I wrote a blog in 2010 about Yehovah’s admonition for “the sons of Israel,”(really who I have come to understand as Israel’s seed) to wear tzitzit / tassels on their garments and added a link to that blog on my Facebook wall. In it I suggested that it might just be possible that if a woman were to wear tzitzit that she just might actually be breaking Yehovah’s instructions by wearing something that pertained to a man (now 5 years later, I know that for a fact). At that time I was just beginning to understand who the sons of Israel, Israel’s seed, the Ezrach men actually are. Needless to say this is not a very popular opinion to hold but it is an opinion, none the less, that can be supported with Yehovah’s own words in dozens of locations in Torah.
[Note: I hate to even write the words “the sons of Israel” and even more “the children of Israel” because of all the confusion that exists in the minds of people. But I do use “Sons of Israel” here strictly for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and to have more people come to a deeper understanding as to whom Yehovah actually speaks to through Moses and His other Prophets. Today 9/15/15 I am doing yet another rewrite on this article. This article was originally written just as I was beginning to understand who “the sons of Israel” really are.]
But while I have the ladies mad at me already (because of my 1st paragraph); let me be bold enough to suggest that that not every man who has joined himself to Israel as a citizen is to wear tassels either, even if he is circumcised in his heart. For “benai Israel” come from a supernatural birth in being obedient to the covenant that Yehovah made with them. We will see below that all the males who were born of Jacob before they went into Egypt were called בני ישׂראל (benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”). But the offspring of Joseph were referred to as nephesh (souls) born to Joseph, not sons. Later these men also would become בני ישׂראל (benai Israel).
I believe this confusion comes because we, those who call ourselves “Yehovah’s people” do not understand the two types of men who make up Israel. (This became very clear to me this past Sabbath as we looked at the two sticks that make up Israel in Ezekiel 37.)
The first type is the Ger. This is that precious man who has repented, left the kingdom of his birth and joined himself to Yehovah’s “born in the land” people, His Ezrach. Once a year the Ger may become an Ezrach at Passover. Paul hints at these two groups when he speaks to the Corinthians about not being unequally yoked together with unbelievers (unrepentant people and systems of government). First a man becomes his people and then His son. And when a man becomes His son/seed, his woman (bone of his bone) becomes His daughter. He says, quoting Jeremiah and then Hosea.
And what agreement hath the temple of Elohim with idols? For ye are the temple of the living Elohim; as Elohim hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, says Yehovah, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, says the El Shaddai. (2Co 6:16-18)
One law shall be for the native-born (Ezrach) and for the stranger (Ger) who dwells among you.” (Exo 12:49)
The Ger and the Ezrach make up the citizenry of True Israel, but only one of them is numbered among the “born in the land,” בני ישׂראל (sons of Israel).
Who Are The “Sons Of Israel”, Israel’s Seed?
Let’s ask ourselves a question. Do we believe that Yehovah chooses His words carefully? Is He haphazard in His choice of vocabulary? He says many times, “Speak to בני ישׂראל (benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”) ….”
The people who Moses speaks with is בני ישׂראל (benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”) . בני comes from the root בנ H1112 meaning son. My favorite lexicon is Jeff Benner’s Ancient Hebrew lexicon of the Bible. In it he writes the following about the word and root-word בנ .
Note: I was not able to render the picture language font correctly in this blog. The ב, bet, looks like a primitive “floor plan” and the נ, nun, looks like a sprouting seed.
Strong’s #1121: AHLB#: 1037-A (N)
1037) (בנ BN) ac[tion]: Build co[ncrete]: Tent panel ab[stract]: Intelligence: The pictograph ב is a picture of the tent. The נ is a picture of a sprouting seed and represents continuity as the seed continues the next generation. The combined meaning of these letters mean “the continuing of the house“. The tent was constructed of woven goat hair. Over time the sun bleaches and weakens the goat hair necessitating their continual replacement. Each year the women make a new panel, approximately 3 feet wide and the length of the tent. The old panel is removed (being recycled into a wall or floor) and the new strip is added to the tent. Since the tent is only replaced one small piece at a time the tent essentially lasts forever.
A) (בנ BN) ac: ? co: Tent Panel ab: ?: There are many similarities between building a tent out of goat hair panels and the building of a house out of sons (The idea of building a house with sons[seed] can be seen in Genesis 30:3). Just as the tent panels are added to continue the tent, sons are born to the family to continue the family line. Just as the tent is continually being renewed with new panels, the family is continually being renewed with new sons.
Nm) (בנ BN) – Son: One who continues the family line.
I use many resources in my studies but the one thing that NEVER leaves my mind is this: Translations, lexicons, concordances, dictionaries and especially commentaries (which I never use) are produced, for the most part, by people who have never repented, left the kingdom of their birth, joined themselves (and their families) to Yehovah and His called-out people and now follow only His eternal and unchanging ways; AND all that is just to become a Ger. These resources can all be great tools to help the seeker of Yehovah’s ways discover the truth, BUT THEY ARE NOT AUTHORITATIVE!
Yehovah said through Isaiah,
“Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? [the answer is NO!] Those just drawn from the breasts? [again, NO!] For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, and line upon line, here a little, there a little.” (Isa 28:9-10)
Knowing Who “The Sons Of Israel” Are Requires A Broad Understanding Of Yehovah’s Word
Those immature in the faith will not understand the message that Yehovah has for His people; most do not even understand who His people (benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”) are. Only those that seek Him and His righteous way actually find the gems in His word. If we think that we can simply go to something written by an unrepentant man like Strong’s to build our theology on, we will be lost. Precept is upon precept and line is upon line, here a little and there a little.
The best and only reliable tool for understanding Yehovah’s word is Yehovah’s word!
When Yehovah told בני ישׂראל (benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”), to put tzitzit on their garments. Who was he speaking to?
Torah talks about benai Heth, benai Esau, benai Noah, benai Jacob and the benai of many other men. In light of what we just saw in Jeff Benner’s Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible concerning the Hebrew word בני (ben) and its root, with the same spelling; I am going to suggest that we begin thinking of “benai” as “seed.” benai Heth are all the men (seed) who come from Heth. This is the same for all the benai I have mentioned above. BUT, בני ישׂראל, (benai Israel, “Israel’s seed”) you must also read my article called Israel’s son/seed. The words בני ישׂראל, (benai Israel, “Israel’s seed”)represents the “spiritual seed” that also produces after its own kind as well. Yehovah told His spiritual people to be fruitful and multiply. We, בני ישׂראל, (benai Israel, “Israel’s seed”), the spiritually born men, the Ezrach of Yehovah’s kingdom are to bear fruit (by manifesting His eternal and unchanging ways in our lives) and then multiplies to our master, Yehovah, more spiritual seed (just as a woman bears sons for her master to extend his seed).
Many, most, translations render the Hebrew word “benai” as “children,” and thus include their woman, their children, their servants and their Ger who dwell with them. But if that is the case, why did he not say “speak to the עםH5971 (am), people of Israel? Or the אדםH120 (a·dam), man of Israel? Or the אישׁH376 (eesh), man of Israel? How about ולידH3205 (ye·led), young man of Israel, or טףH2945 (taph), little ones or families of Israel. He did not say זכרH2138 (za·kar), male of Israel. Nor בתH1323 or אשׁהH802 (bat or ish·shah), daughter or woman of Israel. Yehovah said בני ישׂראל, (benai Israel, “Israel’s seed”)!
I see that there are several translations that do a more honest job of translating “benai” as “sons” instead of “children”; The New American Standard Bible, The Emphasized Bible, The Literal Translation, Modern King James and Young’s Literal Translation are all examples of this.
Most translations translate benai as “children,” but when they get in a bind, and know that they will look stupid for translating something that is clearly (at least in their minds) all men, then they translate it more correctly as “sons.” But even translating benai in the plural as “sons” is not correct either, benai like Ezrach is singular; just like seed can be few or many, so there is no plural form for Yehovah’s Ezrach.
So I began my search to find evidence of what I already knew in my spirit and found some very interesting verses. To date I have spent hundreds of hours studying just these three words, ben, benim and benai. But these three variations only appear in the Hebrew. Remember, “line upon line, here a little and there a little.”
Here Are The Original “Sons Of Israel”
Now these are the names of בני ישׂראל, (benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”) who came to Egypt; each man, (אישׁH376 [eesh – there is no woman eesh either], and his household came with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. (Exo 1:1-4)
All those בני (benai) that are named in this section are men, Jacob’s seed; Dinah is not numbered among בני ישׂראל, (benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”).
It is the first-born sons who are set apart to Yehovah, never the first-born daughter.
… you shall set apart to Yehovah all that open the matrix, that is, every firstling, that comes from an animal which you have; the males הזכריםH2138 [ha-zakar], shall be Yehovah’s. But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn male, בכורH1060 [bekore] of man אדם [adam, as opposed to animals] from your sons, בניךH1121 [benaim] you shall redeem. (Exo 13:12-13)
The firstborn male [bekore] opens the matrix because he is the first of the seed for the next generation; the firstborn female בכירהH1067 (bekirah), has no seed.
The following, Gen. 46:7-27, lists Jacob’s seed (“the sons of Israel”; watch closely to see how the ladies are treated.
His [Jacob’s] sons [בניוH1121, benim] and his son’s [בניוH1121, benim] benai [בניH1121]; his daughters [בנתיוH1323, benot] and his sons [בניוH1121, benim] [בנתיוH1323, benot] and all his offspring [זרעוH2233 zerah] he brought with him to Egypt. Gen 46:7
A daughter is not considered benai (seed), and because she does not have seed, she can not be a benai.
Gen 46:8 actually says who בני ישׂראל, Israel’s seed, (benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”) are.
Now these were the names of Israel’s seed, בני ישׂראל [benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”] which came into Egypt; JACOB AND HIS SONS [בניוH1121, benim] who went to Egypt. (Gen 46:8)
Next Yehovah spells out just who Israel’s seed, בני ישׂראל [benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”] are, and who they are not.
All Israel’s seed, בני ישׂראל (benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”) are highlighted in green and each time a woman is mentioned they are distinguished from sons with the words “their sister” or “his daughter” in pink.
(9) Reuben’s1 seed [בני, benai] were Hanoch2, Pallu3, Hezron4, and Carmi5.
(10) Simeon’s6 seed [בני, benai] were Jemuel7, Jamin8, Ohad9, Jachin10, Zohar11, and Shaul12, the son of a Canaanite woman.
(11) Levi’s13 seed [בני, benai] were Gershon14, Kohath15, and Merari16.
Levi’s daughter Jochebed is not listed here.
(12) Judah’s17 seed [בני, benai] were Er, Onan, Shelah18, Perez19, and Zerah20 (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). Perez’s seed בני [benai] were Hezron21 and Hamul22.
(13) Issachar’s23 seed [בני, benai] were Tola24, Puvah25, Job26, and Shimron27.
(14) Zebulun’s28 seed [בני, benai] were Sered29, Elon30, and Jahleel31.
(15)These seed [בני, benai] Leah bore to Jacob in Padan Aram, and his daughter בנH1323 – (bat) Dinah32. All the persons נפשׁH5315 (nephesh), his sons [בניו, benim] and his daughters, בנותיוH1323, [benot, plural of bat], were thirty-three.
Note: This count of thirty-three is short by one; Jochebed, Levi’s daughter and Moses’ mother, is not listed here; but she has to be the 33rd offspring of Jacob. She was conceived in Canaan and born in Egypt.
Jasher 59:9 And Levi’s seed, (בני, benai] were Gershon, Kehath and Merari, and their sister Jochebed, who was born unto them in their going down to Egypt.
And Kohath’s seed, (בני, benai] were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were one hundred and thirty-three.Â Now Amram took for himself Jochebed, his father’s sister, as woman; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven. (Exo 6:18-20)
This, incidentally, is a great biblical argument for anti-abortion. Jochebed was counted before she was born and named.
(16) Gad’s33 seed [בני, benai] were Ziphion34, Haggi35, Shuni36, Ezbon37, Eri38, Arodi39, and Areli40.
(17) Asher’s41 seed [בני, benai] were Jimnah42, Ishuah43, Isui44, Beriah,45 and Serah46, their sister (אחתםH269, achoth). And the בני (benai) of Beriah were Heber47 and Malchiel48.
(18) These seed [בני, benai] Zilpah (whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter) bore to Jacob: sixteen persons.
(19) Jacob’s seed [בני, benai] from his woman Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
(20) And unto Joseph49 Asenath (the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On) bore, in the land of Egypt, Manasseh50 and Ephraim51.
(21) Benjamin’s52 seed [בני, benai] were Belah53, Becher54, Ashbel55, Gera56, Naaman57, Ehi58, Rosh59, Muppim60, Huppim61, and Ard62.
(22) These seed [בני, benai] Rachel bore to Jacob: fourteen persons in all.
(23) Dan’s63 seed [בני, benai] was Hushim64.
Notice: Dan only had one son and he was still called a benai; as I said seed and ezrach have no plural form.
(24) Naphtali65 seed [בני, benai], were Jahzeel66, Guni67, Jezer68, and Shillem69.
(25) These seed [בני, benai], Bilhah (whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter) bore to Jacob: seven persons in all.
(26) All the persons, הנפשׁH5315 [ha-nephesh] who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, besides Jacob’s son’s women [there is no word for wife in Torah], were sixty-six persons in all.
(27) Joseph’s seed, [בני, benai] who were born to him in Egypt were two persons, נפשׁH5315 [nephesh]. All the persons נפשׁH5315 [nephesh] of the house of Jacob who went to Egypt were seventy.
Here are some observations about benai Israel, “the sons of Israel” from Gen 46:9-26.
- All the בני, “the sons of Israel” are highlighted in green and each time a woman is mentioned they are distinguished from seed with the words “their sister” or “his daughter.”
- In light of verse 8, all Jacob’s seed [בני, benai], are men and they alone are Israel’s seed, בני ישׂראל [benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”].
Now these were the names of Israel’s son/seed, בני ישׂראל [benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”] which came into Egypt, JACOB AND HIS SONS [בניוH1121, benim], who went to Egypt. (Gen 46:8)
- Verse 26 and 27, very carefully says “all the nephesh.” The word used here for person(s), which includes all 66 and then 70 sons and daughters together with the two seed which came from Joseph, they are called nephesh (not benai).
- This count of 66 of all who came with Jacob to Egypt and the full count of 70 souls who came from Jacob does not count Jacob’s women or his son’s women. I believe they are being included with their husbands as “one flesh.”
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Gen 2:24)
But, that said, being “one flesh” with a priest does not mean a woman serves in the temple, being “one flesh” does not make a woman a father. Nor does it make a women one of Israel’s seed, בני ישׂראל [benai Israel, “the sons of Israel”]. This is just one of the reasons why I now believe that if a woman wears tzitzit she is indeed wearing something which pertains to a man.
When we treat a woman equal to a man, we obscure Yehovah’s word in such a way that we will not be able to understand Yehovah’s word. But, by getting our foundations correct (without adding to or subtracting from Yehovah’s word) we will have the ability to see even greater truths in the future; and that is my hope for all of us.
O Yehovah, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.” (Jer 16:19)
Here is a video teaching on Genesis chapter 46 in case you want to go deeper into this life changing subject. Jacob Sees Joseph
All of the above just cracks the surface; we all have much to learn. Please also read:
Sons of Israel – More Light
The Ger becomes the Ezrach, the spiritual son/seed
Benai Israel is Spiritual Seed
Who did Yehovah’s speak to at the mountain?
Who is the “your” in “Yehovah, your Elohim”?
7 thoughts on “Sons Of Israel / Benai Israel – Who Are They?”
Oh my what can I say.. yes.. yes.. yes.. !
One thought on this, no wonder that the adversary is after the seed. In all kinds of trickery, and abominations to take what is not his…
Brother Michael, I enjoy your indepth studies of the Holy Writ and marvel at your concusions of truth. May you coninue to be blessed by Yeshua’s hand in each study and toda raba for your time. Brother Hawks
Michael again we agree, I can see clearly there is a separation of men and women in the scriptures. Thanks for explaining it so clearly (although somehow I already knew it).
I have a friend that has given me several sets of tzitzit with the advise that “children of Israel” include the women. I have never worn them because it just didn’t seem right. Now I am sure of it. It is clear that the daughters are not included in the sons of Israel. Some times you can’t see the trees for the forest. Thanks for clearing out the underbrush… Shalom
Very interesting and a eye opener . Could you please post it on my email I received it by BB its small and difficult to read. Thanks Coen
OK Coen – It has been sent to your e-mail address. Thanks for taking the time to read it. This understanding for me has lead to hundred of other new understandings in Torah. It is amazing how one lie, one misunderstanding, can literally blind us to so many truths that are available to everyone in Yehovah’s eternal and unchanging word. This article, and several other that I have written on this subject, will set us free; as the truth always does.
Great words of wisdom and light. The response maybe negative, however keep telling the truth, for whether we like it or not we all want to hear the truth so we can be free