The New Jerusalem - A pattern for Living (pt.4 foundation gems and tribe names above the gates)

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: ...The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. ~ Revelation 21:10-20

The names written on the twelve gates were those of the twelve tribes of Israel.

For this portion of our study of the New Jerusalem structure I would like to pull from another study about the Breast Plate from the Old Testament that the High Priest wore while ministering in the temple that I did awhile back. This Breast Plate of Judgment was part of the holy garments worn on the breast (over the heart) of the High Priest and on it were the names of the 12 tribes as stated in the account of Revelation above the gates.

The order of the stones was taken from Numbers 2:3-33 where the tribes are listed in order of there encampment around the tabernacle which was the heart and center of worship.

This was also the order in which they were camped around the tabernacle and the order in which they marched beginning with Judah.

Holy garments of the High Priest
Holy garments of the High Priest | Source

This breastplate, had placed upon it, the names of the twelve tribes of Israel along with a stone to go with it. Could it be possible that these 12 stones in the breastplate looked forward to a time when the apostles and prophets would reflect the gem like qualities of the life lived out from the meanings of the names of the tribes

If we can relate the tribal names and meanings to the gates or points of entrance into the presence of God and the 12 stones to particulars in the foundation of reflecting the lived out principle it is a beautiful message to behold.

Let us first note that the breast piece was worn on the part of the body where internal organs are located. The functions of these organs are to manage the internal workings and processes of the body. We will look at how these gems and tribes tell us about the internal workings of our Christian life and it's results.

For example the heart is an organ that receives oxygen poor blood from the veins and sends out oxygen rich blood as it passes through the heart and is sent out through the heart and is sent out through the arteries to nourish the rest of the body. Just as when we reach the heart of God and spend time in His presence we are cleansed, revived, and nourished and ready to share what we have received from Him with the rest of the body.

and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. ~ Colossians 2:19

Having contact with God nourishes us and knits us together.

The breast piece shows us a progression of our walk into God's presence (gates) and the results of that encounter.

Source

Judah - Ruby

The first Tribe was the tribe of Judah which in Hebrew means "praise" and has to do with what we say. When Jacob was old and dying He prophesied over each son and this was the word which he had for Judah "your hand will be upon the neck of your enemy" paraphrase: Praise will be the hand upon the neck of your enemy. Praise here is seen as a weapon.

...and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ~ Matthew 21:16 ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?

Here is the Old Testament verse He is quoting from:

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger. ~ Psalm 8:2

Strength here is translated for us in in the Matthew chapter as praise. We have two lessons here. Praise strengthens us and silences our enemies.

In military order Judah was always instructed to be dispatched first. In any of life's battles Praise should be dispatched before any other force is enacted.

Some notes about Rubies, the stone that was matched with this tribe agrees with these things:

  • known as the leader of precious stones. Judah was the first tribe dispatched in marching order during military battles. The Lord is telling us the first order of business in any spiritual or mental battle is to praise and worship. Worshipers were the first to be dispatched in the battle. It declared their faith that "the battle belongs to the Lord". Had they believed their victory depended on themselves they would have chosen their best warriors and weapons to be in the front.

* (Read the story of Jehoshophat in II Chronicles chapter 20 for an example of this)

  • Rubies are more rare than top quality diamonds. Praise is rare especially in the midst of a battle which is why we are commanded to offer a sacrifice of praise.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. ~ Hebrews 13:15

  • It is one of the most durable stones that exists. When we worship we become durable and impenetrable to the enemy.

It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me;You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name. ~ II Samuel 22:48

  • The Hebrew name means red like wine. Red in scripture generally is speaking of blood and wine is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and is associated with joy. Could the ruby stone be indicating that the first issue that needs to be dealt with is the forgiveness of sin through the blood of Jesus in reference to our spiritual condition and battles, and when we have been cleansed by it we receive the joy of the Holy Spirit and thereby praise God.

Judah and its corresponding stones show us that praise is a sacrifice but also a very powerful weapon. It is also our first step into the presence of God.

Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. ~ Psalm 100:1-4

Praise is a powerful weapon whereby the walls of the entire city of Jericho that had two sets of walls 6 ft thick on the outside and 12 ft thick on the inside, fell.

