After Jacob’s family settled in the Canaanite city of Shechem, Leah’s daughter Dinah decided to explore the city. She went on her own into the city to meet other young women, but when Shechem, prince of the country, saw her, he fell in love with her. He brought her to the palace and had his way with her. He then asked his father to get her for his wife.
Hamor the father of Shechem came to speak to Jacob. He asked Jacob if he would give Dinah to Shechem to marry. He then offered to make their daughters available for his sons to marry.
“You shall dwell with us, and the land shall be open to you. Dwell and trade in it, and get property in it.” (Genesis 34:10 ESV)
Shechem spoke up and asked for their favor, offering to give them whatever they asked so that he might marry Dinah.
But Dinah’s brothers were grieved and angry because he had done a disgraceful thing to their sister. They told the father and son that in order for them to consent to the agreement, all the men of the land must be circumcised.
We’re told in Genesis 34:19 that they agreed because Shechem delighted in Dinah. We’re also told that he was more honorable than all the household of his father. Only Jacob’s sons tricked the men of the land. While the men were recovering, Simeon and Levi killed all the men including Hamor and Shechem. They took Dinah from the palace and plundered the city, taking captive all the women and children.
What Shechem did was wrong, but what the brothers did was worse. They knew what they were doing was evil. Though we’re tempted to revenge wrongs, we must always remember, two wrongs don’t make a right.
Read the story: Genesis 34
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