(e.g. john 8 32)

Genesis 49:5  (King James Version)

NASB E-Prime

Compare all

Book Notes
   Barnes' Book Notes
   Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Book Notes
   Robertson's Book Notes (NT)
   Adam Clarke
   Barnes' Notes
   Forerunner Commentary
   Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
   John Wesley's Notes
   Matthew Henry
   People's Commentary (NT)
   Robertson's Word Pictures (NT)
Topical Studies
<< Genesis 49:4   Genesis 49:6 >>

Genesis 49:5-7

"Self-will" occurs only here in the Old Testament. In his curse on Simeon and Levi, Jacob says that in their self-will, they "digged down a wall" (KJV), or "hamstrung an ox" (NKJV). Their vengeful, violent acts against Shechem cause Jacob to pronounce a curse on their anger because it manifested itself in fierceness and cruelty. As a result, the tribes of Simeon and Levi, given no inheritance, are scattered throughout Israel.

Martin G. Collins
Overcoming (Part 4): Self-Will

Genesis 49:5-7

Here in Jacob's last words to his sons, we read of two of them, Simeon and Levi, being singled out as cruel. By their actions, they had proved themselves cruel both to animals and to humans. God warns them through their father Jacob that this trait would likely be passed down to their descendants. Because of it, He would be forced to scatter them throughout the other tribes of Israel, diluting its ill effects within the larger nation.

It is interesting that, despite its inherent leanings toward cruelty, the family of Levi was chosen by God to serve Him in His Tabernacle, Temple, and through the Aaronic priesthood (Numbers 1:50). Perhaps by concentrating the members of this tribe on His work, God transferred their aggressive tendencies to a far better purpose.

Is it also possible that, although God softened him with His Holy Spirit and made him the meekest of men (Numbers 12:3), Moses—a Levite—inherited some of his tribe's proclivity towards cruelty? Did he not murder an Egyptian whom he caught beating one of his fellow-Israelite countrymen (Exodus 2:11-12)? Did not Moses' wife, Zipporah, call him a "bloody husband" or a "bridegroom of blood" (Exodus 4:25-26)? Yes, we know that she says this relative to the circumcision of their son, but was there perhaps more to her outburst than just this?

Later, after Moses had been on Mount Sinai for almost forty days, the Israelites persuaded Aaron to make an idol, the infamous Golden Calf, for them to worship. Seeing the idolatrous rites and perversions happening in the camp, God sent Moses down to deal with the situation. Not only did he break the two tablets on which God had inscribed the Ten Commandments (Exodus 32:19), "he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it" (verse 20)! Incidentally, he afterward called for all those who were on the Lord's side to go throughout the camp to kill their idolatrous fellow Israelites—and the tribe of Levi rallied to him (verses 25-28)!

It seems that Moses had to keep his anger in check throughout his life. After he had brought Israel to Kadesh, just before the final push into the Promised Land, the children of Israel murmured due to the lack of water. In his impatience, anger, and frustration, Moses struck the rock rather than speaking to it as God had commanded (Numbers 20:7-11). Doing so destroyed his chance to enter the Promised Land with the people.

Don't Be Cruel!

Genesis 49:5-7

Simeon and Levi, treated together, would be "divided" in Jacob, "scattered" in Israel, because of their "fierce" and "cruel" anger. (Jacob is referring to the duplicity and brutality they displayed in the slaying of the men of Shechem. See Genesis 34.)

Charles Whitaker
Searching for Israel (Part Two): Blessings in Faith

Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Genesis 49:5:

Genesis 34:2


<< Genesis 49:4   Genesis 49:6 >>

The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 150,000 subscribers are already receiving each day.

Email Address:

Leave this field empty

We respect your privacy. Your email address will not be sold, distributed, rented, or in any way given out to a third party. We have nothing to sell. You may easily unsubscribe at any time.
©Copyright 1992-2021 Church of the Great God.   Contact C.G.G. if you have questions or comments.
Share this on FacebookEmailPrinter version
E-mail This Page