Q:

What are the colors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel?

A:

The colors of the Twelve Tribes of Israel are red; green; a striped red, white and black; sky blue; dark blue; clear; blue; purple; gray; aquamarine, black and lastly, a mixture of all colors. The colors derive from gemstones spoken of in Exodus and the Midrash, which states that each stone of the Twelve Tribes’ breastplate matched the flag’s background.

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Corresponding gemstones spoken of in Exodus 28:17-21 are ruby, jade, agate, carbuncle, lapis lazuli, quartz crystal, turquoise, amethyst, aquamarine, onyx and opal, which contains many colors. According to Exodus 28:21, signet rings set with the stones represented each of the Twelve Tribes.

Twelve sons of Jacob became the leaders of the Twelve Tribes. Reuben, Levi, Simeon, Issachar, Judah and Zebulun were sons by Jacob’s wife, Leah. Benjamin and Joseph were sons by Jacob's wife, Rachel. Naphtali and Dan were sons by Rachel’s maid, Bilhah, and Asher and Gad were sons by Leah’s maid, Zilpah.

The Neo-Assyrian Empire deported 10 of the Tribes, when it conquered Israel around 722 B.C. Groups claiming descent are Bene Israel, Bnei Menashe, Beta Israel of Ethiopia, Igbo Jews and the Pashtuns. Other theories claim the Cimmerians or Scythians, Native Americans, the Japanese and the Lemba of South Africa were members of the lost tribes.

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