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WHAT CAN BE LEARNED FROM THE LIFE OF THE TRIBE OF BENJAMIN?

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"Benjamin is a wolf that tears in pieces, in the morning he devours the prey and in the evening, he divides the spoil."

Genesis 49:27

BACKGROUND OF THE TRIBE:

Benjamin means "Son of My Right Hand." The Hebrew term speaks of the "favored position, or the position of power and authority. Benjamin was the last son of the patriarch jacob and his wife Rachel, who died at his birth in approximately 1875 B.C. And he was the only one of Jacob's sons born in Palestine between Bethel and Ephrath.

His mother had thought to name him: BEN-ONI, "Son of My Sorrow." But his father had different ideas for his sons, choosing instead to name him "The Son of My Right Hand." (Genesis 35:18) The man Benjamin was the ancestral source or head of the tribe of Benjamin.

He was the younger brother of Joseph, with 10 of the sons, being through Jacob's first-wife Leah. Benjamin himself became the father of 10 sons, who are names in Genesis 46:21

THEIR FIERCE WARLIKE SPIRIT

In God's inspired prophetic blessing pronounced through Jacob, in Genesis 49:27; Benjamin is likened to a "wolf that ravens in the morning, and in the evening devours the spoil." The Hebrew term for "wolf" here is ZEEB.

In Palestine, the wolf is a rather large, light colored dog. Unlike those of the Western world, they do not hunt in packs, but they more resemble the proverbial "lone wolf," which you may have read of or heard about. They are nocturnal in character with a natural readiness to destroy.

For these reasons, God likens the man and the tribe of Benjamin to a wolf, for they were "fierce warriors," whose war-like courage made them men of great reknown. It was a bravery seen not only in their warfare against the foreign nations, but in civil wars against the wickedness of the other tribes of Israel themselves, when there was sin in the camp.

They were bold and unintimidated, as need be; and such was the case of the sin in Gibeah mentioned in Judges 20, as well as on other occasions. Judges 5:14, 1 Sam. 9:21, 1 Kings 2:8, Judges 3:15, 19:16-25, 20:1

WHAT DOES IT MEAN "BENJAMIN SHALL RAVEN?"

The word "ravin or raven" simply means

"To seek to plunder or prey, to eat, or feed voraciously. To seize or spoil or prey. To devour plunder eagerly.

The prophetic blessing of Jacob which states that "Benjamin shall raven as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he will divide the spoil;" speaks of the fearless courage and fierce and warlike character of the tribe in battle.

The tribe of Banjamin had many distinguished slingers and archers such as in Judges 20:16, where we read of 700 "left-handed" slingers who could sling stones at a hair and not miss! One such Benjamite by the name of Ulam, had 150 sons and grandsons who were expert archers. (1 Chron 8:40) while King Asa had an army comprised of 280,000 valient warriors from the tribe of Benjamin. (2 Chron. 14:8, 17:7)

We see this type of bold, courageous and unintimidated spirit in the left-handed judge Ehud and in the Psalmist David's ode of honour to the warlike bravery of Saul the first king of Israel, and his son Jonathan who jeopardized their lives in the high places. (2 Sam. 1:19-27) For they too sprang from this heroic tribe.

At the time of the Exodus, Benjamin was comprised of 35,400 and their place or position was with the standard of Ephraim, on the west of the tabernacle. (Numbers 2:22) They numbered among the spies sent into Palestine in Numbers 13:9, sending the warrior Palti, the son of Raphu. (Num. 13:9) And at the division of the land, Elidad, son of Chislon. (Num 34:21)

THE STRATEGIC PLACEMENT OF THE TRIBE:

Benjamin held the main avenues of approach to the highlands, from the east and the west, by which Joshua led Israel past Ai, from Gilgal; as well as the longer ascents from the west, along which the battle was so often fought in the valley of Aijalon.

Nehemiah gives the Valley of Hinnom as their southern boundary. They also sat astride a great highway connecting north and south which was a district calling for bravery and war-like courage; hence the multitude of skilled archers and slingers who cultivated the use of both of their hands, giving them the distinct advantage in battle. (Judges 20:16, 1 Chron. 8:40, 12:2) These charactristics are reflected in the blessing spoken by Jacob on their behalf. (Gen. 49:27)

They fought in the days of Deborah and Barak when the captain of Jabin's army named Sisera and his army ized Israel. (Judges 5:14)

THE HISTORY OF THE TRIBE:

When Israel entered Canaan, the portion of land allotted to Benjamin was in direct proportion to it's small number, encompassing the districts of Ephraim, Dan, and Judah in central Palestine. We see it's boundaries described in Joshua 18:11-20

It was a highly cultivated area, with 36 townships, among which we find Jericho, (that ancient city which was conquered under the direction of the Almighty) Bethel, (Whose name means "House of Bread") Gibeon, Ramah, (famous for it's prophets) Jerusalem, (capital of Judah) and Bethagla. The first group of cities mentioned in Joshua 18:21-25, were cities taken by conquest. The latter, in Joshua 18:25-28 were occuppied in accordance with a treaty described in Joshua 9.

IN THE DIVISION OF THE KINGDOM:

When the kingdom of Israel split after the reign of Solomon, the tribe of Benjamin espoused the cause of Judah, forming together with it, a united kingdom in themselves. We read of them in such a close proximity as to be included under the single term "JUDAH." (1 Kings 11:13, 12:20)

They chose themselves wives at one time at least, from among the dancers of Shiloh, i.e. from among those women who danced in the fields of Shiloh at harvest time.

This article by Breakthrough Intl 5214 South 2nd Avenue, Everett, Wa 98203-4113 is part of a series that was also aired on television in the Pacific Northwest. If you have enjoyed this prophetic teaching which is part of a series on the Benjamin Company, you can find other articles like it, at:

The Skylark Art Studio At Talus Fulfilling Your Prophetic Destiny Couer de Lyon Skylark's Oakleaf JournalsSkylark Le Alouette Prophetique

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