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The Red Tent | Chapter Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • Ancient Near East

    Laban brusquely welcomes his nephew Jacob into his tribe.

    Part 1, Chapter 1
  • Months later

    Jacob marries Leah and then marries Rachel; he takes Zilpah and Bilhah as his concubines.

    Part 1, Chapter 2
  • Months later

    Leah has a son, but Rachel has a miscarriage.

    Part 1, Chapter 2
  • Years later

    After bearing many sons Leah has a daughter, Dinah, and Rachel has her first child, Joseph.

    Part 1, Chapter 3
  • Years later

    Jacob leaves with his family and flocks for his homeland, Canaan.

    Part 2, Chapter 2
  • Months later

    Jacob is welcomed by his elder brother, Esau, and sets up his home in Canaan.

    Part 2, Chapter 4
  • Years later

    Dinah has her first blood ritual in the red tent, marking her passage to womanhood.

    Part 2, Chapter 6
  • Months later

    Dinah learns the skills of midwifery from Rachel.

    Part 2, Chapter 6
  • Months later

    Dinah and Shalem fall in love, but Shalem is murdered by Dinah's brothers.

    Part 2, Chapter 7
  • Hours later

    Dinah curses her father and brothers and leaves their tribe.

    Part 2, Chapter 8
  • Months later

    In Egypt Dinah bears a son and agrees to raise him as an Egyptian.

    Part 3, Chapter 1
  • Years later

    Dinah befriends Meryt, and they begin to work together as midwives.

    Part 3, Chapter 2
  • Years later

    Dinah marries the woodworker Benia and continues to practice midwifery.

    Part 3, Chapter 3
  • Years later

    Dinah meets Joseph for the first time in 20 years.

    Part 3, Chapter 4
  • Days later

    Dinah tells her tragic story to Benia and Meryt.

    Part 3, Chapter 5
  • Years later

    Dinah goes with Joseph to see Jacob and learns that her family has not forgotten her story.

    Part 3, Chapter 5
  • Years later

    Dinah dies and meets the spirits of her mother, aunts, and ancestors.

    Part 3, Chapter 5

Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Prologue The spirit of Dinah speaks to modern readers. Dinah talks about how she has become a footnote in the Bible, a person wit... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 1 Rachel runs into her father, Laban's, camp and exclaims that at the well she met a man who said he wants to marry her. R... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 2 During their betrothal Jacob often talks with Rachel and flatters her. Jacob relates how he became his mother, Rebecca's... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 3 Because of her barrenness Rachel becomes depressed. Bilhah suggests a solution by offering to bear a son by Jacob in Rac... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 1 As a child Dinah is well loved by her mother, Leah, and by her three aunts, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah. Dinah grows clos... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 2 Jacob feels restless with the desire to leave Laban and has dreams in which El urges him to go to his homeland, Canaan. ... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 3 Jacob leads his family on the journey toward Canaan. On the road Inna meets Jacob and begs him to let her join his famil... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 4 Esau's eldest son, Eliphaz, informs Jacob that his father and his tribe are coming. Jacob still worries about Esau attac... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 5 Jacob brings his family to meet his mother, Rebecca, at the barley festival. Dinah is dazzled by Rebecca's tent, which s... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 6 When Dinah returns from Rebecca's place to her home, she feels dissatisfied with everything, including the men's crude m... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 7 Leah travels with her daughter Dinah to Shechem, the city where Hamor is king. Dinah is awed by the sights and sounds of... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 8 When Dinah returns to her home, Leah is horrified to see her covered in dried blood. She and her sisters wash Dinah, who... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 1 Nehesi, Re-nefer's steward, carries Dinah into the palace in Shechem. He is the only male who survived the massacre carr... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 2 After Dinah's son leaves for school, Dinah feels an aching loneliness in her life. She spends most of her days helping w... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 3 Benia brings a beautiful box he made to Nakht-re's house, a gift for Dinah. However, Dinah makes no response to Benia's ... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 4 Re-mose visits his mother, Dinah, and asks her to help deliver the child of his master's wife. The wife has had several ... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 5 Dinah returns to her house and enjoys with renewed appreciation her home and loved ones, including her husband, Benia, a... Read More
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