Friday, November 4, 2011

Pearl In The Sand - Tessa Afshar

At age 15, Rahab is forced into a life of prostitution (termed zonah in both the Old and New Testaments) by her father in order to help save her family during desperate times.  Rahab detests the thought of this life-style, knowing it is not right and thus decides that instead of having many lovers, she would take men on a contractual basis for up to three months or more at a time and so begins her "inn" in the walls of Jericho.  Through all of this she learns to distrust men and hates herself for what she's become.  After saving the lives of the two Israelite spies, she makes them promise to save her and her family, when Israel conquers Jericho (this is a familiar story to any bible reader).  Once Jericho is conquered, and Rahab and her family are safe, they decide to join the Israelites.  Rahab and her family are put into the tribe of Judah, under the respected leader, Salmone.  As the story unfolds, we see a stormy relationship develop between Rahab and Salmone, but much like the walls of Jericho, the emotional turmoil falls and the true source of each other's worth in God and healing from fear and rejection are born. 

Afshar created a beautifully woven story, based on biblical and archaeological sources, whenever possible and she stresses that this is a fictional story based on a historical woman who holds great importance for both Jews and Christians. The Hebrew Bible discloses that after the destruction of Jericho, Rahab settles in Israel permanently, but we aren't given further details about her life.  Outside of the story of the destruction of the walls of Jericho, the only other mention of Rahab is in one portion of a verse in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus.

This is a tender tale of restoration, Godly love and forgiveness.  I highly recommend this book!

Thank you Moody Publisher's for the complimentary copy of this book for my review.

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