Genesis chs. 32 to 36, VaYishlach
Â Genesis:Â Â
Â Â The Book of BeginningsÂ Â
Genesis chs.32:3 to 36
AND HE SENT
This section is called VaYishlach (And [he] sent) after the word meaning "And He Sent" in the first verse.
[Genesis 32:3] AND JACOB SENT MESSENGERS BEFORE HIM TO ESAU HIS BROTHER UNTO THE LAND OF SEIR, THE COUNTRY OF EDOM.
Seir is the country of Edom: Seir connotes goat. We believe that Alexander the great was a descendant of Esau. Alexander is said to be represented by a goat in the Book of Daniel.
Seir also connotes hairy, windy, demonic (satyr).
The people of Seir were Horites who appear to have been assimilated amongst the descendants of Edom.
[Genesis 32:4] AND HE COMMANDED THEM, SAYING, THUS SHALL YE SPEAK UNTO MY LORD ESAU; THY SERVANT JACOB SAITH THUS, I HAVE SOJOURNED WITH LABAN, AND STAYED THERE UNTIL NOW:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:5] AND I HAVE OXEN, AND ASSES, FLOCKS, AND MENSERVANTS, AND WOMENSERVANTS: AND I HAVE SENT TO TELL MY LORD, THAT I MAY FIND GRACE IN THY SIGHT.
Jacob was a hero but he recognized reality. He did not overduly rely on miracles even though he was a prophet who had had face-to-face encounters with angels. Esau had bigger guns on his side at that moment so Jacob took steps to placate him.
[Genesis 32:6] AND THE MESSENGERS RETURNED TO JACOB, SAYING, WE CAME TO THY BROTHER ESAU, AND ALSO HE COMETH TO MEET THEE, AND FOUR HUNDRED MEN WITH HIM.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:7] THEN JACOB WAS GREATLY AFRAID AND DISTRESSED: AND HE DIVIDED THE PEOPLE THAT WAS WITH HIM, AND THE FLOCKS, AND HERDS, AND THE CAMELS, INTO TWO BANDS;
He split his people into two: Does this symbolize the eventual splitting of the Israelite people into two parts headed by Judah and Ephraim?
[Genesis 32:8] AND SAID, IF ESAU COME TO THE ONE COMPANY, AND SMITE IT, THEN THE OTHER COMPANY WHICH IS LEFT SHALL ESCAPE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:9] AND JACOB SAID, O GOD OF MY FATHER ABRAHAM, AND GOD OF MY FATHERÂ ISAAC, THE LORD WHICH SAIDST UNTO ME, RETURN UNTO THY COUNTRY, AND TO THY KINDRED, AND I WILL DEAL WELL WITH THEE:
God would be with him when he returned to the holy Land, the Land of God. Is this symbolic of future events? Nevertheless there was danger in the return.
[Genesis 32:10] I AM NOT WORTHY OF THE LEAST OF ALL THE MERCIES, AND OF ALL THE TRUTH, WHICH THOU HAST SHEWED UNTO THY SERVANT; FOR WITH MY STAFF I PASSED OVER THIS JORDAN; AND NOW I AM BECOME TWO BANDS
No matter what was going to happen to him he never stopped acknowledging the greatness and goodness of God.
[Genesis 32:11] DELIVER ME, I PRAY THEE, FROM THE HAND OF MY BROTHER, FROM THE HAND OF ESAU: FOR I FEAR HIM, LEST HE WILL COME AND SMITE ME, AND THE MOTHER WITH THE CHILDREN.
He was afraid of Esau. He knew his nature. Esau was already then quite capable of exterminating Jacob and wiping out men, women, and children.
[Genesis 32:12] AND THOU SAIDST, I WILL SURELY DO THEE GOOD, AND MAKE THY SEED AS THE SAND OF THE SEA, WHICH CANNOT BE NUMBERED FOR MULTITUDE.
He had been promised that his seed would be enormously numerous. Note the constant repetition of this promise. This justifies us identifying the Lost Ten tribes with large groups of people.
[Genesis 32:13] AND HE LODGED THERE THAT SAME NIGHT; AND TOOK OF THAT WHICH CAME TO HIS HAND A PRESENT FOR ESAU HIS BROTHER;Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:14] TWO HUNDRED SHE GOATS, AND TWENTY HE GOATS, TWO HUNDRED EWES, AND TWENTY RAMS,Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:15] THIRTY MILCH CAMELS WITH THEIR COLTS, FORTY KINE, AND TEN BULLS, TWENTY SHE ASSES, AND TEN FOALS.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:16] AND HE DELIVERED THEM INTO THE HAND OF HIS SERVANTS, EVERY DROVE BY THEMSELVES; AND SAID UNTO HIS SERVANTS, PASS OVER BEFORE ME, AND PUT A SPACE BETWIXT DROVE AND DROVE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:17] AND HE COMMANDED THE FOREMOST, SAYING, WHEN ESAU MY BROTHER MEETETH THEE, AND ASKETH THEE, SAYING, WHOSE ART THOU? AND WHITHER GOEST THOU? AND WHOSE ARE THESE BEFORE THEE?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:18] THEN THOU SHALT SAY, THEY BE THY SERVANT JACOB'S; IT IS A PRESENT SENT UNTO MY LORD ESAU: AND, BEHOLD, ALSO HE IS BEHIND US.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:19] AND SO COMMANDED HE THE SECOND, AND THE THIRD, AND ALL THAT FOLLOWED THE DROVES, SAYING, ON THIS MANNER SHALL YE SPEAK UNTO ESAU, WHEN YE FIND HIM.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:20] AND SAY YE MOREOVER, BEHOLD, THY SERVANT JACOB IS BEHIND US. FOR HE SAID, I WILL APPEASE HIM WITH THE PRESENT THAT GOETH BEFORE ME, AND AFTERWARD I WILL SEE HIS FACE; PERADVENTURE HE WILL ACCEPT OF ME.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:21] SO WENT THE PRESENT OVER BEFORE HIM: AND HIMSELF LODGED THAT NIGHT IN THE COMPANY.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:22] AND HE ROSE UP THAT NIGHT, AND TOOK HIS TWO WIVES, AND HIS TWO WOMENSERVANTS, AND HIS ELEVEN SONS, AND PASSED OVER THE FORD JABBOK.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:23] AND HE TOOK THEM, AND SENT THEM OVER THE BROOK, AND SENT OVER THAT HE HAD.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:24] AND JACOB WAS LEFT ALONE; AND THERE WRESTLED A MAN WITH HIM UNTIL THE BREAKING OF THE DAY.
