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Who was Dinah in the Bible?

The youngest of their seven children, Dinah is the only known daughter of Jacob and Leah. While her family was living in the land of Canaan, Dinah went into one of the cities to visit with the local women. During her visit she was raped by a young man named Shechem. "And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her" (Genesis 34:2). Afterwards Shechem fell in love with Dinah and enlisted his father's help to take her as his wife.

Meanwhile Jacob learned that his daughter had been raped. His sons were out tending to livestock in the fields, so he waited for them to return before deciding how to respond. Shechem and his father arrived asking for Dinah's hand in marriage; Jacob's sons heard about it and returned from the field. Hamor explained how it would be a profitable connection between the two families allowing them to intermarry and trade. Shechem also offered to pay whatever dowry they requested. Jacob's sons agreed to the marriage as long as Hamor, Shechem, and all the men of their city became circumcised. For Dinah to marry an uncircumcised man would be a disgrace (Genesis 34:13–17).

However, Jacob's sons were dishonest. They did not approve of Shechem marrying their sister. Instead they wanted justice for the rape he had committed. They were angry that his actions had dishonored Dinah and the family's name. Even if they did marry, Dinah would still be viewed as a prostitute and Shechem's behavior would be ignored. On the third day after the communal circumcision was performed, Simeon and Levi went into the city and killed Shechem, Hamor, and all the able-bodied men who were still recovering. Jacob's sons then plundered the city and took the wealth, livestock, and women and children. Afterward they returned to their home with Dinah.

Jacob was displeased with his sons' rash actions fearing that they had put them in a dangerous position with the neighboring Canaanites and Perizzites. However, God encouraged Jacob that he would inherit the land of Isaac and Abraham and God would be with him. Jacob listened to God and followed Him (Genesis 35:1–15). Dinah is not mentioned again in the Bible.


Related Truth:

What is the biblical account of Jacob?

Who was Leah in the Bible?

What are the twelve tribes of Israel?

Who was Rachel in the Bible?

Why do women seem to have a small role in the Bible?


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