What does Genesis 34:17 mean?
ESV: But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter, and we will be gone.”
NIV: But if you will not agree to be circumcised, we'll take our sister and go.'
NASB: But if you do not listen to us to be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and go.'
CSB: But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and go."
NLT: But if you don’t agree to be circumcised, we will take her and be on our way.'
KJV: But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.
NKJV: But if you will not heed us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and be gone.”
Verse Commentary:
Dinah's wealthy and powerful rapist has offered to pay any price to be married to her and, presumedly, to not be held accountable for the crime (Genesis 34:1–12). Jacob's sons, however, want nothing but revenge (Genesis 34:13).

They pretend to agree to Shechem's proposal on one condition: all males in the community of Shechem must be circumcised, as Jacob's people are. Then the two peoples can freely intermarry and become one. In contrast, they claim, if all the male Shechemites are not circumcised, there would be no wedding and no joining of their peoples. The reference to "taking" Dinah back might have also been a form of a threat. She has not appeared on the scene since being assaulted, and it seems that she is being held by Shechem's people (Genesis 34:26).

Faced with what seems to be a choice between being held accountable, versus increased wealth and status, Hamor and Shechem will fall for this trap (Genesis 34:18).
Verse Context:
Genesis 34:13–31 describes the response of Jacob's sons to the rape of his daughter, Dinah. The rapist, Shechem, has asked for her hand in marriage. Dinah's brothers suggest that if the men of the town will be circumcised, they will agree to marriages between the two groups. Shechem and his father, Hamor, gladly agree to these terms. But this is a trap. While the men are still sore from circumcision, Simeon and Levi spring an attack, killing all the men and looting the town. Jacob is afraid this will bring retaliation from the Canaanite and Perizzite people. His sons, however, are adamant that their actions were justified.
Chapter Summary:
Jacob's family has settled within sight of the city of Shechem. Dinah, Jacob's daughter by Leah, is raped by the son of the city's ruler Hamor, also named Shechem. Shechem decides he loves Dinah and wants to marry her. Dinah's brothers are outraged. Hamor and Shechem, however, ask for Dinah to be given to Shechem as a wife and for their people to intermarry. Jacob's sons pretend to agree, provided the men of the city are circumcised. Instead, while the town's men are recuperating, Dinah's brothers by Leah, Levi and Simeon, lead a slaughter of all the men of the city.
Chapter Context:
With the blessing of the Lord, Jacob has survived his reunion with his brother Esau and settled his family in the land of Canaan, in a city called Shechem. Some time passes and then Jacob's daughter Dinah is raped by the son of the ruler of the city. To exact revenge and defend their sister's honor, Jacob's sons trick the men of the city into being circumcised and then slaughter all of them when they are recovering, plundering all the wealth of the people. This creates fear in the local Canaanite communities, who avoid future confrontation with Jacob's family.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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