Scientifically speaking noise has frequency. And certain sound frequencies can break things. I remember a long time ago there was Memorex commercial with an opera singer who hit a particularly high note that would shatter a glass. I looked this up and discovered that a certain frequency will cause the glass to vibrate and break. Is it possible to consider that their praise is what shook the walls down. Could it be that the frequency of our praise as we tune into (God) invites His presence and shakes down everything that is hindering our victory.

By Captmondo (Own work (photo)) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Captmondo (Own work (photo)) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Issachar - Topaz

The second Tribe we will look at is Issachar. His name means work, hire, or reward and refers to our service. (what we do) Jacob's prophecy for Issachar is "He is a strong donkey crouching between two burdens." A donkey is known as a beast of burden in scripture. Issachar (our service) is positioned between "praise" and "abiding" (abiding is the next tribe we will study). Our Christian doing should be centered in worship of Him and resting in Him. There is a balance between reverencing Him and resting in Him.

Isaachar's stone was a Topaz. Topaz is so soft it can lose it's polish if not carefully used. Our gifts to serve others can lose their luster as well if not used under the direction and counsel of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We need to remain soft and not abrasive for our service to be effective.

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, ~ Philippians 2:14-15

Gems shine when light is captured by them and reflected back out.

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart ~ I Peter 1:22

A pure heart is one who is only interested in pleasing God.

...with all lowliness and gentleness, with long-suffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. ~ Ephesians 4:2-3

Love of God results in love of people which results in peace and rest for all. (next tribe is rest and abiding)

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. ~ Galatians 6:9

Sometimes we get weary when we find ourselves serving ourselves or have some other motive in serving than to worship Him.

The first two stones parallel the two commandments Jesus said the entire Christian life hinged upon.

Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” ~ Matthew 22:37-40

Loving the Lord is fitting with Praise and is directed towards God. Loving our neighbor is equivalent to serving them and is a direct expression of Loving God. And loving our neighbor is the equivalent of loving Him. Jesus said that he who has done these things to the least of these has done them unto Him for good or for bad.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. ~ Romans 12:1

Source

Zebulun - Carbuncle

The third tribe is Zebulun and his name means dwelling, habitation, or abiding and is reflective of our thought life. It has to with where our thoughts camp and reside at or in. Jacob's blessing was "He will dwell by the seashore"

Here are some interesting facts I discovered about the benefits of living by the sea all having to do with abiding, resting, and dwelling.

The sound of the waves alters the wave patterns in the brain and causes the wave patterns to change to a slow frequency which promotes relaxation. The sound of waves is now being used and coupled with music in relaxation CD's.

Sea air is also charged with negative ions which are thought to increase our ability to absorb oxygen and help regulate serotonin levels. Low serotonin levels are linked to depression and anxiety disorders. Sea air is a natural stress reducer.

Sea water is also beneficial in that it contains magnesium which effects our nerves. Bathing in seawater is known to be relaxing and is being replicated in spas. It opens our pores and removes toxins from our body and trapped fluids that cause inflammation.

Sunshine is considered relaxing as well not to mention a mood booster. It also effects our endocrine system which is responsible for the release of endorphins. Endorphins could be considered our happy hormone that helps us to feel good, relaxed, and unstressed.

Sunlight also contains Vitamin D which boosts our immune system keeping us healthy and happy.

Did Jacob know this when He named and blessed his son? When we praise Him and Serve Him by serving others we can then enter into His rest because both of these activities express our expressions of our faith in Him.

For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. ~ Hebrews 4:10

Jesus shows us that we are incapable of loving others without Him and the key is to rest in His love then we can rest in our relationships. We cannot rest when we are trying to abide in the favor of man or in the confined places of self-sufficiency in trying to make something happen to serve our own agendas or feed our insatiable insecurities. We rest when we abide in Him worshiping Him and His greatness and serving Him and Him alone.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. ~ John 15:4-5

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ~ Psalm 91:1

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. ~ Isaiah 26:3

The Hebrew words for a "mind stayed on you" are a "life framed by His thoughts" Our wholeness and rest is hinged upon what we say, what we do, and what we think.

The stone for the tribe of Zebulun is a Carbuncle and the Hebrew meaning of the word means flashing, lightening, gleaming, or glitter.

Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. ~ Exodus 34:29

Moses' face was shining after abiding in the presence of God.

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~ Psalm 16:11

This stone is also noted for its beauty when it's transparent. Just as we are beautiful to Him when we are transparent before Him hiding nothing. This is truly a place of rest to be our real selves with Him and not ashamed anymore. A lot of our striving is a method of hiding ourselves.

