Summary of Genesis 34:13-31:
Jacob’s sons propose the Shechemites be circumcised to have Dinah as Shechem’s wife. They agree, and they convince the townspeople to become circumcised as well with the idea that then everything Jacob owns (livestock and property) will be theirs. Two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, slaughter all of the men in the town when they are still recovering from circumcision and are weak. They kill Hamor and his son, Shechem. They take Dinah back, looted the city of its wealth, and took all of the women and children as plunder.
Jacob chastized his sons (not for killing, mind you), but for now making them a target for other groups of people who may be afraid of Jacob or who may enact revenge as well. The sons uphold that they could not let the crime against Dinah go unpunished.
BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31
6a) Their motivation was revenge, plain and simple.
b) Obviously, innocent people were killed, lives were ruined, families were destroyed. Simeon and Levi have lost credibility as leaders with this action. Their tribes will be scattered. In fact, Simeon’s tribe ceases to exist, being absorbed completely in Judah. Levi’s tribe is scattered as well, but because of their faithfulness with the golden calf (Exodus 32:26-28), they would be a blessing to all of Israel.
7a) Negative ways are with violence against others, most of whom are innocent, by looting, pillaging, setting buildings on fire, etc. Positive ways are finding ways to change so it doesn’t happen again.
b) God is the one who will enact revenge for evil deeds, not you. Instead, overcome evil with good. Love your enemy and feed them. Live at peace with the enemy, and do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.
c) You pray about it. You ask yourself if your actions are in accordance with what the Bible says. You ask yourself if you are responding out of love or hate. You find peace with your actions.
8 ) Listen to God and do what He says. Don’t enact your own revenge. Don’t let anger get the best of you. Do what is right.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31
Now, Jacob had impetus to do what God says and return to Bethel because now they can’t stay there. I also find it interesting that Levi does this. His line is the one chosen by God for the priesthood. Ironic, isn’t it? The sons has this all planned out. They weren’t going to let the marriage take place, so they tricked them into circumcision so they would be easier to kill. This I find to be the worst part.
End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 22, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31
There is a reason that circumcison is performed on babies: it’s infinitely easier to recover from when you are a baby than when you are an adult. The procedure is more complicated and the recovery time is much longer. The area may remain swollen afterwards for 2-3 weeks, and it can take up to six weeks for full recovery.
Jacob’s sons had this planned from the beginning. They used Dinah and God’s sacred sign of circumcision and defiled it to enact revenge and evil.
Obviously, wealth was the reason Shechem and Hamor agree, and they use wealth to convince the other men.
Circumcision is painful, especially in adulthood. Odds are, the men are all recovering in their homes, lying around, letting time do its thing, when they are attacked.
Simeon and Levi commit a worse crime than Shechem did. They kill all the men, plunder the city, and take the women and children. Pretty sure God is not happy right now.
Not Jacob is called Jacob here, not Israel. Jacob is only concerned with what will happen to him, not at all about what his sons did.
Tragic scene with no remorse shown for annihilated an entire culture. I wonder what Dinah thinks of all this? She was obviously used, and although the brothers use her reputation as a reason for all this, it’s obvious they don’t care about her feelings. Maybe she did like Shechem. Now he’s dead. She goes from being raped back to Shechem and now back to Jacob. Her life is pretty much ruined after all this. In these times, women were objects, and no one cared what they thought or how they were treated, as seen here. Although we see the women of the Bible as strong, they are still second to men, and sometimes, they are not seen at all, as Dinah is here.
FUN FACTS ABOUT DINAH
- Dinah is the only mentioned daughter of Jacob in the Bible
- She only appears 3 times in the Bible (when she was born (Genesis 30:21,), here, and in Jacob’s genealogy (Genesis 46:15).
- She never speaks in the Bible; her story is merely told
- This is the last time we see Dinah. She disappears after this
- Later in the Bible Deut 22:27-28, Exod 22:15; we’ll see that women had to marry the man who raped her