In Old Testament Biblical times, it was common for men to have one or more wives and also several other women who they were not married to. These other women were called concubines and had lower status than the wives. King Solomon is probably the most infamous for this practice. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Three passages in the book of 2 Samuel (15:16; 16:22; 20:3), however, tell us that Solomon’s father, David, also had his share of concubines.
When he was running away from his rebellious son, Absalom, David left ten concubines behind to take care of the palace. Absalom took revenge on David and raped all ten women in a tent on the roof of the palace, in the sight of all Israel. Absalom later died in a tragic way and David was able to come back to the palace. When he returned, he took the ten concubines and put them in a house to themselves. David continued to provide for these women, but they were kept in confinement till the day of their death, living as widows. Continue reading →
Similar to Dinah‘s story, Tamar’s story is another unfortunate and hard-to-read part in the Bible. As horrible as it is to be sexually assaulted by a stranger, Tamar’s situation is made a hundred times worse because she was violated by a family member. Her brother Amnon, who was supposed to protect her, ended up hurting her.
One of the most unfortunate stories in the Bible is found in Genesis 34 which tells of the rape of Dinah. Dinah was the daughter of Leah and Jacob. When her family moved to the land of Canaan, the prince of the country named Shechem, saw Dinah and kidnapped her and violated her. Later, he tells his father that he wants to marry Dinah because Genesis 34:3 says ‘his soul was strongly attracted to her’. Dinah’s brothers, however, are fighting mad over the way their sister was treated. Using circumcision, they trap all the men of Shechem’s city and kill them.