34:1 Now Dinah, Leah’s daughter whom she bore to Jacob, went to meet 1 the young women 2 of the land. 34:2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, who ruled that area, saw her, he grabbed her, forced himself on her, 3 and sexually assaulted her. 4 34:3 Then he became very attached 5 to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter. He fell in love with the young woman and spoke romantically to her. 6 34:4 Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Acquire this young girl as my wife.” 7 34:5 When 8 Jacob heard that Shechem 9 had violated his daughter Dinah, his sons were with the livestock in the field. So Jacob remained silent 10 until they came in.
34:6 Then Shechem’s father Hamor went to speak with Jacob about Dinah. 11 34:7 Now Jacob’s sons had come in from the field when they heard the news. 12 They 13 were offended 14 and very angry because Shechem 15 had disgraced Israel 16 by sexually assaulting 17 Jacob’s daughter, a crime that should not be committed. 18
34:8 But Hamor made this appeal to them: “My son Shechem is in love with your daughter. 19 Please give her to him as his wife. 34:9 Intermarry with us. 20 Let us marry your daughters, and take our daughters as wives for yourselves. 21 34:10 You may live 22 among us, and the land will be open to you. 23 Live in it, travel freely in it, 24 and acquire property in it.”
34:11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s 25 father and brothers, “Let me find favor in your sight, and whatever you require of me 26 I’ll give. 27 34:12 You can make the bride price and the gift I must bring very expensive, 28 and I’ll give 29 whatever you ask 30 of me. Just give me the young woman as my wife!”
34:13 Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully when they spoke because Shechem 31 had violated their sister Dinah. 34:14 They said to them, “We cannot give 32 our sister to a man who is not circumcised, for it would be a disgrace 33 to us. 34:15 We will give you our consent on this one condition: You must become 34 like us by circumcising 35 all your males. 34:16 Then we will give 36 you our daughters to marry, 37 and we will take your daughters as wives for ourselves, and we will live among you and become one people. 34:17 But if you do not agree to our terms 38 by being circumcised, then we will take 39 our sister 40 and depart.”
34:18 Their offer pleased Hamor and his son Shechem. 41 34:19 The young man did not delay in doing what they asked 42 because he wanted Jacob’s daughter Dinah 43 badly. (Now he was more important 44 than anyone in his father’s household.) 45 34:20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate 46 of their city and spoke to the men of their city, 34:21 “These men are at peace with us. So let them live in the land and travel freely in it, for the land is wide enough 47 for them. We will take their daughters for wives, and we will give them our daughters to marry. 48 34:22 Only on this one condition will these men consent to live with us and become one people: They demand 49 that every male among us be circumcised just as they are circumcised. 34:23 If we do so, 50 won’t their livestock, their property, and all their animals become ours? So let’s consent to their demand, so they will live among us.”
34:24 All the men who assembled at the city gate 51 agreed with 52 Hamor and his son Shechem. Every male who assembled at the city gate 53 was circumcised. 34:25 In three days, when they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword 54 and went to the unsuspecting city 55 and slaughtered every male. 34:26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and left. 34:27 Jacob’s sons killed them 56 and looted the city because their sister had been violated. 57 34:28 They took their flocks, herds, and donkeys, as well as everything in the city and in the surrounding fields. 58 34:29 They captured as plunder 59 all their wealth, all their little ones, and their wives, including everything in the houses.
34:30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought ruin 60 on me by making me a foul odor 61 among the inhabitants of the land – among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I 62 am few in number; they will join forces against me and attack me, and both I and my family will be destroyed!” 34:31 But Simeon and Levi replied, 63 “Should he treat our sister like a common prostitute?”
35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up at once 64 to Bethel 65 and live there. Make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 66 35:2 So Jacob told his household and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have among you. 67 Purify yourselves and change your clothes. 68 35:3 Let us go up at once 69 to Bethel. Then I will make 70 an altar there to God, who responded to me in my time of distress 71 and has been with me wherever I went.” 72
35:4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods that were in their possession 73 and the rings that were in their ears. 74 Jacob buried them 75 under the oak 76 near Shechem 35:5 and they started on their journey. 77 The surrounding cities were afraid of God, 78 and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.
35:6 Jacob and all those who were with him arrived at Luz (that is, Bethel) 79 in the land of Canaan. 80 35:7 He built an altar there and named the place El Bethel 81 because there God had revealed himself 82 to him when he was fleeing from his brother. 35:8 (Deborah, 83 Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak below Bethel; thus it was named 84 Oak of Weeping.) 85
35:9 God appeared to Jacob again after he returned from Paddan Aram and blessed him. 35:10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but your name will no longer be called Jacob; Israel will be your name.” So God named him Israel. 86 35:11 Then God said to him, “I am the sovereign God. 87 Be fruitful and multiply! A nation – even a company of nations – will descend from you; kings will be among your descendants! 88 35:12 The land I gave 89 to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you. To your descendants 90 I will also give this land.” 35:13 Then God went up from the place 91 where he spoke with him. 35:14 So Jacob set up a sacred stone pillar in the place where God spoke with him. 92 He poured out a drink offering on it, and then he poured oil on it. 93 35:15 Jacob named the place 94 where God spoke with him Bethel. 95
35:16 They traveled on from Bethel, and when Ephrath was still some distance away, 96 Rachel went into labor 97 – and her labor was hard. 35:17 When her labor was at its hardest, 98 the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you are having another son.” 99 35:18 With her dying breath, 100 she named him Ben-Oni. 101 But his father called him Benjamin instead. 102 35:19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 103 35:20 Jacob set up a marker 104 over her grave; it is 105 the Marker of Rachel’s Grave to this day.
35:21 Then Israel traveled on and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 106 35:22 While Israel was living in that land, Reuben had sexual relations with 107 Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Israel heard about it.
Jacob had twelve sons:
35:23 The sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, as well as Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
35:24 The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
35:25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali.
35:26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher.
These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan Aram.
35:27 So Jacob came back to his father Isaac in Mamre, 108 to Kiriath Arba 109 (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 110 35:28 Isaac lived to be 180 years old. 111 35:29 Then Isaac breathed his last and joined his ancestors. 112 He died an old man who had lived a full life. 113 His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
36:2 Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: 115 Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah and granddaughter 116 of Zibeon the Hivite, 36:3 in addition to Basemath the daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth.
36:6 Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, all the people in his household, his livestock, his animals, and all his possessions which he had acquired in the land of Canaan and went to a land some distance away from 117 Jacob his brother 36:7 because they had too many possessions to be able to stay together and the land where they had settled 118 was not able to support them because of their livestock. 36:8 So Esau (also known as Edom) lived in the hill country of Seir. 119
36:10 These were the names of Esau’s sons:
Eliphaz, the son of Esau’s wife Adah, and Reuel, the son of Esau’s wife Basemath.
36:11 The sons of Eliphaz were:
Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.
36:15 These were the chiefs 124 among the descendants 125 of Esau, the sons of Eliphaz, Esau’s firstborn: chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz, 36:16 chief Korah, 126 chief Gatam, chief Amalek. These were the chiefs descended from Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons 127 of Adah.
36:17 These were the sons of Esau’s son Reuel: chief Nahath, chief Zerah, chief Shammah, chief Mizzah. These were the chiefs descended from Reuel in the land of Edom; these were the sons 128 of Esau’s wife Basemath.
36:18 These were the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah: chief Jeush, chief Jalam, chief Korah. These were the chiefs descended from Esau’s wife Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah.
36:19 These were the sons of Esau (also known as Edom), and these were their chiefs.
36:20 These were the sons of Seir the Horite, 129 who were living in the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 36:21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These were the chiefs of the Horites, the descendants 130 of Seir in the land of Edom.
36:27 These were the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.
36:28 These were the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.
36:29 These were the chiefs of the Horites: chief Lotan, chief Shobal, chief Zibeon, chief Anah, 36:30 chief Dishon, chief Ezer, chief Dishan. These were the chiefs of the Horites, according to their chief lists in the land of Seir.
36:32 Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom; the name of his city was Dinhabah.
36:33 When Bela died, Jobab the son of Zerah from Bozrah reigned in his place.
