We are backing up to the first generation of Israel. Today we see the descendants of Simeon. HOPEFULLY they are straight forward.
On first glance today’s reading looks MUCH better than the last times. I do have a few ‘hmm’ moments though. We will get to them in a bit. First I want to say thank you to the author and Author for bringing us the other sons’ details. I always felt like so much attention was paid to the line of Jesus that the other tribes were left out. We get to at least look into some of their history for a few chapters. As much as I hate genealogy I think this is fair and right. So here we go.
According to the writer, Simeon’s tribe wasn’t as prolific as Judah’s. I’m going to say this means for later generations, not early generations. Both Simeon and Judah had five sons. We don’t get a full accounting of either man’s grandchildren but we know that Judah’s oldest two sons had no children and were killed by God for their sins. We don’t see that with Simeon. But neither do we get a full accounting from Simeon’s sons’ lineage.
I’m curious how God chose to follow one son over the others. I’m also not CERTAIN which son we are originally following. All five sons are named and then we are told “Shallum was his son” (verse 25a). My understanding of grammar leads me to believe that “his son” is referring to the last man listed before the semi colon; Shaul. I don’t see anything contradicting this assumption so I’m sticking with it.
Why do you think the author used the plural “sons” when he started listing Mishma’s descendants? Only one son is listed for him. Is it possible that the “his son” here is meant to refer to the one father instead of successive generations. There is no “and” in this verse so I’m leaning towards successive generations instead.
Shimei is on the end of this list of either brothers or generations. He had 22 children! He is far short of David later on but that is still a HUGE family. I wonder how many wives bore him all these children. And he is the one whose story prompts the writer to speak about the prolific difference in Judah and Simeon’s growth rate. If everyone was like Shimei Simeon would have seriously outpaced Judah but Shimei’s brothers didn’t have any children. Apparently this was a problem throughout the tribe of Simeon. I wonder if it was a genetic issue or maybe a medical one. In bible days it would definitely be looked upon as a ‘blessing’ issue. Having children was seen as God’s blessing on the righteous. Was this tribe looked down upon because of the lower birth rate? Did they believe God was punishing them?
Simeon was surrounded by the tribe of Judah. The cities listed for them comes with a caveat; “These were their cities until David reigned” (verse 31b). Did David’s rule change the land allotments? Did Simeon get absorbed by Judah? When the kingdom of Israel split only Benjamin aligned with Judah so Simeon must have left their territory to join the northern tribes. I wonder if they took the land that was originally allotted to Dan. The tribe of Dan couldn’t conquer the land they were given and looked for something farther north.
Something happened during the reign of Hezekiah. I’m not sure if the people of Simeon were displaced or the descendants of Ham. This probably refers to the descendants of Ham being displaced as the Meunites were not of Israel. It sounds like the tribe of Simeon took this territory by force from a peaceful people. I wonder what prompted this. Hezekiah was one of the more godly kings. Was God letting Judah expand her borders as a blessing for Hezekiah’s faithfulness?
Does anyone else find the way these “princes” genealogy is listed? They are listed bottom up instead of top down. All other genealogy I have ever seen in the bible starts with the patriarch and moves down through his children. This section starts with the sons and moves up through the fathers. I would be fine with that if another section going the other way, but it doesn’t. Which leaves me with another ‘brush pile’ today. Not as convoluted as the last one though. Probably because I didn’t sit down with Excel and try and work it out. That seems to magnify my frustration.
When I was just thinking about what this passage could hold for me (us), a song popped into my head. “Turn, Turn, Turn.” I had to look up the name because a line is what I heard; “There is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven.” The tribe of Simeon exemplified this in our reading today. A time for good growth, a time for restricted growth, a time for war and a time for peace.
Our lives have seasons too. I’m in a fairly quiet one right now. At least it feels quiet right now. Looking at what has transpired in the last few months most wouldn’t call it quiet. We have had a lot of work done on the property where I live, we adopted a new dog and she has been in training classes, my husband’s health has had a couple bumps, my mother-in-law’s health has had a couple of changes too, I’m planning for our annual camp for our grandchildren, I created two Christmas Village towns, and I’m keeping the peace between people our property is being used by. Just listing all that made me wonder about the “quiet season” I feel I’m in. I would hate to see a busy one!
But my spirit is quiet. Yes, I still get frustrated and worked up at times but I’m able to settle back into the comfort right away. I’m busy physically but God is giving me rest spiritually. Not stagnation but comfort and assurance. I know not everyone else is in this same season and I know it won’t last forever but I’m going to enjoy it while I’m here. I’m going to learn from it too. One of the things I’m learning is how to resettle my spirit when the cares of the world get me stirred up. I definitely can use this lesson in the seasons to come!
Father God, thank You for the seasons. The seasons in nature as well as the seasons in my life. Summer is always my favorite season, in both realms. Help me produce good healthy fruit while the Son is shining on me. Maybe I’m like my apple tree that I just took a LOT of fruit off of so the fruit it produces will be bigger. I wonder if it felt relief or fear as I removed so much of what it had begun growing. I have a feeling I could name a few people I love who could use their fruit thinned so what they do produce would be bigger and better. Help me not pick back up so many tasks that my “fruit” starts to suffer again. Thank You for the peace I’m feeling right now. Don’t let it turn into laziness!