Genesis 34:13 – The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah.
After Dinah was defiled, her brothers told the unsuspecting men of Shechem a strategic lie, that they would happily intermarry with them and share all of their great wealth. However, the Shechemites would first need to be circumcised and take upon themselves the sign of the covenant. Three days after the men were circumcised, and in great pain, only two of Dinah’s eleven brothers, Simeon and Levi, strapped their swords to their sides and entered Shechem to slaughter every man and deliver their sister home safely.
Simeon and Levi then looted the entire city, taking for themselves all of the plunder including the women and animals. Seeing what his sons had done, Jacob rebuked them for putting his family in danger of attack from the other surrounding cities filled with allies of the Shechemites. His sons simply replied with the very poignant question, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”
Theologically, the question begging to be answered is whether Jacob was right for rebuking his sons here, as well as in Genesis 49:5-7, or whether the brothers were correct in avenging their sister while their father sat idly by. The men all sin. Every man in this story sins either by commission (by doing evil or intending to do evil) or omission (by sitting idly and doing nothing to defend a young woman who was defiled).
(continued in next devo…)
What does this story teach us about passive dads?