Genesis 34:30-31 – Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.” But they said, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?”
Jacob is an awful father in this scene. At the end of Genesis 29, we read that Jacob hated his wife, Leah. Since Dinah was the daughter of Leah (Genesis 30:19-21), Jacob’s patient silence and indifference to her defilement indicates that he was not much of a loving father to her. Because Jacob failed to step up and courageously lead his family, he left a gaping need for leadership, which his vengeful sons filled.
Therefore, had he led his family and quickly devised an appropriate response, the boys would have not had to. In Genesis 34:30, Jacob’s concern after the slaughter of the Shechemites is selfishly only for “me” as he makes no mention of his suffering daughter. Therefore, it seems that Moses is trying to paint Jacob’s actions in Genesis 34 as a temporary return to his old ways, playing favorites with his children as his mother Rebekah had.
The actions of Simeon and Levi are not godly and honorable either. They acted out of rage, lied, tricked men, committed murder, and looted an entire town. However, at least they loved their sister enough to avenge her honor, which is more than Jacob did and, while their intentions are noble, their actions are not, which may explain why Moses allows them to have the last words in the account, explaining their actions. Sadly, we see that the boys are tricksters like their father had been before God transformed him, as his sin manifests itself in his sons.
(continued in next devo…)
What does 1 Timothy 5:2 teach young men about how to treat young women?