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before the Lord, belonged to the tribe of Ren ben. The Priesthood was given to Levi, the dominion to Judah, and the double portion to Joseph.
II. and II. SIMEON and LEVI
These two sons are joined together by Ja cob, and we shall not separate them, but speak of them jointly. Simeon's name means one that hears or is heard and one that obeys. Levi signifies one who is joined or united with another. An associate means one who has united with another in doing evil. Levi lived to the age of 137 years and then died. Simeon and Levi are brethren. What an endearing term when made use of in speaking of two persons united in the ties of affection or bonds of friendship. It is made use of by Jacob to represent two brothers united in revenge, cruelty, bloodshed and murder. Instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. Their swords which ought to have been used only as weapons of defence, became instruments of violence. They seem to have been of obstinate dispositions that would not be advised, but would follow their own evil inclinations. Their tempers were passionate
passionate and revengeful. In their anger they would have put Joseph their brother to death. By killing all the men of Shechem they took the most effectual means of digging down the wall of the city, by taking away from the women and children their only de fence. Well might Jacob say, "O my sonl come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly, mine honor be not thou united." We have reason to think that Simeon and Levi were most active in the wrong done against Joseph, and were the most forward of all his brethren in promoting his destruction, therefore Joseph took Simeon as the hostage or sure. ty for the return of the rest of his brethren with Benjamin, yea, he bound him before their eyes. Their conduct had been the occasion of much pain and shame to Jacob. There fore they brought down upon their heads a curse instead of a blessing. "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." Simeon's lot was divided, and so narrow that they were obliged to separate and seek for a habitation and
dwelling place where they could find it. They were even obliged to accept of a part of the inheritance of Judah. Levi had no inherit ance among his brethren: the priesthood was given him and he lived on offerings.
JUDAH was the fourth son of Leah. His name signifies Praise, because Leah said when she had received from God a fourth child, "Now will I praise the LORD." There fore it was that Jacob said, "Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise." He was guil ty of many sins. He kept bad company. He had two of his sons slain by the Lord, they both died a sudden and awful death on account of their sins. Judah was the means of saving the life of his brother Joseph, and proposed that he should be sold to the Ishmaelites and not be left to die in the pit into which they had put him. He became surety for Benjamin, and pleaded in a very feeling and affectionate manner both for Jacob his aged Father, and Benjamin his younger brother. The domini on was given to Judah and therefore his tribe went first in their march through the wilder
ness to the land of Canaan. The tribe of Judah was victorious, bold and courageous. It was a Royal Tribe. From Judal descended David, king of Israel, and Jesus Christ, the King of Kings.
He was the fifth son of Leah, his name sig. nifics dwelling of habitation. Of him little is said in the sacred scriptures. From the blessing pronounced upon this tribe, we should sup pose that he was inclined to dwell near the rivers. Perhaps he miglit, when a boy, delight in making little ships andfind his pastime in seeing them sail on the water. This we know that the tribe of Zebulun had their dwelling on the sea coast. His inheritance extended from the sea of Galilee, sometimes called the Lake of Tiberias, by which it was bounded on the east and on the west by the Mediterranean sea. His posterity became Merchants, Mariners and Traders at sea. They went down to the sea in ships and did business in the mighty wa ters. They saw the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. Jacob said, “Zebulon shall dwell at the haven of the sea: and
he shall be for an haven of ships, and his border shall be unto Zidon."
He was the sixth and last son of Leah. His name means Hire, price, reward, or recompence. If he accompanied his brethren to the slaughter of the Shechemites, his strong and powerful arm must have done much execution; many must have fallen by his hand: We should suppose from the character of his children that he was an husbandman, one that cultivated the ground. Perhaps he was a farmer, a quiet, peaceable man, "Issachar is a strong ass (said Jacob) couching down between two bur dens, and he saw that rest was good and the land that it was pleasant: and bowed, his shoulder to bear and become a servant unto tribute," The tribe of Issachar was industri ous and laborious, and their land was pleasant yet they often paid tribute to those who oppres sed them. They were husbandmen and tilled the ground, which rewarded their labour bý yielding to them an abundance of increase. We shall stop here; and speak of the rest of Ja cobis children in the next Lecture.