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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 34

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1Dinah, the daughter whom Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit women of the district, 2and Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, the local prince, saw her. He took her, lay with her, and violated her. 3But Shechem was deeply attached to Jacob's daughter Dinah; he loved the girl and sought to win her affection. 4Shechem said to Hamor his father, ‘You must get me this girl as my wife.’ 5When Jacob learnt that his daughter Dinah had been dishonoured, his sons were with the herds in the open country, so he held his peace until they came home. 6Meanwhile Shechem's father Hamor came out to Jacob to talk the matter over with him. 7When they heard the news Jacob's sons came home from the country; they were distressed and very angry, because in lying with Jacob's daughter Shechem had done what the Israelites hold to be an intolerable outrage. 8Hamor appealed to them: ‘My son Shechem is in love with this girl; I beg you to let him have her as his wife. 9Let us ally ourselves in marriage; you give us your daughters, and you take ours. 10If you settle among us, the country is open before you; make your home in it, move about freely, and acquire land of your own.’ 11Shechem said to the girl's father and brothers, ‘I am eager to win your favour and I shall give whatever you ask. 12Fix the bride-price and the gift as high as you like, and I shall give whatever you ask; only, give me the girl in marriage.’

13Jacob's sons replied to Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because Shechem had violated their sister Dinah: 14‘We cannot do this,’ they said; ‘we cannot give our sister to a man who is uncircumcised, for we look on that as a disgrace. 15Only on one condition can we give our consent: if you follow our example and have every male among you circumcised, 16we shall give you our daughters and take yours for ourselves. We will then live among you, and become one people with you. 17But if you refuse to listen to us and be circumcised, we shall take the girl and go.’ 18Their proposal appeared satisfactory to Hamor and his son Shechem; 19and the young man, who was held in respect above anyone in his father's house, did not hesitate to do what they had said, because his heart had been captured by Jacob's daughter.

20Hamor and Shechem went to the gate of their town and addressed their fellow-townsmen: 21‘These men are friendly towards us,’ they said; ‘let them live in our country and move freely in it. The land has room enough for them. Let us marry their daughters and give them ours. 22But on this condition only will these men agree to live with us as one people: every male among us must be circumcised as they are. 23Their herds, their livestock, and all their chattels will then be ours. We need only agree to their condition, and then they are free to live with us.’ 24All the able-bodied men agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem, and every able-bodied male among them was circumcised. 25Then two days later, while they were still in pain, two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, full brothers to Dinah, after arming themselves with swords, boldly entered the town and killed every male. 26They cut down Hamor and his son Shechem and took Dinah from Shechem's house and went off. 27Jacob's other sons came in over the dead bodies and plundered the town which had brought dishonour on their sister. 28They seized flocks, cattle, donkeys, whatever was inside the town and outside in the open country; 29they carried off all the wealth, the women, and the children, and looted everything in the houses.

30Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ‘You have brought trouble on me; you have brought my name into bad odour among the people of the country, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few; if they combine against me and attack, I shall be destroyed, I and my household with me.’ 31They answered, ‘Is our sister to be treated as a common whore?’

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