The Twelve Tribes of Israel

(Chapter 6)


Issachar was the ninth son of Jacob and the fifth son of Leah. Both of these numbers are important, for nine is the number of strength, and five is the number of grace. Together, this refers to the strength of grace which is manifested in the life of Issachar and the Issacharites.

Issachar was born of strange circumstance of which you can read in Gen. 30:14-18. During the wheat harvest , Reuben, Leah's oldest son, had gone out and hunted for some mandrake plants. Mandrakes are really a narcotic plant which the ancients esteemed to be closely related with love and a bringer of love.

When he came home to his mother, Leah, with them, Rachel saw them and asked Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes." Leah responded, "Wasn't it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son's mandrakes too?"

You must realize that Rachel was Jacob's first love, but it was the custom to give the oldest daughter in marriage first, so Jacob had to take Leah and then work seven more years before he could have Rachel. Therefore, you can understand Leah's feelings.

Rachel promised in return for the mandrakes that Leah could have Jacob for that night and as a result, Issachar was conceived and in due time brought forth. Because Issachar was bought or hired for love, his name means reward or hire. Therefore, Issacharites are known for their vulnerability to love. They can be easily be hired for human love. On the spiritual side they become love saves unto Christ because of His love.

Jacob prophesied in Gen. 49:14-15,

"Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens; and he saw that rest was food, and the land that it was pleasant: and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute."

There surely is nothing derogatory about Issachar being likened unto a strong ass. An ass is a beast of burden and in this case it means a male ass. One that is especially strong and able to bear the load. Issacharites are always burden bearers of one sort or another, and they can never escape the nature this is in them to bear a load almost too great for them. God has granted them such a nature, and thank God for them.

It says of Issachar that he couches down between two burdens, and the word "couching" literally means "bend the legs" or the position of an animal with legs bent under it. This gives us the cue to Issachar's position in Israel represented in the figure of a man. Issachar is in the legs; legs that are not only swift to run and do but legs that also know how to stoop, bend, or couch down in a resting position. Issacharites are marked by both their burden bearing and by their ability to stop and rest.

It is interesting to note that Issachar couches down between two burdens, and the word "burdens" needs explanation. Only twice is this particular Hebrew word used in the Old Testament. It is here translated as burdens, but in Judges 5:16 as "sheepfolds." What then are these two burdens or two sheepfolds.

When Israel was divided into two kingdoms Israel was one and Judah was the other one. Issachar was a burden bearer between the two longing for the time when both kingdoms were once again joined into one. In Zech. 11:4-11 we see pictured two flocks...the flock of slaughter, and the poor of the flock. The poor of the flock refers to the remnant of the church that listen and hear the Word of the Lord and act accordingly.

The flock of the slaughter refers to those who have refused to go on into maturity and a great time of judgment and cleansing during these days of great testing and trouble. True Issacharites who are elected of God have a heart to be part of the "little flock," or the poor of the flock and at the same time they are intensely interested and concerned over those who will not be among the firstfruits.

Issachar has a God-given vision of the rest God has promised us and the inheritance, that is to be ours, but he also knows there is a price to be paid in obtaining such. He is not compelled to bow his shoulder to the load but gladly does it and even becomes a servant unto tribute or burden. He gives of what God will bring him into in the days ahead. Issacharites are men and women of vision, but also very realistic in realizing that vision will only become reality by being love slaves unto the Lord Himself.

Moses prophesied to both Issachar and Zebulun together in Deut 33:18-19,

"About Zebulun he said: "Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out, and you, Issachar, in your tents. They will summon peoples to the mountain and there offer sacrifices of righteousness; they will feast on the abundance of the seas, on the treasures hidden in the sand."

The Hebrew word for rejoice is "SHEMEACH" which means to be glad and rejoice but carries the thought of "shine." In other words, this rejoicing is not so much in words as in reality. Rejoicing that radiates the light of joy and gladness. It has to do with attitudes rather than verbal expression. This is a true earmark of Issachar...radiating joy and gladness, and this is likewise true of Zebulunites.

