Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dinah


Women of the Dawn
Dinah

Dinah "And He Dishonored Her"

Key Scripture: Genesis 33, 34

Her Name Means: Dinah means “justice” or “one who judges,” and was doubtless given her as a token of her parents' belief in divine justice.

Her Character: She was young and curious in nature. 

Her Sorrow: Her young life was filled with tragedy after tragedy.

Her Joy: She was raised by loving parents and 11 doting brothers.

Pre-Story: When Jacob returned to his homeland after working for his father-in-law, Laban, for over 20 years, he purchased some land and settled in in a place called Shechem. Jacob and Leah had six sons and one daughter, Dinah. Dinah was young and innocent and curious and had a love for sight-seeing that would set off a train of tragic consequences. (Dinah was thought to be somewhere between 14-16 yrs. old)

Her Story: After a long journey from Padam-aram, with several years spent in Succoth, this large family had come to stay for a while in this land of green valleys. Like most young girls, from a large family of brothers, she longed for the company of other girls. She wandered off (unprotected) to the explore the picturesque countryside. She possibly heard all the revelry from the near-by town of Shechem where a festival was going on. Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, and seized her and lay with her and humiliated her” (Genesis 34:2).
Shechem found the young woman so attractive and his soul was drawn to Dinah, he loved the maiden and spoke tenderly to her. "Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you ask. Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I'll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the girl as my wife." (Genesis 34:11-12.)
Shechem asked his father to obtain Dinah for him, to be his wife. Hamor came to Jacob and asked for Dinah for his son; "Make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. You shall dwell with us; and the land shall be open to you." (Genesis 34:9.) Shechem offered Jacob and his sons any bride-price they named. But because his sons were out in the fields with his livestock, he did nothing until they came back.
Because Shechem had disgraced their sister Dinah, Jacob's sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor in a deceitful way. They said to him, “We cannot let our sister marry a man who is not circumcised; that would be a disgrace for us. We can agree only on the condition that you become like us by circumcising all your males. Then we will agree to intermarriage. We will settle among you and become one people with you. But if you will not accept our terms and be circumcised, we will take her and leave.” (Genesis 34:13-30) These terms seemed fair to Hamor and his son Shechem, and the young man lost no time in doing what was suggested, because he was in love with Jacob's daughter.

Hamor and his son Shechem went to a meeting place at the city gate and spoke to the people of the town; “These men are friendly; let them live in the land with us and travel freely. The land is large enough for them also. Let us marry their daughters and give them ours in marriage. But these men will agree to live among us and be one people with us only on the condition that we circumcise all our males, as they are circumcised. Won't all their livestock and everything else they own be ours? So let us agree that they can live among us.” (Genesis 33:1-34) All the citizens of the city agreed with what Hamor and Shechem proposed, and all the males were circumcised.

Three days later, when the men were still sore from their circumcision, two of Jacob's sons, Simeon and Levi, took their swords, went into the city without arousing suspicion, and killed all the men, including Hamor and his son Shechem. Then they took Dinah from Shechem's house and left. After the slaughter Jacob's other sons looted the town to take revenge for their sister's disgrace. They took the flocks, the cattle, the donkeys, and everything else in the city and in the fields. They took everything of value, captured all the women and children, and carried off everything in the houses.

When Jacob learned what his sons had done, he was horrified and said; "You have brought trouble on me by making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites; my numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household." But they said, 'Should he treat our sister as a harlot?'" (Genesis 34:31).
The next few chapters of Genesis record Jacob moving his family. God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there (Genesis 35:1).

Did Dinah accompany her family to Egypt where their descendants remained until the Exodus?
"And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt" (Genesis 46:8)
"These be the sons of Leah, which she bares unto Jacob in Padam-aram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three." (Genesis 46:15)

Her Place in God's Divine Plan: Though Dinah's experience was repulsive and filled with cruelty, and immortality, it does point up to the high value these early Hebrew's placed on chastity of women.

Her Challenges Along the Way: Dinah was raped, married and lost her husband to a trick of her bothers to avenge her.

Lesson We Can Learn from Her Legacy: Dinah's story brings light to how many young Dinah’s today are captivated by the glitter and glamor of the world, and, tired of life at home, leave without warning, and become lost in the whirl of a large city. Many of them end up in sin, crime and degradation.

Birthdate: 1815 BC
Birthplace: Padan-aram
Father: Jacob, (Father of twelve sons) (Twelve Tribes) 
Mother: Leah
Children: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah

Death: Date and location unknown

*Could this be a patriarchal story, telling us about Simeon and Levi rather than about Dinah? Perhaps it is more of a solemn exposé of the grace of God.

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