The book of
Last week we read of How Jacob and Esau finally came together with all of Jacob's fears being for nothing.
We also read at the end of chapter 33 of how Jacob had stopped in Shechem to live for a while instead of going all the way home where his father Isaac was. This week we will see what happens because Jacob had stopped here instead of going on.
Gen 34:1-7 1 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. 2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and violated her. 3 His soul was strongly attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young woman and spoke kindly to the young woman. 4 So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, "Get me this young woman as a wife." 5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter. Now his sons were with his livestock in the field; so Jacob held his peace until they came. 6 Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. 7 And the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved and very angry, because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, a thing which ought not to be done.
Remember Dinah? She was the only woman mentioned in Jacob's genealogy as we were reading about Jacob's 11 sons back in chapters 28-30. Dinah appears to be Leah's 7th child.
Gen 30:20-21 20 And Leah said, "God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will dwell with me, because I have borne him six sons." So she called his name Zebulun. 21 Afterward she bore a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
But this is really unknown since the girls are usually not mentioned in the genealogies.
So Dinah went to check out the other women of the land, and as she was going, Shechem noticed here and fell in lust with her. And out of that lust he raped Dinah.
"Wait a minute, what do you mean lust? The bible says that he loved her."
Yes this is true, but the meaning of the word love here is:
Basically this verb is equivalent to the English "to love" in the sense of having a strong emotional attachment to and desire either to possess or to be in the presence of the object. First, the word refers to the love a man has for a woman and a woman for a man. Such love is rooted in sexual desire; this word may refer to an erotic but legal love outside marriage. Such an emotion may be a desire to marry and care for the object of that love.
As we know there are different types of love mentioned in the bible, one is known as Agape love, which is an unselfish love, God's kind of love for us.
Another is called Phileo, which would be a brotherly type of love.
But I have to wonder if this was even a brotherly type of love. After all you wouldn't do something like this to one of your family members.
If Shechem had really loved Dinah, he would have waited until marriage to have sex with her.
Today we think of having sex before marriage as a part of life. One excuse is, "How do you know you will be compatible unless we find out before. After all it's better then getting a divorce because we find out we were not compatible after we got married."
Another excuse is "to take a test drive." A man or woman is not a car; you should not be out shopping for a spouse as you would a car.
"But everyone is doing it, come on were in the years 2001, get with the program. You are just an old timer who thinks of the old ways, get into the 2000's"
We have all heard our mothers say, "If everyone where to jump off a bridge would you do it to?"
There is wisdom in this statement. Just because the world says it's OK or it's the thing to do, doesn't make it OK. We are not to live our lives based on the way the world lives, but rather by what God's word says.
Romans 12:2 (NLT) Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."
Matt 5:18 (NLT) I assure you, until heaven and earth disappear, even the smallest detail of God's law will remain until its purpose is achieved.
By accepting the ways of the world then you are changing God's word to fit your lifestyle, regardless what God says in His word.
Deut 4:2 "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Prov 30:6 Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.
What's even worse is that appears that Shechem's father may have approved of this.
So Hamor goes out to meet with Jacob, and as he does, two of Jacob's sons are there with him. These two sons were Levi and Simeon also son's of Leah. As we read on you will see that it appears that these were the only son's there.
So why would Jacob hold this inside until his sons where with him.
Remember that Jacob was a timid man, not one to get angry easily or seek revenge, plus he may have wanted witnesses to what had happened.
Gen 34:8-12 8 But Hamor spoke with them, saying, "The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. 9 "And make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters to yourselves. 10 "So you shall dwell with us, and the land shall be before you. Dwell and trade in it, and acquire possessions for yourselves in it." 11 Then Shechem said to her father and her brothers, "Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give. 12 "Ask me ever so much dowry and gift, and I will give according to what you say to me; but give me the young woman as a wife."
Let's allow our children to enter in marriage together, by doing so it will prosper you even more. That's pretty much what Hamor was saying here.
Interesting thing is what Hamor's name means: he-ass; clay; dirt.
In other words he was a donkey, or dirt, scum.
By offering a dowry to Jacob and his son's he was trying to appease Jacob with a bribe. Once again it seems his father approved of this because he said nothing to stop his son or rebuke him.
Let's read their response to Shechem.
Gen 34:13-17 13 But the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father, and spoke deceitfully, because he had defiled Dinah their sister. 14 And they said to them, "We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a reproach to us. 15 "But on this condition we will consent to you: If you will become as we are, if every male of you is circumcised, 16 "then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to us; and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people. 17 "But if you will not heed us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and be gone."
Their response was for the men of the city to become circumcised just like they were, and their reasoning was that if you do then you will be like us then we will allow marriages between our daughters and your sons.
It's this statement here that makes me believe that Levi and Simeon were the only sons present. This would not have been an answer if the other sons were there, but Levi and Simeon had something up their sleeves.
Notice also that this was not Jacob's words but Levi's and Simeon's. Was he there? I'm sure he was, but he didn't say a word and allowed his sons to do all the talking.
Gen 34:18-24 18 And their words pleased Hamor and Shechem, Hamor's son. 19 So the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he delighted in Jacob's daughter. He was more honorable than all the household of his father. 20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came to the gate of their city, and spoke with the men of their city, saying: 21 "These men are at peace with us. Therefore let them dwell in the land and trade in it. For indeed the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters to us as wives, and let us give them our daughters. 22 "Only on this condition will the men consent to dwell with us, to be one people: if every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. 23 "Will not their livestock, their property, and every animal of theirs be ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will dwell with us." 24 And all who went out of the gate of his city heeded Hamor and Shechem his son; every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.