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. ~ I John 1:7

I, TomR [CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
I, TomR [CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Reuben - Emerald

The next tribe is Reuben and His name means "See ye a son" Jacob's prophecy over him was "my first born, my might, first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, and excelling in power. This name focuses us on what we see. This certainly is a picture of Jesus the one and only begotten Son of God.

In Praising Him, in offering ourselves to Him, as our thoughts abide in Him we are to keep our eyes upon Him.

...“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! ~ John 1:29

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~ Hebrews 12:2

He told His disciples to follow Him. We can follow Him too by reading His Word and studying His life. This will require our natural and spiritual eyes, focus, and attention.

The emerald was the stone representing this tribe and symbolized love, rebirth, and growth. How interesting that love and rebirth which are associated with the "Son of God" and our growth as we behold Him. I can't help of thinking about the story when the Israelites were in the wilderness and as they murmured and complained the serpents would bite them but when Moses lifted up the serpent on the pole and the people were required to look at it they were healed as long as they beheld the pole which was a picture of our Lord being lifted up for our sins.

It is also noted that green is the easiest and most soothing color to the human eye. They were at one time making surgical gowns green for this reason, Hospitals use light green rooms because they too are found to be calming to patients, and also there was a watch repair shop that in the interest of being ergonomically sound decided to use all green counter tops for their workstations. If we look at creation itself, predominantly green, we can see the love of God attempting to soothe and comfort us all around.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. ~ Psalm 23:2

Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com  CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

“Our eternal hopes are built upon the justice and the faithfulness of God, which are clear and cloudless as the sapphire” Charles Spurgeon

Simeon - Sapphire

Next tribe is Simeon-Levi. Simeon's name means hearing. Levi's name means to join or attach and has to do with how we hear in association or attachment with our obedience. Jesus told us...

"take heed how you hear. ~ Luke 8:18...With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you" ~ Mark 4:24

we hear. Jacob's prophecy to both Simeon and Levi was "Simeon and Levi are brethren" Levi means attached or associated with. Hearing and obedience are brothers that are attached and work together.

Tying this together with our other tribe names beginning with Judah, We praise (Judah) Him with what we say, we offer ourselves to Him in sacrificial service (Issachar), our thoughts abiding (Zebulun) in Him, we behold (Reuben) Him and now we listen (Simeon) to Him. with the attachment (Levi) of obedience.

The ear is an organ that receives and as we say, serve, think, and dwell in Him, we learn to hear, receive, and understand truth. That truth becomes inscribed in our hearts and deep meaning is attached (remember Levi) to it as all the other functions line up.

"He who has an ear to hear" is mentioned 14 times in the new testament and is with the implication of obedience.

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: ~ Matthew 7:24

The Old Testament Hebrew word for "hear" is also strongly associated with assumed obedience.This is sometimes a foreign concept to the Western world where we give much mental ascent to many things we hear with no intentions of doing anything with it. We are much like the Athenians in Biblical times who...

spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing. ~ Acts 17:21

Levi also represented the priesthood. It was the priesthood that temporarily attached and connected God and His people through proper worship and sacrifice until the true mediator Jesus our ultimate and eternal High Priest (Heb. 2:17), who was entirely obedient in doing only what He heard from the father, would come.

...as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do ~ Jesus (John 14:31)

The stone representing this tribe is the sapphire and will symbol and image for us these very same concepts of hearing and obeying represented by the tribal names connected with them. The sapphire described in the Bible looked more like an aquamarine and was the color of heaven symbolizing our ears hearing from above not the from the transient things of the earth.

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven ~ Psalm 119:89

The sapphire was also used as an engagement ring in ancient times symbolizing faithfulness and loyalty. True intimacy represented by the marriage relationship as a picture of Christ and His church (Rev 21), must include a listening ear coupled with faithful and loyal obedience.

If you love Me, keep (hear and obey) My commandments ~ John 14:15

The giving of the Torah on mount Sinai was very much an engagement agreement. God was laying the terms of relationship and setting them in stone and inviting this people to a faithful and loyal relationship with Him. Remember Eve who was unfaithful with her ear.

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. ~ Revelation 21:2

It is also evident that hearing is a means of inscribing in our memory the things we hear. In fact the literal root meaning of sapphire means to inscribe and commune. The Jewish midrash states that it is believed that the 10 commandments were Inscribed on stones of sapphire.

