Saturday, May 19, 2012

Issue of Blood Story Explained (Part I)

Reference Text: Luke 8:40-53
The story about Jairus' 12 year old dying daughter
And the story of the woman with the 12 year old issue of blood.

For a very, long time I wondered 2 things about these two Bible stories:

  • #1- I wondered why the story of Jairus' dying daughter was interrupted by the story of the woman with the issue of blood.
  • #2- I wondered if there is any significance in the fact that Jairus' dying daughter was 12 years old and the woman with the issue of blood suffered with her condition for 12 years.

So, I decided to dig a bit deeper in the Bible for answers, starting by understanding the Bible's usage of the number 12.

***The first thing I came across was the fact that there were 12 tribes of Israel. There are many stories in the bible about the Chidren of Israel (Under the leadership of Moses they were freed from slavery in Egypt, crossed the parted Red Sea, etc). Come to find out, when the Bible talks about the children of Israel, it is not referring to 'Israel' the place; its referring to 'Israel' the man (Abraham's son was Isaac. Isaac's sons were Jacob & Esau. Jacob wrestled with an angel, and as a result, in Genesis 32:28, God changed his name to Israel)

Now Jacob (or Israel) had 12 sons. Before Israel died he told each of his sons of things which would happen to them in days to come (Gen. 49:1). Right after citing Israel's sayings to each of his 12 sons, the Bible sums up his words by saying "All these are the 12 tribes of Israel"-referring to Israel's sons.

Therefore, Israel's 12 sons were the "fathers" of the 12 tribes that made up the children of Israel. In Exodus 24:4 as Moses is the appointed leader of the children of Israel, the Bible states: "Moses... built at the foot of the mountain an alter and 12 sacred stones for the 12 tribes of Israel". Here we see Moses laying down stones to represent the 12 tribes of the children of Israel, the term used to describe these people is the same term used to describe Israel's 12 sons in Genesis 49.

***The next thought-provoking fact I came across while researching the Bible's usage of the Number 12 was the fact that there were 12 apostles (or 12 disciples) who ministered with Jesus. Not only that, the Bible links the 12 apostles with the 12 tribes of Israel when referring to the church in Revelation 21. Here, when the city where God's people dwell is described, Revelation 21:12,14 states:
"It had a massive, high wall, with 12 gates where 12 angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, [the names] of the 12 tribes of the Israelites. The wall of the city had 12 courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the 12 names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb"
Therefore, we see the usage of the number 12 throughout the Bible shows symbolism of the church of God and it's synonyms:

  • the people of God/God's people
  • the children of God
  • the children of Israel (who is also the children/descendants of Abraham, Father of all nations)
  • the tribes of Israel
  • The Bride of Christ (which is the church, 2 Corinthians 11:2)
Read on to Part 2 of this Blog Post for info. on how this relates to the woman with the issue of blood.

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