The Bible Vindicated! - 34

Jacob in his prophecy of what would happen to his descendants “in the last days” declared,

•   Simeon and Levi are brothers; instruments of cruelty are in their habitation. 6 Let not my soul enter their council [Note 1]; let not my honor be united to their assembly; for in their anger they slew a man [Note 2], and in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them [Note 3] in Israel” - Genesis 49:5-7.

 Note 1 - The administrative Council in the time of Jesus was the Sanhedrin, at Jerusalem, consisting of scribes, elders, prominent members of the high priestly families and the high priest, the president of the assembly.

The most important cases were brought before this tribunal, inasmuch as the Roman rulers of Judaea had left to it the power of trying such cases, and also of pronouncing sentence of death, with the limitation that a capital sentence pronounced by the Sanhedrin was not valid unless it was confirmed by the Roman procurator - J. Strong.

The entire council was called together in order to find a charge, whether true or not, that would find acceptance with the Roman governor to convict Jesus -

•   “Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death” - Matthew 26:59.

 Note 2 - In their fiery anger Simeon and Levi not only killed the man who had defiled their sister, but they massacred all the men in his city - see Genesis 34:25–29.

It was the deadly anger of the larcenous Judas which set in motion the arrest of Jesus. After Mary had anointed Jesus with the very costly spikenard, Judas complained that it was a great waste, but was rebuffed by Jesus - John 12:3-7.

Boiling over with anger, Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus, “And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver” - Matthew 26:14.

Although some of the members of the Sanhedrin such as Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and Gamaliel were exceptions, this council had become deadly enemies of Jesus -

•   “Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate” - Mark 15:1.

 Note 3 - After Israel, led by Joshua, conquered Canaan all the tribes were allocated territories except two of them -

•   “The inheritance of the people of Simeon formed part of the territory of the people of Judah. Because the portion of the people of Judah was too large for them, the people of Simeon obtained an inheritance in the midst of their inheritance” - Joshua 19:9.

•   “The Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting... it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance” - Numbers 18:23.