Simeon and Levi, I’ve just about had enough from the two of you. One more murderous, plundering outburst like that and I’m going to turn this whole caravan right around and go back to Padan Aram. I mean it.
The two of you have been itching to go on a killing spree ever since we left Haran. That’s right, don’t you think I didn’t notice. Your sister’s kidnapping and rape by Shechem was just a pretext for you jerks to kill the town’s menfolk and make off with their goods. If you can’t keep your goddamn hands and swords to yourselves I swear I will take everyone back to your grandfather’s house. I’ll do it.
Reuben, wipe that smirk off your face. Let’s not pretend that as their eldest brother you shouldn’t have restrained them from this behavior. Some influence you’ve been. You better shape up. It’s this kind of impulsive disregard for the ramifications of your actions that I fear presages a pattern of rash behavior from you.
As for the rest of you, don’t be under the mistaken impression that your older siblings will be the ones taking all the flak for this outrage. You were all quite happy to join in the plunder once Simeon and Levi had slaughtered the men of the city. Stop playing all innocent. We can dispense with the game and lay it all out on table. You want to go back to being tenant shepherds? You want to be cheated out of everything and prosper only through divine protection? If that’s the kind of life you want, by all means, keep avenging your sister’s rape by killing dozens of people as they recover from the circumcision you tricked them into performing on themselves. Sleep in the bed you made. I’ll take us back to Mesopotamia in a heartbeat.
I thought we’d done a good job reconciling with Esau there, and I thought you behaved admirably even though we have every right to be on guard, ready to break heads at the slightest provocation, four hundred men or no four hundred men. But I guess I was wrong. You have all disappointed me.
Boys, nothing like this better happen again. You stay on your respective sides of the caravan and keep your limbs, weapons, and anything else to yourselves. Not a peep out of any of you, do you understand? Or I swear, I will turn us around and take us all back to Laban’s house.
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