We will begin this lesson with chapter 34 verse 1
Genesis 34:1 “And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto
Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.”
Dinah had, probably, already been acquainted with these girls and
was most likely visiting with them.
Genesis 34:2 “And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite,
prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and
There are several things to notice about this relationship. Dinah
should not have ventured out on her own. She knew these people were
not living the type of holy life that was required of her people.
Dinah’s curiosity would cost her greatly.
The age of Dinah at this time was questionable. We may assume that
she was between thirteen and seventeen, because her nearness to age of
Joseph. Joseph was sold into captivity, when he was about seventeen.
Shechem was a prince, so he should have had more honor than to do
something like this. Especially to a guest in his country. Had he
thought at all, he should have realized that this would cause a great
rift between his people and Dinah’s people. Rape was punishable by
death in those days. If it occurred with the girl’s permission, they
were both stoned to death. The fact that he took her, indicated that
it was against her will.
Genesis 34:3 “And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of
Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.”
Genesis 34:4 “And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying,
Get me this damsel to wife.”
Here we see even though Shechem raped Dinah, he did love her and
wanted to marry her. This however, was no excuse for his act. He should
have used more self control and married her first. Shechem was selfish
and inconsiderate, and he would pay for his actions.
Genesis 34:5 “And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his
daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob
held his peace until they were come.”
Jacob was not provoked to go and take the law into his own hands,
even though he heard of the indiscretion toward Dinah. He would wait
and talk to her brothers, who were, also, children of Leah. They would
have a say in what action they would take against Shechem.
Genesis 34:6 “And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto
Jacob to commune with him.”
Hamor had gone to Jacob to try to keep down trouble, and to
purchase Dinah for Shechem. This was the custom in the land in those
days. The fathers of the bride and groom to be would strike a bargain,
and make the arrangements for the wedding.
Genesis 34:7 “And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when
they heard [it]: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth,
because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter;
which thing ought not to be done.”
These sons were grieved over what had happened to their sister.
They were, also, ashamed. Probably, their father had sent them word. This
was the first time Israel was used for the name of the family. These
Israelites were under obligation to God to live holy lives, because
they were the covenant people. This brought extra shame. This act, in
fact, was not just against Dinah, but Isreal’s family.
Genesis 34:8 “And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of
my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to
Genesis 34:9 “And make ye marriages with us, [and] give your
daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.”
Hamor did not apologize for the terrible thing his son had done.
He believed that the offer to marry her would be sufficient for the crime.
He even went so far as to offer his daughters in marriage to Jacob’s
sons. Hamor wanted inter-marriage between the two tribes, but God
said, do not be unequally yoked to those of unbelief.
Genesis 34:10 “And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be
before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions
Hamor was purposing a peace agreement where Isreal’s family would
live in the land of Hamor’s family. Peace is difficult when two
families, so different, try to live in a small area.
Genesis 34:11 “And Shechem said unto her father and unto her
brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto
me I will give.”
Genesis 34:12 “Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will
give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to
Shechem was in love with Dinah. He was telling Jacob and Dinah’s
brothers that anything they would ask, would not be too much to give
for the hand of Dinah in marriage. No amount of money, or property,
would be too much.
Genesis 34:13 “And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor
his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their
Genesis 34:14 “And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing,
to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that [were] a
reproach unto us:”
Genesis 34:15 “But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will
be as we [be], that every male of you be circumcised;”
These sons of Jacob, Dinah’s brothers, were driving a very hard
bargain with the men of Hamor’s family. This was an improper thing to
bargain with. The things of God were not to be taken so lightly, as to
use them to trade for marriage agreements.
Genesis 34:16 “Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we
will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we
will become one people.”
Genesis 34:17 “But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be
circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.”
This proposal was sinful. These sons of Jacob had no right to
offer heathen people the sign of God’s covenant. That was only God’s
to give. It seems, Dinah was still in Shechem’s house. She would,
probably, have to be taken by force.
Genesis 34:18 “And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s
Genesis 34:19 “And the young man deferred not to do the thing,
because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter: and he [was] more
honorable than all the house of his father.”
This was acceptable to Hamor and Shechem. To Shechem, because he
loved Dinah, but to Hamor because these Israelites were blessed of
God. Hamor thought this act would bring blessings of God to his
family, as well.
Genesis 34:20 “And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate
of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,”
Genesis 34:21 “These men [are] peaceable with us; therefore let
them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, [it
is] large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for
wives, and let us give them our daughters.”
Here, Hamor and Shechem were trying to convince the men of the city
that this would be advantageous to them, also.
Genesis 34:22 “Only herein will the men consent unto us for to
dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be
circumcised, as they [are] circumcised.”
Genesis 34:23 “[Shall] not their cattle and their substance and
every beast of theirs [be] ours? only let us consent unto them, and
they will dwell with us.”
Genesis 34:24 “And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened
all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was
circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.”
These people had the idea that all of Jacob’s wealth would be
shared by them, as well as being able to inter-marry. They were
persuaded by Hamor and Shechem that this was a good deal for all of
them, They all consented, and everyone of them were circumcised, old
Genesis 34:25 “And it came to pass on the third day, when they
were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s
brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and
slew all the males.”
These two sons, who were Leah’s sons and Dinah’s full brothers,
caught the men when they were incapacitated and went in and killed all
the men. It must have been a small town, and these two men caught them
one at a time away from the group and killed all of them. They were
taking vengeance for Shechem’s rape of their sister.
Genesis 34:26 “And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the
edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went
It seems Dinah had been held against her will in Shechem’s house.
Her brothers killed Shechem and his dad, and took Dinah home.
Genesis 34:27 “The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled
the city, because they had defiled their sister.”
Genesis 34:28 “They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their
asses, and that which [was] in the city, and that which [was] in the
Genesis 34:29 “And all their wealth, and all their little ones,
and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that [was] in
The sons of Jacob took everything and everyone that had belonged
to these men. They even spoiled their families. Jacob’s sons had lied
to these men about the treaty, and killed them, and taken all their
worldly possessions. They used the excuse of getting even, but that was
not God’s way.
Genesis 34:30 “And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have
troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land,
among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I [being] few in number,
they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I
shall be destroyed, I and my house.”
Jacob was displeased with the action of his sons. They had done
something that would anger God, by using circumcision to get revenge
on these men. They had, also, endangered their family, by provoking the
anger of the Perizzite and Canaanite neighbors. Jacob reminds them
that his family was few in number compared to the large groups in these
Genesis 34:31 “And they said, Should he deal with our sister as
with an harlot?”
The son’s answer was that they were protecting their sister’s good
name. Whether this was right or not, would be left up to God.