According to the Hebrew Bible, the
Twelve Tribes of Israel
Twelve Tribes of Israel or Tribes
of Israel (Hebrew: שבטי ישראל) were said to have descended
from the 12 sons of the patriarch
Jacob (who was later named Israel)
by two wives,
Leah and Rachel, and two concubines,
Zilpah and Bilhah.
2 In Christianity
2.1 Coat of arms
3 See also
5 External links
Tribes of Israel
Ten Lost Tribes
Deuteronomy 33:6–25 and Judges 5:14–18 present parallel listings
of the twelve tribes:
Ephraim and Manasseh)
Jacob elevated the descendants of
Manasseh (the two sons
of Joseph and his Egyptian wife Asenath) to the status of full
tribes in their own right, replacing the tribe of Joseph.
In the Bible's version of events, the period from the conquest of
Canaan under the leadership of
Joshua until the formation of the first
Kingdom of Israel, passed with the tribes forming a loose
confederation, described in the Book of Judges. Modern scholarship has
called into question the beginning, middle, and end of this
picture and the account of the conquest under
Joshua has largely
been abandoned. The Bible's depiction of the 'period of the
Judges' is widely considered doubtful. The extent to which a
united Kingdom of Israel ever existed is also a matter of ongoing
Living in exile in the sixth century BCE, the prophet
Ezekiel has a
vision for the restoration of Israel which would include "the
ideal reallotment of the land to the twelve tribes of Israel".
Christian New Testament, the twelve tribes of Israel are
referred to twice in the gospels and twice in the Book of Revelation.
In Matthew, paralled by Luke,
Jesus anticipates that in the Kingdom of
God, his followers will "sit on [twelve] thrones, judging the twelve
tribes of Israel". In the vision of the writer of the Book of
Revelation, 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel were
"sealed", 12,000 from each tribe and in his vision of the New or
Heavenly Jerusalem, the tribes' names were written on the city gates:
The names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates
on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and
three gates on the west.
Coat of arms
Thesouro de Nobreza, 1675
Leaders of the tribes of Israel
Ten Lost Tribes
^ Genesis 41:50
^ Genesis 48:5
^ a b "In any case, it is now widely agreed that the so-called
'patriarchal/ancestral period' is a later 'literary' construct, not a
period in the actual history of the ancient world. The same is the
case for the ‘exodus’ and the 'wilderness period,' and more and
more widely for the 'period of the Judges.'" Paula M. McNutt (1
January 1999). Reconstructing the Society of Ancient Israel.
Westminster John Knox Press. p. 42.
^ Alan T. Levenson (16 August 2011). The Making of the Modern Jewish
Bible: How Scholars in Germany, Israel, and America Transformed an
Ancient Text. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 202.
^ "Besides the rejection of the Albrightian ‘conquest' model, the
general consensus among OT scholars is that the Book of
Joshua has no
value in the historical reconstruction. They see the book as an
ideological retrojection from a later period — either as early as
the reign of Josiah or as late as the Hasmonean period." K. Lawson
Younger Jr. (1 October 2004). "Early Israel in Recent Biblical
Scholarship". In David W. Baker; Bill T. Arnold. The Face of Old
Testament Studies: A Survey of Contemporary Approaches. Baker
Academic. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-8010-2871-7.
^ "It behooves us to ask, in spite of the fact that the overwhelming
consensus of modern scholarship is that
Joshua is a pious fiction
composed by the deuteronomistic school, how does and how has the
Jewish community dealt with these foundational narratives, saturated
as they are with acts of violence against others?" Carl S. Ehrlich
(1999). "Joshua, Judaism and Genocide". Jewish Studies at the Turn of
the Twentieth Century, Volume 1: Biblical, Rabbinical, and Medieval
Studies. BRILL. p. 117. ISBN 90-04-11554-4.
^ "Recent decades, for example, have seen a remarkable reevaluation of
evidence concerning the conquest of the land of Canaan by Joshua. As
more sites have been excavated, there has been a growing consensus
that the main story of Joshua, that of a speedy and complete conquest
(e.g. Josh. 11.23: 'Thus
Joshua conquered the whole country, just as
the LORD had promised Moses') is contradicted by the archaeological
record, though there are indications of some destruction and conquest
at the appropriate time. Adele Berlin; Marc Zvi Brettler (17 October
2014). The Jewish Study
Bible (Second ed.). Oxford University Press.
p. 951. ISBN 978-0-19-939387-9.
^ "The biblical text does not shed light on the history of the
highlands in the early Iron I. The conquest and part of the period of
the judges narratives should be seen, first and foremost, as a
Deuteronomist construct that used myths, tales, and etiological
traditions in order to convey the theology and territorial ideology of
the late monarchic author(s) (e.g., Nelson 1981; Van Seters 1990;
Finkelstein and Silberman 2001, 72-79, Römer 2007, 83-90)." Israel
Finkelstein (2013). The Forgotten Kingdom: The Archaeology and History
of Northern Israel (PDF). Society of Biblical Literature. p. 24.
^ "In short, the so-called ‘period of the judges’ was probably the
creation of a person or persons known as the deuteronomistic
historian."J. Clinton McCann (2002). Judges. Westminster John Knox
Press. p. 5. ISBN 978-0-8042-3107-7.
^ "Although most scholars accept the historicity of the united
monarchy (although not in the scale and form described in the Bible;
see Dever 1996; Na'aman 1996; Fritz 1996, and bibliography there), its
existence has been questioned by other scholars (see Whitelam 1996b;
see also Grabbe 1997, and bibliography there). The scenario described
below suggests that some important changes did take place at the
time." Avraham Faust (1 April 2016). Israel's Ethnogenesis:
Settlement, Interaction, Expansion and Resistance. Routledge.
p. 172. ISBN 978-1-134-94215-2.
^ "In some sense most scholars today agree on a 'minimalist' point of
view in this regard. It does not seem reasonable any longer to claim
that the united monarchy ruled over most of Palestine and Syria."
Gunnar Lebmann (2003). Andrew G. Vaughn; Ann E. Killebrew, eds.
Bible and Archaeology: The First Temple Period. Society
of Biblical Lit. p. 156. ISBN 978-1-58983-066-0.
^ "There seems to be a consensus that the power and size of the
kingdom of Solomon, if it ever existed, has been hugely exaggerated."
Philip R. Davies (18 December 2014). "Why do we Know about Amos?". In
Diana Vikander Edelman; Ehud Ben Zvi. The Production of Prophecy:
Constructing Prophecy and Prophets in Yehud. Routledge. p. 71.
^ Barnes' Notes on the
Ezekiel 47, accessed 14 October 2016
^ Matthew 19:28
^ Luke 22:30
^ Revelation 7:1-8
^ Revelation 21:12-13
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Twelve Tribes of Israel.
The Twelve Tribes at the Jewish Encyclopedia
Twelve Tribes of Israel
Twelve Tribes of Israel at the Jewish Virtual Library
The Biblical and Historical Israelites
Children of Israel / Twelve Tribes of Israel
Ten Lost Tribes
History of ancient Israel and Judah
Land of Israel
United Monarchy (Kingdom of Israel)
Southern Kingdom (Kingdom of Judah)
Historicity of the Bible