Dinah Is Raped
1Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the women who lived nearby. 2She was seen by Hamor's son Shechem, the leader of the Hivites, and he grabbed her and raped her. 3But Shechem was attracted to Dinah, so he told her how much he loved her. 4Shechem even asked his father to arrange for him to marry her.
5Meanwhile, Jacob heard what had happened. But his sons were out in the fields with the cattle, so he did not do anything at the time. 6Hamor arrived at Jacob's home 7just as Jacob's sons were coming in from work. When they learned that their sister had been raped, they became furiously angry, because nothing is more disgraceful than rape, and it must not be tolerated.
8Hamor said to Jacob and his sons:
My son Shechem really loves Dinah. Please let him marry her. 9Why don't you start letting your families marry into our families and ours marry into yours? 10You can share this land with us. Move freely about until you find the property you want; then buy it and settle down here.
11Shechem added, “Do this favor for me, and I'll give whatever you want. 12Ask anything, no matter how expensive. I'll do anything, just let me marry Dinah.”
13Jacob's sons wanted to get even with Shechem and his father because of what had happened to their sister. 14So they tricked them by saying:
You're not circumcised!#34.14 You're not circumcised: Israelite boys were circumcised when they were eight days old, and no uncircumcised man could be part of the people of Israel. It would be a disgrace for us to let you marry Dinah now. 15But we will let you marry her, if you and the other men in your tribe agree to be circumcised. 16Then your families can marry into ours, and ours can marry into yours, and we can live together like one nation. 17But if you don't agree to be circumcised, we'll take Dinah and leave this place.
18Hamor and Shechem liked what was said. 19Shechem was the most respected person in his family, and he was so in love with Dinah that he hurried off to get everything done. 20The two men met with the other leaders of their city and told them:
21These people really are friendly. Why not let them move freely about until they find the property they want? There's enough land here for them and for us. Then our families can marry into theirs, and theirs can marry into ours.
22We have to do only one thing before they will agree to stay here and become one nation with us. Our men will have to be circumcised just like theirs. 23Just think! We'll get their property, as well as their flocks and herds. All we have to do is to agree, and they will live here with us.
24Every grown man followed this advice and got circumcised.
Dinah's Brothers Take Revenge
25Three days later the men who had been circumcised were still weak from pain. So Simeon and Levi,#34.25 Simeon and Levi: Dinah's full brothers. two of Dinah's brothers, attacked with their swords and killed every man in the town, 26including Hamor and Shechem. Then they took Dinah and left. 27Jacob's other sons came and took everything they wanted. All this was done because of the horrible thing that had happened to their sister. 28They took sheep, goats, donkeys, and everything else that was in the town or the countryside. 29After taking everything of value from the houses, they dragged away the wives and children of their victims.
30Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “Look what you've done! Now I'm in real trouble with the Canaanites and Perizzites who live around here. There aren't many of us, and if they attack, they'll kill everyone in my household.”
31They answered, “Was it right to let our own sister be treated that way?”
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The Rape of Dinah. 1#The story of the rape of Dinah and the revenge of Jacob’s sons on the men of the city of Shechem may reflect the relations of the tribes of Simeon and Levi to their Canaanite neighbors around Shechem; the tribes are represented by their eponymous ancestors. Jacob’s farewell testament (49:5–7) cites this incident as the reason for the decline of the tribes of Simeon and Levi. Ominously, vv. 30–31 leave the situation unresolved, with Jacob concerned about the welfare of the whole family, and Simeon and Levi concerned only about the honor of their full sister. The danger to the family from narrow self-interest will continue in the Joseph story. Dinah, the daughter whom Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit some of the women of the land. 2When Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite,#Hivite: the Greek text has “Horite”; the terms were apparently used indiscriminately to designate the Hurrian or other non-Semitic elements in Palestine. the leader of the region, saw her, he seized her and lay with her by force. 3He was strongly attracted to Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and was in love with the young woman. So he spoke affectionately to her. 4Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Get me this young woman for a wife.”
5Meanwhile, Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah; but since his sons were out in the field with his livestock, Jacob kept quiet until they came home. 6Now Hamor, the father of Shechem, went out to discuss the matter with Jacob, 7just as Jacob’s sons were coming in from the field. When they heard the news, the men were indignant and extremely angry. Shechem had committed an outrage in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter; such a thing is not done.#2 Sm 13:12. 8Hamor appealed to them, saying: “My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. 9Intermarry with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10Thus you can live among us. The land is open before you. Settle and move about freely in it and acquire holdings here.”#Hamor seems to be making concessions to Jacob’s family in the hope of avoiding warfare between the two families. 11Then Shechem appealed to Dinah’s father and brothers: “Do me this favor, and whatever you ask from me, I will give. 12No matter how high you set the bridal price and gift, I will give you whatever you ask from me; only give me the young woman as a wife.”
Revenge of Jacob’s Sons. 13Jacob’s sons replied to Shechem and his father Hamor with guile, speaking as they did because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14They said to them, “We are not able to do this thing: to give our sister to an uncircumcised man. For that would be a disgrace for us. 15Only on this condition will we agree to that: that you become like us by having every male among you circumcised. 16Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters in marriage; we will settle among you and become one people. 17But if you do not listen to us and be circumcised, we will take our daughter and go.”
18Their proposal pleased Hamor and his son Shechem. 19The young man lost no time in acting on the proposal, since he wanted Jacob’s daughter. Now he was more highly regarded than anyone else in his father’s house. 20So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city and said to the men of their city: 21“These men are friendly toward us. Let them settle in the land and move about in it freely; there is ample room in the land for them. We can take their daughters in marriage and give our daughters to them. 22But only on this condition will the men agree to live with us and form one people with us: that every male among us be circumcised as they themselves are. 23Would not their livestock, their property, and all their animals then be ours? Let us just agree with them, so that they will settle among us.”
24All who went out of the gate of the city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and all the males, all those who went out of the gate of the city,#All those who went out of the gate of the city: apparently meaning all the residents. By temporarily crippling the men through circumcision, Jacob’s sons deprived the city of its defenders. were circumcised. 25On the third day, while they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, brothers of Dinah, each took his sword, advanced against the unsuspecting city and massacred all the males.#Gn 49:6. 26After they had killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, they took Dinah from Shechem’s house and left.#Jdt 9:2. 27Then the other sons of Jacob followed up the slaughter and sacked the city because their sister had been defiled. 28They took their sheep, cattle and donkeys, whatever was in the city and in the surrounding country. 29They carried off all their wealth, their children, and their women, and looted whatever was in the houses.#Jdt 9:3–4.
30Jacob said to Simeon and Levi: “You have brought trouble upon me by making me repugnant to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I have so few men that, if these people unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be wiped out.” 31But they retorted, “Should our sister be treated like a prostitute?”
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