The Second Closing Hymn

 

Deuteronomy 33

 

Deuteronomy 33 is a Blessing Chapter similar to Genesis 49. Jacob and Moses each send a dying song to each of the sons of Jacob.

 

The oldest, Reuben (Deuteronomy 33:6) seems to be included only by obligation. (I suppose having an affair with your fatherís concubine, Genesis 35:22, does tend to put a strain on the family relationship.) Simeon is excluded altogether1.

 

1The birth order was Reuben, Simeon, Levi, then Judah. Reuben, the more natural choice to bear the Christ was disqualified because of Genesis 35:22. Simeon and Levi were disqualified because of violence (Genesis 49:5), as displayed in their vengeance of their sister, Dinah (Genesis 34), though many good men would have done precisely the same thing. Judah was the eldest son not so disqualified, though he doesnít come to the table with clean hands either (Genesis 38).

 

There is no stated reason of why Levi was fully restored, Ruben reduced to Mention, and Simeon denied mention altogether. It is possible that when the brothers deliberated selling Joseph, Reuben gained some points back by telling the brothers that selling their brother was over-the-top. And that Simeon dug his hole deeper by being the spokesman for the sale (Genesis 37).

 

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