|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(1.) The second son of Jacob by Leah (Genesis 29:33). He was associated with Levi in the terrible act of vengeance against Hamor and the Shechemites (34:25, 26). He was detained by Joseph in Egypt as a hostage (42:24). His father, when dying, pronounced a malediction against him (49:5-7). The words in the Authorized Version (49:6), "they digged down a wall," ought to be, as correctly rendered in the Revised Version, "they houghed an ox."
(2.) An aged saint who visited the temple when Jesus was being presented before the Lord, and uttered lofty words of thankgiving and of prophecy (Luke 2:29-35).
(3.) One of the ancestors of Joseph (Luke 3:30).
(4.) Surnamed Niger, i.e., "black," perhaps from his dark complexion, a teacher of some distinction in the church of Antioch (Acts 13:1-3). It has been supposed that this was the Simon of Cyrene who bore Christ's cross. Note the number of nationalities represented in the church at Antioch.
(5.) James (Acts 15:14) thus designates the apostle Peter (q.v.).
Simeon, The tribe of
Was "divided and scattered" according to the prediction in Genesis 49:5-7. They gradually dwindled in number, and sank into a position of insignificance among the other tribes. They decreased in the wilderness by about two-thirds (Comp. Numbers 1:23; 26:14). Moses pronounces no blessing on this tribe. It is passed by in silence (Deuteronomy 33).
This tribe received as their portion a part of the territory already allotted to Judah (Joshua 19:1-9). It lay in the south-west of the land, with Judah on the east and Dan on the north; but whether it was a compact territory or not cannot be determined. The subsequent notices of this tribe are but few (1 Chronicles 4:24-43). Like Reuben on the east of Jordan, this tribe had little influence on the history of Israel.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
sim'-e-on (shim`on; Sumeon; the Hebrew root is from shama`, "to hear" (Genesis 29:33); some modern scholars (Hitzig, W. R. Smith, Stade, etc.) derive it from Arabic sima`, "the offspring of the hyena and female wolf"): In Genesis 29:33; Genesis 30:18-21; 35:23, Simeon is given as full brother to Reuben, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun, the son of Leah; and in Genesis 34:25; Genesis 49:5 as the brother of Levi and Dinah. He was left as a hostage in Egypt by orders of Joseph (Genesis 42:24; Genesis 43:23).
1. The Patriarch: Biblical Data:
In the "blessing" of the dying Jacob, Simeon and Levi are linked together:
"Simeon and Levi are brethren;
Weapons of violence are their swords.
O my soul, come not thou into their council;
Unto their assembly, my glory, be not thou united;
For in their anger they slew a man,
And in their self-will they hocked an ox.
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" (Genesis 49:5-7).
Whatever view may be taken of the events of Genesis 34:25 (and some would see in it "a tradition of the settlement of Jacob which belongs to a cycle quite independent of the descent into Egypt and the Exodus" (see S. A. Cook, Encyclopedia Brit, article "Simeon")), it is clear that we have here a reference to it and the suggestion that the subsequent history of the tribe, and its eventual absorption in Judah, was the result of violence. In the same way the priestly Levites became distributed throughout the other tribes without any tribal inheritance of their own (Deuteronomy 18:1 Joshua 13:14). From the mention (Genesis 46:10 Exodus 6:15) of Shaul as being the son of a Canaanite woman, it may be supposed that the tribe was a mixed one.
In the "blessing of Moses" (Deuteronomy 33) Simeon is not mentioned at all in the Hebrew text, although in some manuscripts of the Septuagint the latter half of Deuteronomy 33:6 is made to apply to him: "Let Simeon be a small company." The history of the tribe is scanty and raises many problems. Of the many theories advanced to meet them it cannot be said that any one answers all difficulties.
2. The Tribe in Scripture:
In the wilderness of Sinai the Simeonites camped beside the Reubenites (Numbers 2:12; Numbers 10:19); it was Zimri, a member of one of the leading families of this tribe, who was slain by Phinehas in the affair of Baal-peor (Numbers 25:14). The statistics in Numbers 1:22, where the Simeonites are given as 59,300, compared with the 2nd census (Numbers 26:14), where the numbers are 22,200, indicate a diminishing tribe. Some have connected this with the sin of Zimri.
