Monday, March 11, 2013

The Tribe of Zebulon

The Tribe of Zebulon
Rabbi Yehudah (Tochukwu) ben Shomeyr

The following is a brief Scriptural synopsis of Zebulon, his birth, what was prophesied about him and his end as a patriarch and as a tribe in the future.

And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. – Gen. 30:20

The sons of Leah; Reuben, Jacob's firstborn, and Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Zebulun. – Gen. 35:23

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. – Gen. 49:13

Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob… Zebulun Exd. 1:1, 3

 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. (Exd. 13:19/Jasher 80:62) The children of Israel also brought up, each man his father's coffin with him, and each man the coffins of his tribe. Jasher 80:63

The Tomb of Zebulun is located in Sidon, Lebanon. In the past, towards the end of Iyyar, Jews from the most distant parts of Palestine would make a pilgrimage to this tomb.

And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. – Deut. 27:13

And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. – Deut. 33:18-19

Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer. – Jud. 5:14

Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field. – Jud. 5:18

Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: [they were] not of double heart. – I Chron. 12:33

And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. – Gen. 46:14

Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. – Rev. 7:8a

Zebulun was the 10th son of Jacob and the 6th son of Jacob and Leah, brother of Reuben, Simon, Levi, Judah, Issachar , Dan, Naftali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin and Dinah; and father of Sered, Elon, and Jahleel (Genesis 35:23-26; Genesis 25:26-34).

The number 6 represents man, or just shy of perfection and we were made in G-d’s image, yet a little lower than the angels as the Bible tells us. 6 is also the letter Vav in Hebrew which is symbolic of a stake or tent peg, symbolizing groundedness and security. 10 is the number of law and order. Ten is represented by the letter Yod, which is symbolized by the hand. Could this mean Zebulun was a hard worker with his hands with farming, shipbuilding, warfare and business? Could this numerology collectively also hint of his military naval prowess by ordering men at sea or in battle?  The tribal symbol and banner for Zebulon after all is a fleet of ships.

The name Zebulon means, or carries the meaning of, Dwelling, Habitation, and Exaltation.

Zebulon is spelled: Zayin-Beit-Vav-Lamed-Vav-final Nun. Each Hebrew letter has a symbolic meaning and a pictorial meaning. 

·       Zayin (Z) Sickle, Weapon = Food, Cut, Nourish, #7: The blood of Messiah overcomes the powers of Hell (cancels sin).  
·       Bet (B) Tent, Floorplan = Home, Family, #2: The Messiah is the habitation of his people.  
·       Vav (V/W) Tent Peg, Nail = To Hang, To Secure, To Fasten, To Add, #6: The Messiah grips and tears the evil of the flesh.  
·       Lamed (L) Shepherd staff = Teach, Yoke, Bind, #30: The Messiah is the Great Teacher of discipline through twelve Tribes and Apostles.  
·       Nun (N) Seed, Son, Heir, #50: The Messiah is the steadfastness of His people. The Heavenly Yehoshua (Joshua) the son of Nun. 

So we can say that Zebulon is the Protector and Provider of the House/Family and Secures such with Teaching and Secures the future with Seed and or Sons.  Zebulon were navel warriors, tradesmen and fishermen. The Book of Judges speaks of them handling the pen which could mean they were as seamen they were traders and made treaties which kept them prosperous and safe for generations to come. Handling the pen also could indicate they could have been great teachers and scholars or that they were very good at passing down knowledge to their children or others.  This fits well with the prophecies given them my Jacob (Israel) and Moses.

The general meaning of their name means that they exalt, lift up, praise or improve the places where they dwell and inhabit, which again hints of their being skilled explorer, tradesmen and possibly agriculturists. Because they dwelt by water they knew how to harness it through irrigation and or the use of it to generate power.  This does fit the people I will talk about in this study.

Rabbinic legends tell that Zebulon were successful seamen that brought in income to Issachar in order for them to stay home and study Torah and be great teachers, lawyers and diplomats (Genesis Rabbah 72:5).

