Genesis 34:1-3 NASB

[1]Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. [2]When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. [3]He was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her.

When Jacob left Paddan Aram (Genesis 31) after spending twenty years with Laban,he had twelve children who probably ranged between one year to thirteen years of which Dinah must have been around four years.

We find her visiting the daughters of Shechem & the fateful event that took place (Genesis 34),Could the journey from Paddam Aram to Shechem have taken some years so as to warranty that by the time they reached Shechem Dinah had attained the age of marriage,or there is a chronological issue?


A time-line of OT events is indispensable when making this type of inquiry. The one at biblehistory.com has an excellent interface.

Dinah was born around the time of Joseph's birth:

19 And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. 20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. 21 And afterwards she bare a daughter, and called her name Dinah.
And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. 23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: 24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.

Now, according to biblehistory.com, Joseph was born around 1700 BC, and the incident involving Dinah occurred around 1685 BC, making Dinah about 15 years old.


There are various sources in Rabbinic thought about this: Tractate Sofrim (last chapter) says that Dinah was 6 years old.

Midrash Sechel Tov (to Gen. 34:4) says she was 8.5 years old.

Similarly, R. Saadia Gaon and R. Bahay say (to Gen. 34:3) she was 8 years and 1 month old.

R. David Ganz (Zemah David, Year 2206) records opinions that she was either 9 or 10 years old.

  • 1
    Abraham's wife, Sarah, is the only woman in Genesis with an age shown (actually the only female in the Old or New Testament with an age given). There's no way to calculate exactly what age Dinah was. I agree. We'll get numerous estimates. Jun 12 '20 at 18:21

Keil and Delitzsch's commentary states the following - and I find it the most grounded:

Dinah was probably between 13 and 15 at the time...There is no ground for supposing her to be younger. Even if she was born after Joseph, and not till the end of Jacob's 14 years' service with Laban, and therefore was only five when they left Mesopotamia, eight or ten years may have passed since then, as Jacob may easily have spent from eight to eleven years in Succoth, where he had built a house, and Shechem, where he had bought a parcel of a field. But she cannot have been older, for according to Gen 37:2, Joseph was sold when he was 17, in the 11th year after Jacob's return from Mesopotamia, as he was born in the 14th year of Jacob's service with Laban.

In the iterim between Dinah's seduction and the sale of Joseph there occured nothing but Jacob's journey from Shechem to Bethel and thence to Ephratah, in the neighbourhood of which Benjamin was born and Rachel died, and his arrival to Hebron (Gen 35). This may all have taken place within a single year. Jacob was still at Hebron when Joseph was sent to Shechem and sold by his brethren (Gen 37:14); and Isaac's death didn't happen for 12 years afterwards, although it is mentioned in connection with the account of Jacob's arrival to Hebron (35:27)

  • Welcome to BHSE! Make sure you take our tour. Thanks Jun 12 '20 at 18:14
  • I have edited only to demonstrate to you how highlighting is done for quotations. Please feel free to roll back to your own text if you wish. Welcome to BH.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 17 '20 at 22:06

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