About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Blesses The Tribes (ch. 33:1 - 29)
Moses is about to die,
but before he does, he pronounces blessings, which in many cases are
actually prophecies concerning each of the tribes of Israe. There is a lot in this
chapter, much of which is beyond my understanding, and the understanding
of most, at least from a prophetic standpoint.
I will not comment on every verse in this section.
Note in verse 4 we see
the term "the assembly of Jacob".
The first tribe Moses
blesses in verse 6 is Rueben, the oldest of the twelve sons of Jacob. "Let
Rueben live and not die" is the blessings.
The reason for this is because the tribe of Rueben was actually
in decline. They were
getting smaller. In
Numbers chanter 1 and 26 are lists of the tribes with their population.
You can see the decline in numbers.
Verse 7 states the
blessing to Judah. It is accepted by all
conservative Bible scholars, because it's plainly stated throughout the
Bible, that the Messiah, that's Jesus, is associated with the tribe of Judah. He is often called
"the Lion of the tribe of Judah". You can see how
verse 7 is Messianic in nature. "Hear,
O Lord, (Yahweh) the cry of
"With His own hands
he defends his cause. Oh, be
his help against his foes". Clearly,
Jesus walked the road to the cross alone.
Yes, there were others with Him, but they were of little help.
Jesus stood before the Jewish leaders alone.
He stood before Pilate alone.
His job that culminated in the cross, had to be done alone. He
had no real human support, of
course, Yahweh was with Him every step of the way.
From verse 8 to 11 we see
the blessings to Levi. One
thing to note here is that Moses himself was of the tribe of Levi.
He was the teacher of the Law as we see in this passage.
Note in verse 8 the words
"thummim and urim". These
are religious objects, not just associated with Israel, but with pagan societies too, that priests use to determine the will
of God. It' always
puzzled me and others why these objects were used in Israel. They appear to be more
pagan than anything else, but in some instances, we do know that Yahweh
used these to show His will to Israel.
I will not comment on
every phrase here but you will notice the "guarding of the
covenant" in verse 9. Levites
were to be the priests of Israel. Part of their job was to
guard the covenant, both in a literal sense and in a spiritual sense.
You see the priestly job of the Levites in verses 10 and 11.
Verse 12 concerns
Benjamin. As you go through
the Old Testament, the men of the tribe of Benjamin were fighters,
heroes, and tough guys. King
Saul came from this tribe. The
apostle Paul also came from the tribe of Benjamin, as stated in
Philippians 3. Maybe for
this reason we see the prayer of protection and shielding to be on the
tribe of Benjamin.
In verses 13 to 17 we see
the blessings of Joseph. One
thing to note is that Joshua came from the tribe of Joseph.
Also note in verse 17 the names Manasseh and Ephraim.
These were the two sons of Moses.
The blessings of verses
13 through 15 suggests to me the good things that will come about with
the leadership of Joshua when they enter the
Verses 16 and 17 are
clearly historic of the life of Joseph
Verses 20 and 21 concerns
the tribe of Gad. Gad lived
in the north east portion of the land
The blessings of Zebulun
are found in verses 18 through 20. Zebulun
did end up in
Issachar is mentioned in
verse 18. They were a tribe
that did grow in numbers. Verse
21 might be suggestive of some things that will happen at the end of
this age, but there is much uncertainty about that.
Verse 22 concerns the
tribe of Dan. From Genesis
49 on, Dan seems to be ignored a lot in Scripture, which includes the
twelve tribes listed in Revelation 7 .
Dan over the years has always got himself in trouble.
In Judges 18:30 and elsewhere, we see that idolatry first came
Verse 23 concerns
Naphtali. Naphtali actually
had more daughters than sons. Not
a lot is said here about Naphtali other than where he will be positioned
in the land. Jesus spent
most of His time and did most of His teaching in the area of Naphtali.
Naphtali is truly abound with favour".
Verse 24 concerns Asher.
The priest named Simeon in Luke 2 was in the tribe of Asher.
I believe the rest of
this chapter describes