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Author Archive | Dave Parks

01.2 Invaded – 1188

“Hear that?” “What? You’ve been out here too long. You’re jumpy.” Mikey smothered a gasp. The soldiers spoke Aramaic, the language of his village. Ten chariots rolled past carrying men with swords, spears, and broad axes. On the side of each chariot, light from the fire showed a yellow-winged torch on a blood-red background, the […]

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Crown Award Entry

ELIJAH tries to rescue a slave girl from a whore house but finds a knife at his throat. He reaches to pull a baby from a Moloch furnace but gets beaten bloody. “Help me learn sword fighting,” he asks big brother NATHAN, “so we can rescue slave girls.” Instead of attending sword school, Elijah hikes […]

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09 The King is dead – 1100

Obadiah stood with Ahab and Jehoshaphat outside Ramoth in Gilead. “Where are your royal robes, my king?” Ahab tipped his head toward Jehoshaphat. “The king of Judah deserves the glory for the victory we’re about to share. He’ll wear his royal robes from Jerusalem while I fight in the thick of it in disguise.” Biah […]

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Biblical English

“Why don’t you use Biblical English?” I can’t find it. I looked in four centuries. 1910 Beatrix Potter? “Oh, do let’s.” 1811 Jane Austen ? “It is a truth universally acknowledged….” 1611 King James? “I am sore distressed….” 850 BC? I tapped Elijah on the shoulder. I was expecting something like, “I don’t care what your name […]

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Elders of the land – 70?

The “elders of the land” (evidently present in Samaria at this time) were the representatives in the northern kingdom of the ancient assembly of the “elders of Israel,” existing from the time of Moses downwards as a senate, having power not only of advice, but of concurrence, in relation to the Judge or King. (See Exodus […]

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Jordan Valley Birds

Sorry for the late reply. I do have two half-post that deals with birding in the Jordan River Valley, which can be seen here: The second half of this post: https://israelsgoodname.blog/2018/06/10/university-trip-golan-bet-shean-valley/ The first half of this post: https://israelsgoodname.blog/2018/06/17/university-trip-bet-shean-valley-agamon-hefer/ There is definitely room for more posts on the matter. And, to address you choice, there are owls in […]

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Capital in Jezreel or Samaria?

where was Ahab’s capital? Fort Jezreel or Samaria? Was Samaria only a summer retreat? Why a palace in Samaria and in Jezreel? [what cities did Ben-hadad Sr. steal from Omri? Does Ahab still rule the Valley? 1 Kngs. 15:20 Ben-hadad agreed with King Asa and …conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maakah and all Kinnereth in addition to […]

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Bleach in the sky

  A bubbler returns Stars disappeared one by one. Rocks and trees took shape in the morning mist. When he completed his huge circle and poked his head out onto the road again, bleach had hit the sky and washed away the last bit of night.   Gwen:  “I don’t think they had bleach back […]

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The race

Uncle Marvin’s line almost made it into the “When to boast” chapter. Jephunneh fell in beside an old man leading a donkey with clusters of pots, shovels, and axes tied on the packsaddle. “The Lord be with you, sir.” “The Lord bless you, young man.” The man narrowed his eyes. “Fine day for the race.” […]

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Dead Sea Scrolls

Why didn’t Elijah stop and see the Dead Sea scrolls? He and Nathan went right by Qumran. They even had a discussion at the turnoff:   At the Qumran intersection, Elijah stopped. “So, why am I still going south?” He looked across the Dead Sea and up the turnoff to Qumran. Then back up the road to Jericho. […]

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Fluffy towels

“Shillem tossed in an armload of dry clothes with two big fluffy towels, and Elijah and Nathan rubbed off the cold rain.”   “Sounds delightful, but did they really have fluffy towels back then?” – Pam Green

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God’s voice vs. Satan’s

God’s voice:                                       Satan’s voice: stills                                                     rushes reassures                                             frightens leads                                                    pushes enlightens                                            confuses forgives                                               condemns calms                                                   stresses encourages                                          discourages comforts                                              worries

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Lunge for the slaver?

How should Elijah’s dad have handled the slaver? Jump up fighting? Make a lunge for his knife? “I’m so sorry to say this, but I didn’t find this realistic at all. If my child was being held seconds from death, I would be hard-pressed to play ‘dominant’ and approach. Not without a sure reason I […]

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To rescue girls or not?

Should Elijah, Nathan, and their dad try to rescue the slave girls on the King’s Highway or not? “Man, I’m disappointed in Elijah. These little girls chained in misery, and he’s rubbing a little nick. I thought he had purposely positioned his donkeys in the way of the camels and girls to confront them, but […]

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Thickets of the Jordan

Ch. 29 A few miles upstream from Jericho Elijah followed Nathan into the reeds. Nathan handed him chunks of Shillem’s bread and cheese. “What will you do in the thickets of the Jordan?4 We will hide.”   ‎Jeremiah 12:5 about 600 BC (!) Maybe do a Bunny Trail exploring if Jeremiah used a popular phrase.

