Friday, February 3, 2012

Genesis Bible Study notes- Chapter 34

Genesis 34

-Dinah, the daughter of Jacob by Leah, is raped (lay with her by force) by Shechem, prince of the land where they were living. He was the son of Hamor. Shechem loved Dinah, spoke tenderly to her, and desired to marry her.

-Jacob hears of the defilement and speaks with Hamor about the situation before telling his sons what had happened. When they come in from the field tending their livestock, the news grieved them deeply and brought them to intense anger. This thing that had been done was a disgraceful thing that should have never happened.

-But Hamor spoke with them to ask for an agreement to intermarry with each other’s people. The sons of Jacob answered deceitfully in this request by stating to them that the only way they would consent to this agreement would be for the son’s of Hamor to become circumcised as they were. This, in the words of Jacob’s sons, would make them one people.

-These words seemed reasonable to Hamor and Shechem so they had all their men get circumcised. Shechem did not delay in the matter at all because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter and had great influence over his region.

-So on the third day when all the men were circumcised and in pain, Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, came upon them with the sword and killed Hamor, Shechem, and every male of the city. They rescued their sister Dinah and looted the city because they had defiled their sister. They took the little ones and the wives of the men they’d killed and all that was in their houses.

-Jacob’s response was severe. He knew that this action would make him a stench in the nostrils of all who inhabited the land (Canaanites and Perizzites), and it would bring trouble on him and his household for destruction.

-But they replied, “Should he treat our sister as a harlot (Genesis 34:31)?”

-*Application* It certainly is a horrific crime to take a sexual partner by force. It has no place in any society and is a degradation to any human. With that said the sons of Jacob acted impetuously and deceitfully and committed great sin as well. There absolutely would have been a better way to handle the situation. First, they should have been up front with Hamor and Shechem and given them no chance of intermarrying with their people so long as they were Godless and out of His will and plan. God is His sovereignty could have grafted this people group into a right relationship with Him and Jacob’s family had there been repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation. I truly believe that. As it was there was much bloodshed and carnage and grief and anger. Second, Jacob was rightly troubled with the news of what his sons had done. He modeled Jesus’ exhortation to “turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39).” His wisdom was that retaliation only causes more harm and strife, and the cycle is bound to continue as long as that is the practice. We seek should seek peace with all men as far as it depends on us (Romans 12:18, Hebrews 12:14-15). Let the LORD fight the battles, vengeance is His (Romans 12:19).

Verse to memorize: Genesis 34:13

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