Summary: This is a study of the book of Genesis. Genesis and Revelation are two of the most disputed books in the Bible. The premise of this study is the foundation of creation.
Note: When doing a study on a book in the Bible you use a lot of resources. The major influence for me on this study of Genesis is The Genesis Record by Henry Morris.
1. And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I
may tell you [that] which shall befall you in the last days.
I want us to notice this phrase "in the last days". Tell me what does it mean to you? I want a couple of answers.
Does it mean the same to us as it does the Israelites? It could. But it also may refer to the coming of the time when the tribes will not be so recognized. It could have double meaning.
2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto
Israel your father.
Jacob not knowing how long he has to live but still having faith that God would one day deliver his seed into Canaan takes time to gather in this children to bless and sometimes curse them.
3 Reuben, thou [art] my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength,
the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy
father's bed; then defiledst thou [it]: he went up to my couch.
He we see the contrast of what Reuben should have been and what he truly was. He should have been the leader. He should have been the strength. He should have been the man of good character. He should have carried the power but he never did. Why? Because he lost the respect of his brothers. Once you lose the respect of your peers then it starts going down hill.
Reuben could not be the leader and the heir to his fathers wealth because he defiled his fathers bed we see this in Genesis 35:22
Genesis 35:22 And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and
lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard [it]. Now the sons of
Jacob were twelve:
You know alot of children lose the respect for their parents. You can tell by their attitude they have. There is no respect. Why? Because there is no! discipline. Oh the love is there but the discipline is not there and there is no respect. It also can happen because of something the father or mother had done. They no longer listen because their character had been flawed.
Do you think that this should have kept him from this position?
Could we apply this to the qualifications for leadership in the Christian church?
For more information look at pg 1908 in Full Life Study Bible.
We do see a good example of this in Reubens life early when he tried to talk his brothers out of killing and selling Joseph. They would not listen.
Genesis 42:22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is
Why would they not listen? Because there was no respect.
Remember Jacob says that he was unstable. As water. There was no stability. He wavered in his life. Some people in their walk with the Lord they are unstable. They want some of God but not all. They want to change some but not all. They want to give some but not all.
No prophet came out of this tribe. The only mention of anyone from here was the two opposers of Moses in Numbers 16 Dathan and Abiram
5. Simeon and Levi [are] brethren; instruments of cruelty [are in] their
6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine
honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their
self-will they digged down a wall.
7 Cursed [be] their anger, for [it was] fierce; and their wrath, for it was
cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Simeon and Levi now both had an opportunity to be the head of the family. No but they sinned. Remember in Shechem when their sister was raped the killed the whole city. Their father was not proud for they had done it in anger and revenge. Probably even out of their own selfish desires and not for their sister.
So as we will see in their future there is division among them. Simeon has a place on the coast of the Israelite land and later was modified to include other divided lands. And we know of the Levites who had cities in every tribe.
Although the Levites actually had a high position. This is believed because of their stance they took at the scene of the golden calf in Exodus 32:26. Now they are a privileged tribe. This is grace. God takes one and turns them into a new person working for the Lord.