John S wrote:
The first account(Numbers) is the apportionment of the land, and Dan is given a portion on the seacoast , narrowing it up in to the Promised land. This portion which was pushed and pushed by the Philistines was no great prize, indeed, the Danites finally lost out and wandered Northward up to Laish a town in the Northern mountain region......no prize either, so it would appear the Danites did not receive a great blessing, possibly as Gal 6:9 said, never reaped because never sowed.
I appreciate your efforts John to participate in the discussion and I hope you don't mind me offering some questions/comments or even critique on your input here.
The first thing that came to my mind here was the question of—if the tribal inheritance of Dan was (as you say) "no great prize," then why would the Philistines have been so intent on getting their hands on it? But as far as the city of Laish, (also called Leshem) the scriptures point out that this was a city that was conquered by some Danite warriors even before this tribe had begun to occupy their assigned territory much further south. (Judges 18:1, 11, 27-29) As opposed to being "pushed out by the Philistines," the reason for this action was cited at Joshua 19:47 as being simply that they recognized their assigned tribal inheritance as "too cramped for them," and evidently even before they had actually occupied it. Of course if they had not yet even expelled the Canaanites that already dwelt there, naturally it might appear as very "cramped" indeed. The scriptures make it clear that there were MANY cities in that region. (Jos 19:40-46)
I realize that ancient Israel seemed to quite often be at war with the Philistines, but since this nation resided even right inside the area of land that was apportioned to the tribe of Judah, wouldn't it stand to reason that if anything this tribe would generally suffer the most from any and all hostility coming from Philistia?
Whereas the tribes that pushed hardest Manasseh Gad, Judah did fight with great determination.....POSSIBLY.
So when mentioning those tribes who would receive the great reward of becoming Kings in the Kingdom....Dan is not a good example of ‘fighting the fine fight,’, and endurance, but instead Dan just ,’came along for the ride’. (Rev.7)
Again I greatly appreciate participation in these Bible discussions, but would they not be much better served if we were to get into the practice of producing scriptural citations to support our various positions on things? We are already aware that the tribe of Dan was excluded from the list in Revelation 7. What would seem rather fitting in this case would be some scriptural support for the notion that it was for the reason you suggest.
Instead, Joseph who pleased Yahweh most of all the brothers was honored in Revelation instead, and only one of his sons mentioned...enough to get the point.
As I stated in my initial post on Revelation7, my objective was to keep things as simple and concise as possible while focusing strictly on how this chapter applies most directly to scriptures like John 10:16.
It's important for us to recognize that what we are considering here in Revelation 7 is NOT a list of any individual people or persons, but rather Israelite "tribes." In fact accounts like Genesis 49 help us to appreciate that more specifically this is all about what these tribes were used to represent or symbolize in connection with Israel or otherwise genuine theocratic authority and power most particularly here on the earth. Accounts like Hebrews 8:5 in turn help us to understand that ultimately these various meanings or facets are all about the SPIRITUAL manifestations of Israel that would begin to appear as well as DISSAPPEAR beginning in the first century. (He 8:5) Once again it's very important for us to understand that there is never a need for a "birth" or "coming" of the kingdom if it is already here, or otherwise if true teachings and worship actually still exists on the earth.
By considering accounts like Genesis 49:22-26 we are helped to appreciate that this particular prophetic picture of Joseph was designed to direct our attention specifically to the "LEADER" of the Messiah, also referred to as the "HEAD" of the "body of the many members of the Christ" or "foundation cornerstone" of the SPIRITUAL temple." (Da 9:25) (1 Cor 3:16 12:12) (1 Pe 2:6) However by ALSO presenting this prophetic figure or symbol as a "tribe," this is actually one of MANY scriptural proofs that should help us understand that Jesus is ultimately NOT a person or individual. In other words just as ALL the spirit anointed ones should be recognized as the "Christ," (1 Cor 12:12) (Strong's #5547) in turn all the members of this "body" who's "wisdom and discretion" takes them all the way to the next figurative "marriage feast" would actually qualify also as JESUS Christ. (Mt 25:1, 2, 5, 10) (1 Cor 12:12) (Re 21:2)
In other words, particularly in view of the fact that the kingdom covenant established in 33 CE would continue to be broken an additional three times before the onset of the Millennial Reign," it would by extension need to be RENEWED or re-established an additional three times. (Lu 22:29) Just as foretold also by the Apostle John at the end of the first century, this renewal would ALWAYS include or involve also a literal death and subsequent spiritual resurrection or otherwise the BLOOD of this Christ or "body of many members." (Re 11:3, 7, 11, 12) (1 Cor 12:12) Just as the construction of the LITERAL temples of ancient fleshly Israel always involved a blood sacrifice to "inaugurate" them and allow for the full occupation of Jehovah's presence or holy spirit, so too in the case of the SPIRITUAL temples. (He 9:16-18) (1 Cor 3:16)
It is precisely BECAUSE the priestly sacrifice and subsequent heavenly resurrection foretold by John in Revelation 11:7, 11, 12 in connection with the "6th trumpet blast" or sixth "birth of the barren woman" was soon followed with ANOTHER violation of the kingdom covenant that we in turn once again read about a very dire need for the salvation of the Christ in verse 8 of Chapter 13. (Re 11:13 13:8) (Jer 15:9) Sure enough, we soon find ourselves reading about yet another "reaping" of flesh on the earth that AS ALWAYS immediately precedes a SECONDARY one, or otherwise a FULL expression of Jehovah's wrath on all those more directly responsible for violating his holy covenant. (Re 14:15-20) Just as the Apostle Paul stated …"unless blood is poured out, NO forgiveness takes place. (He 9:22) No forgiveness in turn means –no salvation, or otherwise none of PRECISELY what the name JESUS means! (Literally –Jehovah's SALVATION) (Strong's #2424)
Yes each and every "time" that a renewed kingdom covenant would be "inaugurated" with the literal death and resurrection of Jehovah's "prophets" or "two witnesses," these ones would now qualify not MERELY as among the body of the Christ, but even also the body of JESUS Christ. This in turn means that they would now qualify as part of the "TRIBE of Joseph." (Da 4:23, 32) (Re 11:3) The priestly act of giving up their fleshly bodies in connection with a renewed covenant (merely illustrated with animal sacrifices in the case of FLESHLY Israel) has once again furnished salvation for all of repentant mankind who would subsequently submit themselves to Jehovah's renewed or re-established authority and power. These spiritual deaths and subsequent renewals or "births"/"comings" would ultimately unfold "seven times" in the setting or otherwise the 2,520 year period of the "appointed times of the nations" alone, and contrary to what we have always been taught, this is PRIMARILY what is being conveyed to us in the "seven times" or "gentile times" prophecies. (1 Sam 2:5) (Jer 15:9) (Lu 21:24) (Da 4:23, 32)
Notice in the list in Deuteronomy, no tribe of Levi was gifted with a TERRITORY.....but they were among the wealthiest of tribes because they were given not only the 6 ‘capital cities’ of refuge, but many surrounding cities, and the pasture lands surrounding them. They weren’t listed because they were needed as judges and priests, even executioners, such as in when murdered was committed.... in the whole land, and needed to be distributed throughout Israel.
This is another instance where we the reader must use discernment as phrased several places (as in Daniel) and surmise something about the vacancy of Dan in the blessing afforded the ‘12 tribes’
The reason why the tribe of Levi was given no land inheritance in ancient fleshly Israel was explicitly stated for us in accounts like Deuteronomy 10:9:
9 "That is why Levi has come to have no share and inheritance with his brothers. JEHOVAH is his inheritance, jut as Jehovah his God has said to him."
The priestly service or function that even the ancient FLESHLY manifestation of Levi pointed to prophetically in an illustrative sense would of course ultimately involve (once again) the sacrifice or giving up of a life as a fleshly human. Clearly this would not involve an EARTHLY inheritance, and this is precisely why the tribe of Levi was never represented as receiving a literal portion of land in ancient Israel or ANYWHERE on the earth.
In reality Dan was diminished and wound up migrating to a little backwater town way up north in the mountains.notice in Deut. 33:22 there is no blessing or praise given Dan, as the other tribes mentioned, only;
“Dan is a lion CUB leaping from Bashan.”
Wow.....not much reward there.....no pain...no gain.
