By Law

First Timothy lists the types of people the law is for. This is another list that maps to the tribes.


The following table explores, with notes following below.

Tribe The Law is for the...
8We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 1 Timothy 1:8-11 (1 Timothy 1:8-9 NIV)
Judah Wicked
Reuben Rebellious
Gad Ungodly
Asher Sinners
Naphtali Profane
Manasseh Unholy
Simeon Abuse fathers, Ill-treat mothers
Levi Murderers
10for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers -- and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:10 NIV)
Issachar Pimps
Zebulun Defile with males, Kidnappers
Joseph Liars, Perjurers
Benjamin Contrary doctrine
11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. (1 Timothy 1:11 NIV)
Dan Entrusted

Notes on mapping

Simeon, Zebulun and Joseph each have two items, the rest have one. It's common to see a double portion on Joseph and/or Manasseh, but here Simeon and Zebulun have two things.

Who gets two items and why is based simply on knowing what each tribe gets elsewhere on the grid, particularly in the 10 Commandments. The following notes explain.


Judah is "wicked" which isn't exactly clear, but it's also jargon.

Reuben is "rebellious," which doesn't have any precedence yet, but may well fit as it may refer to his sleeping with his father's wife, something his father would not have wanted.

Gad is "ungodly." This feels like jargon.

Asher is "sinners."

Naphtali is "profane" which makes sense as Naphtali is the tribe with "words."

Manasseh is "unholy," another jargon word.

Simeon "abuses his father and ill-treats his mother." This is correct given the story in Genesis and Jacob's blessing/curse towards Simeon as well as Simeon's commandment which is to honor your parents.

Levi is "murderers" which agrees with his commandment not to kill.

Issachar is "pimps."

Zebulun is "those who defile themselves with males," which I take to mean homosexuality, and "kidnappers of well-born sons." The kidnapping idea agrees with Zebulun's commandment not to steal.

Joseph is "liars and perjurers" which agrees with his commandment not to give false testimony. The double is also common for Joseph as the double portion holder, though Simeon and Zebulun also have doubles in this list.

Benjamin has "contrary doctrine" which makes lots of sense given that modern Israel is the only tribe with doctrine that differs from the rest of the tribes. It's amazing and ironic.

Dan gets the "gospel that's been entrusted."