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Torah Faith for the Tribe of Simeon in the Karaite Tradition

An Assembly of Faith (AOF) of the Advancing Noah Movement 




The Testament of Simeon Concerning Envy.


(From the Pseudepigrapha)


1. The copy of the words of Simeon, what things he spake to his sons before he died, in the hundred and twentieth year of his life, in the year in which Joseph died. For they came to visit him when he was sick, and he strengthened himself and sat up and kissed them, and said to them:-

2. Hear, O my children, hear Simeon your father, what things I have in my heart. I was born of Jacob my father, his second son; and my mother Leah called me Simeon, because the Lord heard her prayer. I became strong exceedingly; I shrank from no deed, nor was I afraid of anything. For my heart was hard, and my mind was unmoveable, and my bowels unfeeling: because valour also has been given from the Most High to men in soul and in body. And at that time I was jealous of Joseph because our father loved him; and I set my mind against him to destroy him, because the prince of deceit sent forth the spirit of jealousy and blinded my mind, that I regarded him not as a brother, and spared not Jacob my father. But his God and the God of his fathers sent forth His angel, and delivered him out of my hands. For when I went into Shechem to bring ointment for the flocks, and Reuben to Dotham, where were our necessaries and all our stores, Judah our brother sold him to the Ishmaelites. And when Reuben came he was grieved, for he wished to have restored him safe to his father. But I was wroth against Judah in that he let him go away alive, and for five months I continued wrathful against him; but God restrained me, and withheld from me all working of my hands, for my right hand was half withered for seven days. And I knew, my children, that because of Joseph this happened to me, and I repented and wept; and I besought the Lord that He would restore my hand unto me, and that I might be kept from all pollution and envy, and from all folly. For I knew that I had devised an evil deed before the Lord and Jacob my father, on account of Joseph my brother, in that I envied him.

3. And now, children, take heed of the spirit of deceit and of envy. For envy ruleth over the whole mind of a man, and suffereth him neither to eat, nor to drink, nor to do any good thing: it ever suggesteth to him to destroy him that he envieth; and he that is envied ever flourisheth, but he that envieth fades away. Two years of days I afflicted my soul with fasting in the fear of the Lord, and I learnt that deliverance from envy cometh by the fear of God. If a man flee to the Lord, the evil spirit runneth away from him, and his mind becometh easy. And henceforward he sympathizeth with him whom he envied, and condemneth not those who love him, and so ceaseth from his envy.

4. And my father asked concerning me, because he saw that I was sad; and I said, I am pained in my liver. For I mourned more than they all, because I was guilty of the selling of Joseph. And when we went down into Egypt, and he bound the as a spy, I knew that I was suffering justly, and I grieved not. Now Joseph was a good man, and had the Spirit of God within him: compassionate and pitiful, he bore not malice against me; nay, he loved me even as the rest of his brothers. Take heed, therefore, my children, of all jealousy and envy, and walk in singleness of soul and with good heart, keeping in mind the brother of your father, that God may give to you also grace and glory, and blessing upon your heads, even as ye saw in him. All his days he reproached us not concerning this thing, but loved us as his own soul, and beyond his own sons; and he glorified us, and gave riches, and cattle, and fruits freely to us all. Do ye then also, my beloved children, love each one his brother with a good heart, and remove from you the spirit of envy, for this maketh savage the soul and destroyeth the body; it turneth his purposes into anger and war, and stirreth up unto blood, and leadeth the mind into frenzy, and suffereth not prudence to act in men: moreover, it taketh away sleep, and causeth tumult to the soul and trembling to the body. For even in sleep some malicious jealousy, deluding him, gnaweth at his soul, and with wicked spirits disturbeth it, and causeth the body to be troubled, and the mind to awake from sleep in confusion; and as though having a wicked and poisonous spirit, so appeareth it to men.

5. Therefore was Joseph fair in appearance, and goodly to look upon, because there dwelt not in him any wickedness; for in trouble of the spirit the face declareth it. And now, my children, make your hearts good before the Lord, and your ways straight before men, and ye shall find grace before God and men. And take heed not to commit fornication, for fornication is mother of all evils, separating from God, and bringing near to Beliar. For I have seen it inscribed in the writing of Enoch that your sons shall with you be corrupted in fornication, and shall do wrong against Levi with the sword. But they shall not prevail against Levi, for he shall wage the war of the Lord, and shall conquer all your hosts; and there shall be a few divided in Levi and Judah, and there shall be none of you for sovereignty, even as also my father Jacob prophesied in his blessings.

6. Behold, I have foretold you all things, that I may be clear from the sin of your souls. Now, if ye remove from you your envy, and all your stiffneckedness, as a rose shall my bones flourish in Israel, and as a lily my flesh in Jacob, and my odour shall be as the odour of Libanus; and as cedars shall holy ones be multiplied from me for ever, and their branches shall stretch afar off. Then shall perish the seed of Canaan, and a remnant shall not be to Amalek, and all the Cappadocians shall perish, and all the Hittites shall be utterly destroyed. Then shall fail the land of Ham, and every people shall perish. Then shall all the earth rest from trouble, and all the world under heaven from war. Then shall Shem be glorified, because the Lord God, the Mighty One of Israel, shall appear upon earth as man, and saved by Him Adam. Then shall all the spirits of deceit be given to be trampled under foot, and men shall rule over the wicked spirits. Then will I arise in joy, and will bless the Most High because of His marvellous works, because God hath taken a body and eaten with men and saved men.

7. And now, my children, obey Levi, and in Judah shall ye be redeemed: and be not lifted up against these two tribes, for from them shall arise to you the salvation of God. For the Lord shall raise up from Levi as it were a Priest, and from Judah as it were a King, God and man. So shall He save all the Gentiles and the race of Israel. Therefore I command you all things, in order that ye also may command your children, that they may observe them throughout their generations.

8. And Simeon made an end of commanding his sons, and slept with his fathers, being an hundred and twenty years old. And they laid him in a coffin of incorruptible wood, to take up his bones to Hebron. And they carried them up in a war of the Egyptians secretly: for the bones of Joseph the Egyptians guarded in the treasure-house of the palace; for the sorcerers told them that at the departure of the bones of Joseph there should be throughout the whole of Egypt darkness and gloom, and an exceeding great plague to the Egyptians, so that even with a lamp a man should not recognise his brother.

9. And the sons of Simeon bewailed their father according to the law of mourning, and they were in Egypt until the day of their departure from Egypt by the hand of Moses.



Tribe of Simeon

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According to the Hebrew Bible, the Tribe of Simeon (/ˈsɪmiən/; Hebrew: שִׁמְעוֹן, Modern Shim'on, Tiberian Šimʻôn; "Hearkening; listening") was one of the twelve tribes of Israel.[1] The Book of Judges locates its territory inside the boundaries of the Tribe of Judah. The biblical narrative has it coming into the land of Israel following the Exodus, while scholarly reconstructions have offered a variety of opinions as to its origins and early history. From Genesis until the Babylonian captivity, the Bible provides various details about its history, after which point it disappears from the record. A variety of extrabiblical traditional Jewish sources also provide additional material on the tribe.



At its height, the territory occupied by the Tribe of Simeon was in the southwest of Canaan, bordered on the east and south by the tribe of Judah; the boundaries with the tribe of Judah are vague, and it seems that Simeon may have been an enclave within the west of the territory of the tribe of Judah.[2] Simeon was one of the less significant tribes in the Kingdom of Judah.

Attempts to reconstruct the territory of Simeon work with three biblical lists: Joshua 19:2-9, 1 Chronicles 4:28-32, which list towns belonging to Simeon, and Joshua 15:20-30, which lists these same towns as part of the territory of Judah.[3] Nadav Na'aman divides scholarly work on the subject into two "schools of thought," which he calls "the Alt school" (following Albrecht Alt) and the "other school."[3] The Alt school takes the list in Joshua 15 as reflecting the historical situation during the reign of Josiah, and sees the other two as later, and less reliable, attempts by editors to work out the earlier Simeonite territory. The "other school" sees the first two lists as reflecting the actual historical situation in the time of David (compare 1 Chronicles 4:31), and Joshua 15 as reflecting the situation at a later date.[3] According to Na'aman, Simeonites settled in a pattern which overlapped Judah: while maintaining a distinct tribal identity and organization throughout the First Temple period (until 586 BC), Simeonites and Judahites lived in some of the same areas.[4]


Map of the twelve tribes of Israel

According to the Hebrew Bible, the tribe consisted of descendants of Simeon, the second son of Jacob and of Leah, from whom it took its name.[5] However, Arthur Peake (1919) suggested that the narratives about the twelve sons of Jacob in Genesis might include later tribal history "disguised as personal history," in which the later histories of these tribal groups are recast in the form of narratives about supposed ancestors.[6] Likewise, the consensus position of contemporary scholarship is that "there is little or no historical memory of pre-Israelite events or circumstances in Genesis."[7]

In the biblical account, following the completion of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites, Joshua allocated the land among the twelve tribes. Kenneth Kitchen, a well-known conservative biblical scholar, dates this event to slightly after 1200 BCE.[8] However, the consensus view of modern scholars is that the conquest of Joshua as described in the Book of Joshua never occurred.[9][10][11]

Martin Noth argued that the six tribes that the Bible traces to Leah, including Simeon, were once part of an amphictyony prior to the later coalition of twelve tribes.[12][13] According to Niels Peter Lemche, "Noth's amphictyonic hypothesis determined a whole generation of Old Testament scholars' way of thinking."[14] However, more recently a large number of scholars have dissented from Noth's theory.[15]

In the opening words of the Book of Judges, following the death of Joshua, the Israelites "asked the Lord" which tribe should be first to go to occupy its allotted territory, and the tribe of Judah was identified as the first tribe.[16] According to this narrative, the tribe of Judah invited the tribe of Simeon to fight with them in alliance to secure each of their allotted territories.

