Di'nah (Hebrews Dinah', דִּינָה, judged, i.e., vindicated, from the same root as DAN; Sept. Δεινά; Joseph. Δεῖνα, Ant. 1:21, 1), the daughter of Jacob by Leah (Ge 30:21), and therefore full sister of Simeon and Levi. Born B.C. 1913. While Jacob's camp was in the neighborhood of Shechem, Dinah,, prompted by curiosity, went out "to see the daughters of the land," most probably to a festival, when she was seduced by Shechem, the son of Hamor, the Hivite chief or head-man of the town. Her age at this time, judging by the subsequent notice of Joseph's age (Ge 37:2), may have been from thirteen to fifteen, the ordinary period of marriage in Eastern countries (Lane's Mod. Egypt. 1:208). 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. Such reparation would have been deemed sufficient under the Mosaic law (De 22:28-29) among the members of the Hebrew nation. But in this case the suitor was an alien, and the crown of the offense consisted in its having been committed by an alien against the favored people of God; he had "wrought folly in Israel" (Ge 34:7). The proposals of Hamor, who acted as his deputy, were framed on the recognition of the hitherto complete separation of the two peoples; he proposed the fusion of the two by the establishment of the rights of intermarriage and commerce, just as among the Romans the jus connubii and the jus commercii constituted the essence of civitas. The sons of Jacob, bent upon revenge, availed themselves of the eagerness which Shechem showed to effect their purpose; they demanded, as a condition of the proposed union, the circumcision of the Shechemites: the practice could not have been unknown to the Hiivites, for the Phoenicians (Herod, 2:104), and probably most of the Canaanitish tribes, were circumcised. Even this was therefore 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 repeatedly alludes to it with abhorrence and regret (Ge 34:30; Ge 49:5-7). 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 (see Niemeyer, Charakt. 2:413 sq.), is even at this day considered as an insupportable disgrace and inexpiable offense among all the nomade 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. Jacob's remark (verse 30), however, does not imply merely guiltiness on the part of his sons in this transaction, but he dreaded the revenge of the neighboring peoples, and even of the family of Hamor, some of whom appear to have survived the massacre (Jg 9:28). His escape, which was wonderful, considering the extreme rigor with which the laws of blood-revenge (q.v.) have in all ages prevailed in the East, is ascribed to the special interference of Jehovah (35:5). Josephus omits all reference to the treachery of the sons of Jacob, and explains the easy capture of the city as occurring during the celebration of a feast (Ant. 1:21, 2). The object for which this narrative is introduced into the book of Genesis probably is partly to explain the allusion in Ge 49:5-7, and partly to exhibit the consequences of any association on the part of the Hebrews with the heathens about them. Ewald (Gesch. Isr. 1:40) arbitrarily assumes an actual fusion of the nomad Israelites with the aborigines of Shechem, on the ground that the daughters of the patriarchs are generally noticed with an ethnological view. It appears from Ge 46:15 that Dinah continued unmarried in the patriarch's family, and accompanied him into Egypt. SEE JACOB.

Bible concordance for DINAH.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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