Dinah and the Shechemites
And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.
2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.
3 And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.
4 And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.
6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
7 And the sons of Jacob came out of the field when they heard it: and the men were grieved, and they were very wroth, because he had wrought folly in Israel in lying with Jacob’s daughter: which thing ought not to be done.
8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.
10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.
Genesis 34 begins with an unspeakable act being committed against Dinah the daughter of Jacob ( by his wife Leah). While away from home visiting the women of the land, the girl has been “defiled” by the son of the area’s ruler, a man called Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite.
This version of the Bible states that Shechem raped Dinah but that he loved her and spoke tenderly to her. He also went to his father and asked his father to give him the young woman to be his wife. From the account, I cannot tell whether or not Dinah was a willing participant in what is termed here as being “defiled” but it occurs to me that in those days, women being more possessions than individuals with rights, it really didn’t matter. I’m sure the act of laying with a young girl without marrying her or even having the father’s permission to marry her would constitute rape in that day.
Jacob heard about this act while his sons were in the field but did nothing until they returned. They were furious at Shechem because of what he had done, something they considered outrageous—a thing that “ought not to be done.”
Hamor, the father came to Jacob to intercede on behalf of his son. He told Jacob that his son wanted to marry Dinah and that if Jacob would allow it, the two families could intermarry, each taking daughters from the other group. He offered Jacob’s people the right to settle in his land and acquire property in it.
Will Jacob accept this offer? We will find out tomorrow.
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