However, the tribe of Simeon is not mentioned in the ancient Song of Deborah, generally considered one of the earliest-written parts of the Hebrew Bible,[17][18] and the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906) claims that Simeon was probably "not always counted as a tribe."[19] According to Israel Finkelstein, the south of Canaan, in which Simeon was situated, was simply an insignificant rural backwater at the time the poem was written.[20][page needed] Another possibility is that Simeon, along with Judah, had simply not joined the Israelite confederacy at this point,[21][22] or that they had seceded.[23]


Biblical Narrative

Towns belonging to Simeon are listed in the Book of Joshua;[24] elsewhere in Joshua these towns are ascribed to Judah.[25][26] Most modern scholars view the Book of Joshua as being spliced together from several different source texts, in this particular case, the lists of towns being different documents, from different periods to each other.[27][28][29]

The tribe seems to have dwindled in size, and the size of the tribe dramatically drops by over half between the two censuses recorded in the Book of Numbers.[30] Although the Bible places these censuses during the Exodus, some textual scholars place their authorship in the period of priestly source, which Richard Elliot Freedman dates to roughly 700-600 BC.[31][32] Other scholars usually place the Priestly Source in the post-exilic period, and some deny its existence altogether.[33][34] The tribe is completely absent from the Blessing of Moses, which textual scholars date to near the time of the Deuteronomist, after the dates of these censuses;[32] some Septuagint manuscripts appear to have attempted to correct this, adding the name of Simeon to the latter half of verse 6, which some scholars view as unwarranted based on the Hebrew manuscripts.[25]

In the Blessing of Jacob, this punishment appears to be prophesied, with the tribe being predicted to become divided and scattered. Some textual scholars view this as a postdiction, believing that the Blessing of Jacob was written in a period around the 9th or 8th centuries (900-701 BC), the same period in which the tribe was actually dwindling.[32][page needed]

The impression gained from the Books of Chronicles is that the tribe was not entirely fixed in location; at one point it is mentioned that some members of the tribe migrated southwards to Gedor, so as to find suitable pasture for their sheep.[35] In the following verse, which may or may not be related,[36] it is mentioned that during the reign of Hezekiah, part of the tribe came to the land of some Meunim, and slaughtered them, taking the land in their place.[37] Further verses state that about 500 men from the tribe migrated to Mount Seir, slaughtering the Amalekites who had previously settled there.[38]

As part of the kingdom of Judah, whatever remained of Simeon was ultimately subjected to the Babylonian captivity; when the captivity ended, all remaining distinctions between Simeon and the other tribes in the kingdom of Judah had been lost in favour of a common identity as Jews.


Extrabiblical Sources

According to a Midrash, many Simeonite widows were married into other Israelite tribes, after the death of 24,000 Simeonite men after the scandal involving Zimri.[25]

An apocryphal midrash claims that the tribe was deported by the Babylonians to the Kingdom of Aksum (in what is now Ethiopia), to a place behind the dark mountains.[25] Conversely, Eldad ha-Dani argued that the tribe of Simeon had become quite powerful, taking tribute from 25 other kingdoms, some of which were Arabians; though he names their location, surviving versions of his manuscripts differ as to whether it was the land of the Khazars or of the Chaldeans (Chaldeans would be an anachronism, though it could possibly refer to Buyid Dynasty Persia).







Obvioiusly Reuben could not be firstborn.  Genesis 49:4, especially in Tyndale's Old Testament, makes it clear that Reuben shall not excel.  He shall not be chief amongst the tribes of Israel in the Tyndale translation.  I have made him second.


The first formed website tribe was Karaite Zebulunism.  After that came Karaite Reubenism.  And now Karaite Simeonism.  I had ideas from Karaite Judaism earlier on, but they are not the official firstborn in the ANM rankings.  The order so far is




1) Zebulun


2) Reuben


3) Simeon




Genesis 49 King James Version (KJV)


Genesis 49 - And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.


Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.


Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:


Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.


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


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.


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.


Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.


Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?


10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.


11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:


12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.


13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.


14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:


15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.


16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.


17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.


18 I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.


19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.


20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.


21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.


22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:


23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:


24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)


25 Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:


26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.


27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.


28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.


29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,


30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.


31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.


32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.


33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.