Source

Ten Commandments on Sapphire Stones

In revelations borrowed from an online article written by David Asscherick titled "The Blue Stone" the author shows how the scriptures reveal this very fact beginning in Exodus chapter 24

Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity... Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written ~ Exodus 24:9-10,12

The literal translation of "I will give you tablets of stone" should read "I will give you tablets of the stone" "the" implying a particular stone not random rock from the mount. Could it be stone from the sapphire stone like the very heavens?

Ezekiel even twice envisions this as coming from the very throne of God itself in his cryptic like experience in Gods presence.

above the firmament over their heads (heaven)was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone ~ Ezekiel 1:26

there in the firmament that was above the head (heaven) of the cherubim,there appeared something like a sapphire stone, having the appearance of the likeness of a throne ~ Ezekiel 10:1

Heaven is My throne And earth is My footstool ~ Isaiah 66:1

Source

The Blue Tassel (Tzitzit)

Collectively we can see the strong possibility that God used the sapphire stone from His very throne in heaven to communicate via hearing the will of His Kingdom obeyed in the earth. He reinforces this in an accessory He commands the Israelite men to wear in Numbers 15 verse 37-38 also detailed in Pastor Asscherick's article.

the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners.

The purpose of the blue thread is revealed in verse 39 and makes the blue sapphire heavenly commandments connection once again.

you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them, ~ Numbers 15:39

The blue thread was to remind them presently and daily of the commands God had given them on the stones of sapphire which also reminded them of their heavenly source.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts ~ Isaiah 55:9

The author also gives a rich example taken from the book of Revelation chapter 17 about the results of leaving the commands of God out of our Christian life referencing the woman on a beast. He speaks of the woman of harlotry as a symbol of the church and the beast as symbolic of a nation. He then makes note of the color she is arrayed in...

The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold~ Revelation 17:4

In Exodus chapter 28 God gives instructions to the priesthood on how they should be dressed and notes these colors that they should be arrayed in...

upon its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, all around its hem, and bells of gold between them all around ~ Exodus 28:33

There is one missing color referring to the woman and that is blue. Her harlotry stems from leaving out God's commands.

the Sapphire was reserved for kings and priests

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; ~ I Peter 2:9

Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com  CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Gad - Diamond

Next tribe is Gad and his name means to crowd upon, attack, or overcome. Jacob prophesied to him "he will be attacked by raiders but he will attack them at their heels.

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. ~ I John 5:4

When we worship Him, Serve Him, have our thoughts resting upon Him and we are hearing from Him we are ready for battle to over come our spiritual enemies the world (day to day life) the flesh (internal struggles) and the devil (unseen spiritual warfare)

And do not stay there yourselves, but pursue your enemies, and attack their rear guard. Do not allow them to enter their cities, for the LORD your God has delivered them into your hand.” ~ John 10:19

Our enemies are not people.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. ~ Ephesians 6:12

The diamond is the gem given to the tribe of Gad. It is remarkable for its hardness.

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, ~ II Corinthians 10:4

The diamond is made of graphite a very soft substance and of the most breakable. After it is transformed into a diamond it becomes one of the toughest substances.

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. ~ I Corinthians 1:27-29

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. ~ Romans 12:2

It is the transforming process that turns the soft graphite into a hard diamond. There is further study on this in another part of this series "The New Jerusalem pt. 3"

...ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. ~ I John 2:1

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ John 1:9

Diamonds are so hard that they are used as an engraving tool and are the most brilliant of precious stones.

The root meaning of the word diamond in Hebrew means to break down, or over come.

Benefits of and overcomer:

  • Eat from the tree of life (eternity) Rev. 2:7
  • Will not die the second death Rev. 2:11
  • Eat of the hidden manna Rev. 2:17
  • Power over the nations Rev. 2:26
  • Clothed in white raiment Rev. 3:5
  • Will be a pillar in the temple Rev. 3:12
  • Will get to sit with Him on the throne Rev. 3:21
  • The Lord is an over comer. Rev. 17:14

Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com  CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Ephraim - Jacinth

The next tribe is the tribe of Ephraim and his name means double fruit or abundant fruit and this name speaks of the results and benefits of overcoming. Jacobs prophecy was "In you all Israel will bless"

Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs. ~ Isaiah 61:7

Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore double to you. ~ Zecariah 9:12

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, ~ Galatians 5:22

A life fully submitted to God and overcoming by the blood of the lamb, by the word of our testimony and loving our lives not unto death will produce fruit.