At the recital of the law at Mt. Gerizim, Simeon is mentioned first among those that were to respond to the blessings (Deuteronomy 27:12). In the conquest of Canaan "Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him" (Judges 1:3; compare Judges 1:17). (Many scholars find in Genesis 34 a tribal attempt on the part of the Simeonites to gain possession of Shechem; if this is so, Judah did not assist, and the utter failure may have been a cause of Simeon's subsequent dependence upon, and final absorption in, Judah.) In Judges 4 and 5 Simeon is never mentioned. In the settlement of the land there is no account of how Simeon established himself in his territory (except the scanty reference in Judges 1:3), but "their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Judah" (Joshua 19:1); this is accounted for (Joshua 19:9), "for the portion of the children of Judah was too much for them." Nevertheless we find there the very cities which are apportioned to Simeon, allotted to Judah (Joshua 15:21-32; compare Nehemiah 11:26-29). It is suggested (in 1 Chronicles 4:31) that the independent possession of these cities ceased in the time of David. David sent spoil to several Simeonite towns (1 Samuel 30:26 f), and in 1 Chronicles 12:25 it is recorded that 7,100 Simeonite warriors came to David in Hebron. In 1 Chronicles 27:16 we have mention of a ruler of the Simeonites, Shephatiah, son of Maacah.
In 1 Chronicles 4:39 mention is made of certain isolated exploits of Simeonites at GEDOR (which see), against the MEUNIM (which see), and at Mt. SEIR (which see). Later references associate certain Simeonites with the Northern Kingdom (2 Chronicles 15:9; 2 Chronicles 34:6), and tradition has come to view them as one of the ten tribes (compare Ezekiel 48:24, 25, 33 Revelation 7:7), although all the history of them we have is bound up with Judah and the Southern Kingdom. There is no mention of the return of any Simeonites after the captivity; their cities fall to Judah (Nehemiah 11:26 f).
3. References in Egyptian and Assyrian Inscriptions:
It has been supposed by many authorities that the name Shim`an occurs in the list of places plundered by Thothmes III (see Petrie, Hist, II, 104; also Hommel, Ancient Hebrew Tradition, 268; Sayce, Early Hebrew Traditions, 392). In the 7th century we have a doubtful reference in an inscription of Esar-haddon relating his Egyptian campaign when a city Ap-ku is mentioned as in the country of Sa-me-n(a), which may possibly be a reference to Simeon. The survival of the name so late, if true, is strange, in the light of what we gather from the Bible about the tribe. (For discussion of both of these inscriptions, with references to the lit., see EB, coll. 4528-30.)
4. The Territory of Simeon:
The cities of Simeon as given in Joshua 19:2-6 and 1 Chronicles 4:28, 31 are (the names in parentheses are variations in the latter reference): Beer-sheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, Balah (Bilhah), Azem (the King James Version) (Ezem), Eltolad (Tolad), Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susah (Hazar Susim), Beth-lebaoth (Beth-biri), Sharuhen (Shaaraim) (Etam), Ain Rimmon, Ether (Tochen), Ashan-in all, 16 cities in Joshua and 17 cities in 1 Chronicles. Ashan (1 Chronicles 6:59) is the only one assigned to the priests. It is written wrongly as "Ain" in Joshua 21:16. All the above cities, with certain variations in form, and with the exception of Etam in 1 Chronicles 4:32, which is probably a mistake, occur in the list of the cities of Judah (Joshua 15:26-32, 42). Ziklag is mentioned (1 Samuel 27:6) as being the private property of the kings of Judah from the days of David, who received it from Achish, king of Gath.
For the situation of these cities, so far as is known, see separate articles under their names. It is clear that they were all situated in the southwestern part of Palestine, and that Simeon had no definite territorial boundaries, but isolated cities, with their villages, among those of the people of Judah.
E. W. G. Masterman
(1) The 2nd son of Jacob by Leah (see separate article).
(2) Great-grandfather of Judas Maccabeus (1 Maccabees 2:1).
(3) A man in Jerusalem described as "righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel." When the infant Jesus was brought into the Temple, he took Him into his arms and blessed God in words which are famous as the Nunc dimittis. Simeon bestowed his blessing on the wondering father and mother (Luke 2:25, 34). Legend has made him the son of Hillel and father of Gamaliel I, but this has no historical basis.
(4) An ancestor of Jesus (Luke 3:30); the Revised Version (British and American) "Symeon."
(5) The Revised Version (British and American) "Symeon": one of the prophets and teachers in the Christian community at Antioch. He is also called Niger, which was the Gentile name he had assumed, Symeon being Hebrew. He was among those who set apart Paul and Barnabas for their missionary work (Acts 13:1, 2). Nothing more is known of him.
