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Genesis 34:5 - Exposition

And Jacob heard —most likely from some of Dinah's companions (Patrick), since she herself was still detained in She-chore's house ( Genesis 34:26 )— that he (Hamor's son) had defiled —the verb here employed conveys the idea of rendering unclean (cf. Genesis 34:13 , Genesis 34:27 ; Numbers 19:13 ; 2 Kings 23:10 ; Psalms 79:1 ; that in Psalms 79:2 expresses the notion of violence)— Dinah his daughter . It was an aggravation of Shechem's wickedness that it was perpetrated not against any of Jacob's handmaids, but against his daughter. Now (literally, and) his sons were with his cattle in the field— perhaps that which he had lately purchased ( Genesis 33:19 ), or in some pasture ground more remote from the city. And Jacob held his peace— literally, acted as one dumb, i.e. maintained silence upon the painful subject, and took no measures to avenge Shechem's crime (cf. Genesis 24:21 ; 1 Samuel 10:27 ; 2 Samuel 13:22 ); either through sorrow (Ainsworth, Calvin), or through caution (Murphy, Lange), or through perplexity, as not knowing how to act (Kalisch), or as recognizing the right of his sons by the same mother to have a voice in the settlement of so important a question (Kurtz, Gerlach), to which undoubtedly the next clause points— until they were come —literally, until their coming .

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