The language of ivrit ( עברית ) Genesis 34, Post #1
Welcome to my Hebrew reading & language series.
Most love stories start out with a couple meeting, falling in love, and then getting intimate, which leads to having a family. Apparently, the sons of Hamor were a backwards crowd. They do things differently. You see, Dinah went out to see what the neighbors were like. She was seeking female friends but found the prince instead.
Shechem, the prince, "seized her and lay with her" says our passage today. In other words, he raped her. So she had been out looking for friends and got raped in the process. It says that Shechem then fell in love with her and treated her "tenderly". He then went to his father and wanted him the get this same girl to be his wife.
We have a potentially explosive situation as Dinah's father finds out about the rape and Shechem's father heads out to talk to Jacob about plans for marriage - post humiliation. In those days, a man would approach a girl's father (before having sex with her) and offer a certain amount of wealth in a contract, showing interest in his daughter. Then he would prepare living quarters for the him and his new wife. Only when the living quarters were acceptable, then he could go get his wife to be.
Yes, today's events are quite opposite from what was the norm in those days. The reading for today says that Jacob's sons did not know about what had happened to Dinah, but that will change next week.
Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her. And his soul was drawn to Dinah the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, "Get me this girl for my wife."
Now Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah. But his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him.
The story continues next week as her brothers find out...
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