1/29/2020 Genesis 34 - Dishonor and Betrayal
Genesis Chapter 34
Note: Since the close of the last chapter it appears to have been about ten years between the
time of meeting with Esau and Jacob. Now Dinah is a young woman. Scholars put her
age between 13 to 17 years of age.
Verse 01. And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the
daughters of the land.
Key Phrase: went out to see the daughters of the land; The land of Canaan, to visit them and
maybe make an acquaintance with them. She, having no sisters to converse with
at home, it might be a temptation to her to go abroad. The Targum of Jonathan,
mentions that she went to see the manners, customs, and fashions of the women
of that country, to learn them, to see their habit and dress, and how they
Verse 02. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he
took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
Key Phrase: And when Shechem the son of Hamor; From whom the city had its name, near
which Jacob and his family now were:
Key Phrase: the Hivite, prince of the country; Hamor was an Hivite, which was one of the
nations of the land of Canaan, and this man was the prince or a principal man of
that nation, as well as of Shechem. Josephus writings calls him a king.
Key Phrase: saw her; That is, Dinah, what a beautiful person she was, and was enamored with
Her. She is different than the Hivite young women of the area.
Key Phrase: he took her: By force, as the Targum of Jonathan states that is physically
Key Phrase: and lay with her, and defiled her; "humbled" or "afflicted her" had fornication
with her . It is a rule with the Jews, that every such act, which is done by force, is
called an humiliation and affliction to the person and the family.
Note: Even in this time period a male could be stoned to death for such an act. And if the
female consented she could be stoned to death also.
See Special Note: Last page of this handout.
Verse 03. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and
spake kindly unto the damsel.
Key Phrase: And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob,.... His inclination was to her,
she was always in his thoughts; it was not a mere lustful desire that was suddenly
raised, and soon over, but a constant and continued affection he bore to her.
Key Phrase: and he loved the damsel; sincerely and heartily:
Key Phrase: and spake kindly unto the damsel; Such things as tended to comfort her she
being sad and sorrowful. To soften her mind towards him, and take off the
resentment of it to him, because of the injury he had done her. To gain her good
will and affection, and her consent to marry him. Professing great love to her,
promising her great things, what worldly grandeur and honor she would be
advanced to, and how kindly he would behave towards her; which might take with
her, and incline her to yield to his motion, which having obtained, he took the
Verse 04. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
Key Phrase: And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor; And told him the whole affair, at
least what a strong affection he had for Dinah.
Key Phrase: saying, get me this damsel to wife; By which he meant not only that he would
give his consent that he might marry her, but that he would get her parents'
consent unto it and settle the matter with them. Which it appears that even
among Heathen nations the consent of parents on both sides was judged
necessary for marriage.
Note: It seems by this as if Dinah was now detained in the house of Hamor or Shechem, and
was in the home or near at hand when Shechem addressed his father about her. See
Verse 05. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his
cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
Key Phrase: And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; That is, that Shechem
had defiled her; the report of this was brought him very probably by one of the
maids which attended her to the city; for it was hardly to be thought that she
should go thither alone, and which must be very distressing to Jacob to hear of.
Key Phrase: and Jacob held his peace until they were come; He expressed no attitude, but
patiently bearing the rebuke and disrespect of Dinah and his family; nor taking any
steps in response until his sons were come home from the field; with whom he
chose to advise and whose assistance he would want, if necessary to use force to
get Dinah out of the hands of Shechem, or to avenge the injury done her.
Note: Jacob (now called Israel) was not blaming Leah for letting Dinah go out. Or not keeping
a proper watch over her. He did not say anything of it to any in the family. Not even to
express his displeasure at Shechem and not vowing revenge on him for it,
Verse 06. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
Note: The father of the offender goes to talk with the father of the daughter who has been
violated and disgraced. Hamor is hoping to reduce the stress between them and use his
position to influence the situation in favor of his son Shechem.
Verse 07. And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were
grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying
with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done.
Key Phrase: And the sons of Jacob came out of the field, when they heard it; Either by a
messenger Jacob sent to them, to acquaint them with it, or by some other hand.
be it as it will, as soon as they heard of the abuse of their sister. They
immediately left their flocks to the care of their servants, and came to their
Key Phrase: and the men were grieved and were very wroth; They were grieved for the sin
committed against God, as well as for the injury done to their sister. They were
wroth or extremely angry against Shechem the cause of it.
Key Phrase: because he had wrought folly in Israel, in lying with Jacob's daughter; All sin is
folly, being a transgression of the law of God founded in the highest wisdom and
particularly uncleanness and that branch of it. The act of deflowering a virgin by
force and non-consent. This action being committed on Jacob's daughter and
whose name was of Israel. It also is "against" Israel (Jacob) and to his grief and to
the reproach of him and his family.
Key Phrase: which thing ought not to be done; Being against the law of the land and of nature
to do such an action by force and violence. Also against the law of nations to
allow it to occur and not be without judgement because of a person’s status or
Verse 08. And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for
your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
Key Phrase: And Hamor communed with them; This means that he spoke not only with the
parents of Dinah but also all of her brothers that had come in from the fields.
Note: the word Hamor means "an ass" and Shechem "a shoulder".
