Moving forward in our studies on the 12 tribes of Israel, now we come to the 2nd tribe which is the tribe of Simeon. In this study, we will find out the character of Simeon and what he did that stained his character but then how this name be found in one of the pearly gates in heaven.

Simeon was the 2nd son of Jacob to Leah the unloved wife. Simeon was a man of strong passion, and we can see proofs of this in some of the darkest stains in the history of ancient Israel.

Simeon did something that attached a stain to his name. What is this sin? This sin was the murder of the men of Shechem. We can read the story in Genesis 34. One of the 12 tribes though was connected with him in this sin which was the tribe of Levi, but if we closely examine the Scripture, we would find out that it was Simeon who was the kind of leader of this act because it was always his name mentioned first when speaking of this sin of murder of the men of Shechem.

What led Simeon to commit this sin?

Jacob has only one daughter. Her name is Dinah. The Shechemites ruined the life of Dinah. How would you imagine a family with only one daughter whose life was ruined by other people? We could see that Dinah was loved by her brothers and especially by the sons of Leah because Dinah was the daughter of Jacob to Leah. When Jacob rebuked Simeon and Levi for the murder, their answer was this.

Genesis 34:31. "Should he deal with our sister as with a harlot?"

As human beings, their love for their sister obviously prompted the two to take revenge against the Shechemites.

Genesis 34:26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.

We can also see that the two tried to rescue Dinah and brought her home with them after they murdered the Shechemites.

But God is no respecter of person. Sin is sin, and there is no excuse for committing any sin at all. Jacob openly recalled the sins of Simeon and Levi when they were all gathered in Jacob’s deathbed.

Genesis 49:5-7 "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 honor, 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."

As Jacob’s words were, the tribes of Simeon and Levi will be divided and scattered. But it seems that in the tribe of Levi, being scattered and divided became a blessing for them. The tribe of Levi held the position of honor and were scattered over the country as religious educators and priests. But with the tribe of Simeon, their scattering reduced their number and finally resulted in driving them from their inheritance. This tribe received partly no land at all.

1 Chronicles 4:27, 39, 42 And Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brethren had not many children, neither did all their family multiply, like to the children of Judah. And they went to the entrance of Gedor, [even] unto the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks. And [some] of them, [even] of the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to mount Seir, having for their captains Pelatiah, and Neariah, and Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi.

When Israel entered into the promised land of Canaan, Simeon’s tribe was the weakest and was numbered only 22,000. If we compare his tribe to that of Reuben, you can see that Reuben’s tribe was numbered 43,730. We can read this from Numbers 26:7. But Simeon’s tribe had 59,000 fighting men, but when the tribe was numbered again later, they were the weakest tribe. So the question is, why is this great change taking place? Because of a great sin they did. What is this sin? Licentiousness.

Numbers 25:1, “…and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.”

They commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. We can find the whole story of the destruction of the tribe of Simeon in Numbers 25. Heathen women defeated them. How easy men can be entrapped by licentiousness. Bible history records several men, even the wisest man Solomon who was even called the beloved of God 3 times. He became a slave to his passion and as a result, he sacrificed his integrity to this bewitching power.

Nehemiah 13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.

Before Solomon was led to idolatry, he first became a prey to licentiousness. The lust of the flesh defeated him. This also happened to the tribe of Simeon. Before they started to worship other gods, they first became a prey to the lust of the flesh. One false step leads to another. One transgression leads to another transgression and so on until the soul is entirely overtaken by the enemy. This is a lesson to all of us. If we let the enemy take a hold of even the littlest weakness we have, then he will be able to take a hold of the rest of our weaknesses that is why we always need to watch and pray. Our hearts must always be guarded lest we be overtaken by satan’s snares. We have to rule over our hearts and minds and let it be under the control of the Spirit of God and not under our own passion. Our hearts are deceitful.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart.”

He that ruleth his spirit is greater than he that taketh a city; (Prov.16:32.) but

Prov. 25:28 says, "he that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."

If we do not rule over our own spirit, we are likened to a city without walls. Therefore, we don’t have any protection against the enemy. It means there is no abiding presence of the Lord in our lives. Anytime, the enemy can attack us, and we are defeated.

Now, here is something to ponder with. Remember Joseph who became a slave to Pharaoh but ended up being an officer in Egypt? Remember how his brethren tried to kill him but decided to bind him and lowered him into the well. Did you know that it was Simeon who was the instigator and principal actor of that cruelty towards Joseph? The word of God says,

Job 4:8 “…they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.”

Galatians 6:7 “…for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

This same principle was fulfilled in the life of Simeon. During the famine in their land, Joseph opened a storehouse in Egypt, and all the people from all nations came to Egypt to buy food. Among the ones affected of the famine was Jacob’s family, so he sent his sons to Egypt to buy corn. When the brothers arrived in Egypt, Joseph told them that they came there to spy. And they said that they just want to buy food from Joseph. To make the story short, Joseph took one of the brothers to be bound, and it was Simeon who was taken to be bound before their eyes. We read from

Genesis 42:24 “…and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes.”

So, why did Joseph choose Simeon to be bound? Because Simeon was the principal actor in that cruel act towards Joseph; therefore, Simeon reaped what he sowed. Simeon sowed cruelty so it was done unto him as well, though Joseph did not do it to avenge him, but you can imagine how it feels like to be bound but then you could say he deserved it because that was what he did to Joseph a long time ago. Anyway, the lesson is that whatever we sow is what we are going to reap. We sow iniquity and wickedness, then we shall reap the same. God is no respecter of person, and it is going to be the same for everyone. But if you sow love and fruits of the Spirit, we shall reap the fruits of the Spirit was well.

So moving on,

Why is the name of Simeon be found in heaven if on earth he committed such a sin that was made known to everyone?

Everyone sinned. Does that mean nobody will make it to heaven? No. The fact that someone sins will never exclude him from entering heaven. What debars him from eternal life? It is unconfessed sin. This is the reason why we need to confess and repent from our sins. True repentance is confessing and turning away from sin and turning back to God. It is not enough to confess but then no turning away from sin. It is not overcoming.

Of all mankind, it’s only Jesus who was born of a woman that is sinless. It is only his life record that will never be covered. Our life record? It has to be covered. Covered with what? With the righteousness of Christ. Why? Because our life record is marred with sin, and it has to be covered or else we won’t make it to heaven. No sinner can enter there. Praise God for the blood of the Lamb that taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29.

Just like Simeon, no matter how deep our sin is, we have a promise in the Word of God.

Isaiah 1:18 "…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Positive Character

Saved her sister from the hand of the unbelievers

Fully submitted himself when Joseph bound him

Negative Character


Killed the Shechemites, licentiousness


Divided and scattered


The weakest in number


Why they be found in heaven?