Joshua 19:10-16 (The Inheritance of Zebulun)

Artwork by the great artist Douglas Kallerson.

Joshua 19:10-16
The Inheritance of Zebulun

Abarim defines Zebulun as Glorious Dwelling Place. That is what I have consistently used in any sermon where Zebulun is mentioned. However, they also define it as Instance of Exaltation. I actually didn’t know this until after I typed the sermon since the introductions are always the last thing I type.

In fact, I didn’t know any of what I will tell you in these intro comments until the sermon was done. This is kind of sweet because, as you will see in the second section of the sermon, I struggled with what the verses were saying, trying my best to come to some other conclusion than the one that almost immediately caught my attention. I kept saying, “Well, it won’t be that.”

Abarim provides these words in their evaluation: “The verb זבל (zabal), means to exalt or honor and occurs only once in the Bible. Noun זבל (zebul) occurs five times and refers to some lofty abode which is designed to honor the occupant.”

They also say, “The name Zebulun was probably around long before the Hebrew verb ‘to dwell gloriously’ was invented. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament makes mention of Speiser’s link to the Akkadian zubullu, which denotes a bridegroom’s gift. Curiously enough, in Hebrew the word for gift of endowment is זבד (zebed), from the similar verb זבד (zabad), meaning to endow with or bestow upon.”

I had no idea about these things. Remember this or come back after the sermon and remind yourself of it. I think you will be surprised…

Text Verse: “And I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations and explain enigmas. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” Daniel 5:16

Abarim will be quoted again later referring to an enigma that they could not solve concerning these sermon verses today. The enigma will be explained today. Whether you feel the explanation is satisfactory is up to you. If it is actually correct or not is known to the Lord. I can only go where I believe the word is taking us.

The explanation, to me, seems perfectly evident and beautifully relevant to the rest of what we teach in this church concerning a particular doctrine. This was not isogesis, where one inserts presupposed meaning into the text.  Rather, the meaning was drawn out of the context of the text, exegesis.

Are you ready? Great things such as the (hopefully!) solving of an enigma are to be found in His superior word. And so, let us turn to that precious word once again, and… May God speak to us through His word today, and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. As Far as Sarid (verses 10-16)

The final seven tribal land inheritances are being assigned according to the lot. The first was to Benjamin. The second was to Simeon. The third is now to go to Zebulun.

Zebulun was Jacob’s tenth son, the sixth and last son of his first wife, Leah. Though he is younger than Issachar, the lot drawn for him comes before Issachar which agrees with the order of blessing by Jacob in Genesis 49 –

“Zebulun shall dwell by the haven of the sea;
He shall become a haven for ships,
And his border shall adjoin Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong donkey,
Lying down between two burdens;
15 He saw that rest was good,
And that the land was pleasant;
He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden,
And became a band of slaves.” Genesis 49:13-15

The record of his birth is found in Genesis 30 –

“Then Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 And Leah said, ‘God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun.’” Genesis 30:19, 20

On the march from Egypt to Canaan, Zebulun formed together with Judah and Issachar, also born to Leah, under the standard of Judah. Of their inheritance now to be detailed, Charles Ellicott gives an interesting commentary to consider –

“With regard to Judah and Zebulun, it is noticeable that we find their union reproduced in the earthly history of our Lord. Mary, who was of the house of David, and Joseph of the same lineage, are found dwelling in Nazareth, in the tribe of Zebulun. Thus the north and the south alike had “part in David,” and inheritance in David’s Son. There is a Bethlehem (Joshua 19:15) in Zebulun as well as in Judah. The name is not found in any other tribe.”

10 The third lot came out for the children of Zebulun according to their families,

va’yaal ha’goral ha’sh’lishi livne zevulun l’mishp’hotam – “And ascended the lot, the third, sons Zebulun to their families.” This is the second and last time that the word alah, “ascended” or “arose,” is used in relation to the lot. The first was with Benjamin.

Elsewhere, it either says the lot “was,” or it said to go or come forth, using the word yatsa. What seems certain is that both of the names are typologically anticipating Christ. Benjamin means “Son of the Right Hand,” and according to Abarim Publications, as we saw a moment ago, Zebulun means “Glorious Dwelling Place.”

