The incredible relationship between the 13th Tribe and the 13 Colonies that became America!
The Number “13” and the Identity of “Ephraim”!
Is the United States of America mentioned directly in Bible
Prophecy? Are we the descendants of the ancient tribe of
Ephraim? The majority of investigators who have studied
this question believe that the British people are Ephraim and
that the United States is Manasseh, his brother. But what
does the Biblical and historical evidence really tell us? Here
is point-blank the most direct and indisputable evidence and
salient PROOF that it is the United States who is really end-
William F. Dankenbring
It is well known that the number “13” is the number of the United States of America. The United States began with 13 colonies. The original U.S. flag had 13 stars, representing the initial 13 states. It also contained 13 stripes, 7 red and 6 white. The American seal also bears witness to the number 13 in its composition.
Over the breast of the eagle on the United States seal is a shield; the shield of FAITH. It has thirteen stripes or bars, red and white, signifying the number 13; the number of the original American colonies.
The number 13, of course, was the number of the tribes of ancient Israel, since the tribe of Joseph became two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh. There were twelve tribes of Israel, but Joseph had two sons and each of them became a tribe; hence, there were thirteen tribes in all, with Ephraim, the youngest son, being number 13.
The U.S. shield contains 13 paleways or stripes which represent the 13 original colonies. The shield is not fastened to the eagle, but spread across in front of it, as if held there by the unseen Hand of God. In the eagle’s beak there is a scroll, representing the proclamation of liberty and freedom, and justice for all: the Constitution of the United States, based on the laws of God and the Torah which God gave to ancient Israel.
The motto “E Pluribus Unum” means “One from Many,” or “Out of many, One.” It represents UNITY; the FIFTY united States of America! This One nation combines the peoples and ethnic groups of many different nations and peoples from around the world: out of many, ONE. And if we remained faithful to the laws of God, this national UNITY would be preserved forever. But if we BREAK God’s laws, then the very unity we possess will become disunity and division – the “unity” will become a memory, a distant dream, forgotten in onrushing calamity and cataclysm.
America is a COMMONWEALTH of fifty states. At our national political conventions, members from each state rise to address the chair, saying, “Mr. Chairman, we the Commonwealth of Maine, or, The commonwealth of Massachusetts, etc., etc. Notice further! In the eagle’s right claw is clutched an olive branch. This olive branch has 13 leaves, and 13 olives. There’s that number 13 again! In the Bible, the tribe of Joseph is compared in prophecy to a fruitful bough of an olive tree (Gen.49:22). In a parable in the book of Judges, we are told that the olive tree is supreme among trees. The first tree the other trees asked to reign over them was the olive tree (Judges 9:8). But the fruit of the olive honors God and man (v.9). It seeks not to reign but to bear fruit. It is a sacred tree, and a symbol of the Holy Spirit of God,
and of the Torah: the life-giving Law and Revelation of God. The olive branch is the greatest symbol also of Peace (Shalom). Since the olive tree is supreme among the trees (and the olive oil is symbolical of the powerful Holy Spirit of God), then the identification of the olive branch in the U.S. seal brands the United States as being the tribe of the Olive Branch; the leading tribe of Joseph!
Which tribe would that be? Ephraim? Or Manasseh?
The Bundle of Arrows
“Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall. The archers fiercely attacked; they shot at him, and pressed him hard. Yet his bow remained taut, and his arms were made agile by the hands of the mighty one of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel” (Gen.49:22-24).
Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh; America and Britain, are famous therefore for their military prowess. Their bow is strong, they are powerful archers. The bow, today, is a symbol of AIR POWER. It was largely the U.S. and British air power that defeated the Axis during World War II; that devastated Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War; that wreaked havoc in Iraq during the Iraq War of “Shock and Awe.” The arrow is a symbol of war-making power and today’s guided missiles and attack from the air. The ancient Anglo-Saxons were excellent archers. Who hasn’t heard of Robin Hood and his merry men of Sherwood forest?
