Genesis 34:1-31 “Dinah Defiled, part 3”

Posted on April 22, 2012. Filed under: Genesis: Answers to Life's Crucial Questions |

Sunday, April 15, 2012 Bryan E. Walker


Read Genesis 34:8-31






  1. I.                   Dinah Is Defiled, vss.1-4
    1. A.     Dinah Went Out To See the Canaanite Women, v.1
    2. B.     Shechem Rapes Dinah, v.2
    3. C.     Shechem Wants To Marry Dinah, vv.3-4
  2. II.                Responses To Dinah’s Defilement, vv.5-24
    1. A.     Jacob’s Inaction and Sons’ Reaction, vv. 5-7
    2. B.     Hamor and Shechem’s Proposal, vv.8-12
      1. 1.      My son longs for your daughter- v.8 how sweet and romantic. His son raped your daughter! See how the world seeks to cover-up its outrageous sins with romance and lies? He speaks like there was no rape at all! Waltke, p.464, “Significantly, they offer no apology.”
      2. 2.      Please give her to him to be his wife…Make marriages with us, vv. 8-9- here is one of the main themes in the patriarchal stories: a danger to the covenant! This is a danger we have seen before with Abraham and Sarah inEgypt and in Abimelech’s house and with Isaac and Rebekah again in Abimelech’s house. This theme is touched on by Abraham sending his servant back toHaran to get a wife for Isaac and it is seen in Rebekah’s rejection of Esau’s wives. Intermarriage is a danger for Moses’ people,Israel, and is forbidden, not on racial grounds, but on spiritual grounds. Marrying those outside the covenant pollutes the worship of God’s people.
      3. 3.      Give your daughters to us, v.9- this very likely indicates that Jacob had other daughters besides Dinah.
      4. 4.      Deut.7:1-6 “When the LORD your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites…the Canaanites…the Hivites…and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
      5. 5.      Joshua 23:11-13 Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God. For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the LORD your God has given you.”
      6. 6.      Ezra 9:14 “shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you consumed us…?”
      7. 7.      Amos 3:3 “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?”
      8. 8.      Lev.19:19 “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.”
      9. 9.      Deut.22:10-11 “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen missed together.”
      10. 10.  2Corinthians 6:14-16 “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God…”
      11. 11.  Apply- To marry unbelievers was clearly a problem for the patriarchs and Israel. As a pastor I saw the long term effects and short term chaos of believers marrying unbelievers. I had several older women in the church whose husbands were not believers or may have professed to be believers at one point but refused to come to church and pretty much lived like unbelievers. Those women carried a heavy burden, spiritually, decade after decade as they tried to raise their children (most of whom left the church too) and then serve in the church without their husbands. It was not a multi-generational church These were, for the most part, good Baptist girls who married in the 1930’s-50’s, but who married unbelievers. I saw a few whose husbands were subsequently saved and became active in the church. I saw some of their children and grandchildren marry unbelievers for all the wrong reasons and get divorced or drop out of church.
      12. 12.  Apply- a believer who is single has no business dating anyone who is not also a believer. Missionary dating is not recommended at all. Singles, what do you think about dating unbelievers? Parents, what do you think about your children dating non-believers? What about your child dating someone from another Christian denomination that is Very different?
      13. 13.  You shall dwell with us, and the land shall be open to you…trade in it and get property in it. V. 10 Here is the most extreme temptation that is seen by this family of the covenant. The Hivites are offering what God has already promised. This is a shortcut to the fulfillment of God’s promises. Give us your daughters and we will allow you to buy land, trade, get rich, etc. Here is the old serpent from Gen. 3 offering what God has already promised, but on different terms. We see this in the Temptation of Christ in Matt. 4 which Brother Dale preached on a couple of weeks ago. The devil wants us to disbelieve God, believe the devil, and worship him for just a bit here and now and he will give us what God promises in the long run. Quick and easy. Right! He is the father of lies, Jesus said, and we shall see that Hamor and Shechem have their own agenda as well.
      14. 14.  Apply- in today’s political and economic climate we are being asked to always vote according to our pocketbook. The media and the various political pundits have a heyday with the religious right during elections because of our social issues emphasis on things like being pro-life, pro-family, etc. We are told that those issues are divisive and will lose elections. Furthermore, we are told to leave our religious concerns out of the electoral process. Well I have a lot of religious concerns about this next election, especially if the Republicans choose a Mormon to run for the Presidency. I have studied Mormonism inside and out and I am here to tell you that Mormonism is fundamentally dishonest and idolatrous. The Church is always being asked to sacrifice principle for prosperity or to just, “get along” as we allow gays, muslims, and socialists to overrun our country. People think that if we just get the economy back online then everything will be ok. Folks, Amerika is desperately sick in its soul and while fixing the economy is very important it will take far more than a strong economy to heal this land. The Church has intermarried with the culture too much, and both the Church and the culture have suffered for it.
      15. 15.  Shechem also said…Let me find favor in your eyes and whatever you say to me I will give, v.11,12- it was customary for the groom to give a “bride price” to the bride’s family. Here, Shechem is basically saying, “Name your price!” However, the fact that he still has Dinah in his custody affects the whole negotiation (see vs.26).  Here’s what Jacob and his sons should have said, “Give us our daughter and sister back. Now!”
      16. 16.  Apply- while sometimes we may have to negotiate with evil, we should always strive to approach evil from a superior position where it is they who must compromise or surrender ground with us. A strong and robust Church helps build a strong and robust country. Here is an example from events in the past year that show how politics affects the gospel. When President Obama unilaterally committed US troops and military assets to help overthrow Khaddaffi in Libya and help the Al Qaeda and islamists in Libya he set in motion a whole chain of events that has led to our missionaries in Mali having to leave their field because the islamists in the north have staged a coup, overthrown the Mali government and now Christians are going to be persecuted. All of this was enabled by our government, and the gospel suffers. While we know that God is in control we also know that bad decisions on our part have effects that are going against God’s will and bringing suffering and trouble to many people.