As Jesus is the Son who ascended (Mark 16:19) to the right hand of God (seen in the name Benjamin), which is in His Glorious Dwelling Place (Revelation 21:3), the use of alah anticipates the ascension of Jesus. As for the ascending of Zebulun’s lot, it is according to the son’s families…

10 (con’t) and the border of their inheritance was as far as Sarid.

v’hi g’vul nakhalatam ad sarid – “and was border there inheritance unto Sarid.” It is a way of presenting a border on the south from some point within the inheritance. Thus, a person standing within the inheritance might say, “The southern border of this inheritance lies all the way to Sarid.

From there, Sarid is somewhat of a middle point used to trace the borders to the west (19:11) and to the east (19:12). Of the land to be described, Keil says –

“The Inheritance of Zebulun fell above the plain of Jezreel, between this plain and the mountains of Naphtali, so that it was bounded by Asher on the west and north-west (Joshua 19:27), by Naphtali on the north and north-east (Joshua 19:34), and by Issachar on the south-east and south, and touched neither the Mediterranean Sea nor the Jordan. It embraced a very fertile country.” Keil

The name Sarid is found only here and in verse 12. It is identical to the word sarid, a word signifying a survivor or one who is left remaining. That comes from the verb sarad, to escape. Hence, it signifies Escapee or Survivor. With that understood, the borders of Zebulun are next defined…

11 Their border went toward the west and to Maralah,

v’alah g’vulam la’yamah u-maralah – “And ascended their border to westward, and Maralah.” The word yam signifies both “sea” and “west.” So it could read either “seaward” or “westward.” However, the border does not reach to the sea and so “westward” is preferred.

Maralah is seen only here. It comes from the word raal, to quiver or shake. That is only found in Nahum 2 –

“The shields of his mighty men are made red,
The valiant men are in scarlet.
The chariots come with flaming torches
In the day of his preparation,
And the spears are brandished [raal].” Nahum 2:3

Abarim defines the name as Place of the Flag. They then note that this simply conveys the idea of a border marker made out of a flag.

11 (con’t) went to Dabbasheth,

u-phagal b’dabasheth – “and impinged in Dabbasheth.” The name is found only here. It is the same as dabbesheth, a hump, like the hump of a camel in Isaiah 30:6.

“The burden of the beasts of the south. Into a land of adversity and distress, Of young lion and of old lion, Whence are viper and flying saraph, They carry on the shoulder of asses their wealth, And on the hump [dabesheth] of camels their treasures, Unto a people not profitable.” Isaiah 30:6 (YLT)

That, however, is an intensive of d’vash, honey. In other words the meaning of honey is being equated to the hump of a camel. It is the place of the camel’s prosperity and abundance. Thus, Dabbesheth means Honey, but it is intensified. Therefore, I would translate it as Place of Prosperity and Abundance.

11 (con’t) and extended along the brook that is east of Jokneam.

u-phaga el ha’nakhal asher al pene yaq’neam – “and impinged unto the brook which upon face Jokneam.” The type of brook, nakhal, comes from nakhal, to take possession and thus, an inheritance. This brook is believed to be the river Kishon mentioned in Judges 4.

Jokneam means either People Will Be Lamented or Let the People Acquire. This was the westward extension. Next…

12 Then from Sarid it went eastward toward the sunrise

v’shav mi’sarid qed’mah mizrakh ha’shemesh – “And returned from Sarid eastward, ascent the sun.” This begins the eastward extension of the southern border. It heads in the direction of the ascent of the sun…

12 (con’t) along the border of Chisloth Tabor,

al g’vul kisloth tavor – “Upon border Chisloth Tabor.” The meaning of the name is rather complicated. Chisloth comes from kesel, which means loins or flanks, stupidity, or (misplaced) confidence. Tabor may come from tbar, to break, or from barar, to clean or purify. Hence, it may mean Purifying Stupidity, Purifying Misplaced Confidence, Breaking Stupidity, or something similar.

12 (con’t) and went out toward Daberath, bypassing Japhia.

The NKJV saying “bypassing” is inexplicable: v’yatsa el ha’daverath v’alah yaphia – “And went out unto the Daberath and ascended Japhia.”

The name Daberath is from davar, word, or to speak. The “t” at the end may indicate a simple perfect, second person singular – You Spoke or You Have Spoken. But the name is prefixed by an article. Thus, it would have to mean The Word from You, or something like that. From there the ascent goes up to Japhia, or Illuminous.

13 And from there it passed along on the east of Gath Hepher,

The translation skips a word, thus missing the full sense: u-mi’sham avar qed’mah mizrakhah gitah khepher – “And from there passed over eastward, to the east, Gath Hepher.”

