Egypt (Chapter 1)

Dinah is rescued from the gate of the city Shechem by Re-nefer’s manservant, Nehesi (the only man who survived Simon and Levi’s deadly attack), and he brings the girl to his mistress. Dinah is surprised that her mother-in-law does not hate her for the destruction and death caused to her house; Re-nefer only blames herself for arranging the love between Shalem and Dinah. The three flee Canaan and return to Egypt, the land of Re-nefer’s birth. On the way, Dinah is wracked by fitful nightmares of the death of her husband, and Nehesi warns Dinah to rid herself of her dreams. Re-nefer forces Dinah to agree to her version of the events that have transpired, and the three reach Thebes to beg the hospitality of Re-nefer’s brother, Nakht-re, and his wife, Herya. Nakht-re takes pity on his sister and opens his home to them. Re-nefer realizes that Dinah no longer bleeds with the new moon, and Dinah’s pregnancy sparks delight in the household, which has not seen a baby for some time. Herya gives Dinah a statue in the form of Taweret, a water goddess that ensures an easy labor, and Dinah smiles at a memory of Inna, who told her once that this goddess would be her guide.

When the time comes for Dinah’s delivery, she does not expect to have any trouble—after all, she has seen so many births during her time assisting Rachel and Inna. However, her womb is too tight to pass the baby, so she demands that the Egyptian midwife Meryt cut her open. Meryt frees the baby, whose neck is caught by the umbilical cord; upon his first breath, the women rejoice. Dinah wants to name the baby Bar-Shalem after her husband, but Re-nefer informs Dinah that the baby’s name will be Re-mose in honor of her god Re and that the boy will be raised by her to become an Egyptian prince. Dinah will be allowed to be the boy’s nurse and he will also call her “Ma”; Dinah must accept this.

Re-mose and Dinah spend their days in the garden, and all in the household grow to love Re-mose and he to love them. Nakht-re and Re-nefer raise Re-mose to be a scribe and make plans to send him to the best school in Memphis. Upon his departure, Dinah weeps at the loss of her son, but Re-mose promises her that he will become a great man and provide her with a house and the biggest garden in the area. He leaves, and once again Dinah feels alone.