Tribes of Israel – Levi

Levi is the third son of Jacob and Leah. His name sounds like the Hebrew word for attached because Leah hoped that Jacob would be attached (love) to her.

Genesis 49:“Simeon and Levi are brothers— their swords are weapons of violence.
Let me not enter their council,
let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.
Cursed be their anger, so fierce,
and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.

This prophesy was fulfilled because the Levities had the “Lord as their inheritance” thus they received only cities within other tribes and Simeon was “scattered” into Judah. After the incident at Shechem they really did not do anything else outstanding and just slip into history.

Deuteronomy 33:8 About Levi he said: “Your Thummim and Urim belong to the man you favored. You tested him at Massah; you contended with him at the waters of Meribah.
He said of his father and mother, ‘I have no regard for them.’ He did not recognize his brothers or acknowledge his own children, but he watched over your word
and guarded your covenant.
10 He teaches your precepts to Jacob and your law to Israel. He offers incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11 Bless all his skills, O Lord, and be pleased with the work of his hands. Smite the loins of those who rise up against him; strike his foes till they rise no more.”

The Thummim and Urim was how the Israelites could receive instruction (Ezra 2:63) from the Lord. I have read that the breastplate (Exodus 28:30) the High Priest wore had stones with the names of the tribes inscribed on them and they may have been removable; then they would “roll” them and pick who the Lord’s choice was from the casting of these lots. An example of this may be in Judges 1:1+2 when Judah was picked to lead Israel against the Canaanites. (If you Goggle this subject you will find a lot of non-Christian/Biblical info)

Massah and Meribah was the name given to the campsite of Rephidim (Exodus 17) or the “spring and rock” where the Israelites argued and tested the Lord about drinking water. Rephidim is also where the Amalekites come into the Exodus story as enemies.

Exodus 32 is an interesting chapter featuring the Levities. Moses is up a mountain seeking God and receiving the Commandments, Aaron is making a golden calf and the family collectively is killing people who are out of control because of the calf. And once again God shows His mercy by making Aaron the priest even after he “fibs” about the golden calf in vs.24.  It is interesting to note that a specific genetic marker has been found that allows them to specifically trace Aaron’s family line. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-chromosomal_Aaron

Other notable descendents of Levi and Aaron are David’s Praise Team: Heman, Asaph and Ethan (1 Chronicles 15: 19), Benaiah the captain of David’s guard was a priest-1 Chronicles 27:5, and Jesus.  Ok, here is my reasoning for Jesus – Mary was cousin to Elizabeth who was indentified as a descendent of Aaron in Luke 1:5.

clipart.christiansunite.com/1352029261/Old_Testament_Clipart/Old_Testament009.jpg 

The Tribes of Israel and Shechem

Shechem in Genesis 33 and 34 is a family and a town. In my tribe series, its importance is that it is the places where Simeon and Levi incur their father’s wrath by killing all the men of Shechem. It is also where Jacob built an altar and bought a piece of land that he later gave to Joseph.

After Joshua brought the children into the Promised Land they were instructed in Deuteronomy 27 to have some tribes stand on Mount Gerizim and pronounce blessings for Israel and the other tribes to stand on Mount Ebal to pronounce curses.

The land went to Ephraim in the allotment and Shechem became a city of refuge as stated in Joshua 17:17.

We see it again in Judges 9 being associated with Abimelech.

When the Northern Kingdom went into exile the Samaritans were brought in to occupy the land.  They accepted some of the beliefs of Israel; one thing they did was to build a shrine on Mt. Gerizim to offer sacrifices. Years later in John 4 Jesus meet the women at the well in a town of Sychar, which is believed to be Shechem. If you remember this meeting was at Jacob’s well.

http://bibleatlas.org/shechem.htm