When I tell you the Bible has everything in it, it really does. Normally, when births are being mentioned, only the names of the sons are spoken of. Yeah, we hear women names mentioned all the time. After all, there’s Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, and others. But nothing about their births.
Genesis 30:21 says, “Afterward she (Leah) bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.” Nothing else is said about her until Genesis 34. It starts out letting us know Dinah was Leah’s and Jacob’s daughter – in case you forgot she existed.
When individuals are mentioned in the Bible it means something significant will involve them. Here’s where her story begins and ends. Jacob bought a piece of land from the Shechem’s family and settled his family there thinking his family was safe.
One day Dinah went out to visit the women of the land. That’s when Shechem, the son of the prince of the land, saw her. Now being a son of the ruler of the land, he had his pick of women. Yet, he chose to grab Dinah and rape her. To add insult to injury he spoke kindly to her and expressed his love for her afterwards as if what he just did to her was okay to do.
Now if that wasn’t enough for him, after he raped her he went home and asked his father, Hamor, to get her for him as a wife. For what?! So, he could continuously abuse her whenever he felt like it. And for the mere fact his father agreed to do such a thing makes me wonder what kind of governing he was doing in the land he was over. Or perhaps he was trying to avoid a war that his son mostly likely provoked.
Apparently, Shechem didn’t think about the ramification of his action. He possibly thought since his dad was the ruler he could do whatever he wanted. This was probably not the first time he’d done something like this and got away with it. Besides, who could stand against him if he did?
Well, what he didn’t count on was Dinah’s brothers. It’s good to have big brothers. I can attest to that. Having big brothers has definitely gotten me out of some tight situations. All I had to say was, “I’m going to tell my brothers on you when I leave here” and that got me a “get out of jail free” card.
The Bold Proposal
Hamor went to speak to Jacob concerning a marriage proposal between Shechem and Dinah. Jacob knew what had happened and held his peace. He waited for his sons to come back from being in the field. When her brothers found out they were furious.
Hamor tried to appease them by telling them how much Shechem wanted her for a wife. Then he tried to make a deal with them by asking if their people would marry his people so they can basically all get along. And to seal the deal they were allowed to ask for any bride price they wanted. This sounds like bribery to me. If they would overlook the indiscretion of his son, they could have whatever they wanted, and everything will be okay between the two clans.
The Bride-Price Cost
Although Dinah’s brothers were angry, they didn’t let anger rule their actions. They didn’t lash out. They wittedly came up with a plan that they felt would rectify the incident. They only asked for one thing – that their people be circumcised because Dinah couldn’t be with an uncircumcised man. Hamor agreed.
On the third day after being circumcised, Simeon and Levi killed all the males in the land. Then they plundered them. In a sense Leah’s sons raped the people of Shechem just like Shechem did their sister.
The Results of Rape
One man’s action plunged his whole community into desolation. Shechem thought he could do what he wanted to because he was the prince’s son. Unfortunately for him, he chose the wrong family to content with.
Hamor thought he had everything under control. He didn’t realize this would be the last time he tried to bribe someone. He didn’t handle his son like a ruler of the land should have and he didn’t handle him like a father should have. For that he and his people paid the price.
Simeon and Levi felt they honored their sister and that was all there was to it. No one could dishonor and bring shame on their family like that and get away with it. It didn’t matter what else would come of their decision.
In contrast to Hamor’s reaction to his son, Jacob yelled at his sons for what they did. He knew their action could bring war to his front door. Yet, he didn’t try to appease the surrounding nations, adding insult to injury.
His Side, His Side, But What About Her Side
In all of this we don’t hear from Dinah again. It’s as if she no longer exists. I can’t image the horror she went through. She was no longer a virgin, no longer pure. Who would want her now? Who would take care of her for the rest of her life?
Did she have anything to say about what happened to her? I think she might have felt vindicated when her brothers dwelt with Shechem. Yet, she might have felt torn up inside for all the other men who died. Yet, you can’t just kill the prince and his son without having to deal with the other men in the land.
What a mess one man caused!
The Moral of the Story
Think before you do something. Is what you’re about to say or do going to bring further repercussions? Or will it bring peace.
Our job is to be a light and a peacemaker, not get revenge and be filled with anger and hate.
What Do You Think?
Why do you think Dinah’s brothers had a right to revenge their sister? Why do you think Dinah is silent going forward? Do you think Shechem deserved what he got?