Study Guide

The Red Tent Part Two, Chapter Seven

By Anita Diamant

Part Two, Chapter Seven

  • Every now and then, Dinah is asked to tag along with Rachel to the city.
  • In one instance, she even thinks she sees Tabea, who now has a shaved head. The woman either ignores her or doesn't hear her, though.
  • If it was Tabea, we can guess she ignored Dinah.
  • Then huge news comes: King Hamor has called for the midwives of Jacob's household.
  • Of course, Dinah is pumped about going, but Leah isn't so pumped about Dinah going.
  • Apparently, the women have been summoned for a very easy birth for a woman named Ashnan, the daughter of queen Re-nefer's nursemaid.
  • And that's where Dinah meets her love-at-first-sight.
  • Yep, it's a thing.
  • His name is Shalem, and he is a young prince—son of Hamor and Re-nefer.
  • Dinah and Shalem meet each other in a hallway, and both are awestruck. They pretty much babble like idiots, and Dinah leaves totally in love.
  • We then learn that eventually Dinah will lie with Shalem. So don't worry folks, she's gonna get her man.
  • Anyway, back to that baby. Ashnan gives birth to a healthy boy.
  • When Dinah returns, none of her sisters seem to know that she is in love. Which is weird, seeing that they can always see right through her.
  • But pretty soon, Dinah is being summoned by the Queen to give Ashnan company.
  • So, basically, Queen Re-nefer has noticed the love between Shalem and Dinah, and she has decided to hatch a plot to get them together.
  • Sneaky, sneaky, Queen Re-nefer.
  • During her time as Ashnan's servant, Dinah doesn't exactly have such a great time. After all, fetching food and bathing people isn't really too fun.
  • Unless you're into that kind of thing.
  • One day, Dinah is sent to gather figs from the marketplace for Shalem.
  • Unfortunately, there are no figs at the marketplace. Daw.
  • When Dinah returns, Shalem is the only person in sight. They really don't waste much time: next thing you know, Dinah's totally kissing him.
  • Then Dinah and Shalem do all that adult stuff.
  • So Dinah's isn't a virgin anymore, and she's in love with Shalem. And he's also in love with her. Perfect.
  • Well, not so perfect. See, Simon and Levi sort of hate King Hamor, so they've been telling Jacob terrible things about him.
  • So when King Hamor goes to Jacob with a bride-price, Jacob isn't too receptive. In fact, he's pretty rude, which irks Hamor greatly.
  • And this is all really unfortunate because Shalem is a great guy, and King Hamor also seems like a pretty cool dude.
  • Jacob then accuses Leah and Rachel of being bad wives and decides to discuss the terms of Dinah's marriage with his sons.
  • Basically, Simon and Levi are livid, but everyone else is like, Accept the money. Take the money. He's a cool dude.
  • Then Joseph, completely joking, says something along the lines of Hey, if Simon and Levi are so concerned about Shalem and his male reproductive organ, why don't we make the bride's price foreskin. Yeah, we'll make everyone in Shechem get circumcised for the price of our sister.
  • Jacob takes Joseph seriously, so that is his demand.
  • Yep, that is the actual demand of Jacob. Which is crazy.
  • Hamor is all like, Uhhh, no? But Shalem was like, Let's do it. We got this. I love her.
  • So that's what happens: the whole male population of Shechem is circumcised. And boy, are those guys not happy.
  • For one thing, back then, the medical procedures weren't as advanced as now. These men are in extreme pain for weeks.
  • Then, one day, while sleeping next to Shalem, who is still recovering, Dinah wakes up to a woman screaming.
  • Except it isn't just a random woman. Dinah is the one who is screaming.
  • Dinah is screaming because Shalem's neck has been slit. He's dead, and she is covered in blood.
  • But no one comes to help.
  • Then Simon and Levi lift Dinah up and gag her. They put her on a donkey and march back to Jacob's tents. Dinah screams the whole way.
  • Yep, Simon and Levi have killed everyone.
  • Stuff just got real. Real fast.