Genesis 30:9 When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 Then Leah said, “How fortunate!” So she named him Gad. 12 Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 Then Leah said, “Happy am I! For women will call me happy.” So she named him Asher. (NASB)
In the gospel of Luke it mentions one amazing thing about Anna. Like what life in the temple was like or what it was like to be a widow, the Western world really doesn’t get the significance of this next fact.
Luke says she was of the tribe of Asher.
This is amazing. It even borders on miraculous. Do you know how many tiny details God had to work out just so that Anna would be at the temple when His Son came on the eighth day of his earthly existence?
It boggles the mind.
Maybe it’s not boggling yours at the moment. Maybe you don’t know what I’m making such a fuss about.
So it’s time for a bit of Biblical history.
Most people know that Asher was one of Jacob’s twelve sons and therefore one of the tribes of Israel. And as the Scripture above indicates, Asher means ‘happy.’
Indeed, Jacob’s dying prophecy about Asher reinforced that name. Genesis 49:20 “As for Asher, his food shall be rich, and he will yield royal dainties.” (NASB)
Asher’s descendants would have food in abundance. Not only that, they would have royal food. They would have the kinds of food that people would pay the big bucks for. They would become quite wealthy.
When the line of Asher entered the Promised Land, these prophecies seemed to take hold immediately. In the casting of the lots, they received the fifth share.
Again, just words. The fifth share of Israel was what exactly?
Probably the part of land that those who were settling west of the Jordan would kill for.
Asher would receive coastal land north of the Philistines. Their territory included the city of Tyre, an already busy port, heading inland to some of the most fruitful growing land in all of Israel.
So they would have access to imports from around the known world and would be able to send their goods out to others.
No wonder the prophecies allude that they would be, to use a current term, ‘fat, dumb and happy.’
Part two of her heritage tomorrow…
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas