a. Hamor’s persuasion. In the last twelve verses, we find that none of the main players in the story make it out of the story without sin. First, we see Shechem and Hamor. Shechem is the most honored in all of his father’s house and from his words and actions is accustomed to getting what he wants. And so they use their status and position to convince the men of the city to be circumcised. They make the case that Jacob and his sons are at peace with them (so far). They should allow them to dwell in the land because there is enough room for everyone. And they should intermarry with them. But here comes the real selling point. “Will not their livestock, their property and all their beasts be ours?” Wait a minute. Wasn’t this about the love of a young woman? How did this become about possessing Jacob’s wealth? Not only was it bad enough that this marriage proposal has come about through the defilement of Dinah but now covetousness has been brought in. But these are pagan men and not God followers and we should expect pagans to act like pagans. b. The vengeance of Simeon and Levi. So all the men of the city are convinced that they will benefit from this marriage and they all agree to be circumcised. On the third day, when all the men are sore Simeon and Levi, take their swords and storm the city, and slaughter all of the men who are at a great disadvantage due to the surgery they experience three days prior. They were sitting ducks. And so the young men murdered all of the men in the city and left. Now, the death of Shechem could be justified because of what he did to Dinah, but the rest of the men were not at fault. Vengeance belongs to the Lord and what Simeon and Levi did was a vengeful slaughter. After they leave the city, the other brothers come to the city and took all of the animals of the city as their own. They also took all of their wealth, all their children, and all of their wives. What Shechem did was wrong and inexcusable. But Jacob’s sons murdered the men of a city and then took their wives and children. The Shechemites might have wanted to gain the wealth of Jacob’s family through intermarriage, but Jacob’s sons gained wealth through murder. Whose sin is worse? c. Jacob finally speaks. The last recorded words of Jacob are back when he was speaking to Esau before he entered the land. Now, years later, we finally have him speaking again. Why he did not speak and stop all of the atrocities that have occurred in this chapter, we do not know. We only have a record of his inaction. Jacob does not reply to Hamor and the marriage contract, his sons do. When they say everyone in the city must be circumcised, Jacob does not correct them for their misuse of the covenant sign. In the end, he does not rebuke them for their sin but only what it means for himself. In two sentences he uses “me” four times, “my” twice, and “I” twice. It is clear where Jacob’s thoughts are centered. He is now afraid that since his sons went and wiped out a whole city that the people around them would not like that and would attack them to prevent the same thing from happening to them. This is a valid fear, if God had not promised to protect Jacob and that his household would be like the dust of the earth. d. The sons’ response. In the last verse of the chapter and the end of this story, Jacob’s sons say, “should he treat our sister like a prostitute.” No, of course not. But does that justify the destruction of a whole city? Because Jacob kept his peace are they implying that Jacob was okay with the way Dinah was treated? It often happens that when people run to one extreme that they will accuse those that stay in the middle of the opposite extreme. Jacob did not flat out condemn Shechem nor did he approve of his actions. In the eyes of Jacob’s sons, he approved of what happened to Dinah. We see this sentiment occurring in society today. Side with our extreme ideals, the world says, or you are a white supremacist. Agree with our outlandish life choices or you approve of bombing gay bars. The middle ground disappears when this happens.