Exodus Chapter 1 Verses 1-6
:1 “Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. 6 And Joseph
died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.”
There are three things that seem to stand out about this passage of scripture: the names of the children of Israel; the number of the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob; and the death of all that generation including the death of Joseph.
When each of the sons of Jacob was born they were named by either Leah or Rachel and the meaning of the name was based on the circumstances of their birth:
1. Gen. 29:32 "And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me." Thus the name Reuben means He looked.
2. Gen. 29:33 "And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon." Thus the name Simeon means hearing.
3. Gen. 29:34 "And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi." Thus the name Levi means joined.
4. Gen. 29:35 "And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing." Thus the name Judah means praise.
5. Gen. 30:6 "And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan." Thus the name Dan means judged.
6. Gen. 30:8 "And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali." Thus the name Napthali means wrestled.
7. Gen. 30:11 "And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad." Thus the name Gad means a troop.
8. Gen. 30:13 "And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher." Thus the name Asher means blessed.
9. Gen. 30:18 "And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar." Thus the name Issachar means hired.
10. Gen. 30:20 "And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun." Thus the name Zebulun means endowed.
11. Gen. 30:24 "And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son." Thus the name Joseph means adding.
12. Gen. 35:18 "And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin." Thus the name Benjamin means son of my right hand.
Based on the above names we, like the name of Reuben, know that the Lord has looked upon our affliction. Moreover, as the name of Simeon suggests, He has heard our prayers. Third, like the name of Levi suggest we have been joined unto the Lord by his covenant of redemption. Fourth, the name of Judah means praise, and because of the gracious work of God are we the praise of God.
Fifth, the name Dan means judged, and as a part of the elect family of God we were judged on the cross of Calvary as Christ was made to be sin for us that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. Sixth, the name Napthali means wrestling and it is in our experiences that we at times wrestle with the Lord for a blessing or for deliverance in our lives.
Seventh, the name Gad means a troop and we are to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ and to fight the good fight of faith. Eighth, the name Asher means blessed and we have been richly blessed in the Lord. Ninth, the name Issachar means hired and the Lord has made us servants unto him. Tenth, the name Zebulun means endowed and we have a great dowry from the Lord as we consider both the
gifts of God to us as we live in this time world and look forward to the eternal inheritance that awaits us where we will be joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Eleventh, the name Joseph means adding and we have eternal life added unto us, spiritual gifts added unto us and a home in heaven added unto us. Twelfth, the name Benjamin means son of my right hand and we are a part of the sons and daughters of God who stand on
his right hand at the last day.
The second thing that stands out about the above passage is the number of the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob.
The kingdom of Israel began based on a covenant that God had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God chose Jacob and changed his name to Israel. The man Jacob had twelve sons. These twelve sons married and multiplied into a multitude. The progeny of these twelve sons were divided into twelve tribes, commonly referred to as the twelve tribes of Israel. The tribes were known by the
names of the twelve sons of Jacob.
During the days of the great famine in Egypt, Jacob and his family came to live in Egypt under the protective care of Joseph: Exo 1:1 "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.
2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already." From these twelve sons and seventy persons grew a nation within Egypt of nearly three million people who were delivered out of Egypt
during the days of Moses.
In the wilderness God made a covenant with Israel and appointed over them twelve princes and seventy elders:
1. Num. 1: 4 "And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers. 5 And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur. 6 Of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 7 Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 8 Of Issachar; Nethaneel the son of Zuar. 9 Of Zebulun;
Eliab the son of Helon. 10 Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 11 Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni. 12 Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 13 Of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran. 14 Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 15 Of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan. 16 These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of
their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel."
2. Exo 24:1 "And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off."
3. Exo 24:9 "Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel."
4. Num 11:16 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee."
5. Num 11:24 "And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle."
6. Num 11:25 "And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease."
The twelve princes of the twelve tribes of Israel became the governors of Israel and the seventy elders became the judges of Israel. What later became known as the Sanhedrin counsel had its roots in the seventy elders.
This pattern of the kingdom is presented to us in type at the place known as Elim:
1. Exo 15:27 "And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters."
2. Num 33:9 "And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there." Elim was a place of refuge and comfort for the desert weary travelers. Here they refreshed themselves. Of course, this pointed back to the kingdom that began with twelve sons of Jacob
and seventy decendants.
It also pointed forward to a future kingdom of heaven that would have twelve apostles judging the twelve tribes of Israel and seventy elders:
1. Mat 10:1 "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease."
2. Mat 10:2 "Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother…"
3. Mat 10:5 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not."
4. Mat 11:1 "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."
5. Mat 19:28 "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
6. Luke 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."
7. Luke 10:17 "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."
The twelve apostles are the ones that Christ used as foundation stones to build his church kingdom upon: Eph. 2:20 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation
of God through the Spirit." The seventy elders are representative of the gospel ministry today who go at the direction of the Lord through the Holy Spirit.
The third thing that stands out in our subject passage is the death of all that generation including the death of Joseph. This is in harmony with the promise God made to Abraham: Gen. 15:13 “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four
hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” The book of Exodus is the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise.