|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:1-19 Young persons, especially females, are never so safe and well off as under the care of pious parents. Their own ignorance, and the flattery and artifices of designing, wicked people, who are ever laying snares for them, expose them to great danger. They are their own enemies if they desire to go abroad, especially alone, among strangers to true religion. Those parents are very wrong who do not hinder their children from needlessly exposing themselves to danger. Indulged children, like Dinah, often become a grief and shame to their families. Her pretence was, to see the daughters of the land, to see how they dressed, and how they danced, and what was fashionable among them; she went to see, yet that was not all, she went to be seen too. She went to get acquaintance with the Canaanites, and to learn their ways. See what came of Dinah's gadding. The beginning of sin is as the letting forth of water. How great a matter does a little fire kindle! We should carefully avoid all occasions of sin and approaches to it.
Verses 8-10. - And Hamor communed (literally, spake) with them (i.e. the whole family, or Jacob and his sons), saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for - the root (חָשַׁק) signifies to join together, intrans., to be joined together, hence to cleave to another in love (cf. Deuteronomy 7:7, 10, 15; Deuteronomy 21:11); of similar import to the word (דָּבַק) employed in ver. 3, which means to be devotedly attached to any one, as, e.g., to God (Deuteronomy 10:20), to a king (2 Samuel 20:2), to a wife (1 Kings 11:2) - your daughter. The words are addressed to Jacob's sons as well as Jacob himself, the brothers equally with the father being regarded as the natural guardians of a sister. I pray yon give her him to wife. The absence of any apology for Shechem's atrocious outrage against Dinah need not be regarded as indicating some measure of consent on the part of Dinah, but may be explained on the supposition that Hamor's proposal was considered by himself as a practical admission of his son's guilt. And make ye marriages with us, - literally, contract affinity with us by marriage, the verb chathan being spoken of the father-in-law (chothen), who makes the alliance (vide Furst, 'Lex.,' sub voce) - and give your daughters unto us, - from this it has been inferred that Jacob had other daughters besides Dinah, which is not improbable (Genesis 46:7), but the words may not imply more than that Humor thought he had - and take our daughters unto you. And (as an inducement to form this alliance) ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein - i.e. he offers them the privilege of unrestricted movement throughout his dominions, with the right of establishing settlements, carrying on trade, and acquiring property.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Hamor communed with them,.... With Jacob and his sons, who came in just at that time:
saying, the soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: the daughter of the family, and the only daughter in it; for her Shechem had a vehement affection, a strong desire to marry her, and could not be satisfied without her:
I pray you, give her him to wife; he not only requests the consent of the parents of the damsel, but of her brothers also, which in those times and countries seems to have been usual to ask and have, see Genesis 24:50.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8-10. Hamor communed with them—The prince and his son seem at first sight to have acted honestly, and our feelings are enlisted on their side. They betray no jealousy of the powerful shepherds; on the contrary, they show every desire to establish friendly intercourse. But their conduct was unjustifiable in neither expressing regret nor restoring Dinah to her family; and this great error was the true cause of the negotiations ending in so unhappy a manner.
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