Oh my goodness. I’m looking at various translations of the story of Dinah, from Genesis 34. I love her. Probably because I read a completely fictional book about her, and also because she did something that not many of her people did: she went out to hang with the people of the land, instead of just sitting around in her mother’s tent.
KJV: 1And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. 2And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her. 3And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel. 4And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.
NLT: 1 One day Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the young women who lived in the area. 2 But when the local prince, Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, saw Dinah, he seized her and raped her. 3 But then he fell in love with her, and he tried to win her affection with tender words. 4 He said to his father, Hamor, “Get me this young girl. I want to marry her.”
YLT: 1And Dinah, daughter of Leah, whom she hath borne to Jacob, goeth out to look on the daughters of the land, 2and Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite, a prince of the land, seeth her, and taketh her, and lieth with her, and humbleth her; 3and his soul cleaveth to Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and he loveth the young person, and speaketh unto the heart of the young person. 4And Shechem speaketh unto Hamor his father, saying, `Take for me this damsel for a wife.’
What happened to Dinah? She went to hang out with some girls from town (they could have met on a walk, or at the well, maybe they wanted to make dinner or something) and this prince-dude saw her. Then, he did the following: Took her, seized her, lay with her, raped her, defiled her, and humbled her. Whaaaat? All of those things? Let’s think about this from the human perspective: How many men who pick random women to rape then fall in love with their victims and marry them? I’m pretty sure that doesn’t happen very often. Personally, I think that what fits best in this story is that he took her, lay with her/defiled her, and possibly humbled her. Because when sex happens without marriage (at least in that time period), its defiling. And when that kind of vulnerability happens, it can humble the hardest of people.
I think that what really makes this an epic story is how her family reacts to the entire thing. Look it up, it’s tragic. They pretend to agree to the marriage, then go in and kill, like, everyone. When I was young I liked the idea of having a family that came to my defense like that, but now that I look back on the story it seems judgmental and closed-minded of them. Then again, these days I would rather live my own life than one so connected to my relatives.