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#twelve tribes of Israel

28 ὑμεῖς δέ ἐστε οἱ διαμεμενηκότες μετʼ ἐμοῦ ἐν τοῖς πειρασμοῖς μου· 29 κἀγὼ διατίθεμαι ὑμῖν καθὼς διέθετό μοι ὁ πατήρ μου βασιλείαν, 30 ἵνα ἔσθητε καὶ πίνητε ἐπὶ τῆς τραπέζης μου ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ μου, καὶ καθήσεσθε ἐπὶ θρόνων τὰς δώδεκα φυλὰς κρίνοντες τοῦ Ἰσραήλ.

My translation:

28 “But you are the ones having continued with me in my trials; 29 and I will decree for you—just as the Father decreed for me—a kingship, 30 in order that you might eat and drink upon my table in my Kingdom, and you will sit upon thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”


διαμένω (v. 28; 5x), διά + μένω, is, “continue, remain”; NIV, NASB, BDAG: “stood by me”; ESV, NLT: “stayed with me”. The perfect participle διαμεμενηκότες is substantival.

διατίθεμαι (v. 29; 7x), διά + τίθημι, literally, “I thoroughly place”, can mean, “decree, ordain, or, arrange”; here, “confer” ( BDAG,  NIV). NLT, NASB: “grant”. ESV: “assign”.

BDAG says ἡ βασιλεία can mean, “kingdom” or, here, “kingship, right to rule”. NIGTC: “rule, authority”.

NIV and ESV assume a second implied βασιλείαν, so that the direct object of both διατίθεμαι and διέθετό is, ‘A kingdom/kingship’. However, NLT and NASB take the direct object of διέθετό to be βασιλείαν, but the direct object of διατίθεμαι to be the ἵνα clause of verse 30a.

ἔσθητε and πίνητε (v. 30) are subjunctive after ἵνα, but the idea is futuristic, as they are parallel with the future καθήσεσθε. The present tense of them is progressive or iterative, indicating an ongoing feast in the Kingdom.

ἐπὶ with τραπέζης is, “at”.

The present κρίνοντες is a participle of manner modifying καθήσεσθε.

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My mom was planning on gifting me an incredibly lovely sterling silver Rolex rollerball pen from Israel, decorated with motifs from the Twelve Tribes, that used to belong to my grandfather, but we can’t find replacement ink for it anywhere. Naturally, my dad and I started talking about retrofitting the pen to fit with different cartridges, and he casually mentioned that he had just bought a spare Dremel he wasn’t using. Long story short, I now have a) a stunning pen, b) an exciting challenge, and c) a new Dremel. Though, full disclosure as this pen is Very Nice and I do not want to damage it, the Dremel and the pen probably will not combine to form the exciting challenge. The exciting challenge will probably start with consulting a professional. Pens, Judaica, and multi-purpose power tools? My favorite things!

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Francisco de Zurbarán

Benjamin, ca. 1640-45

“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he devours the prey, And in the evening he divides the spoil.” (Gen. 49:27). Benjamin was the last-born of Jacob’s twelve sons, and the second and last son of Rachel in Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition. He was the progenitor of the Israelite Tribe of Benjamin. In the Qur'an, Benjamin is referred to as righteous young child, who remained with Jacob when the older brothers plotted against Joseph.

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