Jesus Is

After offering prayer for the Colossians, Paul describes 13 aspects of Jesus that, of course, run the 13 tribes

Grid

Tribe Jesus Is

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Colossians 1:15 NIV)

15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (Colossians 1:15 KJV)

15FAHe is the likeness of the god who is unseen and the firstborn of every creature. (Colossians 1:15 BRB)

Judah He is the image of the invisible God,

Judah is the image of the invisible God. Judah is usually independent of the other tribes, and thus usually unseen to the rest.

Reuben And the firstborn of every creature:

Reuben is the firstborn of every creature. This match is easy since Reuben is Jacob's firstborn son.

16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Colossians 1:16 NIV)

16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16 KJV)

16FAThrough him were created all things that are in the skies and on land, seen and unseen, whether imperial thrones or masters or kingly orders or dominions. All things were in his hand and were created by him. (Colossians 1:16 BRB)

Gad And through him were created all things in the skies and on land,

Gad lands on creator of sky and land. This may speak to the dominion of Gad. Spanish and Portugese combined is spoken by over 700 million people, the largest group of phoentic language speakers.

Asher Visible and invisible,

Asher picks visible and invisible. Asher's article in the tent is the candle, which gives light, or allows darkness when not lit.

Naphtali Whether imperial thrones or masters or angelic orders or dominions,

Naphtali is the various thrones and powers. Germany was one of the last modern European nations to combine into a single country, being divided in many different dominions even into the late 1800s.

Manasseh All things were in his hand and were created by him;

Manasseh often reflects the whole. Here all the thing ever created is the whole.

17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17 NIV)

17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:17 KJV)

17FAHe is before all things and by him all things are sustained. (Colossians 1:17 BRB)

Simeon And he is before all things,

Simeon is before all things. Unclear why, or even what this might mean. This statement seems to contradict or be redundant with later statements landing on Zebulun and/or Joseph. So perhaps there's a better way to translate this phrase.

Levi And by him all things are sustained.

Levi is sustainer of all things. Levi is like "glue." Levi is the camp in the middle of the other tribes when in the wilderness. The glue if you will. He was also city states spread throughout the rest of the tribes.

18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. (Colossians 1:18 NIV)

18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18 KJV)

18FAHe is the head of the body, which is the assembly, for he is the head and the firstborn from the house of the dead that in all things he would be the first. (Colossians 1:18 BRB)

Issachar And he is the head of the body, the church;

Issachar is the head of the body, which is the church. This agrees with the mapping between the Parts of the Body of Christ in First Corinthians 12 that also puts the head of the body on Issachar.

Zebulun For he is the beginning,

Zebulun is before all things. In general Zebulun has a theme of origins or foundations. He is the foundation and "rigging" that holds up the tent. Zebulun, as Greece, is the origin of democracy. He's the Inspection Gate, the place with the historical or genealogical records, the history or origins of things. Another modern example is the way he is the first nation in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

Joseph The firstfruits of the resurrection from the dead... the first;

Joseph is the firstfruits of the resurrection of the dead, that in all things he might be first. The firstfruits would normally go with Naphtali, since that is his holiday, though in the use of the term it's the firstfruits of the resurrection. Elsewhere in the grid resurrection is a theme that lands often on Joseph and/or Manasseh. Also, the use of "all things" here may fit Joseph, since like Manasseh, he's a microcosm of the whole.

19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, (Colossians 1:19 NIV)

19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; (Colossians 1:19 KJV)

19FAFor it pleased god to complete all things in him (Colossians 1:19 BRB)

Benjamin For it pleased God to complete all things in him;

Benjamin is the one it pleases God to complete all things in. Benjamin is the youngest of the brothers and the last to acknowledge Jesus. As Paul says in Romans, when Benjamin comes around it will mean nothing short of the resurrection of the dead. In other words, he is the last or the completion of what God's been doing for a rather long time.

20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Colossians 1:20 NIV)

20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:20 KJV)

20FAand by his hand to reconcile everything to himself, and through his blood shed on the cross to make peace both for those who live on land and for those who live in the skies. (Colossians 1:20 BRB)

Dan And, by his hand, to reconcile everything to himself...

Dan is the reconciliation of everything. As judge Dan has the general theme of doing the accounting for things, whether good or bad. Here is the reconciler, which might just mean he's entrusted with the accounting of the reconciliation of things.

Notes on mapping

There's not necessarily a silver bullet for this list, though there's not a whole lot of wiggle room either. So the basic strategy is to just work down the list, giving each item to a tribe. There's a spot or two where things could break differently, but otherwise this is straightforward.