How the Tribes got their Names and what do their names mean?
Jacob the son of Isaac (son of Abraham) and Rebecca received by subterfuge the Blessing intended for Esau his twin-brother. Esau potted to kill him. Rebecca heard of this and consulted with Isaac her husband. Consequently Jacob was sent to Padan Aram to the house of his uncle Laban, the brother of Rebecca. Jacob worked for Laban for seven years in return for which he was meant to receive the hand of Rebecca the younger daughter of Laban. Laban however replaced Rachel with Leah the older daughter. After discovering in the morning what had happened Jacob remonstrated with Laban who placated him: Jacob would complete the 7-day wedding celebrations after which he would also receive Rachel. In return he would have to work for another 7 years. Jacob loved Leah less than Rachel. Rachel was embittered because of this but after giving birth to Reuben, the firstborn son, exulted.
1-Chronicles (NKJV) 5:
1 NOW THE SONS OF REUBEN THE FIRSTBORN OF ISRAEL. HE WAS INDEED THE FIRSTBORN, BUT BECAUSE HE DEFILED HIS FATHER'S BED, HIS BIRTHRIGHT WAS GIVEN TO THE SONS OF JOSEPH, THE SON OF ISRAEL, SO THAT THE GENEALOGY IS NOT LISTED ACCORDING TO THE BIRTHRIGHT; 2 YET JUDAH PREVAILED OVER HIS BROTHERS, AND FROM HIM CAME A RULER, ALTHOUGH [A]THE BIRTHRIGHT WAS JOSEPH’S 3 THE SONS OF REUBEN THE FIRSTBORN OF ISRAEL WERE HANOCH, PALLU, HEZRON, AND CARMI.
THE SONS OF LEAH WERE REUBEN, JACOB’S FIRSTBORN,...
NOW THESE WERE THE NAMES OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, JACOB AND HIS SONS, WHO WENT TO EGYPT: REUBEN WAS JACOB’S FIRSTBORN.
REUBEN, YOU ARE MY FIRSTBORN, MY MIGHT AND THE BEGINNING OF MY STRENGTH, THE EXCELLENCY OF DIGNITY AND THE EXCELLENCY OF POWER.
THESE ARE THE HEADS OF THEIR FATHERS’ HOUSES: THE SONS OF REUBEN, THE FIRSTBORN OF ISRAEL.....
NOW THE CHILDREN OF REUBEN, ISRAEL’S OLDEST SON....
REUBEN WAS THE FIRSTBORN OF ISRAEL....
1 NOW THE SONS OF REUBEN THE FIRSTBORN OF ISRAEL....
THE SONS OF REUBEN THE FIRSTBORN OF ISRAEL WERE HANOCH, PALLU, HEZRON, AND CARMI.
Being the firstborn remained an important part of the character of Reuben. It was not just a title. it also reflected his attitude to life.
bearing the title of firstborn entails a sense of entitlement as well as dignity, self-respect, duty, and expectation that things should proceed in a logical order, that everything should be as one would expect.
This also implies a Latin-Roman type of seeking order, rationality, predictability. It is good for scientific research at the basic level but not necessarily for making breakthroughs where the unpredictable may also be involved.
After Reuben came Simeon.
Genesis 29:33 AND SHE CONCEIVED AGAIN, AND BARE A SON; AND SAID, BECAUSE THE LORD HATH HEARD I WAS HATED, HE HATH THEREFORE GIVEN ME THIS SON ALSO: AND SHE CALLED HIS NAME SIMEON.
Simeon connotes Hear or hear (shma) my oppression (ion?). Descendants of Simeon are all over. Simeon was strongly represented amongst the Jews, and also amongst the Irish and Welsh and in Finland, and maybe in Lombardy, Italy.
Simeon is excitable. He acts and thinks as he hears.
Genesis 29:34 AND SHE CONCEIVED AGAIN, AND BARE A SON; AND SAID, NOW THIS TIME WILL MY HUSBAND BE JOINED UNTO ME, BECAUSE I HAVE BORN HIM THREE SONS: THEREFORE WAS HIS NAME CALLED LEVI.
Levi means accompaniment. The Levites served in the Temple. They were guards and singers. Music accompanies a person. So do teachers, they guide, they follow along. The Levites were teachers and instructors. They were supposed to receive a second tithe from much of the agricultural produce.
Most Levites are now amongst the Jews. In addition we traced Levites and Simeonites to the Lombards of Northern Italy. Many others have the notion that Levites were prominent amongst the Welsh mainly because the Welsh love singing in choirs. Quite a few individuals who immersed themselves in Brit-Am researches and related studies also have the feeling that they descend from Levi. Moses came from Levi. The Priestly Caste (Cohens) are also a section of Levi but are quite distinct in character.
Genesis 29:35 AND SHE CONCEIVED AGAIN, AND BARE A SON: AND SHE SAID, NOW WILL I PRAISE THE LORD: THEREFORE SHE CALLED HIS NAME JUDAH; AND LEFT BEARING.
Judah can connote praise and also acknowledgment.
The Names YEHUDAH also contains all the letters of the Name of God (YHUH) plus the "D" dalet-letter. In Hebrew the letters U and V are both represented by the V sign and are interchangeable.
Genesis 30:1 AND WHEN RACHEL SAW THAT SHE BARE JACOB NO CHILDREN, RACHEL ENVIED HER SISTER; AND SAID UNTO JACOB, GIVE ME CHILDREN, OR ELSE I DIE.
Genesis 30:2 AND JACOB'S ANGER WAS KINDLED AGAINST RACHEL: AND HE SAID, AM I IN GOD'S STEAD, WHO HATH WITHHELD FROM THEE THE FRUIT OF THE WOMB?
Genesis 30:3 AND SHE SAID, BEHOLD MY MAID BILHAH, GO IN UNTO HER; AND SHE SHALL BEAR UPON MY KNEES, THAT I MAY ALSO HAVE CHILDREN BY HER.
Genesis 30:4 AND SHE GAVE HIM BILHAH HER HANDMAID TO WIFE: AND JACOB WENT IN UNTO HER.
Genesis 30:5 AND BILHAH CONCEIVED, AND BARE JACOB A SON.
Genesis 30:6 AND RACHEL SAID, GOD HATH JUDGED ME, AND HATH ALSO HEARD MY VOICE, AND HATH GIVEN ME A SON: THEREFORE CALLED SHE HIS NAME DAN.
Dan means judgment. Dan was in Denmark, in Wales and Britain (Don), and in Ireland (Dana).
[Genesis 30:7] AND BILHAH RACHEL'S MAID CONCEIVED AGAIN, AND BARE JACOB A SECOND SON.
[Genesis 30:8] AND RACHEL SAID, WITH GREAT WRESTLINGS HAVE I WRESTLED WITH MY SISTER, AND I HAVE PREVAILED: AND SHE CALLED HIS NAME NAPHTALI.
The name Naphtali in Hebrew can connote "wrap around," "union," or "joining," or "wrestling."
The Naphtalites settled in Norway. Naphtali and Dan were both sons of Bilhah and descendants of the two were usually found in the same areas. Like Dan there were also many from Naphtali in Ireland.
Naphtali is the messenger and as such liable to be influenced (for better or for worse) by outside influences.
Genesis 49:21: NAPHTALI IS [like] A DOE SENT FORTH; HE GIVES BEAUTIFUL WORDS.
The expression "beautiful words" in Hebrew is "Imri [words of] shefer [beauty]". To our mind "imri shefer" suggests eloquence and powers of expression.
.The Irish are known for their eloquence, - the gift of the gab. Irish Literary ability is outstanding. Irish music and dance is also well-known. Per head of population Ireland may have made its mark in literature, music and dance more than other country!
Naphtali was known for his alacrity and was symbolized by a family deer since the female deer is faster than the male one.
The Vikings were important in Ireland especially in the east.
Many of these came from Norway and these are identifiable with Naphtali.
The Norwegians are not noted for being particularly eloquent in our time but the Irish are.
despite this in Ancient Times the area of Norway was apparently referred to as THULE which is said to connote "speaker.'
Genesis 30:9 WHEN LEAH SAW THAT SHE HAD LEFT BEARING, SHE TOOK ZILPAH HER MAID, AND GAVE HER JACOB TO WIFE.
