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34 One day Dinah, Leah and Jacob’s daughter, went out to visit some of the women who lived in the land. But when Shechem (son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the region) saw Dinah, he grabbed her and raped her. His soul was drawn to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter. He fell in love with her and spoke tenderly to her. Shechem went then and spoke with his father, Hamor.

Shechem: I need you to arrange for this girl to be my wife.

Now Jacob found out that Shechem had dishonored and raped his daughter, Dinah, but at the time, all of his sons were out in the field working with the livestock. So Jacob stayed calm and did not react until they came back. Meanwhile Hamor, Shechem’s father, had come to speak with Jacob to arrange a marriage. When news of the attack reached Jacob’s sons, they came in from the field. The young men were appalled and extremely angry because Shechem had done such a horrible thing in Israel by raping Jacob’s daughter. Something like this should never happen.

Hamor tried speaking with them.

Hamor: My son’s soul longs for your daughter. Please give her to him in marriage. In fact, let’s intermarry our families. Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 We’ll live together. The entire land will be open to you. You can live on it, trade on it, and buy property on it.

Shechem (to Jacob and his sons): 11 Please, let me find my way into your favor! Whatever you ask, I will give it to you. 12 Set the bride-price and gift as high as you like, and I will give you whatever it takes. Just please allow me to marry the young woman.

13 Jacob’s sons were still angry that Shechem had defiled their sister Dinah, so they answered him and his father Hamor deceitfully.

Jacob’s Sons: 14 We can’t agree to this arrangement: to give our sister to someone who isn’t circumcised would bring shame on all of us. 15 We will consent to allow you to marry our sister on one condition: you must be circumcised as the rest of us have been. Every male among you must be circumcised.[a] 16 Then we will give our daughters to you and will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live with you in peace and become one people. 17 But if you don’t agree to this condition and be circumcised, then we will take our sister[b] and go.

18 Hamor and his son Shechem were willing to go along with the demand, 19 and the young man wasted no time in fulfilling the requirement since he was so taken with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most honored man in all of his family, 20 so Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of the city and addressed all of the men.

Hamor and Shechem (to the men of the city): 21 These men are peaceful and friendly to us, so let’s allow them to live in the land and trade in it. You see this land is large enough for them too. Let’s take their daughters in marriage, and let’s give them our daughters. 22 They will agree to live among us in peace and become one people on one condition: every male among us must be circumcised, just as they already are. 23 Wouldn’t we have much to gain—their livestock, property, and animals? Let’s agree to their condition, and they will live among us and increase the vitality of our city.

24 So everyone who passed by the city gate listened to Hamor and his son, Shechem, and they all were circumcised—every single man who went out the city gates that day. 25 Three days later, when the men of the city were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons (Dinah’s brothers Simeon and Levi) took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting people of the city, killing all of the men. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword as well; they took Dinah out of Shechem’s house—where she had remained during the negotiations—and then went away. 27 Jacob’s other sons saw those who were killed, and they plundered the city. All of this was done in anger, because it was here that their sister had been raped and the family dishonored. 28 They took all of the flocks, herds, donkeys, and whatever was in the city and the field. 29 All of their wealth, all of their children, and all of their wives—everything they could find in the houses—they plundered and made it their own.

Jacob (reacting to Simeon and Levi): 30 You have brought a lot of trouble to me. The people of this land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, can smell the stink of my sons’ actions. I don’t have huge armies of men to defend us. If they all decide to gather against me and attack me, I will be destroyed along with my entire household.

Simeon and Levi: 31 Would you rather have our sister treated as a whore?


  1. 34:15 Genesis 17:10
  2. 34:17 Hebrew manuscripts read, “our daughter.”

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