The backdrop of Simeon's story:
Verses 21-24 – On the 8th day, Jewish parents must circumcise a baby boy (Genesis 17:12).
Every 1st son belonged to the Lord. The parents had to pay money to the Lord for the 1st son when he was a month old. This was to buy back the boy. The fee was 5 shekels (Numbers 18:15-16)
In Jewish law, a woman became unclean on the birth of her child because of the blood. The mother was unclean for 40 days after the birth of the baby was a boy (Leviticus 12:4). To be unclean meant that the woman could not go to the temple.
At the end of this period, a sacrifice to the Lord was needed. This sacrifice was a lamb, with a dove or pigeon. If she could not afford a lamb, she would bring two doves or two young pigeons (Leviticus 12:6-8).
Profile of Simeon:
· Lives in Jerusalem (political/religious epicenter)
· Name means “God has heard” (heard Simeon’s prayers?)
· Righteous and devout (obedience to the Word)
· Waits for the Consolation of Israel (ref. from Isaiah 40-66)
· Filled with the Holy Spirit