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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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TRIBE (φυλή) is used mostly in the special OT sense of an Israelitish tribe, composed of the descendants of one of the sons of Jacob. The prophetess Anna belonged to the tribe of Asher (Luke 2:36). The Messianic claims of Jesus were strengthened by the fact that He sprang from the royal tribe of Judah (Hebrews 7:14). Galilee comprised the territories allotted in OT times to the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali (Matthew 4:13; Matthew 4:15). The promise to the Twelve Apostles that they should judge the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28 || Luke 22:30) may be regarded as an instance of the way in which Jesus sometimes expressed His teaching in the language of popular apocalyptic conceptions of the Kingdom of God (cf. Revelation 7:4 ff.). Less probable is the explanation of Weiss, that ‘their judging the twelve tribes is only the reverse side of their being sent to the twelve tribes, which are exposed to judgment just because the offer of salvation was made to them through the Apostles’ (NT Theol., English translation i. 154). In Matthew 24:30 (quoted from Zechariah 12:12) ‘tribe’ has the wider sense of a branch of the human race.

James Patrick.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Tribe'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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