Why are twelve tribes of Israel different in Genesis and Revelation

Q. Why is it that the twelve tribes of Israel are different in Genesis than in Revelation? Seven are the same- Simeon, Levi, Rueben, Joseph, Benjamin, Gad, Issachar.. the others are spelled different- Judah-Juda, Zebulun-Zabulon…

Some of the differences in the spelling of the names is probably due to the translation from the original languages… Hebrew and Greek. They are the same people even though the spellings are slightly different.

As for the list of the 12 tribes being different: You make a good point. In fact there is no list anywhere in the Bible of the 12 tribes exactly like the one in Revelation. I think that is due to the fact that the 12 tribes in Revelation are used to symbolize the church.

For example: Paul is speaking to Christians in Gal 6:16 as he says,

16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (KJV)

In addition the book of James is written to Christians, but they are called the 12 tribes.

James 1:1
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

The church today is the “Israel of God.” We are the “chosen people” of God today. We are the seed of Abraham.

Gal 3:27-29
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

We must understand that Revelation is a book of symbols. Many OT symbols are used to describe something about the church. The 12 tribes symbolize the church and shows that we are his chosen people today.

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