Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have brought trouble upon me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people of this land. We are few in number; if they unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed."
(1) they thought more of the wrong against themselves than of the gin against God (ver. 31).
(2) Their anger was unrestrained by mercy, or even by justice (ver. 25).
(3) It led them into acts of sin - deceit, murder, robbery.
(4) It was soiled by selfish gain (ver. 27). Anger may be right; but need of special, watchfulness (Ephesians 4:26). For under its influence the heart is not in a state fitted to judge; and much danger of self-deception, of mistaking a selfish for a godly anger.
I. A JUST CAUSE FOR ANGER DOES NOT EXCUSE ITS EXCESS. Anger may be called for
(1) as a protest against wrong;
(2) to deter others from wrong.
But vengeance, retribution, belongs to God (Romans 12:19). He alone has the knowledge to apportion it, looking both to the past and to the future. But anger tempts to retaliation (Matthew 5:38). The wrong fills the mind. Our own errors and acts of wrong (cf. John 8:7), and the plea, Thine anger brings harm to the innocent, are unheeded. The fact that there was cause for anger blinds to its real nature; for unrestrained anger is in truth an offering to self-love. The plea of zeal for right and of godly indignation may seem sincere; but "ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of."
II. A JUST CAUSE FOR ANGER DOES NOT EXCUSE WRONGDOING. God's laws cannot be set aside. And he who takes on himself the office of judge should be especially watchful not to transgress (Psalm 37:3). To do wrong on the plea of doing God's work is to distrust his providential care (Romans 12:19-21). It is to do evil that good may come; a form of being drawn aside by our own lusts (cf. 1 Samuel 24:7; 1 Samuel 26:9). Such acts of wrong are especially evil in Christians. They are "a city set on an hill." Men are ever ready to point to their errors as excusing their own. Men see and judge the act, but cannot estimate the provocation, or, it may be, the sorrow, for a hasty action.
III. WORKS DONE IN ANGER HINDER THE WORK OF THE CHURCH. That work is to draw men together in one (John 17:21). The power by which this is done is love. The love of Christ reflected in us (1 John 4:7). Love wins men's hearts, reason only their minds. And the presence of anger hinders love; not merely in him against whom it is directed; like a stone thrown into still water, it disturbs its surface far and wide.
IV. THE POWER BY WHICH ANGER MUST BE CONTROLLED. Dwelling on the work and example of Christ. He bore all for us. Is not wrath rebuked in the presence of his patience? And if as a "strange work" we are constrained to indignation, must we not watch and pray that no selfish feeling may mingle with it; and, knowing in how many things we offend, that we be "slow to wrath," ready to forgive, and ever "looking unto Jesus"? - M.
Dinah the daughter of Leah... went out to see.I. SHE CAME.
II. SHE SAW.
III. SHE WAS CONQUERED.
(J. Henry Burn, B. D.)
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.)
(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.)
(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)
(C. H. M.)
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.)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.)
PeopleCanaanites, Dinah, Hamor, Hivite, Jacob, Leah, Levi, Perizzites, Simeon
TopicsAttack, Canaanites, Destroyed, Forces, Gather, Household, Inhabitants, Jacob, Join, Levi, Making, Odious, Perizzites, Simeon, Stench, Strike, Themselves, Trouble, Troubled
Outline1. 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 ThemesGenesis 34:30
Library"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
How they are to be Admonished who Lament Sins of Deed, and those who Lament Only Sins of Thought.
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