    3. C.     A Deceitful Treaty Proposed, vv.13-17
      1. 1.      The sons of Jacob answered…deceitfully- v.13- the word is mirma meaning betrayal, deceit, treachery. Deceit in war with one’s enemies is one thing, but using deceit in a peace treaty is different. Mathews writes, p.601, “By characterizing their speech as deceptive, the author’s stand toward the sons of Jacob is certain. He condemns their tactics and their reaction.” Mathews believes that all the brothers are included in this deceit now, not just Simeon and Levi.
      2. 2.      because he had defiled their sister- their reason is stated again, thus ensuring that Hamor and Shechem are known to be in the wrong, and Jacob’s family is the wronged party.
      3. 3.      We cannot do this thing…v.14 They start off the negotiations by refusing the offer.
      4. 4.      to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised- their reason for refusal is that the Hivites are not circumcised, and they find that to be a disgrace.
      5. 5.      Only on this condition will we agree with you- that you will become…circumcised- v.15. Circumcision was the sign of the covenant which God had established with Abraham back in ch.17. A part of the covenant was that Abraham and his descendants were to be a blessing to all peoples, all nations. There has always been a missionary imperative with the covenant both in the Old Testament and New! But what Jacob’s sons are doing with this deceitful treaty with the Hivites, is using the covenant for their own selfish and vengeful purposes.
      6. 6.      Sailhamer writes, p.215, “In chapter 17 it was the rite of circumcision that was to be a sign…of the unity of the covenant people and their separation from the rest of the nations. Circumcision was not limited to Abraham’s descendants but was rather given as a sign of one’s joining in the hope of God’s promises to Abraham. It was, in fact, a sign given of the covenant promise that Abraham would become the father of ‘many nations’ (17:5). But in the way the sons of Jacob carried out the request that these Canaanites be circumcised, it offers a curious reversal of God’s intention. They offered circumcision as a means for the two families to become ‘one people’….The Canaanites were not joining the offspring of Abraham; rather, the descendants of Abraham were joining with the Canaanites….A thematic interplay between chapters 17 and 34 , then, lies behind the writer’s reason for including this narrative in the book….What is the overall purpose of the association between the two chapters? What point is the writer making? Again the solution lies in the way the present narrative fits into the larger thematic development within the Jacob narratives. Jacob and his family have continuously been characterized as those who attempt to carry out God’s intentions by means of their own plans and schemes. On the surface their plans work reasonably well, but they always involve cunning and deceit to be successful. The writer does not wish to suggest that in such plans God’s own plans are represented. On the contrary, Jacob’s plans and those of his family are always depicted as the plans of those who are far out ahead of God and his plans. But the ultimate purpose of these narratives is to show that in spite of the fact that such plans run counter to God’s own, they cannot thwart the eventual outworking of his intentions.”
      7. 7.      The preaching point for Moses to his people then would be to not trust in yourselves, but trust in God. This trust is exhibited by listening to God’s Word and obeying out of love for God. There is God’s way of fulfilling His covenant, and there are man’s feeble efforts that are fleshly and sinful.
      8. 8.      Apply- Do we ever try to do God’s Will our way? Do people ever use the church or church membership for their own ends? Do people ever join the church for business purposes? For political purposes? To make themselves look better in other’s eyes or to feel better about themselves? This is one of the things which is so deadly with the Health & Wealth Gospel preachers.
      9. 9.      But if you will not listen to us…we will take our daughter…vs.17- here they speak with great confidence and we find out that Hamor and Shechem still have Dinah in their house. This seems to be threat made with either confidence or bravado.
    4. D.    The Canaanites’ Deceitful Plan Exposed, vv. 18-24
      1. 1.      Their words pleased Hamor and Shechem- vs.18- they are persuaded by the deceitful sons of Jacob.
      2. 2.      because he delighted in Jacob’s daughter-vs.19- he was so consumed with romance and lust that he saw no danger.
      3. 3.      he was the most honored of all- Shechem was held in high esteem within his family and the city.
      4. 4.      the gate of the city-vs.20- we previously sawLot sitting in the gate ofSodom (19:1). To sit in the gate of the city implies power, prestige, and the right to rule or judge. Apparently in ancient cities there was a place by the main gate into the city where the “city council” sat to conduct their business, to see and be seen, to greet strangers, etc. It is a place for the elders but Shechem and his father go there to present the plan to the elders.
      5. 5.      these men are at peace with us- nowhere in this presentation to the town elders does Shechem or Hamor tell them about the rape and kidnapping or the implied threat from Jacob’s sons. They believe in peace and in getting what they want. They have their own agenda and their own plan that includes deceiving Jacob’s clan. Their ultimate goal is “to become one people” and “Will not their livestock, their property, and all their beasts be ours?” And that is the goal of all big government everywhere! Just as Jacob’s sons were being deceptive, so are Hamor and the Hivites.
      6. 6.      Apply- the world always wants “one world”, “multiculturalism”, etc. but underneath is the desire to take what is someone else’s and to become rich and powerful. God’s people must remain distinctive in the important ways of faith, worship, holiness. We cannot surrender these things to prosper in the world. The world will always seek to get the church to compromise, to give in just this once.
      7. 7.      And all…listened to Hamor…and every male was circumcised- Jacob’s clan must have been quite large and prosperous by this time for the whole town to be convinced to do this. The prospect of gain must have been significant for them to buy into Hamor and Shechem’s plan.
      8. 8.      Circumcised- this sign of the covenant was completely abused and emptied of all of its intended significance. They had no desire nor intent to adopt the worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is Civil Religion at its worst.
      9. 9.      In what ways has America adopted Christianity as its “Civil Religion”? Are there some good elements to a Civil Religion? What are the bad elements of a Civil Religion? How does Civil Religion harm the gospel, and how does it perhaps help the gospel?
      10. 10.  Possible Examples of Civil Religion- including “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and the motto, “In God We Trust”. Prayers at sporting events, graduations, etc. The Thanksgiving holiday, Christmas, Memorial Day, all can be described as being a part of Civil Religion.


