Sealing the Twelve Tribes
Jul 14, 2010
Revelation 7 speaks of the sealing of the twelve tribes. It seems that everyone has an opinion on it, especially the intriguing fact that the tribe of Dan was left out (replaced by Levi), and Ephraim was also left out (replaced by Joseph).
Furthermore, the tribes are not listed by age, nor are they listed by mother. They are arranged in a peculiar order that does not make much historical sense.
I find that the key might be bound up in the meaning of the names themselves. When placed in this particular order, it prophesies something deeper. Here are the names with meanings:
1. Juda = praise, confess, give thanks
2. Reuben = behold a son
3. Gad = a troop, fortune has come
4. Aser = happy, bless
5. Naphtali = my wrestling, strife
6. Manassas = forgetting, one who forgets
7. Simeon = hearing/obeying (being in agreement)
8. Levi = joiner, adhesion, unification
9. Issachar = hired, there is wages/recompense
10. Zabulon = dwelling, habitation
11. Joseph = He will add
12. Benjamin = son of the right hand
Putting these together as a progressive prophecy, it can read as a
Behold, a Son, a whole troop whose fortune has come. They are happy and blessed after wrestling and striving, forgetting their past troubles, hearing and obeying, united as one. Their recompense for their labor is to dwell with God, and He will increase and add to them many sons of His right hand.
Take note that the central idea in this progression is expressed by Levi, the unifier. It is really about repairing the breach between the sons, which is most evident in the breach between Israel and Judah, that is, between Joseph and Judah. If Levi had not replaced Dan in the narrative, we would have missed the whole point of the prophecy.
Simeon and Levi are linked together by the incident with Hamor (Gen. 34) and by Jacob's displeasure at their legalistic cruelty (Gen. 49:5-7). Simeon and Levi were at the heart of the breach between Jesus and Judah in the NT, because Simeon represents the Pharisees, while Levi was the priesthood which decided to crucify Jesus. And yet their names are importantly linked in the above prophecy, because it is necessary to come into agreement with God by "hearing and obeying" before they can be "united as one."
Thus, Simeon's name means to hear and obey, which is the foundational attitude of those who wish to come into unity with God.
Also, note that these twelve tribes are being "sealed." This is obviously a protective seal, whose theme is taken from Ezekiel 9:6, where a tav is placed on the foreheads of those being sealed in an earlier day.
Ezekiel wrote in Phoenician Hebrew, of course. After Judah went to Babylon, they adopted the Babylonian Aramaic letters, and from then on the Hebrew language has used those Babylonian letters. Ezekiel's tav, written in pre-Babylonian Hebrew, was written as a cross, rather than like the modern letter tav. The mark of God, then, was the cross. It was "God's signature," as I stated in my CD by that title.
Even so, the Hebrew word for a Seal or Sign is oht, spelled with three Hebrew letters:
1. alef, the first letter of the alphabet
2. vav, a nail or a conjunction, that which joins two things
3. tav, the last letter of the alphabet
It is easy to see that the central idea behind the oht ("seal") is the joining or uniting of the alef andtav, or (in Greek), alpha and omega. We read in Rev. 22:13,
"I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last."
This is expressed by God's signature, or sign, upon our foreheads. It is the oht, signifying that we have come into agreement with Him as an Amen people. We agree that He is truly sovereign and has never lost control of the universe, because He planned it from A to Z. Most important, those who are sealed are those who have come into agreement with His plan, those who do not fight against Him, thinking that they have a better idea.
So the sealing of the twelve tribes expresses the idea of the repair of the breach. There are many breaches being repaired, but the most basic breach was in the garden. All other breaches are secondary to that one. The primary number expressing the idea of the repair of the breach is number 52.
When Nehemiah repaired the breach in the wall of Jerusalem, it took 52 days (Neh. 6:15). Prophetically speaking, the names of the twelve tribes were on the gates of this wall (Rev. 21:12). Nehemiah's physical work prophesied of a spiritual repair of the breach between God and the twelve tribes and between the twelve tribes themselves.
This theme is now coming to the forefront in the signs of the times. The hidden treasure recently found in England contained 52,000 coins.
Cuba is also now releasing 52 political prisoners.
Last September we saw the hidden treasures being found and related it to Joseph who was lost in Egypt and separated from his brethren (by a breach).
Those finds revealed that Joseph was being found again, but the current treasure (above) adds another important detail. The breach is being repaired between the twelve tribes. Although these things take time to manifest, we ought to be encouraged by these things, knowing that the divine plan is grinding out slowly but surely.
When bad news hits, and it looks like the world is in danger of destruction, keep in mind that God's positive plan to repair the breach and to build His Kingdom will not fail. His plan includes some negative stuff, but the negative will not destroy the positive plan that He has had in mind from the beginning.
Dr. Stephen Jones