Maps - 12 Tribes of Israel
Jacob, the grandson of Abraham the Patriarch, was renamed Israel when God appeared to him when he was leaving Padn-Aram and blessed him. Jacob produced twelve sons, each of whom became the father of one of the twelve tribes of Israel: Reuven, Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Issachar, Zevulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, and Benjamin. Reuven, Gad, and Menashe (the 2 &1/2 tribes) settled in their nachala [inheritance] on the eastern bank of the Jordan River. Even though they lived outside of Biblical borders of Eretz Canaan, that they still belonged to the same nation. Of course, the boundries of all of these entities are speculative, and sources are in disagreement on many points.
The exact boundaries of the tribes cannot be defined, but their relative position and the comparative extent of their territories are indicated approximately on maps. Sometimes the claims of the tribes by promise extended beyond their actual possession by conquest, as in the instances of Judah, Dan, Asher, and Manassah. The land of the Philistines and the independent tribes of Geshur, Bashan, Maaohah, and the territory assigned to the half-tribe of Manasseh, east of the Jordan, are represented. It is a vain attempt to define with precision the boundaries of the several tribes. The effacing hand of time has thoroughly obliterated them; but their relative position, magnitude, and importance may be noted, together with their natural scenery and soil.
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