The words here in Deuteronomy 33:22 actually serve as a confirmation and elaboration of what had already been laid out for us in Genesis 49:16-18. In fact even the name Dan literally means—judge in the Hebrew language. You see if the ancient Mosaic Law and the corresponding judgment against fallen flesh it symbolically represented was intended all along to serve as a mere precursor to the "law of love" or otherwise a mere "tutor leading to Christ," then it would of course be much like a mere "cub" as opposed to the "lion" it would later become. (Ga 3:19) (Ro 13:10) (Ga 3:24, 25) (Re 5:5, 6)
Yes we should bear in mind that the very same theocratic power and authority that is being pictured here in accounts like Deuteronomy 33 was also represented later in the setting of SPIRITUAL Israel as a "lion" rather than a mere lion cub. (Re 5:5, 6) But did we overlook that the more juvenile or otherwise the INITIAL expression of this theocratic power was not only represented to us as a "lion cub," but also in fact associated with the tribe of JUDAH as opposed to merely Dan? (Gen 49:9, 10) Once again as I already stated we need to appreciate that ultimately what we are considering with ANY scriptural list of the tribes of Israel is simply different facets of the very same thing. For this reason alone we would want to avoid promoting the idea of one or more tribal representations being superior to another, or otherwise that being excluded from a particular list comprises some form of punishment for poor behavior. Symbolic meanings are of course incapable of bad behavior. I will continue to demonstrate scripturally that what accounts like Deuteronomy 33:22 SHOULD be directing our attention to is things such as the following question:
WHY exactly is it that even in the case of the ancient tribe of Judah and the "scepter" of theocratic authority it represented, it once again was represented to us as a mere "cub" of a "lion" next to what it would eventually become with its foretold SPIRITUAL manifestations? Even more particularly next to its final FOURTH spiritual manifestation under the Millennial Reign, wherein just as prefigured for us with the fourth birth of its fleshly or "cub" counterpart, it would be-- "something different from all the other..." (Da 7:7) In other words, this final birth or "coming" in connection with a final "EIGHTH king" would prove to be one APART from the "seven times" or "appointed times of the nations," meaning it would no longer remain encumbered with sinful and imperfect rulers including even anointed FOREIGN ones such as the Babylonian Nebuchadrezzar or the Persian Cyrus? (Re 17:11) (Lu 21:24) (Jer 43:10) (Isa 44:28 45:1) Of course the answer to this question is once again that ancient fleshly Israel under the Mosaic Law Covenant was essentially nothing more than precisely what is stated in accounts like Hebrews 8:5 or Galatians 3:24. Yes it was a symbolic illustration that prefigured or prophetically foreshadowed SPIRITUAL Israel in a manner that would help us better grasp and appreciate it along with all its deeper meanings and implications. Just a stated by ones like the Apostle Paul, it served as a "tutor leading to Christ." (Ga 3:24, 25)
However here in the case of Deuteronomy 33:22 we also encounter the words -…"leaping out of Bashan" in connection with this "lion cub," which once again on this occasion is associated with the tribe of Dan as opposed to Judah. So is this simply another belittlement or verbal attack on the tribe of Dan or more specifically what this tribe was used to symbolically represent?
Well first of all by the use of this specific reference to "BASHAN" we are helped to begin appreciating how the symbolic meanings of Dan are also directly connected to what was always represented with the tribe of MANASSEH! Once again we are reminded that this is ultimately all the very same entity we are considering here. The various tribes are simply pointing to its many different and interconnected facets.
Yes we might find it interesting that the region of Bashan was located directly inside the tribal inheritance of Manasseh as opposed to Dan. More specifically this was the ½ tribe of Manasseh that was situated on the EAST side of the Jordan River. What should make this even MORE interesting is that Manasseh was the ONLY tribe of Israel in the list found at Revelation 7 that could be recognized as representing not only a kind of "brother" of Jesus, but also simultaneously a kind of son (like a "cub"?) of what Joseph more particularly pointed to. (Ge 49:22-26) (Mt 25:40) Yes this helps us appreciate that the "many members of the body of the Christ" can be recognized not only as "brothers" of their "leader," but also in some sense as sons. (1 Cor 12:12) (Mt 25:40) (Da 9:25)
Now with this information in mind and more particularly in view of what was always symbolized with the Jordan River as well as the crossing of it, (namely baptism) we begin to find ourselves in a position to grasp what was actually being conveyed to us with the events that at some point occurred with the city of Laish that you mentioned in your post.
At this point it would be important for us to understand that this city which 600 Danite warriors overthrew after crossing the Jordan River and named after their tribal father was ALSO located in the tribal area assigned to Manasseh. However in this case we are considering the ½ tribe or otherwise the portion of Manasseh's inheritance that could be recognized as FULLY or OFFICIALLY inside the borders of the "promised Land." Well are we already being helped to grasp what Jehovah is endeavoring to convey here to his anointed prophets or appointed teachers?
First of all we might want to be reminded of the fact that Moses was never permitted to enter into the Promised Land due to his sin at the "waters of Meribah." Nevertheless he was allowed to freely traverse the tribal inheritances immediately west of the Jordan River, and in fact had led the battles that evicted or even annihilated their former occupants. One of the things that this information should help us to better appreciate is exactly what the Jordan River and by extension the crossing of it actually represented or signified, and more specifically why this symbolic significance was so pivotal in technically even QUALIFYING as Israel, and by extension a genuine Israelite or even a Jew.
Well (once again) to any serious Bible student it should be clear that the Jordan River or even more specifically the entering into and exiting from it was consistently associated with the concept of baptism. (2 Ki 5:14) (Mt 3:5, 6) More particularly in the case of the spirit anointed or shepherding fold of the theocratic nation that we are considering here in Revelation7, this would of course actually comprise a "baptism of holy spirit and fire" as opposed to merely a water baptism that basically signified one's recognition and acceptance of genuine theocratic authority and power. (Mt 3:11) We want to keep in mind however that the spiritual cleansing and rebirth that is being addressed here is NEVER recognized by Jehovah as being completed until his prophets or "two witnesses" in this transitional phase of a "coming of the kingdom" are able to "inaugurate" a renewed kingdom covenant with their own blood. (He 9:16-19, 22) In turn ones like the Apostle Paul help us to understand that that this literal death or even blood is actually the pivotal PORTION of this "fiery" baptism. (Ro 6:4)
In other words, the literal deaths of Moses and Aaron along with the corresponding appointments of Joshua and Caleb at least largely represented or even comprised the very same thing as the crossing of the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Are we coming to better understand that even in the case of ancient FLESHY nation, qualifying as an Israelite or a Jew ultimately had NOTHING to do with any literal area of land, and EVERYTHING to do with a clean and approved standing before Jehovah? You see it was precisely BECAUSE they had just qualified themselves as Israelites that they were now PERMITTED to enter the land of Israel! It was also precisely for this reason that upon the renewing of the holy covenant and inaugurating it with the blood of Moses and Aaron we find some VERY EYE-OPENING words being issued to God's people immediately PRIOR to their entering into the Promised Land. And as we consider these words in this very same transitional period or setting (like a "lion cub leaping out of Bashan" or otherwise TRANSITIONING to become a full grown lion on the OTHER SIDE of the Jordan that could easily overthrow an entire city with only 600 warriors?) both at John 10:16 as well as in OUR OWN pre-kingdom context, let's see if we can observe some rather similar wording or messages:
16 "THIS DAY Jehovah your God is commanding you to carry out these regulations and judicial decisions, and you must observe and carry out with all your heart and all your soul. 17 Jehovah you have induced TODAY to say that he WILL BECOME your God while you walk in his ways and observe his commandments and his judicial decisions and listen to his voice. 18 As for Jehovah he has induced you to say TODAY that you WILL BECOME his people, a special property just as he has promised you, and that you will observe all his commandments." (De 26:16-18)
Are we seeing the correlation here to scriptures like John 10:16 which are ALSO found in this very same transitional setting in which at least a "few" of the spirit anointed ones are moving from being merely "discreet virgins" or mere disciples of Jehovah's prophets to things like full fledged Apostles or even heavenly kings and priests? Would this transitional period not be very much like residing for a time in the tribal areas EAST of the Jordan while qualifying for a short time as something somewhat RESEMBLING a Jew or Israelite, or even something like a "lion CUB" that is soon to "LEAP OUT of Bashan" to suddenly conduct itself like a full grown lion in the Promised Land? (De 33:22) Compare (Re 5:5, 6) You see it is precisely this journey or transition to full theocratic statehood on the part of the "discreet virgins" in the setting of their "inspection" (Lu 19:44) by the figurative "two spies" (Jos 2:1) (Re 11:3) that accounts for the words of the prophetess Deborah in Judges 5:17:
…And Dan, why did he continue to dwell for the time in SHIPS?
