Jacob's Family-Dysfunctional Relationships and the Grace of God - Dinah Rape and Resentment

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Sunday, 08 November 2009


Why do people not love us for who we are?

The story so far: Gen. 30–33

1. Rape and its Aftermath (vv. 1–12)

  • An act of violence and love (vv. 1–4)
  • The response of Jacob and his sons (vv. 5–7)
  • Hamor’s proposal (vv. 8–12)

2. Deceitful Negotiations (vv. 13–24)

  • The proposal of Jacob’s sons: your males must be circumcised (vv. 13–17)
  • The proposal presented to the citizens of Shechem: this is a good deal! (vv. 18–24)
  • What is our response?

3. The Violence of Simeon and Levi (vv. 25–31)

  • Simeon and Levi (vv. 25–26)
  • Jacob’s (other) sons (vv. 27–29)
  • Jacob’s complaint; the response of Simeon and Levi (vv. 30–31)


  • How has the Jacob of c. 33 become the Jacob of c. 34?
  • What does this episode reveal about the state of Jacob’s family?
  • 'Man hands on misery to man'

Questions for Discussion

  • What are your feelings as you read this narrative?
  • What in your view is the main point or theme of the narrative?
  • Why so few verses on Dinah’s rape and so many on the aftermath?
  • How would you describe the behaviour of each of the people or groups of people in this narrative? (Dinah, Shechem, Hamor, Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Jacob’s other sons)
  • What will you take away from this chapter?