13 But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor with deceit, because he had defiled Dinah their sister. 14 They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. 15 “Only on this condition will we consent to you: if you will become like us, in that every male of you be circumcised, 16 then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live with you and become one people. 17 “But if you will not listen to us to be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and go.”
18 Now their words seemed reasonable to Hamor and Shechem, Hamor’s son. 19 The young man did not delay to do the thing, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was more respected than all the household of his father. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, 21 “These men are friendly with us; therefore let them live in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters in marriage, and give our daughters to them. 22 “Only on this condition will the men consent to us to live with us, to become one people: that every male among us be circumcised as they are circumcised. 23 “Will not their livestock and their property and all their animals be ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will live with us.” 24 All who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and to his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.
Jacob’s sons had a plan up their sleeves, but amazingly, Hamor and Shechem were scheming as well. They thought that if they all became ‘one people’ that they would be able to take advantage of Jacob’s wealth, and steal from them without Jacob’s family noticing. As if we needed any more proof that Hamor and Shechem were only in this to gain property, we see their scheme in verse 23. When you screw up (like Shechem did), admit it humbly, and try to make restitution. If you try to turn your mistakes to your own advantage, things can go horribly wrong. We’ll see just how much that can be true tomorrow.