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Murderous Deception — Genesis Chapter 34

This blog post will cover the devotionals #147, 148 for Genesis Chapter 34.

Please note that this devotional book is for sale as a physical (paperback) &/or digital (PDF) book on my website.

[147] Genesis 34:1-12

Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter (Leah’s child) was intrigued to meet the daughters of the land of Shechem—and became associated with the ungodly there. When Abraham had stayed there one hundred years before, it’d been a beautiful, lush land—but hidden in the beauty was a deep darkness. There were altars set up in the groves for sacrificing humans to false gods. This was a deeply heathen land, and by entering their limits to find some fun (where God wasn’t present), Dinah was walking into Satan’s territory, where she’d be exposed to temptation. Sure enough, she met Shechem himself, and he couldn’t resist her. They slept together—un-married and unequally yoked (he was a heathen and she was the daughter of the chosen people). This action was the cause of her defilement and shame, but he loved her dearly and treated her well. He begged his father, Hamor, to speak with Jacob and get his consent to marry Dinah. Jacob heard what’d happened but didn’t say anything right away. Hamor went to try and arrange the marriage with Jacob. Once Jacob's sons heard what happened, they were enraged and came to meet Hamor. He asked for Dinah’s hand for his son, and then went further to ask for all their children to be able to marry each other. He stated that their land would be available to them, where they could live, trade, and gain wealth. Shechem basically begged Jacob’s family and told them that he’d give them absolutely anything they wanted to have Dinah as his wife.

[148] Genesis 34:13-31

Following in the footsteps of their parents, Jacob’s sons decided to deceive the men, but it was an act of revenge for their sin with their sister. When asked to have their sister, and then to intermarry and live together in the land, Jacob’s sons claimed they couldn’t give their sister to an uncircumcised man and his people—but that they’d consent if all their men would become circumcised like Jacob’s family. They’d marry each other, live together, and become one nation. However, if they wouldn’t do it, Dinah’s family would retrieve her and leave. Hamor and Shechem were content with the arrangement, and Shechem didn’t delay to act because he loved Dinah. They proceeded to tell their men of the arrangement they’d made, and how it’d benefit them to agree to it as well, because they could share each other’s daughters in marriage, and basically own Jacob’s cattle and wealth. All the men of the city heeded Hamor’s suggestion and were circumcised. Thus, Jacob’s sons had the first part of their deception carried out against the people, but their treachery and deceit didn’t stop with that act—or that recipient. Three days after the men of Shechem had circumcised themselves, they were still sore and vulnerable—and Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, took advantage of the opportunity. They went and killed all the city’s men with swords, including Hamor and Shechem. They retrieved Dinah and left. They also came and looted all the fallen men (as well as all the homes of the city), justifying their actions with the sin of Shechem and Dinah. They took all their animals, belongings, riches, and even took their children and wives captive. When Jacob learned what happened, he was horrified at their vengeful actions. They didn’t consult with him about their intentions—but hid them carefully. Thus, not only did they deceive and murder the people, but also deceived their father. Though the murder that Jacob’s sons committed was provoked, it was still a terrible sin and it made Jacob’s heart sick. He told them: “You have troubled me by making me stink among the land’s inhabitants—the Canaanites and Perizzites: and because I have such few men, they will gather together and kill me; and I will be destroyed with my house.” Roughly fifty years later, as he was dying in Egypt, he revealed the depth of his sorrow, disgust, and hatred for their actions that day (Genesis 49:5,7). “Simeon and Levi are brothers; instruments of cruelty are in their homes…let their anger be cursed, because it was fierce; and their wrath, because it was cruel.” His sons were not fazed by his response, but justified themselves by saying, “Should we allow him to get away with treating our sister like a harlot?” Jacob’s daughter’s rash actions led to terrible results of violence and bloodshed.

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