Thursday, June 15, 2017

Genesis 49:5-7 comments: Simeon and Levi's cruelty

5 ¶  Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. 6  O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. 7  Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

Simeon and Levi are the ones who, through deception, slaughtered the inhabitants of Hamor the Hivite’s city in revenge for Hamor’s son, Shechem’s rape of Dinah. Jacob lamented their actions.

Genesis 34:25 ¶  And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males…30  And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.

Again, the prophecy for these tribes is not a positive thing based on the character of their originators. As all mankind suffers from their inheritance of a rebellious, sin nature against God from our first ancestor, Adam, so shall these tribes suffer with the rebelliousness of their progenitors.

Here we also have an example of how this Bible defines words. Anger’s quality is fierce and wrath’s quality is cruel. Our anger burns hot and our wrath is malicious and hateful.

Psalm 37:8  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Proverbs 15:1  A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

Proverbs 27:4  Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?

Paul warns Christians;

Ephesians 4:31  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

Colossians 3:8  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

Jacob speaks to his soul in verse 6 warning himself not to take counsel with these two as their way is violent and vengeful. There are similar warnings in different contexts in both Old and New Testaments.

Amos 3:3  Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

2Corinthian 6:14  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

Proverbs 16:29  A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.

Whatever you think or your culture demands regarding vengeance the vengeance of Simeon and Levi, more concerned with their own honor than an assault on their sister’s person, was not approved, even though allowed, as most despicable and ungodly acts of mankind are.

Here we have the picture developing not only of the Hebrews but of a person in general. In these two prophecies for these three men we see someone who is unstable in his ways, lacking in moral control of his sexual impulses, violent and vengeful, murderous even. It is not a pretty picture of humanity that is being presented, much less of the Hebrews. And it continues.

No comments: