Notes: Genesis 34-35

English Language Bible Study Guide for February 8, 2008

Jacob and his family blend in with their neighbors. Or not.

Genesis 34


I.  The prince’s Di (1-5:)

1: “Going out” is not a crime is it? Wanting to “see” what’s going on around you is not a crime is it?

2: A significant point is that Shechem “defiled” Dinah. (Compare “defiled”/”humbled” in verses 5 & 13, “folly” in verse 7, “as with a harlot” in verse 31.)

3: Is this affection a turn of events?


II. The pre-wedding proposal (6-17:)

6, 8-12: Negotiating for a bride

9-10: Why can’t we just get along with one another?

11-12: Shechem speaks with Dinah’s father

14-17: Using religion as an excuse for sin


III. Love and greed can make a man do the most painful things (18-24:)

19: At least Shechem wasn’t thinking about the money as were his neighbors

23: It’s like a big corporate takeover–we give a little with this circumcision thing, but then we get a lot when we have our people in place.


IV. Slaying the innocent with the guilty (25-31:)

25: How much boldness does it take to charge the enemy when his pants are down?

26: Dinah was in the house? Voluntarily?

27-29: Spoiling the enemy. Or were they?

30: Sons #2 and #3 disgrace themselves, dishonor their father and endanger their families.

31: Yes, Shechem had done wrong. But that doesn’t justify Simeon and Levi’s conduct.


Meditation Points:

  1. Innocent amusement often leads us into trouble, whether we ask for it or not.
  2. It may not be possible, at this late date, to determine Dinah’s part, if any, in encouraging Shechem; but surely her brothers thought that she had been mistreated.
  3. Laban said that custom forbad Rachel’s marrying before Leah’s; Jacob’s sons go one better and plead that religious custom requires all in-laws to be circumcised.
  4. Greedily the men consented to circumcision, not suspecting what would occur 3 days later
  5. Can anyone justify the mass murder that took place?
  6. Simeon and Levi remove themselves from the line of Messiah’s descent.


Genesis 35


I. Out with the images once for all (1-5:)

2: Jacob knew that people in his household were holding (and using) idols/images

4: But all false religion must be put away if he and they were to walk with God

4: Earrings?

5: Fear of God in the hearts of would-be attackers kept Jacob’s family safe


II. The covenant confirmed (again) (6-15:)

6: As instructed, Jacob journeyed back to Bethel

10: The name change revisited

11: El-Shaddai. The God of Abraham

14: The drink offering is poured out–not drunk.


III. The twelfth son (16-20:)

18: With her dying breath Rachel named him “Benoni”, but Jacob called him “Benjamin.”

20: Jacob erected another pillar


IV. Jacob visits his father before Isaac dies (21-29:)

22. Reuben, the firstborn, removes himself from the line of descent

23-26: Jacob’s 12 sons listed

27: Finally back home

28-29: Isaac died at age 180.


Meditation Points:

  1. Do you have any idols or images which you should bury?
  2. Are your father and grandfather believers?
  3. Pillars, reminders of having met God. Do you carry any reminders of precious seasons of fellowship with God?
  4. Often, when we are trying hardest to please God, others close to us jump into sin.
  5. Isaac was old and weak-eyed at the time of Jacob’s departure. But God graciously granted that Jacob could see his father again after more than 20 years apart.