Derr… Where did Dan go?

We were going over Revelation 7 in a Bible study Friday, and one of the ladies noticed something was off in the listing of the 12 tribes. Dan isn’t mentioned in Revelation, but both Joshua and Joshua’s son Manesseh are mentioned. This is bizarre, since every account of the 12 tribes mentions Dan, even the one in the end-times prophecy in Ezekiel.

So, what happened to Dan?

The twelve tribes, as named originally by Jacob’s blessing:

  1. Reuben (excellency of dignity and power, but shalt not excel)
  2. Simeon (will be divided in Jacob and scattered in Israel)
  3. Levi (will be divided in Jacob and scattered in Israel)
  4. Judah (brothers shall bow to him, will rule) * David was of Judah
  5. Zebulun (shall dwell at sea)
  6. Issachar (will choose to be a servant)
  7. Dan (will be the judge of his people, a serpent in the path)
  8. Gad (shall be overcome, but will overcome in the end)
  9. Asher (food shall be rich, and shall provide royal delicacies)
  10. Naphtali (a doe let loose that bears lovely fawns)
  11. Joseph (blessings abound – from God and from Jacob, set apart from his brothers)
  12. Benjamin (a ravenous wolf, devouring prey in the morning and dividing spoil in evening)

As named in Numbers, the princes that stood with Moses and Aaron

  1. Reuben 1 prince
  2. Simeon 1 prince
  3. Judah 1 prince
  4. Issachar 1 prince
  5. Zebulun 1 prince
  6. Joseph 2 princes, one for Manesseh and one for Ephriam
  7. Benjamin 1 prince
  8. Dan 1 prince
  9. Asher 1 prince
  10. Gad 1 prince
  11. Naphtali 1 prince
  12. (Aaron was standing for Levi)

1 Chronicles 5:1-2
Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.
For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:)

As named in the geneology in 1 Chron. 2:

  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi
  4. Judah
  5. Issachar
  6. Zebulun
  7. Dan
  8. Joseph
  9. Benjamin
  10. Naphtali
  11. Gad
  12. Asher

As named in 1 Chronicles 27 during the reign of David:

  1. Reuben
  2. Simeon
  3. Levi (Aaron mentioned separataly)
  4. Judah
  5. Issachar
  6. Zebulun
  7. Naphtali
  8. Ephriam, Manasseh (w/two halves of Manasseh listed separately) – these are the sons of Joseph
  9. Benjamin
  10. Dan
    in ch 26 it mentions Jerijah the Hebronite’s brethren being made rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, so perhaps the Gadites got rolled up in this account with one of those tribes, but I have no idea why Asher isn’t mentioned here

Judges 18:30
And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land.
(there’s no mention of a punishment here, but maybe this has something to do with why they’re left out of the Revelation?)

Ezekial 47:13
Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions.

As listed in Ezekial 48 (generally taken to be end-times prophecy), the land was divided into 13 portions

  1. Dan
  2. Asher
  3. Naphtali
  4. Manasseh
  5. Ephriam
  6. Reuben
  7. Judah
  8. Levi
  9. Benjamin
  10. Simeon
  11. Issachar
  12. Zebulun
  13. Gad

but there were still just 12 gates:

  • North: Reuben, Judah, Levi
  • East: Joseph, Benjamin, Dan
  • South: Simeon, Issachar, Zebulun
  • West: Gad, Asher, Naphtali

As named in the Revelation 7:

  1. Judah
  2. Reuben
  3. Gad
  4. Asher
  5. Naphtali
  6. Manasseh
  7. Simeon
  8. Levi
  9. Issachar
  10. Zebulun
  11. Joseph (which would have to be Ephriam, Joseph’s other son, since Manasseh is already listed separately)
  12. Benjamin
    * Dan is missing

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