OceanSide church of Christ

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Genesis 34

Victor M. Eskew


I.           The Title of Genesis 34


A.   Dinah’s Defilement

1.     Dinah’s name is found six times in the chapter (Gen. 34:1, 3, 5, 13, 25, 26).

2.     The word “defiled” is used four times (Gen. 34:2, 15, 13, 27).

B.    Defilement, Deceit, and Death

C.   Rape and Retribution


II.         The Key Verse of Genesis 34:  Genesis 34:7


And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it:  and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter; which thing ought not to be done.


Why this verse?  This verse tells of the act of Shechem and the anger of Dinah’s brothers.  These two things will be the cause of the retribution that takes place at the end of the chapter.


III.       The Outline of Genesis 34


i.               THE DEFILEMENT (Gen. 34:1-2)

ii.              THE DESIRE (Gen. 34:3-4)

iii.            THE DELAY (Gen. 34:5)

iv.            THE DEAL (Gen. 34:6-12)

v.              THE DECEIT (Gen. 34:13-17)

vi.            THE DEFERRENCE (Gen. 34:18-24)

vii.           THE DESTRUCTION (Gen. 34:25-29)

viii.         THE DISCUSSION (Gen. 34:30-31)


IV.        The Lessons of Genesis 34


A.   When God’s children intermingle with those of the world there are dangers (Gen. 34:1).


And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.


B.    Morality is not high on the list of priorities of the worldly (Gen. 34:2).


And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.


C.   The text says that Shechem “defiled” Dinah.  Question:  Did he rape her?  Or, did he merely convince her to have sexual relations with her outside of marriage?

1.     Some of the words that define the term “defile” give us some insight:  to abuse, afflict, deal hardly with, force, humble, weaken, oppress, be bowed down, mishandle, to be humiliated.

2.     NOTE:  IF Shechem did not rape her viciously, he did defile her by having sex with her outside of the marriage bond (See Heb. 13:4).


Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled:  but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.


D.   It is possible for someone of the world to fall in love with a child of God (Gen. 34:3).


And his soul cleaved unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.


E.    Oftentimes customs are honored more than the will of God (Gen. 34:4).


And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Give me this damsel to wife.


1.     Shechem did not honor God’s law of having a sexual relationship only in marriage.

2.     He did honor the customs of the day by having his father seek Dinah’s hand in marriage for him.


F.     Situations that involve evil committed against us cannot always be confronted immediately (Gen. 34:5).


And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter:  now his sons were with the cattle in the field:  and Jacob held his peace until they were come.


G.   The world does not have any remorse for its sinful actions (Gen. 34:6).


And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.


1.     There is no sorrow or regret expressed.

2.     There are no apologies for the actions of his son.


H.   When evil strikes our homes, we are often confronted with mixed emotions (Gen. 34:7a).


And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it:  and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth…




I.     Wrought folly in Israel (Gen. 34:7)

1.     Folly

a.     Strong (5039):  foolishness, that is, (morally) wickedness; concretely a crime

b.    BDB:  senselessness, immorality, profane actions, disgrace

2.     NOTE:  the expression “in Israel”

a.     Morris:  “Their use of the generic name of Israel in this connection indicates that they must have had a substantial comprehension and recognition of the deeper values and implications of this event (511).

b.    The Canaanites were a cursed people (Gen. 9:25).  They were off limits to the people of God.  Not only had Dinah been defiled, but a crime had been committed against the nation itself.


J.    Morality and criminal behavior does not bother the worldly.  Hamor persists in asking for Dinah’s hand in marriage to his son (Gen. 34:8).


And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter:  I pray you give her him to wife.


K.   Those who are evil will always attempt to make their package enticing (Gen. 34:9-12).

1.     The two peoples could begin to intermarry.

2.     They could trade with one another.

3.     The dowry could be as large as Jacob’s brothers desired it to be.


L.    Anger often looks for revenge and uses deceit to accomplish its goals (Gen. 34:13).


And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said…


M.  Harsh terms are often accepted when love is involved.

1.     The sons of Jacob demanded that every man of Shechem’s city be circum-cised (Gen. 34:15-16).

2.     Hamor and Shechem accepted this term (Gen. 34:18).


And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s son.


N.   In some respect, Shechem was a respectable man.

1.     Yes, he did defile Dinah, but his law and his religion oftentimes condoned immoral actions.

2.     Two things are said of Shechem in Genesis 34:19.

a.     “And the young man deferred not to do the thing…”

b.    “…and he was more honorable than all the house of his father.”

1)     Strong (3515):  honorable

2)     BDB:  honorable

3)     Dictionary.com – upright, creditable



O.   Harsh terms are often accepted when individuals think financial prosperity is involved.

1.     Twice Shechem mentioned to the men of his city the gain that could come through trade with the Israelites (Gen. 34:21, 23).

2.     The men of the city complied with the terms of circumcision (Gen. 34:24).


And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.


P.    Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous (Gen. 34:25-29).

1.     Simon and Levi show us the truth of the above statement.

a.     All males were slain (gen. 34:25).

b.    Hamor and Shechem were slain (Gen. 34:26).

c.    All the flocks were taken (Gen. 34:28).

d.    All the wealth was taken (Gen. 34:29).

e.     Little ones and wives were taken captive (Gen. 34:29).

f.     “…and spoiled even all that was in the house” (gen. 34:29).

2.     A church sign once read:  “Anger is one letter short of danger.”

3.     Proverbs 27:3-4


A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fools’ wrath is heavier than them both.  Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?


Q.   Our actions performed in anger can have severe consequences (Gen. 34:30; See Gen. 49:5-7).


And Jacob said to Simon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me stink among the inhabi-tants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perrizites:  and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me:  and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.


R.    Anger will often seek to justify itself (Gen. 34:31).


And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with a harlot?