The Twelve Tribes of Israel refers to the ancient Twelve Tribes of Israel that disappeared from the Biblical account after the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed, enslaved and exiled by ancient Assyria.
Many groups of Jews have doctrines concerning the continued hidden existence or future public return of these Israeli tribes. There is a vast amount of literature on the Twelve Tribes of Israel and no specific source can be relied upon for a complete answer.
According to the Bible, Jacob (later renamed Israel) had 12 sons and at least one daughter by two wives and two concubines. The twelve sons fathered the twelve Tribes of Israel.
NOTE: When the land of Israel was apportioned among the twelve tribes in the days of Joshua, the Tribe of Levi, being priests, did not receive land (Joshua 13:33, 14:3). However; the tribe of Levi was given cities. Six cities were given to the tribe as refuge cities for all men of Israel and they were to be controlled by the Levites.
Three of these Israel cities were located on each opposing side of the Jordan River. In addition, 42 other cities (and their respective open spaces) totaling 48 cities were given to the Tribe of Levi.(Numbers 35)
On the other hand, Jacob elevated the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, the two sons of Joseph by his Egyptian wife Asenath, (Genesis 41:50) to the status of full tribes in their own right, replacing the Tribe of Joseph (Joshua 14:4).
Each received its own land in Israel and had its own encampment during the 40 years of wandering in the desert.
Division according to apportionment of land in Israel:
Ephraim (son of Joseph)
Manasseh (son of Joseph)
Levi (no territorial allotment, except a number of cities located within the territories of the other tribes)
Twelve Tribes of Israel Free Bible Map
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