In 1964, we crossed Gilead, the home of Elijah, and drove through Israel’s Mandelbaum Gate.

Mandelbaum Gate

Like Elijah, we headed south out of Beersheba into the Negev, but unlike Elijah, we drove down Highway 40. We braked at a lonely desert driveway curving in from the east and spoke with the soldier posted at the intersection.

“Is this Kibbutz Sde Boker?”1“s-DAY boh-CARE”

“Yes. Is Sde Boker. Want see Ben Gurion?”

We waited with him at the corner and greeted the Prime Minister when he came out on his daily walk.

In the 1980s, Delphine and I lived at Biblical Tamar Park, an archaeology dig in the Arava.

Delphine Parks, DeWayne Coxon & Dave Parks in the Israeli Arava about 1983.

Elijah may have stopped at Tamar on his way to Mt. Horeb, but I never found graffiti, “Elijah was here – 864 BC.”

Biblical Tamar Park

Biblical Tamar Park in Israel

In recent years, Vickie and I taught in China at Tsinghua University and CTBU. We did not meet Elijah even at the Great Wall.

Vickie Parks and David Parks in Sichuan, China

Vickie and David Parks in Sichuan, China, 2006

Elijah showed up after we retired to a little subdivision in Lower Alabama with Vickie’s mom and the neighbor’s cat.

During my usual tour from Genesis to Revelation, I got stuck reading and rereading the books of Kings and Chronicles, fascinated with people like Ahab, Obadiah, and Elijah.

Was James 5:17 right? What would it look like for Elijah to be “a man subject to like passions as we are”? How would it work for him to be a normal guy?

Dave Parks

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2 Responses to

  1. Kitty Richards November 4, 2019 at 4:47 PM #

    This is awesome, thanks David. Niceto meet Vickie!

  2. Pat November 10, 2019 at 4:38 PM #

    Thanks, Dave, for sharing your inspiration for writing about Elijah. Your background makes your novel seem even more riveting.

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