Someone's In The Kitchen With Dinah [re-post]

One of the most important stories in Genesis is almost never discussed:  Dinah & the subsequent massacre of her abductor/seducer/rapist by her brothers.  Genesis Chapter 34 is typically overshadowed by the far more famous story of Dinah’s younger brother Joseph, his betrayal & enslavement by his brothers & subsequent rise in authority in Egypt. Dinah was abducted/seduced/raped[1] by Shechem, the son of Hamor, a prince of the land.  Hamor approached her father, Jacob (a.k.a. Israel), apologized, made peace with him, told him Shechem had fallen in love with Dinah & wanted to marry her.

In short, Hamor & Shechem were trying to make amends for any wrong he might have done her.  Jacob agrees provided Hamor & Shechem & all the males in their city (which we would consider a small village today) agree to be circumcised.  Hamor et al agree; 3 days into their recovery period Simeon & Levi, 2 of Dinah’s brothers, enter the city/village, kill all the recuperating men, enslave the women & children, & steal all their stuff.

Jacob sez, “Oy!  Why would you do such a thing?  This makes us look bad.”[2] & they sed, “Nobody treats our li’l sis like a ho & gets away with it even if they are willing to make up for it & go along with everything we ask.”[3]

Let me reiterate:  Because the local headman’s son boffed their sister, Simeon & Levi were willing to kill every male in the village, enslave their families, & steal their stuff.

Not “were willing to kill the guy who boffed her” but everybody.

And they did so after their father, the leader of their clan, had made peace with said headman & village, agreed to let Shechem marry his daughter to preserve her honor, & got Hamor to persuade every other male in his village to get circumcised.[4]

To preserve their honor.

Not hers.  Theirs.

Not her father’s/their father’s.  Their honor.

And they were clearly proud of themselves.

Jump ahead to the next chapter of Genesis, & they’re beating up their kid bro, Joseph, stripping him naked, chucking him in a pit, selling him in bondage to the Egyptians, & telling dear ol’ dad that his favorite son had been eaten by lions.

Why?  Because of their honor.  They were afraid they’d have to kow-tow to Joseph some day.

No matter how you slice it, with the exception of Joseph, the sons of Jacob were a bunch of s4!ts.[5]

Why is this story one of the most important in the Bible?

Jump ahead to Exodus 21:22–25.  Here Moses (a descendant of Levi) is inspired by God to dictate:  “…thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

Modern (i.e., you & me) readers view this as barbaric.

It ain’t.

It’s the first tentative steps towards justice by the children of Israel.

It limits the amount of retribution.




[1]  The ancient Hebrew verb is ambiguous as to exactly what transpired between them.  He may have forced himself on her, she may have been a willing participant.

[2]  Paraphrased.

[3]  Ditto.

[4]  Ya gotta admit, that was one helluva sales job.

[5]  You don’t believe me, go see what Jacob a.k.a. Israel had to say about ‘em on his deathbed: Genesis 49: 3-27.

Easter Is Coming

What? Again?!?!?