[b-hebrew] Dinah raped?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Tue Jul 24 00:17:41 EDT 2007


Dear Isaac,

The text, which is our only source of information here, does not say how old she was. She was obviously of an age at which sexual activity would have been possible and marriage would have been thinkable. In antiquity that could have been around 10, although I would picture a teenager. As far as a chaperon, that's not in the text either, and in this case, if there had been one and he or she had done anything about the girl's predicament, it should have been mentioned. So no chaperon, and her age does not matter.

Yigal Levin
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Isaac Fried 
  To: Yigal Levin 
  Cc: b-hebrew 
  Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2007 2:10 AM
  Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Dinah raped?


  Yigal,


  Are you taking into consideration the possibility that at that time Dinah was 8-12 years old, and that she did not go out into foreign territories and alien households all by herself but had certainly at least one chaperon to accompany her?


  Isaac Fried, Boston University


  On Jul 21, 2007, at 5:06 PM, Yigal Levin wrote:


    Very good points, James. But all this seems like very typical male behavior, 
    in traditional patriarchal societies - "boys will be boys, as long as they 
    don't do it with our sister". It was convenient for them to believe that 
    Dinah was raped, because then they did not have to deal with the possibly 
    that SHE had acted immorally. The text, as it would seem, is ambiguous, 
    maybe because the author, the descendants of Dinah's brothers, prefer not to 
    accuse their own ancestors of wanton genocide of a whole city. Their act, 
    however, is criticized by Jacob, both in v. 30 and later in his blessing in 
    49:5-7.






    We find the same kind of behavior in chapter 38 - Judah has no problem with 
    going to a prostitute, but when he "finds out" that his daughter-in-law 
    Tamar had been a prostitute, he commands her burned. The text is critical of 
    his hypocrisy, but not of either one of his acts in themselves.






    We must be very careful of assuming that the authors of the Bible shared the 
    same views on "morality" that modern-day Jews and Christians do. This is 
    especially true for matters of sexual behavior.






    Yigal Levin




    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "JAMES CHRISTIAN READ" <JCR128 at student.anglia.ac.uk>


      NWT Genesis 34:7
      'And the sons of Jacob came in from the field as soon as they heard of it; 
      and the men became hurt in their feelings and they grew very angry, 
      because he had committed a disgraceful folly against Israel in lying down 
      with Jacob’s daughter, whereas nothing like that ought to be done.'


      Note that no mention of force is included when
      why her brothers were angry. It is the mere thought of
      their unmarried sister having extra marital sex.


      Further consider their response in verse 31 when being
      reprised by Isreal for their actions:


      “Ought anyone to treat our sister like a prostitute?”


      What are prostitutes better known for in Tanakh?
      For being forced to have sex?
      Or for having immoral extra-marital sex?


      However, one contextual point seems to stand in favour
      of an element of force. And that is why does there
      seem to be a complete lack of any indication of
      responsibility on Dinah's shoulders? Why aren't her
      brothers angry with her for acting 'like a prostitue'?
      feelings and they grew very angry, because he had committed a disgraceful 
      folly against Israel in lying down with Jacob’s daughter, whereas nothing 
      like that ought to be done.'


      Note that no mention of force is included when
      why her brothers were angry. It is the mere thought of
      their unmarried sister having extra marital sex.


      Further consider their response in verse 31 when being
      reprised by Isreal for their actions:


      “Ought anyone to treat our sister like a prostitute?”


      What are prostitutes better k


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