Genesis 34

* Dinah defiled by Shechem. (1-19) The Shechemites murdered by

Simeon and Levi. (20-31)

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.
20-31 The Shechemites submitted to the sacred rite, only to

serve a turn, to please their prince, and to enrich themselves,

and it was just with God to bring punishment upon them. As

nothing secures us better than true religion, so nothing exposes

us more than religion only pretended to. But Simeon and Levi

were most unrighteous. Those who act wickedly, under the pretext

of religion, are the worst enemies of the truth, and harden the

hearts of many to destruction. The crimes of others form no

excuse for us. Alas! how one sin leads on to another, and, like

flames of fire, spread desolation in every direction! Foolish

pleasures lead to seduction; seduction produces wrath; wrath

thirsts for revenge; the thirst of revenge has recourse to

treachery; treachery issues in murder; and murder is followed by

other lawless actions. Were we to trace the history of unlawful

commerce between the sexes, we should find it, more than any

other sin, ending in blood.
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