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Reference: Hamor


Some think that the name points to a totem clan, such as there is reason to believe existed among the early Canaanite, and other Semitic, peoples. He is 'the father of Shechem' (Ge 33:19-20; Jos 24:32; Jg 9:28); but in the first and last two of these passages, the inhabitants of Shechem are called 'the sons of Hamor' and 'the men of Hamor.' It would seem, therefore, that Hamor is not to be considered an historical individual, but the eponymous ancestor of the Hamorites [cf. 'the sons of Heth' = the Hittites, Ge 23:3], who were a branch of the Hivites (Ge 34:2); and 'the father of Shechem' means the founder of the place Shechem (cf. 1Ch 2:50 f.).

Ge 34 contains a composite narrative. According to p (Ge 34:1-2 a, Ge 34:4,6,8-10,13-18,20-25 (partly) Ge 34:27-29), Hamor negotiates with Jacob and his sons for the marriage of Shechem and Dinah, with the object of amalgamating the two peoples; circumcision is imposed by the sons of Jacob upon the whole Hamorite tribe, and then they attack the city, slaying all the males and carrying off the whole of the spoil. In the remaining verses of the chapter, the earlier narrative (Jahwist) pictures a much smaller personal affair, in which Shechem loves, and is ready to marry, Dinah; he only is circumcised, and he and Hamor alone are slain by Simeon and Levi

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