38. Escape

38. Escape 849 BC En Gannim, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah pushed Yedidah into the dark of Shiphrah’s one doorway. “Stay back.” He touched the dagger at his side. The only light came from a tiny slice of moon. They should have pulled the ladder up onto the veranda. Obadiah snorted. As if Jehu’s men needed … Read more

26. Thrill

26. A Thrill of Hope 859 BC The Plaza, Samaria City, Israel Obadiah turned toward the city gate. “Gera!” The noonday sun showed a lad following Gera, puckered as if he whistled a tune. The chatter of the plaza buried any sound, yet the boy bounced to a beat. A thrill of hope stirred Obadiah’s … Read more

00. Prolog

Prologue Two centuries after David beheaded Goliath, Asa reigned in Jerusalem, and Baasha took the throne in the north. Commander Omri laid siege to Gibbethon, a city of the Philistines. The commander’s young son, Ahab, brought his friend, Obadiah, to help cheer for the troops.

15. Behind

15. Behind the Temple 864 BC The Plaza, Samaria City, Samaria Obadiah clapped Ahab on the shoulder. “Bring your guards. Give the elder from Bethel a behind-the-scenes look.” “What?” Ahab stiffened. The children were disappearing into the alley. Obadiah sidled up to Hiel. “I seem to remember a young prince who lured me away from … Read more

00. Summ

Summary 882 At eight years of age, OBADIAH and his friend AHAB visit the troops in their battle against Gibbethon of Philistia. When Ahab strikes SEBA the stable boy, Obadiah bloodies Ahab’s nose. Next day, Obadiah discovers Ahab feeding JEBUS, a homeless Philistine boy. A fishmonger warns Obadiah to “wake up.” 872 At eighteen, Obadiah … Read more

12. Basics

12. Business Basics 867 BC Shuthelah’s Courtyard, Samaria City, Samaria, Israel Obadiah accepted the tray from Elder Shuthelah and pushed the flat breads toward Ahab. “You’ve achieved your father’s dream. King Ethbaal gives us ports on the Great Sea, and we ship our goods to markets in the west. Sidon gets a peaceful frontier, and … Read more

21. Keren

21. Squelched by Keren 862 BC Gera’s Courtyard, Samaria City, Samaria, Israel Obadiah nudged Gera. “How long did Liev manage olive groves?” Gera pursed his lips. “Mmm… he worked the groves with me for six years.” Obadiah turned to Zak. “You know, if Liev found woolly worm or black scale, he showed us. He never … Read more

14. Facade

14. Facade 864 BC The Threshing Floor, Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah stooped and handed his driver a harness ring. The driver knelt with his forehead against the ribs of a chariot horse and clipped the ring in place. Zak and the other guards checked bits and bridles, blankets and harnesses. They would inspect … Read more

11. Kishion

11. Kishion 867 BC Kishion, Issachar, Israel Obadiah steadied himself against the ladder while his mother descended a rung at a time. In the fading light, her cheeks seemed dry, yet her eyes, red and swollen. His mother held him by the shoulders as she searched his face. “You came.” She wrapped him in a … Read more

06. Bodygds

06. Bodyguards for Obadiah 872 BC Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah wiped clammy hands on his robe. Haul two talents of silver? When he was seven years old, his father had wrapped twelve shekels of silver in a cloth and tucked the tiny ball into an inner pocket of Obadiah’s robe. “I need you … Read more

08 Gera

8. Gera the Grove Manager 872 BC Shemer’s Hill, Israel Obadiah turned at the lone oak tree on the south side of the hill. With his bodyguards, he left its spreading limbs and followed a narrow trail through five rows of olive trees. He stepped from his chariot and called across the courtyard, “Hello, the … Read more

07. Shemer

7. Shemer’s Hill Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel 872 BC Obadiah held his daughter while Yedidah locked the apartment door. He followed her through the hall, reminding her for the third time that morning, “I’ll only be gone a week.” They’d hugged a few times before they came out, so their goodbyes on the threshing … Read more

02. Pitas

Omri, the commander of the army. 1 Kings 16:16 2. Swiping Pita Bread 882 BC A Village Near Gibbethon, Philistia Obadiah edged closer to Ahab. “What are you hiding?” A twinkle in his eye, Ahab slid his open palm from his cloak. Empty. Obadiah flashed a big grin, set his half-eaten pita on his plate, … Read more

39. Dwell

39. Our Dwelling Place 849 BC Oak Grove, South of Mt. Tabor Obadiah glanced at Zak and the horses. Jericho. Had someone lifted Joshua’s curse? Hiel must be getting on in years. How could he receive this army of guests? No place by the river was safe from Jehu. Not Bethel, Gilgal, nor the fire-blackened … Read more

