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"..Hamor, Shechem's father,* for an hundred pieces of money. 20 And he erected there an altar for a thanksgiving, and called • it Eleloheisrael, to God, the God of Israel, who had delivered a him from Laban and Esau, and given him a new name. It was
here Alraham built his first allar to God.
1. CEE here an instance of the benefit of humility and sub
D mission : these two brothers happily met ; but if Jacob had entertained some false notion of honour, and that it was be. neath him to stoop, how sad would have been the consequence ! Peace is so valuable a blessing, that a great deal should be parted with, or borne, to secure it. The meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in abundance of peace. Behold how good and how pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity ! Had Jacob been obstinate, he and his wives and children might have been destroyed, and his cattle carried away ; and the whole story would have been a melancholy tragedy. Submission was the wisest step in such a case ; it recovered the lost affection of his brother, and secured his own safety and peace. This is a temper which the gospel requires, 1 Peter v. 5. yea, all of you be subject one to another ; and be clothed with humility ; for God re. sisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
2. We see that the hearts of all men are in God's hand, and he can easily turn them. His secret influences can quell the most turbulent, and soften the most obdurate hearts ; can turn the bitterest enemies into kind friends. It is good to make him our trust, who ruleth the spirits of the mighty, and restrains the fury of the oppressor. · 3. How happy is a good man in the divine favour ! Jacob acknowledged that he had all those good things, because God had blessed him ; his comforts had a peculiar relish and sweetness, as coming from the divine favour. He refuses the guard of Esau, because God was with him, and his angels encamped round him. Happy is he that maketh the Lord his trust, for he shall not be afraid in the day of evil. ' · 4. Let ministers and parents learn prudence and tenderness from the example of Jacob before us. The weakness of reason and age is to be considered : no heavy tasks in religious services should be laid on youth ; they must be led as they are able to bear it ; no doubtful disputations should be taught them, but the plain things of the gospel, which are milk for babes. Ministers
. He only of Hamor's song is mentioned, because he was more honourable than the rest of his brethren, (ch. xxxiv. 19) and therefore might probably transact this attais with Jacob, the rest consenting thereto. • + The original is Lambs : but it seems to have been money with the figure of a lamb stamped upon it. The Athenian money was called an Ox, for the like reason. So we used to call some coins an ang b, or a Jacobus, because those figures were upon them.
must look well to their flocks ; consider the circumstances and capacities of their hearers, that they may lead them on with prudence and caution. A greater than Jacob hath set us a pattern, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who fed his flock like a shepherd; carried the lambs in his arms, and gently led those that were with young ; thus let us feed and treat his lambs.
5. Let us not be ashamed to own our obligations to God, and the relation in which we stand to him. When Jacob was asked, Who are these ? he humbly and piously replied, The chil. dren which God hath graciously given thy servant ; he was not ashamed to own this. Children are an heritage from the Lord. When we mention them, let it be to the glory of God, and as his gift. Thus let us acknowledge the loving kindness of the Lord. Jacob also ascribes his success to God: God hath dealt graciously with me, given me more than I desired ; through his blessing I have gotten wealth, and have enough, and to spare : and when he came to his settlement, he set up an altar to the God of Israel. Thus in all our ways let us acknowledge him ; and ascribe all our comforts and success to him. Let his worship be our daily business ; let us never be ashamed of the Lord as our God ; but render hearty love and grateful obedience to him, who hath dealt bountifully with us.
In the former chapter we find Jacob peaceably settled in the land of
Canaan ; but he was born to more than common trouble; and here evil comes upon him out of his own house, the children of his own bowels prove as thorns in his side. i Å N D Dinah the only daughter of Leah, (which] she bare
A unto Jacob, a fine and favourite child, about fifteen years of age, went out to see the daughters of the land, at a time when 2 there was a great feast in the city of Shechem. And when
Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. We do not find that he used any force in the case ; but she be
ing from under her parents' eye, in bad company and the way of 3 temptation, was easily seduced. And his soul clave unto Dinah
the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel, spake to her heari, perhaps won her af. fections,
And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get 5 me this damsel to wife. And Jacob heard, no doubt with
great grief and concern, that he had defiled Dinah his daugh
ter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field : and
Jacob held his peace until they were come, that he might cona 6 sult with them what to do. And Hamor the father of She
chem went out unto Jacob to commune with him, and make
a proposal of marriage between Shechem and Dinah, and other n branches of the family. And the sons of Jacob came out of
the field when they heard [it :) and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter ; it was a base, foolish, and sinful deed ; an insult on Israel, and on the good patriarch;
which thing ought not to be done in a family consecrated to 8 God, and which duty, decency, and hospitality forbade. And
Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son
Shechem longeth for your daughter : I pray you give her 9 him to wife. And make ye marriages with us, [and] give
your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you. 10 And ye shall dwell with us : and the land shall be before
you ; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions 11 therein. And Shechem seconded the proposal, and said unto
her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your
eyes, grant me this request, and what ye shall say unto me I 12 will give. Ask me never so much dowry for her portion,
and gift for reparation of the wrong done her, and as a testimony of my respect to you, and kindness to her, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me : but give me the damsel
to wife. 13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his
father deceitfully, and said, or seemed to consent ; though they
never intended to give her in marriage to Shechem, because he 14 had defiled Dinah their sister : and they said unto them, We
cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncir. cumcised ; for that [were] a reproach unto us : pretending
honour and conscience, and a regard to religion, while they were 15 dealing deceitfully : But in this will we consent unto you:
If ye will be as we (be,] that every male of you be circum16 cised ; Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we • will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, 17 and we will become one people. But if ye will not hearken
unto us, to be circumcised ; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone. It was exceeding wrong in itself 10 offer
this sign of God's covenant to the Canaanites ; but abominable 18 to do it with an ill design, and with a lie in their mouths. And · their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son. 19 And the young man, out of love to Dinah, deferred not to do
the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter : and he (was] more honourable than all the house of his father ; was greatly esteemed both by his own family and country ; which was the reason he prevailed so much with them in 80 strange a request.