36:34 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites reigned in his place.
36:35 When Husham died, Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated the Midianites in the land of Moab, reigned in his place; the name of his city was Avith.
36:36 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah reigned in his place.
36:38 When Shaul died, Baal-Hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his place.
36:40 These were the names of the chiefs of Esau, according to their families, according to their places, by their names: chief Timna, chief Alvah, chief Jetheth, 36:41 chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon, 36:42 chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, 36:43 chief Magdiel, chief Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom, according to their settlements 140 in the land they possessed. This was Esau, the father of the Edomites.
[34:2] 4 tn The verb עָנָה (’anah) in the Piel stem can have various shades of meaning, depending on the context: “to defile; to mistreat; to violate; to rape; to shame; to afflict.” Here it means that Shechem violated or humiliated Dinah by raping her.
[34:3] 6 tn Heb “and he spoke to the heart of the young woman,” which apparently refers in this context to tender, romantic speech (Hos 2:14). Another option is to translate the expression “he reassured the young woman” (see Judg 19:3, 2 Sam 19:7; cf. NEB “comforted her”).
[34:5] 10 sn The expected response would be anger or rage; but Jacob remained silent. He appears too indifferent or confused to act decisively. When the leader does not act decisively, the younger zealots will, and often with disastrous results.
[34:7] 13 tn Heb “the men.” This sounds as if a new group has been introduced into the narrative, so it has been translated as “they” to indicate that it refers to Jacob’s sons, mentioned in the first part of the verse.
[34:7] 14 tn The Hebrew verb עָצַב (’atsav) can carry one of three semantic nuances depending on the context: (1) “to be injured” (Ps 56:5; Eccl 10:9; 1 Chr 4:10); (2) “to experience emotional pain; to be depressed emotionally; to be worried” (2 Sam 19:2; Isa 54:6; Neh 8:10-11); (3) “to be embarrassed; to be insulted; to be offended” (to the point of anger at another or oneself; Gen 6:6; 45:5; 1 Sam 20:3, 34; 1 Kgs 1:6; Isa 63:10; Ps 78:40). This third category develops from the second by metonymy. In certain contexts emotional pain leads to embarrassment and/or anger. In this last use the subject sometimes directs his anger against the source of grief (see especially Gen 6:6). The third category fits best in Gen 34:7 because Jacob’s sons were not merely wounded emotionally. On the contrary, Shechem’s action prompted them to strike out in judgment against the source of their distress.
[34:7] 17 tn Heb “by lying with the daughter of Jacob.” The infinitive here explains the preceding verb, indicating exactly how he had disgraced Jacob. The expression “to lie with” is a euphemism for sexual relations, or in this case, sexual assault.
[34:7] 18 tn Heb “and so it should not be done.” The negated imperfect has an obligatory nuance here, but there is also a generalizing tone. The narrator emphasizes that this particular type of crime (sexual assault) is especially reprehensible.
[34:8] 19 tn Heb “Shechem my son, his soul is attached to your daughter.” The verb means “to love” in the sense of being emotionally attached to or drawn to someone. This is a slightly different way of saying what was reported earlier (v. 3). However, there is no mention here of the offense. Even though Hamor is speaking to Dinah’s brothers, he refers to her as their daughter (see v. 17).
[34:9] sn Intermarry with us. This includes the idea of becoming allied by marriage. The incident foreshadows the temptations Israel would eventually face when they entered the promised land (see Deut 7:3; Josh 23:12).
[34:10] 24 tn The verb seems to carry the basic meaning “travel about freely,” although the substantival participial form refers to a trader (see E. A. Speiser, “The Verb sh£r in Genesis and Early Hebrew Movements,” BASOR 164 : 23-28); cf. NIV, NRSV “trade in it.”
[34:12] 28 tn Heb “Make very great upon me the bride price and gift.” The imperatives are used in a rhetorical manner. Shechem’s point is that he will pay the price, no matter how expensive it might be.
[34:19] 44 tn The Hebrew verb כָּבֵד (kaved), translated “was…important,” has the primary meaning “to be heavy,” but here carries a secondary sense of “to be important” (that is, “heavy” in honor or respect).