37. Heads

37. Seventy Heads in Two Piles 849 BC Megiddo-Beitshan Road, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah sagged against the doorjamb of Shiphrah’s one room. “But Ahab’s children are in Samaria.” Shiphrah raised shaky fingers to her forehead. “The general told the elders of Samaria City to come out and fight or send him the heads of Ahab’s … Read more

35. Bakery

35. Hiding in the Bakery 849 BC The Bakery, Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah scowled as Zak guided him down stairs and over to the bakery [Baby Omari] in the northeast corner. From the threshing floor, the sons of Seba and Jebus called, “See you later, Uncle Biah.” Zak joined Obadiah in a wave. … Read more

36. Care

36. In Shiphrah’s Care 849 BC The Bakery, Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah stabbed his arms into the robe from the baker and stooped to let the skirt cover his knees. A draft cooled his legs from the back. He slouched and gained a finger’s width of cover front and back. Yedidah stood next … Read more

04. Tall

(epigraphs, if I decide to use them, could go on a page before each chapter.) 4. From a Tall Chicken 872 BC Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah’s heart slapped his ribs. “Outta here!” He whacked Ahab’s horse. Shochar leaped ahead. Another arrow plunked in beside the first. Ahab flattened on Shochar and kicked him … Read more

01. Wrath

The army was encamped near Gibbethon, a Philistine town. 1 Kings 16:15 1. The Forcing of Wrath 882 BC A Village Near Gibbethon, Philistia Obadiah flew along the narrow path, his elbows gouging his friend, Ahab. As their sandals slapped the dirt, a brown hen squawked at the approaching danger. She collected her chicks into … Read more

25. Threat

25. Ben Hadad Threatens 859 BC The Palace Terrace, Samaria City, Israel Obadiah watched with Ahab as the stars over the eastern mountains faded. The rapid twitter of robins filled the plaza. Smoke from a thousand campfires mixed with the murmur of troops and drifted over the palace terrace. Silhouettes of men on horseback appeared … Read more

23. Misliya

23. The Misliya Cave Market, Megiddo, Israel 861 BC Obadiah dangled the empty prickly pear stick from his fingers. “Do I pray? Um, well.” He cleared his throat. “My conversations with the Lord may lack the poetry of David or Solomon. Sometimes I ask him to listen in on my thoughts.” Ruthie hunched her shoulders. … Read more

22. Pray

22. Do You Pray? Gera’s Courtyard, Samaria City, Samaria, Israel 862 BC Obadiah got to his feet and raised a hand against the elder’s words. “A cave? With all due respect, sir. You can’t stuff people into a hole in the ground. Narrow. Wet. Cold. No air.” The elder straightened behind his cane. “The Lord … Read more

17. Gilgal

17. The Cave of Gilgal 863 BC Jericho, Manasseh, Israel Obadiah jerked away. “You know who I am?” Hiel stiffened and took a deep breath. “That day behind the temple with those children on the chain, I saw you would defy the queen.” Obadiah sat bolt upright. Those words in Jezebel’s ears could turn his … Read more

10. Homewd

10. Homeward 867 BC Samaria City, Samaria, Israel Obadiah croaked out, “Father.” Was his father dead? Taken captive? Gallant’s chest heaved with ragged rasps. His head hung low. Lather rolled from his bridle, and sweat coursed his legs. Crowding past Obadiah, Zak laid a hand on the horse’s neck. He pointed at his men. “Water!” … Read more

13. Sanctry

13. Sanctuary 864 BC The Market, Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah crouched at the edge of the Fort Jezreel market and pulled a few pomegranates from the pile. The fruits were small with skin too tough to peel with thumb and finger. He patted the knife inside his cloak and raised an eyebrow to … Read more

16. Jericho

16. Jericho 863 BC The Jordan River Valley, Israel Obadiah and Yedidah arrived at the Jericho junction as the sun settled onto the mountains of Jerusalem. Yedidah rocked from foot to foot on the chariot deck. “I never thought I’d see The City of Palms.” “I’m glad you came.” Bodyguards reined in their mounts by … Read more

34. Brim

34. Fire and Brimstone 849 BC The Headquarters Roof, Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah closed his eyes against the afternoon sun and lay back next to Yedidah. He twitched a smile at her soft snore. With each “wake up” from the Lord, she had nudged him. Then, when the time was right, she helped … Read more

