6 occurrences in 6 dictionaries

Reference: Dinah


Daughter of Jacob by Leah, Ge 30:21, his only daughter named in Scripture. While the family were sojourning near Shalem, she heedlessly associated with the Canaanitish maidens, and fell a victim to the seductive arts of Shechem, a young prince of the land; but was perfidiously and savagely avenged by Simeon and Levi, her full brothers, to the great grief of Jacob their father, Ge 34; 49:5,7. She seems to have gone with the family to Egypt, Ge 46:15.

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judged; vindicated, daughter of Jacob by Leah, and sister of Simeon and Levi (Ge 30:21). She was seduced by Shechem, the son of Hamor, the Hivite chief, when Jacob's camp was in the neighbourhood of Shechem. This led to the terrible revenge of Simeon and Levi in putting the Shechemites to death (Ge 34). Jacob makes frequent reference to this deed of blood with abhorrence and regret (Ge 34:30; 49:5-7). She is mentioned among the rest of Jacob's family that went down into Egypt (Ge 46:8,15).

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The feminine of Dan ("judged", "averaged".) Jacob's daughter by Leah. After his return from Mesopotamia he pitched his tent in Shechem, and bought a field of Ham or, Shechem's father. Dinah, then at maturity between 13 and 15 years old, through her parents' remissness and her own love of sight seeing (she "went out to see the daughters of the land"), instead of being a "keeper at home" as young women ought to be (Tit 2:2), gave occasion to Shechem to "see" (contrast Job 31:1), and lust after, and defile her. Sin, shame, and death enter the soul through the windows of the eyes and ears (Ge 39:7). Evil communications corrupt good manners. Fondness to see novelties, worldly fashions, and worldly company, ruin many. "It is the first step that costs." The laxity of Canaanite morals ought to have made both her parents and herself more on their guard.

Josephus (Ant. 1:21) states she went to a Canaanite annual festival of nature worship (compare Nu 25:2). Young women are often led astray as much by their own sex as by the other. Shechem offered the usual reparation, marriage, and a payment to her father. This was sufficient Hebrew, according to De 22:28-29. But the offense was by an alien Hamor therefore proposed to establish intermarriage and commerce between the two peoples. But Simeon and Levi, her own brothers, eager for revenge, required the Circumcision of the Shechemites as a condition of union, a rite already known in Egypt as an act of priestly consecration; and when the feverish pain of the operation was at its height, on the third day, the two brothers, with their retainers, took cowardly advantage of their state, attacked, and killed all the males in the city. (See CIRCUMCISION.)

Their vindication of Israel's sacred calling, separated from the Gentiles, was right; and their refusal to sacrifice Jehovah's promises for the Hivite prince's offers of mammon was right. Seduction still is punished by death among the Arabs, generally inflicted by the brothers. "They were very angry, because lie had wrought folly in Israel," the phrase for offenses, especially carnal ones, against the honor and calling of the people of God (De 22:21; Jg 20:10; 2Sa 13:12). But the way they took was treacherous, cruel, and wicked. The innocent townsmen were punished with the one delinquent, and all the sons joined in plundering the town.

Jealousy for the high calling of Israel was made the plea for gross sin against the God of Israel. Jacob in reproving them lays stress only on the dangerous consequences of their crime, "ye have troubled me to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land ... and ... being few ... they shall gather themselves and slay me," because it was the only argument that would weigh with his sons; but, his dying words show his abhorrence of their" cruelty" and "cursed anger" (Ge 49:5-7). Nothing but Jehovah's special interposition saved him and them from the penalty; Ge 35:5, "the terror of God was upon the cities ... round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob."

God made this tragedy the occasion of reviving Jacob's earnestness, which had declined into worldliness for a time through his settlement near Shechem (Ge 33:17-20); reminding him of his vow to make an altar at Bethel to God, who had appeared to him there in the day of his distress when fleeing from Esau. So his family gave up their strange gods and purified themselves, and Jacob went up to Bethel and fulfilled his heretofore forgotten vow. Thus, God overruled evil for good (Ge 35:1-5).

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The daughter of Jacob by Leah, and sister of Simeon and Levi, according to Ge 30:21.

This verse appears to have been inserted by a late redactor perhaps the one who added the section Ge 46:8-27 (cf. Ge 46:15). Nothing is said in Ge 29:31 to Ge 30:24; 35:16 ff., where the birth stories of Jacob's children are given, of other daughters of Jacob; but Ge 37:35 (Jahwist) and Ge 46:7 (Priestly Narrative) speak of 'all his daughters.' Priestly Narrative, moreover, clearly distinguishes between his 'daughters' and his 'daughters-in-law.'

In Ge 34 we have a composite narrative of the seizure of Dinah by the Hivite prince, Shechem, the son of Hamor. The probable remnants of Jahwist's story make it appear that the tale, as it was first told, was a very simple one. Shechem took Dinah to his house and cohabited with her, and her father and brothers resented the defilement. Shechem, acting on his own behalf, proposed marriage, promising to accept any conditions of dower her father and brothers might impose. The marriage took place, and afterwards her full brothers, Simeon and Levi, slew Shechem and took Dinah out of his house. Jacob rebuked them for this, because of the vengeance it was liable to bring upon his house. Jacob thinks only of consequences here. If, as is generally supposed, Ge 49:5 ff. refers to this act, the reprimand administered was based by him not upon the dread of consequences, but upon the turpitude of a cruel revenge.

The remaining verses of ch. 34 make Hamor spokesman for his son. He not only offered generously to make honourable amends for Shechem's misconduct, but also proposed a mutual covenant of general intercourse, including the connubium. Jacob and his sons see their opportunity for revenge, and refuse, except upon the one condition that all the males of the city be circumcised. When, as a result, the latter were unable to defend themselves, all the sons of Jacob fell upon them with the sword, sparing only the women and children, whom they took captive with the spoil of the city. The words 'two of' and 'Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren' in Ge 34:25 are interpolated (cf. Ge 34:13). This story is clearly an elaboration of the earlier form, despite its one or two more antique touches, and suggests, moreover, the spirit at work in Ezra's marriage reforms.

The story, like many others, introduced as episodes in the family history of Jacob, should probably receive a tribal interpretation. Simeon and Levi are tribes. Dinah was perhaps a small Israelite clan, according to the traditions closely related to Simeon and Levi; according to the name, possibly more closely to Dan. Schechem, the prince, is the eponymous hero of the city of that name. Hamor is the name of the Hivite clan in possession of the city. The weak Israelite clan, having become detached from the related tribes, was overpowered by the Canaanite inhabitants of Shechem and incorporated. Simeon and Levi, by a wilily plotted and unexpected attack, hoped to effect its deliverance. They were momentarily successful, and inflicted a severe blow upon the Shechemites; but their temerity cost them their tribal existence. A counterattack of the Canaanites resulted immediately in the decimation of the tribe, and finally in the absorption of their remnants into the neighbouring tribes. The Dinah clan disappeared at the same time.

James A. Craig.

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Daughter of Jacob and Leah: defiled by Shechem, son of the chieftain Hamor, which led to the massacre of the Shechemites through the craftiness and cruelty of Simeon and Levi. Ge 30:21; 34:1-26; 46:15.

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(judged, acquitted), the daughter of Jacob by Leah.

Ge 30:21

(B.C. about 1751.) She accompanied her father from Mesopotamia to Canaan, and, having ventured among the inhabitants, was violated by Shechem the son of Hamor, the chieftain of the territory in which her father had settled. Gen. 34. Shechem proposed to make the usual reparation by paying a sum to the father and marrying her.

Ge 34:12

This proposal was accepted, the sons of Jacob demanding, as a condition of the proposed union, the circumcision of the Shechemites. They therefore assented; and on the third day, when the pain and fever resulting from the operation were at the highest, Simeon and Levi, own brothers of Dinah, attacked them unexpectedly, slew all the males, and plundered their city.

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