We are continuing on with our study of the Wilderness Tabernacle.
So far I have explained how the 12 tribes of Israel were grouped into divisions of three and how each of these 3-tribe divisions were placed on the East, West, South, and North of the Tabernacle.
The next thing you need to know is that each 3-tribe division had a dominant leader tribe.
In the East, JUDAH was the dominant tribe.
In the West, EPHRAIM was the dominant tribe.
In the North, DAN was the dominant tribe.
In the South, REUBEN was the dominant tribe.
Now recall that Scripturally, the direction EAST always carries spiritual significance.
Whenever you encounter the direction EAST in the Scriptures, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION.
See what’s interesting is that when we study the Tabernacle, we find that ALWAYS without exception it was set up so that the Holy Place faced EAST.
And notice that is where JUDAH was located.
Recall the blessing Jacob bestowed on Judah when he was on his deathbed way back in Genesis.
The scepter will not pass from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his legs,
until he comes to whom [obedience] belongs;
and it is he whom the peoples will obey.
According to Jacob’s blessing, Judah was to carry the authority for all of Israel.
In other words, Judah received the “Birthright” part of the firstborn blessing.
Recall, that the FIRSTBORN BLESSING, which is normally granted to only one person (the firstborn), consists of the following two parts:
THE BIRTHRIGHT: This is the authority to rule over the clan.
THE BLESSING: This is a double portion of the father’s wealth.
Judah received the “birthright” and thus would become the preeminent tribe that would rule over all the other tribes.
And would you know it, the Messiah of Israel, Yeshua Himself came from the Tribe of Judah.
Now at the opposite end on the West side we have the Tribe of Ephraim.
Let’s recall the blessing Jacob bestowed on Joseph keeping in mind that Joseph’s blessing would for the most part be fulfilled through Ephraim and to a lesser degree by Manasseh.
The blessings of your father are more powerful
than the blessings of my parents,
extending to the farthest of the everlasting hills;
they will be on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
So Ephraim was given the “double-portion” part of the firstborn blessing.
Remember the firstborn blessing was split.
Judah was given the right to rule over Israel and Ephraim was given the tribe’s wealth, otherwise known as the blessing of fruitfulness.
If you need to review this, please click here.
One final point.
Each of the four dominant leader tribes had a specific symbol attached to them.
The symbol of Judah was a LION.
(Recall that we call Yeshua the LION OF JUDAH.)
The symbol of Ephraim was a BULL.
The symbol of DAN was an EAGLE.
Rueben’s symbol was a MAN.
We’ll talk more about these symbols in detail next time because the prophetic significance is just awesome.
Below is a quick easy-to-understand chart that at a glance summarizes everything covered in this post.
(Received the BIRTHRIGHT part of the firstborn blessing)
(Received the double portion part of the firstborn blessing)