And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter
That is, that Shechem had defiled her; the report of this was brought him very probably by one of the maids which attended her to the city; for it was hardly to be thought that she should go thither alone, and which must be very distressing to Jacob to hear of: this was his first affliction in his own family, but it was not the only one, nor the last, others quickly followed:
now his sons were with his cattle in the field;
he had bought, or in some other hired by him for his cattle, feeding and keeping them, being arrived to an age fit for such service; here they were when the above report was brought to Jacob:
and Jacob held his peace until they were come;
neither murmuring at the providence, but patiently bearing the chastisement; nor reflecting upon Leah for letting Dinah go out, or not keeping a proper watch over her; nor saying anything of it to any in the family; nor expressing his displeasure at Shechem, nor vowing revenge on him for it, nor taking any step towards it until his sons were come home from the field; with whom he chose to advise, and whose assistance he would want, if it was judged necessary to use force to get Dinah out of the hands of Shechem, or to avenge the injury done her.