Today we read the lineage of Manasseh and Ephraim (Joseph’s sons), Aaron (from the tribe of Levi), Issachar, Naphtali, Asher, and Benjamin.
Manasseh – During their bondage in Egypt, a man from the tribe of Manasseh bore a son by a Syrian concubine. One of his descendants was Zelophehad who is mentioned in today’s genealogy. During the Exodus Era, the daughters of Zelophehad requested to receive their father’s land inheritance since he died leaving behind no sons (Numbers 27:1-11). During the Conquest Era, the tribe of Manasseh failed to drive the people out of the land (Joshua 17). This tribe was part of Northern Israel who left the Lord for the worship of false gods and were overtaken by the Assyrians.
Ephraim – The name Ephraim is also used in the Bible to describe the ten tribes of Northern Israel. They too did not drive the people out of their land (Joshua 16), and they also turned from the Lord to idolatry. Hosea said, “Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked by human precept” (Hosea 5:11).
Aaron – Aaron’s descendants are the priests who offered sacrifices to the Lord to make atonement for Israel. They too failed by leaving the Lord and His word – “Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them” (Ezekiel 22:26).
Issachar, Naphtali, and Asher – All tribes of Northern Israel whose descendants turned from the Lord toward false gods.
Benjamin – Benjamin was a son of Rachel and Jacob, and Joseph’s younger brother. The tribe of Benjamin was almost completely wiped out during the Judges Era after the shock and awe of the body parts of a Levite’s concubine, who was raped to death by Benjamites, was sent out to all the tribes of Israel (Judges 19-21). Although it is a small tribe, several significant people mentioned in the Bible descend from the tribe of Benjamin. First was Ehud, who was the warrior that delivered Israel from Moab during the Judges Era (Judges 3:12-30). Then came King Saul, who became the first king of Israel in the Kingdom Ea (1 Samuel 9:15-27). When the kingdom divided, the tribe of Benjamin became part of Southern Judah. Soon we will meet Mordecai and Esther, both from the tribe of Benjamin, whom the Lord will use to save His people during the Return Era (Esther). And later in the story when we meet Paul, we will discover that he too comes from the tribe of Benjamin (Romans 11:1).
Tomorrow, King Nebuchadnezzar calls upon Daniel to interpret another one of his dreams. Keep reading. (1 Chronicles 5:18-26, 1 Chronicles 6:3b,49,4-15, 1 Chronicles 7:1-8:28)