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The information on this page is presented to better clarify the relationship between Ephraim and Dan following the time of Solomon, what their sin was, how Jacob foresaw this sin, and the connection to Laodicea in Revelation chapter three.

The relationship position of the tribes with regard to the Mishkan (Tabernacle) and to their corresponding angels will also play a role later in this study.


Dan's standard is to the north

Midrash Rabbah Num. II, 18 ff.  ... AND THEY SHALL SET FORTH THIRD; a meet adjunct to Torah and to penitence is power1; for a man should exert his powers in acquiring Torah and in mastering his evil propensities. The North is the region whence darkness issues forth into the world, and on that side shall be the tribe of Dan. Why? For it was that tribe which darkened the world with idolatry, when Jeroboam made the two golden calves. Idolatry is darkness, as it is said, And their works are in the dark (Isa. XXIX, 15). Jeroboam went round to all Israel [inviting them to embrace idolatry] but none of them would agree, except the tribe of Dan, as it is said, And the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold... and the other put he in Dan3 (I Kings XII, 28 f.). For this reason the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded that he should pitch his camp in the North. Hence it is written, ON THE NORTH SIDE SHALL BE THE STANDARD OF THE CAMP OF DAN, etc.

points.gif (1460 bytes) The Four Cardinal Directions:

South = Michael corresponds to Rueben
North = Uriel corresponds to Dan
East = Gabriel corresponds to Judah (Kingship)
West = Raphael corresponds to Ephraim

And next to him the tribe of Asher, lighting up the darkness, as it is stated, And of Asher he said: Blessed be Asher... and let him dip his foot in oil4 (Deut. XXXIII, 24). Therefore Scripture says, AND THOSE THAT PITCH NEXT UNTO HIM SHALL BE THE TRIBE OF ASHER (Num. II, 27). Next to him was Naphtali, with the blessing of ample sustenance, as it is written, O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, etc. (Deut. XXXIII, 23). Therefore Scripture says, AND THE TRIBE OF NAPHTALI... ALL THAT WERE NUMBERED OF THE CAMP OF DAN... THEY SHALL SET FORTH HINDMOST BY THEIR STANDARDS (Num. II, 29 ff.). It teaches that all who worship idols go backwards and not forwards.’ It is, therefore, stated, ‘The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens’ (Prov. III, 19). As the Holy One, blessed be He, created the four cardinal directions and four standards corresponding to them, so also did He set about His throne four angels-Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael. Michael at His right, corresponded to Reuben. Why was his name called Michael (Mi ka'el)? When Israel crossed the Red Sea Moses’ began to chant, Who (mi) is like unto Thee, etc. (Ex. XV, 11); and when he completed the Torah he said, There is none like unto God (ka'el), O Jeshurun, etc. (Deut. XXXIII, 26). From the two expressions ‘mi (who) is like unto Thee’ and ‘none ka'el (like unto God) ' you obtain the combination mi ka'el. Uriel at His left, corresponding to Dan, who was on the north side. Why was his name called Uriel? On account of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, by means of which the Holy One, blessed be He, makes atonement for him [Dan] and gives light unto Israel, as it is said, Arise, shine, for thy light is come (Isa. LX, I). David also said, The Lord is God, and hath given us light (Ps. CXVIII, 27). This explains the name ‘Uriel’. Scripture also states, Though I sit in darkness, the Lord is a light unto me (Micah VII, 8). Gabriel in front, corresponded to the kingship of Judah and to Moses and Aaron who were on the east side. Why was his name called Gabriel? It is written concerning Judah, For Judah prevailed (gabar) above his brethren, etc. (I Chron. V, 2), and concerning Moses it is written, And he called unto (el) Moses1 (Lev. I, 1), and it is also written, And his name is called Pelejoez-el-gibbor (Isa. IX, 5).2 This explains the name Gabriel. Raphael corresponded to Ephraim. Why was his name called Raphael? In order to symbolize the healing of the breach made by Jeroboam who sprang from Ephraim who was on the west; also in allusion to Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee (Num. XII, 13). Thus has been explained the name Raphael. 

Dan's inheritance given in Ezekiel is to the north

Ezekiel 48:1 - And these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goes to Hamath, Hazar-Enan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan.