In the eagle’s left claw are 13 arrows. They symbolize national readiness and preparedness to fight and to safeguard the truth, the liberty, the freedoms which God has given us to enjoy. Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of America, said: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” The arrows of the Almighty will protect His people so long as we obey Him; but woe unto us, if God Himself sends His arrows to punish us for our disobedience (Deut.32:23; Ezek.5:16). The number 13 again is
connected with the United States of America!
Over the eagle’s head is a cloud or crest, a glorious scene of the Glory of God shining through and breaking up a cloud, shining upon 13 stars. The statute of endorsement stated, “A glory breaking through a cloud.” It was a pillar of fire and a cloud of the Presence of God that led ancient Israel out of Egypt (Exo.13:21-22; 14:24). The Divine Glory breaking through the cloud shows that it is the power and glory of God, shining upon Israel, that keeps her safe and makes her great, and gives her deliverance. So long as we acknowledge our God, and His Presence, and obey His Laws, our nations will be great. But if and when we forget God, then our punishment and doom is assured (Isaiah 1:1-21; Prov.1:22-32; Hosea 4:6-8).
The 13 stars in the cloud above the eagle represent two truths: 1) the number 13 reveals the 13 tribes of Israel, in total; and 2) the scene depicts 12 stars below (bowing down before) the highest star, the star of Joseph. This was in fulfillment of Joseph’s amazing dream, where he said, “Look I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me” (Gen.37:9; see also verses 10-11).
Observe more carefully the cloud which is above the head of the Eagle, with rays of the sun. This cloud is reminiscent of the “pillar of cloud” that stayed over the Tabernacle, as the ancient Israelite’s journeyed through the wilderness for 40 years (Exo.13:21-22). Says W. H. Bennett, in “In the dry air of the Sinai wilderness and Western Arabia this cloud would be visible for many miles, and to a distant observer would indicate the presence of the Israel people. As such, the use of this cloud as an emblem today is an IMPORTANT MARK OF IDENTITY indicating that the nation which uses it is one of the Israel family of nations. With this in mind let us note that this symbol holds an important place in the official heraldry of the United States, for there above the Eagle we see a circular cloud enclosing 13 Stars” (p.139, Symbols of Our Celto-Saxon Heritage, emphasis mine).
Bennett concludes, “Thus, by its official national emblem and by each item in it, the United States declares itself to be an Israel nation” (p.141). Now look at the opposite side of the U.S. Seal. Here again, on the obverse side of the U.S. Seal, there are 13 tiers of stone in the Great Pyramid! Why all this emphasis on the number 13?
Which Tribe Is “13th”?
Much ado has been made of the question, which tribe in ancient Israel really was the 13th tribe. Bennett and British Israelites claim that “Manasseh” was the thirteenth tribe, and so they attempt to identify the United States with the tribe of Manasseh. Bennett claims that since Joseph was the 11th tribe, followed by Benjamin, the 12th tribe, when Manasseh and Ephraim were born, Ephraim took the place of Joseph, becoming the 11th, and this left Manasseh with being the 13th tribe.
However, this is nothing but circular reasoning. Rabbis point out that when Jacob thought that Joseph was dead, Benjamin became the eleventh tribe. Then, later, when Jacob found that Joseph was still alive, and had two sons, he placed his name on them. Manasseh therefore became the twelfth tribe, and Ephraim, the youngest son, became the thirteenth. This seems very logical. Since there were 12 tribes, but Joseph’s two sons took his place among the sons of Israel, this would move Benjamin up to the 11th tribe’s spot, and then Manasseh would be moved up to the 12th, and thus Ephraim, the youngest
of all the “sons of Israel”, would have logically and automatically become the 13th tribe!
“13” represents “fullness.” What must be seen is that indeed the number 13, the number of the FULLNESS of Israel, is clearly associated with the United States. That is beyond question! The United States therefore represents the 13th tribe. Looking at it from a logical point of view, the 13th tribe would naturally be the YOUNGEST – THE LATEST to appear on the world scene. In order of birth, Ephraim was the youngest son.
