In time these northern tribes lost their identity through assimilation with other peoples, and thus the tribe of Reuben became known in legend as one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel.
Tribal territory The Tribe of Reuben was allocated the territory immediately east of the Dead Sea, reaching from the Arnon river in the south, and as far north as the Dead Sea stretched, with an eastern border vaguely defined by the land dissolving into desert; the territory included the plain of Madaba.
Bilhah gave birth to two sons, whom Rachel claimed as her own and named Dan and Naphtali. Genesis 35:22 expressly calls Bilhah Jacob’s concubine, a pilegesh. The Testament of Naftali says that Bilhah and Zilpah’s father was named Rotheus.
Nevertheless, when Tiglath-Pileser III annexed the kingdom of Israel in about 733-731 BC, Gad also fell victim to the actions of the Assyrians, and the tribe were exiled; in the Talmud, it is Gad, along with the tribe of Reuben, that are portrayed as being the first victims of this fate.
In Matthew 1:1–6 and Luke 3:31–34 of the New Testament, Jesus is described as a member of the tribe of Judah by lineage. Revelation 5:5 also mentions an apocalyptic vision of the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
When Joshua led the Israelites into the land of Canaan the Levites were the only Israelite tribe that received cities but were not allowed to be landowners, because “the Lord God of Israel is their inheritance, as he said to them” (Book of Joshua, Joshua 13:33).
Responding to a growing threat from Philistine incursions, the Israelite tribes formed a strong, centralised monarchy during the eleventh century BC. The first king of this new entity was Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin (1 Samuel 9:1–2), which at the time was the smallest of the tribes.
Conquered by the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V, they were exiled to upper Mesopotamia and Medes, today modern Syria and Iraq. The Ten Tribes of Israel have never been seen since.
The descendants of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin have survived as Jews because they were allowed to return to their homeland after the Babylonian Exile of 586 bc.
The “unloved” Leah bore seven of Jacob’s children— six sons, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, as well as a daughter, Dinah. Jacob’s concubine Bilhah gave birth to Dan and Naphtali (Genesis 30:3-8), while another slave, Zilpah, gave him Gad and Asher (Genesis 30:9-13).
Jacob is said to have had twelve sons by four women, his wives, Leah and Rachel, and his concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah, who were, in order of their birth, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin, all of whom became the heads of their own family groups, later known
At its height, the territory Manasseh occupied spanned the Jordan River, forming two “half-tribes”, one on each side; the eastern half-tribe was, by most accounts, almost entirely discontiguous with the western half-tribe, only slightly touching at one corner – the southwest of East Manasseh and the northeast of West
Jericho is famous in biblical history as the first town attacked by the Israelites under Joshua after they crossed the Jordan River (Joshua 6).
Gad is mentioned a final time in the Books of Samuel in 2 Samuel 24:18, coming to David and telling him to build an altar to God after God stops the plague that David had chosen as punishment. The place indicated by Gad for the altar is “in the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite”.