Gath Hepher means Winepress of the Pit or Winepress of Shame. Both meanings meet in intent. A pit is that which is dug out, and shame is something which, when it is uncovered, exposes that which is shameful. This is the birthplace of the prophet Jonah as noted in 2 Kings 14:25. Next, the border goes…

13 (con’t) toward Eth Kazin, and extended to Rimmon, which borders on Neah.

These are very complicated words. It is quite uncertain how to actually translate them. Most older translations will give full names. New translations use part of them as a description: itah qatsin v’yatsa rimon ham’thoar ha’neah – “Ittah Kazin and went out Rimmon the Methoar (the outlining) the Neah.”

Eth (lit: Itah) Kazin comes from two words. The first means either Now or Time. Qatsin means Chief or Ruler. Thus, it means something like Judge Now or Time for a Ruling.

Rimmon means Pomegranate. But the pomegranate symbolizes harvest-ready fruit and so it can further mean Mature Mind or Harvest Ready.

The words “the Methoar” may be a separate name or a description of Rimmon. If an independent name, it would be The Outlining. If tied to Rimmon, it would mean Outlining of a Pomegranate or Outlining of a Mature Mind, etc. Of this, Abarim says –

“…most modern commentators and translators see the methoar-part as part of the narrative, but that’s actually hard to defend. This participle occurs only in Joshua 19:13, while the descriptions of the tribal territories go on for chapters, which seems to suggest that the author is saying something that doesn’t get said anywhere else. It’s a mystery that perhaps in the future might be solved with greater authority than anybody’s guesses.” Abarim

Neah comes from nua – to wander or waver. With the article, it would be The Wandering or The Staggering.

14 Then the border went around it on the north side of Hannathon,

Rather: v’nasav oto ha’g’vul mi’tsaphon khanathon – “and went around it the border from north Hanathon.” The word “it” is referring to Neah. Hannathon comes from khanan, grace or favor. The “t” in the middle probably indicates an intensive form and the “n” at the end may signify “place of.” Thus, it would mean Regarded with Favor, Place of Much Favor (Grace), or Extraordinary Free Gift.

14 (con’t) and it ended in the Valley of Jiphthah El.

v’hayu tots’otav ge yiphtakh el – “And his outgoings valley Jiphthah El.” The valley here, ge, comes from gevah, pride, which in turn comes from gaah, rise up, high, etc. This means the sides of the valley rise up, forming the valley.

The name Yiphtakh is also the name of the man who would later Judge Israel, Jephthah (He Will Open). Taken together with El, or God, the name means God Will Open or God Opens. Ellicott defines it as God’s Opening. They all carry the same general meaning.

15 Included were Kattath, Nahallal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem:

The verse begins with “And” instead of “Included were.” Kattath comes from qatan, small. Thus, it means Little or even Very Small.

Nahallal is identical to nahalol, found only in Isaiah 7:19. There, it is translated as pastures or watering holes. Young’s says, “commendable things.” That then comes from nahal to lead or guide to a watering place or a place of rest. The most known use of that is found in the 23rd Psalm –

“He leads [nahal] me beside the still waters.” Psalm 23:2

Strong’s defines it as Pasture. I would say Led to Rest.

Shimron comes from shamar, to watch or guard. Hence, it is Watching or Vigilant Guardian. Strong’s defines it as Guardianship.

Idalah is not translated by most and there are several guesses as to its meaning. Smith’s Bible Dictionary says Memorial of God.

Bethlehem means House of Bread, but it can equally mean House of War. It is a different Bethlehem from where Christ was born.

15 (con’t) twelve cities with their villages.

Obviously, the five villages listed in this verse are not twelve cities. Thus, the word “and” at the beginning is saying that some of the cities previously mentioned laying along the borders belong to Zebulun. Others are border cities belonging to the adjoining tribe.

The total number of existing cities with their villages belonging to Zebulun is twelve. With all of these identified, the listing of Zebulun’s borders and cities ends with…

*16 (fin) This was the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.

This sums up the listing from verses 10 through 15. It is the third allotment of the final seven, coming after Simeon and before Issachar.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God
Nor can corruption inherit that which is incorrupt
Be we shall all be changed, and so, heavenly streets we’ll trod
In the twinkling of an eye; the change will be abrupt

When the last trumpet sounds, we will be taken to glory
We shall all be changed, completion of the gospel story

Where O Death, O where is your sting?
Where O Hades, O where is your victory?
When Christ our Savior, us to Himself does He bring
When Christ translates His children to eternal glory

II. Stupendous Symbolism; Terrific Typology
Up, Up and Away

The various locations, and the descriptions of them, made zero sense at first because I am so dismissive of the sensational. For example, I do not believe God speaks to people today except through His word.

