Easton's Bible Dictionary
(1) The third son of Jacob by Leah. The origin of the name is found in Leah's
words ( Genesis 29:34 ), "This time will my husband be joined [Heb. yillaveh]
unto me." He is mentioned as taking a prominent part in avenging his sister Dinah
( Genesis 34:25 - 31 ). He and his three sons went down with Jacob ( Genesis 46:11
) into Egypt, where he died at the age of one hundred and thirty-seven years (
Exodus 6:16 ).
(2) The father of Matthat, and son of Simeon, of the ancestors of Christ ( Luke
(3) Luke 3:24 .
(4) One of the apostles, the son of Alphaeus ( Mark 2:14 ; Luke 5:27 ,
5:29 ), called also Matthew ( Matthew 9:9 ).
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
associated with him
Smith's Bible Dictionary
(1) The name of the third son of Jacob by his wife Leah. (B.C. about 1753.) The
name, derived from lavah , "to adhere," gave utterance to the hope of the mother
that the affections of her husband, which had hitherto rested on the favored Rachel,
would at last be drawn to her: "This time will my husband be joined unto me, because
I have borne him three sons." ( Genesis 29:34 ) Levi, with his brother Simeon,
avenged with a cruel slaughter the outrage of their sister Dinah. [DINAH] Levi,
with his three sons, Gershon, Kohath and Merari, went down to Egypt with his father
Jacob. ( Genesis 47:11 ) When Jacobs death draws near, and the sons are gathered
round him, Levi and Simeon hear the old crime brought up again to receive its
sentence. They no less than Reuben, the incestuous firstborn, had forfeited the
privileges of their birthright. ( Genesis 49:5 - 7 ) [LEVITES]
(2) Two of the ancestors of Jesus. ( Luke 3:24 , 3:29 )
(3) Son of Alphaeus or Matthew; one of the apostles. ( Mark 2:14 ; Luke 5:27 ,
5:29 ) [See MATTHEW]
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(1) The third of Leah's sons born to Jacob in Paddan-aram (Genesis 29:34). In
this passage the name is connected with the verb lawah, "to adhere," or "be joined
to," Leah expressing assurance that with the birth of this third son, her husband
might be drawn closer to her in the bonds of conjugal affection. There is a play
upon the name in Numbers 18:2,4, where direction is given that the tribe of Levi
be "joined unto" Aaron in the ministries of the sanctuary. The etymology here
suggested is simple and reasonable. The grounds on which some modern scholars
reject it are purely conjectural. It is asserted, e.g., that the name is adjectival,
not nominal, describing one who attaches himself; and this is used to support
theory that the Levites were those who joined the Semitic people when they left
Egypt to return to Palestine, who therefore were probably Egyptians. Others think
it may be a gentilic form le'ah, "wild cow" (Wellhausen, Prolegomena, 146; Stade,
Stade, Geschichte des Volkes Israel, 152); and this is held to be the more probable,
as pointing to early totem worship!
Levi shared with Simeon the infamy incurred at Shechem by the treacherous slaughter
of the Shechemites (Genesis 34). Jacob's displeasure was expressed at the time
(Genesis 34:3), and the memory was still bitter to him in his last days (Genesis
49:5). The fate predicted for the descendants of Simeon and Levi (Genesis 49:7),
in the case of the latter on account of the tribe's stedfast loyalty in a period
of stern testing, was changed to a blessing (Exodus 32:26). In later literature
the action condemned by Jacob is mentioned with approval (Judith 9:2). Levi was
involved in his brothers' guilt with regard to Joseph (Genesis 37), and shared
their experiences in Egypt before Joseph made himself known (4348/A>; 4548/A>).
Three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, were born to him in Canaan, and went
down with the caravan to Egypt (Genesis 46:11). Nothing further is known of the
personal history of this patriarch. He died and found sepulture in Egypt. For
the tribal history and possessions, see PRIESTS AND LEVITES.
le'-vi (Lewi; Leui; Westcott and Hort, The New Testament
in Greek Leuei):
(2) (3) Two ancestors of Jesus in Luke's genealogy (Luke 3:24 , 29).
(4) The apostle Matthew.
apostle matthew, bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, define, levi, third son of jacob and leah