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Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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Di´nah, a daughter of Jacob by Leah (), and therefore full sister of Simeon and Levi. While Jacob's camp was in the neighborhood of Shechem, Dinah was seduced by Shechem, the son of Hamor, the Hivite chief or head-man of the town. Partly from dread of the consequences of his misconduct, and partly, it would seem, out of love for the damsel, he solicited a marriage with her, leaving the 'marriage price' (see Marriage) to be fixed by her family. To this Dinah's brothers would only consent on the further condition that all the inhabitants of the place should be circumcised. Even this was yielded; and Simeon and Levi took a most barbarous advantage of the compliance by falling upon the town on the third day, when the people were disabled by the effects of the operation, and slew them all (Genesis 34). For this act of truly Oriental vindictiveness no excuse can be offered, and Jacob himself repeatedly alludes to it with abhorrence and regret (; ). To understand the act at all, however, it is necessary to remember, that any stain upon the honor of a sister, and especially of an only sister, is even at this day considered as an insupportable disgrace and inexpiable offence among all the nomad tribes of Western Asia. If the woman be single, her brothers more than her father, if she be married, her brothers more than her husband, are aggrieved, and are considered bound to avenge the wrong. Hence the active vengeance of Dinah's full brothers, and the comparative passiveness of her father in these transactions. Of Dinah's subsequent lot nothing is known.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Dinah'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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