Reading 10/341, Genesis 34-36

Dinah is raped by Shechem, or elopes with him. Her brothers arrange a marriage but then kill the men of Shechem’s city, kidnap women and children, looting the city. Jacob returns to Bethel, and God repeats the promise of Abraham and Isaac to him. Rachel dies giving birth to Benjamin. Isaac dies.
[A] Dinah is always a controversial figure. Was she raped or did she elope? In the culture of 1800 BC, there was not much difference in the eyes of her family.
[B] Jacob begins to lose control of his family which he had spent the previous readings building up. His sons attack the city without his permission. His other son sleeps with one of his wives. Rachel, the only one he really loved, dies. Issac, his father, dies.
[C] The last third of this reading is a genealogy. There are a few interesting tidbits among all the names, e.g. the important role that women play in it, more important than in most biblical genealogies.

...Genesis...

Dinah, the daughter of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her. He took her, lay with her, and humiliated her. His soul joined to Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the young lady, and spoke kindly to the young lady. Shechem spoke to his father, Hamor, saying, "Get me this young lady as a wife." Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah, his daughter, and his sons were with his livestock in the field. Jacob held his peace until they came. Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to talk with him. The sons of Jacob came in from the field when they heard it. The men were grieved, and they were very angry, because he had done folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; a thing which ought not to be done. Hamor talked with them, saying, "The soul of my son, Shechem, longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. Make marriages with us. Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. You shall dwell with us, and the land will be before you. Live and trade in it, and get possessions in it." Shechem said to her father and to her brothers, "Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you will tell me I will give. Ask me a great amount for a dowry, and I will give whatever you ask of me, but give me the young lady as a wife."

The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father with deceit, and spoke, because he had defiled Dinah their sister, and said to them, "We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised; for that is a reproach to us. Only on this condition will we consent to you. If you will be as we are, that every male of you be circumcised; then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to ourselves, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people. But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our sister, and we will be gone." Their words pleased Hamor and Shechem, Hamor's son.

The young man did not wait to do this thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter. He was honored above all the house of his father. Hamor and Shechem, his son, came to the gate of their city, and spoke with the men of their city, saying, "These men are peaceful with us. Therefore let them live in the land and trade in it. For behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only on this condition will the men consent to us to live with us, to become one people, if every male among us is circumcised, as they are circumcised. Will not their livestock and their possessions and all their animals be ours? Only let us give our consent to them, and they will dwell with us."

All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor, and to Shechem his son, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city. It happened on the third day, when they were sore, that two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword, came upon the unsuspecting city, and killed all the males. They killed Hamor and Shechem, his son, with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went away. Jacob's sons came on the dead, and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their flocks, their herds, their donkeys, that which was in the city, that which was in the field, and all their wealth. They took captive all their little ones and their wives, and took as plunder everything that was in the house. Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have troubled me, to make me odious to the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I am few in number. They will gather themselves together against me and strike me, and I will be destroyed, I and my house." They said, "Should he deal with our sister as with a prostitute?"

God said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel, and live there. Make there an altar to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother." Then Jacob said to his household, and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, change your garments. Let us arise, and go up to Bethel. I will make there an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me on the way which I went." They gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the rings which were in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. They traveled, and a terror of God was on the cities that were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. He built an altar there, and called the place El-bethel; because there God was revealed to him, when he fled from the face of his brother. Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried below Bethel under an oak, and the name of it was called Allon-bacuth [the oak of weeping].

God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. God said to him, "Your name is Jacob. Your name shall not be Jacob anymore; your name will be Israel." He named him Israel. God said to him, "I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations will be from you, and kings will come out of your body. The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and to your seed after you I will give the land." God went up from him in the place where he spoke with him. Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he spoke with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it, and poured oil on it. Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him "Bethel."