This Man was an angel. According to tradition he was the guardian angel of Esau.
The word for angel in Hebrew is Malakh: This literally means messenger. A "malakh" is therefore a messenger. It can be a human messenger or a spiritual one. When Jacob began his struggle with this man he may have thought him to be human being. His Divine Nature became apparent in the course of the struggle.
Notice the style of the Biblical narrative. We are introduced to the scene as if indeed the angel is a man. In fact until the very end the Bible never tells us expressly just who this-so-called man was.
Perhaps this comes to tell us:
1. An emissary from God can be anyone. It does not really matter whether it be a spiritual being or a mortal one.
2. Jacob was at such a level that to him it was pretty much all the same: Humans, angels, etc. They were all different aspects of his day-to-day reality.
At the beginning of his life Jacob is introduced as simple person who prefers to sit in tents, and as a favorite of his mother, a mothers boy. We learn however almost just incidentally that he also reveals himself as capable when the hour needs it of super-deception, of confrontation with his warrior-hunter brother, of superhuman physical strength lifting alone a rock that a whole crowd of outdoors he-men shepherds were not capable of moving, of living outdoors in the wild day and night in the heat and cold of wilderness extremities for years on end, of keeping four young women as his wives all fighting each other for his attentions, of fathering twelve sons and at least one daughter (some say eleven or twelve daughters), of outwitting his local warlord of a father-in-law, of being prepared for a life-or-death encounter with his warrior brother, of talking directly to God Almighty, of physically wrestling with an angel all night long, subduing the angel, and demanding a blessing. There is more to Jacob than meets the eye. Maybe Jacob was a Clark Kent (alias Superman) type of person? A sissy boy who turns out to possess the archetype capabilities of a macho personality?
My father once quoted to me a saying of Theodore Roosevelt (President of USA 1901-1909): Talk quietly but carry a big stick.
[Genesis 32:25] AND WHEN HE SAW THAT HE PREVAILED NOT AGAINST HIM, HE TOUCHED THE HOLLOW OF HIS THIGH; AND THE HOLLOW OF JACOB'S THIGH WAS OUT OF JOINT, AS HE WRESTLED WITH HIM.
HOLLOW OF HIS THIGH was understood to hint at sexual matters. The adversary did not defeat Israel but he does manage to weaken him by causing some of his great men to sometimes somehow fall down in sexual matters.
[Genesis 32:26] AND HE SAID, LET ME GO, FOR THE DAY BREAKETH. AND HE SAID, I WILL NOT LET THEE GO, EXCEPT THOU BLESS ME.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:27] AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, WHAT IS THY NAME? AND HE SAID, JACOB.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:28] AND HE SAID, THY NAME SHALL BE CALLED NO MORE JACOB, BUT ISRAEL: FOR AS A PRINCE HAST THOU POWER WITH GOD AND WITH MEN, AND HAST PREVAILED.
The name "Yisrael" is a play on words: It can connote "rule with-" or "wrestle with- (God)" or both together.
[Genesis 32:29] AND JACOB ASKED HIM, AND SAID, TELL ME, I PRAY THEE, THY NAME. AND HE SAID, WHEREFORE IS IT THAT THOU DOST ASK AFTER MY NAME? AND HE BLESSED HIM THERE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 32:30] AND JACOB CALLED THE NAME OF THE PLACE PENIEL: FOR I HAVE SEEN GOD FACEÂ TO FACE, AND MY LIFE IS PRESERVED.
The man was an emissary of God. A spiritual being, a representative of God Himself. At what stage had Jacob become aware of this?
[Genesis 32:31] AND AS HE PASSED OVER PENUEL THE SUN ROSE UPON HIM, AND HE HALTED UPON HIS THIGH.
"HIS THIGH": Sexual failings are often the Achilles heel of the Israelite people. All of us are liable to fall down in this area.
[Genesis 32:32] THEREFORE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL EAT NOT OF THE SINEW WHICH SHRANK, WHICH IS UPON THE HOLLOW OF THE THIGH, UNTO THIS DAY: BECAUSE HE TOUCHED THE HOLLOW OF JACOB'S THIGH IN THE SINEW THAT SHRANK.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:1] AND JACOB LIFTED UP HIS EYES, AND LOOKED, AND, BEHOLD, ESAU CAME, AND WITH HIM FOUR HUNDRED MEN. AND HE DIVIDED THE CHILDREN UNTO LEAH, AND UNTO RACHEL, AND UNTO THE TWO HANDMAIDS.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:2] AND HE PUT THE HANDMAIDS AND THEIR CHILDREN FOREMOST, AND LEAH AND HER CHILDREN AFTER, AND RACHEL AND JOSEPH HINDERMOST.
