DINAH (dī'na). A daughter of Jacob and Leah (Gen.30.21), the only one mentioned in Scripture. While sightseeing (Gen.34.1-Gen.34.31) at the city near which Israel encamped, Shechem the prince violated her, for which crime Levi and Simeon, her brothers, destroyed the city.
). Similar names are found in use among other Sem. groups; e.g. Akkad. Dina
, derived from words for “just,” “justice” and “judge.” In the context of Genesis 34:1
Dinah is the daughter of Jacob and Leah. During an inspection of the land and a visit with the pagan women she is criminally assaulted by a certain Shechem, the son of the ruler, Hamor, stated to be a Hivite. Subsequently Jacob and the brothers of the victim return and listen to a proposal of marriage and settlement presented by the Hivites on behalf of Shechem. The sons of Jacob agreed to the plan but insisted upon the Hivite males submitting to the rite of circumcision which the Hivites unsuspectingly agreed to do. After the rite had been performed upon all the Hivites and the strangers in their midst and the wounds were sore and debilitating, the two brothers of Dinah, Simeon and Levi, took their weapons, prob. heavy iron broad swords of the Hitt. type, and slew all the males. Apparently the ravished sister was by this time married to Shechem because they took her from his house (34:26
), and despoiled all the rest of the village. For this act of wanton revenge the brothers Simeon and Levi were cursed in Jacob’s final blessing (49:5-7
), wherein they are said to have, “Weapons of violence their kinship” (JPS). An important aspect of the story is the fact that among the sons of Jacob acts of violence and lust were proscribed.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
The daughter of Jacob and Leah, whose violation by Shechem, son of Hamor, caused her brothers, especially Simeon and Levi, to slay the inhabitants of Shechem, although they had induced the Shechemites to believe, if they would submit to circumcision, Shechem, the most honored of all the house of his father, would be permitted to have the maiden to whom his soul clave for wife (Ge 34:1-31). The political elements of the story (compare Ge 34:21-23, 30) suggest a tribal rather than a personal significance for the narrative.