There is a pseudopigraphal book called, “The Testament of Zebulun” which is supposedly what Zebulun said to his children and grandchildren before he died. The main theme was being compassionate and charitable towards others, that what goes around comes around. In this book also tells how he was became a sailor and was a fisherman by summer and a shepherd by winter. So far fits with what we know of Zebulon from other documents, legends and accounts.

Zebulon’s tribal stone in the Levitical Breastplate is the Amethyst – Hebrew – ahlama.  The Amethyst symbolizes power, protection and healing.  The Greek meaning means “Not Drunk.” The Hebrew means, “Dream stone.”  The Hebraic meaning of the letters of this word means, “Strong fence and yoke upon the watery home.”  Could all this hint of Zebulon’s hard sailor attitude and hence the Testament of Zebulun’s focus on the need for compassion? However, Exodus Rabbah 38:5 says the stone representing Zebulon was a diamond. Diamonds are the hardest precious gem known to man. Sailors are known for being hardened men, Zebulon were hardened sailors and warriors, again reason for the Testament of Zebulun’s focus on the need for compassion?

Mystically speaking, Zebulun in Jewish mysticism is represented by the Hebrew Month of Sivan and is symbolic of Movement. Zebulon, a quiet tribe is all about action, movement through hard work. The Hebraic month of Sivan falls within the Counting of the Omer, representing agricultural abundance and growth.  Shavuot, the harvest festival and the festival celebrating the given of the Torah at Sinai are both celebrated in this month. This would tie in with how Zebulon participates in the spreading of Torah by quietly assisting the scholars in working to fund their studies.

And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. – Gen. 46:14

We already know what the Name Zebulun means, but what of that of His sons?

·       Sered – To tremble. Obviously a name of ferocity to strike fear into the heart of his enemies.
·       Elon/Ilon – Some argument to the exact meaning, but my sources say, God most High, Or Oak Grove, either way it is a name of strength and security of immovableness.
·       Jahleel/Yahleel – Expectant of God. A name that gives hope to its bearer to expect God to do mighty things for him.  

As a sailor, merchant, warrior or farmer, you need all these traits to stand immovable in the face of the enemy and expect God to fight with and for you, or to not take no for an answer in business, or to expect God for a good harvest, even in the most adverse conditions.

Other than what we just uncovered, not a lot is known about Zebulon. He is a mysterious patriarch.  He seems to be a quiet fellow in Scripture, maybe because he was a way at war or on the sea or busy in his fields most of the time.

The Scattering of the 10 Tribes.

There is an imbalanced view fueled by racial prejudice and supremacy that says the Lost Tribes either have to be black or white. They have to be found either in Africa or the Northern Hemisphere of Europe and the Americas. You have the two opposing camps of Black Hebrewism and British Israelitism. Both have their extremists and bias embellished propaganda, and both equally have their grains of researchable and verifiable truth. I have no problem accepting that a portion of both camps are true. Why? Because the 10 tribes which made up the Northern Kingdom of Israel that went off into Assyrian captivity has never returned and these peoples were transported, sold, traded, migrated, scattered and settled everywhere; having mingled through marriage and assimilation into virtually every people group on the planet and thus Hebrews have become a part of virtually every nationality, and ethnicity.

Though portions of Judah and Levi has been scattered with the other 10 tribes, who we recognize as Jews today come from Judah and Levi who went off into Babylonian captivity and eventually returned and this is who we recognize as Jews today.

I think it is undeniably clear that the first Hebrews were of brown to black in complexion and many of Shem’s line married into the dark complexion of the Hammitic line, genetically producing dark skinned Hebrews. But through the two captivities and scattering in the diaspora, Hebrews (Israelites) and Jews, as I said earlier, have mingled with many peoples of the world and have migrated to unfamiliar climates and through the centuries some Jews and Hebrews/Israelites have lost much of the darker skin tone and so we have descendants of Jacob (Israel) of every color, shape and size. I believe HaShem has allowed this to happen to break down racial barriers and the dividing wall between Jew/Hebrew/Israelite and Gentile and as a way of reversing the effects of the Tower of Babel. Instead we have perverted this purpose to fortify disgusting racist diatribes. Therefore, it would be prejudice and foolhardy of us to dismiss either side of the debate because of issues of bias or race. Let us glean the truth that inherently resides in both sides of the issue.

