Ethical Issues in the Historical Books of Tanach;
SPIRITUAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE BEREISHIT STORIES
These four books ostensibly are merely the history of Israel from the entry into the Promised Land until the destruction of the Temple and the temporary loss of independent statehood. In fact they are actually, in a specifically Jewish sense, the most deeply religious and spiritual books of the Bible. One does not have to be specifically Jewish to see or feel the religion and spirituality in the revelations of the prophetic writings or in the words of the Tehillim. They speak to all people, as evidenced by the fact that the Bible is still the world's bestseller and there are millions of non-Jews who regularly recite the Psalms. However, it is specifically and intrinsically Jewish to understand that G-d is revealed in the prosaic material, in the political, social and military events in the lives of ordinary men and women, kings and leaders that are described in the Nevim Rishonim. Here are described the ideology and religious thoughts in Judaism, while in Chronicles we have the purely historical.
These are the Sons of Yaakov 
Each son of Yaakov has his own name, each tribe has an individual flag and marched and camped around the Mishkan in a certain order during the travels in the desert, each tribe has his separate stone in the Eifod of the Kohein Gadol and each tribe has his month in the cycle of the year, a month that reflects his spiritual character and history.
According to the order of the flags (Bamidbar 10:13), Yehuda's camp leads. Yehuda, whose name has all 4 letters of Hashem's Name and who like his mother knows how to praise Him, is the lion from whom the scepter shall never depart. With him are the flags of Yissachar and Zevulun, the last son of Leah. "Before their birth, the Torah tells us that G-d hearkened to Leah and she gave birth. This specifically dispels any notion regarding the efficacy of duda'im [mandrakes, that Reuven had brought to his mother since he knew her desire to have more of the Tribes] in promoting fertility. Rather, it teaches that children are the gift of G-d" (Radak; Rabbenu Chananel). "Yissachar was 9th in order of birth but the second to bring the offering at the dedication of the Mishkan [after Yehuda]. This was because they were Torah scholars; 200 heads of Sanhedrin came from them and the whole of Israel accepted their halakhot. Where did all this come from? It was possible because Zevulun engaged in trade and commerce and thereby fed Yissachar" (B'reishit Rabba 72:5). This should not be construed as creating a special class of Torah students as Zevulun always retains the obligation to also study Torah. Abarbanel understands their relationship as referring to a commercial partnership that flowed from the fact that Zevulun's portion was on the coast [between Haifa and Akko], with Yissachar's inland portion adjoining. Zevulun traveled the seas for commerce and then Yissachar distributed the goods that he brought.
This order is fitting for the first 3 months of the year; Yehuda, Nissan, the first of months, month of our freedom, the beginning of spring. Zevulun, Iyar, the midst of the work of the harvesting and economic activity. Yissachar, Sivan the month of first fruits and the giving of the Torah.
"The first three months of the year saw spiritual revelation and strength come from Heaven down to the Children of Israel; the miraculous redemption from Egypt, the Manna which came in Iyar and then Revelation at Sinai in Sivan. These were holiness from Above sent down so that Israel would thereby be able to send their holy thoughts and actions up to Heaven, during the next 3 months. However, that was not to be the case. Tammuz means lighting and burning and its sign is that of the scorpion, both of them a symbol of the passion and heat that lead to sin.
The name Reuven comes from 'to see'; what one sees depends on the purity of the heart of the beholder. If that is pure then that influences the whole being of a person to goodness, the contrary leads to mistaken thoughts and inadvertent sins. Reuven sinned [inadvertently when he moved the bed of his father from the tent of Bilha where Yaakov had moved after the death of Rachel, as he saw that as an insult to his mother (Rashi; see Shabbat 55b)]. He then did t'shuva (Bamidbar Rabba 13, based on the open space in the verse telling of the incident (B'reishit 35:22)). Shimon also sinned inadvertently when Zimri took Cozbi thinking erroneously that she had renounced idolatry, however he did not repent [Leah had foreseen this when she said at his birth: G-d has given me this one also, but Pinchas who was born of her son Levi, would correct that error (B'reishit Rabba 71:4)]. Indeed because of the sins of Israel these months became months of destruction and suffering; the breaching of the walls of Yerushalayim started on the 9th during Bayit Rishon and on the 17th of Tammuz during Bayit Sheini and the siege until Tish'a b'Av. Because of t'shuva, these days will turn into a period of rejoicing; Shiva Asar be Tammuz and Tisha B'Av will be turned into festivals and the days between them into Chol HaMoed (Ta'anit 4a) " (Shem Mi Shmuel).
This is installment #139 in Dr. Tamari’s series on “Tanach and its messages for our times”