[34:27] 56 tn Heb “came upon the slain.” Because of this statement the preceding phrase “Jacob’s sons” is frequently taken to mean the other sons of Jacob besides Simeon and Levi, but the text does not clearly affirm this.
[34:30] 60 tn The traditional translation is “troubled me” (KJV, ASV), but the verb refers to personal or national disaster and suggests complete ruin (see Josh 7:25, Judg 11:35, Prov 11:17). The remainder of the verse describes the “trouble” Simeon and Levi had caused.
[34:30] 61 tn In the causative stem the Hebrew verb בָּאַשׁ (ba’ash) means “to cause to stink, to have a foul smell.” In the contexts in which it is used it describes foul smells, stenches, or things that are odious. Jacob senses that the people in the land will find this act terribly repulsive. See P. R. Ackroyd, “The Hebrew Root באשׁ,” JTS 2 (1951): 31-36.
[35:4] 74 sn On the basis of a comparison with Gen 34 and Num 31, G. J. Wenham argues that the foreign gods and the rings could have been part of the plunder that came from the destruction of Shechem (Genesis [WBC], 2:324).
[35:5] 78 tn Heb “and the fear of God was upon the cities which were round about them.” The expression “fear of God” apparently refers (1) to a fear of God (objective genitive; God is the object of their fear). (2) But it could mean “fear from God,” that is, fear which God placed in them (cf. NRSV “a terror from God”). Another option (3) is that the divine name is used as a superlative here, referring to “tremendous fear” (cf. NEB “were panic-stricken”; NASB “a great terror”).
[35:7] 82 tn Heb “revealed themselves.” The verb נִגְלוּ (niglu), translated “revealed himself,” is plural, even though one expects the singular form with the plural of majesty. Perhaps אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) is here a numerical plural, referring both to God and the angelic beings that appeared to Jacob. See the note on the word “know” in Gen 3:5.
[35:8] 85 tn Or “Allon Bacuth,” if one transliterates the Hebrew name (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). An oak tree was revered in the ancient world and often designated as a shrine or landmark. This one was named for the weeping (mourning) occasioned by the death of Deborah.
[35:11] 87 tn The name אֵל שַׁדַּי (’el shadday, “El Shaddai”) has often been translated “God Almighty,” primarily because Jerome translated it omnipotens (“all powerful”) in the Latin Vulgate. There has been much debate over the meaning of the name. For discussion see W. F. Albright, “The Names Shaddai and Abram,” JBL 54 (1935): 173-210; R. Gordis, “The Biblical Root sdy-sd,” JTS 41 (1940): 34-43; and especially T. N. D. Mettinger, In Search of God, 69-72. Shaddai/El Shaddai is the sovereign king of the world who grants, blesses, and judges. In the Book of Genesis he blesses the patriarchs with fertility and promises numerous descendants. Outside Genesis he both blesses/protects and takes away life/happiness. The patriarchs knew God primarily as El Shaddai (Exod 6:3). While the origin and meaning of this name are uncertain its significance is clear. The name is used in contexts where God appears as the source of fertility and life. For a fuller discussion see the note on “sovereign God” in Gen 17:1.
[35:11] sn A nation…will descend from you. The promise is rooted in the Abrahamic promise (see Gen 17). God confirms what Isaac told Jacob (see Gen 28:3-4). Here, though, for the first time Jacob is promised kings as descendants.
[35:12] 89 tn The Hebrew verb translated “gave” refers to the Abrahamic promise of the land. However, the actual possession of that land lay in the future. The decree of the
[35:14] 92 tn Heb “and Jacob set up a sacred pillar in the place where he spoke with him, a sacred pillar of stone” (see the notes on the term “sacred stone” in Gen 28:18). This passage stands parallel to Gen 28:18-19, where Jacob set up a sacred stone, poured oil on it, and called the place Bethel. Some commentators see these as two traditions referring to the same event, but it is more likely that Jacob reconsecrated the place in fulfillment of the vow he had made here earlier. In support of this is the fact that the present narrative alludes to and is built on the previous one.
