Dinah Raped by Shechem
1One day, Jacob and Leah’s daughter, Dinah, went out to visit the neighborhood girls. # 34:1 Perhaps the local women introduced her to Shechem, the prince of the city named for him. Dinah was likely fifteen or sixteen years old. 2Now Hamor, the tribal chief of the Hivites, had a son named Shechem, who was the prince. When he saw how attractive Dinah was, he seized her and sexually assaulted her. 3His heart was drawn to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter, so he sought to win her affection and spoke tenderly to her. 4Shechem went to his father Hamor and said, “Get me this girl to be my wife.”
5Now Jacob heard that Shechem had violated his daughter Dinah; but his sons were in the fields with his livestock, so he waited to act until his sons returned home. 6Shechem’s father Hamor brought his son # 34:6 From v. 11 we learn that Shechem was present during this conversation. to speak with Jacob about marriage arrangements. 7During their conversation, Jacob’s sons came in from the field, and they heard the report of what Shechem had done to their sister Dinah. # 34:7 Apparently, Dinah was still being held in Hamor’s house within the city (see vv. 17, 26). They were shocked and furious over the shameful act Shechem committed against Israel # 34:7 Or “in Israel.” —a criminal act of sexual assault that never should have happened.
8But Hamor tried to defuse the situation, saying, “Listen, my son Shechem is in love with your daughter. Please, give her to him in marriage. 9Let’s allow our people to intermarry. # 34:9 Or “partner [with us],” that is, become our brothers-in-law. Let your daughters marry our sons, and we will let our daughters marry your sons. 10You may settle here among us, live anywhere you wish, # 34:10 Or “The land is before your faces.” This could be an idiom meaning “Make yourselves at home here.” move about # 34:10 Or “trade” (LXX, Vulgate, Targums). freely, and acquire property.” # 34:10 The basic meaning of the Hebrew verb used here is “take possession of land.”
11Then Shechem spoke up and said to Dinah’s family, “Please, let me find favor in your eyes. Whatever you require of me, I’ll pay. 12Set the bride-price as high as you wish, no matter how expensive it is; I’ll pay whatever you ask. Only give me the young woman to be my wife.”
Jacob’s Sons Exact Revenge
13The sons of Jacob concocted a devious plan. Because of the rape of their sister Dinah, they answered Shechem and Hamor deceitfully, 14saying, “Our culture will not allow us to consent to our sister Dinah marrying someone who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. 15We would only approve of the marriage on one condition: you must circumcise every male among you and become as we are. 16Then we will allow our daughters to marry your sons and your daughters to marry our sons. And we will live among you and become one people. 17But if you refuse to be circumcised, then we will take our sister # 34:17 Or “daughter.” and be gone.” 18The offer pleased Hamor and his son Shechem. 19And the young man lost no time in doing what they asked, because Shechem really wanted to marry Jacob’s daughter!
Now Shechem was the most honored # 34:19 Or, possibly, “the most important.” in all his family, 20so Hamor and his son went to the gate of the city and spoke to the men, saying, 21“These people are our friends. Let them settle in our land and make themselves at home; there’s plenty of room in the country for them. And, let’s agree to exchange our daughters in marriage to them and to unite us as one people. 22They only have one condition in order to live among us and to unite with us as one people: every male among us must be circumcised as they are circumcised. 23Won’t all of their livestock and property become ours? Let us agree to their request, so they will live among us.” 24So all the townsmen agreed with Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male of the city was circumcised.
25Three days later, while all the men were still suffering in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and attacked the unsuspecting city. They slaughtered every male of the city. 26They even killed Hamor and his son Shechem, and took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and left. 27Later, Jacob’s other sons came upon the dead bodies, and they looted the city as retribution for the violation of their sister. 28They seized the flocks, herds, and donkeys, and all that was in the city and in the field. 29They plundered all their wealth and their household goods and took their wives and children as captives.
30When Jacob found out, he said to Simeon and Levi, “What have you done? You have ruined my name, # 34:30 Or “You have muddied the waters” or “You have made a stink.” That is, they had brought trouble upon Jacob. and now the Canaanites and Perizzites and all the people of this land will hate me! My men are so few that if they unite against me and attack, I and all my household will be destroyed!”
31But they answered him, “Why should they treat our sister like a whore?”
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The Defiling of Dinah
1Now Dinah, the daughter Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. 2When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the region, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. 3And his soul was drawn to Dinah, the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young girl and spoke to her tenderly. 4So Shechem told his father Hamor, “Get me this girl as a wife.”
5Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah, but since his sons were with his livestock in the field, he remained silent about it until they returned. 6Meanwhile, Shechem’s father Hamor came to speak with Jacob. 7When Jacob’s sons heard what had happened, they returned from the field. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had committed an outrage in Israel #34:7 Or against Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter—a thing that should not be done.
8But Hamor said to them, “My son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. 9Intermarry with us; give us your daughters, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10You may settle among us, and the land will be open to you. Live here, move about freely, and acquire your own property.”
11Then Shechem said to Dinah’s father and brothers, “Grant me this favor, and I will give you whatever you ask. 12Demand a high dowry and an expensive gift, and I will give you whatever you ask. Only give me the girl as my wife!”
The Revenge of Dinah’s Brothers
13But because Shechem had defiled their sister Dinah, Jacob’s sons answered him and his father Hamor deceitfully. 14“We cannot do such a thing,” they said. “To give our sister to an uncircumcised man would be a disgrace to us. 15We will consent to this on one condition, that you become circumcised like us—every one of your males. 16Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We will dwell among you and become one people. 17But if you will not agree to be circumcised, then we will take our sister and go.”
18Their offer seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19The young man, who was the most respected of all his father’s household, did not hesitate to fulfill this request, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter.
20So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city and addressed the men of their city: 21“These men are at peace with us. Let them live and trade in our land; indeed, it is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters in marriage and give our daughters to them. 22But only on this condition will the men agree to dwell with us and be one people: if all our men are circumcised as they are. 23Will not their livestock, their possessions, and all their animals become ours? Only let us consent to them, and they will dwell among us.”
24All the men who went out of the city gate listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male of the city was circumcised.
25Three days later, while they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons (Dinah’s brothers Simeon and Levi) took their swords, went into the unsuspecting city, and slaughtered every male. 26They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with their swords, took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went away.
27Jacob’s other sons came upon the slaughter and looted the city, because their sister had been defiled. 28They took their flocks and herds and donkeys, and everything else in the city or in the field. 29They carried off all their possessions and women and children, and they plundered everything in their houses.
30Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble upon me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people of this land. We are few in number; if they unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”
31But they replied, “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”
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