Numbers 2:12 – “Those who camp next to him (Reuben) shall be the tribe of Simeon…
Simeon means “heard” or “hearing with acceptance”. He is the second son born to Leah.
Genesis 29:33 – Then she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am unloved, He has therefore given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon.
Genesis 49:5-7 – “Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. 6 Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.
Simeon and Levi went into a city and slew the mean because of an attack in their sister, Dinah. They did it out of anger and for revenge. This is why Jacob said the above regarding them. Simeon is the brother Joseph held when they went down to Egypt until they brought Benjamin.
Genesis 42:24 – And he turned himself away from them and wept. Then he returned to them again, and talked with them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.
Simeon was held captive by Joseph (as Pharoah’s second in command) until the brothers returned and did what Joseph had commanded. “Heard with acceptance”…. We are held captive until we hear the call by Holy Spirit and do as we hear. For that to happen, Jesus had to hear the call of His Father and do what he heard.
Our emotions can often get in the way. Our Lord hears our cries and He calls us to trust in Him because the battle is His. When we begin to do things out of our own strength or by our own will, it can cause problems in our lives and strain our relationship with our Father. The strain comes because we are not being obedient because we are not listening.
Simeon came after Reuben. Leah was the less-loved sister by Jacob. Remember, Reuben means “behold, a son”. What do wenoften say when we want someone to pay attention to what we have to say? We say “look and listen”. Interesting, is it not? “Those who have ears to hear” is more than a catch phrase. When we don’t see and when we don’t or can’t hear what the Lord says to us by Holy Spirit, we rely on what we feel. Simeon relied on his feeling of anger and did not seek his father’s counsel on the matter. How many times have we done something vengeful without calling out to the Lord? Sometimes, we do call out to the Lord but don’t wait for His response or we go against what He has spoken to us.
It is imperative that we listen to what we hear from the Lord for the proper order of advancing His Kingdom. When we don’t, we can fall deep into the snare of the enemy which can become a damaging downward spiral. However, when we fall, our Lord is always there to help us get back on track but we have to open our ears to hear Him and listen to what He says.
Alicia R. Shipe