And likewise, the United States was the YOUNGEST NATION, of the nations of Israel, having been “born” much later than Great Britain. English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish history traces far back into the mists of time, but the United States became a nation in 1783, at the Treaty of Paris, just a little over 200 years ago!
But America has surely been “doubly-fruitful” since that time, exploding in population, wealth, and military might, just as was prophesied of Ephraim.
Joseph’s Dream In another passage we find another strong hint relating to the identity of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. We read that Joseph had a dream and said, “The sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me” (Gen.37:9). He told the dream to his father and brothers, and Jacob said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?” (v.10). Joseph’s brothers envied him, but Jacob kept these things in his mind (v.11).
Since Ephraim was the last and 13th son born, all these things in Joseph’s dream should primarily be fulfilled in him! That is, HIS FLAG would contain ALL THIRTEEN STARS representing all thirteen tribes. And HIS EMBLEM should contain ALL thirteen stars, AND the rays of the Sun (Jacob) and the phases of the Moon (his mother), all bowing as it were before him.
And so it is! The United States President’s SEAL contains above the Eagle the 13 stars complete, with the Sun’s rays shining down, and the Moon in 13 phases. This clearly pictures the fulfillment of the dream of Joseph, that his whole family would bow down to him.
Says W. H. Bennett, “Whether or not Joseph was aware of the symbolism of his dream is not stated, but it is evident that his father Jacob recognized himself as symbolized by the Sun, Joseph’s mother as symbolized by the Moon, and Joseph’s eleven brothers as symbolized by the eleven Stars. So in this prophetic dream, the Sun, the Moon and eleven Stars appear as the symbol of the whole Jacob-Israel family with the exception of Joseph himself.”
Bennett goes on: “But Joseph was also a son of Jacob and therefore a part of the Israel family. Consequently, if each of Jacob’s sons, and the tribe or tribes to be descended from him, are to be symbolized by a Star, then Joseph too will have to be counted (Note Rev.12:1). Yet from an heraldic standpoint this would not be a true symbol of Israel for Joseph’s descendants were divided into two tribes, bearing the names of his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh and, according to the record in Genesis 48, these two sons of Joseph, as heads of tribes, were made EQUAL in status with their uncles. Consequently, to truly represent the Israel people, this symbol would have to contain the Sun, the Moon and thirteen Stars” (p.141-142).
What people would have an emblem that fulfills this symbolism, which SUMS UP the blessings of ALL THIRTEEN TRIBES? What tribe or nation would fill up the SUM of the blessings God gave all the tribes? What tribe would it be to which all the others will look, in terms of physical leadership, governance, prosperity, military strength, and blessings? Ephraim! And which nation today has all these elements in
“The President’s Seal”? The United States of America!
Bennett continues: “The emphasis placed on the details of this dream is a clear indication that we are intended to notice its symbolism and, consequently, that a symbol or emblem consisting of the Sun, the Moon, and a Star for each of Israel’s Thirteen Tribes, must be regarded as an emblem of Israel. Where then do we find a people or a section of a people using this emblem today?
“The evidence presented . . . is irrefutable proof that the Celto-Saxon peoples are the continuation of ancient Israel. Among these peoples, Britain and the United States are undoubtedly the leaders and, consequently, we would expect to find the Israel symbol, the Sun, the Moon and the Thirteen Stars in the national emblem of one or both of them. But it does not appear in either.
“Yet this emblem is still with us, for when we turn to the emblems on the Flag of the President of the United States, and also on his Seal, we find that the Sun, the Moon and the Thirteen Stars hold a very prominent place among them” (p.142-143).
A “very prominent place.” Where is this place? In the symbolism and emblems of the United States of America!
This vital key symbol should be the mark or emblem of the leading tribe of all Israel and Joseph, the tribe of EPHRAIM. Ephraim is the thirteenth tribe, and so fulfills this whole prophetic picture! Ephraim is the “bakerís dozen”— the THIRTEENTH, that overflows in abundance! This picture of 13 would not properly typify any other of the tribes, but only the LAST one, which sums up the total of them all.
