Genesis 34:3
And his soul was drawn to Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young girl and spoke to her tenderly.
Caution to ParentsC. H. M.Genesis 34:1-5
Caution to Young PeopleA. Fuller.Genesis 34:1-5
DinahC. Ness.Genesis 34:1-5
DinahM. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.Genesis 34:1-5
Dinah's CuriosityBishop Hall.Genesis 34:1-5
Dinah's DishonourT. H. Leale.Genesis 34:1-5
Dinah's FallF. B. Meyer, B. A.Genesis 34:1-5
Dinah's Inglorious MarchJ. Henry Burn, B. D.Genesis 34:1-5
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 34:1-5
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 34:1-5
LessonsG. Hughes, B. D.Genesis 34:1-5
The Eyes a Source of DangerJ. Trapp.Genesis 34:1-5
Good Out of EvilR.A. Redford Genesis 34

The "prince who has been lifted by the grace of God out of the humiliation of his fear and shame to the height of his favor at the throne of the Most High now reveals his princely power. He takes captive Esau's heart; he blesses him in the name of God, he bestows his gifts upon him. Notice the fruits of Divine discipline in the patriarch.

I. THE THEOCRATIC FEELING IS ALIVE IN JACOB'S HEART. He puts the handmaids first, Leah next, Rachel and Joseph hindermost. He placed them in the order of his own affection; but it represented also the Divine order, for it was in Joseph that the kingdom of God was about to be especially manifested. I have seen thy face," he said to Esau, "as though I had seen the face of God." He saw the favor of God going on before him, and like the sunshine it rested on the face of the enemy, and cast out the darkness and turned it into light.

II. Jacob's entire STEADFASTNESS AS A SERVANT OF GOD and believer in the covenant. Seen in his refusal to mingle his family and people with those of Esau.

III. SPECIAL GRACE MEETS THE TRUE SERVANT. " Succoth is better than Seir;" and it is on the way to "Shalom, peace. There it is that the patriarch finds rest, and builds an altar, calling it " El-elohe-Israel." Not merely an altar to God, but to him who had revealed himself as the faithful God, the God of Israel, the God of his people. - R.

Dinah the daughter of Leah... went out to see.



(J. Henry Burn, B. D.)

I. THAT THERE IS GREAT DANGER IN A VAIN CURIOSITY OF SEEING THE WORLD. Dinah was curious to know the ways and customs of the surrounding people. This led to a careless intimacy, which ended in accomplishing her ruin. She ought not to have wandered beyond parental control and supervision, nor disregarded the duty of separation from an idolatrous people, and their manners and habits. "Evil communications corrupt good manners." The inhabitants of that country were to the family of Jacob what the present world is to the Christian. It is dangerous to the interests of the soul to indulge in the vain curiosity of knowing the evil ways of the world. What is called " seeing life" may prove, in many cases, to be but tasting death. Familiarity blunts the sense of things sinful, and increases the danger of temptation.

II. THAT SOME SENTIMENT OF VIRTUE MAY REMAIN IN THOSE ADDICTED TO THE WORST SOCIAL VICES. Shechem, we are told, "loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel." He was willing to make honourable amends, as far as could be, by an offer of marriage. In this he was generous and noble, for lust commonly ends in loathing. Amnon abhors Tamar as before he loved her. But this man desires to cover his fault by marriage, and promises low and fidelity. He had many of the vices of the great and powerful, but was not without some remains of virtue. The conduct of this heathen man is a rebuke to many who dwell in Christian lands.

III. THAT INCREASING TROUBLES MAY FALL TO THE LOT OF GOOD MEN. Jacob now suffered one of the most dreadful calamities that can fall upon a household — the disgrace and ruin of his daughter. When he heard of it he "held his peace," as if stunned by the blow (ver. 5).

(T. H. Leale.)

As her mother Leah, so she hath a fault in her eyes, which was curiosity. She will needs see, and be seen; and whilst she doth vainly see, she is seen lustfully. It is not enough for us to look to our own thoughts, except we beware of the provocations of others. If we once wander out of the lists that God hath set us in our callings, there is nothing but danger. Her eyes were guilty of the temptation; only to see is an insufficient r arrant to draw us into places of spiritual hazard. If Shechem had seen her busy at home, his love had been free from outrage; now the lightness of her presence gave encouragement to his inordinate desires. Immodesty of behaviour makes way to lust, and gives life unto wicked hopes.