They traveled from Bethel. There was still some distance to come to Ephrath, and Rachel went into labor. She had hard labor. When she was in hard labor, the midwife said to her, "Do not be afraid, for now you will have another son." It happened, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she named him Benoni [son of my sorrow], but his father named him Benjamin [son of the right hand]. Rachel died, and was buried on the way to Ephrath (this is Bethlehem). Jacob set up a pillar on her grave. This pillar is on Rachel's grave to this day. Israel traveled, and spread his tent beyond the tower of Eder. It happened, while Israel lived in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah, his father's concubine, and Israel heard of it.

Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. The sons of Bilhah (Rachel's handmaid): Dan and Naphtali. The sons of Zilpah (Leah's handmaid): Gad and Asher. These are the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan-aram. Jacob came to Isaac his father, to Mamre, to Kiriath-arba (which is Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac lived as foreigners. The days of Isaac were one hundred eighty years. Isaac gave up the spirit, and died, and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. Esau and Jacob, his sons, buried him.

Now this is the history of the generations of Esau (that is, Edom). Esau took his wives from the daughters of Canaan: Adah the daughter of Elon, the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon, the Hivite, and Basemath, Ishmael's daughter, sister of Nebaioth. Adah bore to Esau Eliphaz. Basemath bore Reuel. Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the sons of Esau, who were born to him in the land of Canaan. Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, and all the members of his household, with his livestock, all his animals, and all his possessions, which he had gathered in the land of Canaan, and went into a land away from his brother Jacob. For their substance was too great for them to dwell together, and the land of their travels could not bear them because of their livestock. Esau lived in the hill country of Seir. Esau is Edom. This is the history of the generations of Esau the father of the Edomites in the hill country of Seir: these are the names of Esau's sons: Eliphaz, the son of Adah, the wife of Esau, and Reuel, the son of Basemath, the wife of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zepho, and Gatam, and Kenaz. Timna was concubine to Eliphaz, Esau's son, and she bore to Eliphaz Amalek. These are the sons of Adah, Esau's wife. These are the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These were the sons of Basemath, Esau's wife. These were the sons of Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah, the daughter of Zibeon, Esau's wife: she bore to Esau Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau: the sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz, chief Korah, chief Gatam, chief Amalek: these are the chiefs who came of Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Adah. These are the sons of Reuel, Esau's son: chief Nahath, chief Zerah, chief Shammah, chief Mizzah: these are the chiefs who came of Reuel in the land of Edom; these are the sons of Basemath, Esau's wife. These are the sons of Oholibamah, Esau's wife: chief Jeush, chief Jalam, chief Korah: these are the chiefs who came of Oholibamah the daughter of Anah, Esau's wife. These are the sons of Esau (that is, Edom), and these are their chiefs. These are the sons of Seir the Horite, the inhabitants of the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These are the chiefs who came of the Horites, the children of Seir in the land of Edom. The children of Lotan were Hori and Heman. Lotan's sister was Timna. These are the children of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. These are the children of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. This is Anah who found the hot springs in the desert, as he fed the donkeys of Zibeon his father. These are the children of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah. These are the children of Dishon: Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. These are the children of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. These are the children of Dishan: Uz and Aran. These are the chiefs who came of the Horites: chief Lotan, chief Shobal, chief Zibeon, chief Anah, chief Dishon, chief Ezer, and chief Dishan: these are the chiefs who came of the Horites, according to their chiefs in the land of Seir. These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom, before any king reigned over the children of Israel. Bela, the son of Beor, reigned in Edom. The name of his city was Dinhabah. Bela died, and Jobab, the son of Zerah of Bozrah, reigned in his place. Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his place. Husham died, and Hadad, the son of Bedad, who struck Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his place. The name of his city was Avith. Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place. Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth by the river, reigned in his place. Shaul died, and Baal Hanan, the son of Achbor reigned in his place. Baal Hanan the son of Achbor died, and Hadar reigned in his place. The name of his city was Pau. His wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. These are the names of the chiefs who came from Esau, according to their families, after their places, and by their names: chief Timna, chief Alvah, chief Jetheth, chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon, chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, chief Magdiel, and chief Iram. These are the chiefs of Edom, according to their habitations in the land of their possession. This is Esau, the father of the Edomites.

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