Regarding Dinah, the Jewish Encyclopedia states (bolding added by me):

—In Rabbinical Literature:

Dinah is blamed for the affair with Shechem because she "went out" (Gen. xxxiv. 1), and her brothers had to drag her away from Shechem by force (Eccl. R. x. 8; Gen. R. lxxx.). When Jacob went to meet Esau, he first locked Dinah in a box, for fear that Esau would wish to marry her. Such action of his brought out the rebuke from God: "If thou hadst married off thy daughter in time she would not have been tempted to sin, and might, moreover, have exerted a beneficial influence upon her husband" (Gen. R. lxxx.). Her brother Simeon promised to marry her; but she did not wish to leave, Shechem, fearing that after her disgrace no one would take her to wife (Gen. R. l.c.); she was later married to Job however (B. B. 16b [sic; 15b apparently the correct reference]; Gen. R. l.c.). When she died, Simeon buried her in the land of Cannan [sic]. She is therefore referred to as "the Canaanitish woman" (Gen. xlvi. 10). Shaul (ib.) was her son by Shechem (Gen. R. l.c.).

I'm trying to track down the exact statements from the Genesis Rabbah from which the bolded text above summarizes. I believe it may be at least in part from the following portion of this page of Hebrew text:

[יא [דינה הוצאה מביתו של שכם

ויקחו את דינה ר' יודן אמר: גוררין בה ויוצאין. ‏

אמר רבי הונא: הנבעלת לערל קשה לפרוש. ‏

אמר רבי הונא: אמרה: ואני אנה הוליך את חרפתי? עד שנשבע לה שמעון, שהוא נוטלה, הה"ד: (שם מז) ושאול בן הכנענית, בן דינה שנבעלה לכנעני. ‏

ר' יהודה ור' נחמיה ורבנן ר' יהודה אמר: שעשה כמעשה כנענים. ‏

ר' נחמיה אמר: שנבעלה מחוי, שהוא בכלל כנענים. ‏

ורבנן אמרין: נטלה שמעון וקברה בארץ כנען:‏

So what I want to know:

  1. Is this the correct source text of the Genesis Rabbah that the Jewish Encyclopedia is summarizing? If not, what is?
  2. If so, is there an English translation of this section available online? (My attempt to Google Translate seems to be only partially successful, and the translation would appear to need some serious smoothing out. I can translate some Hebrew from the Tanach with effort and some helps, but am not literate in reading Hebrew generally to be confident in translating all the above myself)

I desire to find the exact source of these statements by the Jewish Encyclopedia, both in Hebrew and an English translation, so I can determine that the summary appears to accurately reflect what these particular teachings on this were by the Rabbis (I realize other teachings may exist as well).

My particular interest is in the Rabbinic source(s) that postulate Shaul is the son of Shechem (the last statement in the JE entry above), in contrast to some other sources that have him as the son of a union between Simeon and Dinah.

  • 2
    +1 This question is clear, precise, well motivated, and shows research effort. Well done.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 1:19
  • 2
    An easy to navigate version of Genesis Rabbah is provided by Sefaria. See a relevant citation here sefaria.org/Bereishit_Rabbah.80.4 An English version is apparently here archive.org/details/RabbaGenesis but I haven't looked at it at all.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 1:24
  • @DoubleAA: Thanks for the links. The English version is similar to what I have found elsewhere, namely that it only is the first part of Genesis (up through the Akedah), which is not yet to the chapter related to my question.
    – ScottS
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 2:21
  • @ScottS, give them time...
    – Seth J
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 3:19
  • 2
    @ScottS It seems worth mentioning that rabbinic thought is not monolithic. That is, there are other sources which can have varying perspectives and interpretations from the the Midrash Rabbah.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


You didn't add the sources regarding Dina marrying Job (included in the text that you marked), here are a few (the rest of your sources are spot on):

  • Baba Batra 15b, similar to Yerushalmi Sotta 25b (translation from here):

    ויש אומרים איוב בימי יעקב היה ודינה בת יעקב נשא כתיב הכא כדבר אחת הנבלות תדברי וכתיב התם כי נבלה עשה בישראל.‏

    Some say that Job lived in the time of Jacob and married Dinah the daughter of Jacob. [The proof is that] it is written here [in the book of Job], Thou speakest as one of the impious women [nebaloth] speaketh, and it is written in another place [in connection with Dinah], Because he had wrought folly [nebelah] it, Israel.

  • Bereshit Raba 80:

    ר' חנינא בשם ר' אבא הכהן בר' אליעזר פתח: למס מרעהו חסד. מנעת חסד מן אחוך, היא נסבת לאיוב, שאינו לא גר ולא מהול.‏

    R' Chanina said in the name of R' Abba the Kohen, son of R' Eliezer: "By one who withholds kindness from his friend". You withheld kindness from your brother, so she will marry Job, who is neither a ger nor is he circumcised.

