The Massacre of Shechem

Genesis Chapter 34:1-31
I. Observation A. Who are the main characters? What do we know about them? 1. Dinah: 2. Shechem: 3. Hamor: 4. Simeon & Levi: B. When do the events of this passage take place? • The events of this passage follow those of Chapter 33; there does not appear to be much of a gap in time between chapters, based upon the context. C. Where do the events of this passage take place? • Jacob purchased land from Hamor outside the city of Shechem at the end of Chapter 33. The events of this chapter occur in and around the city of Shechem, which was NW of the Dead Sea and west of the Jabbok (Ch. 33). D. What is happening? (Summary of Events) 1. Shechem, son of Hamor, sees Dinah, daughter of Jacob, lusts after her, and violates her. (v. 1-2) 2. His heart was set on Dinah, so he asks his father to make arrangements for her to become his wife (v. 3-4) 3. Jacob hears the news, but waits to do or say anything until his sons return from the field. When they find out, they are filled with grief and fury (v. 5-7) 4. Hamor meets with Jacob and his sons to seek out Dinah as a wife for Shechem and suggests that both groups intermarry and settle together (v. 6-10) 5. Shechem addresses Jacob and his sons and offers to pay whatever price they asked in exchange for Dinah as his wife. (v. 11-12) 6. Jacob’s sons deceive Hamor and Shechem by telling them that they will agree if all the men of the city become circumcised. (v. 13-17) 7. Hamor & Shechem agree and convince the men of the city to go along with this proposition (v. 18-23) 8. The men of the city agree and all were circumcised (v. 24) 9. While the men were all still sore from circumcision, Simeon and Levi attack the city and kill every man, including Hamor and Shechem. (v. 25-26) 10. The sons of Jacob loot and plunder the city, seizing all their wealth and taking the livestock and the women and children (v. 27-29) 11. Upon hearing of the events, Jacob fears for his family’s safety, since their reputation might prompt attacks from others in the area. His sons defend their actions as avenging their sister’s honor and purity. (v. 30-31) II. Interpretation • What principles are illustrated in this passage? What is the main theme? Notes

Were the actions of Jacob’s sons justified? Why or why not?

III. Application • Sin can cloud our judgment. Often in the pursuit of our own desires of the flesh, we inadvertently harm those around us. Pursuit of the flesh always has consequences.

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