As a matter of fascinating fact, not only were there were 13 original colonies which became the United States, but there were also 13 ships in the original American Navy. And, in World War I, 13 ships were sent to Europe, and took 13 days to cross the Atlantic, landing on Friday the 13th; the American troops on board fought in 13 battles in France.
The number 13 just keeps on cropping up in the history and identity of the United States of America! Why? How does this incredible fact help us to identify which tribe of Israel became the United States of America?
The Original Prophecy
When Jacob was old and ill, his son Joseph took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to visit him. When Jacob was told of his presence, he rallied his strength, sat up in bed, and said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and will increase your numbers. I will make you a COMMUNITY OF PEOPLES, and I will
give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’
“‘Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be RECKONED AS MINE; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. . . .”‘ The account continues:
“When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, ‘Who are these?’ ‘They are the sons God has given me here,’ Joseph said to his father.
Then Israel said, ‘Bring them to me so I may bless them.’ Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them. . . . And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israelís right hand, and brought them close to him. But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manassehís head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. “Then he blessed Joseph and said, ‘May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm, may he bless these boys. May they be called by MY NAME and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase GREATLY on the earth.’
“When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. Joseph said to him, ‘No,
my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.’
“But his father refused and said, ‘I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be GREATER than he, and his descendants will become a GROUP OF NATIONS.” He blessed them that day and said, ‘In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing: ”May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.” For he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh”
(Genesis 48:3-20, NIV).
Notice that BOTH sons were to multiply into mighty peoples and nations, but the YOUNGER son was to become the greater people of the two, he was to inherit the DOUBLE PORTION of the birthright promises!
“Multitude of Peoples”
Jacob said Manasseh also would be great. But he said “truly his YOUNGER brother shall be GREATER than he, and his descendants shall become a MULTITUDE OF NATIONS [i.e., STATES or GROUPS]” (Gen.48:19). Many have misunderstood this. In Hebrew, the word for “nations” here is goyim, and means “peoples, nations, states, a troop, a flight,” a word that has the sense of “massing.” Thus Jacob really said the descendants of Ephraim would become a TROOP of people, a MASS of people, MANY states, families, or groupings.
Notice! This prophecy does NOT state he would become ruler OVER a multitude of nations, but rather would actually BECOME a multitude or massing of peoples or states. Some have suggested that this prophecy identifies Great Britain as modern day Ephraim, because the British ruled over India, the Middle East, and numerous peoples, during its period of greatness. However, the prophecy did not say Ephraim
would rule many people, but rather would BECOME a “multitude of peoples.” There is
a big difference between the two concepts!
At its greatest, the British Empire or Commonwealth did control vast parts of the earth, when you include India, but these were GENTILE nations under British rule, they were not Josephite people at all. The blessing of Jacob was not that Ephraim would rule over many nations, per se, it was that Ephraim would reproduce and BECOME a multitude or troop or massing of people by having a greater multitude of descendants, becoming many groupings, i.e., STATES!
Now let’s compare the United States of America, and Great Britain, in the light of this prophecy. Great Britain is a nation of about 60,000,000 population. The United States, on the other hand, has a population of 280,000,000; over four and one half times as much as Great Britain! Furthermore, we have in fulfillment of this prophecy the FIFTY states of the United States; 50 different states, UNITED, but ONE PEOPLE. Each state has its own constitution and government.
An honest look at this Scripture, and our two peoples, today, would certainly seem to imply that it is the United States of America which best fulfills the description of the people of Ephraim! Back in the days when the Anglo-Saxon people first began to suspect that they were descended from Israel, and comprised the sons of Joseph, the discovery was initially made in Great Britain. The people became known as “British Israel.” At that time, during the end of the 19th century, Britain was still greater in many
respects than the United States. So the discoverers concluded that Britain and the Commonwealth comprised the descendants of Ephraim, and believed that Manasseh who was to be a single mighty nation was the United States of America.
