Planning the Twelve Tribes of Israel Prayer Garden has given me the opportunity to go beyond my previous, Sunday School-level understanding of Jacob’s sons.  I knew their names, their birth order, and their reputations, but I didn’t really grasp their significance.  The connection between each tribe and the different months of the Hebrew calendar has enriched my understanding of our biblical heritage.  It has also broadened my appreciation for the agricultural and seasonal nature of God’s relationship to His people.

In our garden, the first section you will enter through the main gate will be that of Simeon.  The second son of Jacob and Leah, Simeon means “to hearken, listen or understand.” But it can also mean “there is iniquity.”  Simeon was a man of war and prone to anger.  Simeon is connected to the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar, which is considered a month of destruction.  The ninth of Av has been, historically, a dark time in Israel’s history.  Even so, that darkness is ultimately overcome by the joy found in the fifteenth of the month.  This was the day when Israel found a place of repentance for its idolatry and God renewed His covenant with them.  In spite of his flaws, Simeon is listed in the Book of Revelation and has a place in the eternal city of Jerusalem.  Even a man of war and violence can–and did–find a place of repentance and forgiveness.

In the created world, few things symbolize repentance and change like the butterfly.  For that reason, Simeon’s section will be a butterfly garden focusing on native perennials such as butterfly weed, aster, lantana, liatris, penstemon, salvias, and daisies.  In addition to the crepe myrtles and vitex trees that are already in the space, we will plant almond trees and spring-blooming bulbs. Of course, every section of the garden will include some kind of seating and shade.

Below are images of Simeon’s section as it appears now from several perspectives.  I hope you can imagine what the space will one day look like!

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary Moline on March 15, 2011 at 2:15 am

    I’m enjoying watching this evolve! Was wondering how you determine where to place each tribe within this garden?


  2. Posted by Virginia Mary Zajesky on March 15, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I walk in the garden at night when the dew is there on the roses and He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I AM HIS OWN! When I saw the pictures this song came to me. Luv ya lots.


  3. Posted by Kathryn S Jordan on March 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I’m so excited about the square foot gardening prospects on the land in Corinth. Here is a video that we came across yesterday of a woman in NYC who is a “gardening coach”. Sounds like a great idea!
    See you on the land tomorrow with tools in hand.
    Abundant Blessings!


  4. Posted by Jeannie Williams on March 18, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I just love reading and looking at the pictures about the gardening that is going on in Beulah Acres in Corinth. Gardening is something I enjoy also and in recent years haven’t been able to do as much as I would have liked. Anyway, the tribe of Simeon really captured my interest because of my love for the butterfly, daisies, and crepe myrtles…..Thank you for this blog and the pictures. May the Lord bless you super abundantly!!!


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