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Philo, Pseudo-Philo, Josephus, And Theodotus On The Rape Of Dinah

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines several ancient accounts of the rape of Dinah and its consequences and considers why those changes were made and whether the changes made by the authors follow a pattern found in their treatment of other biblical passages or whether they merely answer questions arising from the problems in a particular text. One instance that seems to portray seeming Jewish brutality toward non-Jews is the revenge meted out by Simeon and Levi for the rape of their sister Dinah. Philo (Migr. 223-25) has condensed the story considerably. Pseudo-Philo's Bib. Ant. (8.7) devotes a mere two sentences to the whole incident and consists of only 41 words. He omits all the details that would create sympathy for Shechem and the Hivvites and that would indict Simeon and Levi for deceit and cruelty. There are several significant changes between the biblical text and Josephus' version.

Keywords: biblical text; Dinah; Jews; Josephus; Levi; Philo; Pseudo-Philo; Simeon



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