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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

VaYishlach 8-5

And (he) sent

Genesis 34:1 – 35:11(Ashkenazis) 13(Sefardis)

The sons of Jacob had come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, and the men were indignant and very angry, because he had done an outrageous thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing must not be done.

Gen. 34:7 ESV

What shouldn't be done in Israel?

Dinah, Yaakov's daughter, went out of her high moral world to flirt with low moral mundane things. She went to visit the daughters of the land. Her heart wasn't firm in her people's teachings, and her behaviour opened the door for a young man to take her and lay with her, to then humiliate her. On top of that, she didn't run away from him, but stayed and lived in his house as a couple with him.

Shechem – Siquem – and Dinah's sin is called fornication. The Eternal forbids sexual relations outside the covenant of marriage. His rule is not only for Israel, but for all the descendants of Noach, because it is written that" a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."  (Gen. 2:24). If a man doesn't announce that he is leaving his father and mother in a public event, he cannot be one flesh with that woman. The one who hasn't been joined with a woman in a public event according to the rules of any given country has no right to maintain sexual relations with her. 

A man who's not married a woman through marriage laws, cannot be intimate, nor live with her.

When Yaakov's sons heard what happened to their sister, they became indignant and very angry.  Two of them reacted quite violently when trying to defend their family's high morals and avenge what Shechem had done. Even though what these two brothers did wasn't correct at all, they were right in their minds regarding protecting a high moral standard, not only to obey the Eternal and sanctify His Name, but also to protect their people from this kind of sin that always takes civilizations to destruction. They believed that having sexual contact with someone without a legal marriage was an act of infamy that should not take place in Israel. Besides, the people of Israel had a calling to be sanctified, and uncircumcised peoples should not mix with the seed of Abraham.

When Yaakov rebuked Shimon and Levi for what they had done, they replied that Shechem should not have treated their sister like a prostitute (34:31). Their motivation was correct, but not their taking justice in their own hands and taking revenge on a whole people for what a man had done, besides being provoked by their sister, Dinah.

Further on, Shimon and Levi's anger was cursed by their father (49:7), and the result of this murder was that both tribes were scattered among the others when dividing the land. (49:7; Num. 35:2; Jos. 13:14; 19:1, 9).

In the Israel of the Holy One – blessed be He – one cannot commit fornication. True Israelites are careful to avoid this sin, because no one who lives in fornication can inherit the kingdom to come, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 6:18: "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits fornication sins against his own body." (MKJV) and Ephesians 5:5-7: "For you know this, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (who is an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience. Therefore, do not be partakers with them." (MKJV revised) and Colossians 3:5-6: "Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness (which is idolatry), on account of which things' sake the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience." (MKJV), and Revelation 22:15: "But outside are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and makes a lie." (MKJV)

If you have practiced fornication, repent and make the decision of never doing it again. Ask the Eternal for forgiveness so you can be cleansed by the blood of the Messiah Yeshua that's efficient for those who abandon sin.

May the Eternal grant us strength to live in victory over sexual sin every day. 


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