The Message

Genesis 34

11-4 One day Dinah, the daughter Leah had given Jacob, went to visit some of the women in that country. Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite who was chieftain there, saw her and raped her. Then he felt a strong attraction to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, fell in love with her, and wooed her. Shechem went to his father Hamor, “Get me this girl for my wife.”

5-7 Jacob heard that Shechem had raped his daughter Dinah, but his sons were out in the fields with the livestock so he didn’t say anything until they got home. Hamor, Shechem’s father, went to Jacob to work out marriage arrangements. Meanwhile Jacob’s sons on their way back from the fields heard what had happened. They were outraged, explosive with anger. Shechem’s rape of Jacob’s daughter was intolerable in Israel and not to be put up with.

8-10 Hamor spoke with Jacob and his sons, “My son Shechem is head over heels in love with your daughter—give her to him as his wife. Intermarry with us. Give your daughters to us and we’ll give our daughters to you. Live together with us as one family. Settle down among us and make yourselves at home. Prosper among us.”

11-12 Shechem then spoke for himself, addressing Dinah’s father and brothers: “Please, say yes. I’ll pay anything. Set the bridal price as high as you will—the sky’s the limit! Only give me this girl for my wife.”

13-17 Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father with cunning. Their sister, after all, had been raped. They said, “This is impossible. We could never give our sister to a man who was uncircumcised. Why, we’d be disgraced. The only condition on which we can talk business is if all your men become circumcised like us. Then we will freely exchange daughters in marriage and make ourselves at home among you and become one big, happy family. But if this is not an acceptable condition, we will take our sister and leave.”

18 That seemed fair enough to Hamor and his son Shechem.

19 The young man was so smitten with Jacob’s daughter that he proceeded to do what had been asked. He was also the most admired son in his father’s family.

20-23 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the public square and spoke to the town council: “These men like us; they are our friends. Let them settle down here and make themselves at home; there’s plenty of room in the country for them. And, just think, we can even exchange our daughters in marriage. But these men will only accept our invitation to live with us and become one big family on one condition, that all our males become circumcised just as they themselves are. This is a very good deal for us—these people are very wealthy with great herds of livestock and we’re going to get our hands on it. So let’s do what they ask and have them settle down with us.”

24 Everyone who was anyone in the city agreed with Hamor and his son, Shechem; every male was circumcised.

25-29 Three days after the circumcision, while all the men were still very sore, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each with his sword in hand, walked into the city as if they owned the place and murdered every man there. They also killed Hamor and his son Shechem, rescued Dinah from Shechem’s house, and left. When the rest of Jacob’s sons came on the scene of slaughter, they looted the entire city in retaliation for Dinah’s rape. Flocks, herds, donkeys, belongings—everything, whether in the city or the fields—they took. And then they took all the wives and children captive and ransacked their homes for anything valuable.

30 Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You’ve made my name stink to high heaven among the people here, these Canaanites and Perizzites. If they decided to gang up on us and attack, as few as we are we wouldn’t stand a chance; they’d wipe me and my people right off the map.”

31 They said, “Nobody is going to treat our sister like a whore and get by with it.”

New International Reader's Version

Genesis 34

Simeon and Levi Kill the Men of Shechem

1Dinah was the daughter Leah had by Jacob. Dinah went out to visit the women of the land. Hamor, the Hivite, was the ruler of that area. When his son Shechem saw Dinah, he took her and raped her. Then he longed for Jacob’s daughter Dinah. He fell in love with her and spoke tenderly to her. Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me that young woman. I want her to be my wife.”

Jacob heard that his daughter Dinah had been raped. His sons were in the fields with his livestock. So he did nothing about it until they came home.

Then Shechem’s father Hamor went out to talk with Jacob. Jacob’s sons had come in from the fields. They came as soon as they heard what had happened. They were shocked and very angry. Shechem had done a very terrible thing. He had forced Jacob’s daughter to have sex with him. He had done something that should never be done in Israel.

But Hamor said to Jacob and his sons, “My son Shechem wants your daughter. Please give her to him to be his wife. Let your people and ours get married to each other. Give us your daughters as our wives. You can have our daughters as your wives. 10 You can live among us. Here is the land. Live in it. Trade in it. Buy property in it.”

11 Then Shechem spoke to Dinah’s father and brothers. He said, “I want to please you. I’ll give you anything you ask for. 12 Make the price for the bride as high as you want to. I’ll pay you whatever you ask. Just give me the young woman. I want to marry her.”

13 Their sister Dinah had been raped. So Jacob’s sons lied to Shechem and his father Hamor. 14 They said to them, “We can’t do it. We can’t give our sister to a man who isn’t circumcised. That would bring shame on us. 15 We’ll agree, but only on one condition. You will have to become like us. You will have to circumcise all your males. 16 Then we’ll give you our daughters as your wives. And we’ll take your daughters as our wives. We’ll live among you and become one big family with you. 17 But if you won’t agree to be circumcised, then we’ll take our sister and go.”

18 Their offer seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19 The young man was the most honored of all his father’s family. He didn’t lose any time in doing what Dinah’s father and brothers had said, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. 20 Hamor and his son Shechem went to the city gate. They spoke to the other men there. 21 “These men are friendly toward us,” they said. “Let them live in our land. Let them trade in it. The land has plenty of room for them. We can marry their daughters. And they can marry ours. 22 But they will agree to live with us as one big family only on one condition. All our males must be circumcised, just as they are. 23 Won’t their livestock and their property belong to us? Won’t all their animals become ours? So let’s say yes to them. Then they’ll live among us.”

24 All the men who went out through the city gate agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem. So every male in the city was circumcised.

25 Three days later, all of them were still in pain. Then Simeon and Levi took their swords. They were Jacob’s sons and Dinah’s brothers. They attacked the city when the people didn’t expect it. They killed every male. 26 They also used their swords to kill Hamor and his son Shechem. Then they took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left. 27 Jacob’s other sons found the dead bodies. They robbed the city where their sister had been raped. 28 They took the flocks and herds and donkeys. They took everything in the city and in the fields. 29 They carried everything away. And they took all the women and children. They took away everything in the houses.

30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me. Now I’m like a very bad smell to the Canaanites and Perizzites who live in this land. There aren’t many of us. They may join together against me and attack me. Then I and my family will be destroyed.”

31 But they replied, “Should Shechem have treated our sister like a prostitute?”