JACOB WAS not exactly an ideal father.
His reaction to the rape of his daughter Dinah by the prince of the city of Shechem is puzzling. Genesis chapter 34 shows that he didn’t say anything when learning of Dinah’s humiliation, or while his sons Simeon and Levi, two of Dinah’s six brothers by their mother Leah, plotted revenge against the city of Shechem, slaughtering the men after deceiving them into being circumcised.
Jacob’s concern was not for Dinah or the murdered men, but for himself: “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.” (Genesis 34:30, ESV)
We also discuss Jacob’s reunion with his brother Esau, the spiritual significance of the city of Shechem (and its patron god, Resheph), and the deaths of Rebekah’s nurse, Deborah, Jacob’s wife, Rachel, and his father, Isaac.
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