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Monday, May 20, 2019

M³ Again, Rape Is Bad

            Okay, so, there are a number of similarities between the Bible and Greek mythology throughout, but this ain’t one of them. Genesis, with the story of Sodom and Lot’s daughters sends the message that rape is bad. In the first instance it’s the idea that raping and breaking hospitality is bad. In the second, it’s that incestual rape is bad. This time, there are no qualifiers. Rape is bad.

            Shechem, the son of Hamor, “seized [Dinah] and lay with her by force.” Dinah is the only named daughter of Jacob—there may have been more, but we aren’t told. Now, there’s some maneuvering on the part of Hamor and Shechem to try and marry Dinah afterwards, and for Shechem to claim that he truly loves her.
Jacob and Dinah’s brothers are outraged, but Hamor and Shechem are spinning this as a way to merge their families together, not just Dinah, but the daughters from both families are exchanged to create an ironclad bond between the families.
Jacob and his sons tacitly agree on condition that Hamor and all of the sons become circumcised, as per the Abrahamic Covenant. Now things happen. The men are circumcised. Mind, these are grown men who are circumcised, not infants.
(pause for crossing of legs)
On day three, while all are still recovering, two of Dinah’s brothers, Levi and Simeon, strike. They sneak into the city and “killed all the males. They killed Hamor and his son Shechem and with the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house.” Oh, and the other brothers came and looted the city of everything: wealth, kids, wives, animals, everything. It’s as close as human beings could get to the destruction of Sodom.
Jacob has a knee-jerk reaction, thinking about the trouble that will follow because now the Canaanites and Perizzites will come after them, but the brothers shoot back with a simple and heartfelt, “should our sister be treated like a whore?”

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