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Monday, September 9, 2013

Biblical Limericks: I Think it was Shechem who was Raped


Dinah was shamed by the prince, Shechem,
but he felt bad and tried to amend.
A marriage was proposed
with conditions imposed:
his men must have their penises hemmed.

Shechem agreed to pay this bride price;
each of the men had their manhood sliced.
Then, while they were floored,
her brothers came with swords
and they slaughtered them all in a trice.

Genesis 34



The traditional understanding of this story is that Shechem “raped” Dinah.  But the word “rape” isn’t used.  Instead the text actually says that he “shamed” her.  He probably did have intercourse with her, and that was considered shameful or defiling.  But he seems to have sincerely loved her.

And the people of the city were open and welcoming of Dinah’s family, even submitting to this bizarre and painful condition.

It was Simeon and Levi who were the “rapists” in this story. They never intended to let their sister marry this prince.  

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