Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: Reign - A Story of Jezebel

It is an age old story – a young woman is given to a man not of her choosing; they share nothing in common but this; they worship differently; their countries differ in status; and yet they are thrown together to make the best of it. Can good come of this union – possibly. But this is the story of Jezebel of Phoenicia and Ahab of Israel, and it is hard for many to view this story for what it is without any prior (Biblical) misconceptions.

We begin with Jezebel as 12yo (886BC) participating in the ritual sacrifices of the day in her native Phoenicia. She reflects on her earlier life – of her mistreatment at the hands of her own family and those around her, and of her growing dedication to the religion of her people – this will be her strength.

Four years later Jezebel is betrothed to Ahab, Prince of Israel (882BC) – it is a union welcomed by neither Jezebel nor Ahab – but it is a union between two nations. And so the story interweaves from the viewpoint of the three main characters – Jezebel, Ahab and Obidaiah (servant to Ahab). 

We are taken through the familiar Biblical stories of the introduction of the priests of Jezebel; the struggle of Ahab between accommodating his new wife’s religion and the constant need to please the prophet and God of Israel. Jezebel slowly begins to feel her strength when both she and Ahab ascend to the throne of Israel. But for Ahab, the internal conflict only increases between his duty to his country and his religion – can they both co-exist.

As she tells us, Jezebel had given everything for a throne - and what she hadn't given was taken from her. Whilst Ahab is depicted as a weak ruler, sinking ever deeper into a melancholy – hovering between his loyalty to his God or his country - Jezebel takes on his role as ruler and has strength to follow her convictions in the face of opposition. Jezebel takes more of a leading role, making decisions that Ahab is afraid to make (the story of Naboth’s garden is a prime example) – that which he covets but cannot obtain, Jezebel obtains. 

Events take place from the marriage of Jezebel and Ahab to the point of Ahab’s death – and this is where Jezebel leaves us – with a footnote from the author as to her future.

I have enjoyed this new look at a woman who has been tarred with the same brush as Eve – it is an intriguing story of how this woman came to be – and what drove her.

"Ginger Garrett is the author of the Chronicles of the Scribes series (In the Shadow of Lions, In the Arms of Immortals, In the Eyes of Eternity), Wolves Among Us, Chosen, Desired, Dark Hour, and Beauty Secrets of the Bible. Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther was recognized as one of the top five novels of 2006 by the ECPA.

Focusing on ancient women's history, Ginger creates novels and nonfiction resources that explore the lives of historical women. A frequent media guest and television host, Ginger has been interviewed by Fox News, Billy Graham's The Hour of Decision, The Harvest Show, 104.7 The Fish Atlanta, and many other outlets."

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