The name of the third son of Jacob by his wife Leah. 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. Levi, with his three sons, Gershon, Kohath, and Merari, went down to Egypt with his father, Jacob (Genesis 47:11). When Jacob’s 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).
Two of the ancestors of Jesus (Luke 3:24, 29)
Son of Alphaeus or Matthew, one of the apostles (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27, 29)
Smith's Bible Names Dictionary (1866).
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