JOSEPH HINDERMOST the descendants of Joseph still are the most distanced section of the Israelite people. They are separated out in islands or geographical extremities (ends of the earth) such as Britain, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and even to a degree New Zealand. The other Israelites are closer to Edom assuming that Edom is dominant in Germany and other parts of Europe in general.
[Genesis 33:3] AND HE PASSED OVER BEFORE THEM, AND BOWED HIMSELF TO THE GROUND SEVEN TIMES, UNTIL HE CAME NEAR TO HIS BROTHER.
The Rabbis say that because he bowed down to Esau his descendants were condemned to be exiled.
[Genesis 33:4] AND ESAU RAN TO MEET HIM, AND EMBRACED HIM, AND FELL ON HIS NECK, AND KISSED HIM: AND THEY WEPT.
"AND FELL ON HIS NECK": Winston Churchill once said that the German is either at your feet or at your throat.
THEY WEPT these two were destined to spend a lot of time together for good and for bad.
[Genesis 33:5] AND HE LIFTED UP HIS EYES, AND SAW THE WOMEN AND THE CHILDREN; AND SAID, WHO ARE THOSE WITH THEE? AND HE SAID, THE CHILDREN WHICH GOD HATH GRACIOUSLY GIVEN THY SERVANT.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:6] THEN THE HANDMAIDENS CAME NEAR, THEY AND THEIR CHILDREN, AND THEY BOWED THEMSELVES.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:7] AND LEAH ALSO WITH HER CHILDREN CAME NEAR, AND BOWED THEMSELVES: AND AFTER CAME JOSEPH NEAR AND RACHEL, AND THEY BOWED THEMSELVES.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:8] AND HE SAID, WHAT MEANEST THOU BY ALL THIS DROVE WHICH I MET? AND HE SAID, THESE ARE TO FIND GRACE IN THE SIGHT OF MY LORD.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:9] AND ESAU SAID, I HAVE ENOUGH, MY BROTHER; KEEP THAT THOU HAST UNTO THYSELF.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:10] AND JACOB SAID, NAY, I PRAY THEE, IF NOW I HAVE FOUND GRACE IN THY SIGHT, THEN RECEIVE MY PRESENT AT MY HAND: FOR THEREFORE I HAVE SEEN THY FACE, AS THOUGH I HAD SEEN THE FACE OF GOD, AND THOU WAST PLEASED WITH ME.
The Rabbis interpreted this to mean that Jacob was indicating to Esau that Jacob had met the guardian angel of EsauÂ (THE FACE OF GOD), face-to-face, and obtained his sanction.
[Genesis 33:11] TAKE, I PRAY THEE, MY BLESSING THAT IS BROUGHT TO THEE; BECAUSE GOD HATH DEALT GRACIOUSLY WITH ME, AND BECAUSE I HAVE ENOUGH. AND HE URGED HIM, AND HE TOOK IT.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:12] AND HE SAID, LET US TAKE OUR JOURNEY, AND LET US GO, AND I WILL GO BEFORE THEE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:13] AND HE SAID UNTO HIM, MY LORD KNOWETH THAT THE CHILDREN ARE TENDER, AND THE FLOCKS AND HERDS WITH YOUNG ARE WITH ME: AND IF MEN SHOULD OVERDRIVE THEM ONE DAY, ALL THE FLOCK WILL DIE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:14] LET MY LORD, I PRAY THEE, PASS OVER BEFORE HIS SERVANT: AND I WILL LEAD ON SOFTLY, ACCORDING AS THE CATTLE THAT GOETH BEFORE ME AND THE CHILDREN BE ABLE TO ENDURE, UNTIL I COME UNTO MY LORD UNTO SEIR.
Rashi quotes the Sages as saying: WE have gone through the entire Bible and not found that Jacob fulfilled his promise: UNTIL I COME UNTO MY LORD UNTO SEIR. When will he fulfill it and go to Esau?
When the following verse is fulfilled: AND SAVIOURS SHALL COME UP ON MOUNT ZION TO JUDGE THE MOUNT OF ESAU; AND THE KINGDOM SHALL BE THE LORD'S [Obadiah 1:21]. See the Brit-Am Commentary to the Book of Obadiah.
See also Isaiah 63 and our Commentary there.
[Genesis 33:15] AND ESAU SAID, LET ME NOW LEAVE WITH THEE SOME OF THE FOLK THAT ARE WITH ME. AND HE SAID, WHAT NEEDETH IT? LET ME FIND GRACE IN THE SIGHT OF MY LORD.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:16] SO ESAU RETURNED THAT DAY ON HIS WAY UNTO SEIR.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:17] AND JACOB JOURNEYED TO SUCCOTH, AND BUILT HIM AN HOUSE, AND MADE BOOTHS FOR HIS CATTLE: THEREFORE THE NAME OF THE PLACE IS CALLED SUCCOTH.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:18] AND JACOB CAME TO SHALEM, A CITY OF SHECHEM, WHICH IS IN THE LAND OF CANAAN, WHEN HE CAME FROM PADANARAM; AND PITCHED HIS TENT BEFORE THE CITY.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 33:19] AND HE BOUGHT A PARCEL OF A FIELD, WHERE HE HAD SPREAD HIS TENT, AT THE HAND OF THE CHILDREN OF HAMOR, SHECHEM'S FATHER, FOR AN HUNDRED PIECES OF MONEY.
