Asher was Jacob and Zilpah’s second son. Zilpah was the handmaiden of Asher’s wife, Leah. He was Jacob’s eighth son.
Asher and his brothers sold their youngest brother Joseph to Ishmaelites, or Midianite merchantmen because they were jealous of his favored place in their father’s heart. Their father had given Joseph a beautiful multicolored coat and the brothers dipped it in animal blood to convince their father Joseph had been killed by wild animals.
He was the father of Jimnah, Ishuah, Isui, Beriah, and Serah. During a famine, the brothers went to Egypt to request grain. They eventually learned the person they had to deal with to get it was Joseph. Joseph forgave his brothers and the family was reunited. They all moved to Egypt where Joseph worked for the Pharaoh. Prior to Jacob’s death, the elderly man called his sons together to prophesy of their futures. He said that Asher’s “bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.”
When Jacob died, he chose to be buried in Canaan, and so Asher and his brothers traveled there to bury their father.
Moses placed Asher’s tribe under the direction of Pagiel, son of Ocran during war preparations. They were assigned to place their tents between the tribes of Dan and Naphtali. When Moses counted those twenty and older, Asher’s family totaled 53,400 and included the Jimnites, Jesuites, Berites, Heberites, and Malchielites.
Moses blessed the tribe of Asher:
All these were the children of Asher, heads of their father’s house, choice and mighty men of valour, chief of the princes. And the number throughout the genealogy of them that were apt to the war and to battle was twenty and six thousand men. (See 1 Chr. 7:40.)
Joshua gave them the fifth lot in the Promised Land. When David became king, Asher’s family sent 40,000 men who were skilled warriors to assist him. In the last days, prophecy given to Ezekiel reveals that Asher’s portion will be by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side. One gate on the west side will be named for him.