Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal

Verses 1-7

"And Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her; and he took her, and lay with her, and humbled her. And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife. Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter; and his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him. And the sons of Jacob came in from 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."

The age of Dinah. Dinah was in her early teens when this occurred. "Dinah was probably between 13,15 at the time, and had attained perfect maturity, for this is often the case in the East at age 12, and sometimes earlier."[6]

"Went out to see the daughters of the land ..." Josephus tells us that a festival was in progress, so something more than a mere visit may be intended. There is blame enough for all involved in this story, but right here at the beginning it must be evident that allowing a young girl to visit women of her own age in the pagan environment was an extremely hazardous thing, especially since she did so without an escort. It could be that the young woman had become rebellious against parental restrictions, and that she was out to prove her independence. In any event, it was a disaster.

"Shechem ... took her ... lay with her ... humbled her ..." As Willis pointed out, "The whole drift of this chapter indicates that Shechem raped Dinah against her will and forced her to live in his house."[7] These very words, [~laqach], meaning that, "an irresistible force was used,"[8] [~innah], meaning that Dinah was humbled, and [~timme'], meaning defiled are indeed eloquent regarding the bestiality to which Dinah was subjected. Some commentators want to make a big thing out of the fact that Dinah might have encouraged Shechem, but, so what? Even if she had consented, which was not the case at all, it was a clear case of statutory rape. Shechem, like any other selfish, spoiled son of a ruler, simply took what he wanted when he wanted, and by force, if necessary.

"Get me this damsel to wife ..." "Get me what I want when I want it!" He had no regard to the wrong perpetuated against Dinah. He, along with his father, felt that dishonor could be healed with money and property. No word of sorrow, no word of repentance, no word of seeking forgiveness, no admission whatever of any wrong done was ever given either by Shechem or his father. No wonder the sons of Jacob were outraged by such behavior.

"He (Shechem) had wrought folly in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter ..." It is ridiculous that commentators in general seek to brand this reference to "Israel" as an anachronism. As Clarke pointed out:

"The land, afterward called Israel, was not yet so named, and the sons of Jacob were neither called Israel, Israelites or Jews until long after this. How then could it be said that Shechem wrought folly in Israel?"[9]

This, of course, states the problem, a problem which Clarke also solved, as we shall note a little later. The disturbing thing is that so many scholars still allege an anachronism, despite the truth having been made perfectly plain more than a century ago. Clarke pointed out that the words "wrought folly IN Israel" should be translated, "wrought folly AGAINST Israel," which is even a more literal translation than the one usually given.[10]

Now read the passage: "He wrought folly against Israel (that is, Jacob) in lying with Jacob's daughter." The very structure of this passage demonstrates what is meant. The sin was not "in Israel" but "against the patriarch," as plainly stated. Whatever anachronism there may be in the passage is a product of poor translation!

Yates' definition of "folly" is specific: "It indicates a vile, shameful, senseless deed that displays utter insensibility in moral behavior."[11] "A world of argument lies in this Scriptural identification of wickedness with folly. The moral man is the wise man."[12] This dual classification of the whole race of men as "wise" or "foolish" was often made use of by Christ, as in the wise and foolish virgins, the rich fool, the wise builder and the foolish builder, etc., etc.

Before leaving this passage, we should note again that Dinah's evident intention of being entertained by the pagan community, whether with parental consent or not, was dangerous. There was not only the physical danger, but the moral and religious danger also. The sensuous worship indulged by the Canaanites would have had its allurements for Dinah.

"Dinah seems to have invited trouble. Her desire to "visit the women of the land" (literally, "to look at with delight") was more than innocent curiosity, dangerous as that might have been."[13]

"And they were very wroth ..." The excessive anger of the sons of Jacob should have been anticipated by Shechem. Throughout the East at that time, there was a generally-held opinion, in evidence even today, that, "A brother is more dishonored by the seduction of a sister than by the infidelity of a wife, because one may divorce a wife, but a sister or daughter always retains the relationship."[14]

Be the first to react on this!

Scroll to Top

Group of Brands