But since that time, the United States has, as we shall see, FAR surpassed Great Britain and the Commonwealth in terms of population, military power, and industrial might. What seemed so obvious back in the late 19th century doubtful and controversial in the 20th and 21st centuries!
The Fruitful Vine
Now let us turn to the next recounting of the blessings upon the sons of Jacob, or Israel, and notice the blessings which were to accrue to the sons of JOSEPH! Jacob called for his sons, and said concerning Joseph, his firstborn by his wife Rachel:
“Joseph is a FRUITFUL VINE, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these REST ON THE HEAD OF JOSEPH, on the brow of the prince among his brothers” (Genesis 49:22-26).
Notice that the descendants of Joseph were to become mighty warriors, who would defeat their enemies with the everlasting help of the Mighty One of Jacob! They were to become a great people, with magnificent blessings of climate, topography, geography, soil, mountains, verdant valleys, and blessings of lakes, rivers, and bays. As the inheritors of the BIRTHRIGHT PROMISES made to Israel, they were to inherit the GREATEST PLACES in the earth, the most physically accommodating, beautiful, abundant, and fertile fields of the globe. Others, in dire jealousy, would attack them; and be defeated – unless or until their sins became so great that God Almighty Himself would have to send punishment upon them!
There is no doubt that Great Britain is a blessed land, with beautiful hills and valleys, mountains and moors, grasslands and verdant farmland. However, let’s compare the awesome blessings of the United States which is noted worldwide for being the “breadbasket of the world,” and greatly blessed with iron ore, copper, tin, coal, and oil deposits, as well as fisheries, and agricultural produce; it has been “doubly blessed,” as the very name “Ephraim” implies.
We continue the saga of the blessings to the children of Israel, by coming down to the generation that came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership. Moses also gave special prophetic blessings to the tribes of Israel. Notice what he was inspired by God to say about the descendants of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh:
“About Joseph he said: ‘May the LORD bless his land with the precious dewfrom heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below; with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield; with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills; with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
“In majesty he is like a FIRSTBORN BULL; his horns are the horns of a WILD OX. With them he will GORE THE NATIONS, even those at the ENDS OF THE EARTH. Such are the TEN THOUSANDS OF EPHRAIM; such are the thousands of Manasseh” (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here is a picture, a vivid description, of what the two sons of Joseph would inherit ñ and what they would be like in the Last Days, when this prophecy would be fulfilled. Notice that the two brother peoples, Ephraim and Manasseh, would both be like the firstborn BULL, threshing the nations to the ends of the earth! Is it any wonder then, that in World War I and World War II, it was the English-speaking nations that primarily led the fight against German aggression,
and Hitlerism, and the Japanese onslaught, and fought their enemies to the far corners of the earth?
But notice most carefully. This prophecy speaks of the TEN THOUSANDS of Ephraim, and the THOUSANDS of Manasseh. Obviously, the descendants of Ephraim were to far outnumber those of Manasseh! We will discuss these numbers at greater length later on. But for now, suffice it to say that the population of the United States far surpasses that of England, Scotland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, combined, by far more than two to one! If Great Britain and her daughter nations were indeed Ephraim, we should expect the numbers to be the other way around!
This fact alone strongly suggests that the fifty states of the United States of America represent the tribe of Ephraim, today, whereas the United Kingdom represents Manasseh!
Who’s the Youngest and Oldest?
Manasseh was the elder brother; he grew up first. But he became “thousands.” On the other hand, Ephraim is the younger brother. He grows up last. But he finally surpasses his brother in strength and magnitude and numbers and power! He becomes “tens of thousands.”
Now consider, for a moment, the United States and British Commonwealth. Which rose to supremacy in the world first? The British Empire! But the Empire has passed into history, left with a “Commonwealth,” of which most of the member nations are Gentile in composition. Only Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, can claim to be primarily of Anglo-Saxon extraction.
