Bible Study Lesson from Genesis 34:1-31
The story of Dinah and the Shechemites is one of the most savage parts of the Scripture.
It shows that revenge is a dangerous game, as Jacob’s sons would learn in this study lesson from Genesis.
The story unfolds as Dinah is raped by Shechem and the brothers vow to take hostile action.
Although it’s wrong to go against the law, it is also wrong to take the law in one’s own hands as happens here.
Jacob’s Sons & Dinah and the Shechemites
Rape, Deceit, Revenge and Results
Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land.
When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force.
He was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her.
So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this young girl for a wife.”
Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; but his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob kept silent until they came in.
Then Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him.
Now the sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it; and the men were grieved, and they were very angry because he had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done. – Genesis 34:1-7 NASB
Punishment of Shechem
The act of rape shown here is just as horrific as it is today, and we have strict laws governing the crime.
For the Israelites, the punishment for defiling women was harsh. And it’s true that Shechem had to be punished.
Did Jacob’s Sons Go too Far?
Now it came about on the third day, when they were in pain, that two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword and came upon the city unawares, and killed every male.
They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and went forth.
Jacob’s sons came upon the slain and looted the city, because they had defiled their sister. – Genesis 34:25-27 NASB
What about Simeon and Levi?
Did they go too far for what they called “justice”?
Of course they did.
Dinah was raped and, even though Shechem saw it as love, he did a hideous thing and acted upon his lust.
To compound the issue, the sons of Jacob killed every man in the town, stole everything they could carry and left the city in ruins.
Which Sin is Greater?
In reality, Simoen and Levi managed to turn one tragedy into two. Rape is certainly an horrendous sin but so is murder and theft.
The brothers were totally in the wrong for becoming the “jury and judge” over people; especially those innocents who had absolutely nothing to do with the crime.
It’s easy to give in to anger and act on the spur of the moment but the “count to ten” rule is a good starting point.
When we give in to feelings of injustice and anger, someone is going to get hurt!
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”0849944287″ locale=”US” src=”http://www.makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/51uqdJ94bWL.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”96″]Basic points to take away from Dinah and the Shechemites is, when someone wrongs us or our families, and we are tempted to make a vigilante decision, let’s first pray for guidance and leave the vengeance to God.
He will know what to do.
Love in Christ
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