The account, on the surface, is in the main sordid, sad, and purposeless -- just a common record of human weakness, evil, and misfortune. But these things are all recorded for a purpose. They all form part of those things which, says Paul, were

"written for our admonition."

Although the surface picture is one of the natural, and apparently purposeless, heaving of troubled waters, yet beneath it there is a strong current of divine direction and control.

Jacob is working out his salvation, and learning obedience by the things which he suffers. The record is a strange mixture of the human and the divine. Between the sordid episodes of Dinah and Reuben we find the glorious events of Bethel.

There is very little recorded of happiness or peace in the lives of the patriarchs. It is mostly trouble, and friction, and danger, and sorrow, and the endless, restless journeying onward. In Abraham's picture there was the conflict of Sarah and Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael. In Isaac's that between Esau and Jacob. And Jacob's family was the scene of continual jealousy and strife.

...Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were divinely appointed to possess none of the land -- to have no settled Iife. This was to be a big point for the instruction of future generations -- keeping the issues very clear concerning the time and condition of the fulfillment of the covenant. And is it no more than a meaningless coincidence that the true Heir, the long-awaited Seed, spent his life as a pilgrim on the roads of this same land -- his nonpossession of it so complete that he had nowhere to lay his head, and must be buried In another's sepulchre?

Bro Growcott - Not Ashamed To Be Called Their God

1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.

She wandered out of the camp. This was the first mistake. She wanted to see the daughters of the land. Why? This is what happens. The desire to be like the world. To be like their sons and daughters. The world has a pull on the flesh. The birds get out of the nest and then the trouble starts. Out there is a corrupt and godless world which does not recognise sin. In their eyes anything goes, they just obey the lusts and desires of the flesh which ever way they take them.

King Sin rules, but worse he peddles his propaganda to justify any perversion which is pleasing to the flesh. So Dinah once out there in the big wide world, freed from the constraints of the "godly" family, falls into the ways of the seducing world. She commits fornication with Shechem, the son of Hamon. He desires to marry her.

Bro Richard Lister

The Apocalyptic Messenger, May 2017

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.

9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.

We wonder why the events of this chapter should happen -- and why they were recorded. When we look at the results, it would seem that the overall purpose in the divine plan was the breaking up of the association that was forming between the family of Jacob and these Canaanites.

Both Abraham and Isaac had shown great anxiety that the holy seed should not be joined in marriage with the people of the land. We wonder, therefore, why Jacob should buy land and plan to settle down at the gate of a Canaanite city. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were, by divine decree, strangers and pilgrims. Integration with the people of the land was the one thing above all others that must be avoided.

As we look over the lives of Abraham and Isaac, we see how events conspired to keep them separate and ever moving. Even the incident of representing, their wives as sisters had, in each case, the result of their being sent out from among the people with whom they were dwelling.

Beside keeping separate, one other thing was very important. Until the foreordained time came for God to take them to Egypt (as foreshadowed to Abraham) they had to stay in the land -- but as pilgrims, not as settlers. We remember Abraham went into Egypt because of the famine, but circumstances soon caused his return. When a similar famine came in the days of Isaac, God very significantly told him NOT to go to Egypt, promising to care for him in the land.

When Abraham sent back to Haran for a wife for Isaac, his most pressing instruction to his servant was that he should not -- under any circumstances -- ever take Isaac back to Haran. If the woman would not come to the promised land, the marriage would not be consummated. (There is a type in this).

Bro Growcott - Not Ashamed To Be Called Their God

13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:

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:

Here the Truth is breaking down wholesale as one thing leads to another. A great deputation of Hamor and his son takes place at the camp of Jacob to plead for Dinah's hand for his son Shechem. The sons of Jacob move in, and agree to the arrangement on condition all the men folk in the city of Shalem (Salem) (=Peace) (Jerusalem = vision of Peace) are circumcised.

Circumcision had a spiritual lesson - the repudiation or cutting off of the flesh, sin's flesh. It was a token of God's future blessings covenanted to Abraham and his seed (Gen. 17). The fulfillment of this Covenant was predicated on the core doctrine of circumcision - Christ being the true circumcision made without hands (Co1. 2.11). But murder is in the heart of Jacob's sons ..

Here is a marvellous type of the conspiracy and slaughter of God's Son, since Christ was the Shechem = burden bearer, bearing away the sin of the world (Is.53. 4-10).

Bro Richard Lister

The Apocalyptic Messenger, May 2017

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.

This circumstance is taken as a characteristic of their tribes in the last days.

"Instruments of cruelty,"

said Jacob,

"are in their habitations."

And foreseeing the part they would play in relation to the Seed, he exclaimed,

"0 my soul, come not thou unto their secret, unto their assembly (Psalm 2:2 ; Matt. 26:14), mine honour be not thou united."

But why not Jacob?

"For in their anger they slew a man (Matt.26:57, 59), and in their self-will they digged down a wall," that is, overthrew a city (Gen. 34:25-29). "Cursed be their anger for it was fierce: and their wrath, for it was cruel."

The verification of these things will easily be recognized in the history of the tribe of Levi at the era of the crucifixion.

It was the priests who sought and at last accomplished the death of Jesus, to whom Jacob refers; and to mark his sense of their conduct, he said

"I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel."

This was fulfilled in giving Levi no cantonal inheritance in the land, and in including Simeon's portion within the limits of the canton of Judah (Josh. 19:1,9).

From this arrangement, Levi, Simeon, and Judah, became the tribes principally concerned in the transactions of the last days.

Elpis Israel 2.3.

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.

We are not to assume, because God used this incident, that He approved the treacherous actions of Levi and Simeon...Their killing of the prince Shechem --

"more honorable than all his father's house" 

-- is used as a type of their crucifixion of the Prince of Life -- 

"In their anger they slew a man."

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 I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.

So Jacob bought some land, and pitched his tent at the gate of Shechem, apparently with a view to permanency. As was to be expected in the circumstances, his daughter Dinah mingles with the daughters of the land. Something is necessary to bring things to a head, and to put the chosen family back on its divinely appointed course of separation and pilgrimage. And we find that something -- the Dinah-Shechem affair -- DOES occur that has the effect of completely isolating Jacob from the Canaanites.

Bro Growcott - Not Ashamed To Be Called Their God