Read verses 2-3
Q: Why is this verse surprising, what does it tell us about Jacob’s household, and what does it tell us about how Diana may have put herself in jeopardy in the first place?
A: We expect Jacob’s household to be as pure and faithful to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as Jacob was. Obviously, it was not. It was gradually being polluted by the people groups around it, and there were already previous hints of idolatry in the camp (see 31:19, 30-32). It is obvious that Rachel herself was not wholly devoted to Jacob’s God. Diana herself may have been flirting with disaster, for 34:1 states, “Diana…went out to visit the daughters of the land,” which would have been the Canaanites and Hivites. Intermingling leads to intermarrying (34:9, 16), and, in Jacob’s case, intermarrying would lead to a polluted “seed line.”
Q: What was Jacob’s neglect in the whole matter?
A: Jacob obviously knew what was going on around him but did little about it. He figured that keeping himself pure and faithful would be sufficient enough. It was not.
Application: In parenting, what might be the consequences for parents who observe their children involving themselves in questionable practices (drugs, Gothic, certain forms of music) and ignoring the activity, hoping it will just “go away”? How about within the church?
Q: If Rachel was one of the culprits concerning “foreign gods” (she already had a history of this), why do you suppose she resorted to this practice?
A: Rachel’s older sister, Leah, was the original “Fertile Myrtle.” She seemed to get pregnant without trying. That was killing Rachel (30:1). Her identity was wrapped up in bearing children (as was most women in those days). To be barren was seen as a curse (“reproach”). To hedge the bet, Rachel resorted to the local gods who promised fertility. She eventually became pregnant (30:22-24), but one son was not enough: “May the Lord give me another son.” (Sibling rivalry?) It appears that she never gave up the first gods she stole from her father Laban, and collecting more gods might grant her another child, even though she acknowledged that it was “the Lord” who opened up her womb. She may have been “a double-minded” woman.