slew all the males

Genesis 34:25

34:25 slew all the males. This act of murderous revenge, preceded by deception and blasphemy, was no doubt reconciled in the minds of Simeon and Levi as a case of the end justifying the means. The name of Israel had been tarnished severely (Genesis 34:7), their beloved sister not only raped but bargained for like a harlot, and the whole affair treated as a matter-of-fact commercial arrangement by the city’s king. The crime could not be ignored, but they could not take vengeance on Shechem only, since the rest of the men were as guilty as he in their attitudes about it (these men would themselves have defiled Dinah if they had had the opportunity, but they had to defer to their “honored” prince). Also, if the other men would have been spared, they would immediately have responded with a vendetta against all the Israelites. Jacob, by God’s wisdom, could surely have found a better solution, but in his grief had withdrawn from the whole situation.

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