Shechem was more honorable then all of Hamor's household. I hate to see what the rest of the family was like.
Hamor and Shechem thought this was a great idea. It wouldn't cost them anything other then a small operation and pain for a short time. They were so excited about it that they went and told the other men of the city, and their selling point was that if they and their son's where also circumcised then they could marry their daughters, and by marrying them they could inherit their livestock, property and EVERY animal.
Sounds good, a little pain for a week or so, and in return you can have all that's Jacob's. At least that's what they thought.
Gen 34:25-29 25 Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword and came boldly upon the city and killed all the males. 26 And they killed Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem's house, and went out. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because their sister had been defiled. 28 They took their sheep, their oxen, and their donkeys, what was in the city and what was in the field, 29 and all their wealth. All their little ones and their wives they took captive; and they plundered even all that was in the houses.
All the guys who are reading this must be squirming in your seats. Think of the pain these men must have been in order for two men to go in a kill an entire city of men.
Why would they wait until the third day? Possibly to make sure all of the males were in pain and had been circumcised.
Hamor and Shechem had wanted to pay for Dinah, and they ended up paying, with their lives but also Levi and Simeon took all the possessions, and also their children and the women.
The result of this we will see in the next chapter.
So where was Jacob during all of this? Had he approved of it all? Let's read on and find out.
Gen 34:30-31 30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and since I am few in number, they will gather themselves together against me and kill me. I shall be destroyed, my household and I." 31 But they said, "Should he treat our sister like a harlot?"
The KJV says
Gen 34:30a (KJV) And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land,
It seems Jacob had allowed what Levi and Simeon said to Hamor and Shechem.
By not speaking up and defending his daughter, Jacob was going to allow his daughter to marry this man who had raped her. Not only that but by keeping silent Jacob was now allowing any of his daughters and granddaughters marry into this family.
One of the hardest things to do as a parent is to say no to your child when they have chosen someone to marry. We know if we do then there may be arguing and bitterness. Our children think that they know everything, but then we all felt like we knew everything when we were younger too.
I would encourage you to not tell your child no, but instead pray with them, just the two (or even better is both parents) of you together seeking the Lord and His will for this marriage. Then allow the Lord to tell them no if that is what God wants. Also ask the Lord to change your heart towards this young man or woman and to be obedient to God's will not your own or the will of your child.
Even if you do approve of the marriage, I would still encourage you to pray with your child before hand to be in God's will and not your or your child's will.
So Jacob confronts his son's and pretty much says, "what have you done boys, don't you know that I will now stink to the Canaanites and Perizzites."
They may have killed the men of Shechem, but there were surrounding cities, which would hear about this and come and destroy Jacob and his family to protect themselves.
And their answer to their father was: But they said, "Should he treat our sister like a harlot?"
That's where it stops, no answer recorded of what Jacob said at this point.
The obvious answer is no they shouldn't allow this to happen, but they became the judge, jury and executioner.
They decided that Shechem was at fault (which he was) but the sentence was not only on Shechem and his father Hamor, but also on every man in the city, innocent men who had nothing to do with it. Shouldn't they have brought these two men before the judges of the city and let them determine what should be done?
Or more important, shouldn't they had brought it before God and let Him deal with them?
Levi and Simeon were sons of Leah. No other sons of Jacob came to help, nor did Leah's other sons.
Jacob does deal with it, but years later as he gives the blessings to his son's before he dies.
Gen 49:5-7 (NLT) 5 "Simeon and Levi are two of a kind-- men of violence. 6 O my soul, stay away from them. May I never be a party to their wicked plans. For in their anger they murdered men, and they crippled oxen just for sport. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; cursed be their wrath, for it is cruel. Therefore, I will scatter their descendants throughout the nation of Israel.
But then how many times have we judged someone and condemned him or her to hell with our thoughts.
"How can he/she do something like that? And they call themselves Christians"
"They can't treat me like that. God will send them to hell for that."
"Damn that person for doing this"
All phrases we have used or thought about a person. We judge them, and sentence them to hell. But what does Jesus say about judging.
John 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."
Matt 7:1-5 1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
John 12:47-48 47 "And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
"Yea Steve, I know all of that, but you just don't know what he/she has done, or done to me."
That's true I don't know and I don't need to know, but God knows and that's what's important.
We are so quick to tell others the wrong that someone else has done and the result is now having others are angry with them. But then that's our purpose of telling others so we can justify our thoughts and ourselves and have others on our side. But is God on your side?
Matt 6:14-15 14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 "But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Jesus tell a parable that puts it all into perspective.
Matt 18:21-35 (NLT) 21 Then Peter came to him and asked, "Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?"
22 "No!" Jesus replied, "seventy times seven!
23 "For this reason, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn't pay, so the king ordered that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. 26 But the man fell down before the king and begged him, 'Oh, sir, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.' 27 Then the king was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
28 "But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29 His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. 'Be patient and I will pay it,' he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn't wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt could be paid in full.
31 "When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him what had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, 'You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn't you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?' 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny.
35 "That's what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters in your heart."
Pretty heavy, but then so is anger towards someone. With our anger we can hurt and even destroy others. But we seem to forget that we also are sinners and that God has forgiven us of so much more everyday.
What has God forgiven you of today?
What if God didn't forgive you?
Next week we will start chapter 35 which we will read of Jacob returning home before the death of his father and mother, Isaac and Rachel.
May God richly bless you in His love, grace and mercy!