But in 1776-1783, just 220 years ago, there were thirteen colonies in North America which broke away from British rule, and established their own government; thirteen UNITED COLONIES, which in merely 200 years exploded to become FIFTY UNITED STATES! Their population also exploded. In 1630 there were 4,600 people in the colonies of Plymouth and Jamestown; in 1770 this number had grown to 2,148,000;
and today it has exploded to a phenomenal 280,000,000!
The “younger brother” was prophesied to grow up last, but eventually surpass his older brother in power, numbers, and economic strength! Today, the descendants of the Anglo-Saxon nations of the British Commonwealth total as follows: Great Britain, 60 million; Canada, 31 million; Australia, 19 million;
New Zealand, 4 million ñ a combined total of 114 million people. But the population of the United States of America is 280,000,000 ñ about 2.5 times that of the other brother!
Interestingly, the very name Ephraim in Hebrew means “DOUBLE FRUIT” (see Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). This is a vital KEY to Ephraimís identity. God names people what they are, or what they are to become! Ephraim, by the meaning of his very DOUBLY-FRUITFUL people, in every way imaginable!
The number 13 stands identified as the number of the United States of America.
But let’s take a closer look at that mysterious number 13 and see what relevance it has to the United States and the ancient tribe of Ephraim. There is an old axiom in geometry, “Two things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” America stands identified by the number 13. Ancient Ephraim was the 13th tribe of Israel. They are both, unlike any other people on the earth, identified by this interesting number. That fact then identifies them as being equal to each other ñ or one and the same people!
But there is even more to this amazing number. Letís notice!
The Number “13”
E. W. Bullinger, in his fascinating book Number in Scripture, explains about the mysterious number “13.” He writes:
“As to the significance of thirteen, all are aware that it has come down to us as a number of ill-omen. Many superstitions cluster around it, and various explanations are current concerning them. Unfortunately, those who go backwards to find a reason seldom go back far enough. . . But we must go back to the first occurrence of the number thirteen in order to discover the key to its significance. It occurs first in Genesis 14:4, where we read, “Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and the thirteenth year they REBELLED.
“Hence every occurrence of the number thirteen, and likewise of every multiple of it, stamps that with which it stands in connection with rebellion, apostasy, defection, corruption, disintegration, revolution, or some kindred idea” (p.205).
The first mention of “13” in the Bible is in connection with the REBELLION of Sodom and Gomorrah against the empire of Chedorlaomer. The second mention of 13 is in connection with Ishmael, the first son of Abraham. He was thirteen years old when he was circumcised, which God instituted the covenant of circumcision (Gen.17:13-25).
Ishmael probably thought that as Abraham’s only son, he would be the “child of promise” and would one day inherit Abraham’s blessings and heritage. But that was not God’s plan. God planned for Sarah to have a son, by Abraham, who would be the true inheritor. When Isaac was later born, at God’s set time (Gen.21:1-3), he was circumcised on the eighth day. This was one year after Ishmael’s circumcision.
As the young child grew, and was weaned, Sarah noticed the boy Ishmael “mocking” Isaac. The Hebrew term for “mocking” here is tsachaq and means “to laugh outright,” or repeatedly, “to scorn,- to make sport of.” This episode ended with Sarah prevailing upon Abraham to have the boy cast out from their presence, and although it grieved Abraham to do it, God told him it was the best course of action, but that the boy would become a nation (Gen.21:12-20). Ishmael’s estrangement began in his thirteenth
year, as he did not submit to the covenant of circumcision that year, and continued to lead a life of rebellion and rejection.
Bullinger points out a little known amazing fact of Biblical gematria involving the numbers “8” and “13.” Gematria is the study of the numerical significance of Hebrew letters, each of which has a numerical value. Says Bullinger, “But it is when we come to GEMATRIA that the most wonderful results are seen.” He continues:
“These results may be stated thus, briefly: That the names of the LORD’s people are multiples of eight, while the names of those who apostatized, or rebelled, or who were in any sense His enemies, are multiples of thirteen.. . .The effect of this law can hardly be estimated in establishing the presence of an ever-present working of the Holy Spirit in inditing the very words and even the letters of Scripture.
