Dinah: A Daughter of Promise


black-mother-baby-16x9-thumb-631xauto-31463-436x355Dinah, Yaacob’s only daughter. What became of her? In text there has only been one instance of so called violence against a woman there and it concerns her (Genesis 34). There have been questions in my mind about her for years. However, learning now about the errors in translation; as well as, missing books has prompted me to look for answers.

Here, rape is the premise in the King James text however, I bring another view.

A recap of the event sees “Dinah going out to visit the daughters of the land.” Hence, knowing what we know about Yacob one can note that the family moved around quiet a bit. How do we know that? We know that Jacob had acquired a flock of sheep and goats, and that being that Hebrews are a hunter and gathering tribe, we also know that these tribes moved around alot, because food sources change with seasons and so do water sources. (See: http://hunter-gatherers.org/facts-and-theories.html). Hence, it is fair to say that Dinah, being new to the neighborhood went out to meet new friends (daughters).

“And Dinah, the daughter of Lĕ’ah, whom she had borne to Yaʽaqoḇ, went out to see the daughters of the land” (Genesis 34:1).

There is a problem here then, why does the translated text present a different view? My understanding says that there are terms which lend to excuse in using violence in situations, also lends premise to why women seek abortion and also throws the ‘taking a wife’ law Yah gives and throws it out the window.

“And Sheḵem, son of Ḥamor the Ḥiwwite, prince of the land, saw her and took her and lay with her, and humbled her.” (Genesis 34:2, The Scriptures).

It is the case that changing terms changes the tone of the story. In the King James Bible the term ‘violated’ or ‘defiled’ is used, and in The Scriptures (See: http://www.isr-messianic.org/) uses the term ‘humbled’.

Big difference, Look:

Violate(d). When one is violated, the premise is that a person has been treated irrevelantly, disrespected, desecrated or profaned.

Defile(d). When one is defiled, they are taken advantage of, made foul or dirty, unclean or tainted; made impure.

Humble(d). when one is humbled the premise is that their independence is destroyed, power of the will of that person.

All of these are good terms to know, but one of these is not like the other in the sense that we have to know Law Concerning Virgins to see truth. (While we’re at it lets look at the word concerning the man ‘taking’ a wife for future reference.)

Let’s take a look:

“If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: And the damsel’s father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.”(Dueteronomy 22:13-21).

None of this happened, because the very next verse we see, “And his being clung to Dinah the daughter of Yaʽaqoḇ, and he loved the girl and spoke kindly to the girl.” (Genesis 34:3)

In fact we see that Shekem went and asked his father to go to Yaacob and ask for her to become his wife. Here is the true problem:

1) He did not get permission, he just ‘took her’.
2) There was no ‘Brides Wealth’ or dowry committed to the family of the betrothed until after the deed was done. (for definition of bridewealth, see: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/79255/bridewealth).

This is why she was violated, in the sense of law because she was not betrothed to him. However, we have to know that this is not the brutal rape that we see today. I am taking you somewhere, hang on.

Look what comes next, “And the sons of Yaʽaqoḇ came in from the field when they heard it. And the men were grieved and very wroth, because he had done a senseless deed in Yisra’ĕl by lying with Yaʽaqoḇ’s daughter, which should not be done.” (Genesis 34:7)

She was disrespected (violated) in this sense that once a virgin is found to be no longer a virgin she can’t marry anyone else, according to Hebrew law her life was ruined; as far as marriage is concerned. So we think, because we don’t see anything else about her after her brothers took her out of Shekems house and killed his entire family.

Yaacob was anquished because of his sons. He obviously did not see that the girl was violently raped. He agreed to the marriage of his daughter. Look at what he told his sons:”And Yaʽaqoḇ said to Shimʽon and Lĕwi, “You have troubled me by making me a stench among the inhabitants of the land, among the Kenaʽanites and the Perizzites. And I am few in number, they shall gather themselves against me and shall smite me, and I shall be destroyed, my household and I.” (Genesis 34:30, The Scriptures)

Why are we not told that? We see other women, prostitutes and their story. Hence, Why aren’t we told what happened to her? Surely if she was worth mentioning one would like to know what became of her. Where to look for truth?

In The Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni, 134) says that Dinah conceived a child, a daughter called Asneth (Shekem’s baby). Asneth grew up and came to live in Potihar’s house in Eqypt. Who else was there? Joseph who was the viceroy to the king and also son to Jacob. Joseph, who eventually married Asenth (his neice) and they had two children; Mansseh and Ephraim. (See also: http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/asnint.htm)Now that so called rape has turned into something else hasn’t it? Through Yah, it is showing us that the event was only made violent because of Yaacob’s sons, and that because of it a child grew up without her father. The fact that she was pregnant was taken out. (To see other accounts: http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/dinah-midrash-and-aggadah).

Another view that comes from this knowledge is that Dinah was a single mother, and was not a disturbed rape victim she went on to do other things, and her life gives hope to other single moms to live a modest life despite trials that come. (Psalms 45:13). For our single moms, no matter the reason for it:

The story of Dinah now becomes a story of triumph for every woman who is naturally influential. We have our work ahead but press on sister. The best is yet to come, Don’t allow anyone tell you different.

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About Kay Dailey

The Dailey Grind Kayla Dailey, is a prolific writer whose aspirations include hope of encouraging those who face trials and difficulties in life through the written word. As a student of the word she writes, Kayla has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Ashford University and holds a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Management with concentration in Public Administration. Mrs. Dailey is an advocate for civic and community building issues, African American liberties, equal employment; as well as, advocacy against domestic violence for women, children, abortion and other issues people face.

Posted on November 25, 2013, in Children, Culture, Devotion, Education, Encouragement, Family, Home, Life, Marriage, Men, Ministry, Parents, Religion and Spirituality, spiritual, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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