  1. III.             Shechem Is Defiled, vv. 25-29
    1. A.     Simeon and Levi Strike with the Sword, vv.25-26
      1. 1.      when they were sore- vs.25- the pain from the crude operation would have made it very difficult for the men of Shechem to defend themselves.
      2. 2.      Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers- Dinah’s name is finally mentioned again (see v.5). She is the full sister of Simeon and Levi. It may appear that only Simeon and Levi struck with the sword but it seems more likely that they led the slaughter but had many other helpers, perhaps their hired men.
      3. 3.      This goes far beyond justice which would have punished Hamor and Shechem alone, and goes into “Holy War” by killing all the men of the city. In 49:5-7 Jacob’s “blessing” upon Simeon and Levi scatters them inIsrael. Levi became the tribe of priests and received only some designate cities, not a lot of land (Num.35; Josh.13:14). Simeon seems to have been gradually absorbed by the tribe ofJudah (Josh.19:1-9).
      4. 4.      Moses was teaching his people about war in Deut.20 and there states, vv.16-18 that they are to kill ALL the people of the land, the Hivites included. It is likely for this reason that there is no condemnation in Gen. 34 for Simeon and Levi other than the rebuke from Jacob, which itself is understated.
      5. 5.      and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and went away- this reverses the pattern in vss.1-2 of “Dinah went…Shechem took”. Also, it confirms that she had been held captive the entire time.
      6. 6.      Apply- when we hear the term “Holy War” we think of the muslims jihad of today, which concept clearly goes back to the days of Genesis. This kind of warfare was practiced in our day in the Bosnian/Serbian wars where muslims and Christians fought. Rape was a standard weapon of war. This technique is used in the tribal fighting in many African countries as well. In WW2 not many Japanese soldiers ever surrendered so the Pacific war was frequently fought to the last man, which explains why President Truman decided to use the atomic bomb. The projected Allied casualty rates were extremely high for an invasion ofJapan. Many think that Truman’s decision to use the Atom Bomb on the Japanese was racially motivated because he did not use it against the Germans. This argument is common today, however,Germany surrendered in May of 1945, before the bomb was ready, Modern Western war however, stresses, precision guided munitions, very restricted rules of engagement, and tries to avoid harming civilians. InIsrael, with all their fighting against the Palestinians, what the news media rarely shows is that whenever possible, the sick and wounded Palestinians flock to Israeli doctors and hospitals. In short, the West practices “just war theory” and “Limited war”, not “Holy War”. Even to our own hurt.
      7. 7.      Apply the Gospel- Have you ever been sharing the gospel with someone and they bring up the violence of the OT and say that God commanded Israel to go in and kill them all so I cannot believe in that kind of a God? The OT is very realistic, very earthy and bloody. It acknowledges that man is sinful. Given Gen. 3 and 4, what else do you expect? People expect God to snap his fingers and make the world return toParadise. They want God to eliminate all evil, except the evil which is in their own hearts. It is inconsistent to say on the one hand, “Why did God allow all the violence back then” and yet not want God to intervene and force YOU to stop your evil ways. Furthermore, given that God is holy, holy, holy, and man’s thoughts are only evil all the time, He is just in punishing us for our sins whether by warfare, plague, or a peaceful death in our sleep at a ripe old age. Yes, God uses nations to punish other nations. He usedIsrael to punish the Canaanites and he usedAssyria to punishIsrael. But for us today, these OT lessons are important because they do teach us the spiritual and practical truths that the GOSPEL must invade our hearts, one person at a time, and tear down our sinful walls, and completely consume us with his holy love. While we do not use the power of the state or the sword to convert people today, we use love, persuasion, and good deeds along with a clear presentation of the gospel, nonetheless, ultimately God will use compulsion by issuing the threat of eternal judgment in hell for those who reject his love. Therefore, DO NOT allow those who object to the OT violence to steal the chance to present the gospel. Their argument appears just on the surface, but underneath it is inconsistent and must be countered strongly. The same people who oppose the violence in the OT tend to ignore the present violence of muslims against women, Jews, Hindus, and Christians, and each other!
    2. B.     The Sons of Jacob Plunder Shechem, vv.27-29

