Who are the 12 Tribes of Israel?

Many years ago in the ancient land of Canaan, there lived a famous Hebrew leader named Jacob. He had two wives, Leah and Rachel, and two concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah. Together, they had a bustling household with twelve sons and at least one daughter. The sons' names were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin, and their sister was Dinah. These children were not just any kids; they were the descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Fast forward many years, the Hebrews found themselves in the land of Egypt, but not on a vacation - they were slaves. There Yah used a man named Moses to bring them out of slavery. But the journey back to Canaan (the Promised Land) wasn't a walk in the park. The Hebrews spent 40 years in the wilderness, learning and understanding the Torah. Along the way, they were organized into 12 tribes.

Each tribe was made up of tens of thousands of people and named after a son or grandson of Jacob (Israel). As a result, the Hebrew people became known as the Israelites, or the 12 tribes of Israel. The names of the tribes were Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Joseph, and Zebulun.

Read the article. Can you answer the questions below?

  1. Why did the Hebrews become known as the tribes of Israel?
  2. Where do you think the 12 tribes of Israel live today?
  3. Teach your children about the Twelve Tribes of Israel with our Twelve Tribes of Israel Activity Book

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