The tribe of Simeon (Josh 19:1-19:9)

“The second lot came out for Simeon, for the tribe of Simeon, according to its families. Its inheritance lay within the inheritance of the tribe of Judah. It had for its inheritance Beersheba, Sheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, Balah, Ezem, Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susah, Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen, thirteen towns with their villages. Ain, Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan were four towns with their villages. They were together with all the villages all around these towns as far as Baalath-beer, Ramah of the Negeb. This was the inheritance of the tribe of Simeon according to its families. The inheritance of the tribe of Simeon formed part of the territory of Judah. Because the portion of the tribe of Judah was too large for them, the tribe of Simeon obtained an inheritance within their inheritance.”

Somehow Simeon gets land from Judah. Judah had too much land. Thus the tribe of Simeon literally got no land, much like the Levites. However, it is not clear why. Perhaps they were too small of a tribe. Remember that the tribe of Simeon did not get a blessing from Moses in Deuteronomy, chapter 33. They were really at the bottom of the totem pole. What land they have is on the southern border of Judah, just before the wilderness. Beersheba and Sheba were mentioned in Genesis. Of the 17 towns mentioned here, 12 towns were also mentioned as belonging to Judah in chapter 15: Moladah, Ezem, Eltolad, Beersheba, Hormah, Hazar-shual, Ziklag, Beth-lebaoth, Ain,Rimmon, Ether, and Ashan. Did that mean that they would fight over these towns? On the other hand, the other 5 towns are just mentioned here and nowhere else in the biblical books: Balah,Bethul, Hazar-susah, Beth-lebaoth, and Sharuhen.

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