Simeon (2) 4:24-43
Ezra is working through the genealogies of the twelve tribes, starting with Judah previously. Today is the genealogy of Simeon.
So far, most of the first four chapters were names, with a few other details sprinkled in. But in this passage, he quickly names the various sons and points out that none of them multiplied as much as Judah.
Then he goes into detail about their towns and villages something we see very little of so far.
It ends with two stories about other Edomite tribes that the tribe of Simeon fought and destroyed to take their land.
Ezra ends by saying they lived there to this day. And in one other place he says they lived there until the time of David.
I thought the tribe of Simeon basically became absorbed in the tribe of Judah. So either I do not understand that correctly or that has not happened yet.
Reuben (3) 5:1-10
v. 1 Reuben was the first-born, but because he defiled his father's bed- he lost his first-born birthright. So he lost his double portion of the inheritance and, I think, first choice blessings.
Verse 2 is interesting. "Though Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came the leader, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph. It isn't until verse three we even get into Reuben's genealogy. And then the Ryrie footnote points out that "...no prophet, judge, or hero came from this tribe."
I wonder if there was a flaw in him that was passed down or if it was a consequence of sin. In other words, did Jacob curse him or just observe the sin that brought about the consequence. Sin can have a long tail.
On the other hand, while Simeon and Reuben were fairly unspectacular after their sins, Levi committed the same sin as Simeon and also paid a consequence; but they made choices later that led to redemption and being named the priestly tribe. No matter what the sin is, it's your response that God is looking for. The Levites still didn't get land, except their cities. But they were redeemed as a tribe and received benefits of their own.
Other than that:
- One of the eventual Reubenite leaders was carried away into exile by the Assyrians.
- They eventually needed more land for their cattle and so they destroyed another group of people and took they pasture land.
Gad (4) 5:11-22
Rueben and Gad requested of Moses to stay on the other side of the Jordan River because they had big herds and wanted the open range for pasture.
In this passage he covers the people and territory in just a few verses and then he switches topics.
He reports that the three (two and half) tribes in the east side of the Jordan (Reuben, Gad, and half of the Manasseh tribe) were valiant and skilled warriors. He goes on to report that they made war with various tribes and took away their land, cattle, camels, sheep, donkeys, and men.
He points out that they were able to do this because they cried out to God and He took their side "...because they trusted in Him."
He goes on to credit the victory because the war was of God.
He reports that the victorious tribes of Israel lived there until the exile (Assyrian captivity beginning in in 722 B.C.)
It's interesting what he chooses to report. It's not always obvious why one story made it in when you know there had to be numerous battles that did not.
It's also interesting that there is so much interesting information in here. I keep expecting long, faceless genealogies and then he cuts in with something intriguing. Once again- wanting to dig in and investigate. 🙂