33. BuryKng

33. Burying Ahab [internal conflict for Biah]i 857 BC Samaria City, Israel Obadiah paused before the city gate as the long column of warriors parked their chariots in the hillside pavilion. He saluted the rear guard of five, then directed Ahab’s driver across the plaza to the palace. Hiel knelt with him in the brilliant … Read more

32. Dead

32. The King Is Dead 857 BC Ramoth, Gilead, Israel Obadiah rested a hand on Ahab’s chariot. “Biah!” General Jehu called from the darkness. Obadiah followed the voice and found Jehu by his chariot at the edge of the grove. “We leave no one behind, General. I need you to form teams. Bring our wounded … Read more

31. Ramoth

31. The Battle at Ramoth 857 BC Ramoth, Gilead, Israel Obadiah rode between the two kings, Ahab and Jehoshaphat, following the Jabbok River Valley toward Ramoth. The tread of infantry shook the earth ahead of them, while chariot horses and mounted archers clop-clopped behind them. Ahab tapped his shoulder. He wore armor the same cut … Read more

30. Clowns

30. Bring in the Clowns 857 BC Threshing Floor, Samaria City, Israel Obadiah followed the aroma of roasting beef and mutton in through the city gate. On the threshing floor, he turned from the harps and lyres and threaded through a happy, gossiping crowd. He sat with his bodyguards, with his back to the flails … Read more

29. Murder

29. Murder by Committee 858 BC Naboth’s Vineyard behind Fort Jezreel, Israel Obadiah followed Ahab and his bodyguards behind the fort’s kitchen. Ahab spoke over his shoulder. “The garden I want to show you is right up here.” “A garden, my king.” Obadiah’s lips trembled while ‘Your life for his life’ echoed in his head … Read more

27. Tirzah

27. The Battle of Tirzah Valley 859 BC The Plaza, Samaria City, Israel Obadiah stood with Mikayhu on the threshing floor and gazed across the hills toward Tirzah valley. Mikayhu pulled on Obadiah’s elbow. “You know the Lord’s got this, right, Uncle Biah?” Obadiah grunted. No way did the Lord have this. Instead of waiting … Read more

28. A Life

28. A Life for a Life 859 BC Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah stepped out the headquarters front door with Seba. “Can’t you take the singing?” They were hiding Mikayhu in the stable until they could sneak him into a cave. But maybe psalms would sound better in the kitchen. “Singing’s not the problem.” … Read more

24. Syrians

24. The Syrians Are Upon You. 859 BC Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah brushed wet hair from his forehead and opened his mouth to the slight drizzle misting the headquarters rooftop. “Thank you, Lord!” The rains had returned two years ago, including early afternoon showers from the Great Sea. A long peal of thunder … Read more

20. Mourn

20. A Time to Mourn 862 BC Gera’s Courtyard, Samaria City, Samaria, Israel Obadiah lifted his head when he heard, “There’s a time to mourn and a time to dance.” The voice belonged to old don’t-you-know Jamin, the elder from Shechem. A crowd of mourners milled around the courtyard, exchanging condolences and greetings. When the … Read more

19. BuryLiev

19. Burying Liev 862 BC The veranda of Gera, the grove manager, Samaria City, Samaria Obadiah retreated from the parapet. It was too soon to put Liev in the ground. Keren hadn’t heard Liev’s song. Little Eran and Zabad needed his hand on their shoulders, his counsel in their hearts. And Liev deserved to see … Read more

09. King

9. King Ahab 867 BC Samaria City, Samaria, Israel Obadiah nestled his back against the pillar of the open city gate. He faced King Ahab, standing in his white linen robe and purple headscarf with his back to the opposite pillar. Chariot wheels clanked on the plaza pavers as two rows of bodyguards funneled departing … Read more

05. Wife

05. Another Wife for Ahab 872 BC Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah stopped just inside the door. The king’s ‘New wife for Ahab’ rapped for attention but stepped aside for the gate guard’s whispered ‘wake up.’ Is that You, Lord? A servant with a broom hurried to him and swept up bits of grass … Read more

03. NoGards

(epigraph) In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king of Israel, and he reigned twelve years, six of them in Tirzah. 1 Kings 16:23 3. No Guards, No Race 872 BC Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah rode out the gate of the fort with Ahab at his side. “Where are … Read more

00. Blurb

Back of Book Blurb Obadiah bloodies Ahab’s nose when they are kids and races Prince Ahab on horseback when they are growing up. Together as adults, Obadiah and King Ahab stand against the invading Syrians. When Queen Jezebel kills the prophets, the Lord challenges Obadiah to wake up and hide these good men. Will he … Read more