1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. 

2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.

3 And his soul clave unto Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the damsel, and spake kindly unto the damsel.

4 And Shechem spake unto his father Hamor, saying, Get me this damsel to wife.

The sequence that Hamor passed through of “saw her, took her, defiled her,” seems to suggest that he did not seduce the woman, he forced her. Afterwards it says that he loves her and speaks kindly, but that is a meaningless overture after subjecting her to a violent assault.

This occurrence lends some insight to Abraham and Isaac claiming that Sarah and Rebekah were their sisters and not their wives. Clearly these were dangerous places, with godless souls who cared neither for the commandments of God, nor the feelings of young women.

Furthermore, Hamor’s intention to sweep such a violation under the rug with a marriage proposal shows how disconnected he was from the gravity of his choices. To him and this father this was no terrible crime, merely an awkward indiscretion. Very soon they will be reminded the depth of feeling that these sorts of acts cause in others. I do not say that Dinah’s brothers were right to perform a mass murder as retaliation, but I do say that those who violate another human’s basic rights open themselves to all manner of fearful retribution.

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