It Does Make a Difference

Who Your Friends Are

Text: Nehemiah 11:4




In Nehemiah 11, there are only two tribes of Israel who are restored from Babylonian captivity.  These are the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.  We might understand why God restored Judah, because that was the tribe Christ would be born from.  We might say that God had to restore Judah in order to fulfill His promise for the coming Messiah.  This is error because God could have given the promised Messiah when Israel wasn't in the promised land, just as long as the prophecies concerning Christ were fulfilled.


Deut 27:11-13 - When Israel first came into the promised land, all the tribes were together, each in its own respective place, obeying the commands of God and Moses.  This didn't last long, however.  We will find that each of the tribes go sour at one point or another.  But not all the tribes stay sour.


Joshua 18:11 - The dividing of the land between Judah and Benjamin.  The tribes of Israel are all together at this point, and the description of the dividing of the land involves Joshua chapters 13-22.


Judges 10:8,9 - When the Ammonites appeared to fight against Judah and Benjamin and Ephraim, all Israel was distressed.  This shows us that the tribes were all together at this point.


Judges 20:18 - When the tribe of Benjamin wandered from the commands of God by allowing homosexuals and other abominations, God send Judah to judge her.  According to Judges 21:15, all Israel repented because God made a breach in the tribes of Israel by separating Benjamin.  They got things as right as they could, but this seems to be a beginning of the "partnership" between Judah and Benjamin.


I Chron 12:1-16 - I would consider this the very beginning of the union of Judah and Benjamin.  When David was living in Ziklag for fear of Saul, there came unto him certain people from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah.  It is most remarkable that some Benjaminites turned against Saul toward David, because Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin.  But if these people are going to follow God, they must turn from Saul.  Another point is that these Benjaminites understood the problems of leadership like no other tribe would.  They had experienced its problems and benefits personally, so they knew first hand.


I Kings 12:21,23 - (See verses 21-24) - Rehoboam (King of the Southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin) and Jeroboam (King of all the other tribes, the Northern tribes) are going to fight, but God said NO!  Judah and Benjamin are mentioned specifically, and the remnant of the people.  This seems to mark the beginning of the time when Benjamin and Judah are separated from the remaining ten tribes.  It should be noted that this thing was from the Lord (verse 24).  Judah doesn't have the birthright because of merit, but grace.  So it is with Benjamin.  That tribe is with Judah because the thing is of the Lord, by GRACE.


II Chron. 11:1-4 - The house of Benjamin and Judah (King Rehoboam) were gathered together to fight the house of Israel (King Jeroboam).  God said NO!


II Chron 11:23 - Rehoboam scattered his children throughout the tribes of Judah and Benjamin in the fenced cities he had built.  This continues to show how the friendship between these two tribes increased as time rolled by.


I Kings 15:16-22 - The separation between the northern and southern tribes grows wider under the rule of Asa (King of Judah) and Baasha (Kings of Israel).  Asa hired Benhadad, King of Syria, to help him fight Baasha, who was building the city of Ramah to stop any from going from Israel to Judah.  When Baasha understood what Asa had done, he stopped building Ramah and returned home.  Asa took the building material at Ramah, and used them to construct Geba, a city of Benjamin.


II Chron 14:8 - Asa's army consisted of 300,000 from Judah and 280,000 from Benjamin.  When armies merge into one, you can be sure not only are the chief aims of the tribes are one, but the individuals share this philosophy.  II Chron 11:5-12 - (verse 10 and 12) Rehoboam build cities in Judah and Benjamin, strengthening himself against the northern tribes.



II Chron. 15:2,8,9 - God declared openly that He would help Judah and Benjamin as long as those tribes stayed with Him.  This greatly encouraged Asa, and he cleansed idols from the tribes.  Many people from the Northern kingdom followed Asa when they saw that God was with him.


II Chron. 25:1-5 - (verse 5) - When Amaziah, king of Judah began to reign, he served the Lord and the Lord allowed him rebuild parts of Judah.  His army consisted of 300,000 soldiers from Judah and Benjamin.  Here, again, Judah and Benjamin are together.


II Chron. 31:1, During the days of Hezekiah, Judah and Israel celebrated the Passover together.  Shortly after the Passover, all Israel went into the cities of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh and destroyed all the idols and symbols of false worship.  This shows us that even though Judah and Benjamin are the chief recipients of God's grace, anybody that wants to humble themselves to serve God can freely join themselves to the servants of God.


II Chron. 34:9 - (1-13) - Josiah, king of Judah, did much to return all Israel to the worship of God.  When money was made available for the repair of the temple of God, it came from these sources: (1) Mannaseh and Ephraim, (2) of all the remnant of Israel, and (3) Judah and Benjamin.  Notice the three categories of givers.


Psalms 68:27 - Here God puts Judah, Benjamin, Zebulun and Naphtali together.


The following passages speak of Judah and Benjamin, but it must be remembered that the northern tribes have gone into Assyrian captivity and are not with Judah and Benjamin.

Ezra 1:5, 4:1  10:9

Neh. 11:4,36  12:34

Jer. 17:26,  32:44,  33:13

Ezk. 48:22