Words of Current Interest

Related to the Lesson-Sermon for August 1, 1976, in the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE QUARTERLY Subject: Love

Simeon and Levi are brethren (Gen. 49:5)

This is probably not so much a reference to Jacob's sons as it is to the strangely weakened fortunes of the tribes of Simeon and Levi. Simeon became merely a clan within the tribe of Judah, while Levi, the tribe of the priesthood, had no landholdings. Some scholars believe these tribes were all but wiped out through fratricidal warfare. E. A. Speiser, on the other hand, suggests that these tribes "suffered critical losses in their attempt to settle in Central Palestine" and that the text places the blame for this failure on their headstrong and vengeful behavior.

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