I do not believe that Jesus comes to us either while we are awake or while we are asleep. That would be illogical based on what is said in the New Testament writings. With the word complete, we are asked to trust in the word by faith, not expect or rely on sight.

All sensation does is distract and lead us away from what is sound. People want to speak in tongues, but this is not unique to Christianity. Several religions claim they speak in tongues. Cults, pagans, shamans, Japan’s God Light Association, and others all claim to speak in tongues.

I had a neighbor in Japan, a Shokugokai Buddhist, that chanted out tongues every day. We could hear her as we passed her house.

People in pretty much every religion on the planet claim to have divine visions, visitations, projections to the heavenly realm, and so forth. None of these things actually edify at all, even if they actually do occur in Christianity, which they don’t.

Colossians 3:4 presupposes that there is one specific time that Jesus will come and manifest Himself to His people. Therefore, it is not only unwise, but it is against Scripture, to accept any supposed vision of Christ before that day.

This understanding kept me from initially making the conclusions that I finally made on these verses. I am not a date setter, and you won’t find me either predicting the rapture or bothering with anyone who does. If someone thinks he has the timing of that figured out, he is wrong.

Despite this, there are several sets of verses in the Old Testament that point to the rapture. I did a sermon on them in the past and I still agree with the conclusions made there. The typology is rather evident once you see it.

After a bit of review where the same thought kept creeping into my mind, meaning that these verses seem to be pointing to the rapture, I had to finally say to myself, “Well, let’s see if it fits.” Listen and let your own mind decide.

I shall present my conclusions and leave them as they are for others to accept or dismiss and for the Lord to eventually nod that they were correct or to take away rewards at the Bema seat because they were not.

Beginning in verse 10 was the note concerning the ascending of the lot, using the word alah (to ascend), something unique to Benjamin and Zebulun. Both speak of the finished work of Christ. Benjamin, Son of the Right Hand, signifies Jesus’ ascension to heaven where He sits at God’s right hand (Mark 16:19). Zebulun marks the location as God’s Glorious Dwelling Place (Revelation 21:3).

Verse 10 then continued with the thought that Sarid was somewhat of a middle point used to trace the borders to the west and to the east from there. There it said, v’hi g’vul nakhalatam ad sarid – “and was border there inheritance unto Sarid.”

Sarid, Escapee, defines those within the border. This follows with 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 –

“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.”

From there, this border will start by going west and then east. Westward movement signifies the anticipation of meeting God. This has been explained many times, but allow me to refresh your overloaded mind.

One comes from the east, enters the outer gates of the tabernacle, continues into the courts, past the altar of sacrifice, past the laver, through the outer door of the tabernacle and into the holy place, forward to the veil, through that, and into the Holy of Holies where God resides. God is west and man will forever look west to search Him out.

This westward line begins with an ascension to Maralah. As shown, Abarim defined the name as Place of the Flag, noting that this simply conveys the idea of a border marker made out of a flag. A marker is something that is only useful in the light. Hence, one must be a son of the light, a son of the day, to see it.

From there, the border proceeded to Dabbasheth. It is a difficult word that most translate as Hump, simply because that is how it is translated in Isaiah 30:6. But as I explained, it is an intensive of d’vash, honey.

Honey is being equated to the hump of a camel. It is the place of the camel’s prosperity and abundance. Thus it means Place of Prosperity and Abundance, an obvious reference to our inheritance.

Verse 11 continued describing the border as impinging unto the brook, the nakhal, which is upon face Jokneam. The nakhal comes from the verb nakhal, meaning to take as a possession or an inheritance. This, in turn, comes from nakhalah, an inheritance. That faces, or is before, Jokneam, Let the People Acquire.

The whole thought indicates that the border identifies the claiming of the inheritance of prosperity and abundance.

From there, verse 12 went back in the opposite direction, eastward. As it said, “And returned from Sarid (Escapee) eastward, ascent the sun.” This would be before the time of the escapee. The word qedem signifies east, but it also means before in time. And so, this is defining how the escapee became an escapee. As the border travels east, we are moving back in time in relation to the state of being an escapee.