1. The sons of Jacob-v27

  1. IV.              Responses To Shechem’s Defilement, vv. 30-31
    1. A.     Jacob’s Fear of Destruction, v. 30
    2. B.     Jacob’s Sons’ Indignation, v. 31



Boice, James Montgomery. Genesis: An Expositional Commentary, Volume 2, Genesis 12:1-36:43. Zondervan:Grand Rapids, MI. 1985 (pp.341-346).

Hamilton, Victor P. The Book of Genesis Chapters 18-50. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company:Grand Rapids, MI.1995 (pp.351-373).

Mathews, Kenneth A. The New American Commentary, Volume 1B, Genesis 11:27-50:26. Broadman & Holman Publishers:Nashville, TN. 2005. (pp.576-609).

Ross, Allen P. Creation & Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis. Baker Academic:Grand Rapids,MI 1998 (pp.568-576.)

Sailhamer, John H. “Genesis” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 2 (Genesis-Numbers). Zondervan:Grand Rapids,MI 1990 (pp.212-216).

Waltke, Bruce. Genesis: A Commentary, Zondervan:Grand Rapids, MI. 2001 (pp.458-469.)

Wenham, Gordon. Word Biblical Commentary vol.2 Genesis 16-50.Word Books:Dallas,TX. 1994 (pp.304-319).



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