7:6 Aser. The ten tribes of the northern kingdom had been exiled to Assyria, and had never returned in any organized fashion, their genealogical records long since lost. Nevertheless God’s records are intact. He will no doubt select those individuals who are to be sealed by some such process as He had used in ancient Jerusalem (Ezekiel 9:4-6).
7:6 Manasses. Note that Dan has been omitted from this list, while both Joseph and Manasseh are included. Possibly the ancient leadership of the tribe of Dan in the idolatrous apostasy of the northern kingdom had affected the spiritual characteristics of their descendants throughout the centuries, so that no Danites will be suitable candidates for this special ministry at this time (note Judges 18:1,30-31; Amos 8:14). The tribe of Ephraim had once been the acknowledged leader of the ten tribes, but this tribe also had led in the lapse into idolatry (Hosea 4:17); perhaps this partially explains why the name of Joseph replaced Ephraim in the list instead of Manasseh. Dan, however, as well as Ephraim, will have their portions in the millennial kingdom (Ezekiel 48:1).