The stone given to Ephraim was a Ligure or Jacinth. Its literal Hebrew meaning means to raise up, bear, offer, take symbolizing grapes bearing fruit.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. ~ John 15:5

But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. ~ Romans 6:22

By David Rix Eibonvale (self-made - http://www.thundereggs.co.uk) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By David Rix Eibonvale (self-made - http://www.thundereggs.co.uk) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Mannaseh - Agate

The next tribe is Mannaseh whose name means "causing to forget" Jacobs prophecy was "In you shall all Israel bless saying God make you as Ephraim and Manneseh.

After we have engaged our mouth to praise, our actions to serve, our thoughts to abide in Him, fixed our eyes upon Him, listened and obeyed Him, and defeated our enemies, we are now in a position to bear fruit. After producing fruit it causes us to forget our previous pain. His life, His thoughts, His ways, His attitudes, are now superimposing over the old life thoughts, ways, attitudes, and behaviors, just like recording over an old cassette tape. New habits are formed.

Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth; ~ Isaiah 40:4

When we are born our brains are smooth and as we grow learn and begin to make associations with various things, relationships, and experiences. Our brains begin to make valleys or grooves and mountains formed by thought patterns. These can be for good or for bad. What God is saying is he his going to correct the places that aren't right and remap our minds.

Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father’s house; So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him. ~ Psalm 45:10-11

We are to forget all previous forms of influence and focus upon Him and experience Him.

“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. ~ Isaiah 54:4

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:2

Mannaseh is represented with the Agate. The agate has clouded layers and bands found in the cavity of host rocks. It similar to a skull encasing our minds. The layers and bands are established thought patterns. The Hebrew root meaning to this word is "To carry away" or "take captive"

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ ~ II Corinthians 10:3-5

The way to forgetting the past is taking thoughts captive.

I, Jonathan Zander [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
I, Jonathan Zander [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

Benjamin - Amethyst

The next tribe name is Benjamin and his name means son of my right hand and speaks of a a position of power. Jacob's prophecy was "He would devour prey and plunder"

Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. ~ Revelation 20:6

And have made us kings and priests to our God;And we shall reign on the earth.” ~ Revelation 5:10

If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. ~ II Timothy 2:12

The tribe of Benjamin is set with an Amethyst and its literal meaning is to bind firmly.

No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house. ~ Mark 3:27

Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com  CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Dan - Beryl

The next tribe is the tribe of Dan. His name means judge. Jacobs prophecy was "will provide justice for His people.

He is near who justifies Me; Who will contend with Me? Let us stand together. Who is My adversary? Let him come near Me. Surely the Lord GOD will help Me; Who is he who will condemn Me? Indeed they will all grow old like a garment; The moth will eat them up. ~ Isaiah 50:8-9

Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? ~ I Corinthians 6:3

The stone set for Dan was a Beryl. It is used for lenses. Judgment is the ability to discern and see things accurately.

When we our hearts are set to praise Him, Abide in Him, Behold Him, Ears tuned to hear Him, Overcoming our fleshly lives, Bearing fruit, and in position to rule an reign with Him. We can now judge for we are able to see and discern things with accuracy.

Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com  CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Asher - Chalcedony/onyx

The next tribe is the tribe of Asher and his name means happy and is the result of all of the above. Jacob's blessing was "food will be rich, delicacies fit for a king"

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love. ~ Song of Solomon 2:4

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” ~ Revelation 19:9

We will be satisfied

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! ~ Psalm 34:8

Asher's stone was an onyx. The root meaning of Onyx is millstone or stumbling stone. Jesus was a stumbling block for some which would ultimately be the stumbling block to their own happiness.

Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” ~ I Peter 2:7

...but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, ~ I Corinthians 1:23

And one shall say, “Heap it up! Heap it up! Prepare the way, Take the stumbling block out of the way of My people.” ~ Isaiah 57:14

Translucent chalcedony is parallel layers of color perhaps showing all of the colors of the foundation stones...and they lived happily ever after.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Naphtali - Jasper

There is one more stone and one more tribe. Naphtali and his name means wrestling. Jacob's blessing was "a doe set free that bears fruitful fawns.

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” ~ John 6:29

our only job eternally is to believe Him and that will require some wrestling.

