Genesis 34:8
And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
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Genesis 34:8. Hamor communed with them — Not only with Jacob, but with his sons, to whom Jacob had imprudently referred him. And here we have a particular account of the treaty, in which, it is a shame to say, the Canaanites were more honest than the Israelites.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.A conference takes place between the parties. Hamer and Jacob, the parents on both sides, are the principals in the negotiation. The sons of Jacob, being brothers of the injured damsel, are present, according to custom. "Wrought fully in Israel;" a standing phrase from this time forward for any deed that was contrary to the sanctity which ought to characterize God's holy people. Israel is used here to designate the descendants of Israel, the special people. Hamer makes his proposal. "Shekem, my son." These words are a nominative pendent, for which "his soul" is substituted. He proposes a political alliance or amalgamation of the two tribes, to be sealed and actually effected by intermarriage. He offers to make them joint-possessors of the soil, and of the rights of dwelling, trading, and acquiring property. Shekem now speaks with becoming deference and earnestness.

He offers any amount of dowry, or bridal presents, and of gift to the mother and brothers of the bride. It must be acknowledged that the father and the son were disposed to make whatever amends they could for the grievous offence that had been committed. The sons of Jacob answer with deceit. They are burning with resentment of the wrong that "ought not to have been done," and that cannot now be fully repaired. Yet they are in presence of a superior force, and therefore, resort to deceit. "And spake." This goes along with the previous verb "answered," and is meant to have the same qualification "with deceit." The last clause of the verse then assigns the cause of this deceitful dealing. Their speech, for the matter of it, is reasonable. They cannot intermarry with the uncircumcised. Only on condition that every male be circumcised will they consent. On these terms they promise to "become one people" with them. Otherwise they take their daughter, and depart. Our daughter. They here speak as a family or race, and therefore, call Dinah their daughter, though her brothers are the speakers.

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. Hamor communed with them; with Jacob’s sons, to whom Jacob committed the business, being himself oppressed with shame and grief, and fear for his daughter.

Your daughter, the daughter of your family; or he thus speaketh to her brothers, because they transacted all in their father’s name. 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.

And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
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. During their stay at Shechem, Dinah, Jacob's daughter by Leah, went out one day to see, i.e., to make the acquaintance of the daughters of the land; when Shechem the Hivite, the son of the prince, took her with him and seduced her. Dinah was probably between 13 and 15 at the time, and had attained perfect maturity; for this is often the case in the East at the age of 12, and sometimes earlier. There is no ground for supposing her to have been younger. Even if she was born after Joseph, and not till the end of Jacob's 14 years' service with Laban, and therefore was only five years old when they left Mesopotamia, eight or ten years may have passed since then, as Jacob may easily have spent from eight to eleven years in Succoth, where he had built a house, and Shechem, where he had bought "a parcel of a field." But she cannot have been older; for, according to Genesis 37:2, Joseph was sold by his brethren when he was 17 years old, i.e., in the 11th year after Jacob's return from Mesopotamia, as he was born in the 14th year of Jacob's service with Laban

(Note: This view is generally supported by the earlier writers, such as Demetrius, Petavius (Hengst. Diss.), etc.; only they reckon Dinah's age at 16, placing her birth in the 14th year of Jacob's service.)

(cf. Genesis 30:24). In the interim between Dinah's seduction and the sale of Joseph there occurred nothing but Jacob's journey from Shechem to Bethel and thence to Ephratah, in the neighbourhood of which Benjamin was born and Rachel died, and his arrival in Hebron (Genesis 35). This may all have taken place within a single year. Jacob was till at Hebron, when Joseph was sent to Shechem and sold by his brethren (Genesis 37:14); and Isaac's death did not happen for 12 years afterwards, although it is mentioned in connection with the account of Jacob's arrival at Hebron (Genesis 35:27.).

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