Questionable Motives

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**See notes

Read Genesis 34-36


>< v.1-4 Who was Dinah?  Why was she going out to visit/see (ra’ah) the local girls?  Dinah was about 13-15 years old…a virgin of marriageable age, who would never have been allowed to go into the city unchaperoned.
—Who is Sh’khem?  How are we to understand his actions?  What motivated him to attack and rape Dinah?  After attacking her he decides he wants to marry her and tries to make the arrangements with his father, Hamor.

>< v.5-10 We see Hamor wisely take action to repair the wrong done by his son towards Ya’akov’s daughter.
In verse 7 we see that rape is “something that is simply not done.”  In the Middle East it was illegal and it required the male offender to compensate the victimized girl’s family, as she would now be considered “ruined.”  Hamor offered a lot more than the normal bride-price, simply because he was legally obligated.

>< v.11-24 Notice that neither Hamor nor Sh’khem had made any mention of the heinous crime committed against Dinah. They continue talking business as if nothing at all had happened.  Keep in mind that Dinah was kidnapped and held hostage locked up. 
Ya’akov is not shown answering Hamor.  In verse 13 we see the sons of Ya;akov answer their offer deceitfully.
—Why did all the men of the city have to be circumcised?  No one could marry into Israel without submitting to the Abrahamic Covenant, which itself required all males to be circumcised.  While this is true…this is not really what the sons of Israel had on their minds.  

>< v.25-31 What did Shim’on and Levi do on the third day after the mass circumcision?  Why did they wait until this point? The sons of Ya’akov come back to the scene of all the slaughtered bodies and essentially rape the city of Sh’khem for the defilement of their sister.
—How did their haughty actions cause problems for Ya’akov’s reputation amongst the Kena’ani and the P’rizi? **The ruling tribe of Sh’khem were the Hivi who were one of many tribes coming from Kena’an, the son of Ham, grandson of Noach.

After all that had transpired to separate, elect and divide this blessed line of Shem from the accursed line of Ham, would God have even allowed a marriage to take place between these two peoples, the Hebrews and the pagans?

>< v.1-5 No other gods. Why is Beit-El a significant place for Ya’akov? Notice how God refers to Himself here: “make an altar to the God who appeared to you…” Yehoveh seems to imply that there are other gods.  Ya’akov and everybody there would have still held that understanding…This was about 200 years after YHWH first called Avraham, and they still didn’t get who God is.  For now, YHWH was the God of the Promised Land.

>< v.6-8 A new altar in El-Beit-El. After purifying themselves and burying the foreign god symbols, the clan moved to Luz (the Canaanite name for Beit-El).  Ya’akov built an altar there and named the place “God of Beit-El.”
Why mention the death of Rivkah’s nurse, D’vorah, here?  **Scripture doesn’t even record Rivkah or Leah’s death. D’vorah represents a link between Israel and Mesopatamia, which acted as more of a homeland than Kena’an for Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya’akov.

>< v.9-15 A nation and group of nations. Paraphrase for verse 11: “Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, and in addition a holy convocation of both Hebrew and non-Hebrew nations, will come from you.”  Ya’akov, now named Isra’el, was the first person to produce only Hebrew children; the twelve tribes of Israel.
**Take mental note of this prophetic passage for later study!

>< v.16-22 Moving on. From Beit-el, the clan moves to Efrat, which would later be known as Beit-lechem, the birthplace of Christ.  Ya’akov’s beloved Rachel dies giving birth to his last son, the twelfth and final tribe of Israel. Rachel was buried and Israel moved again to a nearby place called Migdal-Eder.  **Eighteen hundred years later this is the tower where the shepherds would see and hear angels announce and rejoice at the birth of the Saviour of the world.
What’s significant about Re’uven sleeping with Bilhah?

>< v.23-29 Ya’akov takes his family home
Here we have the list of the names of the children of Israel.  Ya’akov returns home to his father Yitz’chak at

Mamre.  Yitz’chak lives to be 180 years old and dies after having lived a full life.  ‘Esav and Ya’akov buried him.

What can we learn from genealogies?  Look for patterns.
**Don’t close your mind off to these historical, sociological and genealogical matters.  These are key to grasping what the writings of the Bible mean and how they are applied to life.

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