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And this tribe was among the first to be carried away captive, and never more returned to their own land, (1 Chron. v..30.). The reader will find it well worth while to look at the parts of Scripture here referred to, where he will see the fulfilment of Jacob's prophecy.
V.5–7.-Simeon and Levi were the second and third sons of Jacob, by Leah, (chap. xxix. ver. 33, 34.) The crime of which they are here reminded was the bloody revenge which they had taken on the Shechamites, for the injury done to their sister by the son of Hamor, (chap. xxxiv. ver. 13—29.) The offence was indeed great, but the punishment which they inflicted was full of deceit, treachery, and cruelty. They destroyed a whole town in their anger, and thus brought a punishment from God upon themselves, and their descendants.
“ Cursed be their anger, and their wrath."-Is then all anger forbidden? From Ephesians, (iv. 26, 27.) we find that it is not. And was their displeasure, in this instance, wrong? Far from it. But their anger was fierce; their wrath was cruel.
Observe how carefully the precept, “ Be ye angry,” is guarded by the Apostle. He immediately adds, and sin not ; let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Learn, hence, how the risings of passion ought to be watched. Your anger, if not checked, may lead to murder. Your conduct may not indeed bring upon you the punishment it deserves, in this world; but it is not forgotten of God. Forty years had now rolled away since Simeon and Levi "š took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.” They thought little, perhaps, of the deed; perhaps talked of it as an exploit of their youth, a proof of skill and courage, to be boasted of and admired : but, before Him, who seeth not as man seeth, it was not forgotten. “ One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Many a
Remarks on the forty-ninth Chapter of Genesis. 291 tale of blood will be unfolded at the last, which lies hid in darkness now: the brutal husband, the hardhearted father, the cruel mother, who, instead of protecting those who are committed to them, have hastened their end, either by violence or ill-treatment, will then find that there was One who saw their crime, and who will visit it with the severity of his judgment. Do not attempt to make excuses for your angry passions: do not go on in them, but
repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.” Seek for pardon of
Seek for pardon of your sins through Jesus Christ; and seek for newness of life through his Spirit.
" I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel." The tribe of Simeon had an inheritance given them, at first, within the portion of Judah, but, finding this too small, a part of them, afterwards, in the days of Hezekiah, took possession of Gedor, and part of Mount Seir, (1 Chron.iv. 24–42.) Thus they were divided in Jacob.
With respect to Levi, the prophecy, too, was fulfilled. No inheritance was given to this tribe, among their brethren, in the promised land. They had only towns to live in here and there in the portions of the other tribes, and, thus, they were divided.
V.8—12.-Nothing but good is spoken of Judah. The praises of his brethren-victory over his enemies-superiority over his father's children-courage,
which should render him the fear of all around him-long continued dominion, and abundance, even to excess, of the best fruits of the earth, are the blessings promised to him in these verses. Compare with this the whole of Judah's history from the time when Israel came out of Egypt, and you cannot help being struck with the fulfilment of the prophecy. See him marching through the wilderness, at the head of the armies of Israel, (Numb. x. 14.) encamping in the place of honour, to the east of the tabernacle, (Numb. ii. 3.) in numbers exceeding any of the other tribes; the first settled in the promised land, after having driven out the Canaanites. Then, observe the nation, after their establishment in Ca. naan, and you will find that the first of their Judges was of this tribe. When God gave them a king after his own heart, it was from the tribe of Judah that he chose him, and he was at the head of a long line of kings, never interrupted till the Babylonish captivity, (2 Sam. vii. 8—16.) When Israel divided into two parts, though Judah and Benjamin alone clave to the house of David, they were more powerful than all the rest; and the name of Israelite has long been lost in that of Jew (from Judah.)
But there is one part of this blessing which deserves our more particular attention. In the 10th verse we read, that “ the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, neither a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come.' A sceptre, as we know, is the staff which a king carries in his hand as a mark of his royal dignity :-having a sceptre, therefore, means having kingly power. Judah therefore was to continue to have dominion, as a people, until Shiloh should come.-But who is Shiloh? The word is understood to mean, “The giver of peace;" --this is Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace, and the giver of peace. He had been already promised to our first parents, then to Abraham and to Isaac; and here the tribe he was to spring from, and when he was to come, are pointed out. The Jews have now, no longer a sceptre, a lawgiver, or dominion; their glory has departed. But, before they lost their power, Shiloh came.
About forty years after the crucifixion of Christ, the Romans conquered them, and took away both their place and nation, and were the instruments, in God's hands, of revenging the murder of the Prince of Peace, and fulfilling this remarkable prophecy.
“ And to him shall the gathering of the people
293 be." His beginnings were small, when, with a few followers, he taught in the cities of Israel; but soon his Gospel went forth, and he gathered subjects to his kingdom among the distant nations and people of the earth. : We now see the nations of Europe called by his name, as well as a great part of America. Africa and Asia are beginning to receive his word.
Let us pray that his cause may prosper,—that all nations may be blessed in Him,--and that; as soon as they hear of Him, they may submit themselves unto Him. Let us pray that those who are called by his name, may not rest satisfied with having the name only which belongs to His people, but that they may really prove themselves to be His, by putting their whole trust in Him,-by ever seeking to be governed by His commands, and by making it their greatest happiness to advance His cause, and to do His will.
T. B. P.
The explicit declarations, and the general tenor of the Sacred Writings, proclaim these important, these momentous truths,“ Verily there is a reward for the righteous : *"_"Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished t.". Now, though it be true that the recompense of the one, and the condemnation of the other, will not be announced, or have respectively its complete establishment or infliction, till the great and terrible day of the Lord, when he shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel, and when he shall come to be glo
*. Ps. lviii. 11.
| Prov. xi. 28.
rified in his saints*; yet is it true, that the judgments of God often overtake sinners in this world: yet is it true, that, even in the life that now is, God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. These truths are not properly regarded ; and hence it is that the wicked, on the one hand, encourage themselves in their wickedness, whilst, on the other, the righteous lose much of that support and consolation which they are entitled and privileged to enjoy, St. Paul distinctly recognizes the truth in question, in his Epistle to the Corinthians t. Some of those whom he addressed had profaned the solemn ordinance of the Lord's Supper, by eating and drinking at it, not only irreverently, but intemperately, and " for this cause," he writes, “many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” The Psalmist also recognizes it—"The Lord,” he says,
upholdeth the righteous #;" and the wise king af: firms, “Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth 8.” Among other instructive lessons, the history of Asa, king of Judah, tends to illustrate these truths. Reader, consider it with a special reference to them, and learn from it that "God is angry with the wicked every day," whilst “he is a shield to them that put their trust in him.”
On the death of Abijah, king of Judah, Asa hiş son succeeded to the throne; and it is recorded of him, that “ he did that which was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God." He waged war against the horrible wickedness and idolatry that awfully prevailed in the land ; and feeling that the ties even of flesh and blood must give way, when put in competition with the service of God, he removed Maachah his mother from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: ånd " Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burned it at
• 2 Thess. i. 8.
1 Cor. xi. 30. #Ps. xxxvii. 17. ♡ Prov. xi. 31. ! 2 Cbrog. xiv. &c.