By Ismail Sloan
With the apparent death of Princess Diana, this is a good time to recall the person after whom she was named.
The Story of Dinah is to be found in Chapter 34 of the Book of Genesis of the Bible.
Although the Bible does not say this, any reasonable person with a common knowledge of human affairs can see what really happened. The Story of Dinah is virtually identical with numerous other stories, including the story of Helen of Troy down to the late 19th-early 20th Century feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, two hillbilly clans along the border of West Virginia and Kentucky, in which more than one hundred men were killed in a feud lasting more than 50 years over the "honor" of a single girl.
In 1936, a similar feud broke out in the tribal areas of what is now Pakistan in which a "Mad Mulla" roused an army to recover a girl allegedly abducted to become the wife of a Hindu man. The girl was recovered, but 36,000 men died fighting for her. This incident was one of the main factors which led the British to decide to give independence to India and which caused the breakup of India into Pakistan and India. The girl herself is still alive.
Almost every woman whose name is immortalized in the Bible was a fallen woman, with the exception of The Virgin Mary, and even she did not remain a virgin long and gave birth to at least six children. (Mark 3:31).
Starting with Eve, who started all the troubles which mankind now faces, by tempting Adam with the apple, almost every woman who is remembered in the Bible was a bad girl, or else nothing much is known about her at all.
A few examples: Rahab the Harlot was a common prostitute. Two of her customers were spies for Joshua. She made a deal with them. She helped them sneak out of her city secretly, let them out by a cord down from her window, and then hung out a scarlet thread as a signal, which enabled the army of Joshua to invade the city and kill everyone inside, except for Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and sisters. (Joshua 2:1-24).
Thus, Rahab sold out her own people and allowed them all to be killed. In return, Rahab became the wife of Salmon. She gave birth to a son named Boaz (Matthew 1:5). Boaz married Ruth who begat Obed, the grandfather of King David. (Matthew 1:5-6).
Another heroine of the Bible, Tamar, sold herself as a prostitute to her father-in-law Judah and thereby gave birth to twins and became the mother of all the Jews. (Genesis 38:14-30).
The two daughters of Lot got their father drunk, slept with him and had babies from him. (Genesis 19:35-36).
Bathsheba, who was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, slept with David and conceived an illegitimate child by him. As punishment, the child died. Later, after David had Uriah killed, Bathsheba married David and gave birth to King Solomon. (2 Samuel 11).
The list goes on. Mary Magdalene, the presumed girlfriend of Jesus, was a common prostitute. (Luke 8:2).
Sarah, the wife of Abraham, was given twice to men. She was taken by the Pharaoh (Genesis 12:27) and later taken by Abimelech, King of Gerar (Genesis 20:2).
Dinah was the daughter of Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons. Obviously, having 12 sons, Jacob must have had other daughters besides Dinah, but Dinah is the only daughter we know about. In general, the names of the daughters of the great patriarchs are not mentioned in the Bible.
The Bible does not exactly say this, but it is clear that Dinah ran off with a man from a neighboring tribe. The man was named Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite, who was the prince of the country.
What the Bible actually says is: "Dinah ..... went out to see the daughters of the land." (Genesis 34:1).
After Shechem had slept with Dinah, he found that he was in love with her, so he asked his father to ask the father of Dinah to agree to a lawful marriage. Meanwhile, Dinah continued to live in the house of Shechem. (Genesis 34:2-4).
The 12 sons of Jacob were enraged at this. (Genesis 34:7). However, they pretended to agree to Shechem's proposal. They said that they would agree under one condition: That Shechem and his father and all of the male members of his tribe agree to be circumcised. (Genesis 34:13-17).
They agreed and this was done. However, on the third after Shechem and Hamor and all the male members of his tribe had been circumcised and were most weak and sore from the effects of these operations, the 12 sons of Jacob fell upon them and killed them all. (Genesis 34:24-25). They took their wives as captives (Genesis 34:29). They went to the house of the now deceased Shechem and brought Dinah out of that house. (Genesis 34:26).
There is no further word on the fate of Dinah. Her name is never mentioned again in the Bible.
Jacob, their father, was not happy about this. However, his sons said: "Should he deal with our sister as a harlot?" (Genesis 34:31).
Because the members of the tribe of Jacob were few in number, Jacob was afraid of retaliation from the other inhabitants of the land. Therefore, he left that place and moved his tribe to Bethel. (Genesis 35:1-40).
And that is the end of the Story of Dinah.
For more of Sam's Bible Stories, see: