1 Chronicles 4:28–33 (ESV)

28 They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual,

The list of cities in 1 Chronicles 4:28–33 is based on Joshua 19:1–9, though the language has changed from inheritance to settlement. But is also paralleled by Joshua 15:21–41 and Nehemiah 11:25–30. These cities are situated in the southern regions within a 32-kilometre radius of Beersheba.

At the end of this list of towns the Chronicler includes the following: These were their cities until David reigned (1 Chronicles 4:31). This points back to a period earlier than David. In fact, Joshua 19:2–7 refers to a time when Simeon was independent of Judah. The Chronicler evidently wished to stress that Simeon once had a tribal identity before it was absorbed into Judah. Some clans retained a separate identity until at least the late eighth century (i.e., the days of Hezekiah, 1 Chronicles 4:41).

Also, the expression, And they kept a genealogical record, is literally “and their genealogical registration was theirs.” The repetition of the pronoun their seems to indicate that the writer wants his readers to understand that Simeon once had his own official registration and was part of the whole of Israel.1 Their inclusion may indicate that a small number of Simeonites were still identifiable during the Chronicler’s time. The reference to Ziklag (1 Chronicles 4:30) reminds readers that the Simeonites could not effectively control this area until the king of Gath gave it to David (1 Samuel 27:6). The reference to Simeon’s territory being taken up by Judah may be the Chronicler’s attempt to show this as a fulfilment of Jacob’s blessing/curse in Genesis 49:7: I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.2 The Chronicler seems to be stressing that Simeon did not enjoy control over its own tribal lands, as the other tribes did.