Reference: Tribes Of Israel
The number of the tribes of Israel varied at different periods. The number 12 is an artificial one, as is seen from its application to the descendants of Ishmael (Ge 17:20; 25:13-15), of Nahor (Ge 22:20-24), and of Esau (Ge 36:15-19,40-43). Simeon and Levi were 'divided in Jacob and scattered in Israel' (Ge 49:7) when the tribe of Benjamin arose, so that at that time there would be not 12 but only 11 tribes. Reuben, likewise, in the period of the kings, was an insignificant remnant, and, though mentioned in 1Ch 5:26 as still existing in 734, had apparently become disintegrated long before. As Stade (VI Geschichte des Volkes Israel i. 146) correctly remarks, several of the largest tribes
And as for Ishmael, I have heard and heeded you: behold, I will bless him and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly; He will be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.
Now after these things, it was told Abraham, Milcah has also borne children to your brother Nahor: Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram, read more. Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel. Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother. And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their births: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael, and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, read more. Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah.
And they journeyed from Bethel and had but a little way to go to Ephrath [Bethlehem] when Rachel suffered the pangs of childbirth and had hard labor. When she was in hard labor, the midwife said to her, Do not be afraid; you shall have this son also. read more. And as her soul was departing, for she died, she called his name Ben-oni [son of my sorrow]; but his father called him Benjamin [son of the right hand]. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar (monument) on her grave; that is the pillar of Rachel's grave to this day.
These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau: The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Korah, Gatam, and Amalek. These are the chiefs of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Adah. read more. These are the sons of Reuel, Esau's son: Chiefs Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, Mizzah. These are the chiefs of Reuel in the land of Edom; they are the sons of Basemath, Esau's wife. These are the sons of Oholibamah, Esau's wife: Chiefs Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the chiefs born of Oholibamah daughter of Anah, Esau's wife. These are the sons of Esau, that is, Edom, and these are their chiefs.
And these are the names of the chiefs of Esau, according to their families and places of residence, by their names: Chiefs Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, read more. Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, Magdiel, and Iram. These are the chiefs of Edom [that is, of Esau the father of the Edomites], according to their dwelling places in their land.
Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites to fight against them?
The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel, and the Lord was with them.
Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who secured provisions for the king and his household; each man had to provide for a month in a year.
Now [we come to] the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel. For [Reuben] was the eldest, but because he polluted his father's couch [with Bilhah his father's concubine] his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph [favorite] son of Israel; so the genealogy is not to be reckoned according to the birthright. Judah prevailed above his brethren, and from him came the prince and leader [and eventually the Messiah]; yet the birthright was Joseph's.
So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, [that is,] the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, the Reubenites, Gadites, and half-tribe of Manasseh and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day.