And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore,
&c.] Or in "pain" F11, when their pains were strong upon them, as the Targum of Onkelos; or when they were weak through the pain of circumcision, as the Targum of Jonathan; for it seems that the pain of circumcision was more intense on the third day F12, and the part the more inflamed, and the person more feverish, and which is observed by physicians of other wounds; and therefore Hippocrates F13 advised not to meddle with wounds on the third or fourth days, or do anything that might irritate them, for on those days they were apt to rankle or be inflamed, and bring on fevers; and in this case, not only the wound was sore in itself and distressing, but being in such a part of the body, motion must give great uneasiness: nor could persons in such circumstances easily arise and walk, and go forth to defend themselves; and of this Jacob's sons availed themselves: so that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren;
by the mother's side as well as the father's, being Leah's children, and so most provoked at this indignity and abuse of their sister: took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly;
not fearing the inhabitants of it, and their rising up against them to defend themselves, knowing in what circumstances they were: or "upon the city that dwelt securely"; as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan; for the men of the city had no suspicion of any such attempt that would be made upon them, and therefore were quite easy and secure, not expecting nor fearing anything of this kind: and slew all the males;
the males that were grown up, for the little ones are after said to be carried captive, ( Genesis 34:29 ) ; Josephus F14 takes no notice of this circumstance of their being circumcised, but represents them as surprised in the night of their festival, overcharged with feasting, and their watch asleep, who were first killed. Though only two of Jacob's sons were mentioned, they might be assisted by the rest; at least, no doubt, they were attended with servants, who were aiding: in accomplishing this cruel and bloody attempt.
F11 (Mybak) "dolore affecti", Pagninus, Schmidt, "essent in dolore", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius.
F12 Pirke Eliezer, c. 29.
F13 De fracturis, sect. 33. apud Scheuchzer. Physica Sacra, vol. 1. p. 93.
F14 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 21. sect. 1.