Dinah

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This page is about the Biblical character. For the WWII Japanese bomber, see: Mitsubishi Ki-46.

Dinah (Hebrew דִּינָה, Dînāh, "judged, vindicated"), (b.2254 AM or 1750 BC), was the daughter of Jacob and Leah. She suffered an outrageous violation that occasioned a display of great anger on the part of her brothers Simeon and Levi.

Contents

Date of birth

James Ussher gave no date for the birth of Dinah. In fact, The Annals of the World makes no mention of Dinah.

The typical marginal date for the rape of Dinah (see below) and the subsequent massacre in Shechem is 1732 BC, which would correspond to 2272 AM. Bishop William Lloyd added that date in his first edition of the Authorized Version (King James Version) of the Bible in 1701.[1] Floyd Nolen Jones, in The Chronology of the Old Testament, finds no grounds to object to this date. But he uses this approximate date to support his arguments that:

  1. Jacob was 77 years old when he traveled to Padan-aram to search for a wife.
  2. Jacob began engendering children immediately after meeting Leah and Rachel and did not, as some chronologers have proposed, wait seven years before engendering children with Leah and fourteen years with Rachel.[2]

Jones suggests that Dinah was eighteen years old when the Shechem incident occurred. Therefore she was born in 2254 AM.[1] In any case, Genesis 30:21 clearly states that Dinah was born after the birth of her brother Zebulun.

Rape and Revenge

In 1732 AM, Jacob and his vast household were camped outside the city of Shechem. Dinah, aged eighteen, went into the city to see its younger women. The local prince saw Dinah and took her by force. Afterward, the prince was in love with Dinah and asked his father, King Hamor, to negotiate a marriage between him and Dinah.

Hamor approached Jacob and suggested a treaty involving mutual intermarriage. Jacob's sons said that they would accept this, on condition that all the men of the city circumcise themselves. King Hamor agreed to this.

That night Simeon and Levi carried out their actual plan: they attacked the city by night, when the men of the city were still sore from the circumcisions. They also took Dinah out of the prince's house and brought her back to camp. They also plundered the city and took many women captive.

The next morning, Jacob struck camp and left the region. He rebuked his sons sternly for an act that would risk retaliation and annihilation. Simeon and Levi, unrepentant and defiant, said that the only other choice they had would be to treat Dinah as if she were a harlot. (Genesis 34 )

Dinah in fiction

Dinah appears as a character in one television project describing the life and career of Joseph in Canaan and in Egypt. One digression in that project details the rape of Dinah and the revenge that Simeon and Levi took for her sake at Shechem.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Jones, Floyd N. The Chronology of the Old Testament. Green Forest, AR. Master Books, 2004, p. 6.
  2. Jones, op. cit., pp. 48, 62, 63, 65, 66

See Also

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