“No human foresight or arrangement could have secured such a result beforehand; no human powers could have carried it out in such perfection. No matter where we look, we find the working of the law without cessation, without a break, without a flaw, from beginning to end. Only one conclusion is possible, and that is that the Bible has but one Author, an eternal, omniscient Author, designing, superintending, working, and carrying out His own infinite plans” (p.206).
In comparing the genealogies of Seth and Cain, respectively, we discover that the total numerical value of the names from Adam to Japheth, Noah’s oldest son, is 3168, which is 8 x 396; a multiple of 8. Eight is the number of righteous beginnings, or new beginnings. Taking Noah’s family separately, the names Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth total 936 which is 8 x 9 x 13 (the number of righteousness times the number of judgment times the number of rebellion). The judgment of the Flood came upon that generation! But notice further! Subtract the name of Ham, the wicked son, and the total of the remaining three, Noah, Shem and Japheth is 888! They were the true new righteous beginning after the Flood. Interestingly, the name of JESUS the Messiah, in the Greek language, also has a gematria in Greek of 888!
The line of Cain, the rebellious line, on the other hand, from Adam to Tubal Cain, totals 2223, which is 13 x 9 x 19. The number 13 represents rebellion; the number 9 is the number of judgment; and the number 19 stands for “time,” as it is representative of the 19-year time cycle (the earth, sun and moon come back into the same relative relationship in the sky every 19 years).
The whole history of the period, in Genesis 4:1-25, has a total gematria of 76882 (13 x 5914). Verse 25 by itself however, which records the birth of Seth, the righteous son of Adam, has a value of 6560 (8 x 820); verse 26, also, which records the birth of his son Enos, tells how man began to ìcall upon the name of the LORD, and has a value of 3064 (8 x 383). Contrast this with verse 1, where Eve bare Cain. It has a gematrical value of 1612 ñ or 13 x 124.
Cain was the first rebel against God. He rebelled and murdered his brother Abel, and his descendants were all rebels like father like son. So his generations were branded with the number 13.
The descendants of Seth, however, were preachers of righteousness. Their genealogy reflects the number 8, a new beginning in righteousness.
Rebellion and Apostasy
The number 13 is the number of rebellion and apostasy. Interestingly, in this vein it was Jeroboam, an Ephraimite, who led the Ten Tribes to rebel against the throne of David (I Kings 12:1-19). Ephraim was the leading and most influential tribe among the ten northern tribes.
The number 65 is also associated with Ephraim which led the rebellion against Rehoboam, Solomonís son. Isaiah says of this rebellion, in prophetic terms, “Within threescore and five years (65 years) shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people”(Isa.7:8). From the last year of Jeroboam II to the carrying away of Israel was exactly 65 years, or 5 x 13, which characterized the disintegration which was going on in the nation. (Bullinger, Numbers in Scripture, p.215).
As I have noted elsewhere, in our modern times there are 65 years beginning from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 till the year 2006; just two years from now! This has been a similar period of disintegration, rebellion, and apostasy from the truth of God, nationally speaking.
But another number is applied prophetically to the wayward Ten Tribes, led by Ephraim. The prophet Ezekiel is told to lie on his right side for 390 days as a sign to the ten tribes of Israel who rebelled (Ezek.4:4-5). These were called ìthe years of their iniquity.” 390 days represents 390 years; the years of Israelís iniquity. 390 is 13 x 30. This was the whole duration of the rebellion and the separate existence of the Ten Tribes from the day they rebelled against Rehoboam to the day they were led away captive!
Says Bullinger, “Now 390 is thirteen times thirty, and the duration of Israelís rebellion is sufficiently and appropriately branded upon it” (p.215).
In our day, today, the 390 years applies directly to the United States. Interestingly, from the founding of the first English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, there were 390 years till the end of 6,000 years from the Creation of Adam and Eve, or 1997 A.D.! Or, from the first religious colony at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, founded on December 21, 1620, there will be 390 years till December 20, year 2010 A.D.
