Hamor

HAMOR (hā'môr, Heb. hămôr, an ass). Father of the Shechem who criminally assaulted Dinah, a daughter of Jacob, as a result of which both father and son were killed in revenge by her brothers Simeon and Levi (Gen.34.1-Gen.34.31).


HAMOR hā’ mōr (חֲמֹ֖ור, he-ass). The father of Shechem (Gen 33:19). When Jacob returned from Paddan-aram, he bought a piece of ground from the sons of Hamor (Gen 33:18, 19), and this piece of ground became the burial place of Joseph (Josh 24:32). In Judges 9:28, the inhabitants of Shechem are called “men of Hamor.” They suffered a severe defeat from Abimelech, a prince over Israel (Judg 9:22-49).

Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, was forced by Shechem, and in revenge the sons of Jacob slew all the males of Shechem (Gen 34). In Acts 7:16 (Stephen’s speech) it is said that Jacob and “our fathers” were buried in a tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. Abraham bought a tomb in Machpelah, not in Shechem (Gen 23:17f.), and Jacob was buried there (50:13). Various solutions have been offered to account for this apparent discrepancy.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Hamor was the father of Shechem from whom Jacob bought a piece of ground on his return from Paddan-aram for one hundred pieces of silver (Ge 33:19), and the burial place of Joseph when his body was removed from Egypt to Canaan (Jos 24:32). "The men of Hamor" were inhabitants of Shechem, and suffered a great loss under Abimelech, a prince over Israel (Jud 9:22-49). Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, was criminally treated by Hamor, who requested her to be given to him in marriage, in which plan he had the cooperation of his father, Shechem. The sons of Jacob rejected their proposition and laid a scheme by which the inhabitants of the city were circumcised, and in the hour of helplessness slew all the males, thus wreaking special vengeance upon Hamor and his father Shechem. It is mere conjecture to claim that Hamor and Dinah were personifications of early central Palestinian clans in sharp antagonism, and that the course of Simeon and Levi was really the treachery of primitive tribes. Because the word Hamor means "an ass" and Shechem "a shoulder," there is no reason for rejecting the terms as designations of individuals and considering the titles as mere tribal appellations.

Byron H. Dement