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Tribes of Israel
(1,391 words)

[German Version]

Biblical Israel (II, 1) is theoretically divided into 12 tribes (cf. also Rev 7:4–8). The oldest enumerations mention fewer tribes (2 Sam 2:9 [four]; Judg 5 [ten]) but include “non-canonical” tribal names instead (Machir, Gilead).

Biblical Israel (II, 1) is theoretically divided into 12 tribes (cf. also Rev 7:4–8). The oldest enumerations mention fewer tribes (2 Sam 2:9 [four]; Judg 5 [ten]) but include “non-canonical” tribal names instead (Machir, Gilead).

I. Tribe and State

Tribes are political amalgamations of clans, which in turn represent territori…

Cite this page
Knauf, Ernst Axel, “Tribes of Israel”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 February 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_124957>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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