Dinah was the only daughter of Jacob, born to Leah. Apparently a free soul, Dinah took to visiting the women of the land her family dwelt in. On one such visit, she was seduced by Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite chief. When Jacob heard about this he was outraged, as were his sons.
Now Jacob's sons had come in from the fields as soon as they heard what had happened. They were filled with grief and fury, because Shechem had done a disgraceful thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter - a thing that should not be done. (Genesis 34:7)
Even as they plotted revenge, Shechem told his father to speak to Jacob for Dinah's hand in marriage, and later entered the negotiating table himself.
Then Shechem said to Dinah's father and brothers, "Let me find favor in your eyes, and I will give you whatever you ask. Make the price for the bride and the gift I am to bring as great as you like, and I'll pay whatever you ask me. Only give me the girl as my wife."
The proposal was accepted by both Hamar and his son Shechem, who wasted no time in being circumcised. They even persuaded the men of their entire tribe to follow suit. Three days later, however, in an awesome show of treachery, two of Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi, attacked the unsuspecting city, killing every male including Shechem and his father, and then looting the city of all the wealth it had and taking with them all the women and children.
When Jacob berated them, they replied, "Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?"
Because their sister Dinah had been defiled, Jacob's sons replied deceitfully as they spoke to Shechem and his father Hamor. They said to them, "We can't do such a thing; we can't give our sister to a man who is not circumcised. That would be a disgrace to us. We will give our consent to you on one condition only: that you become like us by circumcising all your males. Then we will give you our daughters and take your daughters for ourselves. We'll settle among you and become one people with you. But if you will not agree to be circumcised, we'll take our sister and go."
Image titled "Dinah" is part of The Gala Gallery's Famous Women of the Bible
terracotta series. Copyright © The Gala Gallery. All rights reserved.