Where in the World is Zebulon?

We know according to Revelation that in the End of Days Zebulun will be found and accounted for.

Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. – Rev. 7:8a

So where will they be found?

Some speculate that he is in Nigeria among the Igbos and Ijaws. Others say he ended up in Holland, also known as the Netherlands as well as South Africa. Are any of these claims true? Granted, hard evidence is difficult to come by, but the circumstantial evidence is incredibly striking and compelling, so much so that it makes claiming sheer coincidence sound as if one is grasping desperately at straws to deny the plain and clear truth and succor their own religiously prejudice views.

Zebulun in West Africa; Nigeria:

It is said that Ijaw (Ujo) was a traveling companion of Eri, Areli and Adodi as they fled Egypt. Oral tradition states that Ijaw is a son or some descendant of Zebulon. Others say he came from Egypt, which is where Eri and his traveling companions set out from! However, Ijaw is not listed in any Canonical Biblical genealogies that I could find. But this should come as no surprise as one person could go by different names and it may be that Ijaw was known by another name in Biblical Writ. Or it could be Ijaw was a son of one of Zebulun's sons, and there for not recorded in any Biblical genealogy. He was said to be the water scout and river navigator of the group, and even today the Ijaw (Ijo, Izon) tribe and land can be found near water and many are fishermen.

Ijaw (Ijo, Ojo, Ejo, Ujo, Izon) means, “Real, Good or Palm tree;” could this relate to Zebuon’s son Elon, meaning, “Oak Grove”? Could this Ijaw be Elon or Ilon or at least a descendant of his?

We know from history that the Ijaw and Igbo are fierce warriors as well as the people in general have a positive or “expectant” attitude toward the work of the divine in their life, no matter how bad things get around them.

Could it be that Elon/Ilon, Sered and Jahleel or at least their descendants traveled with Gad’s sons Eri, Areli and Arodi to Nigeria?

Some Ubulu in Igboland Nigeria claim that they know they came from Zebulon.  Ubulu in Igbo is the name of and means a “huge tree,” could this relate to Zebuon’s son Elon, meaning, “Oak Grove”? I ask, could Ubulu be named after Elon or Ilon of Zebulun or at least a descendant of his?

Ubulu oral tradition states categorically that the grand-parents of Ezemu (a famous Hunter, Marksman and Herbalist) migrated from Israel and settled at Ife hence Ezemu was often referred to as the king with long hairs – “Ezi Isi Iyomiyo”. From Ife Ezemu and his relations migrated to Afor a village in present day Ndokwa Local Government Area of Delta State. (

“Legend that one of the descendants of Eri (from Gad) who first settled in Onitsha, at the bank of River Niger, near the domain of his relatives from the descendants of Zebulun (Ozubulu in Anambra State) had to travel across the River Niger to the ancient city of Benin or kingdom to prepare war medicine, talisman or charm for a prospective contender to the stool of Oba of Benin.” -  Prof. O. Alaezi, Ibo Exodus, pg.  25 – italics mine

“The Igbo Jews are said to have migrated from Syrian, Portuguese and Libyan Israelites into West Africa. Historical records shows that this migration started around 740 C.E. According to UCLA trained amateur Jewish Historian and Rio Hondo Police Academy trained Forensic investigator Chinedu Nwabunwanne of Aguleri, who resides in Los Angeles and has researched this subject for more than 15 years at the UCLA libraries in Los Angeles, "the migration started when the forces of Caliph Mohammed -the last leader of the Umayyads- and his Qaysi-Arab supportes defeated the Yamani-Arab Umayyads of Syria in 744 C.E; sacked the Yamanis and their Jewish supporters from Syria. The Syrian-Jewish migrant tribes Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher resettled in Nigeria where they became known as Sambatyon Jews. In 1484 and 1667 Judeans and Zebulonians from Portugal and Libya respectively joined Sambatyon Jews of Nigeria. Thus, Nigerian Jews originated from the following six Israelite tribes: Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Zebulon. It is interesting to note that these six tribes are the same tribes Moses repeated their names twice when he blessed the Children of Israel. These six tribes mentioned above are The House of Judah and the children of Israel his companions (Ezekiel 37:16. Those remaining six tribes not mentioned above are The House of Ephraim and the children of Israel his companion (Ezekiel 37:16)."”--

