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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1Leah’s daughter#Gn 30:21 Dinah, whom Leah bore to Jacob, went out to see some of the young women of the area. 2When Shechem — son of Hamor the Hivite, who was the region’s chieftain — saw her, he took her and raped her. 3He became infatuated with Jacob’s daughter Dinah. He loved the young girl and spoke tenderly to her.#34:3 Lit spoke to her heart 4“Get me this girl as a wife,”#Jdg 14:2 he told his father.
5Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah, but since his sons were with his livestock in the field, he remained silent until they returned. 6Meanwhile, Shechem’s father Hamor came to speak with Jacob. 7Jacob’s sons returned from the field when they heard about the incident. They were deeply grieved and very angry, for Shechem had committed an outrage against Israel by raping Jacob’s daughter,#Dt 22:20–30; Jdg 20:6; 2Sm 13:12 and such a thing should not be done.
8Hamor said to Jacob’s sons, “My son Shechem has his heart set on your#34:8 The Hb word for your is pl, showing that Hamor is speaking to Jacob and his sons. daughter. Please give her to him as a wife. 9Intermarry with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10Live with us. The land is before you. Settle here, move about, and acquire property in it.”
11Then Shechem said to Dinah’s father and brothers, “Grant me this favor,#34:11 Lit “May I find favor in your eyes and I’ll give you whatever you say. 12Demand of me a high compensation#34:12 Or bride-price, or betrothal present and gift; I’ll give you whatever you ask me. Just give the girl to be my wife!”
13But Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14“We cannot do this thing,” they said to them. “Giving our sister to an uncircumcised man is a disgrace to us. 15We will agree with you only on this condition: if all your males are circumcised as we are.#Gn 17:23–27 16Then we will give you our daughters, take your daughters for ourselves, live with you, and become one people. 17But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and go.”
18Their words seemed good to Hamor and his son Shechem. 19The young man did not delay doing this, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most important in all his father’s family. 20So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate of their city#Ru 4:1; 2Sm 15:2 and spoke to the men of their city.
21“These men are peaceful toward us,” they said. “Let them live in our land and move about in it, for indeed, the region is large enough for them. Let’s take their daughters as our wives and give our daughters to them. 22But the men will agree to live with us and be one people only on this condition: if all our men are circumcised as they are. 23Won’t their livestock, their possessions, and all their animals become ours? Only let’s agree with them, and they will live with us.”
24All the men#Gn 23:10 who had come to the city gates listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and all those men were circumcised. 25On the third day, when they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi,#Gn 49:5–7 Dinah’s brothers, took their swords, went into the unsuspecting city, and killed every male. 26They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with their swords, took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and went away. 27Jacob’s sons came to the slaughter and plundered the city because their sister had been defiled. 28They took their flocks, herds, donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. 29They captured all their possessions, dependents, and wives and plundered everything in the houses.
30Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me,#Jos 7:25 making me odious to the inhabitants of the land,#Ex 5:21; 1Sm 13:4; 2Sm 10:6 the Canaanites and the Perizzites.#Gn 13:7; 34:2 We are few in number; if they unite against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”#Gn 46:26–27; Dt 4:27; 1Ch 16:19; Ps 105:12
31But they answered, “Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?”
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