1. One of the twelve patriarches, the son of Jacob and Leah, Genesis 29:33 Exodus 6:15. Some have thought he was more guilty than his brethren in the treatment of Joseph, Genesis 37:20 42:24 43:23; but he may have been detained as a hostage because he was one of the eldest sons. The tribes of Simeon and Levi were scattered and dispersed in Israel, in conformity with the prediction of Jacob, on account of their sacrilegious and piratical revenge of the outrage committed against Dinah their sister, Genesis 34:1-31 49:5. Levi had no compact lot or portion in the Holy Land; and Simeon received for his portion only a district dismembered from Judah, with some other lands the tribe overran in the mountains of Seir, and in the desert of Gedor, 1 Chronicles 4:24,39,42. The portion of Simeon was west and south or that of Judah, having the Philistines on the northwest and the desert on the south, Joshua 19:1-9.
The tribe was reduced in numbers while in the wilderness, from 59,300 to 24,000, Numbers 1:23 26:14; very probably on account of sharing in the licentious idolatry of Moab, with Zimri their prince, Numbers 25:1-18, or for other sins. They are little known in subsequent history. We find them faithful to David, 1 Chronicles 12:25, and afterwards to Asa, 2 Chronicles 15:9, and in general absorbed by Judah. Moses omits this tribe in his dying benedictions, Deuteronomy 33:1-29; but its place in Israel is restored by a covenant-keeping God, Ezekiel 48:24 Revelation 7:7.
2. A venerable saint at Jerusalem, full of the Holy Spirit, who was expecting the redemption of Israel, Luke 2:25-35. It had been revealed to him that he should not die before he had seen the Christ so long promised; and he therefore came into the temple, promoted by inspiration, just at the time when Joseph and Mary presented our Savior there, in obedience to the law. Simeon took the child in his arms, gave thanks to God, and blessed Joseph and Mary. We know nothing further concerning him.
3. Surnamed NIGER, or the Black, Acts 13:1, was among the prophets and teachers of the Christian church at Antioch. Some think he was Simon the Cyrenian; but there is no proof of this.
4. The apostle Peter is also called Simeon in Acts 15:14, but elsewhere Simon.