Counsel of my Sons – Genesis 34-35




Wednesday 08/09/17 

Message – Counsel of my Sons

Series: Thru the Bible – Genesis 30-31

***Video is HERE***


Counsel of my Sons


Genesis 34

  • Dinah was probably between 13 and 15 at the time, and had attained perfect maturity; for this is often the case in the East at the age of 12, and sometimes earlier.
  • This means she was young and impressionable.
  • She went alone which was foolish…
    • Of her if without permission, counsel and supervision
    • Of her parents if they knowingly allowed it.
    • She went out of curiosity.
  • Shechem, the prince of the country,  took her, and lay with her, it should seem, not so much by force as by surprise.
  • Note, Great men think they may do any thing and rarely seek counsel before acting in passion.
  • The fact that the passage tells us he spoke kindly to her… Sought the favor and permission of her father to marry, was willing to be circumcised and was said to be more honorable than all in his father’s house would lead one to believe this was not rape… but seduction.
    • It is not uncommon for a young girl to get swept off her feet by the advances of a young man… Especially one who is famous or powerful or whose affections might make them the envy of other women.
    • See what came of Dinah’s gadding: she, nor her parents had the counsel of the Lord on these issues, where as the counsel offered in Titus 2:5 says young women must learn to be chaste and keepers at home but a law from God is not necessary when common sense offers the same advice.
    • We need to be careful what curiosities we indulge.
  • Jacob was silent… he left his impetuous sons speak for him and allowed himself to be caught in the snare of their pour counsel.
  • Jacob should have declined immediately or out of respect to the covenant, sent them away to allow for time to discuss it with God and his sons.
    • The passage says Jacob’s sons answered, but we later see that in fact Simeon and Levi seem to have acted alone in this counsel.
    • It was these two who particularly targeted Shechem and his father and who carried away Dinah back to their father’s house.
    • However it appears that the rest of the sons of Jacob joined with them following the wholesale Slaughter of the rest of the men, but plundering all the land.
  • It is possible that “What” Simeon and Levi said was either true or thought to be true… but their purpose in saying it was deceitful.
  • Jacob clearly regretted his silence and temporary agreement with their words which he as a standbyer took for counsel. This is clear based upon…
    • His statement to them after the slaughter – “You have troubled me by making me obnoxious among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites; and since I am few in number, they will gather themselves together against me and kill me. I shall be destroyed, my household and I.”
      • In this we see Jacob’s ongoing fear of safety. He never consumed God nor apparently sought His protection in faith.


    • Jacob’s prophecy over Simeon & Levi… Genesis 49:5-7,

“5 Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place.

6  Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.

7  Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.”

    • In the end Simon and Levi were unrepentant and defended their actions to their father as if they were somehow Noble.
  • Jacob did not have the ruling of his house in this instance.
  • Jacob’s lagging obedience to return home costs both he and an entire kingdom.


Genesis 35

    • God again comes to Jacob and tells him to go towards home and “DWELL WHERE I MEET YOU AS YOU DID FROM ESAU AT THE BEGINNING”…. Similar to what He had told him in Genesis 31:3,  “Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”
    • Jacob makes mention of God having protected him in the past which may be what was, at least in part, at the root of his desire to become obedient this time.
    • Jacob clearly knew the foreign Gods in his house were not acceptable to God, but as to whether these were the gods taken in plunder in Shechem or those Rachel had hid from her father Laban is not known. it is possible Jacob did not even know Rachel had the idols of her father.
    • Jacob’s mothers nurse had died and was buried beneath the terebinth tree. So he named it Allon Bachuth in her honor. It means, “oak of weeping”
    • God appears again to Jacob now that he had put Padam Aram behind him.
      • God reminds him of his covenant name – Israel.


  • Jacob appears to keep his promise to tithe… Gen. 28:22,  “(22) And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” 
    • Jacob offers tithes in the form of cattle offerings.
    • And in V14 – Jacob offers tithe in the form of drink offerings.
  • Just outside Bethlehem Rachel dies in childbirth.
    • She calls his name Ben-oni = son of my sorrow
    • Jacob could not bear carrying the sorrow of his wife’s sorrow for a lifetime in the name of her last gift to him… So renames him Benjamin = son of my right hand so as to hold her close through him.
    • This naming of Benjamin in this place near the tower of Edar is significant since it was a place well suited for pasture. This is presumed to be the same field where the shepherds are told of Christ’s birth many years later… “son if my right hand”
  • Reuben dishonors his father by having sex with one of his wives.
    • Apparently Jacob said nothing…until later .
  • Jacob finally visits his father before he dies at 180.
    • Esau’s & Jacob no doubt had an interesting reunion as they committed their father to the ground.


Not reading 36 together but may offer a few thought on it next week before we move on to 37.


There is much more information in the audio/video of the actual message. I hope you listen, learn and enjoy!



I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

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Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!