Genesis 34:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 34:30, NIV: "Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, 'You have brought trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.""

Genesis 34:30, ESV: "Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.”"

Genesis 34:30, KJV: "And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house."

Genesis 34:30, NASB: "Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, 'You have brought trouble on me by making me repulsive among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and since my men are few in number, they will band together against me and attack me, and I will be destroyed, I and my household!'"

Genesis 34:30, NLT: "Afterward Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, 'You have ruined me! You've made me stink among all the people of this land--among all the Canaanites and Perizzites. We are so few that they will join forces and crush us. I will be ruined, and my entire household will be wiped out!'"

Genesis 34:30, CSB: "Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have brought trouble on me, making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. We are few in number; if they unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.""

What does Genesis 34:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob finally expresses some strong emotion about this situation. Read in the full context of this terrible incident, it casts him in an even more unflattering light than ever before. Jacob's only recorded responses to the rape of his daughter Dinah (Genesis 34:1–3) are to wait for his sons to return (Genesis 34:5), and this concern over other communities reacting to Simeon and Levi's bloody revenge. We don't know if he was aware of his sons' plan to betray their contract with Shechem and take revenge. If he wasn't, it's possible Jacob may even have been willing to give Dinah to Shechem to keep peace.

The anger Jacob expresses here is entirely focused on the social risk their action has brought on him. He doesn't condemn their brutal and bloody revenge, at least not so far as it's recorded in Scripture. Nor does he overtly scold them for false dealings. Rather, the main concern for Jacob is that this makes him vulnerable and unwanted in the region. He is focused on his fear that the Canaanites and Perizzites who occupy the land will gather together to destroy him "and his household." As it turns out, the opposite seems to be true; the surrounding communities will keep a fearful distance from Jacob and his family (Genesis 35:5).

Once again, Jacob's primary response to a critical situation seems to be fear. The response of his sons is to act boldly—if brutally—for what they see as justice and strength. Another facet to this story is that Dinah, Levi, and Simeon are all children of Leah, a wife Jacob has treated with indifference (Genesis 29:31). Jacob's lack of strong action to protect his daughter, their birth sister, creates a void in the family that Simeon and Levi stepped in to fill.