Study Guide

The Red Tent Part Two, Chapter Four

By Anita Diamant

Part Two, Chapter Four

  • After the boar incident, Joseph and Dinah are afraid people will question them for being out in the woods. But instead, everyone at the camp is fixated on a messenger.
  • The messenger's name is Eliphaz, and he is the oldest son of Esau.
  • Jacob is pretty devastated by Eliphaz's appearance, for it ruins his plan of dividing the camp up before Esau can make an attack—if he were to make an attack.
  • Also, the tents are in a bad position, because the river blocks any escape.
  • Though Esau has planned to meet Jacob at the river, Jacob asks Eliphaz to let him meet Esau instead.
  • When the brothers finally meet, Jacob approaches Esau as a suppliant—begging for forgiveness. But instead of attacking Jacob, Esau hugs him.
  • Aww, gotta love brotherly love.
  • At this point, the two families come together as Esau introduces everyone to his sons and Jacob does the same.
  • And let us tell you, there are a whole lot of names thrown out here.
  • But for Dinah's purposes, the only relevant names seem to be Basemath, one of Esau's wives, and Tabea, one of Basemath's daughters.
  • So Tabea is be Dinah's cousin.
  • Tabea and Dinah instantly became besties. They share stories and talk about their families.
  • One thing that surprises Dinah is that the women in Tabea's family don't mark the moon's death and rebirth together. In other words, they don't all bleed together like Dinah's family does in the red tent.
  • Dinah and Tabea also talk about which brothers they like and dislike.
  • Tabea goes on to tell Dinah about how she doesn't want to get married or have children. But Dinah reveals that she wants to have lots of children, just like Leah.
  • Later on, the two families have a gigantic feast: the women cook it; the men eat it, as is the custom. Jacob and Esau tell stories of their childhood and reminisce about legends of their father and grandfather.
  • The men all sing a song that seems to bring everyone together. The women from Esau's family, however, sing a song that brings tears to Dinah's eyes because of its beauty.
  • The next day, the families have to depart.
  • Tabea and Dinah re very upset, but they know they'll see each other soon because their grandmother, Rebecca, is still alive and will soon call the families to the barley festival.
  • Dinah's family then leaves. They dwell in a village called Succoth for two years.
  • During these two years, lots of stuff happens.
  • Dinah was put in charge of the bondswomen's children; Bilhah, Rachel, and Leah all have miscarriages; Jacob is able to acquire more wealth; Judah, Simon, and Levi all marry.
  • Strangely, though, Reuben (the oldest son) has yet to marry.
  • Dinah's mothers all despise the weddings of their sons, but Bilhah enjoys them.
  • Most of the scorn is placed on the sons' wives' inability to cook.
  • Dinah is pretty pumped about the marriages, though, because that means that Simon and Levi will leave to live with their wives. And remember, Dinah isn't a huge fan of Simon and Levi.
  • One morning, a messenger from Mamre shows up and calls upon the family. Her message: Rebecca has called the family to the barley festival.
  • By the way, the messenger's name is Werenro.
  • Werenro has red hair, which none of the women has seen before.
  • Jacob agrees to meet his mother for the barley festival, and the women all treat Werenro with great hospitality.
  • One night, Werenro tells the women a story about the beginning of the world, in which Tree and Hawk give birth to Red Wolf, who then gives birth to all red-blooded life.
  • Ah, sure. Yeah. That's how it happened.