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Tribe

TRIBE (Heb. matteh, rod, staff, tribe, shēvĕt, rod, scepter, tribe, Gr. phylē, tribe). With two exceptions (Isa.19.13; Matt.24.30 kjv) these words always denote a tribe (or the tribes) of Israel. A tribal group comprised all the individuals descended from the same ancestor. As for the Hebrews, each tribe was made up of all the persons descended from one of the sons of the patriarch Jacob. The clan was composed of kinsmen on the father’s side. The heads of the tribes are called “rulers” (kjv) or “leaders” (niv) (Exod.34.31), “heads” (Num.1.16), or “chiefs” (Gen.36.15ff.).