20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of
their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying, 21 These men [are] peaceable with us ; therefore let them
dwell in the land, and trade therein ; for the land, behold, [it is) large enough for them, and a great deal of it is uncultivated ; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters. Thus many pretend to speak for
the public interest, when they aim only at their own private ad22 vantage. Only herein will the men consent unto us for to
dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they [are] circumcised ; only let us comply
in this one thing, and we shall have great advantage ; for 23 (Shall] not their cattle and their substance and every beast of
their's [be] our's, by commerce, marriage, &c. only let us 24 consent to them, and they will dwell with us. And unto
Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city ; all were prevailed upon, either out of love to their young prince, or from the hope of advantage ; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city; which being done without knowledge and faith, was a profanation of God's ordinance, for which they were justly punished.
And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore and unable to defend themselves, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, got together a band of men, probably all the servants who were trained in the house ; and they took each man his sword, and came upon the city
boldly, perhaps in the night, and, breaking open the house of 26 Shechem, slew all the males. And they slew Hamor and
Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Di. 27 nah out of Shechem's house, and went out. And The sons
of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, with their attendants, came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their
sister ; one of them had done 80, and the others did not censure 28 him for it. They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their
asses, and that which (was) in the city, and that which (was] 29 in the field, And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and
their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that (was] in the house, in every house , chiefly Shechem's, where Dinah was. They might have taken her without all these ; but they
regarded the spoil, and basely murdered the men to secure it. 30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me,
not only discomposed my mind, but entangled my affairs, and exposed me to imminent danger, to make me to stink, or render me odious, among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I [being] few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house. To which they make
31 this saucy answer ; And they said, Should he deal with our
sister as with an harlot ? No, he ought not. But this was no good reason for all their baseness and cruelty. Had open war been declared, it would have altered the case ; but it was done by treachery, under the cloak of religion. It is likely Jacob sent back the women and children, and the spoils. We regd no more of Dingh : some rabbies say, she was afterward Job's wife, However, her story teaches us the following lessons,
1. CEE the fatal consequence of ungoverned appetites and
D passions. A vain curiosity betrayed Dinah' into this snare ; and was the source of all these dreadful calamities. She was an only daughter, thought it was melancholy to stay at home, and therefore went to this festival or ball to divert herself. Oba serve what sad consequences pride and vanity produce ; some light or indecent behaviour perhaps betrayed her. This story, yea, daily experience, shows the reasonableness of Paul's advice, that young women should be chaste, keepers at home. They that will indulge themselves in the gaieties of the age, run into the way of temptation, and generally mourn at the last, repent it all their days, and prove a grief of heart to all their pious friends. Shechem's fiery passions overcame him ; he saw, and took her. It is good for all, especially young men, to make a covenant with their eyes. Whence come wars and fightings, death and damnas tion ? but from unbridled lusts. We have need to pray, that God would keep us, and to watch also, that we enter not into temptation,
2. How alominable is it to make religion an instrument of deceiving and injuring those, who trust to us on account of it. God is never more dishonoured than when this is the case. Hy, pocrisy in all cases is detestable ; but when it is made an instrument to destroy and ruin others, it dishonours God as much as possible, and brings the most aggravated guilt on our own souls. These young apostates had God in their mouths, and Satan in their hearts ; they cloaked their bloody design under the pre. tence of religion · God's name was blasphemed by them. What must the heathen think of the God of Abraham, and of his covenant ? and how would they curse the sacrament that sealed it ! It is a sad thing indeed when religion is made a cloak of covetpusness, cruelty, and maliciousness; and God will judge and severely punish such person.
3. The best education may not be successful to form the minds and manners of those who have enjoyed it. Would one have expected so detestable a conduct from the sons of good Jacob ? They were devoted to God, instructed and admonished, had good examples, and the prayers of their father ; yet they proved a