"HAMOR" means donkey. We may think this a strange name to give somebody. But a male donkey has strength, stamina, persistence, virility, intelligence, and individuality. These are not negative qualities.
[Genesis 33:20] AND HE ERECTED THERE AN ALTAR, AND CALLED IT EL-ELOHE-ISRAEL.
"EL-ELOHE-ISRAEL" means God, the God Of Israel.
Rape and Bloody Vengeance
[Genesis 34:1] AND DINAH THE DAUGHTER OF LEAH, WHICH SHE BARE UNTO JACOB, WENT OUT TO SEE THE DAUGHTERS OF THE LAND.
Perhaps she should not have gone out? Even if she was to go out however she should not have been harmed. These days in some circles it has become fashionable to look for blame in the victim. Sometimes there is a point in this approach but even so it cannot absolve the victimizer. A person should not be provocative or make himself or herself susceptible. However even if they do so they have a right to protection and redress if wrong is done to them.
[Genesis 34:2] AND WHEN SHECHEM THE SON OF HAMOR THE HIVITE, PRINCE OF THE COUNTRY, SAW HER, HE TOOK HER, AND LAY WITH HER, AND DEFILED HER.
"HE TOOK HER, AND LAY WITH HER, AND DEFILED HER": The word for defile is derived from the word inui meaning oppression or torture. This was much worse than simple seduction. It was rape combined with sadism. Even simple seduction however was also an offence.
Incidentally the root of inui is ina or ana or alternatively anoi. In my opinion it is the source of the English word annoy.
[Genesis 34:3] AND HIS SOUL CLAVE UNTO DINAH THE DAUGHTER OF JACOB, AND HE LOVED THE DAMSEL, AND SPAKE KINDLY UNTO THE DAMSEL.
HE LOVED: after rape and affliction came love.
DAMSEL: she was very young at the time.
"SPAKE KINDLY": There have been a lot of case studies of young women being kidnapped, sometimes raped, and eventually being led to identify with their oppressors. There was the famous case of Patty Hearst that followed the said pattern. It happens that women in such situations do acquiesce after the fact. In Hebrew Law if the beginning of the deed was forced it is considered rape even if the woman later agrees.
Psychologically we have case histories of people identifying with their oppressors.
This is known as the "Stockholm Syndrome".
"The Stockholm Syndrome"
<<Stockholm Syndrome describes the behavior of kidnap victims who, over time, become sympathetic to their captors. The name derives from a 1973 hostage incident in Stockholm, Sweden. At the end of six days of captivity in a bank, several kidnap victims actually resisted rescue attempts, and afterwards refused to testify against their captors.
Stockholm Syndrome: Unequal Power Relationships
<<On August 23rd 1973, Jan Olsson began a bank robbery that would add a new interpretation to the world's view of hostage situations, and the psychological effects behind unequal power relations. It started with the storming a local kreditbanke in downtown Stockholm, Sweden, and the shooting of the police officers who had gone in after Olsson. With this action, a six day ordeal and hostage situation known as the Norrmalmstorg Robbery began. Four hostages were taken into the bank's vault. Dynamite was strapped to them, and they were rigged to snare traps so that in case of a gas attack by the police, the hostages would be killed regardless of any rescue attempts. Three women and one man were confined to this small room, fighting to survive. (7) Yet when these captives were released, they had more sympathy for their captors than the police who had rescued them and went so far as to publicly decry their own rescue. Two of the hostages became friends with the captors, a fund was set up by them to help pay for the defense fees accrued through their trial, and continue to support their captors against the police even today. (8) Psychologist Nils Bejerot named the captives' attachment towards their abusers "Stockholm Syndrome," and from this case, a new behavioral attachment disorder began. (7)>>
Jewish people in Israel who feel overdue sympathy for Palestinian terrorists are suffering from a form of this sickness. The same applies to American citizens who support the Arab cause.
The Nazis and Communists and other tyrants always found plenty of people to assist them amongst those they oppressed.
Somewhere within all of us there exists a tendency to respect force and to give in to the powers that be no matter what they do. In some cases this is necessary (as perhaps in the early stages of military training?) and justified but there are times when we are expected to resist to the extent of our capability.Â On the whole evil should always be resisted or at least kept away from and not acquiesced with.
[Genesis 34:4] AND SHECHEM SPAKE UNTO HIS FATHER HAMOR, SAYING, GET ME THIS DAMSEL TO WIFE.
In some societies (such as certain areas of the Caucasus but also elsewhere) abduction followed by marriage is an accepted procedure.
[Genesis 34:5] AND JACOB HEARD THAT HE HAD DEFILED DINAH HIS DAUGHTER: NOW HIS SONS WERE WITH HIS CATTLE IN THE FIELD: AND JACOB HELD HIS PEACE UNTIL THEY WERE COME.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:6] AND HAMOR THE FATHER OF SHECHEM WENT OUT UNTO JACOB TO COMMUNE WITH HIM.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:7] AND THE SONS OF JACOB CAME OUT OF THE FIELD WHEN THEY HEARD IT: AND THE MEN WERE GRIEVED, AND THEY WERE VERY WROTH, BECAUSE HE HAD WROUGHT FOLLY IN ISRAEL IN LYING WITH JACOB'S DAUGHTER: WHICH THING OUGHT NOT TO BE DONE.
IN LYING WITH JACOB'S DAUGHTER: Even seduction is not tolerable. Even in modern terms Dinah was well underage at the time this event took place.
WHICH THING OUGHT NOT TO BE DONE: All of mankind are commanded to institute systems of justice. Raping and oppressing women are not to be tolerated.
[Genesis 34:8] AND HAMOR COMMUNED WITH THEM, SAYING, THE SOUL OF MY SON SHECHEM LONGETH FOR YOUR DAUGHTER: I PRAY YOU GIVE HER HIM TO WIFE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:9] AND MAKE YE MARRIAGES WITH US, AND GIVE YOUR DAUGHTERS UNTO US, AND TAKE OUR DAUGHTERS UNTO YOU.
The case is not as simple as it seems. Dinah was very young. She was a little girl from a family of traveling foreigners who had come temporarily to the city. She went out to pay a courtesy call to the females of the area. This may have been the custom of the time and may have been an expected thing to do. Schechem the local prince seized her, lay with her, oppressed and defiled her and KEPT HER with him in his house. She was abducted and abused. She had been disgraced. After that he tried to legalize the situation and took steps to retroactively make it more socially acceptable. The power was in his hands. The family of Jacob was being pressured to assimilate amongst the Canaanite natives of the area. From one point of view their survival as an independent self-respecting entity was at stake.
[Genesis 34:10] AND YE SHALL DWELL WITH US: AND THE LAND SHALL BE BEFORE YOU; DWELL AND TRADE YE THEREIN, AND GET YOU POSSESSIONS THEREIN.
Give us your daughters, take our women, live with us, and prosper. And if not? Dinah was already there.
[Genesis 34:11] AND SHECHEM SAID UNTO HER FATHER AND UNTO HER BRETHREN, LET ME FIND GRACE IN YOUR EYES, AND WHAT YE SHALL SAY UNTO ME I WILL GIVE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:12] ASK ME NEVER SO MUCH DOWRY AND GIFT, AND I WILL GIVE ACCORDING AS YE SHALL SAY UNTO ME: BUT GIVE ME THE DAMSEL TO WIFE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:13] AND THE SONS OF JACOB ANSWERED SHECHEM AND HAMOR HIS FATHER DECEITFULLY, AND SAID, BECAUSE HE HAD DEFILED DINAH THEIR SISTER:
The people of Hamor had the power. Jacob and his sons were just wayfarers, few in number, and aliens in the land. They had to resort to subterfuge.
[Genesis 34:14] AND THEY SAID UNTO THEM, WE CANNOT DO THIS THING, TO GIVE OUR SISTER TO ONE THAT IS UNCIRCUMCISED; FOR THAT WERE A REPROACH UNTO US:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:15] BUT IN THIS WILL WE CONSENT UNTO YOU: IF YE WILL BE AS WE BE, THAT EVERY MALE OF YOU BE CIRCUMCISED;
Note they requested that these people be circumcised as if circumcision were simply a cultural matter without connection to religion.
[Genesis 34:16] THEN WILL WE GIVE OUR DAUGHTERS UNTO YOU, AND WE WILL TAKE YOUR DAUGHTERS TO US, AND WE WILL DWELL WITH YOU, AND WE WILL BECOME ONE PEOPLE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:17] BUT IF YE WILL NOT HEARKEN UNTO US, TO BE CIRCUMCISED; THEN WILL WE TAKE OUR DAUGHTER, AND WE WILL BE GONE.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:18] AND THEIR WORDS PLEASED HAMOR, AND SHECHEM HAMOR'S SON.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:19] AND THE YOUNG MAN DEFERRED NOT TO DO THE THING, BECAUSE HE HAD DELIGHT IN JACOB'S DAUGHTER: AND HE WAS MORE HONOURABLE THAN ALL THE HOUSE OF HIS FATHER.
BECAUSE HE HAD DELIGHT IN JACOB'S DAUGHTER: His motivation was to continue enjoying the fruits of what he had taken illegally and unjustly. All this time he kept her in his house. He did not send her home.
[Genesis 34:20] AND HAMOR AND SHECHEM HIS SON CAME UNTO THE GATE OF THEIR CITY, AND COMMUNED WITH THE MEN OF THEIR CITY, SAYING,Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:21] THESE MEN ARE PEACEABLE WITH US; THEREFORE LET THEM DWELL IN THE LAND, AND TRADE THEREIN; FOR THE LAND, BEHOLD, IT IS LARGE ENOUGH FOR THEM; LET US TAKE THEIR DAUGHTERS TO US FOR WIVES, AND LET US GIVE THEM OUR DAUGHTERS.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:22] ONLY HEREIN WILL THE MEN CONSENT UNTO US FOR TO DWELL WITH US, TO BE ONE PEOPLE, IF EVERY MALE AMONG US BE CIRCUMCISED, AS THEY ARE CIRCUMCISED.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:23] SHALL NOT THEIR CATTLE AND THEIR SUBSTANCE AND EVERY BEAST OF THEIR'S BEÂ OUR'S? ONLY LET US CONSENT UNTO THEM, AND THEY WILL DWELL WITH US.
