101: Symbols of the Tribes of Israel

Since the Ezekiel study ended with the twelve gates of the Millennial Jerusalem, I wanted to continue with an article on the twelve tribes and their symbols.

God commanded Moses to make a breastplate for the high priest in the wilderness

Twelve gems were to be placed in the High Priest’s breastplate. One for each of the tribes of Israel.

Exodus 28:15  And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.  28:16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.

28:17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. 28:18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 28:19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 28:20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.

28:21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.

There are some translation difficulties in rendering the Hebrew into English; however the stones are named in the English for their color and are identical to the color of the Revelation foundations of the New Jerusalem translated from the Greek, in their color.

  • Ruby – Reuben – Red
  • Jade – Shimon – Green
  • Agate – Levi – Red, White, and Black Striped
  • Carbuncle – Judah – Bluish-Green
  • Lapis-Lazuli – Issachar – Blue
  • Quartz Crystal – Zebulun – Clear
  • Turquoise – Dan – Blue
  • Amethyst – Naphtali – Purple
  • Agate – Gad – Grey
  • Aquamarine – Asher – Blue-Green
  • Onyx – Joseph – Black
  • Opal – Benjamin – A Stone Possessing All the Colors

 The colors of the tribes in terms of the wilderness camp of Israel


From this we can see that the Mosaic Covenant encampment arrangement of the tribes of Israel; has been changed in the Millennial New Covenant Jerusalem city gate tribal names.

In the Mosaic camp the tribes of Dan, Asher and Naphtali are in the North while going back to yesterday’s article we are told Ez 48:31 that the North gates are named for Levi, Judah and Reuben [Hebrew is written right to left and the order of the gates is from right to left].  It is quite proper to put God’s tribe of Levi first and the kingly tribe second, followed by the firstborn [even though Ruben was later replaced as firstborn by Joseph. 

The stone of Levi is the red, white and black striped Agate; The stone of Judah was a red Sardius; the stone of Reuben is the brown Camelian. That is the colors and tribes that the North gates of millennial Jerusalem are named. 

Go ahead and discover for yourself the other tribes of the millennial city gates and how they differ from the Mosaic Covenant in the New Covenant covers the earth in its fullness. 

These gem colors are carried forward into the eternal  New Jerusalem from heaven.  And we again see more changes in the location of the tribal positions with Dan, Asher and Naphtali now in the North. 

In Revelation the stones are translated form the Greek, and in Exodus from the Hebrew; however they correspond with the colors assigned by God for the high priest’s breast piece.

Revelation 21:19  And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 21:20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.


Those who take the colors of the foundations of the New Jerusalem and search out their meaning, will understand that the Twelve Tribes of Israel; that is, the Mosaic Covenant [or Old Testament] is the foundation of the New Covenant which is built on the foundation of Mosaic Israel.  

The Mosaic Covenant being the letter of the law, and the New Covenant explaining the spirit and intent of the letter of the law, and adding the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternity for the overcomers.

As there is a change from the Mosaic arrangement in the Millennial arrangement; there are also changes in the New Jerusalem.

Millennial Jerusalem is considered profane while the Temple area is Holy in the Millennium; yet in  eternity there is NO temple at all, and it is the city which is Holy because of the presence of God.

In the Millennial arrangement the gates of the city are named after the tribes of Israel; yet in the New eternal Jerusalem the gates are named after the twelve apostles, and it is the foundations that bear the colors of the twelve tribes [and very probably may be engraved with the tribal names like the high priests breast piece]. 

The twelve tribes as the foundation of the New Jerusalem represent the Old Testament and the Mosaic Covenant, which are the foundation of the New Covenant; and the twelve apostles being the gates of the new Jerusalem are  the gates of Salvation through their writings in the scripture, teaching us the spirit and intent of the Old Testament foundation.

The Feast of the Eighth Day is a picture of the New Jerusalem and going forward into eternity with the Father and the Son in perfect harmony and peace. 

I will have much more to say about these things and the New Jerusalem in the Feast of the Eighth Day article.  



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  1. The stone of Levi is the red, white and black striped Agate; The stone of Judah was a red Sardius; the stone of Reuben is the brown Camelian…The agate corresponds to the list above, but not the sardius and the carnelian; also the colors are not the same…from where they come?

  2. James is quoting scripture what are you quoting?

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