Tribal Colors

Source: Midrash Rabah, BaMidbar, b; 7. Some of the tribal colors depicted below may be inaccurate due to a misunderstanding of the text. In addition other opinions are found in different sources.
The Midrash says that each Tribe had its own color over which was depicted the Tribal Symbol. We have assumed the colors to have had an importance in their own right and have shown them below without the symbols.

To see alternate (possible more correct) Tribal Colors as well as depictions of the precious jewels of each Tribe (that reflected the color see:
Tribal Gems

Benyamin is described as having all 12 colors. What these colors really were and how they were arranged is not known to us for the moment.

Asher is said to have had a color like "the jewel worn by women". This could be anything but we have assumed it to have been an amber type color. Even though we have given Asher an amber color most sources seem to indicate a shade of white or sea-blue.

Possible Colors for the Tribe of Asher

The Precious stone in the Breastplate of the High Priest for the Tribe of Asher was known as Tarshish. The color of the stones is believed to have been that of the Tribes. Here are some opinions concerning the color of Tarshish:
Karo on Ezekiel 1:16. Tarshish. In layman's terms "Crystal".
Rashi.on Ezekiel 1:16. Like a precious gem called Tarshish, in layman's terms "crystal".
Radak. on Ezekiel 1:16.a shade of blue.
Rashi on Daniel 10. Ocean of Africa [understood to mean the Atlantic, cf. Shekalim 16;b, Aruch Ha-Shalem].
Rabbi Saadia Gaon on Daniel 10:6 "....the final conclusion is that [Tarshish resembles] the waves of the sea that surge upwards with the heads of the waves resembling the white precious stone called Tarshish. Tarshish is translated as crum yama [i.e. cream of the sea]."
Malbim on Ezekiel 1:16. Tarshish. blue like the sea, and the sea like the sky.
The Zohar on Ezekiel 1:16 seems to compare Tarshish to the flames of a fire.
Torat Olah seems to compare Tarshish to ivory or sapphire.

Simeon is given the color "yerok" meaning green in Modern Hebrew but occasionally in Rabbinical sources implying yellow. Naphtali is said to have had a color "like wine, neither red nor white". We have given him pink but it may have been another shade. The other colors depicted are probably fairly close to what the Midrash intended.

For another opinion with variant Tribal colors to the ones above see:

Stephen Phillips: The Tribal Colors, An Alternative Opinion

See Also (by the present author):
Tribal Gems

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