Members of Land and Skies

Colossians 3 has two lists that align. The first list describes 13 patterns of sin. The second list describes 13 new patterns to adopt to overcome the first. Both lists map to the 13 tribes, revealing specific areas of weakness and strength in each tribe.


1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.ESTIN cannot be tagged, at least not as worded hered in the KJV 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 KJV)

1FAIf you then are raised with the messiah seek those things which are above where the messiah sits on the right hand of god. 2Set your mind on things above not on things of the land. 3For you are dead and your life is hidden with the messiah in god. 4Whenever the messiah who is our life will appear then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 BRB)

1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4 NIV)

First List (Degenerate Patterns)

Tribe Pattern

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. (Colossians 3:5-7 NIV)

5ΒΆMortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. (Colossians 3:5-7 KJV)

5FATherefore mortify your members in the land: Immorality and uncleanness and intemperate desires and evil lusts and covetousness, for these are idolatry. 6It is because of these things that the wrath of god comes on the children of disobedience. 7In the past you also lived among these things and you were perverted by them. (Colossians 3:5-7 BRB)

Judah Immorality
Reuben Uncleanness
Gad Intemperate Desires
Asher Evil Lusts
Naphtali Covetousness
Manasseh You also lived among them and were perverted by them

8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. (Colossians 3:8 NIV)

8But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8 KJV)

8FABut now put off from you all these: Anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, foul conversation. (Colossians 3:8 BRB)

Simeon Anger
Levi Wrath
Issachar Malice
Zebulun Blasphemy, Foul Conversation

9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. (Colossians 3:9-11 NIV)

9Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:9-11 KJV)

9FADo not lie to one another, but put away the old life with all its practices 10and put on the new life which is renewed in knowledge after the pattern in which it was originally created 11where there is neither Jew nor Aramean, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Greek nor barbarian, slave nor freeman, but the messiah is all and in all men. (Colossians 3:9-11 BRB)

Joseph Do Not Lie, Put Away Old Life, Put On New Life
Benjamin Neither Jew nor Aramean, Circumcision or Uncircumcision, Greek nor Barbarian, Slave nor Freeman
Dan Anointing is All and in All Men

Second List (Redemptive Patterns)

Tribe Pattern

12FATherefore as the elect of god, holy and beloved, put on mercy and kindness and gentleness and humbleness of mind and meekness and patience. 13Forbear one another and forgive one another. If anyone has a complaint against his fellow man, just as the messiah forgave you, so you also should forgive. (Colossians 3:12-13 BRB)

12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:12-13 NIV)

12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (Colossians 3:12-13 KJV)

Judah Mercy
Reuben Kindness
Gad Gentleness
Asher Humbleness of Mind
Naphtali Meekness
Manasseh Patience, Forbearing and Forgiving

14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14 NIV)

14FAWith all these things have love which is the bond of perfection. (Colossians 3:14 BRB)

14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. (Colossians 3:14 KJV)

Simeon Love

15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:15-16 NIV)

15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:15-16 KJV)

15FALet the peace of the messiah govern your hearts. To that end you are called in 1 body. Be thankful to the messiah. 16Let his word live in you abundantly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to god. (Colossians 3:15-16 BRB)

Levi Peace
Issachar Called in 1 Body
Zebulun Thankful
Joseph Word Live In You
Benjamin Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs, Singing to God with Grace in Heart

17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17 NIV)

17And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Colossians 3:17 KJV)

17FAWhatever you do in word or deed do it in the name of Master Messiah Joshua giving thanks through him to father god. (Colossians 3:17 BRB)

Dan Do Everything in the Name of Jesus

Side by Side Comparison

Benjamin is a clear match to "Neither Jew nor Aramean, etc" in the first list since Benjamin became the modern nation of Israel. The remedy seems odd in that it's singing songs, but structurally there's a tight alignment between the degenerate and the redemptive lists.

There are four categories of us-vs-them in the degenerate list and there are four categories of singing in the redemptive list. Whatever songs are a metaphor for, it must be what helps Benjamin, or anyone, past the us-vs-them dichotomy.