(Bishop Hall.)

By those windows of the eyes and ears sin and death often enter. See to the cinque ports if ye would keep out the enemy. Shut up the five windows if ye would have the house, the heart, full of light, saith the Arabian proverb.

(J. Trapp.)

1. Sad occurrences may be ordered to saints while they sit by God's altar. Worship is not without trial.

2. Religious care of God misplaced doth not exempt parents and children from sad temptations. Jacob worshipped by Shalem, not at Bethel.

3. Mothers' sins Providence may hit in daughters' miscarriages.

4. The children of saints, and specially daughters, may be occasion of great affliction to parents.

5. Wilfulness and wantonness urge on young souls to their own mischief, and grief of parents.

6. Unruly appetites to know the fashions and vain courses of others bring many souls into grievous snares.

7. Vain sights and spectacles in revels and wanton garbs may occasion loss of purity (ver. 1).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

1. Great men's children are not usually the best; but vile and debauched. So Shechem the son of a prince.

2. Sons of great men are apt to think they may sin by authority; being not restrained.

3. It is a dangerous thing for an innocent damsel to come under the eye of lascivious men.

4. Lustful sight of beauty moveth hearts to take hold of opportunities to enjoy

5. Lust holds fast of its prey, will certainly close with it, humble, and afflict it (ver. 2).

6. Lust layeth out the very soul of man upon its prey desired.

7. Unclean love is the usual fruit of violent and injurious lust.

8. Lust will speak to the heart of any whom it may tempt unto unclean enjoyment (ver. 3).

9. Brutish lust cannot deny the parents' right in ordering children unto marriage.

10. Lust itself will desire God's ordinance of marriage for its own vile ends (ver. 4).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

1. Sad tidings of children's miscarriages and miseries may be brought to gracious parents.

2. Reports and hearing of evil, especially in dear children, strikes deep, through ears, to the hearts of parents.

3. Shechem's violence upon Dinah, or of wicked me-, upon the daughters of the Church, is very sad.

4. Such evils may befall relations while they are honestly employed, and think not of it.

5. Silence in grieving, considering, and bearing such providences, becometh saints.

6. Silence of grieved spirits may well be broken off, when such are present whom they may consult for ease (ver. 5).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

It is a startling announcement; but it contains nothing more than might have been expected. Poor girl, a moth fluttering about a flame! A foolish fish nibbling at the bait! Was she lonely, being the only girl? Did she want to show off some piece of jewellery or dress? Did she long for more admiration, or fascinating society, than she could find at home? Was there a secret drawing to the young men of the place? She went along a path that seemed to her girlish fancy ever so much more attractive than the dull routine of home. She took no heed of the warnings that may have been addressed to her. And it all ended — as it has ended in thousands of cases since — in misery, ruin, and unutterable disgrace. She was kindly received. The world will always give a hearty welcome to those who bear a Christian name. Perhaps there is a sense of relief in feeling that it cannot be so bad after all, since Christians do not hesitate to take part with it. The welcome and "well-done" of worldly men should always put us on our guard. "What evil thing have I done," said s shrewd observer, "that yonder worldling speaks so well of me?" She fascinated the young prince, and fell. It is the old, old story, which is ever new. On the one hand-rank, and wealth, and unbridled appetite; on the other — beauty, weakness, and dallying with temptation. But to whom was her fall due? To Shechem? Yes. To herself? Yes. But also to Jacob. He must for ever reproach himself for his daughter's murdered innocence. But of what use were his reproaches, when the deed was done; and the honour of his house was gone; and his name stank among the inhabitants of the land?. Would that some Christian parents, reading these words, might take warning as to the end of a pathway:on which they are encouraging their children to tread! To stay now may save them tears of blood, and years of fruitless agony.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

