Daily Word

Grab the bait | Genesis 34:18-24

18 Their words seemed reasonable to Hamor and his son Shechem, 19 and the young man did not hesitate to do the [required] thing, for he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was more respected and honored than all [others] in the household of his father.

20 Then Hamor and Shechem his son came to the gate of their [walled] city [where the leading men would meet] and spoke with the men of the city, saying, 21 “These men are peaceful and friendly with us; so let them live in the land and do business in it, for the land is large enough [for us and] for them; let us take their daughters for wives and let us give them our daughters [in marriage]. 22 But only on this condition will the men consent to our request that they live among us and become one people: that every male among us become circumcised just as they are circumcised.

23 Will not their cattle and their possessions and all their animals be ours [if we do this]? Let us consent [to do as they ask], and they will live here with us.” 24 And every [Canaanite] man who went out of the city gate listened and considered what Hamor and Shechem said; and every male who was a resident of that city was circumcised.

Genesis 34:18-24 (AMP)

Grab the bait

Continuing the story, Jacob’s brothers have concocted a dastardly plan to get revenge on Shechem for raping their sister. In yesterday’s passage (Genesis 34:13-17) we read the proposal – for all of the people of the clan to become circumcised. Today we see Hamor and Shechem take the bait – and Shecmem did it immediately since he was so infatuated with Dinah!

Convincing the clan

Now that they agreed to the deal, Hamor and Shechem needed to convince the clan – all the people in town – to do the same. “Other nations besides Jacob’s family practiced this rite, at this time in history, as an act of consecration. Jacob was not suggesting that these men convert from one religion to another.” (planobiblechapl.org quoting Keil and Delitzsch, and Milgrom) Hamor used material gain as the driver for accepting the proposal and doing the circumcision. Why not? It doesn’t cost them anything more than some temporary pain. 

What if the plan had failed? What if not all of the men of the city agreed? Jacob and his family would have to get up and leave and receive no retribution for the offense against Dinah. But Jacob and the family end up leaving anyway. Tomorrow we’ll see the dastardly plan unfold.


  • Is there a lesson here? Let us know in the comments. 
  • For one, we can see that “love blinds” in the sense that it can make you do anything. By “love”, I mean infatuation. On the other hand, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18)
Catfish takes the bait. Image from Pxfuel.com

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