Figures of Prominence in the Old Testament Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein 6 - Jacob’s Blessing of His Sons on his Deathbed Genesis ends with the death of Jacob and his blessing of his sons and the two children of Joseph as he is preparing to die. The symbols he names became the identifying symbols of the tribes of Israel, used on their shields from that time forward. It is at this point, however, that the Hebrew tradition begins to fall into line with other cultures we’ve read about, because the symbols with which Jacob identifies his sons and grandsons are actually signs of the zodiac, though it is the Egyptian zodiac and the constellations themselves he seems to be using rather than the traditional Greek zodiac. All of this information is discussed quite thoroughly in a book by Sir William Drummond entitled Oedipus Judaicus, originally published in 1811 (reprinted in Great Britain: Research into Lost Knowledge Organisation, 1986), and shows that the Jews believed they were as influenced by the stars as did everyone else in the ancient world. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily