King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Genesis 34

Dinah defiled by Shechem. (1-19) The Shechemites murdered by Simeon and Levi. (20-31)

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Dinah defiled by Shechem

1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.

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.

3 And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.

4 And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.

5 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.

6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.

7 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.

8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.

9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.

10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.

11 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.

12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.

13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:

14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:

15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;

16 Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.

17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.

18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s son.

19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob’s daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.

The Shechemites murdered by Simeon and Levi

20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,

21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.

22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.

23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of their’s be our’s? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.

24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.

25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.

26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out.

27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.

28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,

29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.

30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.

31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Country, when a great festival was celebrated. Josep. Ant. i. 18.) Dina was urged by curiosity to see and to be seen. Let others take example from her, and beware of associating with infidels, and of opening their hearts to pleasure at fairs and nocturnal meetings.

Ver. 2. Virgin. Heb. and Sept. “He humbled or afflicted the virgin.” It is well if she made all the resistance she was able, and resented the indignity; as she seems to have done, though Sichem tried all means to comfort her. H.

Ver. 5. Heard this, perhaps, from Dina’s companion. M.

Ver. 7. In Israel, or against the honour and peace of their father and all his family. — An unlawful act, which some nevertheless commit without scruple, and even dare to represent as a matter of small consequence if they marry afterwards!

Ver. 10. Command, or you are at liberty to purchase and till it as you please. H.

Ver. 12. Dowry for Dina. — Gifts for her parents and brothers. G. xxiv. 53. C.

Ver. 13. Deceitfully. The sons of Jacob, on this occasion, were guilty of a grievous sin, as well by falsely pretending religion, as by excess of their revenge. Though, otherwise their zeal against so foul a crime was commendable. Ch. — In this light it is viewed by Judith ix. 2. Simeon and Levi spoke on this occasion. Sept. as they were afterwards the chief actors, v. 25. There were commissioned by their father to speak for him; but Jacob was ignorant of their deceit. H.

Ver. 14. Abominable. To be uncircumcised, was a reproach among the Hebrews. Yet there was no law forbidding to marry such. Laban was of this description, and the Chanaanites also; whose daughters the sons of Jacob themselves espoused, at least Juda and this very Simeon, as the Scripture assures us.

Ver. 17. Our daughter, the only one of our father; who, it would hence appear, was detained by Hemor, v. 26. C.

Ver. 19. The greatest man, (inclytus) perhaps associated to his father in the government of the town. Yet he is willing to submit to this painful operation. H.

Ver. 20. Gate. Here judgment was given, the markets held, &c. They endeavoured to convince the people, that the conditions offered would be for their interest. M.

Ver. 23. Ours, by mutual commerce. The Rabbin pretend the Sichemite designed to circumvent Jacob and his family. But their conduct seems to screen them from any reproach of this kind, and Jacob throws the blame upon his own sons. C. xlix. 6. If Hemor said more than he was authorized by them to do, this will not palliate their injustice and sacrilegious perfidy. C. M.

Ver. 25. Greatest. On that day a fever and inflammation likewise often take place. See Hippocrates on fractures, Valesius sac. Phil. xii. M. — Brothers of Dina by Lia, and both of a fiery temper. They were assisted by some servants, (M.) and afterwards the other children helped to pillage the city. Theodot. ap. Eus. ix. 22.

Ver. 29. Captive. No doubt Jacob would force them to restore such ill-gotten goods. C. — They had acted without authority, and even contrary to the known disposition of their father. They rashly exposed him to destruction, which would inevitably have taken place, if God had not protected him. C. xxxv. 5. H.

Ver. 31. Should they, &c. This answer, full of insolence, to a father who was as much hurt by the indignity offered to Dina as they could be, heightens their crime. Sichem was the only one among the citizens really guilty, unless perhaps some of his servants might have given him assistance; and Hemor, the king, might contract some stain by not causing a better police to be observed, and by not punishing his son with greater severity, and not sending Dina home, &c. But why are the harmless citizens to be involved in ruin? unless

Quicquid delirant Reges, plectuntur Achivi. H.

Procopius says Hemor also abused Dina; but the plural is here used for the singular, and this author builds upon a false supposition. C.