Antiquity.

A significant list of Biblical artifacts can be viewed here.

The Twelve Tribes

Deuteronomy 27:12–13

  • Reuben
  • Simeon
  • Levi
  • Judah
  • Issachar
  • Zebulun
  • Dan
  • Naphtali
  • Gad
  • Asher
  • Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh/Menashe)
  • Benjamin

Genesis 49 KJV

49 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. (JPS 1985 changes to “days to come”)

According to Hanan Schlesinger at My Jewish Learning,

“the patriarch Jacob on his deathbed proclaiming his last will and testament for his 12 sons: Upon the majority of them he bestows a blessing, while for Shimon and Levi he can utter only a curse. What is it exactly that has brought down his wrath upon these two?”

Schlesinger goes on to expound upon the actions of the boys that caused this curse to come upon them.

The reality missed is both the Masoretic Text and LXX, which predates JPS by 12 centuries, states, “latter days,” not days to come (in a lifetime) as changed by JPS 1985.

Yisrael said in the latter days, or which shall befall you in the last days, which is:

last in time or in place:

    1. last in a series of places

    2. last in a temporal succession

    3. last, referring to time

    4. of space, the uttermost part, the end, of the earth

    5. of rank, grade of worth, last i.e. lowest

This is made clear in verse 7,

“Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.”

This is the future, not just their lifetime, as all rabbi know so well.

Why then is this verse purposely changed and perceived to occur only in their lifetime?

The answer is never simple. There is always a debate, commentary or fresh argument to appease or rebut every situation. Such is the Jewish way.

Etiology aside, this is a forever curse or blessing for the offspring of Israel and continues to this very day and until HaMashaich returns as prophecy foretells.

Ask a Levite or Kohen if Yisrael’s curse apply to himself and you’ll have your answer.

No one will say they are living under a “forever curse,” who wants to admit that?

We do like to admit all the blessings we live under.

Now what are the ramifications in Genesis 49?

2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.

3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:

4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because you went up to thy father’s bed; then defiled it: he went up to my couch.

5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.

6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self will they digged down a wall.

7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

8 Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise: your hand shall be in the neck of your enemies; your father’s children shall bow down before thee.

9 Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, you have gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?

10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

(This reference Mashiach, but JPS and many sites including Sefaria have altered the verse to mean something else.)

Altered Verse:

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet; So that tribute shall come to him And the homage of peoples be his.

JPS 1985 changes the phrase “until Shiloh come,” to “so that tribute shall come to him,” why do they do this?

The majority of the sages agree, verse 10 points to Mashiach, so changing this verse requires reprove from YHWH, as it is written,

“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5-6

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” D’Varim 4:2

Furthermore, there are many false moshiach and so scripture point out these false moshiach within the branch of David. Some reference Mashiach as the “rod of iron,” others as Jeroboam, “the one who causes secession of the ten tribes.”

Rashi agreed this points to Mashiach:

עד כי יבא שילה. מֶלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ שֶׁהַמְּלוּכָה שֶׁלּוֹ, וְכֵן תִּרְגְּמוֹ אֻנְקְלוֹס. וּמִדְרַשׁ אַגָּדָה שִׁילוֹ – שַׁי לוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, יֹבִילוּ שַׁי לַמּוֹרָא (תהילים עו):

עד כי יבא שילה means until the King Messiah will come, whose will be the kingdom (Genesis Rabbah 99:8). Thus too does Onkelos render it. A Midrashic interpretation is: שילה is the same as שי לו, a present unto him, as it is said, (Psalms 76:12) “Let them bring (שי) presents unto him that is to be feared.”

Ramban agrees with Rashi,

“Until Shiloh arrives and to him all the nations will gather,” to do with all of them as he desires – and that is the messiah; as the scepter hints to David, who is the first king who has the scepter of monarchy, and Shilo is his descendant to whom the nations will gather. And the statement of Rabbi Avraham (Ibn Ezra), that Shilo is David, is not likely, as there was no scepter to Yehudah before David.

So why then do modern rabbi omit until Shiloh come?

The obvious answer is to eradicate knowledge of Jesus or anything pertaining to Him. You can find this truth all throughout JPS 1917 & rife in the 1985 English translation of the Hebrew Bible.

Any passage that pertains to Christ Jesus is altered, omitted, or manipulated. Only those who feel absolute threat would go to such lengths to manipulate every single verse pointing to Jesus as Messiah. It shows the blatant disobedience and blasphemy of YHWH, to alter His word out of fear of conversion.

An editor must painstakingly go to each verse ascribing Mashiach in Tanakh and make sure that the translation shows no leaning towards Jesus as Messiah. If the evidence is too damaging, it’s simply omitted.

Go to Chapter 13.


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