What does Genesis 34:1 mean?Jacob and his large family have settled outside of the city of Shechem in Canaan. Some time may have passed since Jacob purchased the section of land they occupied and on which they built an altar to the Lord (Genesis 33:18–19). His sons are now referred to as men.
Jacob's children are frequently mentioned according to which of his wives is their mother. Jacob himself regards them differently, as he demonstrated when presenting them to his brother Esau in reverse order of his apparent affection for them (Genesis 33:1–3).
Dinah is the only daughter explicitly mentioned among Jacob's children (Genesis 30:21), though there may be others. Scripture frequently refers only to those who are relevant to the story. In this case, Dinah is a crucial figure in the history of Jacob's family. She is the daughter of Leah, Jacob's famously unloved wife. Leah's other birth children include Simeon and Levi, who will also figure prominently in the action to follow.
We're told Dinah "went out" to see the women of the land. Apparently, she had built a social relationship with some of the women of Shechem or she was seeking to do so. The passage does not condemn her for this action, nor suggest that she was doing anything unwise or inappropriate.