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“… out of Tziyon will go forth Torah, the word of ADONAI from Yerushalayim.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

For a glossary of unfamiliar terms, CLICK HERE. For assistance in
pronouncing Hebrew terms, a pronunciation guide is located HERE.

The summary of the entire Torah is as simple as this:
Love what HaShem loves; hate what HaShem hates. All else is commentary.

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 34 ~

Parashah 8: Vayishlach (continued)
(“He sent”) • Genesis 32:3 –36:43

(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

[Shechem [MAP] 1700 BCE (R), 1687 (K)]

2. Dinah’s Defilement (34:1-5)

(v) 1Dinah“judgment”, the daughter Le'ah“weary” had borne to Ya'akov“supplanter”, went out to visit the young women of the area. 2When Sh’khem“back” or “shoulder” the son of Hamor“he-ass” the Hivite“villagers”[2], the prince of the region, saw her. He took her, raped her, and humiliated her. 3He became infatuated with Dinah, the daughter of Ya'akov, and he loved the young lady, and spoke tenderly to her. 4So Sh’khem told his father Hamor, “Get me this girl as a wife.”

5Ya'akov heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah, but since his sons were with his livestock in the field, Ya'akov kept silent until they came in.

3. Hamor’s Proposal (34:6-12)

6Meanwhile, Sh’khem’ father Hamor went to talk with Ya'akov. 7When Ya'akov’s sons came in from the field, they heard about it. The men were deeply grieved and very angry because he had done a disgraceful in Isra'el by lying with Ya'akov’s daughter; such a thing ought not to be done. 8But Hamor told them, “My son Sh’khem is strongly attracted to your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. 9Intermarry with us; give us your daughters, and you take our daughters. 10Live with us; the land is before you. Settle here, trade in it, and aquire property in it.”

11Then Sh’khem said to Dina’s father and brothers, “Grant me this favor and I’ll give you whatever you ask for. 12Demand a huge amount for a dowry, and I will give whatever you ask of me. Just give me the girl as my wife.”

4. The Treachery of Ya'akov’s Sons (34:13-31)

13Because Sh’khem had defiled their sister Dinah, Ya'akov’s sons answered him and his father Hamor deceitfully. 14“We can’t do this thing,” they said. “To give our sister to an uncircumcised man would be a disgrace to us. 15We will consent to this only on this condition: if every one of your males is circumcised like we are. 16Then will we give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people. 17But if you will not agree to be circumcised, then we will take our sister and go.”

18Their offer seemed reasonable to Hamor and his son Sh’khem. 19The young man didn’t wait to do this thing, because he was delighted with Ya'akov’s daughter. He was the most respected in all his father’s household. 20So Hamor and his son Sh’khem went to the gate of their city,[20] and addressed the men of their city: 21“These men are at peace with us, “they said. “So let them live in the land and trade in it. Hinneh,[GN] the land is large enough for them. Let’s take their daughters as our wives, and let’s give them our daughters. 22But only on this condition will the men agree to us to live with us and to become one people: if every one of our males is circumcised like they are. 23Won’t their livestock, their possessions, and all their animals be ours?[23] Only let’s agree with them, and they will live with us.”

24All the men who went out of the city gate[24] listened to Hamor and his son Sh’khem, and every male who came and went through the city gate was circumcised. 25On the third day, when they were in pain, two of Ya'akov’s sons, Dinah’s brothers, Shim‘on and Levi, took their swords, went into the unsuspecting city, and killed every male. 26They killed Hamor and his son Sh’khem with their swords, took Dinah out of Sh’khem’s house, and went away. 27Ya'akov’s other sons came to the slaughter and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28They took their flocks, their herds, their donkeys, and everything else that was in the city or in the field. 29They carried off all their possessions, and took captive all the women and children, and they plundered everything that was in their houses.

30Then Ya'akov said to Shim‘on and Levi, “You have brought troubl on me, making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, the Kena'aniCaananites and the P’riziPerizzites. We are few in number. If they unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”

31They answered, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”

Chapter 35


 2. The Hivites were the 6th and later generation of descendants of Kana'an, the son of Noah’s son Ham, who were living in northern Canaan near Mount Hermon at the time of the conquest. [RETURN]

20. The city gate was where all official business was conducted. [RETURN]

23. It isn’t clear exactly how they planned to take all of their wealth for themselves, but clearly they had dishonest intentions. [RETURN]

24. This would seem to include every man in the city, as well as the men of the surrounding countryside who would have come and gone through the city gates. [RETURN]

Page originally posted on Sunday, 05 Septembet 2021

Page last updated on Sunday, 05 June 2022 10:30 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

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