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Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Twelve Tribes of Israel - Reuben, the oldest


Reuben means "who sees the sun"

Genesis 29:32 And Leah conceived and bore a son. And she called his name Reuben, for she said, Surely Jehovah has looked upon my afflictions. Now therefore my husband will love me.

Genesis 35:22a And it happened when Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine. And Israel heard it.

In sudden temptation he was guilty of incest with Bilhah, his father's secondary wife. Though a very heinous sin, yet it might be a chastisement to Jacob, for making use of concubines.
1 Corinthian 5:1 On the whole it is reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even named among the nations, so as one to have his father's wife.
Jacob remembered it to his dying day.

Jacob, on his deathbed (Genesis 49:3-4), said: “Reuben, you are my oldest, born at the peak of my powers; you were an honored leader. Uncontrollable as a flood, you slept with my wife and disgraced my bed. And so you no longer deserve the place of honor.”
The boiling water symbolizes Reuben’s lust and pride. By birthright, Reuben was "the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power" (Genesis 49:3), i.e. being the eldest son, he was entitled to be the chief of the tribes and to a double portion; but because of incest (Genesis 35:22; Leviticus 18:8) he didn’t deserve the place of honor as eldest son.

The chieftainship was transferred to Judah, the double portion to Joseph; the firstborn of Jacob's beloved Rachel superseding the firstborn of poor unwanted Leah. This was not because of the father's preference (Deuteronomy 21:15-17), but to fulfill God's holy purpose.

Reuben had good impulses, as well as, evil. Impetuous, without balance in his mind, he was also generous in disposition. He saved Joseph's life from his cruel brothers: Levi, Simeon, and the rest. Reuben insisted that they not kill Joseph but cast him into a pit, secretly intending to rescue him later. The brothers took advantage of Reuben’s temporary absence to sell Joseph (Genesis 37:20) upon Judah’ suggestion. Reuben may have gone to seek a means to rescue Joseph. Reuben was upset to find Joseph gone when he came back. He rent his clothes, crying, "The child is not, and I, where shall I go?" Years after he reminded his brother and sai them he had told them so.
Genesis 42:21-23 And they said one to another, We are truly guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul when he begged us, and we would not hear. Therefore this distress has come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Did I not speak to you saying, Do not sin against the youth? And you would not hear. Therefore, behold, also his blood is required. And they did not know that Joseph understood, for the interpreter was between them.

Still, putting Joseph in the pit was a compromise with the brothers' wickedness. HE should have firmly resisted which would have saved Joseph. He was the oldest. They would have listened to him. He could have gone after Joseph and rescued (or bought) him from the caravan of traders. He could have told his father the truth. He wasn't to blame. But he didn't do any of these things. Instead, he kept quiet and allowed his father to believe the lies of his brothers. For years, he carried this guilt. I wondered how many times he and his brothers exchanged guilty glances, whispered behind tents, had dreams that woke them in a sweat?

Reuben had four sons at the migration into Egypt (Genesis 46:9; 1Chronicles 5:3; Numbers 26:5-11). At the time the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land, the Reubenites gained a fine pasture-land east of the Jordan, lying between the river Arnon on the south and Gilead on the north. Their land was not across the Jordan in the Promised Land proper. Rather, they wanted the plains for their sheep herds on the east side of Jordan. But the Reubenites accompanied the other tribes to help them take their lands. Then they crossed back over the Jordan and settled.

There was no Judge, no prophet, no hero of the tribe of Reuben. The Reubenites disliked war, clinging to their fields and pastures and eventually relinquishing their relationship with God. The last historical mention is in 1 Chronicles 5, where they and the Gadites and the half-tribe Manasseh were carried off by Pul and Tiglath-pileser:

1 Chronicles 5:1-2 And the sons of Reuben, the first-born of Israel (for he was the first-born; but since he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, and the genealogy is not to be counted according to the birthright; For Judah prevailed among his brothers, and from him came the chief ruler, but the birthright was Joseph's); the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel: Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
1 Chronicles 5:18-22 The sons of Reuben, and the sons of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, (sons of valor, men lifting up shield and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skillful in war), were forty-four thousand, seven hundred and sixty who went out to the war. And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all who were with them. For they cried to God in the battle, and He was pleased to hear them, because they put their trust in Him. And they took away their cattle: of their camels, fifty thousand; and of sheep, two hundred fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men a hundred thousand. For many fell down slain, because the war was of God. And they lived in their places until the captivity.
1 Chronicles 5:25 And they sinned against the God of their fathers, and went lusting after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.

The Twelve Tribes of Israel - Beginning

Twelve Tribes of Israel

The specially chosen people of God were the descendants of Abraham and Sarah. God
promised them in Genesis that they would have a son that would become a great nation.

