Year of Fulfillment: © 1295 BC (Joshua 19:1-9; 21:1-42)
Time until fulfillment: ~ 450 years
As we have noted, God made many prophecies through people He chose to speak for Him. These usually spoke as their words being directly from God. However, others spoke prophecies that they themselves spoke, although they were God inspired. One example of this was Jacob pronouncing that both Simeon and Levi would have no major inheritance.
When Jacob was on his death-bed, he gathered his sons around him and stated what would happen to them in coming years (Gn 49:1). For Simeon and Levi, he stated the following, “I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel” (Gn 49:7). The reason for this goes back to earlier days of Jacob’s life when he had left his father-in-law, Laban, to return to be near his father. He dwelt in Shechem in Canaan and bought a plot of ground there (Gn 33:18-19). Jacob’s daughter, Dinah (and the sister to Simeon and Levi), starting interacting with the local women and became involved with the son of Hamor, the ruler of that area. Hamor’s son wanted to marry her, but had already had intercourse with her prior to this request (Gn 34:2-4). Simeon and Levi were enraged at this, but kept the anger to themselves—for a time. They told Hamor that in order for his son to marry Dinah, all the males of the city had to be circumcised. While the men were still very sore and unable to fight well, Simeon and Levi killed every male and brought their sister back to their home (Gn 34:13-31). Jacob was very displeased with his sons, and scolded them, but took no further action (Gn 34:30-31).
Hundreds of years passed after Jacob’s prediction. The Israelites were made slaves in Egypt for 430 years (Ex 12:40), they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years (Js 5:6), and they had several years of conquest before each tribe finally had their inheritance provided (Js 13-21). Who remembered what Jacob said by that time? Also, there was no specific attempt in Joshua 13-21 to limit these two inheritances. However, God did not forget. The tribe of Levi became the priests and they had no specific parcel of land, but had certain cities throughout the land assigned to them (Js 21). Simeon was given an inheritance within the territory of Judah (Js 19:1-9). Therefore, Simeon had no clear defined area, just a number of cities mentioned. Later, by the time the kingdom of Israel was divided into the Northern (Israel) and Southern (Judah) kingdoms (1Ki 12), Simeon is not mentioned. The Southern Kingdom was stated to be composed of Judah and Benjamin (1Ki 12:21). There is some evidence that some descendants of Simeon migrated east of the Jordan (1Ch 4:38-43) and may have been taken captive with the Northern Kingdom by Assyria. However, for the most part, it seems that most of Simeon had been absorbed into Judah’s territory. God ensured that Jacob’s prediction came true. The process of time did not change the outcome. Although people forgot, God did not.
I think this helps us to see that we can rely upon what God promises or what is recorded in his Word. We may think time has a way of diluting or dissolving things, but we would be wrong.
Post Author: Randy C. Dockens, PhD
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