Saturday, October 28, 2006

Genesis 49 "Destiny of the Twelve Tribes" "Jacob Dies"

Genesis 49:1 "And Jacob called unto his sons and said Gather yourselves together that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days."

The journey has ended for Jacob. He ends his journey as Israel. His is a struggle against the old man (his earthly nature) and the new man (his promise as Israel). We saw him often going from one identity to the other and back again. We as Christians are no different. We often struggle with wrong even when we know what the right thing is. It was Israel talking in verse 2.

v2 "Gather yourselves together and hear ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father."

Reuben is the firstborn and learns his future first. We must go back to chapter 35 verse 22 to understand Israel's comments to him "And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father's concubine: and Israel heard it."..."

Now we can take a look at the pronouncement of Reuben's future. First Reuben is complimented as the firstborn and Israel calls him the beginning of his strength v3 , excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. But the mistake in the verse above has not been forgotten and now comes to bear. v4 "Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel, because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it; he went up to my couch."

Simeon and Levi are next in line and one of their past actions is not forgotten. It is true they were avenging their sister's bad treatment by Shechem but it appears that killing all of them was a bit extreme. Go back to chapter 34 verse 25 "And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethern took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males."

Verse 7 (of chapter 49) tells of their destiny. "Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel."

Judah is blessed with a brighter future. In his line is mentioned Shiloh(Messiah). v10 "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. v11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine and his clothes in the blood of grapes: v12 His eyes shall be red with wine and his teeth white with milk."

Zebulun v13 ...haven of ships
Issachar v15 ...a servant unto tribute
Dan v16...shall judge his people
Gad v19 ...shall overcome at the last
Asher v20...royal dainties
Naphtali v21...giveth goodly words

Joseph receives a long blessing found in verses 22-26. It tells of attempts to kill Joseph but God made him strong. A notable part of v24 is (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) . Joseph is given the blessings from heaven above and of the deep and tells of a crown for him.

Benjamin v27...shall ravin as a wolf ...and divide the spoil.

Jacob then describes the burial place of his father's and demands to be buried there.

V33 "And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost and was gathered unto his people."

CI Scofield divides Jacob's (Israel's) spiritual progress into 6 modules (1) the first exercise of faith, as shown in the purchase of the birthright Gen 25,28-34 and 27,10-22 (2) the vision at Bethel Gen 28 10-19 (3) walking in the flesh Gen 29 1-31 55 (4)the transforming experience Gen 32 24-31 (5) the return to Bethel: idols put away Gen 35 1-7 (6) the walk of faith Gen 37 1-49-33 .

Psalm 31:14 "But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou are my God."

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