The Abduction of Dinah: Gen 28:10-35:15 as a Votive Narrative

By Daniel Hankore

An exploration of context and translation for a key passage in the narrative of Jacob utilising relevance theory and insights from Ethiopian culture.

ISBN: 9780227173961
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Understanding a text from the narrator’s point of view is crucial for the tasks of interpreting and translating the Bible. In this volume, Ethiopian scholar Daniel Hankore clarifies the reading of Scripture by studying it in the light of African Hadiyya culture and relevance theory, which facilitate Scriptural interpretation and translation.

Hankore’s analysis of Genesis 28:10-35:15 recognises the text as a literary document or discourse while also considering its cultural context. He demonstrates that a correct understanding of the concept of the ancient Israelite vow in the framework of a social institution is key to facilitating an accurate reading and translation of Genesis 28:10-35:15. The conclusion we can draw from this understanding is that the narrative of Jacob is a coherent whole. Furthermore the Dinah story is of vital importance to the narrative, a fact which has frequently been overlooked as has the connection between its different parts.

Genesis 28:10-35:15 is revealed in a new light in this detailed study which focuses on relevance theory informed by an Ethiopian cultural context and provides original theories about the place of the Dinah story in the narrative of Jacob.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 270

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

Daniel Hankore completed his PhD studies in Kenya in 2010 and is a translation consultant with Wycliffe Bible Translators and is also coordinator for translation consultants for Ethiopia. He is a preacher and teacher.



1. Introduction
2. Boundaries of the Jacob Story and its Literary Structure
3. The Concept of ??? “Vow” in the Hebrew Scriptures
4. Vow-Making of Jacob as a Metarepresentation
5. Vow Granting and Vow Fulfilling
6. Dinah Story as an Adverse Consequence of the Unfulfilled Vow
7. Conclusion with Remarks on Implications for Translation

Appendix 1: Hebrew, Israel, and Jew
Appendix 2: Translation of Genesis 28:10-22
Appendix 3: Institution of Tithing
Appendix 4: Interviews about the Vow and “Rape” of Dinah
Appendix 5: Conditionals and Metarepresentation
Appendix 6: Some Real-Life Stories of Abductive Marriage among the Hadiyya People
Appendix 7: Excursus on Translating Gen 28:10-35:15

Scripture Index
Author Index
Subject Index


Endorsements and Reviews

This is a fresh and original contribution to the interpretation of Genesis. It also contains a full and thorough evaluation of more traditional, critical, and historical approaches to the issues raised by Genesis 25-35. It deserves to be taken most seriously by future scholars trying to understand these chapters of Scripture.
Gordon Wenham, Tutor at Trinity College, Bristol

The Abduction of Dinah offers a unique, well-argued discussion of an important biblical text that utilizes an array of skills and theories, including relevance theory. Despite the intersection of several disciplines and lines of thought, Hankore has produced a highly readable and accessible treatment of the Dinah narrative and the Jacob story as a whole … This book will serve as a valuable resource for future readers of the Jacob story, as well as, for those interested in interpretive methods utilizing multiple theories and cultures.
James Spencer, in Journal for the Evangelical Studies of the Old Testament, 2013

Hankore presents an argument for the intended utterance of Genesis 28:10-35:15 before proposing in brief how to translate it, and goes on to show how this same votive framework assists an explanation of the relevance of Genesis 34 to the Jacob story.
D. Olga Davies, in Theological Book Review, Vol 25, No 2

The Abduction of Dinah provides the reader with a thorough analysis of the Jacob narrative of Genesis 28:10-35:15, offering some valuable insights into the thematic significance of this text. Hankore also provides a helpful overview of the Hebrew votive system and its significance as a locus of meaning within the Jacob tradition.
Caroline Blyth, University of Auckland, in Journal of Theological Studies, Vol 65, Issue 1

By examining the Jacob narrative in light of the Hadiyya culture of Ethiopia, Hankore suggests that the account of Dinah is more integral to the larger Jacob narrative than has been previously thought … Useful for those who are specifically studying this passage or these matters.
Isaac M. Alderman, in Reviews in Religion & Theology, Vol 21, Issue 4,