Hebrew Roots/The restoration process/Tribal Character
This is a summary on the tribes of Israel as pertaining to their function and their interaction with one another in ministry.
This is taken from the placement of them around the Tabernacle in the wilderness which Moses was shown was an earthly representation of the spiritual, heavenly pattern. This interpretation also incorporates the meaning of their names and the characteristics that they displayed in the lives of the patriarchs, the gemstones they were given to represent their qualities, and the symbol for their tribe as well as the ensign of the banner under which they gathered around the Tabernacle.
There is much more that could be brought out from the typology of these things, but this will serve as a brief introduction to the subject to gain an understanding of the basic characteristics, and abilities as they are used by YHWH in His House - i.e. His Tabernacle, the Body of Messiah
The arrangement was according to the heavenly pattern which was revealed to (Moshe) Moses in the Mount as represented in Revelation 4:6-8. here we see four heavenly creatures in the vision shown to John as a Lion, a Man, an Ox and an Eagle. These are four aspects of the Perfect Man in His manifestation of the divine nature in and through His people.
The four Gospels also reflect these attributes in the emphasis bywhich they present the life of Yeshua:
Matthew presents the kingship of Yeshua
Mark presents the Priesthood and Service of Yeshua
Luke presents the Humanity of Yeshua
John presents the Divinity and Spirituality of Yeshua
Here we have the Kingship and Priesthood in the Lion (Matthew) and the Ox (Mark)
And the Humanity and Divinity in the Man (Luke) and the Eagle (John)
The Kingship is represented around the Tabernacle typology by Yehudah as the Lion
The Humanity is represented by Reuven as the Man
The Priesthood is represented by Ephraim as the Ox
The Divinity is represented by Dan as the Eagle
The tribes of Israel were placed in a specific order around the Tabernacle and that was in relation to their function in the purposes of Yahweh God. They also had a specific order in which they were to break camp and go forward progressively in their journey onward through the wilderness.
The tribes were from east clockwise around the Tabernacle:
YEHUDAH, Issachar and Zevulon; REUVEN, Gad and Shimeon; EPHRAIM, Mannasheh and Benyamin; DAN, Naphtali and Asher.
In the wisdom of YHWH, each of the four leaders, Yehudah, Reuven, Ephraim and Dan had two supportive ministries to complement them, so that three of them stood on each side of the Tabernacle. This was purposed so that each one would assist the other to fulfil their function and corporately in the working together they would fufill His purposes and reveal His divine character and nature.
As each tribe functions in the facet of the divine nature which is attributed to him and portrays the giftings which they have been given, the whole camp move on forward toward the goal of reaching the promised inheritance.
The hindrances to the accomplishment of this, is not only in the obstacles encountered along the way and the attacks of the enemy, but also from within as a result of the fallen nature in each tribal personality. Through the fallen nature, each potential divine quality is inverted to glorify the flesh instead of reflecting the image of the One in which it was created.. So each tribe has to overcome its flesh to reveal the divine nature so it can flow together in the purposes of YHWH.
Each of the leading tribes, Yehudah, Reuven, Ephraim and Dan, has two supportive ministries, one each side of him, under his banner., to work together with him. The two supportive ministries that were given to each of the leaders comprised one whose focus was subjective and spiritual and the other whose focus was overt and natural. This provided a balance and a supplement to the leaders own king/priest focus in ministry.
YEHUDAH, Issachar and Zevulon were on the EAST side and moved under the banner of the LION
REUVEN, Gad and Shimeon were on the south side and moved under the banner of the MAN
EPHRAIM, Manasseh and Benyamin were on the west and moved under the banner of the OX
DAN, Naphtali and Asher were on the north side and moved under the banner of the EAGLE
The role of KINGSHIP through Yehudah, was balanced by the PRIESTLY service in Ephraim.
The DIVINE inspiration and direction of Dan was balanced by the HUMANITY of Reuven.
By this complementing of one another, they formed a corporate Body. YEHUDAH ensign - LION Yehudah is brought to the leadership for the kingdom through many trials and testing to mature that young arrogant young lion into the king of the Beasts of the field who can stand in the wisdom and majesty of his name’sake, the One whom he represents, the “Lion of the Tribe of Yehudah”.
