All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt.Exodus 1:5(NASB)
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the three original patriarchs of the Jewish nation, and their history began when Abram was called by God to leave the Ur of the Chaldees, and to go into a land which God would show him.
The genealogy of Abraham and the ongoing history of his descendants, continues into Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and can be tracked throughout the writings of holy men of God whom the Lord used to pen the Old Testament Scriptures.
Israel's lineage can be tracked to Jesus, His disciples, and the early Church. It can be traced through parts of the New Testament and other historic writings, down through 2000 years of continuous, worldwide dispersion, anti-Semitic aggression, and satanic hatred against God's chosen people.
The origin and historic importance of Israel is stamped on the walls of Hitler's death-camps and continues to be chronicled in the newspapers of the 21st century – right up to the present day.
The nation of Israel was born in a day, in 1948 and many now live in the land which the Lord their God promised to their forefathers, forever. BUT, they remain a nation in unbelief. They continue to be a rebellious nation against the Lord, a nation that rejected their Messiah. They are the dry, lifeless bones of Ezekiel 37, which will only live again by the power of the Holy Spirit of God, when they acknowledge their sin and receive Jesus as their Messiah-King.
In this verse early in Exodus, we discover: "All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt" The twelve tribes that make up the whole nation of Israel, are all descended from those twelve sons of Jacob.
Reuben and Simeon were the two eldest children, who shamed their father by their ungodly actions. The priestly line came through Levi, while Judah was chosen to father the royal line through David the king – through whom would be born the Messiah of Israel and Saviour of the world.
A double portion of Jacob's blessing fell to Joseph (through his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh) who was used by God to save his brothers and their offspring from the terrible famine that ravished the land of Israel, by bringing them into Egypt where they remained for 400 years. And we discover that Benjamin, Israel's youngest son, was the forefather of Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles who penned so much of New Testament Scripture that clarifies God's plan of salvation, teaches us His objective for the Church, and guides us into all truth.
Issachar and Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher, complete the sons of Jacob, and together, these twelve men are the founding fathers of the nation of Israel. May we never forget that those who bless Israel will be blessed, and those who curse them will themselves be cursed, for salvation comes through the Jews – for salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, our God and our Saviour.
Heavenly Father, as I begin to understand Your amazing plan of salvation, which had to come through a perfect, sinless, Kinsman-Redeemer, I begin to understand the incredible significance of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the nation of Israel. Through them came God's promised human Seed, born as the holy, eternal, Son of God, into the race which He Himself created. Thank You that the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. Thank You that He died to pay the price for the redemption of the whole world. Thank You that Jesus rose again to give us new life. And thank You that He is my Redeemer. I pray for the nation of Israel, that they will one day come to national repentance and cry out to Him Who comes in name of the Lord, for their salvation. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.