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SAB Contradiction 457

 

Bible Contradictions?
There are six lists of the tribes of Israel (see below) of which no one is the same. What now?

 

Genesis 49

Numbers 1

Numbers 13

Deuteron 33

Ezekiel 48

Revelation 7

Reuben 1

Reuben 1

Reuben 1

Reuben 1

Reuben 6

Reuben 2

Simeon 2

Simeon 2

Simeon 2

Simeon 9

Simeon 7

Levi 3

Levi 3

[Levi 7b]

Levi 8

Judah 4

Judah 3

Judah 3

Judah 2

Judah 7 [a]

Judah 1

Zebulon 5

Zebulon 5

Zebulon 7

Zebulon 6

Zebulon 11

Zebulon 10

Issachar 6

Issachar 4

Issachar 4

Issachar 7

Issachar 10

Issachar 9

Dan 7

Dan 10

Dan 9

Dan 9

Dan 1

Gad 8

Gad 12

Gad 12

Gad 8

Gad 12

Gad 3

Asher 9

Asher 11

Asher 10

Asher 11

Asher 2

Asher 4

Naphtali 10

Naphtali 13

Naphtali 11

Naphtali 10

Naphtali 3

Naphtali 5

Joseph 11

Joseph 6

Joseph 8

Joseph 5

Joseph 11

Benjamin 12

Benjamin 9

Benjamin 6

Benjamin 4

Benjamin 8

Benjamin 12

 

Ephraim 5

Ephraim 5

Ephraim 5

 

Manasseh 8

Manasseh 4

Manasseh 6

(The numbers behind the names refer to the position of a name in the list under consideration. In red a correction, pres. auth.)

 

Genesis 49:1-28
Here the names of the sons of Jacob are given at the moment of his blessings to them before he died. These names are here in the sequence of their birth. The later lists deviate from this order. The two adopted sons of Jacob, Ephraim and Manasseh, had already been blessed (Genesis 48:8-20) and are lacking in this list.

 

Numbers 1:4-15
The list of the tribes that go out to war (1:3) are listed here only. So the name of Levi is lacking as this tribe of priests didn’t go out to war. The family of Joseph (mentioned) here is explicitly represented in the families of Ephraim and Manasseh which is correct. In Genesis 48:5 Jacob promised to Joseph that his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh received the state of sons of Jacob, i.e. with each a tribe in Israel.
No Bible Contradiction

 

Numbers 13:1-15
For each tribe a man was chosen to inspect the promised land before entering. Ephraim had been mentioned already and some later followed the tribe Manasseh with reference to Joseph his father which is correct (13:11). Joseph is not mentioned as a third tribe! Take note. The chosen men were sent out for military purposes (13:17-19) and for that reason nobody from the tribe of Levi was sent, as the priest were set free from military action.
No Bible Contradiction

 

Deuteronomy 33:6-24
Before he died Moses gave his blessings to the Israelites and not to all tribes separately!  (Deuteronomy 33:4-5 is a flash back about the Law giving at Horeb and is not to be connected directly with 6-24). The tribe of Simeon is not mentioned in this list. It has to do with the fact that Simeon would not receive a region in Israel and would be scattered under the other tribes especially in the region of Judah (Genesis 49:7, Joshua 19:2-9). The tribe of Levi got the same judgement as Simeon (Genesis 49:7) re-established itself (Deuteronomy 33:8-10) contrarily to Simeon. So Simeon is not mentioned, but got his blessing in Moses’ general blessing to the people (33:29) of Israel.
No Bible Contradiction

 

Ezekiel 48:1-27
A vision of the prophet Ezekiel about the future positions of the tribes of Israel. This list is clearly a vision of spiritual completeness. The vision related the period of the new heaven and the new earth as is clear from the uncommon measures for the tribe regions he gives. Levi is not left of the list as the critic wrongly assumes (48:13-14!). Indeed Joseph is not mentioned and that is no loss as Joseph is represented in his sons Ephraim and Manasseh (both mentioned).
No Bible Contradiction

 

Revelation 7:4-8
In Revelation the historical situation is totally different from the time that the Kings reigned over Judah and Israel. After the period of the exile many Israelites returned to the homeland (516 BC onwards). However the unity of the tribes was broken and did not return anymore. Only the tribe of Judah is known to have continued the registering of their descendants (Ezra/Nehemiah). The Greek word phulè has two meanings: 1. Tribe, 2. Group of a certain region or population (compare Matthew 24:30, Revelation 7:9 etc.) and the first is not appropriate in this passage anymore. After the exile only the regions of the old tribes remained with new populations, without the old genealogical relationships. In Revelation therefore Joseph is mentioned for the region of Ephraim as the greatest compared with Manasseh. The region of Manasseh is also mentioned separately. In former days the tribe of Dan once left its own region and went to the North-Eastern region of Manasseh and settled there in the town they renamed Dan. So the new dwelling place of Dan became part of the region of Manasseh and by mentioning this region it was not necessary for John to refer also to Dan (see additional remark 1).  
No Bible Contradiction

 

Conclusion
The critic gave lists of the names of the tribes without reading these lists properly. If he had done, he had discovered that there is a natural and powerful reason for each seeming dissimilarity in the overview. Each list is not given to repeat the first, but each list is definitely complete according to the explicit purpose for which it is given and unfortunately that is forgotten by the critic. A real blunder.

No Bible Contradictions

 

Additional remarks
1. Note to Dan. To the eastern part of Manasseh, from Jabbok to the southern part of the Lake of Galilee (Chinnereth), also belonged the valley of the river Jordan up to mount Hermon where Dan was situated. Compare Numbers 34:11 and Joshua 13:11, 27-30.

2. Note to 144.000 (Revelation 7:4-8). The figure 144.000 is to be taken as referring to 12 x 12 x 1000. Meaning: Multitude of descendants of Israel following the Law and the Gospel throughout history. Compare also Revelation 14:1.

1000 = multitudes of descendants.
first 12 = 12 Patriarchs of Israel
second 12 = 12 Apostles