Genesis 34:29
And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) Their little ones.—Heb., their taf. (See Note on Genesis 17:13.) How erroneous is the translation “little-ones” may be seen from Numbers 31:17-18, which in the Heb. is, “Now, therefore, kill every male in the taf . . . and all the taf of women that are unmarried.” It would be monstrous to suppose that boys were to be put to death, and men escape, nor would little girls be likely to be married. In 2Chronicles 31:18 the taf is distinguished both from the sons and daughters; and so also in Genesis 20:13, where we read “their tafs and their children. The LXX. have altered the order here, but otherwise translate correctly their persons, that is, their property in men-servants and maid servants, as opposed to their cattle and their wealth in goods. In Genesis 1:8 the LXX. translate clan, and in Genesis 34:21 household. The slaves thus seized would form the most valuable part probably of the spoil.

Genesis 34:29. Their little ones and their wives took they captive — No mention is made of these captives afterward: nor is it easy to conjecture what became of them. Perhaps the most probable supposition is, that Jacob restored both them and the property taken by his sons to their surviving relatives and countrymen.

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. Either in the prince’s house, or in their several houses; or within doors, as the word signifies.

And all their wealth,.... Or "power" (o) or "strength"; every thing that made them mighty and powerful; their gold and silver, their jewels, and rich furniture of their houses, their arms and weapons of war, their goods and substance, in which they trafficked:

and all their little ones and their wives took they captive: they spared the women and children, as was usual war, and in the plunder of towns and cities:

and spoiled even all that was in the house; of Shechem or Hamor, or in any of the houses of the inhabitants; they rifled and plundered everyone, and took away whatsoever they found in them; but as Jacob disapproved of this unjust, cruel, bloody, and perfidious action, so no doubt, as he set the captives at liberty, he restored to them their cattle and substance.

(o) "siquidem" "proprie potentia, robur", Drusius; so Ainsworth.

And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Genesis 34:29But on the third day, when the Shechemites were thoroughly prostrated by the painful effects of the operation, Simeon and Levi (with their servants of course) fell upon the town בּטח (i.e., while the people were off their guard, as in Ezekiel 30:9), slew all the males, including Hamor and Shechem, with the edge of the sword, i.e., without quarter (Numbers 21:24; Joshua 10:28, etc.), and brought back their sister. The sons of Jacob then plundered the town, and carried off all the cattle in the town and in the fields, and all their possessions, including the women and the children in their houses. By the sons of Jacob (Genesis 34:27) we are not to understand the rest of his sons to the exclusion of Simeon, Levi, and even Reuben, as Delitzsch supposes, but all his sons. For the supposition, that Simeon and Levi were content with taking their murderous revenge, and had no share in the plunder, is neither probable in itself nor reconcilable with what Jacob said on his death-bed (Genesis 49:5-7, observe שׁור עקּרוּ) about this very crime; nor can it be inferred from ויּצאוּ in Genesis 34:26, for this relates merely to their going away from the house of the two princes, not to their leaving Shechem altogether. The abrupt way in which the plundering is linked on to the slaughter of all the males, without any copulative Vav, gives to the account the character of indignation at so revolting a crime; and this is also shown in the verbosity of the description. The absence of the copula is not to be accounted for by the hypothesis that Genesis 34:27-29 are interpolated; for an interpolator might have supplied the missing link by a vav, just as well as the lxx and other ancient translators.
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