The next Firstfruits celebration coincidentally falls on Thanksgiving this year at sundown. The ninth month of the Hebrew covenant calendar is known as Kislev, which means, “security, trust, and coming full circle.”
Kislev is the last month of the “harvest” season in the Hebrew calendar which is associated with the tribe of Benjamin; the youngest son of Jacob. He was the only son born in the Promised Land.
Benjamin was actually given two names. The first came from his mother Rachel. Having great difficulties in giving birth, Benjamin’s mother died right after seeing her son born. Rachel named him “Benoni” which means “son of my sorrow (or iniquity). The name of her son was a death confession of her stealing the family treasured idols (Gen. 35:18).
As much as Jacob loved Rachel and wanted to honor her request, Jacob saw his newborn son through the eyes of God’s heart and was obedient to change his name to fit His destiny. Jacob named him “Benjamin,” which means “son of my right hand.”
The meaning of a person’s name reveals clues to their God given identity and destiny. Name changes in the bible are not insignificant. Abraham’s name (Father of many nations) was changed from Abram (exalted father), to fit Abraham’s prophetic destiny in God’s Covenant Story.
God changed Jacob’s name as well to ISRAEL. Jacob’s birth name means “supplanter, or deceiver.” His name fit him because this name identified his nature before encountering Father God heart to heart. But after Jacob wrestled with God and understood His Covenant heritage, God changed his name and nature to fit his God appointed identity and purpose; ISRAEL, meaning “ruler or prince with God” (Gen. 35:10).
Benjamin was the only son born after Jacob’s divine encounter with God. Jacob’s first fruit in this new identity change happens when he renames his son Benjamin because he saw his son through the Covenant lens of his identity.
Incidentally, Jesus went through this process with Abba Father as well when Jesus was being baptized and the Father said, “This is My Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). From that moment on, Jesus was not identified as a carpenter, but as the son of God sent to save man from sins.
Before Jacob/Israel dies, God uses him to give the prophetic Covenant blessing to all his sons. Genesis 49:27 are the prophetic words over Benjamin. “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.”
In this prophetic word, God shares that Benjamin has two sides: One that is self absorbing and will fight for his food at all costs sparing nothing for anyone who is hungry. The other is the matured Benjamin who has an understanding of God’s Covenant who will fight for what is right in order to give out what has been given him. The first nature is life without understanding the Father’s heart. The second nature comes through the wrestle with God, understanding our identity in Him, and the maturity to carry out His Covenant.
We see these two natures of Benjamin and conversion throughout the Bible. All of the disciples of Jesus, minus Judas, were Benjamites. When Jesus called on each of them to be His disciples, each one of them received a new identity. After spending time with the Lord and going through a transformation process, God was able to use them as His light.
God had already prophesied that the tribe of Benjamin would be a light when God decided to split the kingdom in two in 1 Kings 11:36 “And to Solomon’s son I will give one tribe (Benjamin), that My servant David may always have a LAMP before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I chosen for Myself, to put My name there.”
Saul who converted to Paul was also a Benjamite (Romans 11:1). We read about his encounter, identity change, and how he was used a “light” in Act. 9:1-22. Saul believed himself to be so righteous as a Pharisee and one who persecuted the Christians UNTIL His encounter with the Father. Then he went from being a “son of sorrow/iniquity” to that “son of God’s right hand” (Gen. 35:18).
The generations of today are the “Benjamites” who will bring in the greatest Harvest for the King. But in order to fulfill their call, most need an “encounter” to understand their identity and purpose through the lens of the Father. America will need this encounter as well as we have forgotten our identity and purpose as a nation established by God.
As times get difficult, God has prophesied over the Benjamites who are his “son’s of His right hand,” protection and covering. Moses adds to the prophetic word for Benjamin: “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, who shelters him all the day long; and he shall dwell between His shoulders.” (Deut.33: 12) This is comforting to know as we are faced with difficult times ahead that the Benjamites have God’s special protection.
We can learn from the Benjamites in the bible how God used them mightily when they put their trust in Him. Benjamites such as Esther and Mordacei saved God’s people from destruction and God exalted them. However, King Saul did not, and he lost his throne.
God’s Covenant sign of the rainbow after the flood is associated with the tribe of Benjamin. (Gen.8,9). The rainbow, which has all the colors, is very symbolic of the heart of the Benjamites who have a heart for ALL of God’s people to know the King. They will be God’s sign in the earth of the truth of His Covenant.
Kislev is the ninth Hebrew month, and nine is the number associated with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22,23 gives us all nine fruits: love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This is divine completeness in manifesting the character of Christ, which the Benjamite disciples had first hand training. When the world can see the manifestation of the “sons of light,” the heavens and the earth will rejoice!
“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits the revealing of the sons of God” (Romans 8:19).