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January 4, 2016

Biblical Groups of Twelve

Thanks to the 44 of you who played in my recent quiz at Alpaca Farm. If you’re only interested in the correct answers or stats, or want to try the quiz yourself, scroll down toward the bottom.

Despite the topic, this was a general-knowledge quiz. Every correct response incorporated the name (or alternative name) of one of the following Groups of Twelve from the Bible:

  • the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel)
  • the twelve minor prophets
  • the twelve apostles

Of course, it might help if you knew exactly who those people were (or at least their names). Here you go.

The twelve sons of Jacob (Israel)

There’s a lot to know about Jacob, so I’ll keep it to a minimum here. He had twelve sons from four women: the sisters Leah and Rachel, and their respective handmaidens, Zilpah and Bilhah.

Jacob loved Rachel best, and worked seven years for her hand, only to find out he had married the older Leah (marriage order was strict in those days). He agreed with her father to also marry Rachel in exchange for a promise for seven years of additional labor.

When a wife was unable to conceive, as was the case with Rachel for a long time, it was standard practice for a husband to impregnate her handmaiden. The same had previously happened with Abraham and Sarah and handmaiden Hagar.

Jacob wrestled with an angel one night, leading him to be renamed Israel (“he who struggles”). His twelve sons for the most part are the namesakes of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The only exceptions are Levi, whose progeny served as the priestly class for all tribes, and Joseph, whose blessing was passed on to his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Here are the twelve sons, a list worth memorizing. Translations come from The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Bible, which inspired this quiz.

# son meaning mother
1 Reuben he has seen my misery Leah
2 Simeon one who hears Leah
3 Levi attached Leah
4 Judah praise Leah
5 Dan he has vindicated Bilhah
6 Naphtali my struggle Bilhah
7 Gad good fortune / troop Zilpah
8 Asher happy Zilpah
9 Issachar reward Leah
10 Zebulun gift / honor Leah
11 Joseph may he add Rachel
12 Benjamin son of my right hand Rachel

The twelve minor prophets

These are the final twelve books in the Old Testament, all originally in Hebrew. In Jewish tradition they are collected as the Trei Asar.

  • Hosea (Osee)
  • Joel
  • Amos
  • Obadiah (Abdias)
  • Jonah (Jonas)
  • Micah (Micheas)
  • Nahum
  • Habakkuk
  • Zephaniah (Sophanias)
  • Haggai (Aggeus)
  • Zechariah (Zacharias)
  • Malachi (Malachias)

The original apostles

The apostles have different names depending on which book of the Gospel you’re looking at. The Gospel of John tends to be the outlier.

  • Andrew
  • Bartholomew, a.k.a. Nathanael
  • James, son of Alphaeus
  • James, son of Zebedee
  • John (“whom Jesus loved”)
  • Judas Iscariot (betrayer of Jesus)
  • Matthew
  • Philip
  • Peter, a.k.a. Simon Peter / Cephas (the first Pope)
  • Simon the Zealot
  • Thaddeus, a.k.a. Jude
  • Thomas

Clues, responses, and stats

Note: numbers in parentheses represent the number of players who gave that response.

Q1. With the money he earned from his 1955 portrayal of Cal Trask, he purchased a Porsche 356, among other vehicles.

Name this actor, whose aforementioned performance became the first to earn a posthumous Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards.

Correct response: Show

Q2. Born in Germany in 1829, he moved to the United States at age 18 to help his brothers with their wholesale dry goods firm before starting his own.

Name this businessman, who helped to invent a new type of work pant: one using copper rivets to hold the cloth together.

Correct response: Show

Q3. His contributions to the game of football were numerous, including the onside kick, the lateral pass, and the tackling dummy.

Name this College Football Hall of Famer, who coached at the University of Chicago from 1892 to 1932.

Correct response: Show

Q4. He succeeded his father as the head of Houston’s Lakewood Church in 1999; he has since become known as “The Smiling Preacher”.

Name this evangelist, whose 2004 book Your Best Life Now spent over 200 weeks on the New York Timesbest-seller list.

Correct response: Show

Q5. I’m hungry for this sandwich – anyone up for a trip to Katz’s Deli? (Be sure to hold on to your ticket until you get to the cashier.)

Click for additional information

Correct response: Show

Q6. As a leader of the Radical Republicans, this Pennsylvania representative often butted heads with Abraham Lincoln.

Name this abolitionist, who insisted he be buried in an integrated cemetery (and was – after becoming the third person to lie in state in the Capitol rotunda).

Correct response: Show

Q7. In April 1963, at age 17, she interviewed The Beatles; by December, she and Paul McCartney had moved in together.

Name this actress, who inspired several songs, including “And I Love Her” and “We Can Work It Out”. (They didn’t.)

Correct response: Show

Q8. It got its start in 1924 by launching a crossword puzzle craze; today, it is a division of CBS Corporation.

Name this publishing house, whose 35 imprints include Pocket Books and Folger Shakespeare Library.

Correct response: Show

Q9. In 1976, a few months before he died, he received a life peerage.

Name this composer, whose works included Peter Grimes and The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.

Correct response: Show

Q10. Give the full nameincluding middle initial – of the most prominent animated character voiced by Nancy Cartwright for 27 seasons running.

Correct response: Show

Q11. In 1190, ten years into a 43-year reign, he styled himself “King of France” – the first Frankish ruler to do so.

Name this monarch, who was given his popular nickname by the chronicler Rigord.

Correct response: Show

Q12. The harmonica solo heard here comes from what song, the opening track to a 1994 self-titled debut album?

Correct response: Show

If you haven’t listened to Weezer’s debut album, self-titled but commonly known as The Blue Album to differentiate it from others in Weezer’s catalog, please do yourself a favor and give it a listen. You’ve certainly heard at least two of the songs (“Buddy Holly” and “Say It Ain’t So”).

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