Questions tagged [shevatim-12-tribes]

The Twelve Tribes of Israel, descended from and named after the sons and grandsons of Jacob.

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Apportioning the Holy Land by family

The Torah tells us how the Promised Land was apportioned by Tribe of Israel. But within each tribe, how was the land apportioned by family? On what basis? Anything in the Sources?
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Why were Leah and Bilhah's tribes larger than Rachel and Zilpah's?

I plotted the census results given in Bamidbar, and it struck me that the tribes descended from Rachel are very small. In contrast, those descended from Leah have population counts between average and ...
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Why Eleven and Twelve in “Echad Mi Yodea” refer to the same thing?

In Echad Mi Yodea song both #11 and #12 refer to the tribes - without Yosef and with him. This is especially pronounced in the families that go through the full list on every line, like "the 3 ...
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Actual dates of when the sons of Yaakov died?

The Yalkut Shimoni Shemot 162:9 lists the dates of births for the Tribes, and the age they died. ויהי כל נפש יוצאי ירך יעקב שבעים נפש ובעשו כתיב כל נפשות ביתו (כתוב ברמז קל"ח). ויוסף היה במצרים ...
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Did converts (ger tzedek) in ancient Israel own land? [duplicate]

Sources like Exodus 12:48,49 lead me to believe, that righteous converts/ proselytes(ger tzedek) became full-fledged citizens and members of the nation of Israel. On the other hand, I know that the ...
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Is “Half the tribe” an administrative unit?

The Torah says that the land was handed to two AND A HALF tribes (Num 32:33): וַיִּתֵּן לָהֶם מֹשֶׁה לִבְנֵי־גָד וְלִבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן וְלַחֲצִי שֵׁבֶט מְנַשֶּׁה בֶן־יוֹסֵף אֶת־מַמְלֶכֶת סִיחֹן׃ ...
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Why do some textbooks say that there are 10 tribes of Israel?

My current boring, older-than-me textbook says that there are 10 tribes. My much more often updated teacher say that there are 12. And my friend who reads encyclopedias for fun says 13.
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Benei Menashe Jews [duplicate]

A group of people from the North-East of India claimed to be the descendants of the lost tribe of Menashe. It was confirmed in 2005 by Rabbi Shlomo Amar Shlit"a, the then Sefardic chief Rabbi of ...
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Tribal affiliation through the father

Which Tanakh verses support the halacha that tribal affiliation is transmitted through the paternal side?
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Why is Shimon's name not mentioned?

Why in V'zos Brachah, is Shimon not mentioned? Except for Rashi that said he is included in Yehudah name because of the incident with Cozbi Bat Tzur.
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Why did Reuven and Zevulun have to stand on Mount Ebal?

During the blessings and curses in parashas Ki Tavo, why were Reuven and Zevulun, in particular, sent to Mount Ebal? (They were the only two tribes descended from Rochel and Leah who were sent to that ...
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Where would Reuven and Gad have been?

The tribes of Reuven and Gad ask Moshe for permission to settle on the east side of the Jordan river. They are granted permission and half of Menashe is placed there as well. Is there any way to know ...
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What tribe were Eldad and Medad from?

I have been trying to find biographical information about Eldad and Medad but cannot seem to find a source which states which tribe they are from. The Baale Tosfot - Daat Zekeinim says they were ...
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Yechezkel 42:22-23

Yechezkel 42:22 and 23 speaks of the stranger that sojourns with the Israelites that eventually converts and is allowed to receive the tribal inheritance. How does this work if they are not members of ...
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Giyur l'chumrah + tribal/family affiliation

Does a giyur l'chumrah keep his/her family ties and tribal affiliation? I.e. does a Kohen's son who undergoes a giyur l'chumrah continue to be a kohen and that man's son, or does he shift to Yisrael ...
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Will Messiah ben Josef be a prophet?

Is Messiah ben Josef, the war messiah, the messiah from the 10 lost tribes, expected to be a prophet? If not, how is he supposed to wage war in preparation for the messianic kingdom?
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Was Dan born out of wedlock?

