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?

  • With no allegation on her part and no confession on his, I don't see how the case can be substantiated. The Hebrew word 'took' Strong 3947 is the same as in Genesis 25:1 when Abraham 'took' another wife.The point of the passage is 'defilement', a social matter for a civil court (involving family) not forcible activity, a criminal matter for the judiciary. – Nigel J Apr 6 at 23:46
  • The word in question is the Hebrew term ויענה and whether this necessarily denotes rape or some other form of defilement. See this related question for an extensive discussion on this hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/28425/… – Bach May 7 at 14:47

I believe the wording of Genesis 34 suggests Shechem did rape Dinah.

  1. You are correct; Strong's use of the Hebrew word translated "lay" here by the King James [H7901] is not clearly "inappropriate" sexual contact.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

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  • 2
    In the culture of the time Jacob might have considered Dinah "defiled" whether or not she consented. – DJClayworth Apr 7 at 13:49

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