Fruits of the Flesh/Spirit

Galatians chapter 5 lists the fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit. Together the lists run the tribes twice, giving 2 views to the tribes.


The following table shows how the fruits of the flesh maps to the tribes. Followed below by a table showing how the fruits of the Spirit map to the tribes. The result is a degenerate pattern for each tribe and it's opposite fruit of the Spirit.

Fruits of the Flesh

Tribe Fleshy Thing
19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; Galatians 5:19-21 (Galatians 5:19 NIV)
Judah Adultery, Impurity
Reuben Lasciviousness
20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (Galatians 5:20 NIV)
Gad Idolatry
Asher Witchcraft
Naphtali Enmity
Manasseh Strife, Jealousy
Simeon Anger
Levi Stubbornness
Issachar Seditions
Zebulun Heresies (Schisms)
21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21 NIV)
Joseph Envying, Murders
Benjamin Drunkenness
Dan Revellings and all such things...

Fruits of the Spirit

Tribe Spirit Thing
21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21 NIV)
Judah As I told you before and now...
Reuben Will not inherit...
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22-26 (Galatians 5:22 NIV)
Gad Love
Asher Joy
Naphtali Peace
Manasseh Patience of spirit
Simeon Gentleness
Levi Goodness
Issachar Faith
23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:23 NIV)
Zebulun Meekness
Joseph Self-control
Benjamin No law against these.
24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24 NIV)
Dan Control weaknesses and passions...

Notes on mapping

The odd challenge to this passage is the way the fruits of the flesh easily map to the tribes, but the fruits of the spirit are only 9 in number, and thus appear not to map to the tribes. The problem with just mapping the fleshy stuff is the lack of redemption it provides for our old friends. So the question has been how do the tribes map the fruits of the Spirit.

The trick is realizing the buffer statement between the fleshy list and spirit list is picking up a couple tribes as are the closing statements after the second list. When those pieces are included the list of 9 fruits grows to 13 items that relay aspects of the 13 tribes.

Given this approach, the buffer statement, "As I told you before and say to you now..." is the clue we've finished the first run of the tribes and we're starting a second, beginning, as always, with Judah.

Also, the fruit of the spirit known as "patience" is actually "patience of spirit" in the Aramaic and thus more text than the other fruit items since the others are only one word each. Typically Manasseh receives the longer passage in a list as the double portion holder. Obviously in this list there's more text for Judah, Reuben, Benjamin and Gad since they get the statements that wrap around the fruits list, but of the 9 fruits the one that is longer than the rest is Manasseh's and helps again to clarify that we're lined up correctly.

In the first list of fleshy stuff there are actually more fleshy fruits than tribes. The fix is doubling up in a few places, starting with Judah. That Judah has two items is a bit unusual, but confirmed in the second list where Judah aligns with the double statement, "As I've told you before and I'm telling you now..."

Beyond Judah, Manasseh and Joseph take two items in the fleshy list. This is normal since as the double portion holders these tribes often take two items in lists that are longer than 13.


There's enough correspondence to think the two lists are intended to be held side by side, the first list giving the degenerate behavior(s) most common for the tribe and the second list giving the fruit to grow to counteract the degenerate pattern. Some of the comparisons are not obviously related, which may be explainable by bad word choices during translation or something similar.

Tribe Fleshy Thing Spirit Thing
Judah Adultery, Impurity As I told you before and now...

Judah is adultery and impurity on the down side. The impurity may be an opposite to the purity or blamelessness for Judah seen elsewhere on the grid.

On the up side Judah is the ability to tell one's future or speak about what will happen. This is right given other parts of the grid, though it's not clear why seeing ahead relates to adultery or impurity.

Reuben Lasciviousness Will not inherit...

Reuben seems to get the lasciviousness tendency in light of his past sins of youth. He loses the birthright over this behavior and here he loses the inheritance.

Gad Idolatry Love

Gad is warned about idolatry which agrees with the second commandment which goes with Gad. He's also told to love, which is not clearly related to idolatry.

Asher Witchcraft Joy

Asher has witchcraft and joy. Witchcraft is likely joyless.

Naphtali Enmity Peace

Naphtali has enmity and peace, which do go well together. Be at peace rather than enmity.

Manasseh Strife, Jealousy Patience of spirit

Manasseh ends up with two items from the degenerate list, strife and jealousy. Elsewhere on the grid Manasseh is told to keep the Sabbath, which probably goes with strife. You also see envy commonly on Manasseh and/or Joseph, suggesting this is a degenerate problem of Manasseh's. On the up side Manasseh is to work on having patience of spirit. The need for patience is a direct match to strife mentioned on his degenerate side.

Simeon Anger Gentleness

Simeon gets "anger" as always. His fruit is "gentleness" which seems a pretty clear opposite of anger.

Levi Stubbornness Goodness

Levi gets stubbornness and goodness. These work as opposites. If stubbornness means withholding and goodness means giving or being helpful, than these are pretty good opposites.

Issachar Seditions Faith

Issachar is seditions and faith. If you treat a sedition as some form or infidelity to law or the community and faith or faithfulness fidelity to law and community, then these are good opposites.

Zebulun Heresies (Schisms) Meekness

Zebulun is heresies (or schisms) and meekness. If you are meek you are willing to endure and stay with others who are imperfect or being jerks. You won't schism, or at least not as quickly.

Joseph Envying, Murders Self-control

Joseph gets envy and murder on the degenerate side and self-control on the up side. Envy and/or jealousy typically land on Joseph and/or Manasseh. Self-control is an opposite of envy and perhaps the restraint needed by the murderer.

Benjamin Drunkenness No law against these.

Benjamin is drunkenness and law. Drunkenness is pointing at elements of the Mosaic Law. No law, or free from law is what happens when the bulk of the OT Law is dropped, freed from Judaism.

Dan Revellings and all such things... Control weaknesses and passions...

Dan is revellings and all such things compared to having control over weaknesses and passions. The two statements are similar in their inclusiveness, "all such things" and "those in Messiah."