Notice the motivating factors that were appealed to: To obtain access to the maidens, to get hold of possessions and livestock. The people of the city apparently knew about the rape. They did not punish the rapist, nor do they seem to have condemned him. They seem pleased with the whole situation. This made them culpable. Their psychology was similar to that of the Arabs in Israel. In 1948 the Arabs in Palestine expected to defeat the Jews. They had agreed amongst themselves how to divide up the wives and daughters and possessions of the Jews. Even now they are prepared sometimes temporarily to do things legally in order to obtain what they want but as soon as a little power is in their hands they resort immediately to violence.
This is what they themselves say openly and publicly sometimes through their own media.
The Canaanite people of the City of Schechem were the same as the present0day Palestinians.
Read the passage carefully.
They said to themselves: We have already taken and defiled the daughter of the head man. Let us legalize the acquisition. Let us humor them and carry out this circumcision rite. The have plentiful herds and possessions. They will dwell with us. We will take their women and give some of our women to them. We will gain possession of all that is theirs if necessary by force in the same way as our prince took their princess.
[Genesis 34:24] AND UNTO HAMOR AND UNTO SHECHEM HIS SON HEARKENED ALL THAT WENT OUT OF THE GATE OF HIS CITY; AND EVERY MALE WAS CIRCUMCISED, ALL THAT WENT OUT OF THE GATE OF HIS CITY.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:25] AND IT CAME TO PASS ON THE THIRD DAY, WHEN THEY WERE SORE, THAT TWO OF THE SONS OF JACOB, SIMEON AND LEVI, DINAH'S BRETHREN, TOOK EACH MAN HIS SWORD, AND CAME UPON THE CITY BOLDLY, AND SLEW ALL THE MALES.
Two of Jacobs sons, Simeon and Levi, go into the city and execute all the males who had plotted to take their sisters and daughters and all that they had. When you consider the different characteristics of the Sons of Jacob you realize what variegated qualities were buried deep within Jacob himself.
Simeon and Levi were destined to become prominent amongst the Jews and amongst the Celtic peoples. Some of Simeon was also found amongst the Anglo-Saxons and other groups.
They came against the city and slew all the males. The males were suffering from the after effects of the operation but even so they would have been able to defend themselves to some degree. It was a frontal attack against a numerically superior enemy. The enemy had been weakened beforehand but not totally incapacitated.
[Genesis 34:26] AND THEY SLEW HAMOR AND SHECHEM HIS SON WITH THE EDGE OF THE SWORD, AND TOOK DINAH OUT OF SHECHEM'S HOUSE, AND WENT OUT.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:27] THE SONS OF JACOB CAME UPON THE SLAIN, AND SPOILED THE CITY, BECAUSE THEY HAD DEFILED THEIR SISTER.
"THEY HAD DEFILED": From this Biblical testimony we learn that the whole city in some way was responsible for what had happened to Dinah.
[Genesis 34:28] THEY TOOK THEIR SHEEP, AND THEIR OXEN, AND THEIR ASSES, AND THAT WHICH WAS IN THE CITY, AND THAT WHICH WAS IN THE FIELD,Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 34:29] AND ALL THEIR WEALTH, AND ALL THEIR LITTLE ONES, AND THEIR WIVES TOOK THEY CAPTIVE, AND SPOILED EVEN ALL THAT WAS IN THE HOUSE.
They did to others what others had intended to do to them.
[Genesis 34:30] AND JACOB SAID TO SIMEON AND LEVI, YE HAVE TROUBLED ME TO MAKE ME TO STINK AMONG THE INHABITANTS OF THE LAND, AMONG THE CANAANITES AND THE PERIZZITES: AND BEING FEW IN NUMBER, THEY SHALL GATHER THEMSELVES TOGETHER AGAINST ME, AND SLAY ME; AND I SHALL BE DESTROYED, I AND MY HOUSE.
Different Commentators take differing approaches to the actions of Simeon and Levi. Some justify it while others are critical. Jacob before he died appears to criticize the violent inclinations of this fraternal pair.
SIMEON AND LEVI ARE BRETHREN; INSTRUMENTS OF CRUELTY ARE IN THEIR HABITATIONS [Genesis 49:5].Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
"INSTRUMENTS OF CRUELTY" in Hebrew clei chamas i.e. tools of violence.
O MY SOUL, COME NOT THOU INTO THEIR SECRET; UNTO THEIR ASSEMBLY, MINE HONOUR, BE NOT THOU UNITED: FOR IN THEIR ANGER THEY SLEW A MAN, AND IN THEIR SELFWILL THEY DIGGED DOWN A WALL [Genesis 49:6].
"THEY SLEW A MAN" i.e. the menfolk of Schechem?
"A WALL" in Hebrew "shor". The same word "shor" in Hebrew also means "bull" and a bull symbolizes Joseph. England is nicknamed "John Bull".
CURSED BE THEIR ANGER, FOR IT WAS FIERCE; AND THEIR WRATH, FOR IT WAS CRUEL: I WILL DIVIDE THEM IN JACOB, AND SCATTER THEM IN ISRAEL [Genesis 49:7].Â Â Â Â Â
Simeon and Levi destroyed the city of Schechem.
Simeon and Levi (and Simeon especially) are also considered as primarily responsible for the selling and intended murder of Joseph.Â The question is which of these two offences was Jacob referring to?Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
At all events at this point the criticism of Jacob is more against the possible dangerous consequences of the deed rather than against the deed itself.
[Genesis 34:31] AND THEY SAID, SHOULD HE DEAL WITH OUR SISTER AS WITH AN HARLOT?