  • Tanchuma VaYishlach 19:

    נטל יעקב דינה ונתנה בתיבה, שלא יראה אותה עשו ויטול אותה לאשה, א"ל הקב"ה חסכתה אותה ממנו חייך לאדם ערל היא מתוקנת, הוא דכתיב למס מרעהו חסד, אילו היתה נישאת לעשו שמא היתה מגיירת אותו, כשנטלה איוב לא גיירה אותו? לפיכך חסכתה אותה הרי בן מאירה בא כנגדה, וירא אותה שכם בן חמור.‏

    Jacob took Dinah and put her in a box, so that Esav wouldn't see her and take her to be his wife. Hashem said to him: You have withheld her from him, [I swear] upon your life, she will be given to an uncircumcised man. That is what was written: "By one who withholds kindness from his friend". If she had married Esav, maybe she would have converted him, for hadn't she converted Job? Therefore, you have withheld her from him, so a cursed person will come to her: "And Shechem the son of Hamor saw her".

  • Yalkut Reuveni (VaYishlach):

    דינה בת יעקב נישאת לשבעה אלופים, שכם בן חמור, שמעון בן יעקב, איוב, נבל, דוד, טורנוסרופוס ור' עקיבא... אחר פטירת יעקב נשאת דינה לאיוב.‏

    Dinah the daughter of Jacob married seven champions, Shechem son of Chamor, Shimon son of Jacob, Job, Naval, David, Quintus Tineius Rufus, and R' Akiva... after Jacob passed away, Dinah married Job.

And here are the sources mentioned in the questions with their (unofficial) translations:

11 [Dinah was taken out of Shechem's house]

"and they took Dinah". R' Yuden said: They dragged her out.

R' Huna said: A woman who copulated with the uncircumcised cannot easily leave him.

R' Huna said: She said: Where will I go with my disgrace? Until Shimon swore to her that he will take her (as a wife), and that is what is written: "and Saul the son of the Canaanitess" - the son of Dinah who copulated with a Canaanite.

(This is a subject of dispute between) R' Yehuda and R' Nechemia and the sages.
R' Yehuda said: That he has acted like a Canaanites.
R' Nechemia said: That she copulated with a Chivi, who are considered Canaanites.
And the sages said: Shimon took her and buried her in the land of Canaan.

Later addition:

Here's Rabbi Hirsch's thoughts about Shaul (requested in comments). Since the midrash discussed in the comments does not explicitly say who is Shaul's the biological father, R' Hirsch speculates that it might be Shechem's, but he does not state that this is his definite opinion (because as we discussed, the source can be interpreted either way, though most do think that Shaul is Shimon's biological son):

ושאול בן הכנענית. אם "כנענית" זו היא דינה, שנישאה לשמעון (עי' בראשית רבה פ, י), הרי אפשר ששאול איננו בן שמעון, אלא הבן שיולד לדינה משכם; אם כך, הרי גם בן זה לא התנכר למשפחת יעקב. היא נקראת "כנענית", שכן בנה - מבחינה גופנית - היה בן של כנעני. נמצא אפוא שכבר אז נהג הכלל, כי בהתחבר בת יעקב עם כנעני - הולד הולך אחר האם (עי' יבמות מה ע"ב).‏

If the "Canaanite" here is Dinah, who married Shimon (see Bereshit Raba 80, 10), it is possible that Shaul isn't Shimon's son, but rather a son born to Dinah from Shechem. If so, even this son did not estrange himself from Jacob's family. She is called "Canaanite" because her son, biologically, was the son of a Canaanite (man). Therefore we can conclude that even then, when a daughter of Jacob marries a Canaanite, the newborn's identity is considered based on his/her mother (see Yevamot 45b).

  • Including the marrying of Job reference is fine, but that is not really where my research interest resides. It is the relation of Dinah to Simeon, and even more specifically the identifying her as the "the Canaanitish woman" in Gen 46:10 and thus Shaul being her son by Shechem (apparently adopted by Simeon to care for him in that version of the story) or by Simeon, as other traditions note.
    – ScottS
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 15:58
  • Thanks. Any chance those passages can be translated into English? I would possibly upvote and accept this answer (assuming these are all the correct references), but if I have to wade through translating the Hebrew myself, it could be a while before I determine how "useful" and "correct" the answer is.
    – ScottS
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 16:38
  • @ScottS No problem, I added those sources because I thought you needed everything that you marked in bold. I don't see anything that I can add then, just notice that user Baby Seal is right that the midrash doesn't explicitly say who's Shaul's father (however, in the last source in my answer he explicitly says that Dina's daughter Asnat came from Shechem, while Shaul came from Shimon). So is there anything else you need?
    – Cauthon
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 18:38
  • So is there anything else you need? Besides an English translation of the passages? Maybe one more thing, based off your comment. Where does JE get a source reading that Shaul's father was Shechem, not Simeon? That source, whatever it is, is the most important to my research.
    – ScottS
    Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 18:45
  • 1
    @ScottS Sounds promising, it is probably in his commentary on the Torah (which unfortunately I do not own, and neither can I find online). Hopefully someone here has access to it.
    – Cauthon
    Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 7:07

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