Several kings broke covenant with the Lord by worshipping foreign gods and marrying foreign wives, and this led to the collapse of the Divided Kingdom in BC and the ten lost Northern tribes of Israel, followed by the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem and the Babylonian Exile in BC. King Jehoshaphat was King of Judah for twenty-five years circa BC and served the Lord, but in his attempt to forge alliances with the Kings of Israel, he went astray.
The Prayer of Jehoshaphat led to God's miraculous intervention in a war and is noteworthy for calling Abraham the "friend of God" in 2 Chronicles - "Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? The book ends with the deportation of the people of Judah and Jerusalem to Babylon and the decree of King Cyrus of Persia to allow the Israelites to return to Jerusalem in Judah.
The prophet Jeremiah is recorded four times in Chapters of Second Chronicles. Of historical note, Charlemagne AD echoed King Josiah 2 Chronicles when he read aloud to his court at Aachen the Laws of the Church in his establishment of Christianity as the guiding principle of his Carolingian Empire. The passage of Second Chronicles is repeated in Ezra to indicate continuity. The central role of worship in the lives of God's people is conveyed in dedication to the Temple of Jerusalem as the House of the Lord, and to the Law of Moses.
King James I commissioned a group of Biblical scholars in to establish an authoritative translation of the Bible from the ancient languages and other translations at the time, and the work was completed in The original King James Bible included the Apocrypha but in a separate section. A literary masterpiece of the English language, the original King James Bible is still in use today. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel. The length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.
And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast. And he made an hundred basins of gold. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God; 12 To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars; 13 And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.
And there it is unto this day. So the house of the LORD was perfected. So she turned, and went away to her own land, she and her servants. And all the kings of Arabia and governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. And the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. There was not the like made in any kingdom. So Jeroboam and all Israel came and spake to Rehoboam, saying, 4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee. And the people departed.
So all Israel went to their tents.
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But king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. And the ships were broken, that they were not able to go to Tarshish. And his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. The presence of the gods gives the book a mythical slant.
All aspects of the scenery are drawn with startling clarity: the earth is nearly personified, the contours of the country are outlined, and bodies of water are lovingly detailed. Not only thwarted by waves of angry Picts, Irish, and Britons, Aedan and Columba also struggle with the land and its spirits in their work to create what will become known as Scotland. The luminous locale makes it clear what the heroes are fighting for.
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The three parts of the story race along like a well-structured play, with transitions between sections that are smooth and coherent. Gritty, realistic details capture sixth-century Ireland and Scotland. Battle scenes teem with action, as does the race to find Fiachna before those who seek to kill him do. The women produce the expected plethora of sons, a further source of distraction for Aedan as he sends his children separately to safety. While there is predictable rancor, betrayal, and arguing about and among the women, such relationships are set aside for more immediate concerns.
Romance remains secondary to the quest. The book brims with polished prose and well-characterized main characters, although more complete physical descriptions of the main characters would be welcome. The young prince Fiachna, destined to be the ruler of all, arrives late in the story, though he is drawn with appeal. Just a quick post to tell you that the 3rd book in my series, called The Chronicles of Iona: Island-Pilgrim , has just been published!
The story begins a few months after the events in Prophet. With his old friend Columba, he works to restore peace to his new kingdom. I loved writing this one. It allowed me to revisit all the places in Northern Ireland and Donegal which I have adored over the years, and connect with wonderful people there. Book 4, provisionally entitled Island-Soldier and already underway, will take up where this one leaves off.
After 1, years in the grave, St. Columba has had a glorious resurgence this past month. In case you missed the news, featured in many news outlets in the U. A team led by archaeologists Drs. The hazel charcoal, possibly from a wattle hut, were dated to the years A. In other words, contemporaneous with Columba, who died in It is hard to understate the importance of this radiocarbon date.
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We know from early medieval documentary sources that on Iona Columba had two buildings set aside for his personal use. One was the cell where he slept. The other was the hut where he worked. In this small building, set apart and slightly above the main part of the monastery, Columba could write in relative peace while still keeping an eye on what was going on down below. His man cave, if you like. Embed from Getty Images. But while we know it existed, we do not know where it stood.
That is, we have our educated guesses, but almost nothing remains from that very first phase of monastic occupation. The dig carried out in by the eminent archaeologist and historian Professor Charles Thomas helped narrow down the search radius, suggesting that that first monastery lies beneath the current abbey church, as one might expect. Professor Thomas took samples from there, including the now famous piece of hazel charcoal, and then the artefacts from his dig were shelved in his garage and other places to wait for technology to help out.
