Whats better than a good saga? A Biblical Saga! 🙂
I had the chance recently to review, Return to Me, book #1 of The Restoration Chronicles by Lynn Austin. And I have to say, this was quite a joy to read. Focusing on the books of Nehemiah and Ezra, this tells the story of Iddo and Zechariah….My first thought was who is Iddo? Do you know him and his story? I know I was very unfamiliar with him myself; so I looked him up and learned something new. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia Iddo: “A seer (), or prophet (), whose prophecies were directed against Jeroboam (II Chron. ix. 29). In the Masoretic text his name occurs as (ketib) and (ḳeri). He is quoted also (ib.) as an authority on the lives of Solomon, Rehoboam (ib. xii. 15), and Abijah (ib. xiii. 22); his work being entitled the “Midrash of the Prophet Iddo” (ib., Hebr.). Iddo, on account of his prophecies against Jeroboam, has been identified by Josephus (“Ant.” viii. 8, § 5) and Jerome (“Quæstiones Hebraicæ,” to II Chron. xii. 15) with the prophet who denounced the altar of Jeroboam and who was afterward killed by a lion (I Kings xiii.). Jerome identifies Iddo also with the Oded of II Chron. xv. 8.” Zechariah on the other hand was one of the Minor Prophets, to whom is attributed the collection of prophecies and apocalyptic visions constituting the book bearing his name. He was a son of Berechiah and a grandson of Iddo (Zech. i. 1), and was loosely called the son of Iddo (Ezra v. 1, vi. 14); the latter was possibly identical with the Iddo mentioned as high priest in Neh. xii. 4.” So now we know right?
I admit it is nice to read something fictional and fun that is also historical and powerful. A wonderful combination if you ask me. Did I mention the educational perks to reading this one> As a home educator, my kids are a bit young for this now, but books like this are a gem. Great for helping the children to really learn, and experience, history in a living way. 🙂
As I read, I was amazed at the richness and detail of Babylon, Jerusalem and the Promised Land itself – the steps the characters took – their path and challenges along the way. It is all so very real; it pulls you in so you really feel like you were there. It is full of the Jewish history; so much you can learn just there. While there were some questionable stories within this (would Zechariah marry a pagan for real?); there was also the adultery which was woven within. But perhaps that tied in more than I gathered, to the lesson in forgiveness which was also within the pages of this book. It was a fascinating read though; just do not expect it to align completely with all that is in the Bible. There is much that is left up to speculation when it comes to this story, scripturally speaking of course, and she does attempt to bring some life to it in her way. But all you can gain from the details, aside from this, regarding the laws and the life and the journey itself, is amazing. Truly captivating.
Relax and read. This is one that is beautiful; quite detailed and very well researched. It is not perfect; there are things that may or may not be accurate and questions that it raises but it is a fictional account and so long as you remember that, I am sure this is a read that will be enjoyed. Keep in mind too as you read, the underlying messages. Of His forgiveness and love and His promises for us all.