Sunday, April 23, 2017

Block 65: Simeon

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"Cursed be their anger...’” Genesis 49:7
Each of the twelve sons of Jacob received a blessing when Jacob was on his deathbed.  The twelve sons were chosen to lead the twelve tribes of Israel, and Jacob’s blessing contained a prophetic message for each one.  Simeon and Levi were paired together when Jacob chastised them.
Simeon was Jacob’s second son by Leah, his first wife.  By all accounts, Simeon was fearless, but he was also green with envy and hatred toward his brother Joseph (Jacob’s favorite son).  How far would Simeon go?  Some say Simeon was the one who encouraged the other brothers to have Joseph killed; others say Simeon was the one who prolonged Joseph’s life and had him thrown into the pit.  Simeon was furious when he learned that Judah sold Joseph rather than killing him.
When Simeon’s sister, Dinah, was raped by a Canaanite from Schechem, Simeon and Levi took revenge, tricking the Schechemites into circumsising themselves, then killing them all while they were weak.  Jacob criticized Simeon, pointing out that he and Levi had put the entire family at risk of retaliation. In his deathbed blessing, Jacob says that Simeon’s descendants would become scattered and divided in the Promised Land.  Jacob’s words become truth, as Simeon is the only tribe that Moses does not bless in Deuteronomy 33:7.  Simeon is given a few cities in Judah, but eventually his descendants are absorbed by the tribe of Judah, and they ultimately disappear from history.
Simeon teaches us a very valuable lesson.  When we allow our anger to boil over without restraint, it can lead to sinful behavior, which can lead to punishment.  Likewise, if we hang around with angry persons, we are likely to become embroiled in their wrongdoings.  The best advise is to NOT let anger get the best of us.

As a result of his vicious behavior, Simeon was cursed and his tribe ultimately completely disappeared from Judah.  I chose the Disappearing Four-Patch to represent Simeon’s disappearing tribe.



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