I've heard that Dan was born out of wedlock. Is this true? Could someone provide me with a source for this information?
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How a tribe that was just decimated (end of the book of judges) managed to unify all other tribes into a kingdom (beginning of the book of Samuel)? [closed]

How the tribe of Benjamin after the concubine incident went from being a wiped out people, to producing Saul as a warlord and unifying all Israel? It seems almost as if the davidic scribe of the ...
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Why is this as it is (number of men twenty years old and over who were subject to military service, as censused in the Sinai Desert )? [duplicate]

It is written in Parashah 34: B’midbar (In the desert) 1:1–4:20: "20 The men twenty years old and over who were subject to military service were recorded by name, family and clan, starting with the ...
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Why didn't Binyamin die?

In Genesis 31:32 we have Yaakov's response to Lavan's charge that someone in Yaakov's party had stolen something from Lavan. עִם אֲשֶׁר תִּמְצָא אֶת אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא יִחְיֶה נֶגֶד אַחֵינוּ הַכֶּר ...
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How could they call Yaakov by name?

Chazal in a few places (Pesachim 56a and Bereishis Rabbah 98:3 for example) say that Yaakov asked his twelve sons if any of them had turned rotten, or had a lapse in faith. They responded שמע ישראל ...
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How does bringing Binyamin to Egypt prove that the brothers are not spies?

In Bereishit 42:19-20 Yosef says that by allowing one of them to be imprisoned and the rest returning and bringing back their other brother, this would prove that they are not spies. I've read ...
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Binyomin didn't bow to Eisav

The Torah Temimah to Bereishis 32 #9, in order to answer a different question, cites the "Aggados", that the Beis Hamikdash was built in the portion of Binyomin because he was the only one of the sons ...
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Location of land for Gad, Reuven and 1/2 Menashe and randomness

In Bemidbar 26:55, G-d tells Moshe that the land should be apportioned by lottery. I.e., no tribe was to know or choose its section of land, in advance. Yet, we see that Moshe gives the tribes of ...
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Why didn't the tribes of Re'uven and Gad and 1/2 Menashe take up Moshe's suggestion?

In Bemidbar 32:18 the tribes of Gad and Re'uven tell Moshe that they will not return back to their land until all the other tribes have inherited their land portion (after conquering the land and ...
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The tribe and the stick

Is there a connection of definition between the two words used for "tribe" - מטה and שבט which both mean "stick" or "rod"? If so, why is the term "rod" used to refer to a tribe? Examples: שבט - ...
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Reuben, Simeon, Levi…But what about the other tribes?

Exodus 6:14 - 26 lists the genealogy of the tribes of Reuben, Simeon and Levi. However, after listing the family tree of Levi, the Torah does not continue listing the other tribes - Judah, Joseph, etc....
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Why are Ephraim and Menashe blessed first?

In Ber. 49, Yaakov blessed his 12 sons in a particular order, at least based on the various notes to the Stone edition of the chumash -- he started with the sons of Leah (in a specific order) and then ...
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Yaakov's sons kvarim

When Yosef died in Mitzraim, he was interred in Mitzraim until Moshe exhumed his remains which were eventually brought to Israel and reinterred. However, when Reuven, Judah, ... (the 11 brothers) died,...
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Canaanite wives of the Bnei Ya'akov (Sefer HaYashar)

Avraham was extremely careful that Yitzchak not marry a Canaanite and as we know, he married Rivkah bas Besuel ben Nachor. Yitzchak was very careful that Ya'akov not marry a Canaanite and as we know ...
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Was Re'uven confessing along with the rest of his brothers regarding what happend to Joseph?

In Breishit 42:21, the verse begins: "Each person said to his brother, we are all guilty..." In verse 22, Re'uven chastises his brothers by telling them, "Didn't I tell you do not do sin with the ...
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Mormons claim to be from the tribes of Israel (revealed via a “Patriarchal Blessing”), is this offensive to the Jewish community?

It has come to my attention that members of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), or more commonly known as Mormons, receive what is called a patriarchal blessing. This "...
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How many sons of Benjamin were there?

