Coachlight Bible Study – Genesis Lesson 41

Genesis Chapters 33-35 – The Way Back To Bethel


Victory Over Someone Is Of No Avail Unless You Have Prevailed With God First


James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded [disuchos].

James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.


God had meet with Jacob in a very real way and given Jacob His Word.  From this experience, Jacob learned to live a life of conviction and dependence on God.  God blessed Jacob and rewarded him with spiritual and material blessings.  All the time Jacob was treated shamefully by his uncle Laban, Jacob continued treating Laban with respect and ethically kept Laban’s flocks.  Jacob lived a life that was not self-centered, but had a mindset that caused him to make proper decisions and know who God is.

Probably not that Jacob consciously realized it, but after his fear and danger was alleviated, he became complacent.  It is almost like God’s Word, that had been so comforting and necessary when Jacob had to face Esau, was shoved to the back burner.  It was as though Jacob forgot that he had only succeeded with Esau, because he had prevailed with God before.  Now that Esau was not Jacob’s greatest obstacle, Jacob spent too long in Shechem. The good life and great pastures in Shecham had caught Jacob’s eye.  The easy life and neglecting God caused Jacob to spend much less time with God and His Word.  Pleasure and good living was the desire of the man of God. At a time like this the blessings of God seemed to be a ‘right’ rather than a blessing for which to be thankful.  Most would have thought that Jacob would make a bee-line for Bethel after God had miraculously delivered him, but we find that this is not so.  Now he has to flee from the vengeance of the Shechamites. A much worse condition than before.

Have you ever found yourself in that kind of position?  After a great experience with God, have you ever become complacent?  Have you ever gone about your daily life and later realized that God and His Word have become neglected? 

In times like this even God’s Word and the mindset learned, which had been very important earlier, is very faint in our lives.  The great experience with God is overshadowed by prosperous times and obstacles in our path.  Many times we do not even realize that these obstacles are caused from our own wrong mindset.  The fears that caused us to come to God in the first place are almost forgotten.  The convictions and lifestyle changes that we learned when we originally sought God are faint memories buried in a forgotten time. This leads to a much worse situation than we faced before.

What is the way out of this kind of situation?  Jacob found out that it consisted of getting rid of the idols in his life and returning to Bethel (The House of God).  Bethel was the place in which God had met Jacob in his time of need. In this lesson, we will find that the way back is a mindset change resulting In These two Actions:

1.) Get rid of the idols we have permitted into our lives

2.) Go back to the very place where we met God in the first place – ‘humility’


James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

I. The Word Of God To Jacob In His Time Of Need


Genesis 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;

Genesis 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 28:15  And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.


II. Jacob Stays Too Long In Shecham


Genesis 33:16 So Esau returned that day on his way unto Seir.

Genesis 33:17 And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.


A. Esau Was Returning To His Home In Seir

B. Jacob Also Planned To Go South, However, Much More Slowly

C. Jacob Stopped For Long Lengths Of Time In Succoth And Shecham

1. Succoth (Meaning “booths”) is probably the same as

a. Joshua 13:27 – Later one of the cities of the inheritance of Gad

b. Judges 8:5-16 – In the time of Gideon

2. Succoth still east of Jordan

3. Seemed to be a good place to live temporaily

a. Jacob built a simple house for himself

b. Jacob built reed-grass huts for his animals


Genesis 33:18 And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.

Genesis 33:19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.

Genesis 33:20 And he erected there an altar, and called it Elelohe-Israel.


D. Jacob Pulled Up Roots And Moved Across The Jordan

1. To a valley close to Shecham

2. Shecham not far from Succoth

3. But it is in Canaan


E. Verse 18, Shalem (Meaning Peace) Probably Should Not Be A Proper Name

1. Should Read: Jacob came in peace to the city of Shecham

2. This is rather a fulfillment of God’s promises

a. Genesis 28:15

b. Genesis 31:3


F. Shecham Is The First Spot In Canaan That Jacob Set Up Camp

1. Jacob purchased a peace of land from the Hivites

2. Jacob dug a well there

a. It is not mentioned in Genesis

b. But is mentioned in John 4:6

3. There was great pasture land for Jacob’s flocks

4. Later, Joseph was buried here (Joshua 24:32)

G. Shecham Was A Promenent City In Bible History

1. Located on Mt. Girazim

2. Later became the territory of the tribe of Ephraim

3. Very close to Samaria – The capitol of the Northern Kingdom

H. When Jacob Arrived It Was Controlled By The Hivites

1. A Canaanite Tribe

2. The leader was a man named Hamor

3. Hamor had a son named Shecham

I. Jacob built an alter On His Property - Dedicated the altar to El-elohe-Israel

 “God is the God of Israel

J. Jacob Stays Too Long In Succoth And Shecham

1. Leah’s daughter, Dinah, had to be in her teens at least

2. Dinah’s older brothers: Reuben, Simeon, & Levi had to be in their 20’s

3. When they first moved to Succoth, Reuben was about 12

4. So that Jacob lived at least 10 years in Succoth but most of the time in Shechem


III. Dinah And The Canaanites


Genesis 34:1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.

