The Tribe of Zebulun
Zebulun was the tenth son of Jacob. Jacob was the second son of Rebekah and Isaac. Jacob loved Rachel, the youngest daughter of Laban. Jacob promised to serve Laban seven years for Rachel. Completing the seven years Jacob expected to marry Rachel, but was tricked to marry Leah, the older daughter. Zilpah was the hand maiden sent with Leah. Jacob worked another seven years to marry Rachel and her handmaid Bilah. (Genesis 29:15-30).
Zebulen is the sixth son of Leah and Jacob and the last child that Leah conceived. And Leah said, “God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun.” (Genesis 30:19-20). The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, Jahleel. (Genesis 46:14). The sons of Zebulun became the family of Sered, the family of the Sardites: of Elon, the family of the Elonites: of Jahleel, the family of the Jahleelites. (Numbers 26:26).
The message that Jacob gave to Zebulun was “Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.” (Genesis 49:13).
The LORD changed Jacob’s name to Israel after he wrestled with God. Jacob was called Israel because he was a prince and has power with God and with men, and prevailed. (Genesis 32:24-32). Jacob had taken his family to dwell in the land of Canaan.
Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob, Israel. Jacob made Joseph a coat of many colors. The brothers of Joseph saw their father loved Joseph more that all of them and they hated him. They plotted against Joseph. The brothers were feeding their father’s flock in Shechem (some 60 miles from Hebron where they lived) when Jacob, Israel, sent Joseph to check on them. Joseph couldn’t find his brothers in Shechem and was found by a man wandering in the fields. The man sent Joseph to Dothan to find his brothers. When the brothers saw him coming they conspired against him to slay him. Reuben, his oldest brother, delivered Joseph out of the hands of his brothers and suggested not to kill him but to let him be cast into a pit in the wilderness. The brothers stripped Joseph out of his coat of many colors and cast Joseph into a pit without water. There was a company of Ishmaelites that came from Gilead with their camels bearing spices, balm, and myrrh on their way to Egypt. It was Judah who suggested selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. It was the Ishmaelites who carried Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, an officer of the Pharaoh, and captain of the guard. The brothers took Joseph’s coat of many colors, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood. They then returned to their father. Jacob, Israel, knew his beloved son had been devoured by an evil beast. Jacob, Israel, rented his clothes and put on sack clothes and mourned for Joseph for many days and could not be comforted. (Genesis 37:1-36).
There was then seven years of famine in all the land of Egypt and over all the face of the earth. Joseph was the governor over the land, and it was his to sell to all the people of the land. When the famine was over all the face of the earth Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians and the other countries that came into Egypt to buy corn. Joseph gathered up all the money that was in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought. All the cattle and all the land, and at last the Egyptians themselves, became the property of Pharaoh. Jacob, Israel, sent ten of his sons to Egypt to buy corn. Benjamin was kept behind to protect him from harm.
The brothers came from Canaan to buy corn. Joseph recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him. He remembered the dreams which he had dreamed of his brothers, and said unto them, they were spies. Three days later to prove they were not spies Joseph directed his brethren to return to their home and bring the youngest brother, Benjamin. Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man’s money into his sack, and to give them provision for their way Simeon was left behind to make sure they came back.
Once they all returned with Benjamin Joseph made himself known to all his brothers telling them he was Joseph who they sold into Egypt. Joseph asked if his father was alive and told them to bring him to Egypt. They were afraid but were told to hurry and get his father and tell him his son Joseph is alive. Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. Jacob, Israel, could hardly believe Joseph was alive, and governor over all the land of Egypt. Jacob, Israel went to Egypt to see his son Joseph. Judah was sent ahead to inform Joseph to meet the father at Goshen. Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Jacob, Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. Joseph told Pharaoh, his father, brothers, and their flocks, and herds, and all that they have, have come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen. Joseph presented his family to the Pharaoh and Jacob, Israel, blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses. That is how the Israelites came into the land of Egypt. (Genesis 39-48).
Zebulun was one of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household that came with Jacob to reunite with his brother Joseph. (Exodus 1:1-4).
Moses blessed the children of Israel before his death. The blessing given to Zebulun was “Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. 19. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. (Deuteronomy 33:18-19).
When the wandering in the wilderness was over the tribes divided the land. The tribe of Zebulun was the third lot. Their inheritance was unto Sarid: their border went up toward the sea, and Maralah, and reached to Dabbasheth, and reached to the river that is before Jokneam. Turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrising unto the border of Chislothtabor, then goes out to Daberath, and goes up to Japhia, from there passes on along on the east to Gittahhepher, to Ittahkazin, and goes out to Remmonmethoar to Neah. The border compasses it on the north side to Hannathon: and the outgoings thereof are in the valley of Jiphthahel; Kattath, Nahallal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem. There were twelve cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages. (Joshua 19:10-16). Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries (04522. A burden (as causing to faint), i.e. a tax in the form of forced labor). ( Judges 1:30).
The tribe of Zebulun was in the army of David. They were expert all instruments of war. They could keep rank and they were sincerely loyal to David. (1 Chronicles 12:33).