(6) The Revised Version (British and American) "Symeon": the Hebrew name of Simon Peter (Acts 15:14).
S. F. Hunter
ni'-jer): The King James Version in Acts 13:1, the Revised Version (British and American) "Symeon" (which see).
Simeon (48 Occurrences)
Luke 2:25 Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 2:34 and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 3:30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, (WEB KJV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 13:1 Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (WEB KJV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:14 Simeon has reported how God first visited the nations, to take out of them a people for his name. (WEB KJV WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Peter 1:1 Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who did obtain a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ: (YLT RSV)
Revelation 7:7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 29:33 She conceived again, and bore a son, and said, "Because Yahweh has heard that I am hated, he has therefore given me this son also." She named him Simeon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 34:25 It happened on the third day, when they were sore, that two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword, came upon the unsuspecting city, and killed all the males. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 34:30 Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have troubled me, to make me odious to the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I am few in number. They will gather themselves together against me and strike me, and I will be destroyed, I and my house." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 35:23 The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 42:24 He turned himself away from them, and wept. Then he returned to them, and spoke to them, and took Simeon from among them, and bound him before their eyes. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 42:36 Jacob, their father, said to them, "You have bereaved me of my children! Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin away. All these things are against me." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 43:23 He said, "Peace be to you. Don't be afraid. Your God, and the God of your father, has given you treasure in your sacks. I received your money." He brought Simeon out to them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 46:10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 48:5 Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you into Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Reuben and Simeon, will be mine. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 49:5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers. Their swords are weapons of violence. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Exodus 1:2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Exodus 6:15 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman; these are the families of Simeon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 1:6 Of Simeon: Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 1:22 Of the children of Simeon, their generations, by their families, by their fathers' houses, those who were numbered of it, according to the number of the names, one by one, every male from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go out to war; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 1:23 those who were numbered of them, of the tribe of Simeon, were fifty-nine thousand three hundred. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 2:12 "Those who encamp next to him shall be the tribe of Simeon. The prince of the children of Simeon shall be Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 7:36 On the fifth day Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai, prince of the children of Simeon (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 10:19 Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai was over the army of the tribe of the children of Simeon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 13:5 Of the tribe of Simeon, Shaphat the son of Hori. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 26:12 The sons of Simeon after their families: of Nemuel, the family of the Nemuelites; of Jamin, the family of the Jaminites; of Jachin, the family of the Jachinites; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 26:14 These are the families of the Simeonites, twenty-two thousand two hundred. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 34:20 Of the tribe of the children of Simeon, Shemuel the son of Ammihud. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Deuteronomy 27:12 "These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have passed over the Jordan: Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 19:1 The second lot came out for Simeon, even for the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. Their inheritance was in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Judah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 19:8 and all the villages that were around these cities to Baalath Beer, Ramah of the South. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Simeon according to their families. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 19:9 Out of the part of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon; for the portion of the children of Judah was too much for them. Therefore the children of Simeon had inheritance in the midst of their inheritance. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 21:4 The lot came out for the families of the Kohathites. The children of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had thirteen cities by lot out of the tribe of Judah, out of the tribe of the Simeonites, and out of the tribe of Benjamin. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Joshua 21:9 They gave out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, these cities which are mentioned by name: (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 1:3 Judah said to Simeon his brother, "Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with you into your lot." So Simeon went with him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Judges 1:17 Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they struck the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. The name of the city was called Hormah. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 2:1 These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 4:24 The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, and Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 4:42 Some of them, even of the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to Mount Seir, having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 6:65 They gave by lot out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, and out of the tribe of the children of Benjamin, these cities which are mentioned by name. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 12:25 Of the children of Simeon, mighty men of valor for the war, seven thousand and one hundred. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 15:9 He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who sojourned with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that Yahweh his God was with him. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 34:6 So did he in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon, even to Naphtali, around in their ruins. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezra 10:31 And the children of Harim: Eliezer, Jishijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Simeon, (DBY)
Ezekiel 48:24 By the border of Benjamin, from the east side to the west side, Simeon, one portion. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 48:25 By the border of Simeon, from the east side to the west side, Issachar, one portion. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 48:33 At the south side four thousand and five hundred reeds by measure, and three gates: the gate of Simeon, one; the gate of Issachar, one; the gate of Zebulun, one. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)