Excerpt: ...GAD'S HATRED ASHER'S LAST WORDS BENJAMIN EXTOLS JOSEPH II THE SONS OF JACOB SIGNIFICANT NAMES Jacob raised all his sons in the fear of God, and taught them the ways of a pious life, using severity when there was need to make his lessons impressive. He reaped the fruits of his labor, for all his sons were godly men of stainless ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...GAD'S HATRED ASHER'S LAST WORDS BENJAMIN EXTOLS JOSEPH II THE SONS OF JACOB SIGNIFICANT NAMES Jacob raised all his sons in the fear of God, and taught them the ways of a pious life, using severity when there was need to make his lessons impressive. He reaped the fruits of his labor, for all his sons were godly men of stainless character.1 The ancestors of the twelve tribes resembled their fathers in piety, and their acts were no less significant than those of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Like these three, they deserve to be called the Fathers of Israel.2 God made a covenant with them as He had made with the three Patriarchs, and to this covenant their descendants owe their preservation.3 The very names of the tribes point to the redemption of Israel. Reuben is so called, because God "sees" the affliction of His people; Simon, because He "hears" its groaning; Levi, He "joins" Himself unto His people when Israel suffers; Judah, Israel will "thank" God for its deliverance; Issachar, it will be "rewarded" for its suffering with a recompense; Zebulon, God will have a "dwelling-place" in Israel; Benjamin, He swore by His "right hand" to succor His people; Dan, He will "judge" the nation that subjugates Israel; Naphtali, He bestowed the Torah upon Israel, and she drops sweetness like the "honeycomb"; Gad, the Lord gave manna unto Israel, and it was like "coriander" seed; Asher, all nations will call Israel "happy"; and Joseph, because God will "add" a second redemption of Israel to the first-redemption from the wicked kingdom at the end as from Egypt in former times.4 Not only the names of Jacob's sons are significant, but the names of their sons as well. Thus the names of the sons of Issachar express the activities of the tribe known for its learning above all the others. The oldest was called Tola, "worm"; as the silk worm is distinguished for its mouth, with which it spins, so also the men of the tribe of Issachar for the wise words of their mouth. The...Read Less
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