Genesis 15:1-6 Later the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision, "Abram, don't be afraid! I will protect you and reward you greatly." But Abram answered, "LORD All-Powerful, you have given me everything I could ask for, except children. And when I die, Eliezer of Damascus will get all I own. You have not given me any children, and this servant of mine will inherit everything." The LORD replied, "No, he won't! You will have a son of your own, and everything you have will be his." Then the LORD took Abram outside and said, "Look at the sky and see if you can count the stars. That's how many descendants you will have." Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD was pleased with him.

Abraham and Sarah finally had their promised son and named him Isaac (Genesis 21:1-3). I have done prior postings on Abraham, the Abrahamic Covenant that God made, the sons of Abraham. I hope you will look them up and study them.

Isaac had a son named Jacob and God changed Jacob's name to Israel. Jacob/Israel had 12 sons from which came the twelve tribes of Israel. For 400 years this ever growing family became a nation but was enslaved in Egypt

This nation is called Israel and it's people were called Israelites, Hebrews, Jews. The Egyptians called them Hebrews because they enslaved them and forced them to make bricks for their building projects. The Egyptian word for "dusty ones". All of this history is in the book of Genesis.

After 400 years of captivity, God used Moses to lead them out of Egypt and they travelled in the Wilderness for 40 years before finally going into the Promised Land of Canaan. This was called the Exodus. God helped them to take this land and they divided it between the Twelve Tribes which is found in the book of Joshua.

While they were nomads in the desert, wandering for 40 yrs, God used Moses to bring them the Jewish Law and to prepare their traveling worship center, the Tabernacle.

He assigned Priests to work in the Tabernacle with Aaron, Moses' brother, as High Priest.

The vestments of the High Priest included a breastplate with 12 stones that represented the Twelve tribes of Israel. I have done an extensive study in prior postings on the Tabernacle and the priestly vestments and Tabernacle furniture.

Jacob’s Last Blessing Over His Sons

Genesis 49 Jacob called his sons together and said: My sons, I am Jacob, your father Israel.
Come, gather around, as I tell your future.
Reuben, you are my oldest, born at the peak of my powers; you were an honored leader.
Uncontrollable as a flood, you slept with my wife and disgraced my bed. And so you no longer deserve the place of honor.
Simeon and Levi, you are brothers, each a gruesome sword.
I never want to take part in your plans or deeds. You slaughtered people in your anger, and you crippled cattle for no reason.
Now I place a curse on you because of your fierce anger. Your descendants will be scattered among the tribes of Israel.
Judah, you will be praised by your brothers; they will bow down to you, as you defeat your enemies.
My son, you are a lion ready to eat your victim! You are terribly fierce; no one will bother you.
You will have power and rule until nations obey you and come bringing gifts.
You will tie your donkey to a choice grapevine and wash your clothes in wine from those grapes.
Your eyes are darker than wine, your teeth whiter than milk.
Zebulun, you will settle along the seashore and provide safe harbors as far north as Sidon.
Issachar, you are a strong donkey resting in the meadows.
You found them so pleasant that you worked too hard and became a slave.
Dan, you are the tribe that will bring justice to Israel.
You are a snake that bites the heel of a horse, making its rider fall.
Our LORD, I am waiting for you to save us.
Gad, you will be attacked, then attack your attackers.
Asher, you will eat food fancy enough for a king.
Naphtali, you are a wild deer with lovely fawns.
Joseph, you are a fruitful vine growing near a stream and climbing a wall.
Enemies attacked with arrows, refusing to show mercy.
But you stood your ground, swiftly shooting back with the help of Jacob's God, the All-Powerful One-- his name is the Shepherd, Israel's mighty rock.
Your help came from the God your father worshiped, from God All-Powerful. God will bless you with rain and streams from the earth; he will bless you with many descendants.
My son, the blessings I give are better than the promise of ancient mountains or eternal hills. Joseph, I pray these blessings will come to you, because you are the leader of your brothers.
Benjamin, you are a fierce wolf, destroying your enemies morning and evening.
These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is how Jacob gave each of them their proper blessings.
Jacob told his sons: Soon I will die, and I want you to bury me in Machpelah Cave. Abraham bought this cave as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, and it is near the town of Mamre in Canaan. Abraham and Sarah are buried there, and so are Isaac and Rebekah. I buried Leah there too.
Purchase of the field and the cave in it, from the sons of Heth.
And Jacob finished commanding his sons, and he gathered his feet into the bed. And he expired, and was gathered to his people.
In the next posting we will look at Reuben.


"Mommy, pick me up!"

Little Miss Priss!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Taco Soup

Taco Soup

1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (16 ounce) can chopped stewed tomatoes, with juice
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
1-1/2 cups water
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 (12 ounce) package corn tortilla chips (optional)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream (optional)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook ground beef and onion until meat is evenly brown; drain excess fat. Mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, water, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning mix. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the avocado.
Ladle hot soup into serving bowls. Pass tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream to top each serving.
Source: Kaboose.com

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