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The Man Born to be King

Every Easter for some years there was a repetition of her radio series, The Man Born to be King, not to the delight of everyone, as it was written in the modern idiom, with lots of slang expressions and Mary Magdalene just another regulation tart with a heart of gold.

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Did Elijah blaspheme?

“What’s the matter with you, Lord? [Too insulting to the Lord.] Why don’t you bring your finger down here and smush those slavers?” Elijah opened the gate to the donkey pen. Streaks of light shot over the hill east of the vines. The feed trays held small drifts of hay, and the narrow stream through the […]

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POV change

The easiest way to orient the reader to the new POV character is to begin with a physical action anchor. Include a short sequel from the last scene we saw the POV character in (especially if something important happened and we need their reaction) and state the scene goal (which is often related to the sequel). eems like a lot? You […]

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Bubbler Shopping — by Miss Darcy

Here’s a few random thoughts before I shut down the computer for the night. 🙂 So, the purchasing problem could possibly be solved by the wives or family members. They just continue to buy normal groceries, probably with funds from Mrs. O, but secretly bring them to a certain drop-off point in their village, and […]

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A letter to mother

On their way back to the widow’s house, Nathan walked next to Zim. “The professor says you’re an excellent student.” “It’s true, Mr. Nathan. I study every lesson. All the way through and back again until I get it, really get it.” “So, how’d you become such a scholar, anyway?” “I’m only eight years old, […]

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Action Beats

Getting Dialogue Right: How to Use Dialogue Tags and Action Beats An Easy Way to Immediately Improve Your Character’s Action Beats Do You Use Too Many Generic Action Tags?

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Housing

“The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone;the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.” Ancient Israelite House [sic]”If one were to walk through the front door they might see a child lying in a hammock wrapped in swaddling clothes, and a woman seated at her […]

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Undignified

Nicknames?

Why do you use nicknames and short titles? Because this is fiction, not history, not Bible. The historians who wrote Kings and Chronicles used full names and titles like Elijah, Nathan, and Father. This fiction mixes in Lijah, Nate, and Dad. Yes, short names do make them sound undignified at times. And they’re okay with […]

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Obadiah Outline

The Need 09 Jar of Fish – Abdel is killed 10 The Beginning – Obadiah discovers the murder 11 Bubblers – Jezebel’s men target bubblers The Solution 17 Bubblers Prep – Mrs. O goes to market 18 Bubblers Send – Shelemiah sends 17 to Megiddo 19 Bubblers Shop – Mrs. O sets up shopping system […]

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Catering

The grandfather of the local raven family flew into Jabesh and perched high in the city’s tallest tree while his flock hid among the leaves. The smell of fresh bread drifted up. He called and pointed his beak toward an open window. A young bird with a pink mouth swooped in, picked up a pita […]

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Herring?

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/recipe/herring-and-onions/ https://anthrochef.blog/2018/04/03/quick-pickled-fish-and-chopped-salad/ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/241656280_Pickled_fish_from_the_Egyptian_Nile_Osteological_evidence_from_a_Byzantine_Coptic_context_at_Shanhur https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fesikh

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Why so young?

Why so young?

Elijah started young because he had a 36-year span of work. King Ahab, 874-853 = 22 years – “neither dew nor rain” King Ahaziah, 853-852 = 2 years – “die in your bed” King Joram, 852-841 = 12 years – “bowels will drop out” Total reigns = 36 years In the 9th Century, BC, most people died […]

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Pam on Joshabiah’s POV

I read about a page and a half, puzzling about the feeling that this was the same scene I’d just read, told differently. Then I realized you were telling it from Joshabiah’s POV. Although it’s very common to alternate POVs in a story, I wasn’t expecting it, so I was confused. Will you be using […]

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A Checklist for Vivid Writing

ENVIRONMENT What is the weather/temperature/climate What kind of lighting is present What time of day is it What time of year is it SETS Indoors : What is the type and size of the room/enclosure she is occupying? How is it furnished? Outdoors: What is the terrain (hilly, marshy, rocky, lush, dusty, etc)? What plants, […]

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NowWhat

Now what?

What should Elijah do? Up on the ridge, Elijah hid in the bushes with Nathan beside him. In the village below, two men in black tunics came out of the tiny Tishbe bakery munching on fresh bread. Their left shoulders bore the pink insignia of the Kronos idol spitting flames. The Tishbe potter headed toward […]

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Songbirds

I searched for songbirds in Israel and found this delightful blog. So I emailed, “Can you please tell me what bird songs might have been heard near Jabesh of Gilead in the time of Elijah?” 20 minutes later: Hello Dave, It’s quite hard to be sure of the local avian population, especially without giving a […]

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What are you doing here?

Elijah barely got into the desert when he forgot his promise to come back for Nathan. “Just let me die, okay, Lord? Maybe that way Jezebel will leave my mother alone.” He curled up in the shade of a broom bush and went to sleep. Three hours later an angel touched his arm. “Have a […]

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Silver

Coins — small, flat, (usually) round pieces of metal used to buy and sell, came into the Middle East a few centuries after Elijah. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_money https://www.lds.org/friend/1994/09/from-cows-to-coins-money-in-the-old-testament?lang=eng confirms that there were no coins as early as 870, just chunks or ingots. This one is much more superficial, but with some useful information. Keep in mind that references in […]

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Moloch מלכ

The first author in the Bible who condemned child sacrifice wrote in Leviticus 18:21. Many others followed. Assuming Jezebel from Sidon influenced Ahab’s worship of Baal, Ahab’s method of child sacrifice could have followed this 4th Century BC description from Sidon . There stands in their midst a bronze statue of Kronos, its hands extended […]

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Ahab vs. Obadiah

Obadiah, the king’s chief of staff, came in and stood before King Ahab. “You sent for me?” “Just have a seat and watch.” Two guards came in with Artsa1, the accountant, between them. “You sent for me?” Ahab pointed to a stack of financial accounts. “Several entries don’t add up.” Artsa gulped. Obadiah touched his […]

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Kronos

http://aregularelijah.com/moloch/ Cleitarchus = Clitarchus = Kleitarchos (ca. 310-300 BC) This writer was one of the popular biographers of Alexander, and wrote ca. 310-300 BC. His words are found in the Scholia to Plato’s Republic, I, 337A (ed. Bekker, vol. 9, p.68): Κλείταρχος δέ φησι τοὺς Φοίνικας, καὶ μάλιστα Καρχηδονίους, τὸν Κρόνον τιμῶντας, ἐπάν τινος μεγάλου κατατυχεῖν σπεύδωσιν, εὔχεσθαι […]

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Gideon

Judges 7:1 …Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod…. Have you seen the Well of Harod? Please tell us about it. Nathan waited for Elijah at the Well of Harod. The Well of Harod How does Harod look today? Send a picture.

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Trumpets

Yom Teruah יְוֹם תְּרוּעָה “day of shouting or blasting.” “In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.” Leviticus 23:24, 25  

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Modern language

Please let me know if words don’t fit the period. I know better than to ask Elijah to discuss helicopters or syringes. But “munchies” and “certifiable” did slip into early drafts. My friend, Ava, says I jolt her with “literary whiplash.” So, I try to avoid words that do not fit the era. Partly to keep from […]

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By the rivers of Babylon – Psalm 137:1-6

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall […]

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Jair, buried in Kamon

On their way out of Gilead, at sundown, Elijah and Nathan, stopped in a grove outside Kamon, where the judge, Jair, was buried. “… Jair of Gilead, who led Israel twenty-two years. He had thirty sons, who rode thirty donkeys. They controlled thirty towns in Gilead, which to this day are called Havvoth Jair. When Jair died, he was buried […]

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Shibboleth

  Shibboleth – pronounced shibboleth (שִׁבֹּלֶת) east of the river, but pronounced sibboleth (סִבֹּלֶת) west of the river. Read the story in the book of Judges, Chapters 11-12 It happened in 1097 BC, about 223 years before Elijah first talked with King Ahab, about 874 BC    

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Tishbe - Elijah the Tishbite from Tishbe lived in the region of Gilead, home of the two Israeli tribes Gad and Manasseh.

Jabbock River

Here Elijah’s ancestor Jacob met Esau and struggled with the angel. He crossed the Jabbok on his way from Haran into Canaan. The Jabbok flows west into the Sukkot Valley across from Shechem. The biblical cities of Zaretan and Adam lie at the mouth of this valley. This river separated the territory of Reuben and […]

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Jabesh City

http://aregularelijah.com/jabesh-gilead-location/ Jabesh (YAH-besh יבש) was a town on the east bank of the Jordan River, overlooking the Yarmuk River from the top of one of the many green hills of Gilead. People in Jabesh could look across the Jordan River and see the city of Beth-shan on the west bank. Jabesh-Gilead Wiki King Saul in 1 […]

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What exodus?

One hole I remember — what kind of archeological trail should such an event have left I don’t recall the exact language off the top of my head, but Exodus states that about 600K Israelite men set out on the march out of Egypt.  Double that for wives, children and camp followers and you have […]

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Yellowhammer

Yellowhammer

The black-and-yellow-spotted Yellowhammer (Emberiza Citrinella) inspired several poems, including “The Yellowhammer’s Nest” by John Clare. The melody of its song influenced the compositions of Beethoven.

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King’s Highway

The King’s Highway was a trade route from Egypt across the Sinai Peninsula to Aqaba, north to Damascus and the Euphrates River. The modern highways 35 and 15 follow this route across Jordan from Aqaba to Irbid.

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Shirts?

Tunic

What did Elijah wear under that moth-eaten old goatskin? In 871 BC, the closest thing to a modern shirt was the tunic or כֻּתֹּנֶת koo-TOE-net. Most hung from neck to ankles and tied at the throat. Anat Harrel gave me a heads up. “The proper pronunciation of tunic in Hebrew is koo-toe-net — koo as […]

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Wineskins

The skin of a mature goat holds 30 to 40 liters. A liter of wine weighs 1 kilogram, about 2.2 lbs. So Elijah and Nathan lifted wineskins which weighed 30-40 kilos, or 66-88 lbs. The normal donkey load of two full goatskins weighed 60-80 kilos, or 132-198 lb. This modern rack and modern wineskin both […]

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