The Tribe Of Judah
We come to the tribe of Judah, and the question was not what to include, but what to leave out. Whole books have been written about different members of this tribe. How could I cover everything, the answer is I couldn’t, not everything.
Like the other tribes, God put a name in my spirit to write about. I would have expected it to be either The Lord Jesus, or David, possibly one of the Kings of Judah. It wasn’t the name of a King that came to me, it was a Prince.
Other than Messianic prophecy, the first person in the tribe of Judah associated with a royal title, was Nahson the son of Amminidab. He was called the Prince of the tribe of Judah. This was, I felt, the person that I was suppose to focus on for this chapter.
I didn’t know why, but he had always fascinated me. It wasn’t that I knew much about him, but when his name came up, it was one of those that made me sit up and take notice. I’ve always associated him with his title, listed in 1 Chronicles 2:10. Always I wanted to know more about him, and I believe God put that in my spirit years ago, for this chapter.
Why Nahshon? What was it about this particular person that God wanted to highlight for this book? I began with what I knew about him. He was, as I said a prince, his sister was Elisheba, the wife of Aaron, and he brought an offering.
There are legends about him, stories of his faith, but those are not substantiated by Scripture. Every Christian has stories that are told about them. Too often, they’re negative, and what’s sadder is, often they come from other Christians.
Just this week, a Minister who I did not personally know, but who has held a stellar reputation all the years I have known of him, was attacked. A statement he made was taken out of context. What’s worse was that a Christian group encouraged other Christians to attack him.
The details I’ve left out, but the point is twofold. First, you can’t believe everything people say, good or bad. Second, get to know the person, not the story. If the story sounds superhuman, as in Nahson’s case, it’s most likely not as good as it sounds. If the person sounds horrible, they may have made a few mistakes, even possibly some big ones, but so have we.
The point is, if the stories are inspiring, take from them what is applicable. If there is failure, do not judge them, but let us learn from their mistakes, how to prevent, and correct our own. That’s what the Israeli forces did in 1948. They took the legend of Nahshon being the first to cross the Red Sea, as the inspiration for the plan to liberate Jérusalem.
Operation Nahshon was a Jewish military operation, during the Israeli War Of Independence. The plan was designed to take control of the territory allotted to the Jews by the 1947 UN Partition Plan. From April 5 to April 16, their objective was to break the siege of Jérusalem, by opening the Tel-Aviv – Jerusalem road. In February the Arab forces had blockaded the road from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, preventing the supply of the Jewish population.
1,500 men from the Givati and Harel brigades took control of the road to Jerusalem. This allowed three convoys to get to the city. There were follow up missions that were needed, but it began their victory. While I have no idea of whether Nahshon was the first to begin walking across or not, it served to inspire the Israeli soldiers to cross a road they had been blocked by.
They had a picture of a noble hero in mind, and they worked to rise to that inspiration. The Bible does not paint a picture of him at the crossing, but does introduce him as a Prince. Yet, in his introduction, he is not the main focus, his sister is. We must pray to have a humble spirit, so that when our time to be used of God arrives, our pride doesn’t prevent us from being what God desires, no matter what role!
Aaron marries Elisheba, who is described as the daughter of Amminadab, and the sister of Nahshon. He is introduced as a son, brother, brother in law, and an Uncle. If a painter were painting the scene, Nahshon would not be plunging into the sea, but part of a Wedding party, and later the equivalent of a baby shower.
Why introduce him at all? He’s not essential to the Verse. She could have easily been referenced as Amminidab’s daughter, of the tribe of Judah. The purpose is the context, both literal, and prophetic. Literal to show the prominence, tribe, and heritage of the woman Aaron wed.
The prophetic, shows many things. First, the connection between Levi and Judah. The tribe of the future Priesthood, and the tribe of the future King tied together by marriage. To me, it points to the fact that Our Lord, of the tribe of Judah, The Prince Of Peace, would become our Priest, born as a child.
This verse doesn’t just mention the wedding, but the marriage, and the producing of children. These aren’t just any children, but the children of the future High Priest, and one day, Priests themselves.
