Ephraim and Manasseh

Ephraim and Manasseh were the grandchildren of Jacob (Israel) and were elevated by him into positions of land-owning status, becoming two of the twelve tribes of Israel. Their father, Joseph, originally himself a member of the twelve tribes, had been sold into slavery by his brothers and taken to Egypt, while there, he rose to a position of great importance, heading the overflowing grainery of the Egyptian Pharaoah.

When a famine threatened to kill Jacob and his other sons in the land of Palestine, they heared that there was lots of food in Egypt, and went there only to discover that Joseph was the overseer of that food supply. Instead of dealing with them as they deserved, Joseph welcomed his family and provided for them sumptuously.

As a reward, Jacob (Israel) elevated Joseph to a patriarch (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph) and promoted Joseph's two sons, giving them equal status with his remaining eleven. The number came down to twelve when the tribe of Levi relinquished its land-owning status, and assumed the role of providing the other tribes with priests.

The Holy Spirit has designed the Bible so that its stories, like the parables of Jesus, have within them a code, i.e., allegory, which reveals the hidden meaning behind the words. The use of metaphore was very common in the lands of the east at the time the Bible stories were written, and the code which permeated scripture was cohesive, all-encompassing and profound.

The Israelites, like all ancient people, placed great importance on first-born sons. We can see the crucial role this concept had throughout the scriptures. Manasseh was born first and so should have been pre-eminent, but an act of chicanery reversed the order, resulting in Jacob giving the first-born blessing to Ephraim instead.

Centuries later, when the tribes of Israel reached the Holy Land after being freed from Egyptian slavery, the city of Jerusalem had no meaning to them. Nor did the tribe of Judah, the fourth-born son of Jacob (Israel).

Instead, there was a prophetic preeminence (in the code of biblical allegory) surrounding Ephraim that compelled the Israelites to place the priesthood and temple in a town called Shiloh in the land belonging to Ephraim. But the temple did not remain in Shiloh because the images God had in mind in this code were pointing farther down the road.

Subsequent events have shown us that the prophecies which flow from these two grandchildren of Jacob, were pointing, first, to the two Houses of Israel born out of the Hebrew civil war; and second to their New Testament fulfillment in the schism between Christians and Jews.

Prophecy promised that the eldest of these two grandchildren would be the least, and that the youngest would be elevated to primacy over the other.

This prophecy was first launched when Jacob gave Ephraim the patriarchal blessing instead of his older brother, Manasseh. And when Ephraim achieved early spiritual dominence in the land of Palestine, the prophecy seemed to come true.

But Shiloh was just the start of the images the Holy Spirit intended should come out of this important cryptogram. Passing through the code of the schism, Ephraim proved to be an allegory of Christianity and Manasseh an allegory of its older brother, Judaism.

Outnumbering Jews 100 to 1, Christians (the youngest) became the greatest just as the prophecy forsaw; and the two together have become the focal point for the entire religion of God on earth -- the two grandchildren of Israel (Jacob) absorbing in code form the entire tribal structure within themselves.

The Bible is filled with similar examples.

Since the twelve Apostles have been constructed on the template of Israel's twelve tribes, two of Christ's Apostles must correspond to Ephraim and Manasseh.

In looking at scripture, we find that there are two that do. In other words, God has followed the template perfectly.

In the case of the twelve tribes of Israel, Levi, was pulled out of landowning status -- the status which designated the twelve geographic areas of Israel, and became the tribe of the priesthood. From this priestly tribe came Moses and his brother Aaron. With Levi's change of status, the twelve became eleven.

We have also shown above what happened concerning the former tribal status of Joseph. His absence dropped the tribes down to ten.

When Jacob appointed his two grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasseh, into the ranks, the total rose back to twelve.

In the case of the 12 Apostles, Peter was elevated by Jesus to high priest to assume God's highest mantle of what Leviticism allegorically stood for, and Judah removed himself by suicide after betraying Christ.

Two more Apostles, those which correspond to Ephraim and Manasseh, were then added.

First came Matthias, who was selected by a choice of lots at a time when the entire Christian church numbered only 120 people (Acts 1:15-26). Because he was first, Matthias corresponds to Manasseh who preceded Ephraim in birth.

The prophecy stated that the second would become the greatest. So just as Ephraim became dominant over Manasseh, so did the second late-appointed Apostle of Christ become dominant over Matthias.

This second Apostle, chosen later by the Holy Spirit, was Paul -- the Apostle to the pagans. Paul corresponds to Ephraim in the prophecies.

See, Also:

'The Clock of God', Chapter 6, 'The Scattering'

Or Return to Subject Index:

Subject Index


Goodnews Christian Ministry

send E-mail to: