The Second Son of Jacob and Leah.
Simeon, the second son of Jacob and Leah. The strong man. He becomes jealous of Joseph and is an instigator of the plot against Joseph.
THE copy of the words of Simeon, the things which he spake to his sons before he died, in the hundred and twentieth year of his life, at which time Joseph, his brother, died.
2 For when Simeon was sick, his sons came to visit him. and he strengthened himself and sat up and kissed them, and said:--
3 Hearken, my children, to Simeon your father and I will declare unto you what things I have in my heart.
4 I was born of Jacob as my father's second son; and my mother Leah called me Simeon, because the Lord had heard her prayer.
5 Moreover, I became strong exceedingly; I shrank from no achievement nor was I afraid of ought. For my heart was hard, and my liver was immovable, and my bowels without compassion.
6 Because valour also has been given from the Most High to men in soul and body.
7 For in the time of my youth I was jealous in many things of Joseph, because my father loved him beyond all.
8 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, so that I regarded him not as a brother, nor did I spare even Jacob my father.
9 But his God and the God of his fathers sent forth His angel, and delivered him out of my hands.
10 For when I went to Shechem to bring ointment for the flocks, and Reuben to Dothan, where were our necessaries and all our stores, Judah my brother sold him to the Ishmaelites.
11 And when Reuben heard these things he was grieved, for he wished to restore him to his father.
12 But on hearing this I was exceedingly wroth against Judah in that he let him go away alive, and for five months I continued wrathful against him.
13 But the Lord restrained me, and withheld from me the power of my hands; for my right hand was half withered for seven days.
14 And I knew, my children, that because of Joseph this had befallen me, and I repented and wept; and I besought the Lord God that my hand might be restored and that I might hold aloof from all pollution and envy and from all folly.
15 For I knew that I had devised an evil thing before the Lord and Jacob my father, on account of Joseph my brother, in that I envied him.
16 And now, my children, hearken unto me and beware of the spirit of deceit and envy.
17 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. But it ever suggesteth to him to destroy him that he envieth; and so long as he that is envied flourisheth, he that envieth fadeth away.
18 Two years therefore 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.
19 For if a man flee to the
Lord, the evil spirit runneth away from him and his mind is lightened.
20 And henceforward he sympathiseth with him whom he envied and forgiveth those who are hostile to him, and so ceaseth from his envy.