Genesis 30:10 AND ZILPAH LEAH'S MAID BARE JACOB A SON.
Genesis 30:11 AND LEAH SAID, A TROOP COMETH: AND SHE CALLED HIS NAME GAD.
Gad is related tot he word for "troop" - "Gedud" - group.
Gad was also pronounceable in Biblical Hebrew as "Goth". The Goths were one of the main peoples who settled in Sweden.
The Linguist Rabbi Reuven Chaim Klein (in the essay, "Gad Luck to You") wrote on an interesting article, using many sources, on the meaning of the name Gad.
The Hebrew word "gad" gave rise to the English word "god." "Gad" can connote "luck" but is closer in meaning to "guardian angel." A pagan god was also known as "gad."
The word root for Gad is GD which connotes "clinging together" from which we get the secondary meaning of "group," "union." descendants of Gad prefer to be together.
Genesis 30:12 AND ZILPAH LEAH'S MAID BARE JACOB A SECOND SON.
Genesis 30:13 AND LEAH SAID, HAPPY AM I, FOR THE DAUGHTERS WILL CALL ME BLESSED: AND SHE CALLED HIS NAME ASHER.
Asher we traced to Scotland; also to Scandinavia. Even though Asher had its own territory a great number from Asher settled in the region of Manasseh. So did people from other tribes. In many ways Manasseh in Biblical times was in effect the most important tribe though this is not generally realized. This is significant since nowadays the USA is dominated by Manasseh but many people from other tribes are present in America. The Biblical pattern repeats itself constantly. By learning the Bible we can come to appreciate our present reality.
Genesis 30:14 AND REUBEN WENT IN THE DAYS OF WHEAT HARVEST, AND FOUND MANDRAKES IN THE FIELD, AND BROUGHT THEM UNTO HIS MOTHER LEAH. THEN RACHEL SAID TO LEAH, GIVE ME, I PRAY THEE, OF THY SON'S MANDRAKES.
Genesis 30:15 AND SHE SAID UNTO HER, IS IT A SMALL MATTER THAT TOU HAST TAKEN MY HUSBAND? AND WOULDEST THOU TAKE AWAY MY SON'S MANDRAKES ALSO? AND RACHEL SAID, THEREFORE HE SHALL LIE WITH THEE TO NIGHT FOR THY SON'S MANDRAKES.
It was actually Leah who had taken Rachel's husband. Perhaps Jacob was paying too much attention to Rachel at the expense of Leah?
Reuben brought the mandrake that according to some opinions had aphrodisiacal or fertility-enhancing properties.
Reuben became dominant in France. The French have an international reputation (deserved or not) for being romantic.
[Genesis 30:16] AND JACOB CAME OUT OF THE FIELD IN THE EVENING, AND LEAH WENT OUT TO MEET HIM, AND SAID, THOU MUST COME IN UNTO ME; FOR SURELY I HAVE HIRED THEE WITH MY SONS MANDRAKES. AND HE LAY WITH HER THAT NIGHT.
[Genesis 30:17] AND GOD HEARKENED UNTO LEAH, AND SHE CONCEIVED, AND BARE JACOB THE FIFTH SON.
[Genesis 30:18] AND LEAH SAID, GOD HATH GIVEN ME MY HIRE, BECAUSE I HAVE GIVEN MY MAIDEN TO MY HUSBAND: AND SHE CALLED HIS NAME ISSACHAR.
Issachar is derived from the Hebrew Sachar meaning reward.
Issachar became prominent amongst the Swiss and Fins.
Both ern their way chiefly by adding value to products they make or by renting their services, this is one meaning of "Issacahar" i.e. payment, or reward.
In Finland there were elements from Simeon, Gad, and Issachar.
The earliest written histories of Finland recorded the tradition that they were descended from the Lost Ten Tribes.
Genesis 30:19 AND LEAH CONCEIVED AGAIN, AND BARE JACOB THE SIXTH SON.
Genesis 30:20 AND LEAH SAID, GOD HATH ENDUED ME WITH A GOOD DOWRY; NOW WILL MY HUSBAND DWELL WITH ME, BECAUSE I HAVE BORN HIM SIX SONS: AND SHE
CALLED HIS NAME ZEBULUN.
ZEBUL connotes "make fertile."
