Genesis
1-5 Dinah Raped 6-12 Request for the Prenup 13-19 The Condition 20-24 Discussion of the Condition 25-29 The Revenge of Simeon and Levi 30-31 Reaction of Jacob
Dinah Raped

1Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. 2When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. 3He was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her. 4So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this young girl for a wife.” 5Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; but his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob kept silent until they came in.

The place Jacob chose to live has a disastrous effect on his family. Dinah, the only girl among eleven brothers, wants to see and get to know some other girls. That cannot but be girls of the world. She seeks to socialize with “the daughters of the land”. But girls in the world are never without the attention of men. She attracts the attention of Shechem. He “saw her; he took her and lay with her by force”.

The fact that a worldly man like Shechem wants to marry a girl like Dinah from a believing family also says a lot about the girl. She will have adapted herself to the world, so Shechem sees her as one of them. Nor do we get the impression that Dinah has offered strong resistance. Dinah will not have agreed directly with what Shechem did to her. Shechem will have exerted a certain amount of coercion, but she did not have the resistance to say no.

We must give our children space to develop, but that does not mean giving them the freedom to satisfy their curiosity in visiting a worldly surrounding. What do we allow them to view on the television and on the internet? Where do we take them? To what do we allow their eyes and ears to get used to? How do we teach them to deal with the satisfaction of their needs? If we let them go free, we should not be surprised that our children are ‘raped’. Their bodies and/or minds are taken possession of by someone to whom we would never want to give our child.

Jacob is here again the absent father. He hears of the event, but there is no reaction from him to hear. For Shechem, rape is more than just an act. He loves Dinah and wants to marry her. That is in any case neat to him and in this he is an example for contemporary morality, which unfortunately is also found to be broad among Christians. Sexual intercourse gives an obligation (2Sam 13:14-1614However, he would not listen to her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her.15Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!”16But she said to him, “No, because this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done to me!” Yet he would not listen to her.).


Request for the Prenup

6Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. 7Now the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard [it]; and the men were grieved, and they were very angry because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done. 8But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter; please give her to him in marriage. 9Intermarry with us; give your daughters to us and take our daughters for yourselves. 10Thus you shall live with us, and the land shall be [open] before you; live and trade in it and acquire property in it.” 11Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “If I find favor in your sight, then I will give whatever you say to me. 12Ask me ever so much bridal payment and gift, and I will give according as you say to me; but give me the girl in marriage.”

Hamor makes his son’s request known to Jacob and his sons. Before he defends his son’s cause and can record the benefits of becoming brothers-in-law, we see the reaction of Jacob’s sons as they hear of the event. The sons are outraged. They rightly state: “Such a thing ought not to be done” (cf. 2Sam 13:1212But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful thing!). Unfortunately, however, the same must also be said about the way in which they deal with this. Their attitude is downright bad.

In this mind they hear Hamor. Hamor presents the benefits this will have for both families. More commitments will follow. He also offers them the land to settle there. He wants to give them whatever they want as a bridal payment and gift. In this way the land of Canaan becomes a gift from the enemy to Jacob and his descendants, and is not taken possession of as the land promised by God that He gives them.

The enemy is still acting in the same way today. He proposes all kinds of advantages to the believer to persuade him to enter into an unlawful connection with (someone of) the world.

The fact that nothing of this offer comes to pass is not due to the spiritual attitude of Jacob’s sons. God uses their evil mind here to destroy the foolish proposal of Hamor.


The Condition

13But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor with deceit, because he had defiled Dinah their sister. 14They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. 15Only on this [condition] will we consent to you: if you will become like us, in that every male of you be circumcised, 16then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live with you and become one people. 17But if you will not listen to us to be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and go.” 18Now their words seemed reasonable to Hamor and Shechem, Hamor’s son. 19The young man did not delay to do the thing, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was more respected than all the household of his father.

Not Jacob, but his sons respond to the request of Hamor. Here too Jakob is handing over the initiative. The sons reveal the nature of their father and speak “with deceit” in the proposal they then make. They propose that all the men in the city be circumcised. That is to say, all these men accept the outward sign that they belong to the descendants of Abraham.

They abuse something that should be of special significance to them, something given by God as a sign of His covenant with Abraham and his descendants. But what have they seen of it in the life of their father? What do our children see in our lives from the truths we have come to know?

What the brothers do is comparable to learning a Christian behavior in order to be integrated into a Christian community. It has happened that parents gave permission for the marriage of their daughter on condition that the man would visit the church or be baptized. A change in the heart has not been mentioned, nor has the emphasis been placed on it. As long as he adapts himself in his behavior. This lesson we can learn from what is happening here.


Discussion of the Condition

20So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, 21“These men are friendly with us; therefore let them live in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters in marriage, and give our daughters to them. 22Only on this [condition] will the men consent to us to live with us, to become one people: that every male among us be circumcised as they are circumcised. 23Will not their livestock and their property and all their animals be ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will live with us.” 24All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.

Hamor and Shechem go with the condition to their city and present it to the men of the city. They defend the condition by pointing out the benefits this will bring to the city. They also speak of Jacob’s sons as men who are “friendly” to them, men who have no evil in mind. The men of the city agree with the proposal and they all let themselves be circumcised. They act out of greed and not out of any desire for the God of Israel to live with Him.


The Revenge of Simeon and Levi

25Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came upon the city unawares, and killed every male. 26They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and went forth. 27Jacob’s sons came upon the slain and looted the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28They took their flocks and their herds and their donkeys, and that which was in the city and that which was in the field; 29and they captured and looted all their wealth and all their little ones and their wives, even all that [was] in the houses.

Circumcision is an extremely painful matter for adult men. Simeon and Levi take advantage of the defenselessness of the men of the city to take revenge for what has been done to their sister. After the deceit comes the violence. After completing their massacre, they go to Shechem’s house to pick up Dinah and take her back home. They also plunder the defeated and the city. Everything that they consider to have any value, they looted.

When Jacob lies on his deathbed, he gets back to it (Gen 49:5-75“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Their swords are implements of violence.
6“Let my soul not enter into their council;
Let not my glory be united with their assembly;
Because in their anger they slew men,
And in their self-will they lamed oxen.
7“Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
And their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will disperse them in Jacob,
And scatter them in Israel.
). The behavior of his sons is on the one hand Jacob’s fault. On the other hand, these men are fully responsible for what they do.


Reaction of Jacob

30Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me odious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and my men being few in number, they will gather together against me and attack me and I will be destroyed, I and my household.” 31But they said, “Should he treat our sister as a harlot?”

Jacob’s reproach has to do with being made “odious” himself. He is more concerned about what people will say than about the dishonor done to God.

Jacob has no answer to the brothers’ defense. It is bad when parents have to be reprimanded by children. According to the order of God, that should be the other way around.


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