Genesis 34:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 34:12, NIV: "Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I'll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the young woman as my wife.'"

Genesis 34:12, ESV: "Ask me for as great a bride-price and gift as you will, and I will give whatever you say to me. Only give me the young woman to be my wife.”"

Genesis 34:12, KJV: "Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife."

Genesis 34:12, NASB: "Demand of me ever so much bridal payment and gift, and I will give whatever you tell me; but give me the girl in marriage.'"

Genesis 34:12, NLT: "No matter what dowry or gift you demand, I will gladly pay it--just give me the girl as my wife.'"

Genesis 34:12, CSB: "Demand of me a high compensation and gift; I'll give you whatever you ask me. Just give the girl to be my wife!""

What does Genesis 34:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Shechem has brutally raped Dinah, the daughter of Jacob (Genesis 34:1–4). As news of the attack makes it to her family, Shechem and his father come to ask for Dinah to be given as Shechem's wife. Hamor also appeals to Jacob to let the two people groups marry and trade freely. This has the appearance of a diplomatic effort—Hamor is probably trying to smooth over the heinous action of his son.

At some point, Shechem makes an excessive plea for Dinah, offering anything, and any price, to become her husband. In one sense, this is a sincere request—Shechem honestly feels some version of love for Dinah (Genesis 34:3). Not only does that not change the evil of his actions, it probably felt to Jacob's sons as if he was attempting to bribe his way out of justice.

It was customary for a groom to pay a "bride price" to the bride's family, as well as to give a gift either to the bride herself or to the family on behalf of the bride. Shechem suggests that Jacob and his sons name whatever price they want to allow him to marry the "young woman."

How will Jacob and sons respond? As it turns out, Jacob's sons have inherited their father's knack for underhanded schemes. Rather than simply killing Shechem outright, they enact an even more brutal and bloody revenge.