Genesis 34:2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.

Genesis 34:3 And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.

Genesis 34:4 And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.


A. Jacob’s Family Soon Came Into Peril Living So Close To An Ungodly City

B. Dinah needed companionship from someone her own age

1. Dinah was the only daughter at least for a long time

2. Dinah had found company from time to time with the Shechamite girls

3. Dinah must have seemed particularly attractive to the Shechamite men

a. Dinah’s family had higher standards and manners

b. Dinah was of a different race than they were accustomed

C. Dinah Soon Became Desired By Shecham – Hamor’s son

1. Unattached women were considered ‘fair game’ in Canaanite cities

2. Promiscuity was not only common, but part of the religion

3. With Shecham, Dinah was more than a conquest – He fell in love

4. Shecham takes Dinah into his house (Verse 26)

Genesis 34:5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.

Genesis 34:6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.

Genesis 34:7 And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob's daughter; which thing ought not to be done.

Genesis 34:8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.

Genesis 34:9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.

Genesis 34:10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.

Genesis 34:11 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.

Genesis 34:12 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.

Genesis 34:13 And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:

Genesis 34:14 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:

Genesis 34:15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;

Genesis 34:16 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.

Genesis 34:17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.


D. Even in Canaanite Families, Marriages Were Arranged By The Parents

E. Jacob Was Full Of Grief And Angry – Decided To Wait For Dinah’s Brothers

F. Hamor Came To Jacob With Shecham’s Proposal

1. Jacob’s sons came into the room – angry

a. Angry because Shecham had “Wrought folly in Israel”

b. The defilement of Dinah – “Ought not to be done”

2. The son’s anger did not affect Hamor

a. He not only proposed that Shecham take Dinah

b. He proposed - be a general intermarrying between Israel and Shecham

3. The son’s of Jacob have a plan

a. They set a trap for the Shechamites

b. They couldn’t have their sister marry an uncircumcised Canaanite

c. The answer is no unless all the male Shechamites were circumcised


Genesis 34:18 And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.

Genesis 34:19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.

Genesis 34:20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,

Genesis 34:21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.

Genesis 34:22 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.

Genesis 34:23 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.

Genesis 34:24 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.


G. The Unsuspecting Shechemites Agreed To The Proposal

1. All Shechemites were to be circumcised

2. Hamor convinced his people by saying:

a. There is room enough for both

b. Lets intermarry

c. “Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of theirs be ours?”


Genesis 34:25 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.

Genesis 34:26 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.

Genesis 34:27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.

Genesis 34:28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,

Genesis 34:29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.


H. Simeon And Levi Knew That The Pain Of Surgery Was Worse On 3rd Day

1. On the 3rd day they slew all the Shechemite males while in pain

2. They spoiled The City – Took all the posessions


Genesis 34:30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.

Genesis 34:31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?.


I. Now Jacob Is In A Greater Fix Than When He Had To Meet Esau

a. His sons had acted in a rage of vengeful religious fanaticism

b. His sons considered themselves having higher position then their fellow citizens

c. They didn’t realize that privilege and position comes by God not man

IV. Jacob Returns To Bethel


Genesis 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

Genesis 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

Genesis 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.


A. God Speaks To Jacob Telling Him To Go To Back To Bethel

B. Jacob Repents (Changed His Mind) And Tells His House

1. Give me all your idols

2. Be Clean – Change Your Clothes

3. Arise and go to Bethel – 15 miles away

4. The Greek Word For Repent:

3340 metanoew metanoeo met-an-o-eh'-o - from 3326 & 3539; TDNT-4:975,636; v

repent 34; 34

1) to change one's mind, i.e. to repent

2) to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins


Genesis 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

Genesis 35:5 And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

Genesis 35:6 So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.

Genesis 35:7 And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

Genesis 35:8 But Deborah Rebekah's nurse died, and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak: and the name of it was called Allonbachuth.

Genesis 35:9 And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him.

Genesis 35:10 And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.

Genesis 35:11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

Genesis 35:12 And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.

Genesis 35:13 And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him.

Genesis 35:14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon.

Genesis 35:15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.