25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went out.
28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,
29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.
The men of the city had shown a complete lack of conscience in how they treated the rape of Dinah. Their blindness to their own offense ended up being their own undoing, though. For one who is blind to the fact that they have done anything wrong is also blind to the fact that their might be a vengeance brewing.
And so, in their haste to fulfill the requirement given by Jacob’s sons, all the men of the city were circumcised at the same time, meaning that all of them were compromised at the same time. There was no battalion of whole men kept as a reserve to protect them from sudden attacks. This was the moment of total weakness that Jacob’s sons had calculated for, and in their wrath Simeon and Levi descended upon the city and killed every male.
There is a powerful lesson here of what happens when an entire community collectively loses their conscience. Ecclesiastes 9:15 speaks of a city being saved by a single wise man. So long as their remains one who can see things as they truly are there remains hope. But what if there is no wise man? What if there is no one of conscience who can accurately predict consequences from actions? In that case the entire city is vulnerable. They will work their own destruction, and not even know they are doing so until it has consumed them.
18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor’s son.
20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,
22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.
23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.
24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
Shechem and Hamor returned to their city and explained with delight how simple a task the sons of Jacob had delivered them. All they had to do was circumcise themselves, and then they would be able to marry the Israelites’ daughters and siphon their wealth to themselves.
Which is another example of the unworthy motivations in these men. They aren’t talking about this as if it would be a mutual partnership, they aren’t discussing ways that they will be able to support and grow the Israelite community as well, they are solely focused on how they can profit themselves at the others’ expense.
Thus, it is their blind greed that ultimately leads them to their demise. It seems the defining characteristic of these men is that they are so anxious to take advantage of others that they don’t realize when they’re the ones being taken advantage of instead.
11 And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.
12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:
14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:
15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;
16 Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.
Shechem tells Jacob and his sons to name their price. Whatever they ask he will give it as a wedding dowry. Once again, this only goes to show how unrepentant he is, thinking that he can pay a lofty enough sum and then all his immorality will be excused. He doesn’t seem to realize that suggesting Dinah’s lost innocence can be compensated for with money is only heaping fresh insults on top of his prior ones.
In answer, Jacob’s sons insist that Shechem and all the people of that land must be circumcised. They promise that if the men subject themselves to this, then the blending of the two cultures they have desired will occur. This, of course, is a lie and a trick, but because of their failure to comprehend the magnitude of their offense, the men of this land don’t think twice about agreeing to these terms.