A Dozen Denizens
Rachel and Leah
by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
How God must sigh, when we question His sovereignty. In His wisdom, He works His wonders to accomplish His will, even after we make poor choices.
Jacob, no novice to deception himself, was deceived by his uncle Laban. Ultimately, Jacob worked a fortnight of years to earn the hand of the woman he loved most. Still, God was able to build His own holy household, His chosen people, through the family of Jacob.
Despite rivalries between Jacob's wives (Leah and Rachel) and their servants (Bilhah and Zilpah), the Lord used this family to create His promised nation. The line of Jacob would include a dozen sons, whose offspring would become the Twelve Tribes of Israel. To refresh our memories, here is a video from the Broadway musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Can you list and identify all twelve of Jacob's sons?
The Twelve Sons of Jacob (Israel)
3. The second son of Jacob and Bilhah, his name means "my struggle" or "wrestling."
5. The first son of Jacob and Zilpah, his name means "good fortune" or "troop."
7. The first son of Jacob and Rachel, his name means "may he add" or "God will increase."
8. Jacob's uncle, Laban, tricked him into marrying this daughter.
9. The first son of Jacob and Bilhah, his name means "he has vindicated" or "God is my judge."
12. The sixth son of Jacob and Leah, his name means “honor” or “exaltation.
14. The second son of Jacob and Zilpah, his name means "happy" or "blessed."
1. The fifth son of Jacob and Leah, his name means "reward" or "hireling."
2. The second son of Jacob and Leah, his name means "one who hears" or "he heard."
4. Jacob adored this wife, the youngest daughter of Laban.
6. The second son of Jacob and Rachel, his name means "son of my right hand" or "son of the south."
10. The first son of Jacob and Leah, his name means "see, a son" or "behold a son."
11. The fourth son of Jacob and Leah, his name means "praise" or "praised."
13. The third son of Jacob and Leah, his name means "attached" or "as one."
What a wonderful God of order we serve.
God’s Old Testament covenant was applied these twelve sons of Jacob (renamed Israel). With the advent of Jesus, God’s New Testament covenant would be carried by the Lord’s twelve apostles and all people of faith who followed afterwards.
How blessed are all believers to be “adopted as sons” (see Ephesians 1:5) and counted among God’s people!
“I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God
for the salvation of everyone who believes:
first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”
(Romans 1:16, NIV)
Will you pray with me?
Most Holy Lord,
How remarkable are Your ways.
We cannot comprehend
How Your loving hand
Controls the wheels of history.
Teach us to trust You more.
We praise You
For making us part of Your forever family.
Most of all,
We honor You
For who You are.