January 16, 2017
Simeon and Levi were Jacob’s second and third sons. They were born to his wife Leah. When it was reported that their sister Dinah had been sexually violated by Shechem the Hivite, the prince of that country, they were furious. Even though Shechem came to them with his father Hamor, offering to pay a dowry and make things right. They schemed for revenge and ultimately killed every man in the city, taking their wives, children and possessions as plunder. Jacob never forgot the violence of Simeon and Levi. In his last words to his sons from his death bed, he described these two brothers together as “instruments of cruelty” (Gen. 49:5-7), prophesying that they would be scattered in Israel. And so they were, the tribe of Simeon was enveloped by the land of Judah. And the tribe of Levi was given to God as priests and scattered throughout the cities of Israel. In a story like this it is difficult to find the moral or the meaning. It is even more difficult to see God in it. Yet, this was the people that God chose to make His own, the line to which would be born the Messiah, the Son of God.