Today we begin Genesis Chapter 34.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James Bible, click here.
“One time Dinah the daughter of Le’ah,
whom she had borne to Jacob,
went out to visit the local girls;
and Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the local ruler,
saw her, grabbed her, raped her and humiliated her.”
One way we can know that the Bible is indeed true is that it doesn’t gloss over the ugliness of men.
In the Scriptures, both the honorable and vile deeds of the Bible characters are put on clear display for the whole world to read about.
Well Genesis Chapter 34 is one of those “ugly” chapters.
We read about the rape of Jacob’s daughter by Shechem, the son of King Hamor and the subsequent murderous rampage Jacob’s two sons went on to avenge the humiliation their sister was subjected to.
Throughout all of this, God seems to be in the background.
Never do we see Jacob or his sons seeking, pleading or praying to the Lord about what has happened or what to do.
The Lord says “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”
However, Jacob’s sons Simeon and Levi decided to take matters into their own hands and as we’ll see later, the consequences would be far-reaching.
It all started when Dinah went into the city to “see” the local girls.
The Hebrew for “see” is RA-AH.
The sense of the word is wanting to explore and experience something new.
In other words, Dinah was bored and left the safety of her home to seek for some excitement and adventure.
According to Josephus, she went to participate in a Hivite pagan feast.
The first point that needs to be made is that Dinah taking off unescorted into a wild city was a pretty serious act of rebellion.
I’m aware that the whole tone of the story is that of a young innocent girl who just wanting to have some fun unwittingly got much more than she bargained for.
I’m not saying that Dinah got what she asked for but the fact is she was a virgin and of marriageable age and should never have ventured out on her own into unknown territories.
At the time, unattached single women were considered fair game in these cities and promiscuity was not only common but part of the religious system.
So once Dinah entered the city, we are told that she hooked up with the smooth-talking slimy Shechem.
One thing lead to another, and before she knew it, found herself being forced beyond her will to give up what was the most precious thing to a woman in those times, her virginity.
However, even more horrific than this is that a Canaanite slept with a daughter of Israel!
Spiritually speaking, in God’s eyes, this is a big no-no!
Following the vile act, notice there is no remorse, regret or apology on Shechem’s part.
Shechem arrogantly goes to his father the king and requests “Get her for me! I want her to be my wife.“
This occurrence illustrates the low standard of morality prevalent among the Canaanites.
Think about it.
This unattended female was just violated and in the transactions that ensued neither father nor son felt the need to apologize or excuse what had happened.
One final point.
If Jacob had travelled to Hebron instead of Shechem as God told him to, this whole mess wouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Partial obedience is disobedience and in this case it cost Jacob and his family dearly.