Genesis 34:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 34:14, NIV: "They said to them, 'We can't do such a thing; we can't give our sister to a man who is not circumcised. That would be a disgrace to us."

Genesis 34:14, ESV: "They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us."

Genesis 34:14, KJV: "And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:"

Genesis 34:14, NASB: "They said to them, 'We cannot do this thing, that is, give our sister to a man who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us."

Genesis 34:14, NLT: "They said to them, 'We couldn't possibly allow this, because you're not circumcised. It would be a disgrace for our sister to marry a man like you!"

Genesis 34:14, CSB: ""We cannot do this thing," they said to them. "Giving our sister to an uncircumcised man is a disgrace to us."

What does Genesis 34:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob's daughter Dinah was brutally raped by Shechem (Genesis 34:1–5). In negotiations alongside his father, Shechem has offered to let Jacob's family name their price to allow him to marry her. That, one would assume, also means not holding him accountable for his crime (Genesis 34:6–12).

Jacob's sons remain outraged. It would not be hard to imagine that their first impulse was to kill Shechem on the spot. However, Dinah has not yet been mentioned, so she is probably being held by Shechem's people (Genesis 34:26). Also, while Jacob's family is enormously wealthy and powerful (Genesis 30:43), Shechem is connected to a "city" (Genesis 33:18). That term meant something much smaller in the ancient world than it does today. Still, the able-bodied men of the town would certainly have outnumbered Jacob's sons, even including their servants.

Rather than simply insisting on justice or attacking, Jacob's sons hatched a shrewd plan (Genesis 34:13). They pretended as if they agreed with Shechem's proposal. The only problem, they insist, is that it would be a disgrace among their people to marry Dinah to an uncircumcised man. This ruse will not only make the lie seem more plausible, it will enable a violent revenge as well.