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Monday, October 1, 2012

How Jews Came From Tribe of Judah, Benjamin and Levi

Nadene Goldfoot
There first was Abram, later called Abraham, son of Terach the idol maker born about 1800 BCE in Ur in Bablylonia "Iraq" who was the first man who declared monotheism, a belief in one unseen G-d.  He was married to Sarai, later called Sarah and had his son Isaac by her.  Jacob was his grandson.

 Abraham had a brother, Nahor.  Nahor had a son named Bethuel.  Bethuel had a daughter named Rebekah and a son named Laban.    Rebekah married her cousin Isaac.  Their son was Jacob who had gone to his Uncle Laban (mother's brother)  and worked for him for 7 years to be allowed to marry his young daughter, Rachel.  When the time came at the end of the 7 years, Jacob was tricked into marrying Leah, the oldest daughter of Laban instead and had to work 7 more years for Rachel.

Jacob had 12 sons by 2 wives and their 2 handmaids.  His first wife was Leah and Judah was their 4th son.  The lion is their symbol.  Leah, who was described as having weak eyes and the first daughter of Laban, brother of Rebekah, Jacob's mother.  She was married to Jacob first and had 6 sons; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun, and a daughter, Dinah.    Judah was the largest tribal group and leader of all.   Later on, her handmaid, Zilpah, gave him Gad and Asher.  Rachel, younger sister of Leah and the one Jacob had wanted to marry in the first place being the most beautiful, had a hard time conceiving but finally had  the famous Joseph and Benjamin.  Her handmaid, Bilhah, had Dan and Naphtali.

Around 1200 BCE the Israelite tribes came into the land of Canaan led by Moses. Moses and his brother Aaron were the sons of Amram and Yocheved from the tribe of Levi.   Joshua, son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim,  took over when Moses died at age 120.  The first kingdom of Israel was created by 1050 BCE.  Before they had a king, they had Judges of which Deborah was a prominent one.

Saul, son of Kish  from the tribe of  Benjamin in Gibeah,  became the first king, chosen for his height and good looks by the prophet, Samuel.   When he died, all the tribes were loyal to his descendant called Ish-bosheth,  or the House of Saul except Judah, who chose David, Saul's arms bearer, to be king. David was the 8th and last son of Jesse, from the tribe of Judah.  When Ish-bosheth died, the tribes made David, then king of Judah, king of a re-united Kingdom of Israel.  The tribe of Judah was the leading tribe of the Kingdom of Judah and lived on most of the territory of the kingdom. They lived in Jerusalem.   A small area in the NE was where the tribe of Benjamin lived.  Another piece towards the SW was where the tribe of Simeon lived.

David's son was Solomon who was the next king, and his son was Rehoboam in 930 BCE.   After Solomon had ruled, the Kingdom of Israel was divided into two parts:,  the house of Joseph in the north which was made up of 10 of the tribes: Gad,  Zebulun, Ashur, Issachar, Simeon, Naphtali, Joseph ( whose share went to his sons Ephraim and Manasseh), Dan, Reuben, and Levi.    That meant that the kingdom of Judah in the south was made up only of two tribes, Judah and Benjamin.  Later, Levi left the house of Joseph and joined with Judah.

When Rehoboam took the position of king, the northern tribes under Jeroboam from the Tribe of Ephraim split from the House of David to reform a Kingdom of Israel as the Northern Kingdom.

The tribes of Judah and Benjamin were loyal to the House of David.  These tribes form the Kingdom of Judah, which continued until 586 BCE when they were conquered by Babylon and the population of the best of the men were deported.

When they finally returned from exile, they gave up their tribal affiliations because they couldn't establish their previous tribal land holdings they had been assigned to by first Moses and then Joshua.  They were called Jews from the word Judah, though we Jews most likely stem from the tribe of Judah, we could also be from the tribe of Benjamin or Levi since they had joined together.  In fact, Queen Esther and her Uncle Mordecai were known to be from the tribe of Benjamin and were part of the Jewish group living in Persia.

 In Afghanistan, there are several tribes, mainly the Pashtuns, who claim they are Bani Israel (Children of Israel) coming from King Saul and the Royal House claims descent from the tribe of Benjamin specifically. King Saul had a grandson, Afghana, and they come from him.  "''When different Afghan tribes relate their ancestry from Prince Afghana (grandson of King Saul) or from his descendant Qais Abdur Rashid (who were from the Tribe of Benjamin), or call him the father, it is out of honor and respect. This isn't taken literally.  Qais Abdur Rashid is not the direct blood father of all modern day Afghan (Pashtun) Tribes. In truth he was only the head of the delegation the Afghans sent to meet the Prophet at Medinah and Makkah. ''This delegation comprised of 76 members and representatives from all the Afghan tribes which also represented all the Ten Lost Tribes Of Israel.''

However, Qais was selected because he was among them the direct descendant of King Saul and therefore represented the purest blood of the line of the Kings Of Israel."
'' *

 They are all Muslims today but seem to come from the time of exile 2,700 years ago when Jews were taken to Babylon and later to Persia.

  Religious roles had been given for the Kohanim, who were from the family of Aaron, Moses's brother and assistant.  Roles for the Levis had also been preserved.  They did not hold land but traveled from tribe to tribe teaching and had certain roles in the religious rites.  This was preserved by both the Kohans and Levites.  The general population was called "Israel."  Perhaps that's why Jewish state created May 15, 1948 was dubbed Israel.  A citizen of Israel is an Israeli..

Resource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribe_of_Judah
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/judah.html
http://www.jewfaq.org/moshe.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua
http://www.bible-history.com/geography/maps/map_canaan_tribal_portions.html
http://www.religioustolerance.org/mar_bibl3.htm
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Leah.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0012_0_11730.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Rebekah.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/abraham.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/isaac.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/monarchy.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/David.html
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Afghanistan.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saul
* added 9/30/12 from Royal House of Afghanistan

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