corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Genesis 34



Verses 1-31

The Defilement of Dinah - Genesis 34:1-31 tells us the story of how Shechem took Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, into his home and defiled her. Because of this wickedness, Simeon and Levi slew the men of the city of Shechem. The Book of Jubilees (3018-19) tells us that because of Levi's zeal to execute justice, God appointed him to the priesthood among his brothers and he served them in this office.

Genesis 34:7 — "he had wrought folly in Israel" - Comments- The phrase "he had wrought folly in Israel" is a very strong Hebrew expression describing the consequences of a sin that affect a family and even a nation.

The harlot:

Deuteronomy 22:21, "Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father"s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father"s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you."

Achan"s thief:

Joshua 7:15, "And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel."

Rape by the men of Gibeah:

Judges 20:10, "And we will take ten men of an hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel."

Genesis 34:13Comments- Jacob had been a deceptive person in the past, so his sons naturally followed this vice.

Genesis 34:26 — "and took Dinah out of Shechem"s house, and went out" - Comments- After having read this passage, I asked the question, "What was Dinah doing in the house of Shechem?" John Gill gives us the account and manner of the New Testament Jewish custom of betrothing a wife by quoting Maimonides. His comment tells us how marriages during this ancient culture were transacted in a very simple manner by taking a woman into a man's home without the traditional wedding ceremony:

"Before the giving of the law, if a man met a woman in the street, if he would, he might take her, and bring her into his house and marry her between him and herself, and she became his wife; but when the law was given, the Israelites were commanded, that if a man would take a woman he should obtain her before witnesses, and after that she should be his wife, according to Deuteronomy 22:13 and these takings are an affirmative command of the law, and are called אירוסין או קידושין "espousals" or "betrothings" in every place; and a woman who is obtained in such a way is called מאורסת או מקודשת "espoused" or "betrothed"; and when a woman is obtained, and becomes מקודשת"espoused," although she is not yet נבעלה "married, nor has entered into her husband's house," yet she is a man's wife." 244]

244] John Gill, Matthew , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Matthew 1:18.

Deuteronomy 22:13, "If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her,"

Genesis 35:1Comments- God had given Abraham a command to move to the land of Canaan and dwell ( Genesis 12:1-3), and He had told Isaac to dwell in this land ( Genesis 26:1-5); but God told Jacob to move to a particular location named Bethel, unlike the general locations told to his fathers. This was the place where Jacob first encountered the Lord, and where he consecrated his life to Him through the tithe offering. Ministers often have a place where they had a divine encounter with the Lord, a place they often visit to reaffirm their calling and to find renewed strength to continue the lifetime journey in the full-time ministry. I have gone with Bob Nichols, who has pastored in Fort Worth, Texas since 1955, to his place of consecration. There is an empty lot in north Fort Worth where he answered a call to the full-time ministry as a young man. He often visits this location to find strength and encouragement. My place of consecration is the seminary campus in south Fort Worth, where I spent three years of theological studies. Jacob was going to dwell in his place of consecration, and find it a daily reminder of his dedication to the Lord, and remember God's faithfulness to him during those years of tithing and consecration.

Genesis 35:5Comments- God was fulfilling His promise of protecting Jacob by placing His terror upon the nearby cities.

Genesis 35:18Word Study on "Benoni" and "Benjamin" - Strong says the Hebrew name "Benoni" ( בֶּן־אוֹנִי) (H 1126) means "son of my sorrow." Strong says the Hebrew name "Benjamin" ( בִּנְיָמִין) (H 1144) means "son of the right hand." BDB says it means, "son of the right hand."

Genesis 35:18Comments- Rachel was not saved in child bearing, perhaps due to her unrighteous deed of stealing her father's gods and Jacob"s curse ( 1 Timothy 2:15, Genesis 31:32).

1 Timothy 2:15, "Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."

Genesis 31:32, "With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them."

Genesis 35:19 And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.

Genesis 35:19Comments- Did the words of Jacob bring this curse upon Rachel (Note Genesis 31:32).

Genesis 31:32, "With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them."

Genesis 35:19Scripture References - Note:

Matthew 2:18, "In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not."

Genesis 35:20 And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel"s grave unto this day.

Genesis 35:20 — "that is the pillar of Rachel"s grave unto this day" - Comments- The pillar of Rachel is recorded in the book of 1 Samuel 10:2 as still existing in the time of Saul.

1 Samuel 10:2, "When thou art departed from me to day, then thou shalt find two men by Rachel"s sepulchre in the border of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say unto thee, The asses which thou wentest to seek are found: and, lo, thy father hath left the care of the asses, and sorroweth for you, saying, What shall I do for my son?"


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Genesis 34:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology