Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.”

Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: Shechem and Dinah (Genesis 34:1-31).

Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the region. When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the region, saw her, he seized her and lay with her by force. And his soul was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the girl, and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this girl to be my wife.”

Now Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah; but his sons were with his cattle in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him, just as the sons of Jacob came in from the field. When they heard of it, the men were indignant and very angry, because he had committed an outrage in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done.

But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The heart of my son Shechem longs for your daughter; please give her to him in marriage. Make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. You shall live with us; and the land shall be open to you; live and trade in it, and get property in it.”

Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “Let me find favor with you, and whatever you say to me I will give. Put the marriage present and gift as high as you like, and I will give whatever you ask me; only give me the girl to be my wife.”

The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah. They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. Only on this condition will we consent to you: that you will become as we are and every male among you be circumcised. Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live among you and become one people. But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and be gone.”

Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor’s son Shechem. And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most honored of all his family. So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, “These people are friendly with us; let them live in the land and trade in it, for the land is large enough for them; let us take their daughters in marriage, and let us give them our daughters. Only on this condition will they agree to live among us, to become one people: that every male among us be circumcised as they are circumcised. Will not their livestock, their property, and all their animals be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will live among us.” And all who went out of the city gate heeded Hamor and his son Shechem; and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.

On the third day, when they were still in pain, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city unawares, and killed all the males. They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went away. And the other sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because their sister had been defiled. They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and made their prey.

Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites; my numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.”

But they said, “Should our sister be treated like a whore?”

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • aunursa

    The Red Tent by Anita Diamont is an international bestseller.  This book tells the story from the perspective of Dinah.

  • Carstonio

    But they said, “Should our sister be treated like a whore?”

    Please tell me Fred added that part as a joke. The ethic described in that story treats all women as whores, or more specifically, as male property. Now I wonder if Chick-fil-A has a frequent buyer program where male diners can earn enough points to buy a wife in the drive-through.

    Reading the Family of the Day stories, I keep wondering why Christianity even has the Old Testament in its Bible, instead of as a supporting book. (Gideon used to hand out New Testaments that included just Psalms and Proverbs.) One of my geek interests is Greek mythology, and I see some parallels between those stories and the OT ones, particularly the feud between Achilles and Agamemnon over female slaves. But the testament is really a major part of Jewish cultural heritage as well as religious heritage, and most cultures where Christians predominate have weak ties at best with Jewish culture. Stories like this one seem to have very little relevance to Christian theology.

  • Also, the whole thing reads like the boys wanted to pull a sneak attack and lulled the others into a false sense of security.

  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    It’s not as if they were anti-rape. They still captured for themselves the wives of the men they killed. So it sounds as if they were more pissed that the guy harmed their property than the idea that rape was bad.

    Not sure how many more of these I can take. I swear, the Bible is all rape, murder, rape, genocide, and then a little more rape just to round things out.

  • AnonaMiss

    For some reason I had misremembered this as a love story, with Dinah giving consent, and her brothers getting angry not on her behalf, but against both lovers. In the version in my memory, they massacred the whole tribe not out of revenge, but to set an example to Dinah: see what you made us do? See what happens when you try to have your own sexual agency? We kill the man you love and his entire family. Don’t make us do it again.

    In the version in my memory it’s still labeled a rape, not because Dinah didn’t consent, but because her male relatives didn’t consent.

  • Darakou

    Two guys took out a whole city? Even if taken by surprise, and even if it was just a village, that’s still pushing it.

  • AnonaMiss

    A whole city in which all of the men were recovering from having their foreskins cut off.

  • Fusina

    The Bible. How not to behave. I agree here with OriginalExtraCrispy. Although it does make the world seem like it is getting better, not worse…

  • Guest

    On the third day, when they were still in pain,
    Ouch. I mean, like, seriously. *crosses legs fearfully*

  • Fusina

     They were in a lot of pain–and there was no morphine at the time I suspect. And based on my experiences with males in pain, they were in bed, waiting to see if it got better.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You haven’t read The Red Tent, have you? Because I have, not recently enough to remember in any detail, but Amazon reviews assure me that it does indeed treat Dinah/Shechem as a love story.

  • In the version in my memory it’s still labeled a rape, not because Dinah didn’t consent, but because her male relatives didn’t consent.

    I have often read it that way myself. I was just now checking the Hebrew to see if it supports the “by force” in the translation and… I guess it depends on how you understand “took her”; my Biblical Hebrew is not good enough to know whether that would include seduction or only rape.
    Of course you might also be thinking of The Red Tent, which Aunursa mentioned above, in the first comment.

  • As I recall, midrash frequently mentions the third day after a circumcision as being especially bad.

  • stardreamer42

    That’s just spectacularly ugly. I hope Dan Cathey has no daughters. 

  • Isabel C.

    You’d think that’d just make some people *surly*. 

  • Carstonio

     I suppose sacking a city and killing all the males to “avenge” one’s sister qualifies.

  • It is rare in even the cheapest action/exploitation films for the ‘bad guys’ to be this perfectly humiliated and the ‘good guys’ to be this perfectly triumphant.  Say what you will about the Old Testament and its often abhorrent mores, but the stories it tells are not usually this plainly lame. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Reading the Family of the Day stories, I keep wondering why Christianity even has the Old Testament in its Bible, instead of as a supporting book.

    What do you think when you read the Sunday favourites series?

  • Carstonio

    I usually skip those entries and I’m not necessarily proud of that.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Well, there’s a clue.