Asher, son of Jacob/Israel

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Asher was the eighth son of Jacob, and the second of Jacob's two sons by Zilpah, Leah's maid. The other son by Zilpah was Gad. When Jacob blesses his 12 sons in Genesis, chapter 49, he said that Asher would have a life blessed with an abundance of food and delicacies befitting a king (Genesis 49:20). Asher made the journey with Jacob and the family from Padan Aram to Canaan, and then later to Egypt. The Tribe of Asher increased in size from 41,500 to 53,400 adult males during the span of two censuses described in the Book of Numbers.

In Deuteronomy 33:1 and Deuteronomy 24-25, Moses, in his blessing, also predicted prosperity for the Tribe of Asher. The Tribe of Asher failed to drive out the inhabitants of Phoenician towns in the area of Israel that the tribe had been allotted as its inheritance (Judges 1:27). In the Song of Deborah, which is featured in Judges, chapter 5, the Tribe of Asher is reprimanded for not helping out during the struggle against a Canaanite king (Judges 5:17).

The tribe, however, did participate in the expulsion of the Midianites and Amalekites from the Plain of Jezreel. In Revelation 7:1-8, Asher is among the Tribes who are promised the Seal of God for 12,000 of their members.

The name Asher means "happy."

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