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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Dinah - Genesis 34: Rape or consensual?

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Joined: 2006/5/31
Posts: 427

 Dinah - Genesis 34: Rape or consensual?

Can anyone give me there view/ thoughts on Dinah who has studied her, and maybe done some research? There are some scholars who believe she was raped and some who believe it was consensual. Obviously there ain't much to go on in Scripture, but I just thought I would get a general view from you all. I'm trying to gain some perspectives for my wife and the Bible study she attends, which is currently on the topic of Dinah.

In Him,


 2008/1/9 17:23Profile

 Re: Dinah - Genesis 34: Rape or consensual?

There were several things going on here, not the least being that the man was not a descendent of Abraham or his family.

There was an issue about consent simply because her father had not been involved in giving her away as Rebekah and Rachel's fathers had been.

To be married to someone approved, she should have had to be a virgin.

In other words, this is not about whether it was consensual or not. She was not at liberty to give consent and he should have asked her father.

 2008/1/9 17:55

 Re: Dinah - Genesis 34: Rape or consensual?

Hi Ben

I don't know, but wonder if it was at least partly consensual. Looked up the word where it says he "took" her. It has a very broad meaning; it can mean by force, but not necessarily. Perhaps he seduced rather than raped her.

Certainly it says he loved her and comforted her afterwards, (literally "spoke to her heart") The scenario seems very unlike that when David's son, Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar (2Samuel 13). In the latter case it is made plain that it was by force and very much against her consent.

Hamor being a prince, and probably with the usual pagan attitude towards women, as men's possessions, maybe didn't realise that he was doing anything so very wrong! As a prince he probably believed that he had the right to any woman he wanted!

I remember being on jury service some years ago and one case was of attempted rape. The complication was that he had had relations with the girl before, and she had been willing, but this time she refused. She wasn't injured at all, and I felt rather sorry for the boy because he obviously didn't think he'd done anything very wrong either! But we had to find him guilty and he "went down" for a couple of years all the same.

That's how pagan society is...

It's an interesting study. If only the young man had been allowed to marry Dinah they may have had a happy marriage. Even his reaction afterwards was the total opposite of Amnon's - gentle and loving, and longing to make all right by marrying her.

Of course it was sin, and of course, as Linn says, not asking her father's consent first was probably considered a greater fault in that culture, as well as the fact that Jacob's family were supposed to keep apart, because of the convenant with God, and not intermarry.



 2008/1/9 19:08

 Re: Dinah - Genesis 34: Rape or consensual?

Ben, I don't want to talk out of turn, but there is more going on here.

The Bible states, He TOOK her, lay with her and defiled her. Verse 4 states after this he asked his father to get Dianna to they were not married. Maybe in the barbarian world, they really did beat a woman over the head, drag them into a cave etc..(just Kidding) However, it shows there was no marriage. It also never states Dianna willingly went with him, or willingly consented to married him b/4 this consumation. We also don't know how old Dianna was. In today's standards, anyone *taking* a child, regardless of the childs willingness or unwillingness, we would call it rape without question.

I think of Tamar, David's daughter, who was RAPED by her half brother clear as can be, but the Bible never uses the word rape. It said he was *sick with love*....the same as Shechem. However, there was more love in Shechems heart.

They were all willing to convert, be circumcised and become a part of the God of Israel, but the greatest shame of all was Levi and Simeon.

Genesis 49: 5-7 are Jacob's last words concerning these two.

Love in Christ

 2008/1/9 19:25

Joined: 2007/2/9
Posts: 640
Southern California

 Re: Dinah ~ Rape or Consensual?


The word used is 'TOOK'. That's rape, no matter how kindly he comforted her, and told her 'he'd make it all better'! He'd have to, or die. It was that kind of world/time/place. Levi and Simeon's only fault was in going against their father's will, not in what they did, for if, under the circumstances Shechem was not willing to marry her, there would have been a war anyway, and THUS Shechem and his people, were willing to do literally ANYTHING to mend the matter.

They knew the fault was in themselves. If it happens in a field, it is considered the guy's fault, for no one can hear her scream. In a Jewish City, it was considered the girl's fault, because in a Jewish City, someone would have come to her aid. In the City of Shechem, he was the son of the King, and no one would have heeded her.

If it had been considered consentual, 'lie with' or 'lay with' would have been used, and no one would have tried to make up for anything!



Forrest Anderson

 2008/1/10 22:41Profile

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