The tribe of Zevulun ben-Ya`aqov (Zebulun), who was the sixth son of Ya`aqov (Jacob). These groups comprise the Ubulu Okiti and Ubulu Ukwu clans in Delta State who settled in Ubulu Ihejiofor. According to oral tradition, it is said that a descendant of the Tribe of Zevulun named Zevulunu, on the advice of a certain Levite, married a woman from Oji, who was descended from the Tribe of Judah, and from this union was born Ozubulu ben-Zebulunu. Ozubulu then went on to have four sons of his own who settled in other regions. These sons were: Amakwa, from whom a clan in Neni, Anambra State is descended, and Egbema, from whom the Egbema Ugwuta clan in Imo State and the Ohaji Egbema clan in Rivers State are descended. -

It has also been suggested that the Jewish Ibo people originated from a migration of Israelites who fled to West Africa. They claim to be descended from three tribes; Zebulon, Gad and Manasseh (Hebrew Qaraim Community). -

The Igbo Jews traditionally claim descent from three particular Israelite tribes: Gad, Zevulun, and Menashe. The Jews of Manipur and Mizoram, the Bnei Menashe, also claim descent from the tribe of Menashe. It is thought that these Jews fled to Africa after the destruction of the biblical Temples in Jerusalem and established communities all across the African continent. -

It should be noted that the majority of Ndi Igbo can be traced back to Gad through his sons Eri, Areli and Arodi, or Levi who became the Nri priests.  A small percentage stake claim to Judah, Zebulon, and some even believe they are from Manasseh, Asher, Dan and even Naphtali. But we see in ancient Israel that at times Benjamin and Simeon were a small remnant living among Judah and were thus absorbed into Judah. In similar fashion these other tribes which make up the Igbo have been absorbed into the majority of Gad.  Prof. O. Alaezi in his book “Ibo Exodus” also recognizes this custom. “Other exiled Hebrews descendants (e.g. Judah and Zebulun) are not as many and have been swallowed up by the Eris.”

If any doubts reside, it should be noted that with my book, “Finding Gad: The Quest for the Lost Tribe of Gad” and the various works of Prof. O. Alaezi, Remy Ilona and Michael Caliben make it clear that the culture and customs of the Igbos is Hebraic in every way and thus there should be no doubt that the Igbo are of Israel, children of Jacob regardless if they are Gad, Levi, Judah, Zebulon or any other tribe.




Zebulun in Holland and South Africa and their connection to the Igbo’s and Ijaws:

There are those who prescribe to the British Israelite theory that the 10 Lost Tribes scattered north and spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Steven M. Collins and Yair Davidiy are the two main proponents of British Israelitism, though not agreeing 100% with their views, as well as not agreeing with 100% of Black Hebrewism views, I have stuck to the uncanny connections that ties Zebulon to both camps and allow the reader to decide for themselves where Zebulon is.

To get a clue why some feel Zebulon made it to Holland (Netherlands); we must first look at the prophecies given about them by Jacob and Moses.  These prophecies will give us clues to their whereabouts in the last days.

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. – Gen. 49:13

And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. – Deut. 33:18-19

Because the prophecies connect Zebulon to the coast and the sea and one should look to famous and heavily trafficked sea ports one of which is the port of Rotterdam in Holland. It handles the largest freight in the world and is considered the gateway of Europe.  It should also be noted that Ijaws and Igbos who claim Zebulonic descendancy also live close to and on the coast. In fact Ijaws pagan expression of worship is tied to water and water spirits. Ijaws are known as fishermen and tradesmen in Nigeria. Many live in the Delta and River states that are close to the sea.

