And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bore to Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.…
Not without reason had Dinah been mentioned previously among the children of Leah (Genesis 30:21); she was intended to be the first cause of her father's sorrow. An interval of six or eight years elapsed between the departure from Mesopotamia and the event here narrated; Dinah had become a blooming maiden; she had reached that age when Oriental virgins attain the full charm of their beauty. During that tong sojourn in Shechem, she formed friendships with the daughters of the natives, and had entered with them into social intercourse. Was this conduct culpable? Was it an offence deserving punishment? It almost appears that it was regarded as such; for she became both an object of violence and the cause of massacre; and, in Biblical history, there exists no misfortune without corresponding guilt. Dinah had preserved in her mind the vocation of her family; she did not comprehend that a perfect separation was indispensable from idolatrous tribes, whose moral reformation could not be expected, whose pernicious example could only infect the Hebrews, and whose doom was sealed on account of their iniquity. She paid the full penalty of her carelessness. She suffered the fate which Sarah and Rebekah encountered in the land of Pharaoh and of Abimelech; she was seen and taken by the son of the prince; but no angel guarded her innocence; no Divine vision shielded her from disgrace; and she fell a victim to Shechem's passion. She did not require that immediate protection which her ancestors had enjoyed; she was a maiden, no wife; her father possessed a piece of land within which he was safe; and she belonged to a numerous family well capable of defending their rights. But Shechem was neither licentious nor frivolous; though he had been ensnared by passion, his heart was not debased, and he was ready to make the only reparation which the circumstances permitted; he loved Dinah; his soul clung to her, and he spoke to her heart; he endeavoured to secure her affection, and wished to make her his legitimate wife; he therefore asked his father to treat for him, and to solicit the consent of her family.
(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land.