The Twelve Sons of Jacob, their name meanings:
Reuben: from Leah, The Lord has seen my humiliation, but now my husband will love me. Genesis 29:32-35
Simeon: from Leah, The Lord, hearing that I am unloved, /has given me this son also.
Levi: from Leah, My husband will love and keep me, /because I have borne him three sons.
Judah: from Leah, Now I will praise and revere the Lord.
Dan: from Bilhah, God has given judgement for me. Genesis 30:6-23
Naphtali: from Bilhah, I have struggled with my sister and I have won.
Gad: from Zilpah, I have won and good fortune has come.
Asher: from Zilpah, Happiness has come,/ all will call me happy.
Issachar: from Leah, God has rewarded me, /because I gave my maid to my husband.
Zebulon: from Leah, God has given me a precious gift./ Now my husband will honour me because I have presented him with six sons.
Joseph: from Rachel, God has taken away my humiliation.
Benjamin: from Rachel, Son of the right hand. Genesis 35:18
Also there are the sons of Joseph by Asenath, a daughter of Potiphera. They were blessed by Jacob and given his name of Israel.
Manasseh: Forget the bitterness of the past.
Ephraim: Double fruitfulness.
There have been reams written about the meaning of Jacob’s son’s names and the order of their listings. We know there is significance with this, because nothing in the Bible is without some meaning and assistance for our understanding.
Here is the great redemption story, that can be seen from this amazing sequence of names:
In the order of birth:
Those who see the Son, [Reuben] hear [Simeon] and obey Him, are joined with Him. [Levi] They will praise and revere the Lord, [Judah] who judges. [Dan] For those who fight and prevail, [Naphtali] fortune [Gad] and happiness [Asher] is their reward [Issachar] and He will honour those, [Zebulon] whose reproach has been taken away and they shall be included as sons [Joseph] along with the Son of His right hand. [Benjamin]
In the order of Revelation 7:5-8:
I will praise the Lord, [Judah] for He has looked on me, [Reuben] and good fortune comes. [Gad] Happy am I, [Asher] because my striving to keep faith [Naphtali] allows me to forget my trials. [Manasseh] God hears me, [Simeon] and has joined me to Him. [Levi] He has paid the price for me, [Issachar] and my Lord will honour me. [Zebulon] God will add me [Joseph] to the Son of His right hand. [Benjamin]
Regarding Ephraim: he received a greater blessing from Jacob, Genesis 48:17-20 and his descendants were generally the leaders of the 10 Northern tribes. Hosea 13:1
Psalm 108:8 God says: Ephraim is My helmet and Judah My sceptre.
Jeremiah 31:20 Ephraim is still a dear son to Me, I will again act kindly toward him.
Hosea 11:8-9 How can I give you up…I shall not turn and destroy Ephraim.
Hosea 12:8 Ephraim says: Surely I have become rich, with all my wealth I avoid sin.
From the historical, archaeological, linguistic and heraldic records, combined with how the prophesies of Jacob, of Moses; Deut. 33:13-17 and others, have been fulfilled, it is evident that Ephraim and Manasseh are today represented by the British Commonwealth and the U.S.A. They are comparatively wealthy nations; they have a Christian heritage, but have largely fallen away from the faith. They think their riches and power will keep them safe, but the Lord will test them and only those who ‘fight against sin and prevail’, who ‘revere and obey Him’, will ‘obtain the honour’ of being ‘added as sons’ to the ‘Son of God’s right hand’. Jeremiah 30:1-11, Hebrews 12:5-6, Jeremiah 5:26, Ezekiel 20:38