Preaching Dinah’s Silence

A few months ago we were preaching the life of Jacob in my local church, and I was given Gen. 35; as I came to prepare, I noticed that our preaching plan skipped over Gen. 34. On one level, no problem: in dealing with big chunks of Scripture we often do that; on another, though, I was uncomfortable. I’ve commented before in public about my concern over preachers – including me – silently passing over the several narratives of sexual violence that Scripture records; in view of this, I did not feel able to pass from Gen. 33 to Gen. 35 and silently ignore Dinah’s experience of rape, and the bizarre and violent events that followed. I read these texts again in my personal devotions this week, recalled struggling with how to preach them, and...

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