5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.

6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.

7 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 and Levi are the next to be blessed by Jacob, but their pronouncement is even more dire than Reuben’s! Both of them are rebuked for their slaughter in the city of Shalem. Indeed, verse six he seems to express a fear that Jacob has held towards them himself ever since he knew such violence existed in their hearts.

Jacob refers to their act of killing, but also how they “digged down a wall,” by which I assume he means how their actions broke down his relationship with all the people in that country. This expression would be very similar to our current one of “burning bridges.”

As recompense, Jacob pronounces a curse rather than a blessing upon the tribes. He says that they will be divided and scattered in Israel. We will learn in Joshua 19 and 1 Chronicles 4 that Simeon was a stunted nation when they came into Canaan, such that it only received various cities within the kingdom of Judah, not becoming a proper state unto itself, and quite probably without all of its habitations connected as one. As for Levi, it would be even more scattered, never possessing any collected stretch of land to call its own, being distributed instead throughout the entire nation of Israel.

Levi’s curse did have a blessing inside of it, though, as their scattering was due to their being the priest caste that oversaw the functions of the temple. This assignment seems to be due at least in part to the fact that Moses and Aaron were of that tribe, and they were the ones entrusted with the priesthood when Israel was led out of Egypt. One other notable figure in Levi’s descendancy is John the Baptist. Of course, John was the cousin of Jesus, who was of the tribe Judah. The two men’s connection was through their mothers, while their fathers were of separate tribes.

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