As much as I would like to make Shechem a victim of “love at first sight” and think that this could have been a sweet, Hollywood type, love story~ it’s not! Shechem would have seen that Dinah, as she was out visiting the town ladies, was not dressed as a present woman. This was not a case of mistaken identity! You can bet that Leah, being from a very wealthy clan, dressed her daughter to the 9’s and did not send her out alone! So, Shechem was a spoiled man who took what he wanted without a pre-thought to the consequences that he should and would have been well aware of! In addition, the word “rape” implies this was not a consensual act. So, in reality, nothing is sweet about this story!
So, what is the point of the story? Why did God want it to be included in Genesis? Well, one point I see highlights the truth of Exodus 34:7, “He does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” I like what one commentary says to that, “The sins of the father are punished in the children through becoming the sins of the children.” I can attest to that! My dad has a quick temper. Guess what?! I do to!! I learned that trait from him! His sin became a sin that I need to deal with!
Back to chapter 34, obviously, Hamor and Shechem, (2 guilty parties) are punished immediately for their sin. Yet, there are other guilty parties in this story as well! Simeon and Levi are guilty of killing innocent people. At first it seems like they aren’t punished for their wrong doing, but later we will read how their sin will affect their “down line”. We will read in chapter 49 as Jacob gives his final blessing before his death, that Simeon and Levi are indeed punished. “Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.” (49: 7) And that’s exactly what happened with these two tribes! (See Joshua 19 & 21 if you want more on that.)
God loved this Israel clan, but he still disciplines like a father would. He disciplines those he loves (Heb. 12:6). So, even if it looks like you got away with something, you didn’t. God will deal with it! That is definitely a good take away from this chapter, don’t you think?!