Key Phrase: saying, the soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter; The only
daughter of the family as we know of. The term soul and longeth have a couple of
different meanings in Hebrew. The Hebrew word translated as "soul" is the word
nephesh ( Strong's #5315 ). Some of these translations include; the soul, spirit,
life, person, mind, heart, creature, body, dead, desire, man, appetite. The word
longeth in Hebrew (haw-sheh-KAW) means to cling, i.e., join, (figuratively) to love,
delight in; elliptically; to deliver in (Strong's Concordance: H2836)
Key Phrase: I pray you give her him to wife; Hamor not only requests the consent of the
parents of the Dinah, but of her brothers also, which in those times and countries
seems to have been usual to ask and have, see Genesis 24:50.
Note: The use of the word pray by Hamor, was to illicit familiarity and a sense of similar beliefs.
This from a pagan worshiper and not a true follower of God.
Verse 09. And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our
daughters unto you.
Key Phrase: And make ye marriages with us; There was no objection on their side it lay on the
other. Remember that Abraham's servant was charged by him not to take a wife
of the Canaanites to his son Isaac. The same charge was given Jacob by Isaac in
Genesis 24:3. Therefore Jacob would never agree that his children should marry
any of that nation. Marriages with them were afterwards forbidden by the law of
Moses, found in Deuteronomy 7:3.
Note: That Hamor and Sheckem believe that in time other daughters or the offspring of Jacob
could be married between them and Jacobs. This would have also included the
maidservants and bond women under his domain.
Verse 10. And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye
therein, and get you possessions therein.
Special Note: What is Hamor really stating here? This whole situation of insult has now
become a point of commerce not of forgiveness of a wrong done to them.
See the following:
Key Phrase: And ye shall dwell with us; Peaceably and quietly, not as sojourners only, but as
Key Phrase: and the land shall be before you; To choose what part of it they pleased to dwell
in, and which they should have in their own power and possession.
Key Phrase: dwell and trade you therein; In any sort of traffic and commerce the land would
admit of, and they should best choose. (cont.)
Key Phrase: and get you possessions therein; Buy houses and land, and enjoy them, they and
their posterity; these are the arguments used by Hamor to gain the consent of
Jacob and his family that his son might marry Dinah.
Verse 11. And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your
eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
Note: This is the first time we are informed for sure that the Shechem is present who
committed the disgraceful act.
Verse 12. Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto
me: but give me the damsel to wife.
Note: It must be acknowledged that the father and the son were disposed to make whatever amends they could for the grievous offence that had been committed. The fact that they requested Dinah as exchange was an insult to the family and reduced her to a procession or that she was less and could be bought.
Verse 13. And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and
said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
Note: Their conduct was unjustifiable in neither expressing regret nor restoring Dinah to her
family. As well as insulting in suggesting that they request a dowry from them what ever
they asked he would give. The fact that it is the father that presents the dowry for the
Key Phrase: And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor deceitfully; Proposing the
marriage of their sister on terms after mentioned in the next verse, when they
never intended it should ever be granted.
Key Phase: and said; Or spoke in this deceitful manner; this ties the two verses together.
Key Phrase: because he had defiled Dinah their sister; They were filled with indignation at
him, and fired up with resentment against him and vowed within themselves
revenge upon him.
Verse 14. And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is
uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
Key Phrase; we cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; Not that
there was any law against it at that time; and there were. (cont.)
Key Phrase: (cont.) on the other hand, precedents for it both in Isaac and Jacob, who had
married the daughters of uncircumcised persons. Nor do they plead any law, only
that it was not becoming their character or agreeably to their religion. It was not
honorable in their esteem.
Key Phrase: for that were a reproach unto us; They should be reflected upon for slighting the
institution of circumcision, which was of God. So they pretend it might be
interpreted, should they enter into an agreement with uncircumcised persons.
Note: Hypocrisy and deceit, in all cases vicious, are infinitely more so when accompanied with
a show of religion. Here the sons of Jacob, under the pretense of conscientious scruples
conceal a scheme of treachery and deceit far beyond the one but to many innocents.
Verse 15. But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you
Verse 16. Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us,
and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
Verse 17. But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our
daughter, and we will be gone.
Key Phrase: But if ye will not hearken to us to be circumcised; Will not agree to this condition
Key Phrase: then will we take our daughter; This should have been noted by Hamor and
Sheckem that this was a threat hidden in the context of hearing what they wanted.
The Targum of Jonathan adds by force in his historical account.
Key Phrase: and we will be gone: They are saying once they have Dinah they would depart
from this part of the country, and go elsewhere if not agreed upon.
Verse 18. And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
Verse 19. And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's
daughter: and he was more honorable than all the house of his father.
Key Phrase: And the young man deferred not to do the thing; Note again that in translation
the verb deferred in our language would did not put off or delay to be circumcised
himself, and to get all the males of the city circumcised;
Key Phrase: because he had delight in Jacob's daughter; He really loved her and delighted in
her person and company. Iit was not the effect of a brutish lust but a true
affection he bore to her, that he desired her in marriage. Even though he had
done such a disgraceful thing in taking her by force.
Key Phrase: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father; Though he had
done a terrible thing in defiling Jacob's daughter. Yet in this he was honorable,
that he sought to marry her. To do anything that was in his power to recompence
the injury; and he was honorable in keeping covenant and compact with men.
Note: Shechem and was honest, upright, and sincere, to fulfil the condition imposed on him
and agreed to. He was in greater esteem among the citizens than any of his father's
house, which made it the easier for him to get their consent to be circumcised.
Verse 20. And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed
with the men of their city, saying,
Key Phrase: And Hamor and Shechem his son went unto the gate of their city; Where courts<