Egypt (Chapter 4)

More than a year after Dinah received the last message from her son, Re-mose, he appears at her door and implores her to return to Thebes to serve as midwife to As-naat, the wife of his master, the vizier Zafenat Paneh-ah. Wishing to honor her son, Dinah goes with him, and As-naat safely delivers a little boy whom they name Menashe. The next morning, Dinah falls dreadfully ill with fever, and a large woman named Shery cares for her. When Dinah becomes conscious, she inquires about the baby. Shery assures her that he is healthy and ravenous. Shery then tells Dinah stories about her master the vizier, for whom she has obvious scorn. The vizier is from Canaan, and it is rumored that he was sold into slavery and used by his master for his own pleasure. Upon finding the slave in bed with his wife, the master sent him to prison. Being clever, the slave earned himself the favor of the warden and eventually climbed the ranks until he worked in service of the king. When Shery tells Dinah that the vizier demanded that the baby be circumcised, Dinah realizes that the vizier is her brother Joseph.

Shery reports this conversation to Re-mose, who has been keeping an eye on his mother, and Re-mose confronts Zafenat Paneh-ah with the information. Re-mose demands that the vizier tell him all that he knows about the supposed death of his sister, Dinah, and the vizier submits. Joseph says that he used to blame his sister for all his misfortunes but that he has since learned forgiveness and wishes to pay homage at her grave. Re-mose then reveals that Dinah is alive and in the palace and that she is his own mother. Re-mose is devastated by the truth of his birth and ancestry, so he threatens Joseph’s life to avenge his father’s death.

Dinah demands counsel with the vizier. When she confronts her brother, all they feel are the ghosts of the past. Joseph promises that no harm will come to Dinah’s son if she convinces him to travel north to the sea and take a new master. Dinah knows that any threat made on Joseph’s life by her son will end fatally, so she agrees to send him away even though she will never see him again. Dinah goes to her son with her orders and asks forgiveness for the troubles that his parentage have brought him. She also asks that he always remember his mother’s blessing. She leaves him feeling brokenhearted yet free.