Genesis 34, Dinah

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Jul 7, 2002.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    If there was EVER a good example of what not training your children in the ways of the Lord is, this story is it.

    Dinah was social. She was unchaperoned. She ended up getting intimate outside of marriage with one of the fellows in the town they were encamped near. It is to the young fellow's credit that he wanted to marry her, but certainly not to his credit that he violated her before marriage.

    Jacob hears about it but maintains until his sons get home. His sons go ballistic.

    Hamor, the young man's father, wants to establish a permanent bond between Jacob's family and the folks in Shechem which involves numerous intermarriages. This would have effectively absorbed the family into the Canaanites (which was a threat the Israelites would always face).

    Keep in mind that it was this young man's father that Jacob had bought his land from! The young man is named Shechem, and it might be presumed that he is thus from the ruling family of the city. The young man, Shechem, then declares he is willing to pay whatever bride price is demanded for Dinah.

    Keep in mind that in in the eyes of the Shechemites and other pagans, this was an entirely honorable gesture, done in honesty and good faith.

    Jacob's sons, however, are not the heroes here. They are conniving and deceitful. They promise to intermarry with the Shechemites if the males are circumcised; otherwise they will simply take their sister and go.

    Hamor and Shechem point out to the other ruling men of the city that the wealth of Jacob will be theirs for the price of circumcision. This, then does show an ulterior motive behind the idea of multiple intermarriages. The men of the city agree and their greed, to put it bluntly, gets them killed.

    What is interesting is that when two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, attack the men who are still in pain, Dinah is already in Shechem's house. Why did they allow that?

    The rest of Jacob's sons then loot the city, taking the women and children captives.

    Jacob confronts his sons, not for their offense against God, but for making their family a 'stench' to the other peoples of the land. He says to them, "We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed."

    The sons reply, "Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?"

    In other words, when viewed from a purely worldly perspective, they are between a rock and a hard place logically and situationally.

    But no one asked God what to do. Nor had Jacob raised his daughter to know when to say no! He had not raised his sons to honor the Lord with their lives.

    No one, including Jacob, referenced God at any time that we can tell during this incident. Jacob had moved his family near pagans, lying to his brother about his destination. He had allowed his daughter to be social with these people and the inevitable had happened -- she and a young man fell in love. And the problems escalated from there.

    We read over and over in the Bible that children are to be brought up in the fear and knowledge of the Lord. That doesn't guarantee their lives, but it certainly helps solidify the family in a better way than worldly wisdom ever could! And it does establish God's protection of the home as well, as He honors those who honor Him:

    Psalm 34

    I will extol the Lord at all times;
    his praise will always be on my lips.
    My soul will boast in the Lord;
    let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
    Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

    I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
    he delivered me from all my fears.
    Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
    This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    he saved him out of all his troubles.
    The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
    and he delivers them.

    Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
    Fear the Lord, you his saints,
    for those who fear him lack nothing.
    The lions may grow weak and hungry,
    but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

    Come, my children, listen to me;
    I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
    Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
    keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.
    Turn from evil and do good;
    seek peace and pursue it.

    The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
    the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

    The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    A righteous man may have many toubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
    he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

    Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
    The Lord redeems his servants;
    no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.
     
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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