I might be in a gray area on posting this on the book of Revelation board because this relates, very briefly, to Revelation 7 where 12 of the 13 tribes of Israel are listed.
To show you how bad our traditions have been, as far as not giving the full story, I just found out that there are 13 tribes of Israel. 12 land grants and Levi wasn't given land in the promised land. Tribe of Joseph never really comes up in Scripture. (maybe once or twice I've read of something that can be taken as a reference to it in Scripture. a reference or two in Deuteronomy 33, and a reference in Revelation 7)
In place of a reference to a tribe of Joseph, what does get mentioned is Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph's two sons) as distinct tribes of Israel. In Revelation 7 when it mentions twelve tribes, Dan is missing. Anyway, if you type "13 tribes of Israel" into www.google.com
you basically get speculations about the Zodiac on why there are usually only 12 tribes mentioned in many, many parts of Scripture. I guess with each reference to that in Scripture, we need to pay closer attention to who is being excluded from the count and try to discern why from either the meaning of the names of the tribes or from something else in context, or if it's as simple as a particular tribe not being relevant to the particular story being told 'cause they weren't there or whatever.
When Moses blessed the tribes (Deut 33:6-24) Simeon was not mentioned by name, perhaps because the tribe was greatly reduced in size and its land portion was to be enclosed in the territory of Judah. However, in Ezekiel's vision of the "holy contribution" and the twelve tribes, the tribes listed are the same as those who received a land inheritance as given in the book of Joshua (Ezek 48:1-8, 23-28). The tribe of Levi was located within the "holy contribution" in Ezekiel's vision (Ezek. 48:9-14, 22.)
When the tribe of Joseph is mentioned, Ephraim is usually mentioned immediately following. This shows that the name Ephraim was given preference. Thus, the phrase "The House of Ephraim" is frequently used to refer to the "House of Israel." Notice in this series of verses Joseph and Ephraim are mentioned together whereas Manasseh is listed separately:
Num 1:32-33 "Of the children of Joseph, namely, of the children of Ephraim, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war. Those that were numbered of them, even of the tribe of Ephraim, were forty thousand and five hundred:
Num 1:34 "Of the children of Manasseh, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers, according to the number of the names, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war.
Another point is that Ephraim is linked with his father Joseph, whereas Manasseh is linked with his grandfather Jacob:
Num 1:10 "Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim (#H669); Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh (#H4519); Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur."
The English word "Ephraim" comes from the Hebrew word "'Ephrayim;" Strong's (#H669) states that it means "double fruit
; Ephraim, a son of Joseph; also the tribe descended from him, and its territory."
Whereas the English word Manasseh comes from the Hebrew word "Menashsheh;" Strong's (#H4519) states that it means "causing to forget
; Menashsheh, a grandson of Jacob, also the tribe descending from him, and its territory.
Thus it is abundantly clear that Joseph was replaced by his two sons thus there are thirteen tribes and not twelve. The names of the thirteen tribes are stated in Numbers as Moses was taking a census of all that were able to go to war
Num 1:21-45 "Reuben, Simeon, Gad, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, Dan, Asher, and Naphtali. (Notice Levi was missing from the previous list, per Num 1:47,50, yet 12 tribes were mentioned.)
You might ask, what's this got to do with the price of tea or of lead tained Christmas toys in China? It's just one more of those things, as in the mistaken tradition about 3 wise men coming to see Jesus when He was born that adds to the stronghold of lies we're subliminally fed every year in some way. And it very likely robs us of something in our Bible studies. Because we're usually less than precise, then that lends itself to criticisms of the Bible being less than precise when we weren't on the same page with it all along as we were reading it because of a tradition and/or a half truth derived from it that we took as the whole truth. It's just one more thing to rob us of the ability to ask enough questions of a text as we're reading it. Why is so and so left out of this description? How much gold, frankincense, and myrrh were brought to Jesus since those types of "wise men" seldom traveled in caravans of less than 50? Was it enough to finance His whole ministry to where having a treasurer (i.e. Judas) was necessary? Who hires an accountant to keep up with their two dollars and fifty cents, one or two pounds, or their one or two euros??
So, among the other things to keep clear in our minds while studying the Scriptures: there were 13 tribes of Israel mentioned in the Scriptures. Yet there's repeated references to 12, and each reference to only 12 probably has it's own additional story to tell on who's being excluded from that count and why. Why is the tribe of Dan not mentioned in Revelation chapter 7? Since both the tribe of Joseph and the tribe of Manasseh are mentioned, we can probably conclude that the tribe of Joseph includes Ephraim in Revelation 7. The tribe of Levi is even mentioned in Revelation 7, but nothing about the tribe of Dan. Why?