April 18 (Year One)
34 Dinah was the daughter Leah had by Jacob. Dinah went out to visit the women of the land. Hamor, the Hivite, was the ruler of that area. When his son Shechem saw Dinah, he took her and raped her. Then he longed for Jacob’s daughter Dinah. He fell in love with her and spoke tenderly to her. Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me that young woman. I want her to be my wife.”
Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been raped. His sons were in the fields with his livestock. So he did nothing about it until they came home.
Then Shechem’s father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields. They came as soon as they heard what had happened. They were shocked and very angry. Shechem had done a very terrible thing. He had forced Jacob’s daughter to have sex with him. He had done something that should never be done in Israel.
But Hamor said to Jacob and his sons, “My son Shechem wants your daughter. Please give her to him to be his wife. Let your people and ours get married to each other. Give us your daughters as our wives. You can have our daughters as your wives. You can live among us. Here is the land. Live in it. Trade in it. Buy property in it.”
Then Shechem spoke to Dinah’s father and brothers. He said, “I want to please you. I’ll give you anything you ask for. Make the price for the bride as high as you want to. I’ll pay you whatever you ask. Just give me the young woman. I want to marry her.”
Their sister Dinah had been raped. So Jacob’s sons lied to Shechem and his father Hamor. They said to them, “We can’t do it. We can’t give our sister to a man who isn’t circumcised. That would bring shame on us. We’ll agree, but only on one condition. You will have to become like us. You will have to circumcise all your males. Then we’ll give you our daughters as your wives. And we’ll take your daughters as our wives. We’ll live among you and become one big family with you. But if you won’t agree to be circumcised, then we’ll take our sister and go.”
Their offer seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. The young man was the most honored of all his father’s family. He didn’t lose any time in doing what Dinah’s father and brothers had said, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Hamor and his son Shechem went to the city gate. They spoke to the other men there. “These men are friendly toward us,” they said. “Let them live in our land. Let them trade in it. The land has plenty of room for them. We can marry their daughters. And they can marry ours. But they will agree to live with us as one big family only on one condition. All our males must be circumcised, just as they are. Won’t their livestock and their property belong to us? Won’t all their animals become ours? So let’s say yes to them. Then they’ll live among us.”
All the men who went out through the city gate agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem. So every male in the city was circumcised.
Three days later, all of them were still in pain. Then Simeon and Levi took their swords. They were Jacob’s sons and Dinah’s brothers. They attacked the city when the people didn’t expect it. They killed every male. They also used their swords to kill Hamor and his son Shechem. Then they took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left. Jacob’s other sons found the dead bodies. They robbed the city where their sister had been raped. They took the flocks and herds and donkeys. They took everything in the city and in the fields. They carried everything away. And they took all the women and children. They took away everything in the houses.
Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me. Now I’m like a very bad smell to the Canaanites and Perizzites who live in this land. There aren’t many of us. They may join together against me and attack me. Then I and my family will be destroyed.”
But they replied, “Should Shechem have treated our sister like a prostitute?”
35 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and live there. Build an altar there to honor me. That’s where I appeared to you when you were running away from your brother Esau.”
So Jacob spoke to his family and to everyone with him. He said, “Get rid of the statues of false gods you have with you. Make yourselves pure by washing and changing your clothes. Come, let’s go up to Bethel. There I’ll build an altar to honor God. He answered me when I was in trouble. He’s been with me everywhere I’ve gone.” So they gave Jacob all the statues of false gods they had. They also gave him their earrings. Jacob buried those things under the oak tree at Shechem. Then Jacob and everyone with him started out. The terror of God fell on the towns all around them. So no one chased them.
Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz. Luz is also called Bethel. It’s in the land of Canaan. Jacob built an altar at Luz. He named the place El Bethel. There God made himself known to Jacob when he was running away from his brother.
Rebekah’s attendant Deborah died. They buried her body under the oak tree outside Bethel. So it was called Allon Bakuth.
After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again. And God blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob. But you will not be called Jacob anymore. Your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel.
God said to him, “I am the Mighty God. Have children so that there will be many of you. You will become the father of a nation and a community of nations. Your later family will include kings. I am giving you the land I gave to Abraham and Isaac. I will also give it to your children after you.” Then God left him at the place where he had talked with him.
Jacob set up a sacred stone at the place where God had talked with him. He poured out a drink offering on it. He also poured olive oil on it. Jacob named the place Bethel. That’s where God had talked with him.
They moved on from Bethel. Ephrath wasn’t very far away when Rachel began to have a baby. She was having a very hard time of it. The woman who helped her saw that she was having problems. So she said to Rachel, “Don’t be afraid. You have another son.” But Rachel was dying. As she took her last breath, she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.
So Rachel died. She was buried beside the road to Ephrath. Ephrath was also called Bethlehem. Jacob set up a stone marker over her tomb. To this day, the stone marks the place where Rachel was buried.
Israel moved on again. He set up his tent beyond Migdal Eder. While Israel was living in that area, Reuben went in and slept with Bilhah. She was the concubine of Reuben’s father. And Israel heard about it.
Here are the 12 sons Jacob had.
Leah was the mother of
Reuben, Jacob’s oldest son.
Her other sons were Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun.
The sons of Rachel were
Joseph and Benjamin.
The sons of Rachel’s female servant Bilhah were
Dan and Naphtali.
The sons of Leah’s female servant Zilpah were
Gad and Asher.
These were Jacob’s sons. They were born in Paddan Aram.
Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre. Mamre is near Kiriath Arba, where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. The place is also called Hebron. Isaac lived 180 years. Then he took his last breath and died. He was very old when he joined the members of his family who had already died. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Thomas - April 19, 2022 at 5:20 pm
Chapters 34-35 is a good example of a Descriptive passage as opposed to a Prescriptive one. We are told what Dinah’s brothers and Shechem did. No where is it implied that their actions conformed to God’s will or should be emulated. In fact, the implication is that God was not pleased because Jacob again had to leave to avoid a problem of his own creation. Some could read this as divine retribution but I I believe it is more an example of man pursuing his own desires regardless of what God.
Rachael named the baby Ben-Oni meaning “son of my sorrow.” However, Jacob changed the name of the boy to Benjamin meaning “son of my right hand.” Matthew Henry explains:
But Jacob, because he would not renew the sorrowful remembrance of the mother’s death every time he called his son by his name, changed his name, and called him Benjamin, the son of my right hand; that is, “very dear to me, set on my right hand for a blessing, the support of my age, like the staff in my right hand.”