December 02, 2006

Breadcrumb: You can't do that to my sister!

Genesis 34 discusses an incident with Jacob's daughter, Dinah. Dinah was "defiled" by Shechem, son of the prince of the country where Jacob was living. Shechem and his father were very gracious about the whole thing, offering to marry Dinah and give her as large a dowry as Jacob wanted. But Jacob's sons, following the family tradition of deception, told Shechem that they would accept if he and every other male in the city were circumcised. Shechem agreed, and when all his men were sore after the operation, Jacob's sons slaughtered them.

All this to say: when you decide to have your way with a girl, first make sure you know who her relatives are.

2 comments:

Heather said...

i love that this is your moral to the story.
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Anonymous said...

Dinah is invented solely for this story to work. She's been artificially added to the list of Jacob's children. That list says there were thirty TWO descendants going to Egypt (males AND females); but if you count them then there are 33 - Dinah's been added after the list was originally written.

This is really a story about the ownership of shechem - another ancient Israelite sanctuary. Shechem is now Nablus (technically they aren't quite the same place; Shechem was abandoned and Nablus was a built right next to it by the Greeks - "Nablus" = "Neapolis"). This story gives denegrates shechem by having it becoming Israelite due to lies and bloodshed, for which the culprits were told off; a different passage elsewhere in the Bible just says that shechem was simply purchased in an ordinary amicable way. JEPD makes them from different writers - one wanted to denegrate shechem, the other didn't.