The words “ascent the sun” actually begin that process. The shemesh, or sun, is used to describe the coming of Messiah in Malachi 4, its last use in the Old Testament, anticipating His arrival. There it says –

“But to you who fear My name
The Sun [shemesh] of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves.” Malachi 4:2

With this understood, the border is said to have gone “upon border Chisloth Tabor.” The name gives a good sense of those who have come to Christ, Choose your favorite as they each convey who we once were –

Purifying Stupidity
Purifying Misplaced Confidence
Breaking Stupidity

Prior to that (east) the border “went out unto the Daberath and ascended Japhia.” As explained, Daberath means The Word from You, or something close to that. It is a reference to how one becomes an escapee –

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” Ephesians 1:13

That of course, is based on the source of the word, which is God –

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

From there the border went on the ascent up to Japhia, Illuminous. It refers to that source of the word, speaking of God in His nature. It next said in verse 13, “And from there passed over eastward, to the east, Gath Hepher.” Gath Hepher means Winepress of the Pit or Winepress of Shame.

The meaning was explained saying that a pit is that which is dug out, and shame is something which when it is uncovered exposes that which is shameful. This forms a picture. The people who are escapees were in the current state of the people of the world.

In this context, a winepress symbolizes the place where judgment is poured out –

“And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” 19 So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.’” Revelation 14:18, 19

Verse 13 continued with the super complicated words that Abarim noted were “a mystery that perhaps in the future might be solved with greater authority than anybody’s guesses.” I can only go by typology here. If it is correct, it would explain the mystery of the words.They said, “Ittah Kazin and went out Rimmon the Methoar (the outlining) the Neah.”

Eth Kazin is defined as Judge Now or Time for a Ruling. That is what those who are currently in the winepress must do.

As was noted, Rimmon means Pomegranate. But the pomegranate symbolized harvest-ready fruit and so it can further mean Mature Mind or Harvest Ready.

Connected to “the Methoar” it would be The Outlining. If tied to Rimmon, it would mean Outlining of a Pomegranate and thus, Outlining of a Mature Mind. It is the answer to the proposition set forth in the gospel and which responds to the words of Paul in Philippians 2:5 –

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

That was precisely defined by Paul in 2 Corinthians 2 –

“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.” 2 Corinthians 2:6

Those who are mature, meaning coming to the knowledge of God in Christ, are outlined (distinguished) from those in the winepress of wrath.

Next mentioned was ha’neah, The Neah. That came from nua, to wander. Thus, The Wandering. That word was first used when referring to Cain, the fallen line of Adam who is not redeemed –

“when thou tillest the ground, it doth not add to give its strength to thee — a wanderer [nua], even a trembling one, thou art in the earth.” Genesis 4:12 (YLT).

From that (verse 14) the border goes tsaphon, or north. The word signifies that which is hidden or treasured away because the north receives less light in the northern hemisphere. It thus speaks of those who are “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).

This northward movement is around Hanathon. Any of the three names gives the sense of the event –

Regarded with Favor
Place of Much Favor (Grace)
Extraordinary Free Gift

The border goes around the Wandering, those lost in the world. It is those who have received Christ’s extraordinary favor and the gift spoken of by Paul –

“But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.” Romans 5:15, 16

Verse 14 continued with the border ending at the Valley (ge) of Jiphthah El or God Will Open (God Opens, God’s Opening). That is a clear reference to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He did the work, He is the Door, we respond to the gospel and the door is opened –

“He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 ‘“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.’” Revelation 3:7, 8

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

Verse 15 noted the names of five cities within the inheritance of Zebulun. These would reflect the state of those included, not the process of how they were included. They are Kattath, Nahallal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem.

Kattath comes from qatan, small. Thus, it means Little or even Very Small. This would not reflect the number, but the character. The word qatan is used both literally and figuratively. In a figurative sense, it is the least in importance, the smallest of note, etc. It is reflective of the words of Jesus and the thought repeated in the epistles –

“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.’” Mathew 18:2, 3

“But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 19:14

Jesus was not saying that little children, because of their nature as little children, will inherit the kingdom of heaven. He is saying that people will not inherit the kingdom of heaven unless they are, by nature, like little children. It is the state of total trust, by faith alone, in the work of Jesus Christ.

This “little child” terminology is used by both Paul and John in their writings, such as Galatians 4:19, 1 John 2:1, etc.