Zebulon became the Dutch. Ptolemy recorded the presence of the Sabalingoi (People of Zebulon) in the region bordering on Northern Holland.
Genesis 30:21 AND AFTERWARDS SHE BARE A DAUGHTER, AND CALLED HER NAME DINAH.
The name "Dinah" might be derived fromt he Hebrew word "Din" or "Dan" meaning judgment.
Genesis 30:22 AND GOD REMEMBERED RACHEL, AND GOD HEARKENED TO HER, AND OPENED HER WOMB.
Genesis 30:23 AND SHE CONCEIVED, AND BARE A SON; AND SAID, GOD HATH TAKEN AWAY MY REPROACH:
Genesis 30:24 AND SHE CALLED HIS NAME JOSEPH; AND SAID, THE LORD SHALL ADD TO ME ANOTHER SON.
Joseph (Hebrew, "Yosef") means increase or add.
When Rachel said THE LORD SHALL ADD TO ME ANOTHER SON was she referring to Benjamin whom she would later giver birth to?
Or did she mean "Ephraim"? Joseph was destined to begat Menasseh and Ephraim. Ephraim was the younger though he later was given the pre-eminence.
51 JOSEPH CALLED THE NAME OF THE FIRSTBORN MANASSEH: ‘FOR GOD HAS MADE ME FORGET ALL MY TOIL AND ALL MY FATHER’S HOUSE.’ 52 AND THE NAME OF THE SECOND HE CALLED EPHRAIM: FOR GOD HAS CAUSED ME TO BE FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF MY AFFLICTION.
The two sons of Joseph each became full-fledged Tribes in their own right. When Rachel gave birth to Joseph she was in effect adding Two Tribes in one go to the total number of Tribes.
Is this what she meant by "THE LORD SHALL ADD TO ME ANOTHER [an additional] SON?
Rachel Dies as Benjamin is born.
Genesis 35:16 AND THEY JOURNEYED FROM BETHEL; AND THERE WAS BUT A LITTLE WAY TO COME TO EPHRATH: AND RACHEL TRAVAILED, AND SHE HAD HARD LABOUR.
Genesis 35:17 AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN SHE WAS IN HARD LABOUR, THAT THE MIDWIFE SAID UNTO HER, FEAR NOT; THOU SHALT HAVE THIS SON ALSO.
Genesis 35:18 AND IT CAME TO PASS, AS HER SOUL WAS IN DEPARTING, (FOR SHE DIED) THAT SHE CALLED HIS NAME BENONI: BUT HIS FATHER CALLED HIM BENJAMIN.
Genesis 35:19 AND RACHEL DIED, AND WAS BURIED IN THE WAY TO EPHRATH, WHICH IS BETHLEHEM
Benjamin was prominent amongst the Jews, also amongst the Belgae (Walloons) of Belgium, Normans, and Norwegians.
Benjaminites were also known as aristocratic, militaristic, great warriors, expert slingshot marksmen; one passage suggests that there were a lot of left-handed people amongst them.
Genesis 35:19 AND RACHEL DIED, AND WAS BURIED IN THE WAY TO EPHRATH, WHICH IS BETHLEHEM.
"Ben-Oni" is usually understood to mean "Son of my Suffering" i.e. what I had to suffer in order to give birth to him.
There is another possibility however. Rachel gave birth to Benjamin after hard labor and struggle. She died as a result but her son was born.
The word "ON" in Hebrew can also denote Power. In her struggle to give birth Rachel had put all her power into it and had succeeded. Benjamin was the reward.
There is still another meaning. In Biblical Hebrew when a name or word has several meanings, they may be considered to complement each other.
The word "ON" in Hebrew can denote not only Power but also "sexual prowess."
This is not the meaning that Rachel had intended but it is an implication of the word "ON" in Hebrew. A well known Sex-therapy Clinic in Israel is named "MIRPAOT ON" i.e. The "ON Clinic."
This too fits the Tribe of Benjamin as depicted in the Bible.
The Sages described the Tribe of Benjamin as serene, modest and quiet and used to miracles happening.
In the same way as with the Concubine at Gibeah they had shown a liability to descend to the depths of depravity so too they had the opposite quality of being able to reach great heights of virtue.