In Genesis 34…This whole situation is a mess. Amplified version says that Dinah, Leah’s daughter, went out unescorted to visit other pagan girls from another tribe….first mistake…why is she wanting to befriend pagan girls from a neighboring kingdom…why going unescorted leaving her more vulnerable? What was she thinking?
Dinah gets kidnapped and raped by the prince/sheik of the neighboring kingdom tribe. He speaks romantic words to her according to her young heart’s desire. I find it interesting that in verse 26, she is still living in Prince Shechem’s house with him.
Jacob finds out about the rape, but decides to NOT tell his sons until they get back in from the fields. Why? Could it be due to fear of their reaction or maybe to keep the door open for manipulation? That seems to be Jacob’s nature. Shechem’s father meets Jacob in private about the matter.
Jacob’s sons hear about the rape while out in the fields and come in angry because it is a disgrace to Israel. My Bible note says they used the word Israel because their family tribe is beginning to be recognized as the nation of Israel. This sounds like they are more offended politically than in concern for their sister….it is possible.
Shechem and his father, the King. go to Jacob and his sons to propose marriage and a very large bridal payment and gift. They also propose that both nations live as allies in the land, allowing intermarriage of their two tribes.
Jacob’s sons come up with a deceitful plan, keeping it secret from Jacob. They say they can only be allies if all the men of Hamar’s and Shechem’s kingdom agree to circumcision covenant. So, Hamar and Shechem go to the men in their kingdom to entice, convince, and manipulate them to agree to circumcision, saying it will win an ally who can offer them wives, cattle, and possessions to be won. The men take the bait and all are circumcised…and in great pain.
So, it only takes tow of Dinah’s full brothers, Simeon and Levi, to go freely into the city and kill all the men. The rest of the brothers follow behind them to plunder and enslave the women and children.
Jacob reacts in fear. What have you done? Now every tribe in the area will be after us and never trust our peace covenants. I will be destroyed…I and my household! Their defense reply…”Should he be permitted to treat our sister as a prostitute?” It sounds righteous, but is a half truth. Shechem’s intention was for covenant marriage, not make her a prostitute. That is why they made covenant agreement and were circumcised. Jacob’s sons lied and broke covenant.
Plus, God had instructed that if a “stranger” wanted to join them as one of God’s people, they should circumcise them and accept them. Jacob’s sons were having no regard of God’s covenant of circumcision as a sign of being set apart unto Him. Instead of using it to bring people to God, they used it as a weapon!
Where do you think Jacob’s sons learned deceit and manipulation for gain, and the character of pride and self sufficiency (humanism)…while using religion to their advantage? Generation to generation things are sliding down a slippery slope away from God. We should learn some lessons here.