It is written in Bereshit that Shechem "defiled" Dinah, and all opinions I've learned agree that it was rape, but are there any that dissent? I wonder if "defiled" could also apply to consensual sex before marriage. My questions are if there are any interpretations that they were in love, or that it was consensual intercourse? If so, is it possible they even got married before her brothers found out and killed Shechem? Are there any opinions that she had a child by Shechem? Was Shechem known for having any redeeming qualities in general that could have attracted her to him, besides (if you want to look at it this way) being a prince and a warrior etc? ***

Related background info that would be helpful to know: what are all the incarnations of Dinah and Shechem before and after them? (I.e., the same question relating to Zimri and Cozbi, whether it was rape or consensual, could shed insight on this, but, it would be helpful to know all the incarnations before and after as well as those).

*** "Attracted" only in the context of if there exist midrashim where it was consensual. I do not imply that the existence or non-existence of attraction on Dinah's part has any relevance in the case of rape.

  • See mefarshim here mg.alhatorah.org/Full/Bereshit/34.3#e0n6
    – wfb
    Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 2:48
  • @wfb Thank you very much for responding. I can barely read any Hebrew, really. A few words here and there, very slowly, unless ones I recognize. Is there any english translation? Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 2:50
  • @wfb It looks like I can enable english but they only have english for some of them. I have always used sefaria not altorah and did not know this feature was available. maybe it is available on sefaria too but I didn't know. None of the translations to english indicate consent or love. Which commentaries in Hebrew were you thinking of when you linked? Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 3:06
  • @wfb I tried including all the commentaries they have available. I clicked the gear icon, and enabled all. But I noticed, they don't have Ramchal, they don't have the Gra, they don't have Rashbi, they don't have the Arizal's. Is there a page like this that includes the kabbalists midrashim on verses too? For all verses not necessarily this one, although if theirs happen to be the only ones who say they got married, or had a child, or were in love, then they would be most relevant here also. But I don't know which chazal say that if any. Hard to know when their commentaries arent included!! :D Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 3:36
  • 3
    The commentaries indicate that it wasn't consensual but that he tried to appease her after the fact
    – wfb
    Commented Apr 5, 2022 at 11:28

3 Answers 3


Hard to prove a negative, but I'm sure the answer is no. After all, the verse uses the term ענה, which literally means "caused pain."

  • 1
    Many traditional commentaries explain that verb to refer to certain positions for sexual intercourse which, while more painful for the woman, have surely been known to occur within consensual relationships.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 13:06
  • 1
    I still think the Torah wouldn't use that term if it was consensual.
    – N.T.
    Commented Apr 10, 2022 at 19:01

Dinah had a son (Saul the son of the Canaanite). See Rashi Genesis 46:10 quoting Midrash Rabbah 80: 11. There is also discussion about the relationship with Shechem.

  • Hi YSA, welcome to Mi Yodeya! I edited your question so it links to the correct sources on Sefaria, for both Rashi and Bereishis Rabbah. Great answer though!
    – Shmuel
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 11:20
  • I think the part about Dinah having a son is a mistake? Rashi says that she refused to leave until Shimon agreed to marry her (which was allowed in those days). The follow-up English ("and regard the child she was about to bear as his own") is just wrong. She had a son afterwards, from Shimon - listed as one of the descendants of one of the twelve shevatim! The Midrash does talk about Osnas, who eventually married Yoseph, as perhaps being the daughter that Dinah bore from Shechem, adopted by Potiphar's wife.
    – MichoelR
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 13:28
  • @MichoelR This may be of interest. judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/68039/… And a shorter comment with one of the more esoteric opinions that still says Saul came from Shechem, partially. judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/68039/… Commented Nov 2, 2022 at 22:39

I saw an opinion that since he was uncircumcised, she became attached to him, & her brothers had to drag her out.

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    – Yoreinu
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 22:54
  • Welcome to MiYodeya and thanks for this answer. Since MY is different from other sites you might be used to, see here for a guide which might help understand the site. Note in particular the focus on sources. Great to have you learn with us!
    – mbloch
    Commented Jun 3, 2022 at 3:23

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