The Righteous Man

Ezekiel 18 lists the characteristics of a righteous man. Each characteristic maps to the tribes.


The passage begins with the setup verse.

5"Suppose there is a righteous man who does what is just and right. (Ezekiel 18:5 NIV)

Given the way the passage paces across the tribes so nicely, and that most make perfect sense given what's already known about the tribes, it's easy to see that this list works, even if a little rough.

What follows are the various attributes of a righteous man spread across the tribes. Note single verses usually include more than 1 attribute.

Some of the alignments in this list do not have precedence from better known lists. Either there's more to learn about these tribes, which is easy to accept, or possibly there's slop in the word choices in the translation, obscuring the meaning.

Tribe Act
6He does not eat at the mountain shrines or look to the idols of the house of Israel. He does not defile his neighbor's wife or lie with a woman during her period. (Ezekiel 18:6 NIV)
Judah No shrines, No idols.

Judah becomes Russia. The Orthodox church is heavily loaded with shrines and icons. Orthodox icons are idols.

Reuben No defile another's wife

Reuben was purchased with mandrakes in order to make Rachael pregnant, becoming the father of Joseph. Reuben defiled Jacob's wife.

Gad No lie with menstruous woman

Gad has no example. May be symbolic?

7He does not oppress anyone, but returns what he took in pledge for a loan. He does not commit robbery but gives his food to the hungry and provides clothing for the naked. (Ezekiel 18:7 NIV)
Asher No oppressing, no boasting.

Asher has a theme of boasting. In this case he's aligning with oppressing. Given that there could be a better English word, the idea of oppressing is like an opposite of boasting. It's wrong to exaggerate and it's wrong to diminish, or oppress, something. So the wording is odd, but the general concept space works well with Asher.

Naphtali No robbery, no keeping pledges.

Naphtali relates to the pledge because a pledge is a word or sense or scent for the real thing, the asset, and basically anything in this concept space is always a Naphtali thing.

Manasseh Yes, give away food.

Manasseh lands on giving bread to the hungry, which works fine given that Manasseh has a material blessing and thus can afford to take care of the poor. May also be an issue of robbery, shared with Naphtali above? Manasseh becomes USA, a major grain exporter, but often sells on debt.

Simeon Yes, clothe the naked.

Simeon need example.

8He does not lend at usury or take excessive interest. He withholds his hand from doing wrong and judges fairly between man and man. (Ezekiel 18:8 NIV)
Levi No Usury.

Levi is not to commit usury. Levi becomes Switzerland, the Bank of International Settlements is located in Basel.

Issachar No excessive interest.

Not sure why Issachar would relate to giving a discount. He is the hard worker. Perhaps not valued highly enough for the burden he bears, even in his own mind, and too willing to give a discount when he should not. This could be a really meaningful fit, but needs more thought.

Zebulun Withholds hands from wrong.

Zebulun is the "withdrawn hand from iniquity." Elsewhere in the grid Zebulun is seen as striking with his hand, so this may be a good match.

Joseph Judges between man and man.

Joseph has 2 tribes below, man and man. The term man itself possibly prophetic for Joseph and/or his 2 sons. Joseph promise is to become a community of nations.

9He follows my decrees and faithfully keeps my laws. That man is righteous; he will surely live, declares the Sovereign LORD. (Ezekiel 18:9 NIV)
Benjamin Follows decrees.

Benjamin lands on the idea of walking in god's judgments. Doctrine is usually a subject for Benjamin, and he normally is said to have bad doctrine, but strengths and weaknesses are always the same, so this alignment may be saying that Benjamin can walk in god's judgments well.

Dan Keeps laws.

Dan is to keep god's laws. Dan becomes Netherlands, home of the world court.