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  • Writer's picturePatricia

Dinah & Her Tragic Consequences

Updated: Feb 16

Word of the Day: Consequences

That which logically or naturally follows from an action or the relation of a result to its cause

Dinah was the seventh child of Jacob and Leah; when she was born, her mother did not say anything, meaning she was the child of silence, and her name signified "judge" or "vindicator." Dinah was born in Padan-aram. We don't know if Jacob had any other daughters; the Bible does not give us details about other daughters. Dinah's family was destined to have the blessings of God. Still, they also had to be reminded that their actions would bring good or bad consequences, which logically or naturally follow from an act or the relation of a result to its cause. 

Genesis 30:21

And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.

Genesis 46:15

These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padanaram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three.

There was a time in Dinah's life when she decided to visit the daughters of the land; this refers to the daughters of the pagans, the Canaanites. She must have been 9-11 years of age. When her father moved from Padan-aram, he established himself and his family in Shalem, a city of Shechem. Jacob spread his tents before the city, which is how he introduced his family to the world. When the Bible says that she went to see the daughters of the land, it specifies the daughters of the world to be her friends.

Genesis 34:1

And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the


Genesis 33: 18-19

And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.

19 And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.

When Shechem, Hamor's son, saw her, he took her, lay with her, and defiled her, which means that he raped her. Violating or bringing shame to her was normal for him as he was from the land where you do whatever your heart desires. Jacob was a father who failed as a parent; Dinah was allowed to wander around with so much freedom in a pagan place. Dinah was not supposed to be visiting the daughters of the land according to God's commandments.

Genesis 34:2

And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.

After Shechem defiled her, his soul was intensely obsessed with Dinah, loved her, and spoke to her with kind words. This type of love he had towards her was not God's Agape love towards us. Shechem's intention was never to glorify Dinah but to satisfy his lust. Once again, his supposed love was not one that sacrifices for others. His behavior matches that of someone who is a sociopath or a narcissist. A sociopath or a narcissist will find pleasure in hurting others and still think they deserve to have you. Shechem was a perverse man. He tried to make amends for what he had done and asked his father to make arrangements with Dinah's family so that he could marry her.

Genesis 34:3-4

And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.

4 And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.

When Jacob discovers that Shechem has defiled Dinah, he decides not to tell his boys. Hamor approaches Jacob to propose the arrangement for the marriage of Dinah and Shechem, but the boys are furious and shamed because this is not customary in Israel. This act of rape was a usual thing performed by the Canaanites.

Genesis 34:5-7

And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field: and Jacob held his peace until they were come.

6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.

7 And the sons of Jacob came out of 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.

Shechem had so much passion for Dinah, but this type of passion was never in a romantic way. This passion is the type that you want to have, no matter the cost. He was willing to pay a high price to obtain her as a wife. He negotiated and begged her father and her brothers to find grace in their eyes. Hamor Shechem's father did not see his son's sin as sin due to rape being a customary thing in the land of the Canaanites, so in the end, Hamor acted as a mediator on behalf of his son. Shechem was a perverted man and saw Dinah as a business transaction.

Genesis 34:8-12

And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.

9 And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters unto us, and take our daughters unto you.

10 And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions therein.

11 And Shechem said unto her father and unto her brethren, Let me find grace in your eyes, and what ye shall say unto me I will give.

12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife

Instead of Jacob responding to such a wedding proposal negotiations, his boys did. We noticed right away by this action that Jacob was just like a portrait on the wall and was not allowed to answer such an offer. The boys made their offer and said that they did not want their worldly security, success, or a society with them, for it was against their religion. It sounds like they had significant convictions and a good relationship with God, but they had other plans. The boys offered to offer Dinah to Shechem only if their men would be circumcised, and once they all were circumcised, they were all going to be one people under God. The circumcision for the Jews represented a pact with God, which meant that Hamor did not have this pact with God or God's people, the Israelites.

It is interesting to notice in verse seventeen that Dinah was not only raped but also abducted, and what the boys were trying to do was to get their sister back to a safe place away from the hands of this sexual predator.

Genesis 34:13-17

And the sons of Jacob answered Shechem and Hamor his father deceitfully, and said, because he had defiled Dinah their sister:

14 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that were a reproach unto us:

15 But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we be, that every male of you be circumcised;

16 Then will we give our daughters unto you, and we will take your daughters to us, and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.

17 But if ye will not hearken unto us, to be circumcised; then will we take our daughter, and we will be gone.

Hamor and Shechem agreed to the terms and spread the word to the men of their city. Convincing the men of the town to get circumcised was not going to be an easy task for Hamor. Hamor tells his people that Jacob's cattle, substance, and every beast he possesses will be theirs. These people were from the world and willing to do anything to obtain more. Their circumcision was not because they wanted to have a relationship with God; it was simply to gather a better position in life. In verse twenty-three, Hamor tells his men that every substance will be theirs, meaning they will not share the same way. They would exchange the daughters of both people but not the castles or every beast they possessed; for this reason, we, as Christians, should never negotiate with the enemy.

Genesis 34:18-24

And their words pleased Hamor, and Shechem Hamor's son.

19 And the young man deferred not to do the thing, because he had delight in Jacob's daughter: and he was more honourable than all the house of his father.

20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,

21 These men are peaceable with us; therefore let them dwell in the land, and trade therein; for the land, behold, it is large enough for them; let us take their daughters to us for wives, and let us give them our daughters.

22 Only herein will the men consent unto us for to dwell with us, to be one people, if every male among us be circumcised, as they are circumcised.

23 Shall not their cattle and their substance and every beast of their's be our's? only let us consent unto them, and they will dwell with us.

24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.

Simeon and Levi took action in their own hands; they took their swords and slew every single man from the city when only three days had passed after their circumcision. They took advantage of the men, still in pain and incapacitated, to defend themselves, which means they knew this battle was won. They got Dinah out of the city, which is what we see towards the end of verse twenty-six, and she was unaware of the negotiations, as she is being held against her will and her family's will. Simeon and Levi not only slew the men, but they also took all the animals and their wealth, taking their children and wives captive. After this atrocity, Jacob was dismayed at everything they had done and was more concerned about the other people's opinions (the Canaanites and the Perizzites) instead of protecting his daughter. 

Genesis 34:25-31

And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.

26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.

27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and spoiled the city, because they had defiled their sister.

28 They took their sheep, and their oxen, and their asses, and that which was in the city, and that which was in the field,

29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives took they captive, and spoiled even all that was in the house.

30 And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, Ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land, among the Canaanites and the Perizzites: and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house.

31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

Genesis 49:5

Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty

Conclusion: It happens frequently in large families where parents sometimes do not make good decisions for the little ones in the house. On many occasions, the older children make the decisions of the younger children, which is incorrect. What would have happened if Jacob had taken the initiative to be a leader in his home? We do not know. We do know that every house has specific instructions and only one that God gives, and if Jacob had done his job, none of this would have happened to Dinah.

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