Helpful Bible Tools To Understand The Old Testament

Notice here in the map there is only 11 tribes allocated sections of land in Israel. Why is that?

Well the Lord gave this direction to Moses concerning the tribe of Levi

The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites. “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.
Numbers 18:20-21 –

So what does this mean, Levi was the only tribe among the 11 that did not get their own section of land names after them.

Each of these 12 tribes came to be names after Jacob’s sons, Levi, Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, Asher, Naphtali, Gad, Reuben, Dan.

Joseph son of Jacob, had two sons, Ephraim and Mannaseh

So Jacob before he died said to Joseph,

“Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers.
Genesis 48:5-6 –

Knowing this information helps us understand what Jacob actually meant when he said Joseph’s two sons, “Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine,”

Meaning that those two boys would have tribes named after them in the Promised land.

We must also understand where we get the term “Israel” from. Yes Israel is an actual nation/country. But Israel at one time was a singular person

We see Jacob had a name change in Genesis 32

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
Genesis 32:28 –

So Jacob and Israel are synonymous when speaking about a singular person, that is Abraham’s grandson.

Hope you find this information helpful when you read through the Old Testament. Some of the Old Testament can be very confusing and it helps to have the tools to properly cut a steak well, so too we need to use certain tools to dig into the meat of God’s Word before we can properly chew it and digest what we read

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