The names of the 12 tribes of Israel in the Bible begin with Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Reuben and Simeon. Other tribes of Israel were Gad, Benjamin, Dan, Asher and Naphtali, plus the half-tribes of Ep;hraim and Manassah. These tribes divided the land of Canaan for their inheritance.Continue Reading
The 12 tribes of Israel mostly reflect the 12 sons of Israel, also known as Jacob. However, both Ephraim and Manasseh are the two sons of Joseph, Jacob's 11th son and are included in Joseph's place. Levi is also left out because the Levites served as the priests of the religion and therefore did not receive a parcel of land on which to live.
The tribes of Asher, Manasseh and Ephraim historically settled in the land abutting the Mediterranean Sea. Asher, along with Naphtali to the east of Asher and Dan to the north of Naphtali, settled the northernmost lands. Zebulun was on the southern borders of Asher and Naphtali and on the northern border of Manasseh with Issachar just to the east. Gad was to the east of Manasseh and contained the region known as Gilead. South of the tribal lands of Manasseh was Ephraim, and south of Ephraim was Benjamin. Judah and Simeon were located south of Benjamin and on the west coast of the Dead Sea. Reuben lay just south of Gad, on the eastern coast of the Dead Sea and just north of the Arzon River.Learn more about Judaism