1 Peter 2:9 (ESV Strong’s)
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
In this one verse, God uses one family, to point to another, that of His Church. Nahson is always mentioned in Scripture connected to family. Whether it’s his Dad, his Sister, or as the leader of the people of Judah, and later father, and ancestor of Jesus, he is never mentioned alone.
Nahshon is a connector of people, but not just any people. He is connected to the family of Praise. We’ve looked at a log of people in the tribes who haven’t been quoted, some at all, in Scripture. They’ve married, they’ve fathered children, they’ve done varied things, but the words are typically not the focus.
Our praise, our worship, isn’t about eloquence, but passion. Of all the things that Judah conveys, and Nahshon, passion is there. Passion for the things of God, passion for family, and in Nahshon’s case, passion for giving. Nahshon may not speak, he may not have great words attributed to him, but there is a record of his giving!
At the consecration of the Tabernacle, at the dedication of the altar, each chief of the tribe offered an offering. However, Jewish scholars point out that there is an extra letter in the word offering when referring to Nahshon. They say this is because that Nahshon offered, not the riches of the tribe, but of his own personal wealth.
Nahshon didn’t give what others had, but what he had. His descendant David would do the same in preparation for Solomon’s building the Temple. This chapter has always fascinated me, including what each prince offered.
Each Prince offered a silver charger, a silver bowl, and a golden spoon. The charger, and the bowl, had a fine flour mingled with oil for a grain offering. The golden spoon was full of incense.
Then they brought the animals for the offerings, but I would like to focus on the charger, the bowl, and the golden spoon. They were beautiful yes, but they were instruments of service. Their existence was not about their luster, but about their capacity to both carry, and endure.
Whether he fully grasped it or not I don’t know, but what he gave that day would be in the hands of the Ministry for generations. It would be used for the Service of God, most likely in both the Tabernacle and the Temple. When you give to God, and His Leaders, you are giving something that will bear the burden for others, and assist God’s Leaders in their own burdens.
According to John Gill, the Silver Charger belonged to the Altar of Burnt Offering. He said, had it been Gold, it would have held the Shewbread, but being silver, it was for the Altar instead. Possibly for either the wave breast, or the heave shoulder, which belonged to the Priest. To me this speaks to the fact that Nahshon, prince of Judah, would one day have a descendant who was both the Sacrifice at the Altar, and The Bread Of Life. The One who would carry all burdens on His shoulder.
The bowl was either used to hold the wine of the drink offering, or the blood of the Sacrifice. Taken together, do these not remind you of Communion? The Bread and The Fire, The Blood and The Wine. All of this was beyond Nahshon’s physical view in the fourth book of the Bible, but God had a plan that He foreshadowed throughout The Word Of God.
The same is true of both Nahshon’s, and our futures. We don’t see always where God has planned to take us, but He always has a plan and purpose for our lives. The spoon was full of incense, which is tied to prayer in Revelation 8:11.
We must trust His plan, but we must also communicate with Him. We can leave the future to God, if we seek Him in the present. The act of prayer is the act of a willing heart seeking God’s input in our lives, and trusting even when we do not see the path. As long as we follow Him, we’ll get to where we are supposed to be!
Nahshon left Egypt, crossed a Red Sea, and walked into a wilderness with a gift in his hand. His son would leave the wilderness, cross a border, and enter a city where walls fell. Barriers were broken, and a Jewish boy, Nashon’s son, married a Gentile bride, Rahab.
Is it any wonder that Boaz, the grandson of Nahshon, sone of Salmon and Rahab, was open to marrying a Moabite named Ruth? By the way, they had a son, and named him Obed. His name means serving, just like the purpose of the Charger, the Bowl, and the Spoon. He had a son named Jesse, who had a son named David.
He had a descendant described as the Son Of David, The Lord Jesus, The Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah. The One, who like Nahshon, left Egypt, to grant us mercy. Nahshon’s gift happened in the wilderness for the Tabernacle. The Lord, in the Tabernacle of His flesh, gave His gift at The Cross, so that we could be adopted into the Family Of God.