Study Guide

The Red Tent Part Two, Chapter Eight

By Anita Diamant

Part Two, Chapter Eight

  • When Dinah comes home, she is all bloody and weak, so Leah thinks she is dead.
  • Spoiler: she isn't dead, so the women all wash her and try to feed her, but Dinah refuses to eat or sleep.
  • You could say Dinah is little bit salty toward her family at this point.
  • Dinah finally emerges and shouts for Jacob. He eventually shows himself to her, trembling. He pleads that he had no knowledge of Simon and Levi's plan.
  • But Dinah is not impressed. She goes on a cursing spree, cursing Jacob and all of his sons.
  • Dinah's next step would have been to go back to Shechem, where she would kill herself and be buried with Shalem.
  • The next thing we know, Dinah's giving us a bunch of "had this happened" and "had that happened" phrases.
  • So the rest of the chapter is a mix of what could have happened with what actually did happen.
  • Simon and Levi apparently sell Joseph into slavery, and Jacob changes his name to Isra'El and flees.
  • Rachel dies on the highway giving birth to Benjamin, and Jacob doesn't even give her a proper burial.
  • Reuben and Bilhah engage in sexual activity, and when Jacob finds out, he banishes Reuben and slaps Bilhah so hard that her teeth fall out. She disappears a few days later.
  • Zilpah dies of fever the day Jacob smashes the last of his father's teraphims—the one with the frog head.
  • Leah also eventually loses the use of her hands and arms. We can guess that she dies shortly thereafter.
  • Dinah makes it to Shechem, and Reuben (who was sent after her) doesn't make it in time to carry her back.