Journey through the Book of Genesis with me. The plan is simple. Read ONE chapter a day. Blog or journal 5* things you learned that you previously didn't know and ask 5* questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week. Let's go!
** You'll probably learn way more than 5 things and have more than 5 questions about each chapter. That's totally fine. The more the merrier!
QUESTION 1: Verse 5 – Why does Jacob not respond more aggressively to the news of his only daughter being asexually bused? Why “hold his peace” until his sons hear about it? Shouldn’t vengeance primarily have been his?
QUESTION 2: At what point did Jacob’s family start being referred to as “Israelites?” (v.7)
QUESTION 3: Why were the Hivites so easily willing to “cut” themselves (circumcision – v.15)?
QUESTION 4: Verse 13 suggests that ALL the brothers were part of the deception of making the Hivite men defenseless so that “on the third day, they were sore…” v.25. If that is the case, how come only Simeon and Levi were involved in the act of vengeance? Did they consult with the rest of brothers first? Reuben is the firstborn, why was he left out?
QUESTION 5: If “every male” in the unsuspecting city (v.25) was killed, how many men are we talking about here?
QUESTION 6: Verse 26 says that after the brothers had “slain and plundered the city”, they went to Shechem’s house and took Dinah away. So does this mean Dinah had been held captive in her abuser’s house the whole time? Or had Jacob agreed to actually give her to her rapist in marriage? (Both options are too awful to even fathom).
WHAT I LEARNED
INSIGHT 1: Dinah going out “to see the women of the land” would suggest that mingling with them was an unwise action. Though not stated, it would seem this act of “mingling” with the “women of the land” was essentially Dinah placing herself in a compromising situation she had no business being in. In Genesis 27:46, Rebekah (Dinah's grandma) was concerned about her children "mingling" and clearly thought it was a terrible idea to mingle with “the Hittite women of [the] land.”
INSIGHT 2: The perversion of the Hivites is seen in Shechem’s behavior in v.2-4. First he stalks her, then rapes her, then wants to keep her as a trophy wife.
INSIGHT 3: Verse 8 – Hamor never even acknowledges the offense that was committed. He wants to overlook it by bribing Jacob (and the brothers).
INSIGHT 4: The brothers were rightly-angered by this act (though they will end up overreacting). Perhaps if Jacob had expressed the same anger at Shechem’s action and taken THE lead, his sons would not have engaged in their murderous act. When Fathers don’t lead their families, children wander astray.
INSIGHT 5: Dinah is the only girl in the family, the “diamond” in everyone’s eyes. To assault her is to go at the heart of the family.
INSIGHT 6: Circumcision, which was to be a symbol of being set apart as God’s chosen people, has now been corrupted as an excuse for murder.
INSIGHT 7: The Hivites wanted to intermarry with Israel because they too had observed how “blessed” Jacob was. Their attraction to intermingle was based on what they had observed of Jacob’s wealth (v.23)
INSIGHT 8: (Verse 25-29) –The vengeful killing of all the men in the city (which in itself was an overreaction to the act of rape) has morphed into robbery by the time we get to verse 28-29. “They seized their flocks and herds and donkeys and everything else of theirs in the city and out in the fields. They carried off all their wealth and all their women and children, taking as plunder everything in the houses.” Sin had no kill-switch. It always cists most then we bargained for.
INSIGHT 9: Even when Jacob rebukes his two sons for their foolish actions, he still doesn’t address the main issue or the immorality of their actions. Rather Jacob is PRE occupied with the consequences of their actions on himself and his household. verse 30, ““You have brought trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”
Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.