(As the Hebrew civil calendar is from fall to fall, this would be the year 2010-2011 A.D. This whole period of time characterizes end-time “Israel,” the Lost Ten Tribes, led by Ephraim, still in a state of spiritual rebellion and apostasy from God! This period of apostasy will be followed by the judgments of the “Day of the Lord,” which culminate this age of wickedness and rebellion against Almighty God!
For our immediate purposes, however, it is enough to recognize the vital meaning and importance of the number 13 as it applies to the Ten Tribes of Israel which went into captivity in 718-721 B.C., and to their modern-day descendants.
The Nature of Ephraim
Ephraim, God says in His Word, has been a very unruly child; very rebellious! God says, “I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from me; for now, O Ephraim, you have played the whore; Israel is defiled. Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. For the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they do not know the LORD”(Hosea 5:3-4, NRSV). “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. When their drinking
is ended, they indulge in sexual orgies; they love lewdness more than their glory” (Hos.4:17-18).
God speaks of the “corruption of Ephraim” (Hos.7:1). He says, “Woe to them, for they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me!”(Hosea 7:13). “Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, because he was determined to go after vanity. Therefore I am like maggots to Ephraim . . .” (Hos.5:11-12).
Nevertheless, God loves His people. The day is coming when they will be punished; severely, and they will repent! God declares, “Indeed I heard Ephraim pleading: ‘You disciplined me, and I took the discipline; I was like a calf untrained. Bring me back, let me come back, for you are the Lord my God. For after I had turned away I repented; and after I was discovered I struck my thigh; I was ashamed, and I was dismayed because I bore the disgrace of my youth'” (Jeremiah 31:18-19, NRSV).
God says, “Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he the child I delight in? As often as I speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore I am deeply moved for him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the LORD” (Jer.31:20).
God says further to Ephraim and wayward Israel, “Set up road markers for yourself, make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities. How long will you waver, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a
new thing on the earth: a woman encompasses a man” (Jer.31:21-22).
Although Ephraim has grievously sinned, there will be pardon and mercy for him. When he repents, God will sweep him up in His everlasting, loving arms, and embrace him once again! Until that time comes, however, Ephraim may be called the ìtribe of rebellion. As such, its identifying number is, once again, the number 13: the number of rebellion!
How plain can it be? How plain can it get?
The United States of America was BORN in revolution! It began its existence in REBELLION against the British Empire in 1776! It is characterized by the spirit of independence and rebellion” “don’t tell me what to do!” “I’ll do it MY way,” as the old Frank Sinatra song has it!
The number 13 identifies ancient Ephraim, the tribe of rebellion. The number “13” identifies the United States of America, the nation born in rebellion! The number 13 is stamped all over our forehead and on our hands; in our flag, our national seal, on our currency, and throughout our very history.
Two things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. The tribe of Ephraim equals “13” and the United States of America equals “13.” Therefore they are EQUAL TO EACH OTHER! The United States STANDS IDENTIFED AS MODERN-DAY EPHRAIM!
What about Manasseh? Manasseh was not known as a leader of rebellion. The older brother of Ephraim was not so wild, or cowboyish, or rambunctious; but much more sedate, aloof, dignified, aristocratic – like the British!
Manasseh’s number would not be thirteen, the number of rebellion and apostasy! That reproach belongs to Ephraim, which was by several measures, the thirteenth tribe, both in time-order, birth-order, finality, and superabundance ñ and in the number of rebellion.
What could be clearer than that?
To continue insisting that America is Manasseh and Great Britain is Ephraim is to get it all backwards; to put black for white– to mix up the identities of the two sons of Joseph. The children were not mixed up at birth. Nor should they be mixed up and mis-identified, today!
Ephraim, as always, has been and is the LEADER of the northern ten tribes of Israel. That world leader is the United States of America, for better or for worse! When we understand this vital truth of Biblical identity, it helps us to unravel and understand the enormously important prophecies of the book of Hosea, which is largely directed against Ephraim, the leader, and the idolatrous nation, in the last days!