It is natural to suppose that the younger branches of the family, hearing everything that was going on among the youth of the place, would think it hard if they must not go amongst them. Whether the sons formed acquaintances among the Shechemites, we know not; but Dinah on a certain occasion must needs "go out to see the daughters of the land." She wished no doubt to be acquainted with them, to see and be seen of them, and to do as they did. It might not be to a ball, nor a card party; but I presume it was to some merrymaking of this kind: and though the daughters of the land were her professed companions, yet the sons of the land must have assembled with them, else how came Shechem there? Young people, if you have any regard for your parents, or for yourselves, beware of such parties! The consequence was what might have been expected. Shechem was the son of the "prince of the country," and men of rank and opulence are apt to think themselves entitled to do anything which their inclinations prompt them to. The young woman was inexperienced, and unused to company of this kind; she therefore fell an easy prey to the seducer. But could Dinah have gone without the consent or connivance of her parents, at least one of them? We should think she could not. I fear Leah was not clear in this matter.

(A. Fuller.)

If Jacob had not settled at Shechem, Dinah would not have been dishonoured, and the violence of his sons would not have been exhibited. We constantly see Christians getting into deep sorrow and trouble through their own unfaithfulness; and then, instead of judging themselves, they begin to look at circumstances, and to cast upon them the blame. Hew often do we see Christian parents, for instance, in keen anguish of soul about the wildness, unsubduedness, and worldliness of their children; and, all the while, they have mainly to blame themselves for not walking faithfully before God in reference to their family. Thus was it with Jacob. He was on low moral ground at Shechem; and, inasmuch as he lacked that refined sensibility which would have led him to detect the low ground, God, in very faithfulness, used his circumstances to chastise him. "God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." This is a principle flowing out of God's moral government-a principle, from the application of which none can possibly escape; and it is a positive mercy to the children of God that they are obliged to reap the fruits of their errors. It is a mercy to be taught, in any way, the bitterness of departing from, or stopping short of, the living God. We must learn that this is not our rest; for, blessed be God, He would not give us a polluted rest. He would ever have us resting in and with Himself.

(C. H. M.)

Inferences hence are various.

1. The most pious and faithful families may have most fearful mischiefs befall them, as Jacob's had here and elsewhere, and David's many afterwards. The worst miscarriages, through Satan's malice, may happen in the best families.

2. The second inference is, such foul miscarriages fall not out in such godly families but usually there is some sin or other therein, which justly vindicates God's righteousness in permitting such severe judgments to befall them. And it is apparent too in Jacob's case, when this first miscarriage in his house came upon him. It was now some seven or eight years since the Lord brought him back from Haran or Padanaram, yet had he not all this time thought of paying that vow which he made to God when he was going thither (Genesis 28:20, &c.)

3. The third inference is, all needless gaddings abroad are of dangerous consequence to young people, who are unfit to be wholly at their own finding; especially the weaker sex, which may prove strong enough to provoke, but over-weak to resist a temptation.

4. The fourth inference is, if this mischievous miscarriage happened to Jacob's house through the indulgence of the mother in too much cockering her dear and only daughter, this sounds a loud alarm to all over-fond mothers, whose over-strong affections will probably bring over-strong afflictions. And where they do love too much, they may possibly grieve too much; as Leah here, who might read her sin writ upon her punishment.

(C. Ness.)

Not without reason had Dinah been mentioned previously among the children of Leah (Genesis 30:21); she was intended to be the first cause of her father's sorrow. An interval of six or eight years elapsed between the departure from Mesopotamia and the event here narrated; Dinah had become a blooming maiden; she had reached that age when Oriental virgins attain the full charm of their beauty. During that tong sojourn in Shechem, she formed friendships with the daughters of the natives, and had entered with them into social intercourse. Was this conduct culpable? Was it an offence deserving punishment? It almost appears that it was regarded as such; for she became both an object of violence and the cause of massacre; and, in Biblical history, there exists no misfortune without corresponding guilt. Dinah had preserved in her mind the vocation of her family; she did not comprehend that a perfect separation was indispensable from idolatrous tribes, whose moral reformation could not be expected, whose pernicious example could only infect the Hebrews, and whose doom was sealed on account of their iniquity. She paid the full penalty of her carelessness. She suffered the fate which Sarah and Rebekah encountered in the land of Pharaoh and of Abimelech; she was seen and taken by the son of the prince; but no angel guarded her innocence; no Divine vision shielded her from disgrace; and she fell a victim to Shechem's passion. She did not require that immediate protection which her ancestors had enjoyed; she was a maiden, no wife; her father possessed a piece of land within which he was safe; and she belonged to a numerous family well capable of defending their rights. But Shechem was neither licentious nor frivolous; though he had been ensnared by passion, his heart was not debased, and he was ready to make the only reparation which the circumstances permitted; he loved Dinah; his soul clung to her, and he spoke to her heart; he endeavoured to secure her affection, and wished to make her his legitimate wife; he therefore asked his father to treat for him, and to solicit the consent of her family.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

