But aside from that I wanted to point out how excited and encouraged I was to see that you are recognizing not only some of the additional symbolic meanings or messages contained here in these two lists that I DID NOT point out, but also how very significant and meaningful they are in pointing prophetically and symbolically to SPIRITUAL Israel in particular.
Yes! Absolutely! As I already made clear in the third paragraph of my last post, there is ultimately a rather overwhelming and in fact a downright STUNNING volume of priceless information being conveyed in these two tribal lists, and this includes things that neither of us have even touched on as of yet. Moreover these things as well as everything surrounding them in the scriptures are all woven together in exquisite intricacy like a fine Persian rug. Yes this is actually the case with the entire Bible. It is by no means the work of sinful imperfect humans and the more we continue to learn from it the more this fact will be impressed upon us.
With that thought in mind I wanted to touch briefly on one of the points you brought up in your comments here regarding "Ephraim (being put) before Manasseh." This of course should be all the more interesting to us in view of the fact that Manasseh was actually the firstborn son of Joseph as opposed to Ephraim. (I'm assuming there's a typo here and you are referring specifically to Genesis 48 in this case as opposed to 47) In fact the name Manasseh and by extension its meanings appear to be very connected to the word--Manna which in turn points ultimately once again to the "bread from heaven" or even the FIRSTBORN son spoken of also in accounts like John 6:48-51. I'd like to suggest that this scriptural indication is among MANY things found that support one of the points I was making in my previous post:
While we ourselves and in fact EVERYONE should of course be recognizing this firstborn entity or even "foundation cornerstone" of the spiritual temple as first and foremost next only to his father, the issue I am getting at here is the matter that is foremost to Jesus and his "brothers," at least in the setting or situation of fallen mankind that the scriptures are always focused on. (Mt 25:40) In the context or setting in which Jehovah's will is in dire need of being accomplished once again "ON THE EARTH as it (ALREADY) is in the heavens," (Mt 6:10) or otherwise discretion and wisdom on the part of the anointed ones (Christ –Strong's 5547) is needed to assist Jehovah like a "master worker" in once again "FOUNDING" Jehovah's glorious power and authority on the earth," it is of course the FLESHLY or EPHRAIM facet of Israel that this "body of many members of the Christ" is most concerned with or otherwise putting first. (1 Cor 12:12) (Pr 8:29) Let's not forget that the Bible was ultimately written or otherwise directed towards the ANOINTED, as it is ONLY the holy spirit that unlocks its meanings. (1 Cor 2:10) (Lu 2:26) (Mt 16:17) In this very setting which was once again foretold to exist in OUR time period in accounts like Revelation 12:12, this shepherding entity is putting the Ephraim or FLESHLY facet of Jehovah's creation first. The entire purpose of re-establishing the SHEPHERDING or even Manasseh fold of Jehovah's nation and by extension the NATION ITSELF in the first place is to of course serve and restore fleshly MANKIND.
Yes its true these people are identified here in Revelation 7 as "standing before the throne and before the lamb," and yes this wording moves some people to assume these ones would now be in heaven, but what we need to understand is that on EVERY occasion in which this "body of MANY members" of the Christ performs this priestly function outlined once again in chapter 11, divine power and authority is RESTORED to the earth or otherwise "COMES DOWN OUT OF heaven…" (Re 21:2) Just as pointed out for us in accounts like Chapter 5 of Revelation, this kingly/priestly authority is primarily concerned with the "EARTH." (Re 5:10)
This was the very same point I was endeavoring to make a few days ago in connection with Proverbs Chapter 8 and the manner in which it highlights the qualities of wisdom and discernment. ("Discreet and wise slave"?) At any point in time in which the earth is in dire need of the re-establishment of genuine theocratic authority and power or otherwise yet another "birth"/"coming"'/"founding" of the kingdom, the "greater Solomon" is most focused on and even "most delighted" in the "EARTH" and the "sons of MEN." (Pr 8:31) (Mt 12:42)
However now that we might have a better understanding of what exactly was represented or symbolized by this Ephraim entity all along, there are many OTHER scriptures that we suddenly find ourselves in a better position to grasp, which in turn begin to point to even ADDITIONAL messages or meanings in connection with these things. One example would be Jeremiah 31:9.
Here we find Jehovah going so far as to actually identify EPHRAIM as his "firstborn!" Well once again if we would continue failing to grasp the symbolic significance that was always assigned to him, this would likely prove very confusing and mysterious to us. Please consider the following questions:
Which ultimately came first; a SPIRITUAL manifestation of Jehovah's nation on the earth, or a FLESHLY one?
Even when it came to the "founding of the world" In connection with the subsequent SPRITUAL nation and EVEN in the case of its "foundation CORNERSTONE" in the case of its first foretold birth, did this "greater Solomon" not initially experience a birth in the FLESH as opposed to one in the SPIRIT? (1 Pe 2:6)
At the same time however the MANASSEH (or Judah, Joseph, Levi, etc.) entity can ALSO be recognized as the "firstborn" for the reason ALONE that the "salvation" that is always CONNECTED with this "coming/founding" "ORIGINATES WITH THE JEWS," or what will ultimately/eventually be comprised exclusively of SPIRIT creatures. (Joh 4:22) Yes the nation would need to first actually EXIST before it can be in a position to begin focusing all its attention and even "DELIGHT in the sons of MEN," or otherwise placing this fleshly Ephraim entity as first or foremost. (Pr 8:31) Putting others ahead of ourselves is after all what ministering is all about. (Mt 23:11)
But why would I endeavor to equate a "coming"/"birth" or establishing of the kingdom with a "founding of the world," and why might a better understanding of this help us in turn to better grasp accounts like Proverbs 8?
The first reason I do so is because the scriptures do the very same thing. One of the ways this can be established is to begin comparing accounts like Psalms 82:4, 5 and 102:25, 26 with ones such as 1 Chronicles 16:30 and Psalms 104:5. They at least initially appear to directly contradict each other; don't they? However the moment we understand that "discreet and wise slaves" along with their "leader" or "foundation cornerstone" would ultimately be assisting Jehovah SEVERAL TIMES as a "master worker" to re-establish a broken kingdom covenant that "wickedness" and "darkness" would repeatedly cause to "totter" and even fall as accounts like Psalms 82:4, 5 indicate, we begin to realize as always that ALL of these scriptures are true.
You see just as the Apostle Paul states in accounts like 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, in the case of the final foretold coming of the kingdom or "last trumpet," ALL of the appointed shepherds would now be "incorruptible and immortal." This in turn means that in the case of the final foretold "founding of the world," it would at this point "NEVER be made to totter." While scriptures such as Psalms 96:10 associate the time in which Jehovah would once again have become king over the earth with a time in which the "productive land would not be made to totter," prophecies such as at Revelation 11:15 on the other hand make it clear that this new kingship would ultimately not FULLY or PERMANENTLY commence until sometime after the "SEVENTH trumpet." It is for this very same reason that the seven foretold spiritual baptisms or cleansings and rebirths of Jehovah's nation are represented also in the manner expressed at 2 Kings 5:14. You see as long as Jehovah's appointed shepherds are comprised of sinful/imperfect humans, ultimately the spiritual "leprosy" associated with this will not truly be cleansed until the final foretold "striking" or "baptism of holy spirit and fire" of this shepherding fold. (Mt 3:11 26:31) (Le 26:24) (Mal 3:2, 3)
Once again however even all of this is a mere sampling that only scratches the surface of what is being conveyed to us with merely the representations of the tribal names of Israel ALONE! What an unimaginably incredible and amazing God we are endeavoring to serve and worship!