Dinah “went out to see the daughters of the land,” and wound up in trouble with a young man named Shechem. He lay with her and then decided that he wanted to marry her. Of course, this infuriated her brothers and defiled her body. The Bible shows us in this passage several things about premarital sex.
The Cause (v.1)
The reason Dinah ended up in trouble is that she was alone with this man. One of the greatest ways to prevent premarital sex is to make sure that a woman and a man are not left alone together.
In 2 Sam. 13, Amnon lusted over his half sister Tamar so much that he cooked up a scheme, with his friend’s help, to get Tamar alone with him. Once he had her alone, he was able to overpower her and force her to lie with him.
Joseph ended up alone with Potiphar’s wife in Gen. 39. She had been making passes at him and he had been refusing her advances. But on one occasion, she caught him when no one else was around. He ran from her but she was able to snatch his garment. She used this as evidence against him. Of course, since there were no witnesses who could prove that she was lying, Joseph wound up in jail for a dozen years.
Paul said that “it is good for a man not to touch a woman,” (1 Cor. 7:1). Of course, he and she are more likely to “be doers of the word and not hearers only” if they are not alone!!
The Effect (v.2)
Once Shechem lay with Dinah, he “defiled” her (see verses 5, 13, and 27). The reason is that he deprived her of her virginity. A woman is supposed to maintain her virginity until she marries. So is a man. According to Heb. 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled.” See, sex before marriage “defiles” the woman; sex after marriage is “undefiled,” (the exact opposite).
The Duty (v.3-9)
A Biblical principle about premarital sex is that it creates the same physical union that marriage creates. In Gen. 2:24, when a man leaves “his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife” they “shall be one flesh.” The same is true when a man has sex with a woman that he is not married to. In 1 Cor. 6:16, we find, “What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh.”
Therefore, in the Old Testament, when a man lay with a woman before marriage, he was to pay her father fifty shekels of silver (a dowry) and marry her (Deut. 22: 28-29). That was the right thing to do. However, if her father refused to give her to the man, the man was to pay her father a dowry and they didn’t get married (Ex. 22:16-17).
The right thing for a man and a woman to do is to keep their virginity. Then when they find the person that they want to marry and spend the rest of their life with, they should marry. She should be able to be given in marriage and not forced into it (1 Cor. 7:38).
The Result (v.10-13)
The terrible thing about premarital sex, particularly when the woman is forced into it, is that somebody is going to get mad. In this case, Dinah’s brothers were furious and deceived the men of Shechem into getting circumcised. Then when they were sore, they killed them and stole all of their women and possessions. Likewise, Absalom, Tamar’s brother, was so mad at Amnon that he murdered him two years later.
Remember that Paul warned Timothy, “Flee also youthful lusts,” (2 Tim. 2:22). No matter what this modern generation teaches, go with the Book. It will keep you from a lot of heartache and trouble.
And remember, if you were not so fortunate as to have followed the Bible before you read this, you can still look to the Lord for mercy. “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee,” (Ps. 86:5).