Is there any reason why there is such variance in these lists? In Genesis (46:21) lists ten sons. And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, ...
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Why are Reuven and Gad not mentioned among the leaders of the conquest?

In parashat Masei (34:17), a list of the leaders responsible for the conquest of Israel is given. Each tribe has a leader except Reuven and Gad. Even Menashe who's home is also across the Jordan has a ...
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Why do we assume we are mostly from Judah (not mostly from Benjamin)?

I assumed that Benjamin was a decimated tribe after the Concubine at Gibeah incident and decided to build a MATLAB simulator to see whether with intermarriage with Judah, Benjamin would disappear (or ...
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What tribe was Jehu from?

From which tribe did Jehu, King of Israel, descend?
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Do gerim say the section for the nasi at the end of shachris during nissan?

Some have a custom to say the Nassi after Shacharis during the first 12 or 13 days of Nissan. At the end of the recital of a passage from Chumash deliniating each tribal leader's contribution offered ...
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Why is the Mashiach ben Yosef called “Mashiach”?

I know that there is a concept of a Mashiach Ben Yosef and there is substantial discussion about whether he is an essential precursor to the Mashiach Ben David and what, exactly he will accomplish, ...
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Why did Naphtali name his first son Yachtzeal (יַחֲצִיאֵל)?

Why did Naphtali name his first son Yachtzeal (יַחֲצִיאֵל)? The name is mentioned (as יַחְצְאֵל) in Bereishis 46:24 and Bamidbar 26:48, and (as יַחֲצִיאֵל) in Divrei Hayomim I 7:13, but is there any ...
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What are the Judean boundaries with regard to contemporary landmarks?

What are the halachic boundaries of Judea (the inheritance of the Israelite tribe of Judah) with regard to contemporary landmarks/cities?
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What is the significance of the Choshen stones assigned to each tribe?

Shemot 28:17-20 discusses the types of stones and their arrangements on the Choshen (breastplate). Each stone had the name of a tribe inscribed in it. Verse 21 mentions that the order of the stones ...
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Command of the Eastern Tribes

Why is it that in Numbers 32:1–32 Moses only commands Reuben and Gad to cross the Jordan River, but then in Joshua 1:12–15 it has Joshua talking about how Moses commanded Manasseh to cross over as ...
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What is “birthright” really?

I am having a hard time in understanding these biblical verses: And the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel—for he was the first-born; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's couch, his ...
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Tribe of Converts

This question was inspired by a recent question asking about knowledge of one's tribal lineage. I am aware that male converts are often given 'Avraham' as a Hebrew name. (Not sure what the standard ...
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How would Yosef's additional children have been factored into inheritance?

Bereishis 48:6 refers to what the status of any future children after Ephraim and Menashe that Yosef would have had would be: וּמוֹלַדְתְּךָ אֲשֶׁר-הוֹלַדְתָּ אַחֲרֵיהֶם, לְךָ יִהְיוּ; עַל שֵׁם ...
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The Shevatim's desire to check on Yosef

We all know that Yosef Hatzaddik was thrown into a pit by his brothers and then sold . My question is , the pasuk says (37:20) that the brothers said they would see what would become of Yosef's dreams ...
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Why was Judah/Yehuda the tribe that endured?

My basic question is: Are there any reasons or hints in the Torah that explain or hint that Judah/Yehudah would be the tribe that was not lost? Yes, I know that parts of Benjamin survived as well, ...
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1answer
2k views

Were the tribes allowed to intermarry

More than 200 years passed from the time the sons of Yaakov went to Egypt to the time the Hebrews arrived in Israel. When they arrived, the land was divided for the 12 tribes. This would suggest that ...
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Prophesy in the book of Ezekiel

There is a prophesy at the end of the book of the prophet Ezekiel which gives a guide regarding the re-division of land between the 12 tribes of Israel. It is different to the way that Joshua was told ...
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Why was Judah named that: doesn't the name hurt Rachel?

According to Rashi (Genesis 29:35), Leah thanks Hashem after having Yehuda, because she received more than her lot, and that is why he's called Yehuda. This Rashi always bothered me. If I sue my ...