Genesis 49 12 tribes: 1) Reuven 2) Shimon 3) Levi 4) Judah, 5) Zevulon 6) Yissachar 7) Dan 8) Gad 9) Asher 10) Naftali 11) Joseph 12) Benjamin (NO MENASHE AND EPHRAIM)
For Shechem, Hamor and the Shechemites the motive for interactionis to unite, bond and cooperate. The overall action of Shechem (and hiscommunity) is one of honor. Shechem is described as the most honored(kbd) in his family (v. lg),23 and he wants to ’find favor in the eyes of’the Jacobites (v. 11). The expression ’to find favor’ is not casual language,but carries considerable significance in a shame-honor society .21 It is anattempt to establish a reciprocal relationship between the Shechemitesand the Jacobites. All of this diminishes the likelihood that rape was seento have occurred.Because Hamor is negotiating the marriage of a nasi’, a prince orchief of a tribe, this marriage is more than a private affair; it is both thebonding of two individuals and two groups. When kings or princes takewives, it can be for political alliance and economic cooperation as well asmutual attraction and love, so it is a public affair. Thus, Hamor puts hisemphasis on ’uniting’, which is spoken of in terms of mutual marriagesthat will create a bonding between the two groups, to the advantage ofboth parties. This ’trusting’ cityz5 (v. 25) wants to begin a process of’give and take’-of intermarrying, dwelling and holding property peace-fully together with the Jacobites.&dquo; As Shechem and Dinah have bonded(dbq) together, likewise, the Shechemites can bond with the Jacobites,and undo the ’shame’. In v. 9 Hamor negotiates an alliance, but it is notaggressive or demanding. The emphasis is on the initiative asked of theJacobites, accentuated by the use of ‘ynu give your daughters to us andyou take our daughters for yourself’, not ’I’ or ’we’ will take yourdaughters. These are not people who feel vulnerable, inferior or lackingin control, so that they need to create the illusion of power, control,dominance and superiority through rape.After an agreement appears to be reached, Hamor and Shechemspeak to the men of their city and discuss the public aspect of theagreement, the ’uniting’; that is, after all, what is relevant to the group.They stress that the Jacobites are peaceful people that can be allowed todwell and move about freely in the land and with whom they canexchange daughters as wives (v. 21). The speech to the Jacobites and theone to the Shechemites form an inclusio, with ’you [the Jacobites]giving and taking’ in v. 9 and ’we [the Shechemites] taking and giving’(reversed) in v. 21. The motive for this alliance is economic growth and peaceful coexistence (v. 23). But to become ’one people’ all the Shechemite males will have to be circumcised as the Jacobites are circumcised. The Shechemites must have some concept of the group bonding inherent in circumcision, because they agree to be circumcised.
The Jacobites value a strong sense of bonding, obligation and focus on the overall well-being of the group, yet there is dissension within the community concerning how best to accomplish these values. One element (Dinah and Jacob) is interested in interacting with outsiders(Shechem, Hamor and the Shechemites) that show allegiance to their group values and customs. The other element is made up of militantfolks (Simeon, Levi and the sons of Jacob) who are threatened by theimpure outsiders and want to maintain strict group purity and absolute separation. The story seems to be challenging this attitude by showing the potential danger in which it places the group.
WHAT IF DINAH IS NOT RAPED? (GENESIS 34) Lyn M. Bechtel Moravian Theological Seminary, Bethlehem, PA 18018, USA
Deuteronomy 33 12 tribes: 1) Reuven 2) Judah 3) Levi 4) Benjamin 5) Joseph 6) Ephraim 7) Menasheh 8) Zevulon 9) Gad 10) Dan 11) Naftali 12) Asher (NO SHIMON)
NO Menashe and Ephraim
In these circumstances it is very probable that the settlement of the Israelite tribes in the gaps in the city-state system took place peacefully and that, therefore, in these extremely thinly populated regions no resistance worthy of mention was to be expected from an old-established population, with the exception of a few isolated cities such as Luz-Bethel (cf. Judg. I.22-26) and perhaps Laish- Dan (cf. Judg. 18). The hypothesis of a settlement growing out of the regular change of pasture on the part of nomads with small cattle fits very well into the picture which can be derived from the Soutces of the territorial divisions in Palestine and the changes in them.
