Some translations word Genesis 34:2 to say that he raped her, but others don't. My Strong's definition for him laying with her seems inconclusive. Is there anything else that would shed light on whether this was a forcible rape or a seduction? Or is rape meant here in a statutory sense - a rape by seduction?
I believe the wording of Genesis 34 suggests Shechem did rape Dinah.
- You are correct; Strong's use of the Hebrew word translated "lay" here by the King James [H7901] is not clearly "inappropriate" sexual contact.
- There are, however, other indications this was initially a rape.
- The King James adds, "and defiled her."
- The New International Version uses, "raped."
- The Amplified Version says, "lay [intimately] with her by force [humbling and offending her]."
- The New American Standard records, "he lay with her by force."
- I am convinced many other versions would collaborate this general meaning.
- The actions and reactions of the men afterward suggest this was a rape.
- All four of the above-named versions record in verse 5 that Jacob heard his daughter Dinah had been "defiled."
- All four versions record in verse 7 that Jacob's sons were "very angry," because such an action should not have happened.
- After 'laying' with Dinah, Hamor seeks Jacob's permission for son Shechem to marry her.
- Later, after slaying all the males of the city--including Shechem and his father Hamor--Simeon and Levi addressed father Jacob's fears that they had acted appropriately; sister Dinah should not be treated as a prostitute.
- Finally, this was a patriarchal society; Dinah would not have been allowed to independently "explore" any level of sexual relationship with men outside her family; particularly uncircumcised men.
Thanks for your question!