Dinah was one of the first teens to be recorded in the word of God.
Her place in history is very cataclysmic. She was a teenage stick of dynamite.
But to look at her that would never have been obvious. How could a person
tell anything about looks from just reading text? Well, one can't be completely
sure, but there are often a number of clues for those who have learned
to read the signs. For example, attractive children often (but not always)
come from attractive parents.
Dinah was the daughter of Jacob, whose mother and father were undoubtedly
very attractive people. But we know from Genesis 34:2 that as soon as Shechem
saw her, he wanted her. Dinah was descended from aristocracy. Abraham her
great grandfather was an aristocrat from the Third Dynasty of Ur. Shechem,
the son of a prince of the Hivites, found Dinah very attractive.
Dinah was a young Jewish teen who decided that she wanted to experience
the world. She wanted to visit her neighbors, the Hivite teens. Now, this
was a subtle example of arrogance and frustration with her own calling
in the Plan of God. Later when the Law was given, such activity was forbidden.
Why? because the heathen in the land, such as the Hivites, worshipped Satan.
Social intercourse with unbelievers in the world would only entice the
Jews away from the Plan of God, which was wonderful, complete, and lacked
But Dinah was demonstrating her teen curiosity about the world. Her
father Jacob, not wanting to be overly protective, allowed Dinah to go
visit her Hivite teen friends. So per Genesis 34:1, Dinah went out to visit
the daughters of the land. This was near the city of Shechem somewhere
near Mt. Gerizim in the land of Canaan.
As is common with those who visit the homes of others, the brother of
her friend came in and saw Dinah. His name was Shechem, which means shoulder
in the Hebrew and signifies a strong pack-animal (e.g. donkey or mule).
This name fits with that of his father, Hamor (English), which is "Chamor"
in the Hebrew, which means a reddish-brown donkey. The donkey is a symbol
of sexual promiscuity in the Bible (e.g. Jer. 2:24; Ezek 23:20). Shechem
was a well-mannered teen, who was probably handsome, intelligent, and respectable
by worldly standards. He was very likely bright, polite, and athletic.
As soon as Shechem saw this new Jewish girl in the house, his needle pegged
to full scale.
Here we have a big culture difference. Shechem assumed that Dinah could
be had. He probably got that impression because she was young and probably
petite. She was also very attractive to him physically. His lust pattern
began to overload his mentality. Dinah, on the other hand, was a very naive
teen, who had lived a very sheltered life. She had never had a boy make
a pass at her and had no idea what Shechem had in mind.
Shechem was the wolf-type combined with the lust of a donkey. He was
probably 16 years old and had already begun sexual aberrations such as
fornication. As an unbeliever in his culture, he saw nothing wrong with
this. His lust pattern was controlling his soul. He was looking at Dinah
and wanting to have sex with her, but he covered it well. He was very deceptive
as is usually the case with male animals on the prowl. He was looking her
up and down and lusting. What did he see? A beautiful face (great bone
structure) with a backdrop of beautiful hair? Perhaps, but more likely
his eyes had drifted down to her body, which was hardly discernible through
the beautiful robe she was wearing. In a minute he had been overcome with
lust for her.
So, he did what a typical male animal does when he's on the prowl. He
asked her if she'd like to go somewhere (e.g. out back to see something).
We don't know what he said, but he got her away to himself. As soon as
they were alone, he grabbed her and pinned her down. He was very strong.
She was helpless in his grip. He pulled her robe off and ripped off her
lacy linen undies. He exposed her young breasts. She was naked before him
and squirming to free herself. She dare not cry out for fear of attracting
more unwanted male attention from the Hivites. She was highly embarrassed.
Dinah was a virgin, who had been taught to save herself for her Right
Man. Giving herself sexually to anyone before marriage was unthinkable.
However, she was very naive. She still did not have a clue of what was
going to happen next. Then Shechem began to grab her with his hands (Hebrew,
laqach). What was happening?
What proceeded was sexual abuse. In today's vernacular, Date Rape. Genesis
34:2 says, in corrected translation, "he (Shechem) grabbed her and abused
her sexually." The Hebrew words that are translated "abused her sexually"
Shakab, which means: to lie down to have sex.
`Anah, which means: to rape; to sexually humble or humiliate
a woman. This is a Pi'el stem in the Hebrew, which is the intensive stem.
This is a very strong statement in the original language.
This is Date Rape Hivite style. Dinah lost her virginity and was initiated
into sex at the age of thirteen by the older Hivite boy, who was not making
love to Dinah but satisfying his male lust in self absorption. Shechem
was not thinking of Dinah. He was self-absorbed. He didn't care how much
she cried or hurt. He didn't care if she got pregnant. He didn't think
about responsible behavior. He thought: "I want to rape this girl." And
he proceeded to do it.
Dinah, whose name means judgment, had received severe judgment. She
had been cursed, humiliated, wounded on her first visit to the Hivite home.
Her most prized possession as a woman had now been robbed from her. She
was sobbing, bleeding, and in shock. She was a mess: bruised, filthy, defiled,
She went home and her Father, Jacob, was told what had happened. There
was no hiding it. She had been sexually abused by a Hivite boy. Jacob sat
down in dread of the outcome of this tragedy. This was before there was
any such thing as law and order. There were no rangers or jails or judges.
Jacob had a small Tribe, but he was no match for the surrounding Tribes.
There was nothing he could do. His sons were cowboys, who were out on the
range with the cattle. Jacob was a very, very wealthy rancher in the days
when the grass was still green in the land of Canaan. He was full of fear
as to what his roughneck cowboy sons would stir up over the incident.
Now, Shechem didn't run and hide after this. The next verse, Genesis
"And his soul was preoccupied with sex for Dinah, the daughter of Jacob,
and he loved the girl and he spoke from the heart to the (teen) girl."
The phrase "preoccupied with sex for" is the Hebrew word, dabaq, which
means to have sex with. However, it is his soul that is preoccupied with
this thought. After having sex with Dinah, Shechem was fantasizing about
her continually. He could not get her out of his head. He fell in love
with her. Then he went to see her, and spoke from his heart to her heart.
This is a heart to heart talk, which means he is very intimate with her
as he tries to convince her to love him.
Personal and Impersonal Love
Then Shechem went to his father and asked him to secure Dinah as his bride.This
was the custom in the ancient world: The parents arranged marriage - not
the young people. The scripture says, "he loved the girl," but this was
not true love. It was personal love, which is explained as follows. When
someone says, "I love you," the emphasis may be on the subject or the object
of the verb. If the person is preoccupied with the object of love, the
emphasis is on the "you."
"I love YOU."
This is personal love as opposed to impersonal love. In impersonal love
the love is based upon the integrity of the subject:
"I love you."
Impersonal love differs from personal love in that impersonal love has
strength from the integrity of the subject. Personal love is weak, in contrast,
because it is based upon attraction for the object.
When a person says, "I love you," the love is no stronger than the person.
In the case of Shechem, this was deceit. Shechem was saying all the right
things to deceive Dinah. He wanted her for himself. His love was personal
- not objective. He lacked capacity for love. In this case Shechem saw
Dinah as a sex object which he desired. His love for her was not based
upon the integrity of his soul. It was based upon the attractiveness of
the object. This is why he raped her. He cared nothing for her in terms
of what he could give. His only interest was in what he could get. This
was demonstrated when he seized Dinah and took her by force and fulfilled
his lust with her at her expense. Now, he thinks he is in love with her,
but he has no capacity for love.
The fornicator or abuser has no capacity for love.
October 24, 1996, Revised November 26, 1997
Author: Larry Wood
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