Twelve Tribes of Israel
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Twelve Tribes of Israel


Jacob, the son of Isaac and thesabotcup.jpg grandson of Abraham had  children by two wives and two concubines.  Among them were twelve identified as the "Twelve Tribes" of Israel.  However, the number 12 is complicated by the fact that Joseph's 2 sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, took his place as tribal ancestors, thus giving him the double portion of the firstborn son (Gen. 48:22).  This would have brought the number of tribal groups to 13, except that Levi, set apart to serve God, received no land but was given portions of the sacrifices and offerings the others made to the Lord.  (In Rev.7, Dan is omitted from the list of tribes that contribute 12,000 preachers each for ministry during the tribulation.  This helps to explain why Dan is not represented on the 12 foundations of the Holy City in Rev. 21






     1. Asher (ASH-uhr) which means-"happy", the son of Jacob and Ailpah

dsc-0793-op-640x597.jpg                                                                                                                       Emerald Stone   



   2. Benjamin (BEN-juh-min) which means "the son of
dsc-0610.jpg my right hand" the youngest son of Jacob and Rachael (who died giving birth to him).                                                                                                                                                                        Amethyst    

   ***Dan- which means "he has vindicated", the older of the two sons of Jacob by Bilhah.  

   3. Joseph- (named for his son, Ephraim
dsc-0609.jpg(EE-free-uhm) which means "fruitful" the younger of the two sonsborn to Joseph of Egypt.                                             Jacinth

4. Gad-which means "fortunate", the first son of Jacob by Ailpah

dsc-0574.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                    Chalcedony


   5. Issachar (IS-uh-kahr) which means
dsc-0584.jpg"hired worker",the fifth son of Jacob and Leah.                                                                                                                          Topaz


   6. Judah (JOO-duh) which means "praise", the
fourth            son  of Jacob and Leah.                                                                                                                                                                                         Jasper


   7. Levi (LEE-vi) which means "joined", the third
dsc-0573.jpg son of Jacob and Leah.                                                                                                                                               Beryl


   8. Manasseh (muh-NAS-uh) which means "one who dsc-0583.jpgcauses forgetfulness",
the elder          son of Joseph, bornin Egypt.                                                 (Carnelian)  Sardius



   9. Naphtali (NAF-tuh-li) which means "wrestler" the
dsc-0646.jpg2nd son of Jacob and Bilkkah                                                                                                                        Sardonyx




  10. Reuben (ROO-ben) which means "behold a son", dsc-0572.jpgthe eldest son of Jacob and Leah.          

         (Sapphire or)                 Lapis Lazuli



  11. Simeon (SIM-ee-uhn) which means " one who
dsc-0611.jpghears", the second son of Jacob and Leah                                (Chrysolite or)                                                                                                                                                                           Peridot



  12. Zebulun (ZEB-yoo-luhn), which means "to exal
dsc-0568.jpgt or to honor", the 6th son of Jacob and Leah.







The 12 Stones of the Breastplate: 010309-0800-0274-nsls.jpg
A garment worn over the chest of Israel's high priest.  The breastplate was a woven pouch nine inches square, attached by gold chains and rings to his ephod, and armless outer vest.  It had 12 jewels set in gold filagree and arranged in three rows across.  Each precious stone was engraved with the name of one of Israel's 12 tribes.  The high priest wore the breastplate when he performed any of his religious functions. The jewels symbolically represented the whole nation, carried into the presence of God close to the high priest's heart.

No matter whose translation of the word or scripture you read, placement of specific stones will differ as do their individual names. Many stones were named regionally.