The phrase in Gen. 49:13, “haven of the sea” can mean shelter and or refuge and Holland, via its system of dikes is quite literally “sheltered” from the sea. This same phrase also lends to the fact as mentioned before of Holland’s great and world renowned sea ports.

Moses’ prophecy (Deut. 33:18-19) speaks of the “sucking of the abundance of the sea” and “treasures hidden in sand.” It is of interest to note that the Dutch of Holland literally “sucked out” the sea with their system of dikes and windmills which made the land “abundantly” fertile. The treasure in the sand is believed to be the black gold, the oil that the Royal Dutch Shell company has “sucked” from its “hiding” place in the sand.  It also should be noted that Nigeria is also an oil rich country, especially in the places where the Zebulonite Igbo’s and Ijaws live! And Ducth oil companies have set up shop in oil rich Nigerai too.

Some even feel that the description of Zebulun’s “borders” being “Zidon” is also a clue, because the word for border also means thigh which includes the pubic region. Many feel this hints of the Holland being the “red light district” of the world with its abundance of pornography, prostitution and tolerance of sexual promiscuity. Zebulon’s territory in the Promised Land was previously occupied by the ancient S(Z)idonian fertility cults of Baal and Ashtaroth.  The Wicked Queen Jezebel, known as a sexual temptress was a S(Z)idonian.

It should also be brought to the reader’s attention that the tribal symbol for Zebulon is the Ship which fits well with the Dutch, the Ijaw and a portion of the Igbo who claim Zebulon is their forefather. 

The Dutch Coat of arms of the original seven provinces of the Netherlands (1579) is a ship with a Bible on its prow.

Their Levitical breastplate stone some say was the diamond and many Dutch relocated and colonized South Africa and are in the diamond mine and trade business; so would say is an  amazing coincidence.  I am one who does not believe in mere coincidence.  And though diamonds are not known to be found in Nigeria, Amethysts are and are mined! Recall that this is the other gem supposedly in the Levitical breastplate that represents Zebulun.

Linguistically speaking it is said that Middle East and Turkish people who may have possibly been related to the Sidonians of Phoenicia settled around Holland and Belgium and are believed by some to be the ancestors of the Dutch which would include Hebraic ancestors from Zebulon because of the mingling of the Zebulonites and Sidonians in the Promised Land. And it is obvious that the Zebulonites were influenced they the pagan ways of the Sidonians and hence why the L-RD took them away into captivity.

The Sabalingoi of ancient Frisia which is north of Holland is said to mean Zebulon’s People or the Nation of Zebulon; Sabalin = Zebulon and Goi = from the Hebrew, meaning people or nation.

Davidiy explains through linguistics that he believes that the Chali which were the people north of the Sabalingoi were descendants of Jahleel and that the Suardeni were the descendants of Sered and the Alans the children of Elon.

The Amish culture and religion, though “Christian” is very Jewish in its dress, traditions and customs and way of life. Many Dutch Amish have Jewish last names and or married Jewish women; this would never happen if the Jewish communities of the Holland did not see the Amish as “brethren” i.e. blood relation.


With what has been presented, I do believe it is very likely that Zebulon and his sons ended up both in Africa and in Northern Europe. The linguistics, region and character traits of the peoples mention do fit the Jacobic and Mosaic prophecies concerning them.  I personally would like to see more hard, archeological evidence or become more familiar with the oral traditions of said peoples so as to better tie these people to Zebulon or totally rule them out.

All I know and believe is that there are people roaming the earth to day who are Hebrews and don’t even know it, after all the 10 tribes had to go somewhere, they just didn’t die off of disappear!  That would mean G-D is unable to keep His promises and it would mean the Scriptures are a lie and we know G-D and His Word is TRUTH manifest!  So why not the Ijaw, the Igbo and the Dutch? Anyone have any better candidates?

Rabbi Yehudah (Tochukwu) ben Shomeyr