But it is said that Issachar will radiate this in his tents. To what does this refer? Our bodies are likened unto tents because Paul speaks of "our earthly house of this tabernacle (tent)." Therefore, the Issacharites of God are not interested in rejoicing in public for men to hear but are marked with the ability to shine forth their joy and gladness in their own beings and rejoice in themselves in the glory of God. Of course, this attitude of joy within is bound to be seen outwardly. Thank God for Issachar who radiates in himself rather than murmuring inside.

Seeing that Zebulun and Issachar have a joint blessing from Moses, we are going to leave that part of it for the present until we deal with Zebulun and then we will include Issachar.

In 1 Chron 12:23 & 32 it says,

"These are the numbers of the men armed for battle who came to David at Hebron to turn Saul's kingdom over to him, as the LORD had said: -18,000; men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do--200 chiefs, with all their relatives under their command;"

It is said here that the Issacharites had an understanding of the times. The same holds true today. There is an unveiling going on today, for those who have discernment and an ear to hear, of the Issacharites. Men and women who are given an understanding of the times that we are living in. They are showing us the meaning of God's times and seasons that we are living in.

I must warn you, however, that there are also many false prophets who are putting their spin on what the meaning is of the times we are living. Thus, the need for discernment.

Now, let's look at the meaning of the Gate of Issachar as listed in Rev 21.

Gen. 30:18 says,

"And Leah said, God has given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband, and she called his name Issachar."

The key word in this verse is hire, because the name Issachar means hired. It also means reward. The NIV renders this verse as: "God has rewarded me." This word can also mean the payment of a contract or compensation; a benefit, a price; it can mean wages.

Here is the Principle: In the Gate of Zebulun you become identified with the body, but it is not enough to just become identified with the body for you must experience the Gate of Issachar because in Issachar you cannot be bought. You cannot be hired.

There are those who have passed through Zebulun and are identified with a local assembly, yet they are sucking the breast of the harlot. They have identified themselves with and are drawing their life from a system that God is going to destroy. Babylon, which means confusion, is a spirit. Any spirit that comes forth and says, "Let's make a name for ourselves" is a part of the Babylonian system.

If you were to say, "Every man has his price", Issachar would give you an argument. Issachar cannot be bought, because he has already been bought and he is under contract to another. Someone else has purchased the exclusive rights to Issachar.

There are a lot of people that would like to get hold of this kind of ministry, but he will not be bought and he will not serve another. He is under contract and cannot be bought. Rare is the ministry and rare is the man that has made it this far into the City.

The reason for this in that many owe their life to the system and their allegiance to Saul, because they have their retirement plan already made out.

Many were trained in Saul's schools, and many have their lives invested in a head and shoulders system.

Jesus could not be bought. Satan showed Him all the world systems. Five thousand men and women wanted Him to be their pastor, but He refused.

Zebulun rose seven places from birth to number three on the breastplate of the High Priest. Issachar was the ninth son and rose seven places on the High Priest's breastplate, to the number two position. The second stone on the High Priest breastplate was a Topaz. The topaz is a yellow/green colored stone and is transparent. It is called by jewelers, the peridot. They also call it the olivine.

The olivine is a rich olive/green. Yellow speaks to us of youth and hope of brightness and clarity. Green speaks to us of life and light shinning forth or radiating.

This is the ninth foundation stone in the wall of the Holy City and the Foundation is Purity.

Rev 21:27 says:

"Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life."

The word 'pure' is first used in scripture in connection with the pure gold used to overlay the ark of the covenant. In Exodus 25:10-11 it says,

"Have them make a chest of acacia wood--two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Overlay it with pure gold, both inside and out, and make a gold molding around it.

All of the other pieces of furniture in the tabernacle were just overlaid with pure gold. This speaks of purity both within and without. We have learned that gold speaks of divine nature and this is the only nature that is genuinely pure. Nothing can enter The Holy of Holies that is not pure. In the Holy of Holies there is nothing but the divine nature of God. Not only is the entrance to eternal life protected by Praise and Judgment but it also protected by Purity.

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