However since it is actually the BLOOD of these prophets that furnishes the final and most pivotal STEP in these foretold spiritual cleansings and rebirths (or baptisms), we now find ourselves right back to considering how the things that the Danite tribe represented directly connect to the facet of this same theocratic power and authority that was represented with the tribe of LEVI. In other words, accounts like Deuteronomy 33:22 are actually confirming a point that I had already made in my initial post here concerning the list of Israelite tribes found in Revelation 7. This is namely (once again) that regardless of whether we are considering a "lifting up in the wilderness" and "nailing to the stake" of the Mosaic Law code, or otherwise a representation of this very same theocratic authority and power in the form of the "two witnesses" or the prophets that would be "spying out the land" of SPIRITUAL Israel up until the Millennial Reign, its power in this "time of being inspected" setting more specifically to JUDGE (as represented initially with the tribe of Dan) is actually a "CURSE" and a "stumbling block" to humankind. (Joh 3:14) (Nu 21:9) (Isa 8:14, 15 28:13, 16) (1 Pe 2:6) Compare (Ge 49:16-18) (Col 2:14) (Ga 3:13)
You see in the time frames in which this curse or stumbling block is in the PROCESS of being removed in the settings of the ministry to the "LOST sheep of the house of Israel is occurring" or otherwise that of a BROKEN kingdom covenant, the manifestation of ALL facets of this theocratic power exists in a form that is VERY LOWLY in comparison to what it will soon become. (Mt 3:4 10:5, 6) (Isa 53) (Mal 2:8, 9) Moreover it is while EXISTING IN this very "cub"-like form that it is REMOVED from us with a blood inauguration of a RENEWED covenant. We need to understand that this humble and repentant acceptance of the curse (accepting the full reproach or full responsibility for yet another broken covenant and being "crushed" and put to death "INSTEAD of us") on the part of the "two witnesses" would be part and parcel of ALL SEVEN of the foretold violations of the holy covenant. (Ga 3:13) (Isa 53:10) It is only when the blood of these prophets can once again be used in a Levitical or priestly manner to REMOVE this curse from us that we find ourselves on the west side of the Jordan River (in a figurative or spiritual sense) where a MUCH GREATER level of theocratic power and authority suddenly allows us to do things like conquer entire cities with only 600 warriors, or otherwise conduct ourselves more like a lion as opposed to a mere "lion cub." It is precisely for the reason that ultimately "SEVEN" of these spiritual cleansings and rebirths of Jehovah's nation would occur before the Millennial Reign that we find prophetic dramas such as seven baptisms being performed in the Jordan River in connection with the VERY SAME or otherwise one single entity. (2 Ki 5:14) In fact this account we just considered here in Deuteronomy just prior to the Israelites entering into the Promised Land is actually another example of this.
Yes interestingly enough a careful consideration of the events that occurred in this 40 year sojourn through the wilderness will reveal that precisely SEVEN apostasies of Jehovah's people or rebellions against his authority had been represented for us in prophetic dramas or symbolic illustrations. The scriptures ultimately help us to understand that what was being typified here would experience its fulfillment with the "seven times" that Jehovah's holy covenant would be violated by his appointed earthly shepherds while serving in a captive and exiled ("wilderness"?) condition along with anointed foreign kings over a period of 2,520 years. Yes, the "Promised land" was actually another way of representing the promised NEW WORLD that Jehovah's people would be entering into with the advent of the Millennial Reign. We should not fail to note that once again we find yet another priestly act of blood redemption being pictured for us in conjunction with this "coming" or arrival that would qualify people "THIS DAY" as Israelites or otherwise as Jehovah's "special property." As always it is BY MEANS of this baptismal cleansing that mankind is once again in a POSITION to receive Jehovah's salvation. (De 26:16-18)
However since the tribe of Dan actually REPRESENTS the "judgment" or even "curse" that ANY broken kingdom covenant places on mankind, OF COURSE we find it represented as REMOVED in a setting in which Israel once again actually EXISTS such as at Revelation Chapter 7. It is precisely the removal of what Dan represents (namely once again the cursings and stumblings that come with Jehovah's adverse judgments for a broken holy covenant) that always establishes the existence of Jehovah's nation or "coming" of God's kingdom TO BEGIN WITH! However in the case of FLESHLY Israel, the tribe of Dan would ALWAYS be represented as a part of the nation since this particular law or kingdom covenant was the MOSAIC Law code, and IT ITSELF was identified by Jehovah as a curse and a stumbling block that was actually DESIGNED to "make transgressions manifest" rather than "cover them with love." (Ga 3: 13, 19) (1 Pe 4:8) This PARTICULAR judgment or even "curse" would of course not be completely removed from the Israelites until the arrival of what it always prefigured or foreshadowed to begin with which was of course the "law of LOVE" that would by contrast be associated with SPIRITUAL Israel. (Ro 13:10)
You see there is actually more than one change/transition or even "leaping out of Bashan" being represented symbolically here in accounts like the tribal list found at Revelation Chapter 7 and EVEN in connection with simply the tribe of Dan alone. This new "law of love" would be much more powerful and significant than the Law covenant that preceded it, as if it were more like a "lion" as opposed to a mere "lion cub." It would prove vastly more effective in aiding mankind to overcome Jehovah's adverse judgments for yet another broken kingdom covenant, or as the Apostle John worded it—"BECOME" Jehovah's "sheep," regardless of the particular "fold." (Joh 10:16)