“1 And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you IN THE LAST DAYS:
2 Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob,
And listen to Israel your father.
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,
My might and the beginning of my strength,
The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel,
Because you went up to your father’s bed;
Then you defiled it—
He went up to my couch.”
Within these blessing of Jacob over his 12 sons are prophecies concerning Messiah, first and foremost. But he plainly says that he is going to tell them through his pronouncements of things that will happen “IN THE LAST DAYS.” Church, that is our times.
Bear in mind now that these are supposed to be “Blessings.” But some of them sound more than a little strange.
Jacob was about to die and be gathered to his fathers. Knowing this, he called his sons to himself to speak a blessing over each one, which are recorded in Genesis 49.
Notice the name change from Jacob, which means, “Supplanter,” to Israel, his covenant name, which means, “Prince.” This name was given to him by Jesus in one of His pre-incarnate appearances. We’re going to discuss the significance of that later on.
Jacob had 12 sons by 4 different women. He had two wives: Leah and Rebecca, and two concubines, Bilhah and Zilpah.
He married Leah first, though he was really in love with Rebecca, her younger sister.
He thought he was marrying Rebecca on his wedding night but was deceived by his father-in-law, Laban, into marrying Leah first.
You see, Laban brought the elder sister, Lean, to Jacob with a veil over her face, so he did not know who it really was. Because of that, today the groom UNveils the bride before marrying her. He worked seven more years to pay the dowery of Rebecca so he could marry her.
This should have been a time of joy for all of them, especially for Reuben who was first born. The mantle of priesthood and kingship should have been given to him plus a double portion of blessing from Jacob. Sadly, it ended up being a reminder of something shameful he did earlier in his life.
You see, Reuben had done a very shameful thing. He went in to one of his father’s concubines and had sex with her. He thought he successfully hid his deed from his dad. Apparently, however, he was well aware of it.
As a result, instead of being given the office of priest as first born, that blessing was given to Levi. The crown of kingship went to Judah, and the first born blessing; in other words, the double portion, was given to Joseph.
Simeon, the second born, no angel either. Look at the blessing over him:
“Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.”
Simeon was stripped of his blessing also because of the heinous crime he committed with Levi. Levi, who was in on the deed, probably was conscripted by his brother. He was given the priesthood blessing.
Why did they do what they did? Because Dinah, Simeon’s sister, was violated by a Hivite. So Simeon and Levi took matters into their own hands. They went against their father’s decision to live at peace with the people of Shechem and attacked the unsuspecting city. They killed all the men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.
Reuben And Simeon Replaced.
Not surprisingly, Jacob replaced Reuben and Simeon, his first and second born, with his two grandsons: Ephraim and Manasseh, adopting them as his own. Though he still loved them as sons, their blessings were given to others.
For more on this topic, follow the link below:
What does all of this mean and what can we learn from it today?
Reuben’s name means, “See the Son,” or Behold, a Son.” It is referring to Jesus! He is a picture of natural Israel who had the chance to “See the Son, Jesus” in person in His first coming. But they didn’t recognize Him. Gor 2,000 years, they have been in were partial blindness to the truth about Jesus.
Simon comes from the root word “shemá,” which means “hear.” For 2,000 years the Jewish people were deaf to the gospel.
Reuben was rejected because he committed adultery with Bilhah, his father’s concubine. Her name means, “fear,” in Hebrew. The Holy Spirit is saying that when we turn our eyes away from “The Son” and “embrace fear,” we sink beneath the waves like Peter when he took his eyes off Jesus. 365 times throughout the Bible, God tells us to “Fear not; don’t be afraid;” or words to that effect. “Fear not” and keep your eyes on Jesus, one for every day of the year.
(Esau sells his birth right to Jacob.)
All throughout the Bible you see this kind of thing happening where the firstborn blessing went to the younger son. For instance, Jacob and Esau: Esau sold his birth right. Isaac and Ishmael: Isaac was born of his wife, Sarah, Ishmael of Hagar, her Egyptian slave. Ephraim and Manasseh are discussed in one of the links above.
All of these are all pictures of our Lord Jesus, THE FIRST BORN, Who was rejected. All His blessings have benefited us, Church; the younger sons who came afterward! HALLELUIA! He became nothing so He could give us everything!
He became sin so that we could be made righteous.
He became poor so we could become rich.
He took on Himself all our sicknesses an diseases so that we could be made whole.
His cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” so that we could one day say, “My Father, My Father, why have you so blessed me?” Jesus was forsaken on the cross so we would NEVER BE!
Thank you, Jesus, for sending the Holy Spirit to bless us and teach us how best conduct our lives.
He does it by drawing beautiful pictures of Jesus in like Jacob’s blessing over Reuben, Simeon and Levi.