Yeshudah’s heritage is to have his “ass” and “his garments tied to the fruit of the Vine”. In the humility of the ass led by the One who is the Vine and his garments washed in the fruit of the Vine, Yehudah is destined to be sufficient for all that his hands find to do in the service of the Messiah. And his hands will be upon the neck of his enemies to break off their strength.
Yehudah was the leading tribe and the encampment was always led out under his leadership and direction. It was Yehudah that rallied first to the shofar’s call to assemble and break camp. They faced the battle-front and engaged the enemy on behalf of the other tribes.
Their forte is praise in spiritual warfare . Their spirit is resilient and always bounces back after trials in triumphant praise to their God whatever the battle has inflicted - they rest in His strength to overcome. David is a great example of a Yehudite who rejoiced with all his might as the Ark of His Presence was brought back into eh camp of Israel again. As a true Yehudahite, David’s heart was glorying in His Presence.
Yehudah is endowed with great leadership qualities to enable him to assume the responsibility of leading the camp out into enemy territory and onto new horizons. He also has been given the ability to shepherd the flock and inspire the camp onto victory
ISSACHAR ensign - ASS
Issachar comes alongside Yehudah as a burden-bearer, carrying the leader’s baggage. He happily puts his shoulder to the load to bear a double burden and is a great intercessor. As he gets under the weight of the oppression and the load that has to be carried spiritually, he is finely tuned to know the times and the seasons of God and be in step with what He is doing.
Issachar is a dweller in tents, a real student of the Word and has many resources stored up to speak forth and share with the congregation to call them up to higher ground.
ZEVULON symbol - SHIP
Zevulon symbol is the ship that is outgoing to far horizons, bringing back souls for the kingdom. He is an outgoing personality with a burden to reach the lost and with a nurturing heart to provide a haven for them. His role is a follow-through from the initiative and spiritual breakthrough of Yehudah leadership and is in conjunction with Issachar whose burden-bearing for souls in the purposes of God is in the secret place and together they call people go up to the mountain with God to greater revelation and spiritual experience.
REUVEN ensign MAN
To Reuven is ascribed the excellence of dignity and power to undergird him when he moves in the anointing, to bring forth new life.. He ministers to the heart of the people in the generosity of his tender love and compassion. Reuven gives of himself and his strength without guile and without measure and takes great responsibility over that which is committed into his hands.
SHIMEON symbol DAGGER
Shimeon is called to hear and act on God’s behalf where justice needs to be applied. Shimeon is given the capacity to hear what Yahweh is saying and understand what is happening in the spiritual realm. For this reason the dagger is placed in his hands to wreak vengeance on the enemy. In this capacity he forms a counter-balance for Reuven’s self-giving lack of restraint and he can render wisdom and guidance. Shimeon is quickly stirred to action to execute justice and fulfill the purposes of God. When the dagger has broken his own clay vessel, then the glory of the revelation of the Messiah will shine forth through him.
GAD symbol CAMP OF TENTS
Gad is a troop - a force to be reckoned with when he comes to maturity and wisdom as an old lion, for he is firmly rooted on the ground with his tent-pegs driven into solid earth. He commands many resources stored up for the needs of others. His level-headedness is a balance for the Shimeon’s volatile nature and an asset to Reuven as he is not easily moved to action. Gad has a lot to consider and take into account before he moves camp, and so, is more contemplative in nature and checks things out before he acts.
When he does moves, he “tears the arm with the crown of the head”, disabling the works of the enemy by going for the ruling prince. His authority over the powers of darkness comes through as a result of overcoming’ that s set against him and by breaking through the bondage of his own fleshly nature. Gad is a great asset under Reuven’s banner to reach out to meet the needs of others.
EPHRAIM ensign OX
Ephraim is a strong servant/leader and like his symbol the ox, he ploughs the field of God, tirelessly and to him is given the resources of the kingdom to get the job done and bear much fruit. His love of serving makes him a devoted servant of the Master who does it with great joy and no expectation of a reward. But his very love of serving can become a bondage unto servitude and lead into idolatry.
His abundant energy is a force to be reckoned with and needs to be yoked and harnessed so that it can be directed into profitable service that glorifies God and fulfils his purposes. He also needs to take care that he does not become pre-occupied with his own fruitfulness and become drunk in self-glorying.
