Abram was the first in scripture to be called 'Hebrew'. Why? What does it mean? Is it only referring to the lineage that Abram descended from? Or, is there an understanding of this discriptive term that also applies to us, as Believers In Christ? This writing explores this concept.
The Sons of Jacob / Israel
Simeon; What Did You Hear?
KJV Genesis 29:33 And she conceived again, and bore a son; and said, “Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon.
The saga of Leah, the first wife to Jacob, is a story of a woman (soul?) wounded by the knowledge that the man that married her did not do so out of love for her. When considering the ‘un-love’ that haunted Leah, the names of the six sons she bore to Jacob become more telling. The names of the sons of Jacob, born to four different women, present to us a progression of spiritual understanding, and a journey to an intended destination in Christ. Why did Jacob have four ‘wives’? What is this pageant revealing to us? The first step on our journey to Christ is to become aware that there is, indeed, a son to recognize, and then to pursue. The first step on this journey to Christ is Reuben; behold you, a son.
As a side note, how interesting that we learn in Gen. 2:10 that a river (the River of Life in the heaven of New Jerusalem?) was sent forth from Eden to water (to provide drink for?) the garden setting, and from there that river parted and became four ‘heads’. Why four?! Should we assume that this garden setting, and the parable/pageant of these four rivers (heads), is referring to literal water; to H2O? The Hebrew word for water does not show up in any of these verses. Compare Psalm 36:8. The word translated as ‘pleasures’ in this verse is the exact same word translated as ‘Eden’ in Gen. 2:8. Hmmmmmmmm!
Most of us, throughout our lives, have begun our learning by seeing with our natural senses; faces and activities and events, etc. But we rarely understand what we are ‘seeing’ when first we observe something new to us. We most often rely on our natural senses to impart information that allows us to learn and grow. Hearing is also a very powerful sense in our arsenal, and coupled with seeing, is a primary source of information for enhancing access to the world that we experience. In Gen. Chapter 2 we are told that there is a ‘tree of knowledge’ in the garden which YHWH caused to grow, and ‘adam’ is warned to avoid eating from the ‘tree of knowledge’, for it also is “…pleasant to the sight,” [Gen. 3:6] The knowledge provided to us through our natural senses can be often misleading, and destructive. Things are not always what they seem.
Leah conceived a second time, and declared that the LORD had ‘heard’ about her being ‘hated’, and thus rewarded her with being able to conceive a second child for Jacob. Leah, whose ‘god’ was Yahweh, attributed her ability to getting pregnant to the idea that Yahweh, or the LORD, ‘saw’ her plight and ‘heard’ about her misery. In the narrative of Leah, Yahweh rewarded her with pregnancy because she was ‘hated’. And remember, the first son of Leah was named Reuben because Leah declared that YHWH had ‘seen’ that she was hated. When she delivered a second son for Jacob, she proclaimed that her second son was a gift to her because the LORD had ‘heard’ that she was ‘hated’. And so she declared the name of this second son to be Simeon; or more accurately stated, ‘Hearing’. The Hebrew word we translate ‘Simeon’ is not the past tense idea of having heard, but is actually describing the continual on-going process of ‘hearing’. For once you have ‘seen’ that there is a ‘son’, the next step in the journey is accomplished by ‘hearing’. As a foot note, the pronunciation of this name as ‘Simeon’ has been ‘gentilized’; the more accurate pronunciation of the word should be ‘Shim-oen ’. We won’t take that rabbit trail here, but it is of significance.
One of the most sacred and quoted verses in all of Judaism, Deuteronomy 6:4, is called “The Sham-mah”. NKJ Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” The first Hebrew word in this verse is ‘sham-mah’ (Strong’s # H8085), and is very often translated into English as ‘hear’. This Hebrew word is used prolifically throughout the Old Testament, and is also translated as ‘understand’, ‘hearken’, ‘listen’, ‘obey’, and numerous other ways that indicate the necessity to pay attention and heed what is being revealed through ‘hearing’. This word ‘sham-mah’ is also the word that the name ‘Simeon’ is based upon. Leah was proclaiming that because YHWH, or the LORD, heard and understood her plight, she was rewarded with the privilege of baring another son for Jacob. I find this in itself very revealing.
In Genesis Chapter Three we have the story of Adam and ‘his wife’ encountering interaction with ‘the serpent’ in the garden, and consequently falling from the realm of innocence that ‘the garden’ represented, and ultimately the vulnerable experience of feeling naked and exposed. NKJ Gen. 3:8 “And they heard the sound of LORD God walking in the garden in the cool (spirit) of the day…” Chapter three of Genesis is introducing us to the concept of ‘hearing’ voices and sounds that influence us, and the consequences that accompany the responses to what we ‘hear’. Verse ten tells us “I heard (sham-mah) your voice (sound of you) in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked;” The response from the LORD was, “Who told you that you are naked?” with the implication being “who or what have you been ‘hearing’?” Have you been entertaining ‘sounds’ that cannot be relied upon, or trusted?
Simeon is all about ‘hearing’. However, what we ‘hear’ is rarely, if ever, clearly understood by the ‘hearer’. Because we hear by natural senses, much of what we hear becomes distraction and confusion. Only by Spirit Discernment can we properly understand and categorize the myriad of ‘sounds’ that bombard our hearing and thinking. Only by yielding to the Holy Spirit of Truth in Love may we safely filter those ‘sounds’ that should be discarded. Some of what we ‘hear’ is very appealing, and often gratifying to the carnal appetites. But if we are ‘hearing’ spiritual poison, we will continue to walk in darkness, stumbling over the obstacles of carnal confusion. Every ‘spirit’ that is not Christ is of ‘anti-christ’, and will always impose hindrance and impediment to Spiritual maturity. And none of us have been immune from those hindrances.
NKJ Deuteronomy 18:15 " The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear;”
KJV Luke 9:35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
NKJ Revelation 2:17 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it." '
First the natural, then the Spiritual. It seems the patterns never change.
to be continued…