the twelve tribes..


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a figment of your imagination
I was always under the impression that the 12 tribes were the families of the sons of Jacob/Israel and it now appears that is sort of true.

My understaniding so far...the tribes were the sons of Jacobs families, except...two tribes were of Josephs sons, and Simeon and Levi's lands were joined under Simeon.

Am I correct?...and in our biblical old testament it indicates the names the mothers gave their child and the reasons why...some meaning behind.

Can anyone provide me someplace to look for the actual hebrew names and the traits associated with them?
I believe the reason for splitting the tribes of Joseph into two half tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, is because the tribe of Levi did not have a land inheritance as they carried the priesthood and were dispersed throughout the other tribes. Hence, in order to keep the number of tribes at twelve, they split Joseph.

Here's a source I found:
Kindest Regards wil and Dondi!

With due respect considering I am not Jewish, my understanding is that there was a point in the Old Testament where the tribes were at war with one another, and the tribe of Dan came out on the losing end. Dan was ostracised and sent into exile. I have heard some claim they went on to become the Greek warriors we know as the Spartans. Others claim they went on to settle in Europe, and note various placenames that echo the name of Dan, such as the Danube river. These would rank among what the Romans called "barbarians" that gave them such fits for so long on their frontiers.

After Dan was exiled, the tribe of Joseph was split and the two half-tribes of Ephraim and Mannasseh were now counted as whole tribes. Levi indeed had no land inheritance, as their service to G-d became their inheritance. After the time of Solomon, the nation split into two camps, the Southern House of Judah comprised the tribes of Judah and the remnant of Benjamin, and Levi is also included (although it is reasonable to believe that some portion of Levi may have been spread out among the Northern House). The Northern House of Israel was composed of the remaining tribes, and these are those carried away captive by Assyria. It is here that the tribes became "lost," although there are various ideas put forth by different scholars as to where they went. Some believe they went over the Caucasus mountains and became what we know as "Caucasians." There are other tantalizing clues throughout European history, but nothing so far that any scholar is willing to stake their career on.

What we know today as the Jewish nation stems from the Southern tribes, and it is said that the priestly class of Cohenen (sp?) can trace their geneology back to the time of Solomon and before. I have seen a paper pointing to genetic information that seems to support this.

The miracle in my mind, is that the Jewish people were able to retain so much of their culture and genetic lineage in the diaspora. Everywhere they found themselves, they managed to fit in and yet stand apart.

I would be very interested to hear what our Jewish friends have to say to this matter. :)
there is a reference above to a book entitled "Collapse of the Bronze Age and the Rise of Ancient Israel" which is suppose to speak to the tribes .... I can't vouch for how accurate it is, but looks like an interesting source .... I also was reading a thread from early in 2005 on this site entitled "Twelve Tribe Table - Rastafari" in which our moderator bb stated "jewishly, you're either 'cohen' or 'levi' (in which case tribe of levi) or 'yisrael' in which case you're either judah or benjamin. other tribal affiliations will only be worked out when the Messiah can do it."

a discussion on the tribes might be a great addition to the "tabernacle in the wilderness" dialogue in the interfaith parsha .... I was reading in Mary Douglas's "Leviticus as Literature" that "Exodus recounts how beautifully the tabernalce was made, the psalmist extols the house of God. Leviticus honours it in its own style. The book opens with God calling Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, and the tabernacle remains throughout not just the ground and pivot of all its teaching, but the actual structure on which its literary form has been projected." She goes on to speak of the "tripartite architecture of the tabernacle, itself modelled on the three-zones proportions of the holy mountain" I was thinking that this information in addition to the placement of the twelve tribes in the camp of Israel and the significance of the twelve on the breastplate of the high priest may take us to a better understanding of the significance of each tribe and its origin ....

I'm going to post this in both this thread and in the tabernacle thread and try to get started on the twelve tribes in relationship to the portable tabernacle in the wilderness .... aloha nui, poh