I was recently reading in the Compendium of World History that it was not uncommon for some Ashkenazi Jews (Israelites) to adopt European or sometimes called Christian names. They did this to hide their Jewish revealing names from those who were killing, harassing, and/or deporting them. However, they did something else to help keep their Israeli identity recognizable between themselves. They began the spelling of each “adopted European or Christian name” with the first letter of the tribe from which they originated.
Levi, Judah, Benjamin, Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Manasseh and Ephraim (Joseph). Joseph is dropped from these identities in exchange for his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. L, J, B, R, S, D, N, G, A, I, Z, Z, M, E. For some perhaps God-given reason the above and future persecution of these people, is the reason. The name Joseph is usually dropped from the naming or listing of tribes in the Old Testament therefore his offspring territories in Israel were identified as not the territory of the Tribe of Joseph but the Tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim. Land in Canaan was allotted by Joshua to Manasseh and Ephraim, not Joseph.
Note that not one tribal name repeats or has the same first letter. This is not inclusive of all Israeli families in exile or within the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. However, many of them have totally forgotten over time this self-identifying code within each adopted name. Therefore, amongst themselves, this kept their tribal connection recognizable by other tribes but an enigma to outsiders. Sadly, it also became an enigma to their grandchildren and later descendants. So Letterman could mean from the tribe of Levi. Johnson could mean from the tribe of Judah. Gibbons could mean from the tribe of Gad….
What are the odds that humans would have 12 children (males) with one of these children (Joseph) having two of his own sons yet not repeat use of the first letter in naming each newborn son, Ephraim and Manasseh? Is it a coincidence that Jesus from the Tribe of Judah is another Bible code? It would be reckless to state that all names point to a coded descendant from a Tribe of Israel, but it would also be just as reckless to deny the probability of God’s hand in even the names given to these descendants of Jacob (Israel).
It would be insane to think this universal to all exiled tribal sub clans in the world today, but God had a reason for the naming of each tribe. Thinking a bit outside the box this could easily be one of those God-given reasons; Abram to Abraham; Jacob to Israel; Saul to Paul (apostle)… God (Jesus) changed names of others several times in scripture
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.”
The FACT that the descendants of Israel in exile did this is a fact of secular history. The fact that the names given to each son of Jacob, without repeating the use of first letter, is quite unusual. Even the fact that Joseph had two sons who were adopted by Jacob as full sons of Jacob did not have names that broke this none duplication of first letters. Sure, it could all be another bible coincident. It would be turning a blind eye to ignore the possibility of God’s hand even in these names. Several times in scripture God renamed people for a reason.