Genesis 34:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 34:20, NIV: "So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city to speak to the men of their city."

Genesis 34:20, ESV: "So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying,"

Genesis 34:20, KJV: "And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,"

Genesis 34:20, NASB: "So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the people of their city, saying,"

Genesis 34:20, NLT: "and he went with his father, Hamor, to present this proposal to the leaders at the town gate."

Genesis 34:20, CSB: "So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city."

What does Genesis 34:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Hamor and Shechem have what most people would consider a very difficult proposal to "sell." After Shechem raped Dinah, daughter of Jacob, he sought to marry her. He offered to do anything, and pay any price, for her. Dinah's brothers agreed, but with one extreme condition (Genesis 34:14–16). That stipulation is that all men of the city are to be circumcised. That, or so the brothers claim, would allow Shechem to marry Dinah and other people from the town could intermarry with Jacob's people. They gather the men at the city gate to make their pitch.

Hamor proposed something of an alliance with Jacob during his earlier meeting (Genesis 34:8–10). His hope seems to be that mingling the people of his town with Jacob's family will prevent revenge and add wealth. Most likely, this is part of the proposal he'll explain to the men of the town.

Of course, none of them realize that Dinah's brothers are laying a trap (Genesis 34:13). What they think of as an opportunity for prosperity will quickly become a disaster.