Tribe Degenerate Pattern Redemptive Pattern
Judah Immorality Mercy

Judah is said to have "immorality" and the redemptive side is said to be "mercy." It's hard to know how the redemptive item, in this case mercy, resolves the sin the pattern since "immorality" is a wide open term these days in English. There may be issues at the original language level.

Reuben Uncleanness Kindness

Reuben is said to have "uncleanness" and the remedy is "kindness." Like with Judah, it's hard to know how kindness is a remedy for uncleanness since it's difficult to know what's meant by uncleanness.

Gad Intemperate Desires Gentleness

Gad has "intemperate desires" on the degenerate side, but "gentleness" on the redemptive side. Gad has a pattern of going after things, which explains why he can be intemperate. How is "gentleness" the remedy? This means something along the lines of thinking how our actions effect others and changing our actions accordingly.

Asher Evil Lusts Humbleness of Mind

Asher's remedy makes a lot sense given what's known about Asher from other lists in scripture. In the love chapter, for example, Asher's aspect of love is that "love does not boast." Here, the remedy for "evil lusts" is "humbleness of mind."

The remedy makes lots of sense for Asher even if the degenerate pattern is a bit out of focus. It may be that what's meant by evil lusts is really something more like exaggeration or boasting or being overly high minded rather than simply physical lust.

Naphtali Covetousness Meekness

Naphtali is said to have "covetousness," and the remedy is said to be "meekness." Normally coveting aligns with Benjamin, like in the case of the commandments, and meekness is a word that's hard to define, which makes understanding this alignment difficult.

If covetousness plays to the idea of wanting more and more, taking land, etc., and if Jesus says the "meek will inherit the earth" precisely because they did not covet it in the first place, than we may have a concept space here for Naphtali.

Manasseh You also lived among them and were perverted by them Patience, Forbearing and Forgiving

Manasseh aligns with the first list at the point where the list stops running temporarily and says some things like "you all were around these behaviours and perverted by them too."

Since Manasseh commonly acts like a microcosm of all the tribes, here it's saying you, Manasseh, had all these patterns around you, and came under their influence. The remedy is patience and forbearing and forgiving. In other words, it's a given that you're going to be around these patterns, so be patient, ie, don't give in to them quickly, but instead, forbear those who behave this way and forgive them for their wrongs.

Simeon Anger Love

Simeon goes with "anger" commonly, so this is a strong match and one of the original clues the first list was mapping the 13 tribes. The fix for anger in the second list is "love."

Levi Wrath Peace

Levi has "wrath" in the first list, and in the second "peace." Levi, of course, was not to fight in the army. His commandment, for example, is do not kill. As the modern nation of Switzerland, he has a track record of neutrality.

Issachar Malice Called in 1 Body

Issachar maps to "malice" in the first list and "Called in 1 Body" in the second. If malice is planning harm to your neighbor, then it seems you fight this tendency by remembering they are ultimately family, or part of your body.

Zebulun Blasphemy, Foul Conversation Thankful

Zebulun has "foul conversation" in the first list. In the alignment of the second list Zebulun appears to have being "thankful" as the remedy. If what's meant by foul conversation is really something more along the lines of grumbling, then it's easy to see why being thankful is a remedy.

Joseph Do Not lie, Put Away Old Life, Put On New Life Word Live In You

Joseph shows how to move from an old life of lies to a new life. Let the text of scripture come to life in you.

Benjamin Neither Jew/Aramean, Circumcision/Uncircumcision, Greek/Barbarian, Slave/Freeman Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs, Singing to God with Grace in Heart
Dan Anointing is All and in All Men Do Everything in the Name of Jesus

Dan matches the "Anointing is all, and in all men" tail from the first list. The idea here is that Danites do not, by nature, value the anointing or work to see it formed in all men.

This is what needs to change, relative to this passage of scripture, for Dan. The remedy is clearly a match when aligned. It's to do everything in the name of Jesus. This is how a Danite learns to value the anointing and see it at work in others.


The two lists work well relative to what can be known about the tribes from other parts of scripture and relative to one another when aligned. There are a few head scratchers, but they should be resolvable with more study.