Defiling Dinah- avenging Dinah.
Sometimes, having a common religion seems to fix everything. It can dissolve the divide. Or maybe it can provide good cover for those who are planning vengeance against the unsuspecting offenders.
Shechem had raped Jacob’s daughter Dinah. He could not or would not restrain himself, We read that “his soul was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the girl.”
No excuse for his violation, but he was passionate about Dinah, dying for her, it would seem. He didn’t want to rape her and leave her but he wanted to marry her. Marry her so that he could continually rape her at will or marry her because he loved her?
His father understood Shechem desire as the latter and both men were willing to accept the religious traditions of Jacob and his clan so that his marriage could be formalised. The agreement extended beyond Shechem and Dinah to include other men and women from both sides. “We will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live among you and become one people.”
Notwithstanding the commodifying of daughters on both sides, it seemed that their common acceptance of the religious rite of circumcision settled the difference and made intermarriage among them OK.
But little were Jacob or his new found partners aware that the equalising religious observance meant nothing to the aggrieved brothers of Dinah. They wanted revenge, and that they did take.
The new found friends would soon be enemies so it was time again for Jacob to move on.