I've been studying Genesis 34 lately. It is a difficult passage to work through, especially figuring out it's place in the bigger picture of the Jacob narrative. Most OT narratives have a "punchline" or two to indicate the major point of the narrative. But in this case, there doesn't seem to be a clear one. Several observations. One, God is not mentioned once in the narrative. Some have argued that this indicates Jacob and company were living without reference to God at this point, a sort of backsliding. Perhaps that is supported by the fact that Jacob purchased land and settled down, giving up the pilgrim life. Jacob seems to be too comfortable around the Canaanites there, letting his daughter roam freely among them without any protection. When she is raped, violated, and kidnapped by Shechem, Jacob seems passive, more worried about what they will do to him if he protests. Hamor and Shechem have no sense of remorse for the crime, and only wish to seal the deal with a quick marriage. Later, Hamor reveals his true motives, to eventually assimilate the wealth of Jacob into Shechem. The sons are angry and plot revenge, using the sign of circumcision and covenant membership for marriage, as a means to get revenge on the whole town. (Perhaps they kill all the men since none rose up to defend their sister?) Levi and Simeon take advantage of the pain of the Shechemites and slaughter the fighting age men, and the rest of the brothers join in plundering the town and rescuing Dinah. The only apparent "punchline" we are left with is the reply of Levi and Simeon to Jacob's rebuke, vs. 31 "But they said, "Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?"" Their moral outrage is the last note ringing from the narrative. It seems like Moses is giving them the last word. And when you look at the brothers efforts more like a rescue operation, it seems they could have been justified in taking up arms (but not in abusing the covenant sign). But later, Levi and Simeon are punished in Jacob's blessing of the sons, showing they were in fact in the wrong for the actions they took. So why is this narrative here? What's the point we are suppose to take away from it? Is it a warning about the consequences of compromising with the world? Is it providing background into the character of Jacob's sons? Is there a lesson Jacob was suppose to learn here? Thanks for the input.