Genesis 33:1-35:29, Matthew 18:21-19:12
Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
Here and there in the Bible we come upon chapters that report such disgraceful deeds that it is difficult to know how to comment or preach on them. The thirty-fourth chapter of Genesis is such a chapter….
The chapter does indeed give “an invaluable sidelight on the lives of the patriarchs.” But it does more than this. It gives lessons and warning on how and how not to live our lives.
There is this too. Whenever the Bible contains material that reflects so badly not merely upon the sins of humanity in general but also upon the particular wickedness in the hearts and lives of God’s people, this is evidence of the divine and not merely the human origin of the Scriptures. Nowhere in the Bible does the corruption of the progenitors of the Jewish people show forth stronger than in this chapter. Yet in spite of the fact that Genesis is Israel’s first great religious book—which the Jews rightly love and prize—this chapter is still here, with all its evil and ugliness. How could this chapter get included in Genesis if Genesis were merely a human composition? Human writers would have suppressed these events, just as commentators sometimes seem compelled to suppress them today. The only way these events could have come to be included is that the ultimate author of this book (and of all other canonical books) is God, who speaks the truth regardless of how it reflects on people. (J. M. Boice, Genesis, an Expositional Commentary, Vol. 2, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1985), pp. 341-342)