While in the land of Canaan, in Shechem, the family of Akobe began to situate themselves in the land. Akobe had many sons but only one daughter named Dina; she was a beautiful and strong-willed young woman.
One day, as the children of Akobe were living peacefully, the neighboring Canaanites were among them in their city. Among the Canaanites was a prince named Shechem, who was captivated by the beauty of Dina. Consumed by his desire, Shechem approached Dina and expressed his love for her.
Despite the differences in their cultures, Shechem genuinely admired the strength and wisdom of the house of Akobe. However, in his courtship, he forced her and defiled the damsel, Dina. Even in all of this, Shechem pleaded with his father to make sure Dina would be his wife.
Meanwhile, Akobe heard what had happened. But his sons were out in the fields with the cattle, so he did not do anything at the time. Hamor arrived at Akobe’s home to discuss a marriage between the families.
Families Discuss the Marriage
When the fathers and elders of each family met, the sons of Akobe came too. The meeting started rough as they addressed Dina being defiled before the actual wedding. Hamor knew it was wrong but stated his son was ready and willing to make it right. They wanted the children to intermarry with each other and dwell in the land together as the United Tribes of Canaan and Akobe. He was willing to pay any dowry and gift for Dina and the union.
They all but agreed but the sons of Akobe gave one additional condition to finalize the family union. They asked the Hivites to become circumcised or else it would be a disgrace. Lewi (Levi) and Simeon only added this to deceive the men of Hamor.
Hamor and his son Shechem agreed and being a very respected prince in the family, in addition to his love for Dina, he met with the leaders of his family to sign off on it. He said the men of Akobe are peaceable and friendly, let us partner with them, they can stay in the land and trade with us. They knew the land was large enough for them all to dwell together. “Only we need to be circumcised,” they informed their village.
They Agreed to Circumcision
The men of Hivi agreed, but when they began to recover from the soreness of the circumcision, Simeon and Lewi, Dina’s immediate brothers came upon the city and boldly killed all the males. They also killed Hamor and his son Shechem and removed Dina from their house. They defiled their city as Shechem had done to their sister and family name.
After taking everything of value from the houses, they dragged away the wives and children of their victims. Akobe said to Simeon and Lewi, “Look what you’ve done! Now I’m in real trouble with the Canaanites and Perizzites who live around here. There aren’t many of us, and if they attack, they’ll kill everyone in my household.”
Simeon and Lewi replied, “Was it right for them to treat our sister the way they did?” Akobe’s concern had him pick up and leave Shechem and go back to Bethel. For our modern-day comprehension, Shechem is in upper Namibia, while Bethel is in lower Namibia. All this, the story in Genesis chapter 34 is still in the land of Shem, which we call Africa today.
To be continued…
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