Deborah, Shaping A Nation

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Deborah, Shaping A Nation

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Length: 197 pages3 hours


Genesis 35:8 in the Bible records the death and burial of Rebekah’s nurse, Deborah. How could a woman who was probably a slave, become so important to Isaac and Jacob’s family that her death and burial are recorded in Scripture? Retired United Methodist pastor Nova Wells was so fascinated that she created fiction to enhance the Genesis quotations from the NRSV Bible and tell Abraham’s family story from Deborah’s perspective.
Shaping A Nation begins when eight-year-old slave, Deborah is asked to “baby-sit” a toddler terror named Rebekah. Chapter Two shifts to Isaac, who is traveling in search of his half-brother Ishmael, somewhere in the Negeb. The novel exactly follows and quotes the Bible, bringing Rebekah and Deborah from Haran to Canaan so Rebekah can marry Isaac.
Extensive research was involved in the details of herbal treatments and living conditions during the Middle Bronze Age when Abraham was born in Ur, land of the Chaldeans. Deborah develops her knowledge of medicine and as a midwife. She also grows in the faith of the God Isaac worships and demands loyalty from Ishmael’s wives.
When Jacob can’t cope with Leah and Rachel, his two wives, he sends for Deborah. In spite of advanced age, she returns to Haran to join the family and bring some stability to Jacob’s sons while the adults feud with Laban. Deborah’s greatest contribution may be telling the family stories to the growing boys, and in that way, shaping the nation that would eventually become Israel.
Parents should be advised that the book follows the Bible including the use of Rachel and Leah’s maids to bear Jacob’s sons, the rape of Dinah and destruction of Shechem.

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