Bible Studies

The Children Of Israel

12 tribes of israel

When you ask most people, who are the children of Israel, most will say the Jewish people. Well, they would be right to a point, but the children of Israel are made up of more than just the Jewish people. Seeing that it was God’s idea for the children of Israel and the nation of Israel, there is no better place to find information on their beginning than the Bible.

The first thing we need to know about the children of Israel is that Israel is the name of a man.

Genesis 32:28

V28 And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

God changes Jacob’s name to Israel. This is the first time that the word Israel is used in the Bible.

Lets get some more information on Jacob.

Genesis 35:9-12

V9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padan-aram, and blessed him.
V10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and He called his name Israel.

The El at the end of Israel is one of the names of God. Israel means God rules.

V11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

God told Israel that “a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee”. What most people call modern day Israel just does not fit all that description. God scattered the children of Israel and today most of the children of Israel do not even live in the nation of Israel. The nation of Israel today is mostly the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.

V12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.

The covenant that God made with Abraham, God has made with his grandson Jacob.

So far we have learned that it was Jacob that had his name changed to Israel and that God has passed on the Abrahamic covenant to him. We still need to learn if the children of Israel are only the Jewish people. In Genesis 49:1-28 is a list of the twelve sons of Israel and the blessing that their father Israel gave them. Here is a list of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Twelve tribes of Israel

  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi
  4. Judah
  5. Zebulun
  6. Issachar
  7. Dan
  8. Gad
  9. Asher
  10. Naphtali
  11. Joseph
  12. Benjamin

In Genesis 48 Joseph brought his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh to his father Israel for a blessing. What Israel did was adopt them by putting his name on the sons of Joseph. So from that time on, Ephraim and Manasseh were part of the children of Israel. Also part of the blessing Israel gave to the sons of Joseph is that Manasseh would become a great nation and Ephraim would be a company of nations. Does this sound like what most people call the nation of Israel today?

Now we know all the names of the people that make up the tribes of Israel. Lets find out who the Jewish people descended from.

The word Jew is used ten times in the Old Testament and each time the same Hebrew word is used. Lets take a look at the definition of Jew from the Strong’s Concordance.

Jew 3064 Yehuwdiy (yeh-hoo-dee’); patronymically from 3063; a Jehudite (i.e. Judaite or Jew), or descendant of Jehudah (i.e. Judah).
3063 Yehuwdah (yeh-hoo-daw’); from 3034; celebrated; Jehudah (or Judah), the name of five Israelites; also of the tribe descended from the first, and of its territory.

In the New Testament the word Jew is used twenty two times and each time the same Greek word is used. Lets take a look at the definition of Jew from the Strong’s Concordance.

Jew 2453 Ioudaios (ee-oo-dah’-yos); from 2448 (in the sense of 2455 as a country); Judaean, i.e. belonging to Jehudah.
2455 Ioudas (ee-oo-das’); of Hebrew origin [3063]; Judas (i.e. Jehudah), the name of ten Israelites; also of the posterity of one of them and its region.

So we see that people who have Jewish blood in them are descended from Judah.

So now you might be wondering what does this mean? What this means is that there are millions of people on earth today that have absolutely no idea that they are the true children of Israel. The Jewish people are only a part of the children of Israel, not all of them. If the Jewish people are only part of the children of Israel, where are the rest of them? To answer that question, Let’s ask another question. Which nations on earth today are the most blessed? The Christian nations. Remember the blessing that Israel gave to Ephraim, one of Joseph’s sons, that he would become a company of nations? Ephraim today is better known as Great Britain. What about Joseph’s other son, Manasseh? In the blessing that Israel gave Manasseh, he said that Manasseh would become a great nation. Let’s ask this, which Christian nation is more blessed than any other? The United States of America. Don’t think for one minute that it is an accident that America is so blessed by Almighty God. Regardless of what some people would want you to believe, the United States of America is one nation under God and we always will be. People from every single tribe of the children of Israel live in the United States today. That is why the United States of America is more blessed by Almighty God than any other nation on earth today.