Genesis 34 : First chopped, then sworded

July 4, 2023 ·

Jacob’s daughter Dinah is raped by Shechem, the son of Hamor, a Hivite. Shechem expresses his desire to marry Dinah, and Hamor proposes intermarriage between their families. However, Jacob’s sons, furious over Dinah’s assault, demand that the men of Shechem undergo circumcision before any further discussions take place. Agreeing to the terms, the men of Shechem undergo the procedure. Three days later, while still recovering and in pain, Levi and Simeon, two of Jacob’s sons, retaliate by killing all the men of Shechem’s city and seizing their possessions. This act angers Jacob, although Levi and Simeon remain deeply resentful over their sister’s violation.

Key verse:

30. Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.”

My thoughts:
Though Dinah should never have been raped, the revenge carried out by Jacob’s sons cannot be justified. They resorted to lying, deception, and murder.

According to Israel’s laws, intermarriage with neighboring nations was forbidden to maintain Israel’s purity before God. Occasionally, individuals could join the Hebrew nation if they fully adhered to the entire law, including circumcision. In this case, Levi and Simeon deceive the Hivites by pretending to agree to intermarriage, only to use it as a ruse to kill them.

The chapter does not explicitly provide a moral judgment on the actions of Levi and Simeon. It merely narrates the events, leaving us to evaluate their rightness or wrongness based on God’s character as revealed in other passages.

In category:Genesis
Next Post

Genesis 35 : Jacob's Travels

Summary: God instructs Jacob to return to Bethel, the place where God had appeared to him before, and to construct an altar there. Jacob gathers all his family members and asks them to give him their idols, which he then…
Previous Post

Genesis 33 : Jacob meets Esau

Summary: Esau's 400 men come and meet Jacob, who is humbling himself greatly. Esau asks, "Why did you send all these gifts?" Jacob explains that he sent them to gain Esau's favor, but Esau assures him that it was unnecessary,…
Random Post

Genesis 2: Garden of Eden

Summary: Day 7: God rested, made day holy.  Second creation account. God made man out of dust. God makes garden of Eden. Man in charge of whole garden, but cannot eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and…
Random Post

Exodus 25 : God gives Moses building plans

Summary: God instructs Moses to collect offerings from those who are willing to contribute. He then commands the construction of a sanctuary for Him. God details the sanctuary's construction, including an ark and a table made from acacia wood. The…
Random Post

Exodus 2 : Baby Moses Saved

Summary: Moses, the central figure of this chapter, is born to his mother who endeavors to conceal him from the Egyptians. After three months, she can no longer keep him hidden, and resorts to placing him in a basket on…
Random Post

Exodus 38 : Altars, courtyards, and Materials

Summary: The craftsmen constructed the altar of burnt offering and the courtyard exactly as God had described. They also crafted a bronze basin from mirrors donated by women. The total amount of gold used was approximately one metric ton. The…
From Dust to Glory is made by Ric Moseley