Sharon Stephen
3 min readFeb 1, 2021

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Genesis Bible Study: Chapter 33–34

Chapter 33

The brothers re-unite

Jacob and Esau finally meet after about 20 years of being apart. The reunion is one that is super emotional.

“Then Jacob went on ahead. As he approached his brother, he bowed to the ground seven times before him. Then Esau ran to meet him and embraced him, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. And they both wept.”

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭33:3–4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jacob presented gifts of many livestock and Esau accepted them after much persuasion from his brother.

Esau then asks that they begin to set out for home in Seir but Jacob asks to wait behind a bit because of his young children, so they won’t be so tired. Esau agrees and sets out with his men.

Jacob on the other hand decided to go to another location

I guess he still didn’t trust his brother. It’s understandable.

Jacob bought land in Shechem in Canaan and settled there.

Chapter 34

DISCLAIMER: This next story is quite disturbing and some might find it super uncomfortable.

One day, Dinah, Leah’s daughter went to visit some of the young women in her area. I’m guessing she just wanted to play and gist.

One of the princes, Shechem, in the area then saw her and took her and slept with her.

Some translations say he lay with her and defiled her, some say he raped her. Either ways, what happened here was wrong. She was unmarried and he was a Canaanite.

But, Shechem fell deeply in love with her and he told his father. So both of them went to meet Jacob to ask for Dinah’s hadn’t in marriage. They wanted an agreement where the Canaanites could marry from Jacob’s family and vice versa.

Jacob was quiet, even though he heard what happened to his daughter and waited for his sons to get back home, so they would decide what to do.

When his sons came back, they were shocked and upset at what had happened.

Shechem and his father still asked desperately for Dinah, offering to pay whatever amount of bride price they called.

“But since Shechem had defiled their sister, Dinah, Jacob’s sons responded deceitfully to Shechem and his father, Hamor.

They said to them,

“We couldn’t possibly allow this, because you’re not circumcised. It would be a disgrace for our sister to marry a man like you! But here is a solution. If every man among you will be circumcised like we are, then we will give you our daughters, and we’ll take your daughters for ourselves. We will live among you and become one people. But if you don’t agree to be circumcised, we will take her and be on our way.””

‭‭Genesis‬ ‭34:13–17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

They responded deceitfully. I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

So Shechem and his father agree to the terms and go back home and ask all the men to be circumcised.

Three days after the mass circumcision event, Dinah’s full brothers, Simon and Levi took their swords and killed all the men. They took their sister Dinah from Shechem’s house and took her back home.

The remaining brothers came and saw what had been done, they plundered and took all their properties, the livestock, the cattle. They also took the women and the children as captives.

Jacob was very unhappy with the move that Simeon and Levi had made.

The rule of not messing with a man’s younger sister has been in existence ever since.

This story is one that I don’t truly understand. I don’t understand why it’s a chapter in this book, I’m unsure of it’s significance. But oh well, let’s continue reading. Hopefully we’d understand.

Some writers say the major issue with what happened with Dinah is because Shechem was a Canaanite and there were rules against marrying a Canaanite.

I tried checking if there were any other books not in the Bible that tell about what happened to Dinah. Some say she got pregnant and the child was left to be adopted by some Egyptians and the baby girl was Potiphera’s daughter who eventually married Joseph.

Some say she remained single and Simon her brother took responsibility of her.

Some say she was able to marry a man named Job.

I really do wonder how she was able to survive in such a time. In recent times rape can come with social stigma especially when it’s public and the effects it has on the person’s mental health is another great issue entirely.

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Sharon Stephen

A young Nigerian woman, sharing her thoughts and feelings, while hoping that you find solace or solidarity in her written words. 💜