The next city is Nahallal which I translate as Led to Rest. It is a logical translation based on the evaluation given earlier. That perfectly reflects the state of those in Christ, even as David described it in the 23rd Psalm.

Shimron was next. It is Watching or Vigilant Guardian. It is no doubt the state of those who are anticipating their glorification.

Idalah was defined by Smith’s as Memorial of God. A memorial in the New Testament is defined by Thayer’s Greek Lexicon as “that by which the memory of any person or thing is preserved.”

That fits perfectly with those awaiting the call, even those who have died –

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Finally, the last city, Bethlehem, was named. It means House of Bread. Christ is the Bread of Life. It signifies those who are in Christ being sustained by Him until that wonderful day that Scripture promises to those who are His.

The final note of verse 15 was that there were twelve villages. Twelve is the number of perfection of government or governmental perfection (Bullinger). This then symbolizes the entire body of those of the church, represented by the twelve apostles.

We ended with verse 16, “This was the inheritance of the children of Zebulun [Glorious Dwelling Place].” Such is the inheritance that has been secured for God’s people since the coming of Christ. Those who have called on Him have this promise which is a guarantee from God, who cannot lie.

It is a glorious set of verses that speak of the redemption of Christ, a marvelous state in Christ, and an anticipation of the glory of the coming of Christ for His people.

Obviously, this could simply be a general statement of all who are saved by Christ at any time, but because this is tied to those who escape and those who do not escape, it must certainly anticipate the rapture. There are those who will not escape the end times and yet they will be saved during the tribulation.

But that is not the focus of what is revealed here. Rather, the words are tightly connected to the events leading up to, but not during, the end times the world will face. As such, I conclude that this is another clear and reliable anticipation of a pretribulation rapture.

If that is incorrect, nothing is lost. We would still be going through the end times to some extent anyway, wouldn’t we? But if it is correct, it gives us a definite connection to the already clear timeline provided by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2.

We are not of the night, but of the light and of the day. This is the reward and the honor of being in Christ. Those who are saved and yet believe in a mid or post-trib rapture will still be taken out, they will just be a bit more surprised than those of us who understand what God has done and will do in Christ.

The typology here gives us a marvelous reassurance of the pre-tribulation. Be settled in your doctrine, have faith in the word, and in God’s promises, and keep your seatbelts fastened – Jesus is coming for His people. And may that day be soon.

Closing Verse: “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9, 10

Next Week: Joshua 19:17-23 It’s a great inheritance, above and beyond, by far… (The Inheritance of Issachar) (40th Joshua Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. It is He who has defeated the enemy and who now offers His people rest. So, follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Inheritance of Zebulun

The third lot came out for the children of Zebulun according to
———-their families, so was their deed
And the border of their inheritance was as far as Sarid

Their border went toward the west and to Maralah
Went to Dabbasheth, and extended along the brook that is east of Jokneam, oohrah!
Then from Sarid it went eastward toward the sunrise along the
———-border of Chisloth Tabor
And went out toward Daberath, bypassing Japhia

And from there it passed along on the east of Gath Hepher
Toward Eth Kazin, and extended to Rimmon, which borders on
———-Neah as well
Then the border went around it on the north side of Hannathon
And it ended in the Valley of Jiphthah El

Included were Kattath, Nahallal, Shimron
Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages too
This was the inheritance of the children of Zebulun
According to their families, these cities with their villages
———-they did accrue

Lord God, turn our hearts to be obedient to Your word
Give us wisdom to be ever faithful to You
May we carefully heed each thing we have heard
Yes, Lord God may our hearts be faithful and true

And we shall be content and satisfied in You alone
We will follow You as we sing our songs of praise
Hallelujah to You; to us Your path You have shown
Hallelujah we shall sing to You for all of our days

Hallelujah and Amen…













10 The third lot came out for the children of Zebulun according to their families, and the border of their inheritance was as far as Sarid. 11 Their border went toward the west and to Maralah, went to Dabbasheth, and extended along the brook that is east of Jokneam. 12 Then from Sarid it went eastward toward the sunrise along the border of Chisloth Tabor, and went out toward Daberath, bypassing Japhia. 13 And from there it passed along on the east of Gath Hepher, toward Eth Kazin, and extended to Rimmon, which borders on Neah. 14 Then the border went around it on the north side of Hannathon, and it ended in the Valley of Jiphthah El. 15 Included were Kattath, Nahallal, Shimron, Idalah, and Bethlehem: twelve cities with their villages. 16 This was the inheritance of the children of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.