Israelite women should respect themselves and should be respected by others. Their menfolk should do what they can to ensure that such is the case.
[Genesis 35:1] AND GOD SAID UNTO JACOB, ARISE, GO UP TO BETHEL, AND DWELL THERE: AND MAKE THERE AN ALTAR UNTO GOD, THAT APPEARED UNTO THEE WHEN THOU FLEDDEST FROM THE FACE OF ESAU THY BROTHER.
God spoke to Jacob but he did not condemn the action of Simeon and Levi.
[Genesis 35:2] THEN JACOB SAID UNTO HIS HOUSEHOLD, AND TO ALL THAT WERE WITH HIM, PUT AWAY THE STRANGE GODS THAT ARE AMONG YOU, AND BE CLEAN, AND CHANGE YOUR GARMENTS:
STRANGE GODS: not necessarily for worship but good luck charms or what not associated with idolatry that they had picked up. These gods probably included a lot of the booty they had taken from the city. This booty would have included gold and silver statuettes inlaid with precious stones done in skillful workmanship and of great aesthetic appeal.
If you were in a similar situation and a priceless statuette by say someone like Michelangelo, had fallen into your hands, would you be in a hurry to get rid of it? Canaanite art work was at least as good as the Greek if not better. Even Greek architecture in a lot of ways really originated in Canaan or Israel.
The Family of JacobÂ was now in a dangerous situation and had to perform a strategically vulnerable evacuation. It was even more important than usual that nothing be with them that was liable to upset their receiving Divine Protection.
PUTÂ AWAY THE STRANGE GODS in a symbolic sense can also refer to foreign non-Biblical habits and thought-processes such as those engendered by the media and certain social-psychological approaches.Â These beautiful ego-pleasing pseudo-scientific explanations allowing us to justify bad behavior will just have to be discarded at some stage or other.
In our times maybe he would have said to throw away the telly? And maybe not.
[Genesis 35:3] AND LET US ARISE, AND GO UP TO BETHEL; AND I WILL MAKE THERE AN ALTAR UNTO GOD, WHO ANSWERED ME IN THE DAY OF MY DISTRESS, AND WAS WITH ME IN THE WAY WHICH I WENT.
A lot of times when we genuinely pray God answers on the spot. At all events prayer is always heard. The problem is being able to pray which is not always easy. When we do succeed in praying well we should therefore do it for as long and as well as we can. A lot of times plain obvious miracles happen to us and we just do not see them or even would rather not do so.
Jacob and all his family were in terrible danger. Jacob showed us the way. When we are in trouble or bad things happen to us or threaten to happen let us become more humble, gather ourselves inward, put away whatever false gods that have accrued to us, ands get back to the place of favor the Almighty once held us in and answered us.
[Genesis 35:4] AND THEY GAVE UNTO JACOB ALL THE STRANGE GODS WHICH WERE IN THEIR HAND, AND ALL THEIR EARRINGS WHICH WERE IN THEIR EARS; AND JACOB HID THEM UNDER THE OAK WHICH WAS BY SHECHEM.
The Druids of Celtic Britain worshipped under oak trees. Is there a connection?
[Genesis 35:5] AND THEY JOURNEYED: AND THE TERROR OF GOD WAS UPON THE CITIES THAT WERE ROUND ABOUT THEM, AND THEY DID NOT PURSUE AFTER THE SONS OF JACOB.
They were in terrible danger. They were foreigners, a small band of itinerant livestock herders, almost like Gypsies. They came to a major city in the land, made a pact of friendship and then took advantage of the physical vulnerability they had induced to massacre all the males, took all the females, took all valuable and then just took off.Â The natural reaction of the kinsmen of Hamor and his people in neighboring cities would have been to seek vengeance or at least punish the perpetrators even if only out of an instinct of self-preservation. God cast fear in their hands and they were paralyzed.
[Genesis 35:6] SO JACOB CAME TO LUZ, WHICH IS IN THE LAND OF CANAAN, THAT IS, BETHEL, HE AND ALL THE PEOPLE THAT WERE WITH HIM.
Luz is another name for Beth-El. Beth-El was near the present settlement of Bet-el in Samaria. Yair Davidiy lived in that settlement for a while. It is a very beautiful very spiritual region: high up, mountainous, green, misty, wild herds of deer, numerous remains of ancient buildings in every direction. It was once one of the capitals of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The e-mail aspect of the Brit-Am Project began in Bet-el.
[Genesis 35:7] AND HE BUILT THERE AN ALTAR, AND CALLED THE PLACE ELBETHEL: BECAUSE THERE GOD APPEARED UNTO HIM, WHEN HE FLED FROM THE FACE OF HIS BROTHER.
ELBETHEL means EL-BETHEL = the God of Beth-El or The God of the house of God. Bethel is a Jewish settlement north of Jerusalem. I lived there for a while. Lost Israelite Identity was completed written and published from there (1996). It is an extremely beautiful area, wild, green, yellow, high-up, hilly, mountainous, healthy, moist air, a lot of dew, a lot of wild deer. A lot of ancient ruins and unexcavated Israelite remains are to be found in the area.
It was on the border between Benjamin and Ephraim. It was a center of King Jeroboam who set up one of his golden calves there.
The country is perhaps similar to the highlands of Scotland some of whom descend from Benjamin.
It is a very spiritual area.Â
The Canaanite Arabs cause a lot of trouble in that region. They are against the Jewish presence there and anywhere else.
