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Physical Settings of the Bible
Jerusalem University College
Dr. Paul Wright
September 17, 2003
"Central Benjamin Plateau"

I.   Blessings of Israel (Gen 49 & Deut 33)
Genesis 49 (NASB)
Deuteronomy 33 (NASB)
Gen. 49:1 Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, "Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what shall befall you in the days to come. 2 "Gather together and hear, O sons of Jacob; And listen to Israel your father.
Gen. 49:3 "Reuben, you are my first-born; My might and the beginning of my strength, Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power. 4 "Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, Because you went up to your father's bed; Then you defiled it Ñ he went up to my couch.
Gen. 49:5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers; Their swords are implements of violence. 6 "Let my soul not enter into their council; Let not my glory be united with their assembly; Because in their anger they slew men, And in their self-will they lamed oxen. 7 "Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel. I will disperse them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel.
Gen. 49:8 "Judah, your brothers shall praise you; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father's sons shall bow down to you. 9 "Judah is a lion's whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, And as a lion, who dares rouse him up? 10 "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. 11 "He ties his foal to the vine, And his donkey's colt to the choice vine; He washes his garments in wine, And his robes in the blood of grapes. 12 "His eyes are dull from wine, And his teeth white from milk.
Gen. 49:13 "Zebulun shall dwell at the seashore; And he shall be a haven for ships, And his flank shall be toward Sidon. 14 "Issachar is a strong donkey, Lying down between the sheepfolds. 15 "When he saw that a resting place was good And that the land was pleasant, He bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, And became a slave at forced labor. 16 "Dan shall judge his people, As one of the tribes of Israel. 17 "Dan shall be a serpent in the way, A horned snake in the path, That bites the horse's heels, So that his rider falls backward. 18 "For Thy salvation I wait, O LORD.
Gen. 49:19 "As for Gad, raiders shall raid him, But he shall raid at their heels.
Gen. 49:20 "As for Asher, his food shall be rich, And he shall yield royal dainties. 21 "Naphtali is a doe let loose, He gives beautiful words.
Gen. 49:22 "Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a spring; Its branches run over a wall. 23 "The archers bitterly attacked him, And shot at him and harassed him; 24 But his bow remained firm, And his arms were agile, From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), 25 From the God of your father who helps you, And by the Almighty who blesses you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb. 26 "The blessings of your father Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; May they be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.
Gen. 49:27 "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he devours the prey, And in the evening he divides the spoil."
Gen. 49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them, every one with the blessing appropriate to him. 29 Then he charged them and said to them, "I am about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site. 31 "There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah Ñ 32 the field and the cave that is in it, purchased from the sons of Heth." 33 When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
Deut. 33:1 Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death. 2 And he said, "The LORD came from Sinai, And dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, And He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones; At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them. 3 "Indeed, He loves the people; All Thy holy ones are in Thy hand, And they followed in Thy steps; Everyone receives of Thy words. 4 "Moses charged us with a law, A possession for the assembly of Jacob. 5 "And He was king in Jeshurun, When the heads of the people were gathered, The tribes of Israel together. 6 "May Reuben live and not die, Nor his men be few."
Deut. 33:7 And this regarding Judah; so he said, "Hear, O LORD, the voice of Judah, And bring him to his people. With his hands he contended for them; And mayest Thou be a help against his adversaries."
Deut. 33:8 And of Levi he said, "Let Thy Thummim and Thy Urim belong to Thy godly man, Whom Thou didst prove at Massah, With whom Thou didst contend at the waters of Meribah; 9 Who said of his father and his mother, I did not consider them'; And he did not acknowledge his brothers, Nor did he regard his own sons, For they observed Thy word, And kept Thy covenant. 10 "They shall teach Thine ordinances to Jacob, And Thy law to Israel. They shall put incense before Thee, And whole burnt offerings on Thine altar. 11 "O LORD, bless his substance, And accept the work of his hands; Shatter the loins of those who rise up against him, And those who hate him, so that they may not rise again."
Deut. 33:12 Of Benjamin he said, "May the beloved of the LORD dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders."
Deut. 33:13 And of Joseph he said, "Blessed of the LORD be his land, With the choice things of heaven, with the dew, And from the deep lying beneath, 14 And with the choice yield of the sun, And with the choice produce of the months. 15 "And with the best things of the ancient mountains, And with the choice things of the everlasting hills, 16 And with the choice things of the earth and its fulness, And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush. Let it come to the head of Joseph, And to the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers. 17 "As the first-born of his ox, majesty is his, And his horns are the horns of the wild ox; With them he shall push the peoples, All at once, to the ends of the earth. And those are the ten thousands of Ephraim, And those are the thousands of Manasseh."
Deut. 33:18 And of Zebulun he said, "Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going forth, And, Issachar, in your tents. 19 "They shall call peoples to the mountain; There they shall offer righteous sacrifices; For they shall draw out the abundance of the seas, And the hidden treasures of the sand."
Deut. 33:20 And of Gad he said, "Blessed is the one who enlarges Gad; He lies down as a lion, And tears the arm, also the crown of the head. 21 "Then he provided the first part for himself, For there the ruler's portion was reserved; And he came with the leaders of the people; He executed the justice of the LORD, And His ordinances with Israel."
Deut. 33:22 And of Dan he said, "Dan is a lion's whelp, That leaps forth from Bashan."
Deut. 33:23 And of Naphtali he said, "O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, And full of the blessing of the LORD, Take possession of the sea and the south."
Deut. 33:24 And of Asher he said, "More blessed than sons is Asher; May he be favored by his brothers, And may he dip his foot in oil. 25 "Your locks shall be iron and bronze, And according to your days, so shall your leisurely walk be.
Deut. 33:26 "There is none like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to your help, And through the skies in His majesty. 27 "The eternal God is a dwelling place, And underneath are the everlasting arms; And He drove out the enemy from before you, And said, Destroy!' 28 "So Israel dwells in security, The fountain of Jacob secluded, In a land of grain and new wine; His heavens also drop down dew. 29 "Blessed are you, O Israel; Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, Who is the shield of your help, And the sword of your majesty! So your enemies shall cringe before you, And you shall tread upon their high places."
II.   Benjamin was constantly being fought over, it was a land between in the land between
A.   It was vital because it controlled the routes in and out of Jerusalem
B.   If one controlled Benjamin plateau transportation, communication, and defense was all affected from the Mediterranean sea to the Dead Sea
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