When Moses is about to die he blesses all the tribes except the tribe of Simeon which is somehow left out

Deuteronomy 33:1-29 NASB

7 And this regarding Judah; so he said,

“May Reuben live and not die, Nor his men be few.”

8 Of Levi he said,

12 Of Benjamin he said,

13 Of Joseph he said,

18 Of Zebulun he said,

And, Issachar

20 Of Gad he said,

22 Of Dan he said,

23 Of Naphtali he said,

24 Of Asher he said,

All tribes are blessed in different ways but Simeon is even not mentioned here.

Could there be something significant why Simeon is left out?

  • There is definitely something very significant. Simeon didn't even get its own territory in the land of Israel, but shared its land with the tribe of Judah! See one of answers here which suggests that Simeon's descendants were of impure stock hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/15587/…
    – bach
    May 6, 2019 at 18:32

6 Answers 6


Moses died circa 1406 B.C. In order to understand why Simeon is not mentioned in Deuteronomy, we must go back in time to when Jacob, the father of the twelve sons who were the progenitors of the twelve tribes of Israel, died (circa 1859 B.C.). The record of Jacob’s blessings is in Genesis chapter 49. The relevant section is in verses 5-7:

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.

The New International Study Version notes give this explanation with regard to Jacob’s prophetic words that Simeon’s descendants would be scattered:

Fulfilled when Simeon’s descendants were absorbed into the territory of Judah (see Joshua 19:1, 9) and when Levi’s descendants were dispersed throughout the land, living in 48 towns and the surrounding pasture-lands.

At the time of the second census conducted by Moses and Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, the tribe of Simeon was the smallest and weakest of all the tribes that came out of Egypt, only 22,200 men aged 20 years or more (Numbers 26:14).

Simeon was cursed by his father Jacob, probably because of the event recorded in Genesis 34:24–30 when Simeon and Levi took revenge on the men of Shechem after the rape of Dinah. After the horrific event, Jacob said to Simeon and Levi,

You have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed (Genesis 34:30).

Moses was undoubtedly aware of this and that may be why the tribe of Simeon was excluded from Moses’ blessing.

  • Interesting theory. If that is true, why is it included in Rev 7?
    – user25930
    May 6, 2019 at 21:14
  • Good point, although in Revelation the tribe of Dan is omitted whereas Ephraim and Mannasseh are listed separately (two Joseph tribes). I honestly don't know the reason for those differences in Revelation.
    – Lesley
    May 8, 2019 at 16:33
  • 2
    Lesley: The tribes of Ephraim and Dan are omitted there as not deserving of symbolic significance. Why? Ephraim -It grumbled against its inheritance in the land; it “vehemently tried to pick a quarrel with” Gideon; it fought against Jephthah; (Compare Joshua 17:14, 15; Judges 8:1; 12:1-6; Psalm 78:9, 67, 68.) The tribe of Dan also made a bad name for itself. The very terms of the blessing upon this tribe, as uttered by Jacob upon his deathbed, imply this tribe would take an unfavorable course: Genesis 49:17 Mar 22, 2020 at 9:08
  • @Ozzie Nicolas - Thanks for sharing that useful information.
    – Lesley
    Mar 22, 2020 at 17:05

Why is the tribe of Simeon missing from Deuteronomy 33:1-29?

Moses did not mention Simeon by name in his farewell blessing of Israel. This is not to say the tribe was not blessed, for it was included at the end in the general blessing.

Deuteronomy 33:29 (NASB)

29 “Blessed are you, O Israel; Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, Who is the shield of your help And the sword of your majesty! So your enemies will cringe before you, And you will tread upon their high places.”

Simeon was named first among the tribes assigned to stand on Mount Gerizim in connection with the blessings to be pronounced.​Deuteronomy 27:11, 12.

Deuteronomy 27:11-12 (NASB)

11" Moses also charged the people on that day, saying, 12 “When you cross the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin."


In chapter 25 of Numbers, many Israelite men engaged in illicit activities with Moabite women and worshipped their god. Zimri, a prince of Simeon, brought a Midianite woman to the Israelite camp for an affair. Because of the immorality and idolatry, a plague killed 24,000 of the Israelites, stopping when Phineas zealously killed Zimri and the Midianite woman.

Rashi comments on Num. 26:13 that the great drop in population of Simeon must mean that all of the 24,000 Israelites who had perished from the plague were from the tribe of Simeon. The implication is either that they were punished because of their prince, Zimri, or perhaps they were the men who were consorting with the Moabite women and worshiping their god. So the incident with Zimri could have been another factor in Moses not recognizing the tribe of Simeon in his farewell blessing.

  • 1
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    – agarza
    Jul 8, 2021 at 3:18

The Pulpit commentary observes for Deut 33:8

The blessing on Levi is also in the form of a prayer. In Jacob's blessing, Simeon is joined with Levi, but Moses passes him over altogether, probably because, as Jacob foretold, he was to be scattered among his brethren (Genesis 49:7), and so lose his tribal individuality. Simeon, however, is included in the general blessing pronounced on Israel; and as this tribe received a number of towns within the territory of Judah (Joshua 19:2-9), it was probably regarded as included in the blessing on that tribe.


The book of Joshua chapter 19 reveals that Simeon shares in Judah's inheritance. Moses did do a bit of land distribution before he died, so I'm sure he told Joshua to do that with Simeon/Judah's land inheritance.

Thus, when Moses gives the blessing to Judah in Deuteronomy 33, he's also including Simeon with them. Moses was so angry with the tribe of Simeon, that he didn't want to address them by name.

The population of the tribe of Simeon dwindled significantly if you compare the consensuses of Numbers 1 and Numbers 26. It's implied that a good portion of the tribe of Simeon was destroyed in plagues. A Simeonite caused a lot of trouble in the matter of Baal-Peor in Numbers 25 and that caused a huge plague. Fair to say that's a strong clue.

Simeon is also the one brother that's targeted by Joseph in Genesis. Joseph chooses him to hold in a prison cell out of all the other brothers. Simeon is trouble.

  • I always took Simeon being held in prison by joseph to be a prophecy related to the meaning of the name. Simeon means hearing or listening in Hebrew. Thus Simeon being placed into jail I thought was symbolic of a famine of the word of God which the famine in the land also symbolised. No "bread" and "water". When the bothers return with Benjamin (meaning son of the right hand" ) - Simeon is released symbolising the word of God being heard once again.
    – Marshall
    Nov 3, 2021 at 20:04
  • @marshall Simeon is the "second" son of Jacob. Second supposedly represents hell and/or conflict. The second day of creation is not called good by God. Isaac the second patriarch is also almost destroyed/sacrificed. Everyone (including the Biblical text itself) mistreats and neglects Isaac.
    – Taylor
    Nov 4, 2021 at 23:09
  • @marshall I do agree with your comment. Names do reflect a person's reality. I noticed that Saul's name is pretty close to "Sheol" - the Hebrew term for the underworld. And Saul does raise up Samuel's spirit from Sheol in order to talk to him.
    – Taylor
    Nov 4, 2021 at 23:11
  • @marshall The weird thing is that Simeon, out of all the other tribes, inherits Beersheba. Beersheba was a important location to both Abraham and Isaac. So, its odd that Beersheba did not go to Judah, Levi or Joseph. Beersheba is also somewhat claimed over by the Philistines, despite the oaths made with Abraham and Isaac. After the Philistines make Abraham swear an oath at Beersheba in Genesis 21, God then asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in Genesis 22. I do think the Philistines caused the near sacrifice of Isaac in a hidden way.
    – Taylor
    Nov 4, 2021 at 23:29

The Septuagint was created by the Ptolemies, maybe Ptolomy came from Simeon; maybe that's where all the incest came from. I believe that Ptolomy removed Simeon from the Septuagint. That must be it!

Jasher 45.2 makes it clear that Simeon transgressed Leviticus 18:9. The Ptolemies had to be the Tribes of Simeon. Ptolomy & Cleopatra had the sister & brother thing going on for a while. I'm afraid of The Hellenic Republic and their Democracy, The Justice that they created desecrates. Western Civilizations is polluted, American women stay away from me. I think the Ptolemies were inbred, & gay! What the Hellenic Republic created denatures society.

The Roman Republic came from Greek philosophy; Western culture came from Greek.

Ancient Greece is considered the birthplace of many elements of Western culture, including the development of a democratic system of government and major advances in philosophy, science, and mathematics.

Constantine used the Septuagint when he promoted the establishment of the New Testament.

Simon is the Father of the Christian Church.

Maybe the Ptolemies used the excerpt that is missing from Deuteronomy 33:1-9 to Hellenize everyone.


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