The Bible tells us how after Jeroboam had led the split of Northern Israel away from the house of Judah he set up his own altars to golden calves one in Dan and one in Beth-el.
AND JEROBOAM ORDAINED A FEAST IN THE EIGHTH MONTH, ON THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF THE MONTH, LIKE UNTO THE FEAST THAT IS IN JUDAH, AND HE OFFERED UPON THE ALTAR. SO DID HE IN BETHEL, SACRIFICING UNTO THE CALVES THAT HE HAD MADE: AND HE PLACED INÂ BETHEL THE PRIESTS OF THE HIGH PLACES WHICH HE HAD MADE. [1-Kings 12:32] .
A Prophet of the Almighty "A MAN OF GOD OUT OF JUDAH" [1-Kings 13:1] came to Beth-el while Jeroboam was sacrificing to his idol.
Â Â "AND HE CRIED AGAINST THE ALTAR IN THE WORD OF THE LORD, AND SAID, OÂ Â ALTAR, ALTAR, THUS SAITH THE LORD; BEHOLD, A CHILD SHALL BE BORN UNTO THE HOUSE OFÂ Â DAVID, JOSIAH BY NAME; AND UPON THEE SHALL HE OFFER THE PRIESTS OF THE HIGH PLACESÂ THAT BURN INCENSE UPON THEE, AND MEN'S BONES SHALL BE BURNT UPON THEE" [1-Kings 13:2].
Jeroboam was angry and he raised his hand and called upon his men to seize the Prophet. The arm of Jeroboam was frozen in its place so that he could move it. The altar was suddenly rent in sunder and the ashes spilled out.Â Â Jeroboam asked the Prophet to entreat God to heal his hand and the Prophet did so (1-Kings 13:6)> Jeroboam then asked the Prophet to come with him to his house and receive a reward. The Prophet refused saying that he had been commanded to deliver his message and then return by a different route and not take anything from anybody. Another "Old" Prophet who lived in Beth-el was told what had happened by his sons. He got on his donkey and went after the Prophet from Judah.Â When he reached the Man from Judah he told him that he too had received a message from God via an angel saying to tell the Messenger from JudahÂ that God had changed his mind and that he must now turn into the house of the "Old Prophet" from "Israel" and eat bead and drink water 1-Kings 13:18. The Man from Judah did so. After eating the Old Man told the emissary from Judah that because he had not obeyed the word of God but had relied on hearsay he would be punished. The Man from Judah went out and was killed by a lion (1-Kings 13:24). From this we learn that God does not change HIS mind!
[Genesis 35:8] BUT DEBORAH REBEKAH'S NURSE DIED, AND SHE WAS BURIED BENEATH BETHEL UNDER AN OAK: AND THE NAME OF IT WAS CALLED ALLONBACHUTH.
DEBORAH REBEKAH'S NURSE: The Scythians (who were at least partly from Israel) made this event part of their cultic world.
ALLONBACHUTH = ALLON-BACHUTH i.e. the oak of weeping. Note the continued association with oaks. The oak had great significance amongst the Celtic Druids.
BACHUTH also pronouncable as Baccus. The god Baccus (Dionysus) was linked with weeping, mourning, and wild behavior. The figure of this Greek god had Canaanite or Israelite origins. Baccus was also identified with Tammuz. Ezekiel (8:14) mentions women weeping for Tammuz. The ancient pagans had a spiritual world of their own with deep and powerful attractions of its own. In some ways we may be on a lower level than they were.
A castrated male who does not fornicate is less praiseworthy than a healthy male who refrains.Â
The trick is to have the ability but only use it in the right direction which may be easier said than done.
[Genesis 35:9] AND GOD APPEARED UNTO JACOB AGAIN, WHEN HE CAME OUT OF PADANARAM, AND BLESSED HIM.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
[Genesis 35:10] AND GOD SAID UNTO HIM, THY NAME IS JACOB: THY NAME SHALL NOT BE CALLED ANY MORE JACOB, BUT ISRAEL SHALL BE THY NAME: AND HE CALLED HIS NAME ISRAEL.
Jacob became Israel. God confirmed the blessing Jacob had forced the guardian angel of Esau to give him.
[Genesis 35:11] AND GOD SAID UNTO HIM, I AM GOD ALMIGHTY: BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY; A NATION AND A COMPANY OF NATIONS SHALL BE OF THEE, AND KINGS SHALL COME OUT OF THY LOINS
The Rabbis say that Jacob was afraid that perhaps innocent people had been killed in the city of Schechem and that God would be angry and take away the blessings. The contrary happened, God protected them and then came and confirmed the blessings and added to them.
BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY: we should try and have as many children as we can.
A NATION: The USA?
AND A COMPANY OF NATIONS the British Commonwealth and other Israelite nations?
A NATION = The Jews.
Â AND A COMPANY OF NATIONS the Lost Ten Tribes? This latter explanation is the most reasonable. The NATION means the Jews and the COMPANY OF NATIONS means the Lost Ten Tribes.
Notice that Jacob was critical of Simeon and Levi BUT God cast HIS fear on the surrounding peoples who did not pursue the Israelites. God also almost straight away blessed and renewed the blessings to Jacob.
In other cases in the Bible when someone had acted wrongly then the whole community suffered or had to make some form of atonement. In this case the Israelites were protected, blessed, the fear of them was on other peoples and they received an increase of possessions. Dinah unfortunately had suffered and in some ways no complete rectification could be offered.
What happened to Dinah?