Earlier this year, technology did. Radiocarbon analysis dated the hazel charcoal to between and A. Since hearing the news, two things have stuck in my mind. The first appeals to the novelist in me. And that is what a great story this is, in and of itself. Imagine it. You love Iona. You specialize in Iona. You hear that a revered colleague, the eminent archaeologist who carried out THE dig on Iona 60 years ago, has artefacts from that excavation squirreled away in his garage or, to be fair to Professor Thomas, meticulously preserved in his garage.
Because you know it could be big. Very big. He takes you out to his garage, pulls the boxes down off the shelf, dusts them off with loving care, gingerly opens them to the light of day—and your eyes alight on the same little object, a seemingly insignificant dusty old lump of charcoal.
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Because you know, as does he. You know that we now have the technology to get to the bottom of this mystery once and for all. A radiocarbon test, commonplace now, could tell us very easily: did this piece of wattle walling come from a building that Columba might have worked in, helped to build?
What a fabulous whodunit. It makes me want to run out to my own barn and root around in the stuff I have stored there in the hopes of uncovering my own game-changer, my own, very big, little bit of history. If you have anything like that in your garage, I encourage you: have at it. Right now.
The second aspect of this wonderful news excites the historian in me. And that is just how good a piece of evidence this is. Considering that so very little survives from the 6 th -century monastic occupation of Iona, this is nearly as good as it gets. Better would be proof that the hut was indeed a scriptorium and not just an ancillary building of the monastery. Think about it. Or where he thought it would be a good idea to start keeping note of important events that had transpired in his immediate political sphere, thus creating what we call the Chronicle of Iona , a core text of a number of later medieval annals which form our main source of information for the early history and society of Ireland and Scotland.
In other words, where two of the fundamental genres of early medieval writing and historiography may have been dreamt up. As historians and writers, or simply people who have an interest in the past, we make assumptions about how people lived their days based on the evidence we have to hand. We build up pictures in our minds, and populate them, and animate them, like movies made just for us. Columba , St. Dear Friends. I love it! The long sword, the medieval abbey of Iona, the antique map underlay—it definitely sets the scene. If you have a moment, please visit the Facebook page at Wydawnictwokropla and give it a like!
Great news! Watch this space for more information! Invariably, the time comes for a road trip. Out come the hiking boots, the Barbour jacket, the Ordnance Survey maps, and the completed manuscript. And to scout out new settings. In this case, it meant a revisit to a part of the world I already know a little and love a lot: Northern Ireland.
What a fabulous week! The site has always impressed me. Picture a great hill fort on a ridge overlooking a vast bay, a natural harbor. And that inner bay leading out by way of a narrow channel to a magnificent outer bay. Estuarine sands and shale, shifting.
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Mud flats. Sea birds everywhere. To the north, farmland, undulating and fertile: the thing you are protecting. You can peel back layers of history here, just as you can all over the North of Ireland. The Gaels called Dundrum home. Then the Normans. It passed to the Earls of Ulster, and then back to the Irish, and so on. All because of where it sits. County Down is St. Through these thought-leaders, these ambassadors of peace, the world was connected, north, south, east and west, and a cultural revolution swept across Europe. More importantly, I have fallen in love again with Northern Ireland and its people.
But, my goodness, novels do take their time. What moves you? Who and what would you like to see more of? Who and what less? Not much time now. No time to race to them through the crush, to intercede, to spare them death from those hacking swords. Except … they are no longer boys. They are not as they are now. They are men. Noble, valiant, vibrant men, in the prime of their lives; vital and strong. Look at them on their bright steeds! At the fore of the vanguard, laughing! Just as their father Aedan had taught them. Just as he had done. None more dear.
These boys? These men! They are invincible! No spear can reach them, no arrow; certainly not those horrible, relentless blades. They are safe from harm. Free from pain. Blood clings to their beautiful faces. They stumble and fall. Their enemies have them now. They ring around them, prodding them; taunting and laughing.
He is too far away to save them. He will not be able to reach them in time. A scream is choking him. He tries to push it out, but his throat is so tightly constricted with fear that he can only gurgle. He forces himself to breathe, gasping in air as he looks around wildly. Some of his panic abates: he knows this place, Deo Gratias! He is in his little sleeping hut. On Iona. Here is the smooth oval sea-stone he uses as a pillow, here his serviceable blanket; all around him the tightly interlocking masonry of the curving walls of his cell, damp now with morning mist but not cold.
Sea breezes whistle through the cracks. He remembers when they built it: after the magna domus , the needs of his men coming before his own, but before his beloved scriptorium. There is no morning light yet leaking around the doorframe … but there is movement in the shadows. Dear God! The half-light, there in the corner, is shimmering. Sheets of light and of dark macabrely dance. He may feel as if he is awake, but he is still between worlds, caught between sleep and true wakefulness.