Joshua – Chapter 19

Simeon Says

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Next came the portion of Shimon (Simeon), which, oddly enough, was scattered throughout the portion of Judah. One reason is given in the text of the Navi itself: Judah’s territory was simply too big for a single Tribe. Another reason can be found in the brachos (blessings) given to the 12 sons of Jacob by their father. Because of the incident caused by Simeon and Levi in Shechem, Jacob said that they would be scattered in Israel, to prevent them from consolidating their forces. Levi was scattered by nature of their Temple service; Simeon was scattered simply because of Jacob’s words. (See Gen. 49:7.)

The rest of the chapter discusses the portions of Zevulun, Issachar, Asher, Naftali, and Dan. Dan’s territory was not sufficient for their growing Tribe, so they conquered the city of Leshem and renamed it Dan, after their ancestor. (This actually happened in the period of the Judges, but is recorded here because of its relevance.)

After the Tribes all received their portions, they gave Joshua a city of his choosing in Mount Ephraim. This fulfilled a previously-unrecorded commandment of Hashem.

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