Genesis 34:26
And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
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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.Simon and Levi, at the head no doubt of all their father's men, now fall upon the Shekemites, when feverish with the circumcision, and put them to the sword. Simon and Levi were the sons of Leah, and therefore, full brothers of Dinah. If Dinah was of the same year as Joseph, they would be respectively seven and six years older than she was. If she was in her thirteenth year, they would therefore, be respectively in their twentieth and nineteenth years, and therefore, suited by age and passion for such an enterprise. All the sons of Jacob joined in the sacking of the city. They seized all their cattle and goods, and made captives of their wives and little ones. Jacob is greatly distressed by this outrage, which is equally contrary to his policy and his humanity. He sets before his sons, in this expostulation, the danger attendant upon such a proceeding. The "Kenaanite and the Perizzite," whom Abraham found in the land on his return from Egypt Genesis 13:7. "I am a few men" - men of number that might easily be counted. I here denotes the family or tribe with all its dependents. When expanded, therefore, it is, "I and my house." Simon and Levi have their reply. It justifies the retribution which has fallen on the Shekemites for this and all their other crimes. But it does not justify the executioners for taking the law into their own hands, or proceeding by fraud and indiscriminate slaughter. The employment of circumcision, too, which was the sign of the covenant of grace, as a means of deception, was a heinous aggravation of their offence.

- The Death of Isaac

8. דברה deborâh, Deborah, "bee." בּכוּת אלּון 'alôn-bākût, Allon-bakuth, "oak of weeping."

16. כברה kı̂brâh, "length stretch." A certain but unknown distance, a stadium or furlong (Josephus) a hippodrome (Septuagint) which was somewhat longer, a mile (Kimchi). אפרת 'ephrâth, Ephrath, "fruitful or ashy."

18. בן־אוני ben-'ônı̂y, Ben-oni, "son of my pain." בנימין bı̂nyāmı̂yn, Binjamin, "son of the right hand."

19. לחם בית bēyt-lechem, Beth-lechem, "house of bread."

21. עדר ‛ěder, 'Eder, "flock, fold."

This chapter contains the return of Jacob to his father's house, and then appends the death of Isaac.

20. Hamor and Shechem … came unto the gate of their city—That was the place where every public communication was made; and in the ready obsequious submission of the people to this measure we see an evidence either of the extraordinary affection for the governing family, or of the abject despotism of the East, where the will of a chief is an absolute command. No text from Poole on this verse. And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword,.... Whom they had been just treating with in a seeming friendly manner: Shechem was the chief aggressor, and his crime was very heinous; but considering that he did all he could, after the fact was committed, to make recompence for the injury done, he deserved other treatment, at least mercy should have been shown him. Hamor, perhaps, was too indulgent to his son, connived at his sin, and did not punish him for it; and, it may be, approved of it, and now dies for it:

and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out; where she was kept from the time of her being ravished by Shechem, with an intention to marry her, could the consent of her parents and relations be obtained; for it does not appear that he kept her to carry on a criminal conversation with her, but a courtship in order to marriage.

And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
26. slew Hamor and Shechem … took Dinah … went forth] In this verse we have the narrative in which Simeon and Levi (cf. Genesis 34:25; Genesis 34:30) alone entered the city, slew Hamor and Shechem, took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and made off with her. Their act is one of family vengeance for the honour of their sister.

with the edge of the sword] Lit. “according to the mouth of the sword,” i.e. according to the sword’s power to devour, unmercifully. Cf. 2 Samuel 2:26; 2 Samuel 11:25.Verse 26. - And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son, with the edge (literally, the mouth) of the sword, - without excusing the inhuman barbarity of this remorseless massacre, Kurtz offers an elaborate and interesting analysis of the complex motive of which it was the outcome, in particular showing how in Jacob's sons that strange admixture of religious zeal and carnal passion, of lofty faith and low craft, existed which formed so large a portion of the character of the patriarch himself (vide 'Hist. of the Old Covenant,' vol. 1. § 82) - and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, - in which up to this time she had been detained against her will (Alford), though this may be open to question (Kalisch) - and went out. The condition seemed reasonable to the two suitors, and by way of setting a good example, "the young man did not delay to do this word," i.e., to submit to circumcision, "as he was honoured before all his father's house." This is stated by anticipation in Genesis 34:19; but before submitting to the operation, he went with his father to the gate, the place of public assembly, to lay the matter before the citizens of the town. They knew so well how to make the condition palatable, by a graphic description of the wealth of Jacob and his family, and by expatiating upon the advantages of being united with them, that the Shechemites consented to the proposal. שׁלמים: integri, people whose bearing is unexceptionable. "And the land, behold broad on both sides it is before them," i.e., it offers space enough in every direction for them to wander about with their flocks. And then the gain: "Their cattle, and their possessions, and their beasts of burden...shall they not be ours?" מקנה is used here for flocks and herds, בּהמה for beasts of burden, viz., camels and asses (cf. Numbers 32:26). But notwithstanding the advantages here pointed out, the readiness of all the citizens of Shechem (vid., Genesis 23:10) to consent to be circumcised, could only be satisfactorily explained from the fact that this religious rite was already customary in different nations (according to Herod. 2, 104, among the Egyptians and Colchians), as an act of religious or priestly consecration.
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