The Birthright Promises: Abraham to Ephraim
This is a quick overview of the birthright promises given to God’s people as recorded in Genesis. This paper is a simple outline of the birthrights that were passed down. For a better understanding of the story you’ll have to read Genesis chapters 12-49. Part 1: Abraham to Isaac
Starting in chapter 12 of Genesis, Abraham is chosen by God to be the father of many nations and whom the world would be blessed through. (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:16; 15:3-5, 17:1-7; 22:17)
The promises given to Abraham by God are:
You will be a great nation
You will be a multitude of nations
Your name shall be great
You will be a blessing
Blessed be everyone who blesses you
Cursed be everyone who curses you
In you all families of the earth will be blessed
Your descendants shall be as numerous as the stars in heaven
Your descendants will be as numerous as the sand on the seashore
Kings will come from you
You will be exceedingly fruitful
Sarah, Abraham's wife, was also promised blessings and so were her children (Genesis 17:15-16):
She will be blessed
She will be a mother of many nations
Kings of people will come from her
Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.
Ishmael was Abraham's firstborn from Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant. (16:3-4)
Isaac is his second born from Sarah. (21:1-3)
Isaac receives the birthright promises, Ishmael does not. (17:16-22)
Ishmael receives his own promises from God, but not those promised to Abraham and Sarah (16:10-12). Ishmael will :
Be a wild man
His hand shall be against every man
Every mans hand will be against him
He will dwell in the presence of all his brethren
God confirms these blessings to Isaac after Abraham dies (26:3-5):
I will be with you
I will give you all these lands
I will make your descendents multiply as the stars of heaven
In your seed, all nations of the earth will be blessed
Part 2: Isaac to Jacob
Isaac marries Rebekah. (24:67)
Rebekah receives more promises (24:60):
Your descendants will possess the gates of their enemies
Rebekah will be the mother of thousands of ten thousands
Isaac and Rebekah have twin boys: Esau and Jacob.
Esau was born first and Jacob was born second. (25:24-26)
The birthright promises skipped Esau and went to Jacob. (25:23, 29-34)
Jacob was blessed by his father Isaac: (27:27-29)
May the Lord give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine
Let people serve you
Many nations will bow down to you
Be master over your brethren
Let your mother’s sons bow down to you
Cursed be everyone who curses you
Blessed be those who bless you
Esau also received promises, but not the birthright (27:39-40).
Dwell in the fatness of the earth and with the dew of heaven from above
Live by his sword
Serve his brother (Jacob)
Break his yoke from his neck
Part 3: Jacob to Joseph
Jacob marries two sisters: Leah and Rachel. (29:15-30)
From Leah, Rachel, and their two maidservants (Bilhah and Zilpah), Jacob has 12 sons (35:23-26):
(These sons are listed in order from oldest to youngest)
1. Reuben 2. Simeon 3. Levi 4. Judah 5. Dan 6. Naphtali 7. Gad 8. Asher 9. Issachar 10.Zebulun 11.Joseph 12.Benjamin
God changes Jacob’s name to Israel (35:10).
Joseph, who is #11 of the 12 sons, is sold into slavery by his brothers. (37:28)
God ends up exalting him to the highest rank in Egypt as promised to him. (41:39, 40)
ALL of the blessings and birthright promises given to Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Jacob (Israel) are passed on to Joseph. Reuben (the first born) does not receive the blessings and birthright promises and neither does Judah (as assumed).
Genesis 49: 22-26
22. Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and
24. But his bow abode in his 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:)
25. Even by the God of the father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
26. The blessings of thy 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.
1 Chronicles 5:1-2
1. 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.
2. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and from him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s
All of the birthright and blessings go to Joseph’s sons...but Judah is given the right to rule:
8. Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
9. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he crouched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10.The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come: and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11.Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in grapes blood:
12. His eyes shall be red with wine and his teeth white with milk. NOTE #1:
Shiloh = Jesus
“Shiloh” means “to whom dominion belongs”
Jesus comes twice to this world: In The First Coming of Our Lord 2000 some years ago, Jesus:
1) Fulfilled the law 2) Gathered His bride In The Second Coming of Our Lord, He will:
1) Fulfill the scepter 2) Gather the nations
Part 4: Joseph to Ephraim (and Manasseh)
In Egypt Joseph had two sons: Ephraim and Manasseh. (41:50-52)
All 12 brothers become tribes except for Joseph. Joseph is not made a tribe but his two sons (Ephraim and Manasseh) become tribes, as a double portion, a blessing. (48:5,21,22)
The birthright is passed through Joseph and goes to Ephraim and Manasseh, but Ephraim is given the greater blessing (48:12-20) .
Ephraim is given the right to the father’s name: Israel.
***Realize that there are actually 13 tribes altogether.*** Even though Levi does not have land possession, Levi is still a tribe!
((READ the Thirteen lesson later))
Moving forward through history........
After Joseph’s death,the children of Israel become slaves in Egypt.
After 400 years they are led out of Egypt under Moses and wander in the desert for 40 years.
The children of Israel are then led into the Promised Land under Joshua.
The 13 Tribes of Israel eventually become a nation, occupying the territory promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
After the reign of King Solomon over the nation of Israel, the tribes split into two kingdoms: Israel and Judah. Israel is the Northern Kingdom, headed by the tribe of Ephraim. Judah is the Southern Kingdom, headed by the tribe of Judah. There are 9 ½ tribes to the North, 2 ½ tribes to the South, and the Tribe of Levi is scattered throughout. The people of the Northern Kingdom: Israel, are called Israelites and the people of the Southern Kingdom are Judahites (or Jews). Only the Israelites of the Southern Kingdom are Jews.
Ephraim (Israel) is taken into captivity 745 B.C. by the Assyrians. Judah is taken into captivity 573 B.C. by the Babylonians.
The Jews returned from captivity after 70 years. The northern tribes never return.
These northern tribes are the 10 “lost” tribes of Israel.
But are they really lost? Or do they just have different names?
Wherever these "lost" tribes are, they must be as numerous as "the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore".
Ephraim and Manasseh receive the birthright, not the Jews!
The birthright promises AREN’T fulfilled when they become tribes.
The birthright promises ARE fulfilled when they become nations, a multitude of nations, and many kings!
"To Ephraim and Manasseh : Blessed be everyone that blesses you, cursed be everyone who curses you, you will be exceedingly fruitful, you will possess the gates of your enemies, you will be a blessing to all nations
you will be as numerous as the sand on the seashore and as the stars in heaven."
Hosea 1:9-11 9 Then God said: “Call his name Lo-Ammi, For you are not My people, And I will not be your God. 10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, You are sons of the living God.’ 11 Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel Shall be gathered together, And appoint for themselves one head; And they shall come up out of the land, For great will be the day of Jezreel!
Note: The children of Judah and the children of Israel are not the same.
Becoming a son of the living God can only be obtained through being born again by the Spirit of God. Where & when did the children of Israel become "not my people",then as numerous as the sand on the seashore,then a multitude of nations, and then "sons of the living God"?
((READ OUR WHO ARE THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL LESSON)) ALSO ((Read Our Jews, Gentiles and Heathens Lesson)) Back to Old Testament Truth >>