I’m going to be broaching another topic that I’m going to have to speculate on to some degree.
Did you know that the list of tribes in the Torah is different than the list of tribes given to us in the Book of Revelations?
THE TORAH LISTING
Again remember that Joseph and Levi were taken out and Ephraim and Manasseh put in.
THE REVELATIONS 7 LISTING
Notice that Ephraim and Dan have been removed, and Joseph and Levi have been added back in.
Before I get into why Joseph has been restored in place of Ephraim, let’s quickly talk about Dan and Levi.
Concerning Dan, I can’t say for sure why they were removed but we’re going to see this tribe continuously struggle with idolatry.
In fact, they were the first Israelites to be involved in pagan practices and their involvement with idolatry remained constant right up until they were taken captive in 732 B.C.
If Dan really lost their witness because of their sin, the spiritual takeaway is huge and I don’t think I need to elaborate on it.
Now concerning the Tribe of Levi, God originally separated them from the rest of the tribes to be a special group of temple workers that would serve the other tribes.
The common reason given why this tribe was unset apart and put back in with the other tribes is because at the end of the age, there is no longer any need for a set-apart priesthood to officiate temple services.
Instead all men will be as priests.
So it is taught that the Levites’ role is now completed and that is why they are returned to their heritage Israel.
However, I wonder, if this is the case, then what about when the third temple is restored and animal sacrifices etcetera are reestablished?
Won’t their service be in need again?
If anybody can help me with the answer to this, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me.
Now let’s move on to the crux of the discussion.
Why has Joseph been restored back in place of Ephraim?
Well, the first thing I want you to notice is that most of the tribes in the Revelations 7 listing are the Ephraim tribes!
It is the Ephraimite tribes that comprise the majority of the 144,000.
Okay, so here is where my speculation begins.
Remember when I talked about how remnants of the original 10 lost tribes have now been found and are currently being airlifted to Israel?
Well, could not the tribes of Israel that are being called out in Revelation 7 be from this remnant of Ephraim that actually never were completely swallowed up by the Gentile world, but through God’s providence managed to keep their identities intact?
I believe this might actually be so.
Now let’s take a look at Revelations 7:9-10
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.10 And they cried out in a loud voice:
‘Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.'”
Who are these folks wearing white robes?
Note we are told they are from every nation, tribe, and tongue.
I believe one of the following or both may be a possibility.
-They are the portion of physical Ephraim that is missing from the listing of the 12 tribes.
-They represent the gentile portion of believers…in other words “spiritual” Ephraim.
NEXT TIME WE BEGIN GENESIS CHAPTER 49