Genesis 34:18
And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) Their words pleased Hamor.—We gather from this that circumcision was a rite not only well known, but regarded as something honourable; for otherwise they would not so readily have submitted to a thing so painful.

Genesis 34:18-19. Hamor and Shechem gave consent themselves to be circumcised. To this perhaps they were moved, not only by the strong desire they had to bring about this match, but by what they might have heard of the sacred and honourable intentions of this sign, in the family of Abraham, which it is probable they had some confused notions of, and of the promises confirmed by it; which made them the more desirous to incorporate with the family of Jacob. He (Shechem) was more honourable than all the house of his father — More highly esteemed by the people, which was the reason he prevailed so much with them in so strange a request.34:1-19 Young persons, especially females, are never so safe and well off as under the care of pious parents. Their own ignorance, and the flattery and artifices of designing, wicked people, who are ever laying snares for them, expose them to great danger. They are their own enemies if they desire to go abroad, especially alone, among strangers to true religion. Those parents are very wrong who do not hinder their children from needlessly exposing themselves to danger. Indulged children, like Dinah, often become a grief and shame to their families. Her pretence was, to see the daughters of the land, to see how they dressed, and how they danced, and what was fashionable among them; she went to see, yet that was not all, she went to be seen too. She went to get acquaintance with the Canaanites, and to learn their ways. See what came of Dinah's gadding. The beginning of sin is as the letting forth of water. How great a matter does a little fire kindle! We should carefully avoid all occasions of sin and approaches to it.Hamor and Shekem accept the terms, and immediately proceed to carry them into effect. It is testified of Shekem, that he delayed not to do the thing, and that he was more honorable than all his house. They bring the matter before their fellow-citizens, and urge them to adopt the rite of circumcision, on the ground that the men are peaceable, well-conducted, and they and their cattle and goods would be a valuable addition to the common wealth of their tribe. Hence, it appears that the population was still thin, that the neighboring territory was sufficient for a much larger number than its present occupants, and that a tribe found a real benefit in an accession to his numbers. The people were persuaded to comply with the terms proposed. There is nothing said here of the religious import of the rite, or of any diversity of worship that may have existed between the two parties. But it is not improbable that the Shekemites were prepared for mutual toleration, or even for the adoption of the religion of Israel in its external forms, though not perhaps to the exclusion of their own hereditary customs. It is also possible that the formal acknowledgment of the one true God was not yet extinct. Circumcision has been in use among the Egyptians, Colchians (Herodotus ii. 104), and other eastern nations; but when and how introduced we are not informed. The present narrative points out one way in which it may have spread from nation to nation.13. The sons of Jacob answered—The honor of their family consisted in having the sign of the covenant. Circumcision was the external rite by which persons were admitted members of the ancient Church. But that outward rite could not make the Shechemites true Israelites; and yet it does not appear that Jacob's sons required anything more. Nothing is said of their teaching the people to worship the true God, but only of their insisting on their being circumcised; and it is evident that they did not seek to convert Shechem, but only made a show of religion—a cloak to cover their diabolical design. Hypocrisy and deceit, in all cases vicious, are infinitely more so when accompanied with a show of religion; and here the sons of Jacob, under the pretense of conscientious scruples, conceal a scheme of treachery as cruel and diabolical as was, perhaps, ever perpetrated. No text from Poole on this verse. And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son. The condition proposed was acceptable to them both, and they agreed to comply with it; Hamor, because of the great love he had for his son; Shechem, because of the great love he had for Dinah. And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 18, 19. - And their words pleased (literally, were flood in the eyes of) Hamor, and (literally, in the eyes of) Shechem, Hamor's son. And the young man deferred not (i.e. delayed not) to do the thing (literally, the word, i.e. to submit to circumcision. This is stated here by anticipation), because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honorable - literally, more honored, doubtless because more worthy of regard (cf. 1 Chronicles 4:9) - than all the house of his father. When Jacob heard of the seduction of his daughter, "he was silent," i.e., he remained quiet, without taking any active proceedings (ex. Gen 14:14; 2 Samuel 19:11) until his sons came from the field. When they heard of it, they were grieved and burned with wrath at the disgrace. טמּא to defile equals to dishonour, disgrace, because it was an uncircumcised man who had seduced her. "Because he had wrought folly in Israel, by lying with Jacob's daughter." "To work folly" was a standing phrase for crimes against the honour and calling of Israel as the people of God, especially for shameful sins of the flesh (Deuteronomy 22:21; Judges 20:10; 2 Samuel 13:2, etc.); but it was also applied to other great sins (Joshua 7:15). As Jacob had become Israel, the seduction of his daughter was a crime against Israel, which is called folly, inasmuch as the relation of Israel to God was thereby ignored (Psalm 14:1). "And this ought not to be done:" יעשׂה potentialis as in Genesis 20:9. - Hamor went to Jacob to ask for his daughter (Genesis 34:6); but Jacob's sons reached home at the same time (Genesis 34:7), so that Hamor spoke to them (Jacob and his sons). To attain his object Hamor proposed a further intermarriage, unrestricted movement on their part in the land, and that they should dwell there, trade (ἐμπορεύεσθαι), and secure possessions (נאחז settle down securely, as in Genesis 47:27). Shechem also offered (Genesis 34:11, Genesis 34:12) to give anything they might ask in the form of dowry (מהר not purchase-money, but the usual gift made to the bride, vid., Genesis 24:53) and presents (for the brothers and mother), if they would only give him the damsel.
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