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The Daughter of Israel
And when it came to Dinah, know that she was curious about the planned gathering. Also keep in mind, that with her possibly being the only daughter amongst her eleven brothers, one could easily embrace the notion, that she wanted to be around some other girls her own age.
(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 34:1-12)
In the last article we'd learned, that after twenty long years, Jacob and Esau would finally reunite. And even though Jacob had prayed long and hard, we would still find him extremely worried when it came to meeting his brother Esau.
And this is why, we find Jacob showering Esau with many expensive gifts.
For we must remember, that Esau had vowed to kill Jacob, some twenty years before:
"Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, 'The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.'" -- Genesis 27:41
But that was then, and this is now -- and this is why, we now find the two brothers, finally putting their differences behind them.
For the Sacred Record reveals, that Esau no longer wanted to kill his brother Jacob, for his past deceitful actions:
"[Jacob] himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him; he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept." -- Genesis 33:3,4
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Jacob Moving Forward?
Nonetheless, we now find, that Jacob has moved forward in his journey. For the Sacred Record informs us, that Jacob is looking to make Shalem (which was a city of Shechem) his new home. And because of this, Jacob decides to purchase a plot of land, for 100 pieces of sliver. Also know, that this transaction, would be done through the sons of "Hamor the Hivite." However, next we find, that after purchasing the plot of land, Jacob would then build an altar unto the Most High God. And Jacob would in turn, name this place "El-elohe-Israel" which means - God the God of Israel.
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Dinah Explores Their New Home?
However that may have been, sometime would past... and this is where the Sacred Record reveals, that Jacob and Leah's daughter Dinah (who was perhaps Jacob's only daughter) decided to go out and explore the city. Now it's presumed, that there was perhaps a planned gathering that was happening later on in the day? A gathering that included a feast, or a dance of some sort, or perhaps both. Nonetheless, it would be at this gathering, where the "daughters of the land" were planning to go.
And when it came to Dinah, know that she was curious about the planned gathering. Also keep in mind, that with her possibly being the only daughter amongst her eleven brothers, one could easily embrace the notion, that she wanted to be around some other girls her own age. And of course, this would make sense, for she could have easily felt, like she should be hanging around people, who may have something in common with her.
I mean after all, at this point in her life -- she was perhaps the only girl in the household, and it would also be at this time, that she would be between the ages of 14 and 16 as well. This is why it shouldn't be too far fetched, to see why she would want to be around other girls who were her own age.
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Dinah Meets Shechem?
Be that as it may, Dinah ventures off, and she attends the festival (or gathering). And it would be at this time, that she meets a man who'd went by the name "Shechem." For he was the son of "Hamor the Hivite" -- which would have made him, the prince of the land. Now remember, that Jacob had earlier, brought his land from Shechem's brothers when he had first settled in this place.
Now it's crucial that we pay close attention to what happens next: "And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her and lay with her, and defiled her." -- (Genesis 34:2)
Now here I go bucking the majority trend again -- for I would state up front, that I don't believe that Shechem had taken her by force, like some would teach or preach. For we must keep in mind, that some Bible translations, uses the word "violated" instead of the KJV word "defiled." And to be fair, I can see how church leaders and Bible teachers could lean towards that popular viewpoint.
But personally, I think that the prince was able to sweet talk her (and not through force) by taking advantage of Dinah's naiveness. Now keep in mind, that she was very young and gullible at this stage in her life. But regardless of my opinion, the Scriptures still points out, that she was "defiled". Which could lead us to assume, that perhaps, she was upset and disappointed with herself, for the sinful predicament she now finds herself in.
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Shechem's Love for Dinah?
Now the Sacred Record also reveals, that Shechem's heart was drawn towards Dinah. That he was in love with her, and that he had spoke tenderly to her. Now honestly, does this fit the description of a man, that wanted to harm her? In fact, Shechem wanted to marry Dinah -- and this is why, he had asked his father Hamor, to go and speak with her family on his behalf: "Get me this girl as my wife." Shechem demanded, as he pleaded with his father.
However in the meantime, Dinah makes it back home, and tells her father what had happen. Now after hearing this, Jacob held his peace until his sons had made it back home from the fields, in which they were tending the cattle. And soon after, Hamor and his son Shechem, went out to talk to Jacob. Now it's at this point, that Dinah's brothers had made it back home, and when they had found out what Shechem had done to their sister.
And after hearing about all that had happened, they were grieved, and so therefore, they had became very angry. Understand that they felt like Shechem had dishonored, and shamed Israel for sleeping with its daughter - Dinah.
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However in the meantime, Hamor begins to present his proposal on the behalf of his son Shechem: "My son Shechem has his heart set on your daughter. Please give her to him as his wife. Intermarry with us; give us your daughters and take your daughters for yourselves. You can settle among us; the land is open to you. Live in it, trade in it, and acquire property in it." - Genesis 34:8-10
Next Shechem would add to his proposal: "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
Now keep in mind, that it was customary for men to buy their wives and as we can see, this practice is on full display here. And this is why, Hamor and his son Shechem -- basically presents Jacob and his household, with an offer of unification between the two families. And the price for this partnership, and Dinah's hand in marriage, seems to be unlimited on Shechem and Hamor's end.
In the next Bible Study Online Article
I wonder? Will Jacob's faith and moral integrity be up for sale? Will he compromise, and make a deal with Shechem and his father? Dinah's brothers are furious, how will they respond? We will see, as we venture forth in the next article.
May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support
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