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 Letter Answering Department Survey:  Tribes of Dan and Ephraim  ...why are they not mentioned in 144,000?      
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SUBJECT:  The Tribe of Dan --  Tribe of Ephraim


QUESTION:  Why are the Tribes of Dan and Ephraim not mentioned in the 144,000 of Revelation?




Thank you for your recent inquiry. You asked why the tribes of Dan and Ephraim are not mentioned in the 144,000 described in Revelation 7.


It is interesting to note that Dan is also left out of the genealogies of 1 Chronicles 1-9. This historical point of interest helps explain why Dan was not mentioned in Revelation 7:5-8.


The tribe of Dan as a whole was guilty of IDOLATRY -- even to the point of stealing the idols they used to practice their religion (Judges 18:14-31). Theirs was the first organized idolatry in ancient Israel, and the longest in duration. It continued "until the day of the captivity of the land," nearly 500 years later (Judges 18:30). Jewish tradition says that Dan was the first tribe to follow Jeroboam into his sin of idolatry. In their literature, the term "Dan" is often used to represent idolatry.


From this summarized history of the tribe of Dan, it becomes obvious why Dan would not be among the 144,000 "servants of God" described in Revelation 7:1-4. Dan thoroughly rejected God's true religion for thousands of years, substituting a continuous tradition of idolatry. The descendants of Dan say, "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord" (Genesis 49:1, 18). The vast majority of Danites must wait for salvation until AFTER the sealing of the 144,000.


It is reassuring to know that Dan and all the other tribes of ancient Israel WILL be saved.  In fact, Dan is mentioned FIRST in the apportionments of land in the soon-coming Millennium (Ezekiel 48:1). The Bible records, "ALL Israel shall be saved" (Romans 11:26). The 144,000 are only a very small portion of the people of all nations who will eventually be saved.


A related question involves the tribe of Ephraim. Some have thought that this tribe is not mentioned among the 144,000 either. But, in fact, Ephraim IS included. You will notice that the tribes of Manasseh and Joseph are both listed. Ephraim and Manasseh were the two sons of Joseph (Genesis 48:1). Since Manasseh is one of the tribes descended from Joseph -- and mentioned by name -- the "tribe of Joseph" here must refer to EPHRAIM (Revelation 7:8). Ephraim, being the leading tribe of the house of Joseph, sometimes bore the name "Joseph."

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