There are many bible stories recorded about siblings, the very first story being about the very first siblings. [Cain and Abel]. Way way down the line of the “begats” we find recorded the bibical story of Simeon and Levi and their sister Dinah. We find this bible lesson introduced in Genesis 29 but the ramification and its consequence isn’t fully addressed until decades later when we get to Genesis 49 and a pronouncement made by the patriarch Jacob on his deathbed.
Dinah was the only daughter of Jacob and Leah. Actually Dinah had twelve brothers in total who each headed one of the twelve tribes of Israel [Jacob] and became the twelve patriarchs of the nation. But the three siblings of this biblical story were full siblings, all born of the union of Jacob and Leah [her second [Simeon], third [Levi], and seventh and last [Dinah]]. Simeon and Levi may have felt especially protective of their little sister so when they learned that she had been defiled by Shechem, the son of Hamor and a local prince in the country wherein they sojourned, they felt obligated to avenge her honor.
A plan devised.
Simeon and Levi cunningly and deceitfully devised a plan to render punishment on Shechem and every male that “went out of the gate of his city” saying… “We cannot give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that would be a reproach unto us.” So Shechem convinced his countrymen to undergo the ritual of circumcision that he may win the hand of Dinah; but on the third day [when the men of the city were sore and incapacitated] Simeon and Levi took each his sword and killed them all and rescued their sister, Dinah out of Shechem’s house. Then they plundered the city and took everything that was there. They took also their wealth, their little ones, and their wives and took captive “even all that was in the house.”
What was their justification for all this? Over the chastisements of Jacob Simeon and Levi retorted..”Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?” As bible stories go, this one has all the drama and intrigue of a “sting” a careful and devious plot, players on a need-to-know basis, and an exit strategy rehearsed and in place.
The end of the story – the bible lesson learned?
In Jacob’s final prophecy concerning his sons [Gen.49] Simeon and Levi did not fare well “instruments of cruelty are in their habitations… for in their anger they slew a man… cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel… “ Their actions were prompted by self will for which they paid a heavy price.
Have you ever endured news so shocking you were driven towards revenge?
Till next time. God willing!
©2013 Karen Hodge
Hi! I’m Karen.
I have a genuine curiosity about many things – how traditions came to be, who invented what, why we do things the way we do them and what influences our behavior.