Esau and Dinah

I. Esau meets with Jacob (Genesis 33). 

A. Esau meets Jacob with 400 men (33:1).

1. Jacob had arranged the family in bands (33:2).

a. The handmaids were first (Bilhah and Zilpah).
b. The wives were next (Rachel and Leah).
c. The children were in front of the wives.

2. Jacob put himself in front of all of them (33:3).

a. Jacob bows seven times before he meets Esau.
b. This “custom” is recorded in other literature.

B. Esau is glad at the meeting (Jacob not expecting this – 33:4-11).

1. Jacob introduces his family.

a. The “children God has graciously given.”
1) The handmaids and their children “bowed” to Esau.
2) The wives and their children “bowed” to Esau.
b. Jacob again positions himself as Esau’s “servant”.
1) Jacob refers to himself as a “servant” three times. (verses 5, 10, 14)
2) Jacob calls Esau “lord” three times. (verses 13, 14, 15)
3) Jacob asks for “grace” from Esau (verse 10).
4) Jacob alludes to Esau as the “face of God” (verse 10).

2. Esau shows no sign of bitterness or anger – only genuine joy (33:4).

a. Esau asks about the large gifts that had preceded the meeting (33:8).
b. Esau (after demurring according to custom) accepts the gifts (33:9-11).
1) Both say “I have enough” (referring to their wealth).
2) Esau uses the Hebrew, RAB, meaning “much.”
3) Jacob uses the Hebrew, KOL, meaning “everything.”
c. These word choices provide insight into the opposite personalities.
1) Esau is rich, but will take more (Proverbs 27:20).
2) Jacob recognizes God’s supply, is satisfied and willingly gives without hesitation (Psalms 37:21; Proverbs 21:26).

C. Esau returns to Edom; Jacob to Canaan (33:12-20)

1. The parting “ceremony” is interesting (33:12-15).

a. Esau (verse 12) suggests that Jacob follow him to Edom.
b. Jacob demurs, claiming “tender” flocks and children.
c. Jacob asks to follow “softly” to accommodate his family.
d. Esau “suggests” some of his armed men for safety.
e. Jacob assures Esau that it is not necessary.

2. Esau “returns” to Seir (16) and Jacob journeys to Succoth (17).

3. Jacob recognizes that he must separate from Esau.

a. Their character is still very different
b. Jacob was a “plain” man, dwelling in tents (25:27).
1) Hebrew word is TAM = “perfect” or “complete”
2) Jacob behaved like Job – a “perfect” and “upright” man. 
c. Esau was a "grief" to Isaac and Rebecca (26:35).
1) He was disobedient (26:34) with pagan wives.
2) He was sexually wicked (Hebrews 12:16).

4. The principle of separation from the ungodly is clear in Scripture.

a. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17
b. James 4:4
c. 1 Kings 18:21
d. Psalms 101:3
e. 1 John 1:5-7

II. Jacob’s family lapse at Shechem (Genesis 34)

A. Jacob settles for a season at Shechem (33:17-20).

1. He remains there for some time (10 years?).

2. He builds a well and a strong encampment (John 4:6).

B. Jacob permits too much freedom with his children.

1. Dinah makes friends with the pagan girls (34:1).

2. Dinah is seduced (maybe forced) by the “Prince” of Shechem.

a. He “loves” Dinah (34:3) and speaks “kindly” to her.
b. He demands “get me” this (young girl) for a wife.

C. Jacob learns of the incident, but does nothing (34:5).

1. The “sons of Jacob” were angry (properly so) – (34:7).

2. Shechem’s king (Hamor) entreats for his son (34:8-12).

a. No indication of apology for the deed
b. Every indication of a political “marriage”

D. Simeon and Levi (34:25) plot and execute a wholesale massacre.

1. All the men of Shechem are killed (34:25-26).

2. All the women, children and wealth are enslaved (34:27-29).

E. Jacob’s reputation is damaged and the family forced to leave (34:30-31).

The Patriarchs
ch. 33-34


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