Genesis 49:5-7 Simeon and Levi: The result of anger

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.

Now Jacob moves his attention to his next two sons, Simeon and Levi, and he considered these two brothers in about the same way that he saw Reuben.

The issue Jacob had with these two brothers was when they slew Shechem and the men of his city because he had raped their sister Dinah.  According to Genesis 34, Shechem had taken her by force and ruined her chances of being available to marry.  Now Shechem and his father tried to make things right but Simeon and Levi tricked them and all the men of the city into getting circumcised.  While they were of course, sore and laid out, these two brothers came and killed every man in the city.  Jacob was not happy!

Genesis 34:

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.

31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

And now he was going to give them his assessment and their outlook.

  1. They were equally committed to their sih:

5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.

Unlike Reuben, their sin had been out in the open and they had not tried to hide what they had done.

  1. They were equally unrepentant in their cruelty and bloodlust:

Instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.

  1. They were equally united in self-willed anger:

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.

  1. Because of this anger, they would equally share the same destiny of being separated:

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.

  1. This separation and dividing of these two brothers would have an unequal result for each of them:

For Simeon, it would be a curse.  They would lose their identity because of cruel anger

Simeon started things out as the third largest tribe, but as things progressed, some 35 years later, they became the smallest tribe who ended up gaining an allotment with the tribe of Judah.

For Levi, it would be a blessing.  They would not only keep their identity but gain a better status because of righteous anger

Exodus 32:

26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.

28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

 

Because of their faithfulness by joining with Moses, when Israel rebelled against God by worshipping a golden calf, the tribe of Levi would be blessed.  They didn’t receive a large tract of land because their inheritance was the Lord and not land.  They would officiate in the Tabernacle and eventually the Temple as priests to the lord.

The wrong kind of anger can get us into trouble; it can seperate us from family, fiends, and God:

Genesis 4:

3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto theLord.

4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

6 And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?

7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.

9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand;

12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear.

Righteous anger, conveying extreme displeasure regarding sin, can bring us closer to the Lord

Jesus expressed anger:

Mark 3:

5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

Matthew 21:

12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Righteous anger is good but we must remember a few things reagarding anger and our sinful nature:

Ephesians 4:

26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27 Neither give place to the devil.

James 1:

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

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About Clint Rodgers

I am a father of 2 wonderful children and the husband of a beautiful woman who has taught me more about compassion for goofballs than I could have ever learned. I have know Jesus for many years but about 5 years ago I truly met Him and now I do my best to follow Him as I walk in this world
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