Reuben, the eldest, born to a mother who felt rejected and disregarded, makes all kinds of mistakes. He sleeps with Bilha, his father’s concubine, and his father, Jacob, hears about it. What could have compelled him to do something like this if not the strongest desire to be seen and escape transparency?
Hatred is what motivated Shimon, and Levi is dragged along together with him. Judah – the one born to a mother full of thanksgiving – makes the right choices in the end. It was Judah who rescued Joseph from death, saving his life by selling him to the slavers. In the story of Tamar, at the moment of truth, Judah understood his sin and made a brave choice. He had the spiritual fortitude to lead, and he drove the biblical story forward.
At a critical moment just before Jacob’s death, he called all his sons together and “blessed” them with pronouncements that were later revealed to be prophecies affecting their futures individually and the future of the people of Israel.
To Reuben, he mentioned the betrayal of sleeping...
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