Genesis 49:13-15 Zebulun and Issachar: Study and work for the Lord

13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.

14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:

15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.


Jacob now addresses the last two sons born directly through Leah: Zebulun and Issachar.


13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.

Zebulun was destined to become a merchant and trader and evidently be very successful at it because his allotment of land seemed to be a prime trade route for goods.  Not much is said about this tribe other than the fact that they were mentioned in the book of 1 Chronicles 12 as one of the tribes who committed many men for the battle against the King of Hazor in the valley of Jezreel.

14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:

15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.

So little is known about the tribe of Issachar that many believe the ancient Hebrew scholars had to make up good things to say about them.  Tradition also places these two tribes together working side by side.  This idea could have been based on Moses blessing for these two tribes:

Deuteronomy 33:

18 And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents.

19 They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.

Issachar would devote themselves to the study of the Law and determining the Hebrew calendar.  This would include designation of feast times to coincide with harvest times.

In order for Issachar to be able to do this, he would need support and this is where Zebulun came in.  He was to support Issachar through his successful enterprises.


The religious leaders of Israel studied the Scriptures but by the time of the ministry of Jesus, they had also studied the Talmud (oral commentary on the Torah and Law) but they had placed the Talmud as on par with or above the Scriptures.


John 8


Mark 7:


1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.


We should study the Word of God:


2 Timothy 2:

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


The Word of God is filled with little nuggets of wisdom and each time we read the Scriptures when guided by the Spirit of God we can rest assured that we will receive another nugget.


Commentaries are great and useful.  The person who wrote the commentary may have been a godly person, guided by the Spirit of God, who studied and prayed for hours when they wrote down their words; but in the end they are still words of men and we should never regard them as the same as or above the Word of God.  If we do we run the risk, like those leaders in Jesus’ day, of missing what the Lord is trying to tell us in that particular section for that particular day.


The donkey was known as a strong working animal and to be called a donkey would have been a compliment in those days.

The donkey was the equivalent of a taxicab and an 18 wheeler truck and was valued for the workload that it could carry.


Work is just as important as study.  It is part of the curse placed upon man through the sin of Adam.


2 Thessalonians 3:


6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;

8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

Colossians 3:


16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.

21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;

23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

We should work for the Lord in all that we do, no matter the business or ministry in which we find ourselves.  It doesn’t matter how small the position we should work as though the Lord is our boss.


If we work for the Lord and study His word then we will be blessed both spiritually and physically.  The financial aspect is covered by God.  We might not always have what we want but we will get what we need from the Lord.



About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
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