[35:14] 93 tn The verb נָסַךְ (nasakh) means “to pour out, to make libations,” and the noun נֶסֶךְ (nesekh) is a “drink-offering,” usually of wine or of blood. The verb יָצַק (yatsaq) means “to pour out,” often of anointing oil, but of other elements as well.
[35:15] 94 sn Called the name of the place. In view of the previous naming of Bethel in Gen 28:19, here Jacob was confirming or affirming the name through an official ritual marking the fulfillment of the vow. This place now did become Bethel, the house of God.
[35:16] 97 tn Normally the verb would be translated “she gave birth,” but because that obviously had not happened yet, it is better to translate the verb as ingressive, “began to give birth” (cf. NIV) or “went into labor.”
[35:17] 98 tn The construction uses a Hiphil infinitive, which E. A. Speiser classifies as an elative Hiphil. The contrast is with the previous Piel: there “she had hard labor,” and here, “her labor was at its hardest.” Failure to see this, Speiser notes, has led to redundant translations and misunderstandings (Genesis [AB], 273).
[35:18] 101 sn The name Ben-Oni means “son of my suffering.” It is ironic that Rachel’s words to Jacob in Gen 30:1, “Give me children or I’ll die,” take a different turn here, for it was having the child that brought about her death.
[35:18] sn His father called him Benjamin. There was a preference for giving children good or positive names in the ancient world, and “son of my suffering” would not do (see the incident in 1 Chr 4:9-10), because it would be a reminder of the death of Rachel (in this connection, see also D. Daube, “The Night of Death,” HTR 61 : 629-32). So Jacob named him Benjamin, which means “son of the [or “my”] right hand.” The name Benjamin appears in the Mari texts. There have been attempts to connect this name to the resident tribe listed at Mari, “sons of the south” (since the term “right hand” can also mean “south” in Hebrew), but this assumes a different reading of the story. See J. Muilenburg, “The Birth of Benjamin,” JBL 75 (1956): 194-201.
[35:21] 106 sn The location of Migdal Eder is not given. It appears to be somewhere between Bethlehem and Hebron. Various traditions have identified it as at the shepherds’ fields near Bethlehem (the Hebrew name Migdal Eder means “tower of the flock”; see Mic 4:8) or located it near Solomon’s pools.
[35:22] sn Reuben’s act of having sexual relations with Bilhah probably had other purposes than merely satisfying his sexual desire. By having sex with Bilhah, Reuben (Leah’s oldest son) would have prevented Bilhah from succeeding Rachel as the favorite wife, and by sleeping with his father’s concubine he would also be attempting to take over leadership of the clan – something Absalom foolishly attempted later on in Israel’s history (2 Sam 16:21-22).
[36:1] 114 sn Chapter 36 records what became of Esau. It will list both his actual descendants as well as the people he subsumed under his tribal leadership, people who were aboriginal Edomites. The chapter is long and complicated (see further J. R. Bartlett, “The Edomite King-List of Genesis 36:31-39 and 1 Chronicles 1:43-50,” JTS 16 : 301-14; and W. J. Horowitz, “Were There Twelve Horite Tribes?” CBQ 35 : 69-71). In the format of the Book of Genesis, the line of Esau is “tidied up” before the account of Jacob is traced (37:2). As such the arrangement makes a strong contrast with Jacob. As F. Delitzsch says, “secular greatness in general grows up far more rapidly than spiritual greatness” (New Commentary on Genesis, 2:238). In other words, the progress of the world far out distances the progress of the righteous who are waiting for the promise.
[36:20] 129 sn The same pattern of sons, grandsons, and chiefs is now listed for Seir the Horite. “Seir” is both the name of the place and the name of the ancestor of these tribes. The name “Horite” is probably not to be identified with “Hurrian.” The clan of Esau settled in this area, intermarried with these Horites and eventually dispossessed them, so that they all became known as Edomites (Deut 2:12 telescopes the whole development).
[36:37] 137 tn Typically the Hebrew expression “the River” refers to the Euphrates River, but it is not certain whether that is the case here. Among the modern English versions which take this as a reference to the Euphrates are NASB, NCV, NRSV, CEV, NLT. Cf. NAB, TEV “Rehoboth-on-the-River.”