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In the last couple of articles, we'd discovered that the Sacred Record revealed, that Jacob was found to be in his last hours. And because of his rapidly declining health, Joseph would take his two sons (Ephraim and Manasseh) to go and see their ailing grandfather, before he'd breathed his last breath. We would also learn, that after Joseph and his two sons had came before Jacob, we find that Jacob would begin blessing the the two boys.
Now when it came to the beginning part of Jacob's blessing...
Know that it dealt with Ephraim and Manasseh being accepted as Jacob's own, and it's for this reason, they were now added to the twelve tribes.
And in spite of them being officially added to Jacob's household, Joseph wasn't happy.
For we would soon learn, that the Sacred Record also points out, that Joseph was disappointed with the way that his father had blessed the two boys:
"When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased...
"...so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. Joseph said to him: 'No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.'" -- Genesis 48:17,18
Know that Joseph's disappointment came about, because he didn't agree with the order of priority, that Jacob had decided to bless the boys in. Remember that the Sacred Record revealed, that Joseph had specifically placed his oldest son Manasseh, on Jacob's right hand side (which traditionally represented top priority) -- while he'd placed his youngest son Ephraim, on his father's left hand side.
But as we would soon find out, Jacob had different plans, when it came to how the boys would be blessed. For we would learn, that Jacob would go against Joseph's wishes, by giving Ephraim the priority blessing over his oldest brother. And because of this, Joseph was greatly disappointed. Understand that Joseph's disappointment came from, what I believe to be -- were his own personal expectations, when it came to how he thought God might move through his father, when it came to his two sons.
Now I'd also pointed out, that I personally believe that it's not wrong to have expectations, when it comes to God. In fact! It's God, who tells us, that it's through His prophecies and actions, that we should expect big things from Him. And not only that, God also lays out (through His spoken Word) exactly what we should be expecting next.
Never forget, that God's Word, is a complete divine record, that God uses, to tells us beforehand (through prophecy), what's going to happen next -- and it's also through His spoken Word, that He not only tells us things beforehand, but He also records their fulfillment as well.
Now one would think, that when it comes to a record, that has a 100%
prophecy fulfillment rate; one should easily see this as proof, that
God's Sacred Record, definitely has divine authority. And let's consider something else for a moment... the men that God
used, were either prophets or
apostles, when it came to the recording of the Sacred Record, for you see, these weren't some over zealous men,
who were out taking glory for themselves; these also weren't men, who were found boasting about their good works,
when it came to their office of being prophets or apostles.
No my friend, this wasn't necessary on their end; for I want you to know, that they had God constantly confirming His divine authority, through their ministry. And the Lord did this, by recording the fulfillment of the very Word, that He had constantly foretold through them, for over a span of 1500 years.
Now in all honesty, I truly find it hard for the Sacred Record to be debated over, when it comes to its divine authority claim. And of course, in regards to this claim, I may be biased, because of my personal beliefs. But you can't deny the fact, that there are many other secular resources, that also leads credence, to the Sacred Record's overall credibility. The mere fact, that we continue to this very day, to have many archaeological discoveries, that continues to confirm the reliability and historical accuracy of God's Word -- I'd like to think, speaks volumes.
Or what about the fact, that there are many ancient texts, that also helps to support the high percentage accuracy rate, when it comes to the Holy Scriptures being authenticated. Ancient texts like the: Dead Sea Scrolls, or the, Samaritan Pentateuch, or the, Murabba'at Discoveries -- or what about, the Cairo Geniza Manuscripts, or the, Chester Beatty Papyri Manuscript -- or how about, the Vaticanus Manuscript.
And I could continue on, but I hope and pray, that by now, you understand the point that I'm trying to make, when it comes to God Sacred Record.
Now here's a statement, that was made by Sir Fredrick Kenyon:
"The number of manuscripts of the New Testament, of early translations from it, and of quotations from it in the oldest writers of the Church, is so large that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved in some one or other of these ancient authorities. This can be said of no other ancient book in the world."
"The Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that he holds in it the true Word of God, handed down without essential loss from generation to generation throughout the centuries." - World Renown Biblical Scholar and Author ~ Sir Fredrick Kenyon
Now I went through all of that, so we can hopefully see, just how important it is, to take what's revealed to us from within the Sacred Record -- as being something, that should be taken very seriously. For we must not make the crucial mistake, of taking this Sacred Record, as being some sort of game -- a game that's full of "what if's" and the "how about this or that" charades.
Nonetheless, let's move forward...
Now after Jacob had finished blessing Joseph, and his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, he calls in the rest of his sons. And it's at this time, that Jacob, while on his death bed, gives a prophecy for each one of his sons. We begin with Jacob, first starting with his oldest son Reuben:
"Reuben, you are my first born, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it." -- Genesis 49:3,4
Now with this particular prophecy, Jacob reveals the position that Reuben had held, amongst his younger brothers. For he was once considered, the first sign of Jacob's might and strength -- which would explain the meaning of his name, which signifies "see a son." Know that Reuben had excelled in areas that dealt with: honor, dignity, and power -- but now, this would be no more.
For we must remember, that he'd went unto his father's couch, and defiled it, by sleeping with his stepmother Bilhah: "And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine [wife]; and Israel heard about it . Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:" -- Genesis 35:22
And because of this act (which in fact, happened some forty years before) Reuben's immoral behavior, would leave an infamous mark on the family, and it's for this reason, he would no longer hold such an authoritative position amongst the Twelve Tribes.
Nonetheless, let's move forward -- for we find, that Jacob would now turn his attention, towards Simeon and Levi:
"Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are weapons of violence. Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel." -- Genesis 49:5-7
Now let's take a closer, but brief look, at this statement... for we find, that Jacob reveals, that Simeon and Levi -- are not only brothers by blood, but by nature and iniquity (sinful deeds) as well. For Jacob speaks of the time, where Simeon and Levi had entered into an agreement with Hamor and the Shechemites -- an agreement, in which they didn't honor. But what they had done instead, when it came to the Shechemites, was to have deceived them.
But first, I want you to notice, how Jacob seems to distance himself from their wicked actions at that time: "Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly." For he also points out, that Simeon and Levi's deceit, had left a bloody trail: "...after they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen (in reference to Shechem) as they pleased."
"They [Simeon and Levi] said to them, 'We can't do such a thing; we can't give our sister to a man who is not circumcised. That would be a disgrace to us. We will give our consent to you on one condition only: that you become like us by circumcising all your males. Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We'll settle among you and become one people with you. But if you will not agree to be circumcised, we'll take our sister and go.' Their proposal seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem." -- Genesis 34:14-18
"And all who went out of the gate of his city heeded Hamor and Shechem his son; every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males. And they killed Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem's house, and went out.
"The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because their sister had been defiled. They took their sheep, their oxen, and their donkeys, what was in the city and what was in the field, and all their wealth. All their little ones and their wives they took captive; and they plundered even all that was in the houses." -- Genesis 34:24-29
Now let's take a brief look, at their punishment (curse) when it came to them being led by their emotions: "Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel."
Now notice, in the first part of this prophecy: "Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel." Know that this statement shows, that they weren't punished as in their persons -- but punished, when it came to their wickedness (actions). For we must understand, that their anger, was a sin -- and in turn, for that moment, caused them to become a slave to it.
And it would be that moment, which would prove, to be not only very detrimental to them, but to Jacob's household as an whole. And because of this -- Simeon and Levi, will be scattered throughout the twelve tribes: "I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel."
And this would happen, for the Levites would have no proper portion, or inheritance to claim -- but they were instead, scattered abroad, and throughout all the tribes. But in spite of this, also know, that this curse would later become a blessing for them -- for they would end up becoming a priestly tribe, a tribe that would be known as, the Levitical Priesthood.
But when it came to the Simeonites -- know that they had no lot of their own, from within the division of the land. And part of them, would eventually join the tribe of Judah -- while the rest of their tribe, would be forced to find new seats:
"Shimei [a Simeonite] had sixteen sons and six daughters, but his brothers did not have many children; so their entire clan did not become as numerous as the people of Judah. They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar Shual, Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susim, Beth Biri and Shaaraim. These were their towns until the reign of David. Their surrounding villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Token and Ashan, five towns -- and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath. These were their settlements. And they kept a genealogical record." -- 1 Chronicles 4:27-33
Now hopefully, this particular passage, will shed some more insightful light on the subject:
"The men whose names were listed came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. They attacked the Hamites in their dwellings and also the Meunites who were there and completely destroyed them, as is evident to this day. Then they settled in their place, because there was pasture for their flocks. And five hundred of these Simeonites, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, invaded the hill country of Seir." -- 1 Chronicles 4:41,42
**YOUR CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE SERIES - WOULD BE HERE**
113) <-CURRENT BIBLE STUDY ONLINE PAGE->
115) The Tribe of Kings
123) The Death of Jacob
124) Jacob Goes Home
126) The Death of Joseph
128) Moses the Historian