Good evening, and welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the book of Genesis. Tonight is study #1 of Genesis 34, and we are reading Genesis 34:1-11:
And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him. And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done. And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife. And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you. And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein. And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
I will stop reading there. We are continuing to move along in our study of the book of Genesis. We have come to the point where Jacob had separated from Esau, and Esau and his four hundred men went back to Seir, and Jacob journeyed on to Succoth, as we read toward the end of the last chapter. It said in Genesis 33:17:
And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.
Then it said in Genesis 33:18-20:
And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city. And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money. And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.
We spent some time discussing these verses as we closed our study of chapter 33. And now it says in Genesis 34:1:
And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob…
Dinah is a person that is not mentioned much in the Bible. I counted eight times, and they are mostly in this chapter. She is spoken of in Genesis 30:20-21:
And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
This is the first time we heard about this daughter. By the way, the name “Dinah” is Strong’s #1783, and it is the feminine of Strong’s #1779 that is translated as “judgment” or “cause,” “plea,” or “strife.” So that is what Dinah’s name means. It means to “plead a cause,” or as “judgment,” or as “strife.” Dinah is the lone daughter that is named of the daughters that have been born to Jacob. When she was born, God tells us her name, and she was born after Leah had six sons. Outside of this chapter, we read of Dinah in Genesis 46:15:
These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padanaram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three.
Here, we read that there were other daughters, but only Dinah is named. It could be that the other daughters were born to the concubines. We do not know. They could even have been granddaughters of Jacob, and they could be called his daughters. But we are only told the name of this daughter, which is Dinah, and of this experience in Genesis 34:1:
And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
This was in Shechem. Jacob had purchased a parcel of a field, and he spread out his tent, so it seemed like he planned to stay for at least a little while, or else he would not have paid a hundred pieces of money and erected an altar there. So that was his intention, but due to the events that will now take place in Shechem, he is going to have to “pull up stakes” and move on.
But let us continue here. Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land. Then it says in Genesis 34:2:
And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
It was four-fold event, was it not? He saw her, he took her, he lay with her, and he defiled her. God repeated each time that this was done to her. Now we might think that he took her against her will, and that could be, but we do find it says in Genesis 34:3:
And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
He fell in love with her, and the word “clave” is the same word translated as “cleave” in Genesis 2:24 where it says that a man shall cleave unto his wife. And that was his intention. He wanted her for a wife. He loved her, and he spoke kindly to her, and his soul was cleaving unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob. That is what led him to go to his father Hamor and say, “Get me this damsel to wife.”
In the meantime, Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter. At the time he heard this, his sons were out in the field with the cattle, and Jacob held his peace until they were come, which implies that when they came out of the field and returned home, then Jacob did not hold his peace. He told his sons what had happened to their sister Dinah.
Then we read in Genesis 34:6-7:
And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him. And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done.
That is, Shechem had wrought folly in Israel, they said, by lying with Jacob’s daughter, and this thing ought not to have been done. Again, Hamor communed with them, so the sons of Jacob were there when Hamor was speaking with him. He laid out his proposal which was that his son Shechem longed for Jacob’s daughter, and he asked that Jacob give her to him to wife. Not only that, but he asked them to open up a relationship between the two families, their sons, and daughters. He was looking at it over the course of time for years to come, as he said in Genesis 34:9-10:
And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you. And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.
It was not only an offer for marriage between Shechem and Dinah, but ongoing marriages between the sons and daughters of Hamor, and the sons and daughters of Jacob – there would be intermarriage. And that is a problem, of course, because God forbids His people to intermarry with people from other nations. We know this is the case in several places in the Bible. Let us go back to Genesis 6:1-4:
And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And JEHOVAH said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
It was these intermarriages that provoked God to bring the judgment of the flood, and it led to the destruction of the whole earth. Certainly, from God’s perspective, there was nothing good about it.
We also read in Judges 3:5-8:
And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of JEHOVAH, and forgat JEHOVAH their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Therefore the anger of JEHOVAH was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.
Here, God is speaking against what Hamor was proposing. And God ended up judging Israel because they did take the daughters of the nations of the land of Canaan to be their wives, and they gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. It was a back-and-forth relationship, just as Hamor was proposing: “We will be peaceable and friendly with you, and we will treat you as one of us.” You see, the world would wonder, “What is wrong with that?” That is exactly what the people of the world desire, and that is for everyone to be the same. “We are all equal, are we not?” Well, yes, we are all human beings, but there are two kinds of people in the world according to the Bible. There are the people of God, and there are the people of the world, and the people of God follow the commandments of God. And God commands that His people marry with others of like-mind and like-faith, and who worship the same God. We are not to intermarry with others who have other gods, or who have no gods. We are commanded not to do that, and the Bible clearly points this out in many places.
Whenever this command is disobeyed, it leads to the wrath of God. It provokes God to anger. We see it in the destruction of the flood. We see it in the book of Judges because these things happened repeatedly as Israel became too involved with the nations around them, even to the point of worshipping their idols, and so forth. Then God would bring them into subjection to an enemy nation. This happened again, and again, and again.
What is interesting in Genesis 34 is that we typically read of the sons of God going after the daughters of men, and the intermarriage was normally because of the sons going forth to marry the daughters of the land. We can read of that in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. However, here it is Dinah who went out to see the daughters of the land, and Shechem the son of Hamor saw her, took her, lay with her, and defiled her. So this is one thing that is unusual. I would not say that it never happened. We saw in Judges that it could be reciprocal between Israel and these nations. That is one interesting thing. And we also need to try to find out (and by God’s grace, we will find out) who Dinah is a spiritual picture of. We can understand the historical account and get that picture. We also understand that this was against the commandments of God not only in the intermarriage, but in having sexual relations before marriage. That is also against the commandment of God. That was the main thing that Jacob and his sons were upset about because Dinah was a virgin. We can assume that, from everything we read, although it is not stated. She was a virgin, and now she has been defiled. She has lost her virginity.
By the way, the word “defiled” in verse 2 is a different Hebrew word than the word translated as “defiled” in verse 5. Where it says in verse 2 that Shechem “saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her,” the word “defiled” is Strong’s #6031. Then in verse 5 it says, “And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter,” the word “defiled” is Strong’s #2930. In verse 5, it means to be “unclean.” He made Dinah unclean, whereas in verse 2, it has a different meaning, and we will look at that another time.
We will continue this study, Lord willing, when we get together in our next Bible study.