Daily Word

Result of partial obedience | Genesis 34:1-12

1 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out [unescorted] to visit the girls of the land. 2 When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince (sheik) of the land, saw her, he kidnapped her and lay [intimately] with her by force [humbling and offending her]. 3 But his soul longed for and clung to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke comfortingly to her young heart’s wishes. 4 So Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me this young woman as a wife.” 

5 Now Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled (violated) Dinah his daughter; but his sons were in the field with his livestock, so Jacob said nothing until they came in. 6 But Shechem’s father Hamor went to Jacob to talk with him. 7 Now when Jacob’s sons heard of it they came in from the field; they were deeply grieved, and they were very angry, for Shechem had done a disgraceful thing to Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing is not to be done.

8 But Hamor conferred with them, saying, “The soul of my son Shechem [deeply] longs for your daughter [and sister]. Please give her to him as his wife. 9 And [beyond that] intermarry with us; give your daughters to us [as wives] and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 In this way you shall live with us; the country will be open to you; live and do business in it and acquire property and possessions in it.”

11 Shechem also said to Dinah’s father and to her brothers, “Let me find favor in your sight, and I will give you whatever you ask of me. 12 Demand of me a very large bridal payment and gift [as compensation for giving up your daughter and sister], and I will give you whatever you tell me; only give me the girl to be my wife.”

Genesis 34:1-12 (AMP)

Consequences of sin

When we left off yesterday, Jacob parted ways (amicably) with his brother Esau after an amazing reunion – blessed with God’s grace. Jacob deceived Esau and also only partially obeyed God’s call for him to return to his family. Today we see a consequence of his sin. His daughter Dinah goes to hang out with the young women of the land. AMP version emphasizes she was unescorted – which was not wise. “Jacob’s lack of attention and protection was partially at fault in this tragedy.” (enduringword.com)

The son of the sheik (head dude) of the area lusts for her and rapes her. He then demands that his father the Sheik gets her for him as a wife. It seems from the telling of the account that Jacob did not take an active role in protecting his daughter before and after the rape. We’ll see later how this led his sons to stand in the gap – but in an ungodly way. “When God-appointed heads do not take appropriate leadership, it creates a void, which is often filled sinfully.” (enduringword.com)

This begins the consequences for Jacob’s sins of yesterday. Shechem and their people will also suffer consequences.

Embarrassing situation

So now the Sheik has to go to Jacob to work out a solution. He’s already offended him (and his family) but more, his son wants Dinah. He goes to Jacob and makes a proposal to try and smooth over the offense. The Sheik then offers to pay “a very large bridal payment and gift”. He also tries to sell Jacob (and his sons) on the idea of intermarrying with them and becoming one people. Considering God’s leading of Abraham and Isaac’s desire to have their sons marry within their family, this was a non-starter. 

Sin against who?

We notice in V7, “Shechem had done a disgraceful thing to Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter”. The offense was “to Israel”, not “to Jacob” or “Jacob’s family”. It seems Moses is indicating that this sin was against God’s chosen race, even against God, not just Jacob. Therefore, we could expect God’s judgment. We’ll see that it doesn’t work out quite like that.


  • Our God does not “mess around” when it comes to sin. Firstly and primarily, He sacrificed His own Son to pay the penalty. When believers sin, we’re still forgiven, for He fulfills His promises. But we break the relationship with our Heavenly Father. We need to respond to the loving correction of the Spirit, confess and repent.
  • For those of us in leadership positions, we need to take responsibility and carry them out.
artial obedience. Image from haikudeck.com *

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