There are also references in the Old Testament tradition itself which point to peaceful relations between the Canaanite cities and the Israelite' groups which came into the country. Thus Josh. 9 mentions a treaty which the Israelites', probably the tribe of Ben- jamin, made with the Gibeonite tetrapolis. Although we know nothing further about its original content, it probably dealt with delimiting the rights of use with regard to pastureland and water, analogous, fot example, with Gen. 26, and perhaps also with agree- ments in tespect of trade, the rights of intermarriage and mutual military support. The special position of Gibeon as a result of this treaty can be seen to remain effective right into the monarchical period, A similar kind of assessment must be made of the attempt, reported in Gen. 34, on the part of the city of Shechem to enter into closer relationships with the tribes of Simeon and Levi. This narrative is stylized in the usual fashion and reads like a novelle with individuals as the protagonists. It presupposes, as Alt shows, that the two tribes, who seem to have had their original home in the heart of the Negeb,44 have, in the course of changing their pastures, penetrated the district of Shechem. Astonishingly enough, an offer of alliance is made by the Canaanites, but the plan is unsuccessful; Simeon and Levi, rather, take the city in a sudden attack, kill the inhabitants and burn it to the ground, whereupon, certainly under pressure from the indigenous population (cf. Gen. 34.30), they withdraw southwards, perhaps back to their former territories, and never appear again in central Pales- tine; at a later date, Shechem belongs to Manasseh. The reason for this violent end to friendly relations is said, in the narrative as we have it, to be the rape of Dinah, the 'sister' of Simeon and Levi, by the son of the city prince, an incident whose background in tribal history is extremely obscure. Finally, in the case of the tribe) of Manasseh, one must even accept the fact that Canaanite cities, 45 as is clear from the genealogies (Num. 26.29-34), were accepted into the alliance itself as clans' (»išpābõt). From the point of view of the conquest tradition this occurrence is astonishing. Alt explains it in terms of settlement history by suggesting that the tribe of Manasseh, which originated from the split in the house of Joseph', was crowded into living closely with Canaanite cities by the upsurge of his 'brother Ephraim and, on grounds of self-preservation, was forced into forming an alliance with these cities.
In this case, too, there is never any mention of hostile encounters; unless one accepts that the traditions referring to such encounters have been lost, then the conclusion is unavoidable that here too, as in the case of Benjamin and the Gibeonites, treaties of union were made.
The Conquest of Palestine' reflected in the biblical settlement traditions of Josh. 1-I2 and Judg. 1 and obvious from the archaeological evidence of the destruction of cities in the thirteenth century is also, in Albright's view, the final and decisive phase of a process which took place over a considerable period. Like Alt, Albright would regard the accounts of the battles of Jacob and his sons in the neighbourhood of Shechem (Gen. 34; 48.22; I Chron. 7.20ff.; Jub. 34) as traditions about an eatlier stage of the same
process. The settlement of later Israel had already begun therefore in the patriarchal period'. The traditions about the wanderings and activities of the 'patriarchs' in Palestine are then linked by Albright with the numerous reports concerning the activity of the apiru în the fifteenth/fourteenth century in the same area, and he regards the patriarchs' (explicitly Abraham, at least, on the basis of Gen. I4.13) as belonging to this particular stratum of the population whom he considers to have been semi-nomads who trans- ported merchandise on their donkey caravans.38 They had, since the Middle Bronze Age (MB I), occupied the scarcely accessible mountainous regions to the west of the Jordan, so that the silence of the Amarna letters and of the Israelite settlement traditions about that region can be explained without any difficulty. They had, furthet, allied themsclves with the Israclites' proper, members of the same profession and of the same race, when these latter returned from Egypt and burst into Palestine west of the Jordan.
Albright also explains in this way how the later tradition could no longer differentiate the various groups. The 'apiru|Israelites, united also by the religion of Moses, then gained the upper hand in the struggle for power within Palestine and either annexed the cities to their alliance by (treaty, subjection or absorption or else annihilated them.
The Settlement of the Israelite Tribes in Palestine (Studies in Biblical Theology, Second Series, No 21) 1971 by Manfred Weippert
See also: The tribes of Yahweh: A sociology of the religion of liberated Israel, 1250-1050 B.C.E 1979 by Norman K Gottwald