(1) Dinah . . . went out to see the daughters of the land.—Those commentators who imagine that Jacob sojourned only twenty years at Haran are obliged to suppose that he remained two or more years at Succoth, and some eight years at Shechem, before this event happened, leaving only one more year for the interval between Dinah’s dishonour and the sale of Joseph to the Ishmaelites. But even so, if Dinah was now not more than fourteen, there would be left a period of only nine years, in which Leah has to bear six sons and a daughter, with a long interval of barrenness, during which Zilpah was given to Jacob and bears two sons. But besides this impossibility, Jacob evidently remained at Succoth only until he was shalem, sound and whole from his sprain, and Dinah’s visit was one of curiosity, for she went “to see the daughters of the land,” that is, she wanted, as Abravanel says, to see what the native women were like, and how they dressed themselves. Josephus says that she took the opportunity of a festival at Shechem; but as neither her father nor brothers knew of her going, but were with their cattle as usual, it is probable that with one or two women only she slipped away from her father’s camp and paid the penalty of her girlish curiosity. But she would feel no such curiosity after being a year or two at Shechem, so that it is probable that her dishonour took place within a few weeks after Jacob’s arrival there. So, too, Hamor’s words in Genesis 34:21-22 plainly show that Jacob was a new comer; for he proposes that the people should “let them dwell in the land,” and therefore consent to the condition required by them that the Hivites should be circumcised. It would have been absurd thus to speak if Jacob had already dwelt there eight years with no apparent intention of going away.
Genesis 34:31And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?