The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah.
Here is a case in which all of Jacob’s oldest sons acted just as he would act. They were deceivers. Jacob may have been given a new name, but his old nature lives in his sons. They felt justified in their actions because of the horrible sin perpetuated against their sister. She is raped by a noble in the land, and then that noble has the gall to ask for her in marriage.
Their plan was simple: weaken Shechem and his tribe through deceit and then murder the entire clan. That is exactly what they did. They insisted that in order for the marriage to take place, all adult men in the clan of Shechem would need to be circumcised. Then, after the operations had occurred, and then men were in no condition to defend themselves, Jacob’s sons brutally slaughtered every last one of them in retaliation.
Jacob’s pattern of deception knew no bounds. He would lie to and deceive the ones he was to love the most: his own family. The second generation of that sin found his sons acting more like a gang of thugs than a godly generation of good sons! This is the price we pay as parents when the worst of us may find its way into our kids.
I am seriously thinking this episode over in the light of having one teenager (really two…Zach turns twelve today, but I think in our culture teen issues start about age ten now) and knowing the struggles that are there. May God give me the grace, humility, and insight to keep them from becoming what is worst in me!