Genesis 34:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 34:13, NIV: "Because their sister Dinah had been defiled, Jacob's sons replied deceitfully as they spoke to Shechem and his father Hamor."

Genesis 34:13, ESV: "The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah."

Genesis 34:13, KJV: "And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:"

Genesis 34:13, NASB: "But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor with deceit, because he had defiled their sister Dinah."

Genesis 34:13, NLT: "But since Shechem had defiled their sister, Dinah, Jacob's sons responded deceitfully to Shechem and his father, Hamor."

Genesis 34:13, CSB: "But Jacob's sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully because he had defiled their sister Dinah."

What does Genesis 34:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Shechem has raped Dinah, Jacob's daughter (Genesis 34:1–5). Now Shechem stands before the family, including Jacob's sons, suggesting they name their price to allow Shechem to marry Dinah. His father Hamor, also, has suggested establishing marriages and trade between their groups. Underneath all of this, presumably, is an attempt to keep Shechem from facing the consequences of his crime, and averting revenge from Jacob's powerful family (Genesis 34:6–12).

Jacob's sons remain outraged. They want nothing more than revenge against Shechem. However, Dinah remains in Shechem's city, perhaps being held against her will (Genesis 34:26). Rather than take immediate action, Dinah's brothers will follow their father's pattern of deceit and scheming in the face of crisis. Jacob practiced trickery (Genesis 25:29–34), saw it modeled by his mother (Genesis 27:15–18), and has now passed it on to his children. It is a practice that will plague Israel for many years to come.

In this case, the deceitful scheme is meant to punish their sister's rapist; this is a motivation we would find easy to empathize with. However, what follows is clearly not about justice, or holding Shechem accountable. The plot Dinah's brothers lay out results in a much wider swath of death and destruction.