|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:20-31 The Shechemites submitted to the sacred rite, only to serve a turn, to please their prince, and to enrich themselves, and it was just with God to bring punishment upon them. As nothing secures us better than true religion, so nothing exposes us more than religion only pretended to. But Simeon and Levi were most unrighteous. Those who act wickedly, under the pretext of religion, are the worst enemies of the truth, and harden the hearts of many to destruction. The crimes of others form no excuse for us. Alas! how one sin leads on to another, and, like flames of fire, spread desolation in every direction! Foolish pleasures lead to seduction; seduction produces wrath; wrath thirsts for revenge; the thirst of revenge has recourse to treachery; treachery issues in murder; and murder is followed by other lawless actions. Were we to trace the history of unlawful commerce between the sexes, we should find it, more than any other sin, ending in blood.
Verses 27-29. - The sons of Jacob - not all except Simeon and Levi (Delitzsch), nor Simeon and Levi alone (Kalisch, Inglis), but Simeon and Levi along with the others (Rosenmüller, Keil, Lange) - came upon the slain, - the absence of the ו conjunctive at the commencement of this verse, which partitionists account for by the hypothesis that vers. 27-29 are an interpolation, is explained by Keil as designed to express the subjective excitement and indignation of the historian at the revolting character of the crime he was narrating - and spoiled the city, because they (i.e. the inhabitants being regarded, on the well-known principle of the solidarity of nations, as involved in the crime of their ruler) had defiled their sister, and so exposed themselves to reprisals, in which they (i.e. the sons of Jacob) took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field, and all their wealth, and all their little ones, - taph, a collective noun for boys and girls, who are so called from their brisk and tripping motion (Gesenius) - and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house. The words describe a complete sacking of the city, in which every house was swept of its inmates and its valuables.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The sons of Jacob came upon the slain,.... That is, the rest of them, as the Targum of Jonathan paraphrases it; understanding what their two brothers had done, they came and joined them, and partook of stripping the slain of their clothes, or from them what they found of any worth about them:
and spoiled the city; plundered it of all its goods and substance, spoiled all the inhabitants of it of their wealth:
because they had defiled their sister; one of them had done it, which is imputed to them all, they not restraining him from it, when it was in their power; and perhaps approving of it, and made a laugh of and jest at it; or however did not punish him for it.
Genesis 34:27 Parallel Commentaries
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