MANASHEH symbol PALM TREE
He is pictured by the beautiful qualities of the Palm Tree for his ability to reach down deep and draw from deep waters which enable him to grow tall and reach up high. His fruit is very sweet when he reaches his full potential and rise to the destiny in his name and surpass the hurts and wounds of the past which have been the means of forging him into the depths and heights of his calling. Like his father Yoseph, many years of preparation go into the birthing of a Manasseh .... while the Word of God will try him. His firm stature is a stabilising influence to the constant driving force of Ephraim, but his loftiness can cause him to become a lone figure on the landscape.
BENYAMIN symbol WOLF
The ‘wolf’ tribe is a mighty one who fearlessly and without mercy, attacks the enemy and spoil his goods He will take the prey and deliver it back into the camp as resources for the kingdom. He stands alongside Ephraim as he takes territory for Yahweh. His calling is to be the “son of the right hand”, one who executes the authority of God to birth his sons into the kingdom.
The enemy fiercely contests Benyamin’s birth into the ministry and every step of progress he makes, as he fears the power that can be wielded in his hands.
DAN ensign EAGLE
Dan is one who can see the prey afar off - one who soars on high in the Spirit and get the heavenly perspective on things. His judgement takes in the full scope of the scene and from his viewpoint, he is able to objectively give good direction and assessments of situations. As a result, he is called to judge Israel.
Dan’s responsibility is to be the rear-guard of the camp and to watch out for the enemy attacking the camp from behind. Naphtali’s revelations of the enemy’s strategies and Asher’s ability to pour oil on troubled waters acts as supportive roles in his protection of the camp.
NAPHTALI symbol DEER
Naphtali is one that loves to skip on the mountain tops with Yah in the rarity of the higher atmosphere. She is destined to mature into the majesty of a stag whose antlers act as antennae in the Spirit to the enemy’s strategies and as an alert system for his source of defense. In his maturity he learns to hold his ground and not be timid and frightened off by that with which he is unfamiliar. Naphtali’s strength is in her ability to wrestle in prayer and lay hold of the horns of the altar and hold on till the victory comes. From her place of communion with God, her life is lit up with His Presence and she is “full of the blessing of the Lord”, having many “good words” to dispense from the throne of God. There is a brilliance to her light, but like the deer, she can be elusive and blown by the winds of self-will and insubordination, which render her gifts unusable. Surrendered to the Spirit, Naphtali is a source of revelation to assist gaining the victory over what Dan “sees”. She comes in strongly as a support for him, giving freely of herself and her talents.
ASHER symbol OLIVE TREE
Asher’s symbol is the fruitful olive tree and his name means “happy”, or at peace in the sens of one who is honest and straightforward. Asher’s joy comes from a deep well of oil within and enables him to ride over the rough places of life and come up smiling. Asher feeds off the anointing and has the resources to be able to share “royal dainties” from the King’s table, real delicacies from the Word. His “shoes are iron and brass” instruments of judgment, which when dipped in oil, enables him to deliver a hard word which may tread on people’s toes, but he gets the message across and is fearless in doing so. When he has oil on those shoes, he has the strength to get into hard places and pour oil on troubled waters.
Asher dispenses the anointing wherever he goes, just by his presence and agreeable spirit. Asher is a great asset to Dan and provides the ministries to co-ordinate with, and support him in judging the tribes.
LEVI symbol THE BREASTPLATE
Levi has the capacity above all the tribes to be completely united with Yahweh in His purposes and be in exclusive service to Him. As such, he is called to carry the burden of Israel upon his heart and to offer his life to teach them God’s judgements and laws.. His life is to be a living sacrifice of praise and intercession to bring the rest of the congregation to perfection. He is the Intercessor, the Guardian of God’s people. Under the power of the Spirit, he is invincible when he steps into situations in the authority of Yah in order to execute His judgements, but very destructive when operating in the power of the flesh.
Levi carries on his heart the gemstones of the twelve tribes – 12 emanations of the glory of God destined to be revealed fully through the overcomers who have come to the full stature of Messiah. This is the ultimate purpose and goal of all ministry and giftings in order to bring the Body to perfection. Ephesians 4:8-16 The ministry of Levi is destined to be part of the overcomers in Revelation 7, and replaces Dan’s type of role in judgement of the tribes of Israel in that grouping.
Although there is a purpose in the pattern established in the Tabernacle, Yahweh can, and does use them differently and independently at his discretion. The perfect pattern is not always appropriate for imperfect people in an imperfect world.