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The Twelve Patriarchs in Jewish Tradition: Israel’s Sons
The twelve patriarchs in Jewish religious tradition mean the twelve sons of patriarch-prophet Jacob who is known as “Israel”, by two wives (Lea and Rachel) and two concubines (Bilhah and Zilpah). The term “children of Israel” involve some tribal or all of twelve tribes which have descended from the twelve patriarchs in Jewish history. In Genesis of Tora, the births and naming of the twelve patriarchs by their mothers Lea and Rachel have been explained, broadly. Each of the names makes a reference to identities and activities of patriarchs and tribes of their seeds in history. Other passages in Torah related the patriarchs are the verses at the end of Genesis in which include the prophecies and blessings of patriarch-prophet Israel. In these verses, Israel has given hidden and obvious clues related to the personalities and positions of the twelve patriarchs in Jewish history. Both narrations must be analyzed, studiously. Because Jewish tradition doesn’t believe that identities of the patriarchs and their activities in history didn’t have the same importance. Therefore, the narratives of the twelve patriarchs in Jewish tradition base on especially religious and political actions of the tribes of Joseph (Ephraim and Menasse), Judah and Levi.

Judaism, chosen people, patriarch, Jacob, Joseph, Israel, children of Israel

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