Thursday, 16 December 2010 02:34

Names, Tribes and Messages

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Over the next week I'll be posting the last 6 Sunday school lessons from our fall series on the Revelation. They've been delayed due to some difficulties I've had in learning how to administer this 'html' system, which doesn't seem to like the pictures I've tried to import into lessons 6 and 7. But I'll get the hang of it soon, and the rest of the lessons should be posted in short order, since they have already been written. In the meantime, I thought this study on the names of the patriarchs and the tribes would be quite interesting.

The 10 Patriarchs

If you've ever studied the names of the patriarchs and/or the twelve tribes, you'll know that the meanings of their names generally reflected something about their life, or something that was significant to the biblical record. In certain cases they were even prophetic. For instance, Adam was the first man that God created, so it's no coincidence that his name simply means 'man'. But for prophetic content a good example is Jared, the 6th from Adam, whose name meant 'will come down'. That name was prophetic since the Nephilim indeed 'came down' to earth during the "days of Jared", according to 1Enoch. Another name with prophetic implications would be Methuselah, the 8th from Adam, whose name meant 'his death will bring'. And true to form, Methusalah's death did bring the great flood in that same year, just as his name would suggest.

This is where it gets interesting.  If we examine the names of all 10 patriarchs, something quite unexpected happens that makes it clear that God is in charge of the affairs of man. So let's see what each name means;

Adam = 'Man'
Seth = 'appointed'
Enosh = 'mortal'
Mahalalel'the blessed God'
Jared = 'shall come down'
Enoch = 'teaching'
Methuselah = 'his death will bring'
Lamech = 'despairing'
Noah = 'rest'

While we don't have much more than traditions and extra-biblical books like 'Jasher' and '1Enoch' to explain the reasons that these particular names were selected, the fact is, when they are placed together in this same sequence, they form an interesting sentence;

"Man is appointed mortal sorrow, but the blessed God shall come down, teaching that his death will bring the despairing rest." 

I find it simply amazing that these names spell out what is essentially the gospel message, and that this message was encrypted into their names from the beginning of creation. Could this be anything other than God's handiwork?  

The 144,000

This same concept can be applied to the 144,000 in the Revelation.  Many have wondered why certain tribal names were included or excluded from the list, but the reason may be simple; it could be that God intended to send a message by using only certain names. First, consider the meanings of each;

Judah = 'praise God'
Reuben = 'behold a Son'
Gad = 'good fortune'
Asher = 'happiness'
Naphtali = 'my struggle'
Manasseh = 'God has caused me to forget'
Simeon = 'hearing'
Levi = 'grafting in'
Issachar = 'God has reinstated me'
Zebulun = 'elevated position'
Joseph = 'increased'
Benjamin = 'son of the right hand'

Now, when we apply these names to a sentence, using the same order provided in the Revelation, we have the following message;

"Praise God! Behold a son of good fortune and happiness. My struggle God has caused me to forget. Hearing of our grafting in, God has reinstated me to an elevated position, increased by the Son of the right hand."

Once again, God's fingerprints are all over the names of these tribal patriarchs. 

Blessings and Curses

Using these as inspiration, Theresa wondered if she could apply this concept to the blessings and curses that the 12 tribes received on Mount Ebal, as recorded in the book of Joshua. But instead of taking the meanings of their names, she used the statements that the respective mother made after the birth of each particular child. For instance, consider the tribes where blessings were announced, with their mother's declaration next to them;   

Simeon - "Because the LORD heard that I am not loved"
Levi - "Now at last my husband will become attached to me"
Judah - "This time I will praise the LORD"
Issachar - "God has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband"
Joseph - "God has taken away my disgrace"
Benjamin - "Don't be afraid, for you have another son"

When presented in the same order as that of Joshua, The message of these combined statements is approximately the following;

"Because the LORD heard that I am not loved, now at last my husband (Christ) will become attached to me. This time I will praise the LORD, who has rewarded me for giving my service, and has taken away my disgrace. I am not afraid, for I have the Son."

Wow. It's not the gospel message, but it definitely points to our eternal reward.  But this same concept also applies to the tribes of the 'curses' along with their mother's statements;

Reuben - "It is because the LORD has seen my mysery"
Gad - "what good fortune"
Asher - "how happy I am"
Zebulun - "God has presented me with a precious gift"
Dan - "God has vindicated me; He has listened to me and given me a son"
Naphtali - "I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won"

Once again, when presented in the same order as that of Joshua, the message of these combined statements is approximately the following;

"It is because the LORD has seen my mysery. What good fortune! How happy I am that God has presented me with a precious gift. God has vindicated me; He has listened to me and given me the Son (Christ). I have had a great struggle, and have won!"

Again, we have an uplifting statement that pertains to our eternal reward.

We've often wondered how often this type of thing presents itself in scripture. There are probably countless additional examples embedded in the geneaologies of the Bible, or perhaps in the Table of Nations, and so on. The layers of hidden meaning seem to go as deep as we care to look.

Read 15084 times Last modified on Thursday, 16 December 2010 05:03
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#4 Mike 2012-04-07 22:47

I've often wondered how many other scriptures in the Bible would produce similar results, such as the table of nations in Genesis. But it's difficult to find the time to follow every idea that comes to mind. However, there are certainly many more gems like this that are awaiting discovery.

So glad you're enjoying the site.

#3 NAOMI ULULANI 2012-04-07 20:24
I have shared this information in my classes for years. Most people find it interesting that jewels are within view that we miss, ... just like this.

I have been following your teachings for a while now. I am learning a great deal. I believe there is a message in the names of the assemblies to whom the seven letters were written. Names,they stick out to me now and I find myself digging deeper to get the meaning of the names. When I do, the bigger message is there, ... always.
#2 Mike 2011-02-28 17:34
Hi Etienne,

Scores of messages like this are buried in scripture, we just have to dig for them. Theresa is working on another set right now that we'll publish here fairly soon.
#1 Etienne Davis 2011-02-28 15:48
Very good information.