by Ernest Easley

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The Priesthood (16 of 16)
Dr. Ernest L. Easley
Exodus 28:35
May 23, 2001

Last time together... we played a little game
called "stump the preacher." I believe it was Brother
Riley who raised a question regarding Exodus 28.21,
"And the stones shall be with the names of the
children of Israel, twelve, according to their names,
like the engravings of a signet; every one with his
name shall they be according to the twelve tribes."
The question raised was this: whose made up those
twelve tribes whose names were engraved on the stones
on the breastplate of judgment worn by the High
Well... let's go back to Genesis 35 where we find
a list of Jacob's sons. Now the names of the 12
tribes came from Jacob's 12 sons. We find them listed
in Genesis 35.22-26...
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun,
Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. The
twelve sons of Jacob.
Now it does get confusing. For instance ...
Genesis 49 names these 12 sons. Verse 28, "All these
are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that
their father spake unto them, and blessed them;
everyone according to his blessing he blessed them."
Now notice that Levi is listed as one of the
twelve sons. When Levi is included, Joseph is
included. At other times... Levi is not listed. For
instance... Numbers 1.4, "and with you there shall be
a man of every tribe" and then he lists them with the
exception of Levi.
When Levi is left out of the list ... Joseph is
split into Manasseh and Ephraim who were Joseph's two
sons. In the ordering of the tribes, Levi's slot is
given to Gad.
So why was Levi eventually left off the list?
Numbers 1.47.51... Do you remember around the
tabernacle the tribes were assigned? They are listed
in Numbers 2.
Verse 3 describes the East side: Judah, Issachar,
Zebulun. Verse 10 describes the South side: Reuben,
Simeon, Gad. Verse 17, "Then the tab ...

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