A Daily Genesis

Genesis 34:1-7a

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 34:1 . . Now Dinah, the daughter whom Leah had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land.[/B]

"Do not be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals." (1Cor 15:33)

Paul's letter to the Corinthians wasn't written to bad people to encourage them to live like Christians. No, it was written to Christians to discourage them from hanging out with impious people. Even though Dinah was brought up in a God-fearing home, she is going to fall prey to the morals of the local culture.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 34:2 . . Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, chief of the country, saw her, and took her and lay with her by force.[/B]

The words "by force" aren't in the Hebrew text. By penciling those words into the text, translators make Dinah appear to be the victim of a rape rather than a willing partner in a hot affair. Most Bible students are well aware of the oftentimes low moral character of the people of God, so if Dinah was truly accommodating in this episode, it shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, young girls are very susceptible to hero worship, and Shechem was a prince; the son of a sheik. What young girl doesn't dream of being swept off her feet by a prince? It's pretty common; and it's all part of being a real girl; for example:

I was amazed at an AeroSmith concert by the numbers of shapely, drop-dead gorgeous young girls crowded up against the stage trying to get Steven Tyler to notice them. If you've seen Mr. Tyler, I think you would agree with me he will never qualify as a hunk. But Tyler is a famous entertainer; and entertainers have a powerful sensual charisma regardless of their looks.

I witnessed an even more impressive display at a Rolling Stones concert (now there's a study in ugly). Women of all ages, sizes, and waistlines, slingshot their bras and panties up on the stage for the men to keep as love tokens. There were so many female undergarments cluttering the stage that the situation became a safety hazard. Keith Richards and the others had to kick them away to avoid tripping and falling.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 34:3 . . Being strongly drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob, and in love with the maiden, he spoke to the maiden tenderly.[/B]

Shechem's feelings for Dinah weren't the typical violent lusts that rapists expend upon their victims. That boy was truly overwhelmed by Dinah; just like Jack was overwhelmed by Rose in the movie Titanic. I wonder if anyone reading this can remember the last time you felt that way about somebody-- how you had difficulty catching your breath, and how utterly vulnerable you felt in their presence.

No, I just can't believe Shechem raped Dinah. He really did like her as a person. She wasn't just a girl toy for Shechem to exploit; no, Dinah was "the one" and to him, she lit up the room the moment she walked in-- everything around her was a silver pool of light.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 34:4 . . So Shechem said to his father Hamor: Get me this girl as a wife.[/B]

In modern American culture, Shechem would be regarded as a wimp for not being man enough to speak with Dinah's parents himself instead of seeking his dad's assistance. But in that day, a man's parents or relatives did all the negotiating in nuptial matters; and when it reached that stage, the romance was pretty serious business.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 34:5a . . Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah;[/B]

From whom Jacob heard the news is not stated. Dinah had been taken into Shechem's home (Gen 34:2) and remained there until this episode was over (Gen 34:26). So news came probably by some of Dinah's girlfriends from town whose friendships she sought in Gen 34:1. By now, Dinah must be feeling very alone, and afraid to come home and face the music.

When guys lose their virginity, it's different. They feel more like a man, they feel better about themselves, and they feel highly regarded in the eyes of their male friends. But girls oftentimes feel like cheap goods: soiled and fallen; not to mention the fear of pregnancy and family disgrace. Not all girls feel the same about pre-marital trysts. Some relish the excitement. But others are scarred for life, and never really get over it.

The Bible is silent about Dinah's feelings about all this, and after chapter 34, she's mentioned only one more time at Gen 46:15 and that's it.
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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 34:5b . . but since his sons were in the field with his cattle, Jacob kept silent until they came home.[/B]

If Jacob had allowed his passions to overrule his better judgment, he might have stormed out and confronted Shechem's family all by himself, and they just may have been annoyed enough to murder him on the spot. No, best to wait for back-up on this one. And besides, brothers were often key decision makers in a sister's betrothal (e.g. Gen 24:29-61). So Jacob needed his boys; if not for personal defense, then at least to take part in the decision concerning whom Dinah would wed.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 34:6-7a . .Then Shechem's father Hamor came out to Jacob to speak to him. Meanwhile Jacob's sons, having heard the news, came in from the field.[/B]

Jacob probably sent a runner out to get the boys and have them come home as soon as possible. By luck, they arrived the same time as Shechem and his dad. So the key players are present, the stage is set, and they can all get down to business.

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