Daily Word

Dastardly deed done | Genesis 34:25-31

25 But three days later, when their wounds were still sore, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, who were Dinah’s full brothers, took their swords and entered the town without opposition. Then they slaughtered every male there, 26 including Hamor and his son Shechem. They killed them with their swords, then took Dinah from Shechem’s house and returned to their camp.

27 Meanwhile, the rest of Jacob’s sons arrived. Finding the men slaughtered, they plundered the town because their sister had been defiled there. 28 They seized all the flocks and herds and donkeys—everything they could lay their hands on, both inside the town and outside in the fields. 29 They looted all their wealth and plundered their houses. They also took all their little children and wives and led them away as captives.

30 Afterward Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have ruined me! You’ve made me stink among all the people of this land—among all the Canaanites and Perizzites. We are so few that they will join forces and crush us. I will be ruined, and my entire household will be wiped out!”

31 “But why should we let him treat our sister like a prostitute?” they retorted angrily.

Genesis 34:25-31 (NLT)

Dastardly deed done

Simeon and Levi enter the town and kill every man. Even from a human point of view, that seems a bit excessive. You’d think they’d only seek recompense from the perpetrator himself. It is an overreaction. As we saw earlier, it was also deceptive. If that wasn’t enough, the other sons join in and pillage the city and take the woman and children captive. 

Overreaction?

Jacob, understandably, is quite angry – and afraid. All the people of the land will band together once news of this spreads. They will come against them and wipe them out as they did Hamor and his clan. Jacob does not seem concerned about the dastardly deed or the raping of his daughter. He seems more concerned about the impact on himself…and his family. The brothers, for their part, show no remorse. They considered it was necessary to get revenge. They get angry at Jacob’s challenge of their actions.

Where is God?

But where is God in the whole event? The brothers sought revenge. But God says, “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.” (Deuteronomy 32:35) And Jacob’s response again shows lack of faith, “my entire household will be wiped out”. Didn’t God promise (Genesis 28:13-15) to make him (and his fathers) a great nation and to bless all the nations of the earth through him?

God still works

There is no mention of, or seeking of, God in this incident.  But God still works. “The writer’s purpose is not to approve these human plans and schemes but to show how God, in his sovereign grace, could still achieve his purpose through them.” (planobiblchapel.org quoting Sailhamer)

RЯeflection

  • Do you find yourself desiring to get revenge? It’s natural. But with man, it’s usually a sinful, godless, response. For more on this topic, see this link.
  • Passages like this are not easy to understand and accept. How could God allow this? His own people did such a violent act. There is no easy answer. We need to know Him – and know ourselves! In our sinful hearts is the ability to do the same. But God still forgives us. He still is in control. (Psalm 115:3)
Catfish takes the bait. Image from www.stuff.co.nz *

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