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. ~ Hebrews 4:11

Sometimes we wrestle to enter rest. Jacob won't let go until He is blessed. Israel's name means. This last name encourages us to never give up never quit. Endure to the end.

But he who endures to the end shall be saved. ~ Matthew 24:13

And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. ~ Mark 13:13

Jasper is Naphtali's gem and its literal meaning is brilliant transparent light.

“The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the LORD will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory. ~ Isaiah 60:19

The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. ~ Revelation 21:23

There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. ~ Revelation 22:5

This study shows the progression or cycle of the Christian life. Each gem is reciprocal. The things He gives us are reflected back to Him. Christ did and was all of these things and we are to follow Him

Part 5 to follow

corrections, comments, further input and insight welcomed.

www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums/theology/ephod-and-the-breastplate-of-judgment/

© 2010 Tamarajo

More by this Author


Comments 24 comments

Brooke Lorren profile image

Brooke Lorren 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

If you could find pictures of each of the gems by each name, it would be better. Some of these gems I don't know anything about outside of the Bible.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

I agree Brooke. It would make the hub much more visually interesting. I actually thought to do that but couldn't figure out how to get the images of each without copyright infringement issues. I try to stick to using my own images, A clip Art program I purchased, and photos I have documented permission to use.

I will work on this and add them as I am able to obtain them. I was hoping that Hubpages offered colored fonts. I was going to at least highlight the name of the tribe in the color of the gem.

What I found most interesting about the uniqueness of some of the gems was the Hebrew root meanings that so closely agreed with meaning of the tribe name.

Thank you for your visit and useful input.


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

TJ,

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us here on HubPages. You've given me much to study. Thank you for taking the time to prepare it.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Thank you for visiting lifegate.

I know it was a lengthy one and didn't quite know how to split it up. I'm going to leave it for a couple of weeks for digestion before I post part 5 and possibly attempt to obtain the images to go with it.

Thanks for commenting.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 5 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Thank you for the insight into the twelve tribes it is fascinating. It got me to asking the question to myself whether or not Jesus 12 Apostles might be representative of the 12 Tribes. Maybe you could research this and see.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Yes Dave it is fascinating and you make a great observation because the the foundations of the temple were laid on the 12 apostles and represented by the colored stones and the names above the gates were the tribes of Israel which were represented by colored stones in the breastplate of the High Priest.

I am thinking that the stones in the Breastplate representing the 12 tribes looked forward to the 12 men that would be the beginning of the new eternal nation just as the 12 tribes were the beginning of a new earthly nation.

I also have some other stirrings about even deeper meanings concerning personality but they are not fully developed and would like wait for further development of that revelation and confirmation before I go there.

Thanks Dave for your visit and insightful comment.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 5 years ago from USA

Tamarajo - Now THAT is an article that everyone should truly enjoy. I really liked it a lot. History that I had never read before with a different perspective of persons, images, and all. Thanks in depth.

Gus :-)~


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

I am blessed by your visit Gus : ) Thank you for taking the time to read it and glad you were blessed by it.

Thank you for your encouraging comment.


Betty Johansen profile image

Betty Johansen 5 years ago

Wow, Tamarajo, you could preach 12 sermons with the content from this hub. Your depth and insight are awesome! Thank you for sharing your wisdom from the Word.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Betty,

Yes it is a lot of information and a bit overwhelming for one hub but I didn't want to split it up because each one kind of hinges on another. I was afraid that if I broke them up their connections and conclusion would or could be missed.

I really do enjoy the depths of His Word and could dive into it every moment if I could

Blessed by your visit and comment Betty


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 5 years ago from Manila

Great hub with great insights to ponder about.Thank you for always sharing your great studies of God's Word with us here at Hubpages. Blessings and regards. I also take this opportunity to greet you a happy and blessed New Year!


Chin chin profile image

Chin chin 5 years ago from Philippines

It was a lengthy one, Tamarajo, but it's worth the read. A timely reading for me as I begin the New Year and reminds me the basics of how to live the Christian life that would surely be pleasing to God. Again you have amazed me with this expository teaching. God bless you for sharing.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Cristina Studying His Word is my chief joy. I am glad you enjoyed this study. It is a lot of info to digest all at once though I know.

Thank you for reading and the encouraging comment.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Chin Chin,

I am glad you captured the essence of the article that is the basics of walking out our life of faith. That has been the focus of a new season for me as well.

Yes it was lengthy. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I was nervous that if I separated them the connection and conclusion would get lost.

Blessed by your visit.


Judicastro profile image

Judicastro 5 years ago from birmingham, Alabama

Tamarajo, what a great hub, I love this! I have bookmarked it so I can go back and read the whole series. Great work dear sister!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hi Judi so glad you enjoyed. Always blessed by your visit.

thank you for your thoughtful comment.


His daughter 5 years ago

Just a continuation of the wonderful gems hidden in God's Word for us to go and dig out. Don't you just love it!! Keep it up!


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello His daughter I do love it!! glad you do too : )

Thank you again for stopping by and commenting.


no body profile image

no body 5 years ago from Rochester, New York

The girl has talent. Loved the article and I have someone in mind that may be reached with this. Pray it does. I hope you don't mind I am sharing it on Facebook. I will remove it if you want but I think that it will be used mightily. Love you sister.


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Hello again no body. I don't mind at all. Share as you wish.

This was one of the most difficult yet funnest studies I have ever done (the breast plate and the gems). As I went along trying to make the connections one thing began to agree with the other.

The thing I love about the Word is that it always agrees with itself. You can pull it up a hundred different ways and the message is always the same. It is similar to accounting and hair cutting with it's checks and balances.

God wants us to get.

Amen

Thank you for visiting commenting and sharing.

Have a blessed day.


Craig 4 years ago

Hi, I am always interested at seeing various views on the 12 stones and their orders as I do firmly believe that the true connection between each and the 12 tribes names are vital for us as we recognise our true roots in Messiah, our High Priest who bears Yisra'el on his Breastplate and on his shoulders! Having said that, I do commend you for your insight into the various gems - however I disagree slightly as to the allocation of each stone. this is why I say this. It is clear in Shemoth (Exodus) that the two shoulder stones were to have the names of the tribes of Yisra'el on, with 6 on each - ACCORDING TO THEIR BIRTH! Then the instruction for the breastplate is given to have the 4 rows of 3 each according to the names of the tribes as are set in stone (also according to birthright!) therefore this would, in my view, be the correct ordering of the tribes and then one can link the stones to each *from right to left*:

row1 - Reuben, Shim'on, Lewi

row2 - Yehudah, Dan, Naphtali

row3 - Gad, Asher, Yissaskar

row4 - Zebulun, Yoseph, Binyamin

and therefore the stones as:

row 1 - ruby (sardius), topaz, emerald (carbuncle)

row2 - Turqoise, sapphire, diamond

row 3 - Jacinth (ligure), agate, amethyst

row4 - beryl, shoham (onyx), jasper

What you will notice is that the shoham (onyx) stone represents Yoseph and this is a wonderful picture of Messiah Yahushua who bears the burdens of His brothers as Yoseph did and the shoulder garments stones testify to this by also being shoham stones as a wonder picture of how Messiah would have the government on His shoulders as Yoseph too was made ruler in Mitsrayim (Egypt)

What is very interesting to seek out is the relation of each of these stones to that on the foundation in Revelation 21 which tells us that 12 stones are the apostles, with the 12 gates having the names of the 12 tribes of Yisra'el on them and also looking at Ezekiel 48 with the 12 gates of the City.

keep digging and much shall be revealed

Shalom to you


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Thank you Craig for your additional insight and correction. I will be definitely be doing some further digging. I do welcome your input and always want to present accurately.

I especially like the revelation of the shoulder stone representing Joseph representing Messiah Yahushua our burden bearer. It is especially relevant personally to me right now.

I will take a careful look at refining the article.

Blessed by your visit and insightful comment thank you for reading.

Shalom to you as well. Have a blessed day.


Ann 4 years ago

Shalom ! Thank you so much for all the insights and wisdom from the articles. You don't know how much Im looking for bible studies like this . I'm truly blessed and finding ur hub is like finding gold . Thanks to Holy Spirit that works through you . May Jesus bless you abundantly and give u more wisdom . I m looking fwd to read more . Shalom from Singapore !


Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 4 years ago from Southern Minnesota Author

Shalom Ann, I am pleased that you have been enjoying the articles. His Word is so full of all the insight and wisdom we so desperately need.

I rejoice at Your word

As one who finds great treasure ~ Psalm 119:162

Thank you for your prayer, visit, and encouraging comment

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working