Canaanites, Dinah, Hamor, Hivite, Jacob, Leah, Levi, Perizzites, Simeon
Attracted, Clave, Cleave, Cleaved, Cleaveth, Comforting, Comfortingly, Consolingly, Damsel, Daughter, Deeply, Dinah, Drawn, Fastened, Girl, Heart, Jacob, Joined, Kindly, Lady, Love, Loved, Loveth, Maiden, Soul, Spake, Speaketh, Spoke, Tenderly
1. Dinah is ravished by Shechem.
4. He requests to marry her.
13. The sons of Jacob offer the condition of circumcision to the Shechemites.
20. Hamor and Shechem persuade them to accept it.
25. The sons of Jacob upon that advantage slay them, and spoil their city.
30. Jacob reproves Simeon and Levi.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 34:3

     5014   heart, human
     5781   affection
     5966   tenderness

Genesis 34:1-3

     6240   rape

Genesis 34:1-4

     5654   betrothal

Genesis 34:1-5

     7348   defilement

Genesis 34:1-7

     5836   disgrace

Genesis 34:1-29

     8720   double-mindedness

Genesis 34:1-31

     5737   sisters

Genesis 34:3-4

     5709   marriage, purpose

"For if Ye Live after the Flesh, Ye Shall Die; but if Ye through the Spirit do Mortify the Deeds of the Body, Ye Shall Live.
Rom. viii. s 13, 14.--"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." The life and being of many things consists in union,--separate them, and they remain not the same, or they lose their virtue. It is much more thus in Christianity, the power and life of it consists in the union of these things that God hath conjoined, so that if any man pretend to
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Hebrews and the Philistines --Damascus
THE ISRAELITES IN THE LAND OF CANAAN: THE JUDGES--THE PHILISTINES AND THE HEBREW KINGDOM--SAUL, DAVID, SOLOMON, THE DEFECTION OF THE TEN TRIBES--THE XXIst EGYPTIAN DYNASTY--SHESHONQ OR SHISHAK DAMASCUS. The Hebrews in the desert: their families, clans, and tribes--The Amorites and the Hebrews on the left bank of the Jordan--The conquest of Canaan and the native reaction against the Hebrews--The judges, Ehud, Deborah, Jerubbaal or Gideon and the Manassite supremacy; Abimelech, Jephihdh. The Philistines,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 6

How they are to be Admonished who Lament Sins of Deed, and those who Lament Only Sins of Thought.
(Admonition 30.) Differently to be admonished are those who deplore sins of deed, and those who deplore sins of thought. For those who deplore sins of deed are to be admonished that perfected lamentations should wash out consummated evils, lest they be bound by a greater debt of perpetrated deed than they pay in tears of satisfaction for it. For it is written, He hath given us drink in tears by measure (Ps. lxxix. 6): which means that each person's soul should in its penitence drink the tears
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The Old Testament opens very impressively. In measured and dignified language it introduces the story of Israel's origin and settlement upon the land of Canaan (Gen.--Josh.) by the story of creation, i.-ii. 4a, and thus suggests, at the very beginning, the far-reaching purpose and the world-wide significance of the people and religion of Israel. The narrative has not travelled far till it becomes apparent that its dominant interests are to be religious and moral; for, after a pictorial sketch of
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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