Edits, corrections and cross references by The Firmament
The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs of the House of Israel is the collected words of the twelve sons of Jacob which they spoke to their children. Their testaments have been passed down throughout the generations of their posterity. In these testaments, the Patriarchs of Israel recount the events that shaped their lives and leave their posterity instruction, to love God and keep His Commandments. Their father Jacob had gathered his sons at the time of his death to bless and instruct them as well.
The Blessings of Jacob in Genesis 49
“And Jacob called to his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, you sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel, your father.
Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it: he went up to my couch.
Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. 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.
Judah, you are he whom your brethren shall praise: your hand shall be in the neck of your enemies; your father’s children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, you are gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until he comes whose right it is to reign; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
Zebulon shall dwell at the haven of the sea and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for Your salvation, O Lord.
Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
Naphtali is a hind let loose: he gives goodly words.
Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of your father, who shall help you; and by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren.
Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.
All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that which their father spoke to them, and blessed them; every one.”Genesis 49:1-28
The Patriarchs were the 23rd generation from Adam. From them we get a recounting of their lives at that time. They found themselves prophesied of and suffering the consequences of disobedience to their father. We can learn even more about their lives not only in the Book of Genesis, but also in the more detailed account in the Book of Jasher and the Book of Jubilees. Joseph and Asneth is one of the greatest love stories ever told. If you can relate to all these people as your fore-fathers and family, it may be that you are one of their progeny. If that is the case, then rejoice! Rejoice! It is prophesied that the children of Israel are the Elect who will return to the LORD their God in the latter days and love Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength and keep His Commandments. As Y’hoshua said, “If you are Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.” John 8:39
As it says in Hosea, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there it shall be said to them, You are the children of the living God. Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.” Hosea 1:10-11
The Lost Tribes of the House of Israel have been scattered over time. Y’hoshua instructed his disciples, “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 10:5-6
The apostle James addressed his general epistle “…to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad…” James 1:1
The tribes are by no means “lost” for we know they dwell primarily in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. However, they have lost their identity as the progeny of Abraham. By reading The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs of the House of Israel, perhaps you will reconnect with this family tree and remember your roots.
“For the earnest expectation of the whole creation waits for the manifestation of the children of God.”