Jeroboam the Ephraimite places two golden calves one in Beth-El and in Dan

I Kings 12:19-33 -  And Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day. 20. And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, that they sent and called him to the congregation, and made him king over all Israel; there was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only. 21. And when Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, a hundred and eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom back to Rehoboam the son of Solomon. 22. But the word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, 23. Speak to Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all the house of Judah and Benjamin, and to the remnant of the people, saying, 24. Thus said the Lord, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers the people of Israel; return every man to his house; for this thing is from me. They listened therefore to the word of the Lord, and turned and went their way, according to the word of the Lord. 25. Then Jeroboam built Shechem in Mount Ephraim, and lived there; and went out from there, and built Penuel. 26. And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David; 27. If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn back to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go back to Rehoboam king of Judah. 28. And the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said to them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. 29. And he set one in Beth-El, and the other he placed in Dan. 30. And this thing became a sin; for the people went to worship before the one, as far as Dan. 31. And he made a house of high places, and made priests from among all the people, who were not of the sons of Levi. 32. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So he did in Beth-El, sacrificing to the calves that he had made; and he placed in Beth-El the priests of the high places that he had made. 33. And he offered upon the altar which he had made in Beth-El the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast to the children of Israel; and he offered upon the altar, and burned incense.

Jacob sees the idols of Jeroboam when he blesses, Ephraim and Manasseh

Soncino Zohar Volume I, p. 228b - When Jacob was about to bless Joseph's sons, he saw by the Holy Spirit that Jeroboam the son of Nebat would issue from Ephraim, and he exclaimed, "Who are these?", the word "these" (eleh) being an allusion to idols. The reason is that besides the evil serpent there is one that rides on it, and when they are joined together they are called "these", and they visit the world with all their hosts. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is called "this", and is symbolized by the covenant of the holy imprint which is ever on a man's body. Hence we find written, "These also shall forget" (Is. XLIX, 15), and again, "For these I am weeping" (Ibid. 16), that sin being the cause to us of endless weeping; or alternatively, because this place was allowed to gain dominion over Israel and to destroy the Temple, the word "I" (ani) in this case referring to the Holy Spirit. It may be asked, on this hypothesis, what are we to make of the words "These are the words of the covenant"? The answer is that the word "these" is here also appropriate, because the words of the covenant are established by "these", since they are the abode of all curses, which await all who transgress the covenant. Similarly it is written, "These are the precepts which the Lord commanded", because the object of all the precepts is to purify man so that he should not stray from the right path and should keep far away from there. Hence, too, it is written, "These are the generations of Noah", because they included Ham the father of Canaan, who was accursed. The spirit of eleh is the "dross of gold". Aaron in the wilderness offered gold, which was his own affinity, since he was endowed with the strength of fire, and fire and gold are all one, but the unclean spirit which haunts the wilderness found at that time a place on which to fasten, and so Israel, after being freed at Mount Sinai from the primeval defilement which brought death into the world, afterwards incurred it again and brought death upon themselves and all their descendants. Hence, when Jacob saw in his mind's eye Jeroboam son of Nebat, who made an idol and said, "These are thy gods, O Israel", he trembled and said, "Who are these?". Hence when he came afterwards to bless them, he first blessed Elohim and then blessed them from that source.

Ephraim declares "I am rich" (Revelation 3:17)

Soncino Zohar Volume II p. 67b - "And Ephraim said, Yet I am become rich, I have found me out power", namely, the celestial unholy power which presided over the act of idolatry committed by Jeroboam (I Kings XII, 28), without which he would not have been able to succeed. Now, when this king and this priest of the "other side" are subdued, and their power broken, all the "other sides" follow suit, and are also subdued and broken, and acknowledge the sovereignty of the Holy One, and in this way He alone rules above and below, as it is written: "And the Lord alone will be exalted in that day" (Isa. II, 11). In just the same way God broke here on earth the power of an "old and foolish king", namely Pharaoh, who, when Moses said to him, "The God of the Hebrews hath met with us", replied, "I know not the Lord," but when the Holy One, desiring that His Name should be glorified on earth as it is in heaven, punished him and his people, he came and acknowledged the Holy One. Subsequently his priest also, namely Jethro, the priest of On, i.e. idolatry, was also humbled, so that he came and acknowledged the Holy One, saying: "Blessed be the Lord, who hath delivered you.... Now I know that the Lord is greater than all the gods..." (Ex. XVIII, 10, 11). So when that king and that priest acknowledged the Holy One, blessed be He, and were humbled before Him, He was exalted above and below, and then, and then only did He give forth the Torah, as undisputed sovereign over all.’

Jeroboam's Idolatry leads to Rome and Greek Italy

Talmud, Shabbath 56b - Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: When Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter, Gabriel descended and planted a reed in the sea, and it gathered a bank around it, on which the great city of Rome was built.24 In a Baraitha it was taught: On the day that Jeroboam brought the two golden calves, one into Bethel and the other into Dan, a hut was built, and this developed into Greek Italy.