bronze weights

“Bring your silver. We’ll use my weights.” The slaver pulled a smooth goatskin bag from a basket on the camel, brushed leaves from a spot next to an olive tree, and set up his scales. The boss ducked back into the temple and returned with his purse. Crouching beside the slaver, he set silver—rings, a … Read more

Walk Synonyms

1. Amble: walk easily and/or aimlessly 2. Bounce: walk energetically 3. Clump: walk heavily and/or clumsily 4. Falter: walk unsteadily 5. Foot it: depart or set off by walking 6. Footslog: walk through mud 7. Gimp: see limp 8. Hike: take a long walk, especially in a park or a wilderness area 9. Hobble: walk unsteadily or with difficulty; see also limp 10. Hoof it: see … Read more


Hodiah put a tray in Gera’s hands. The tray held a stack of hot pitas between dishes of olive oil and spices. “Gera will show you children how.” Gera dipped a folded pita in oil then in the spices. “Za’atar. Salt and sumac mixed with sesame and hyssop. From Hodiah’s ancestors, time out of mind.” … Read more



To copy an Avada page

1. Open (or Edit) the page you want to copy 2. Click on Default Editor button near the top (below the title) 3. Right click on code & Choose Select All. Then right click and choose Copy. 4. Note the Avada Options at the very bottom, you may need to come back to this later. … Read more


When did the King’s Highway lose its trees?

10 Pre-Facade

Yedidah held up a palm. “I heard. Business. Borders. Silver. I’m just … I don’t know how to live in a world like this.” 10 Pre-Facade 864 BC i Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel [Goatskinii][Bubblersiii][Whyiv][businessv] [fearvi] [introspectionvii] [backstoryviii][Psalmix] ### Obadiah and his bodyguards readied their chariots for the monthly inspection trip to Samaria City. He … Read more


priests and prophets prophet-Old-Testament Amos 3:8 The lion has roared–who will not fear? The Lord GOD has spoken–who will not prophesy? I’m listening to this.  You’ll probably have to read it if possible.  LMK if it sparks anything. So, we need to have a discussion about the word “prophet” b/c I’m getting whiffs that … Read more

King’s Highway

King’s Highway This map is from around NT times, but the thing about trade routes is they don’t vary much.  The same modes of transportation (camel, donkey, human foot, horse) would all still have been the prevalent modes.  So I think you can bank on these routes. Controlling them was both economic and social security … Read more

Goat cheese

Ancient_Israelite_cuisine Dairy foods[edit] Goats, and, to a lesser extent, sheep, provided milk for part of the year, and milk and dairy products were a significant source of food. Dairy products are mentioned in the Bible (for example, Genesis 18:8, Judges 4:19, and 2 Samuel 17:29, and a repeated description of the Land of Israel in the Bible is “a land flowing with … Read more

Marriage Age

 Jessica Zhang, a U of S Florida student The Bible implies strongly that marriage should take place shortly after puberty. The Virgin Mary was almost certainly a teenager when she gave birth to Jesus Christ (probably aged 14–15 years). Some people believe that this is impossible, as no modern-day American father would marry off his … Read more

Phoenician Trading

Trade in the Phoenician World – World History Encyclopedia Here’s a start LMK if you need more: Phoenician sea trade can, therefore, be divided into that for its colonies and that with fellow trading civilizations. Consequently, the Phoenicians not only imported what they needed and exported what they themselves cultivated and manufactured but they could … Read more

Jezebel’s Beauty

I’m discovering that people assume she was a great beauty and a wily conniving person. But the Bible, of course, says nothing about her looks or character. I’m sneaking in a little scene showing King Omri getting a wife from Edom for Ahab to  open trade channels and protect his southeastern borders. As a prelude … Read more


ISBN – Bowker – ISBN – Bowker Laterpress KingSumo Giveaways Out take give away – Mikayhu in the Market Thank-the-reader 7 Secrets How to Launch Your Book on a Budget Next Door Story Origin The Sites I Recommend the Most to Writers – Angela Ackerman Mailer Lite Online Book Events Alliance of Independent Authors Book … Read more


Your story is excellent, EXCEPT, you need to learn point of view. Unless you plan to write your Entire book in omniscient – then I won’t mention POV anymore. But omniscient distances the reader. Otherwise, I suggest you find a good book on point of view. Anne I do not intend to write in omniscient, … Read more

Shemer Notes – Steve

It’s raw, but it’s coming.  I found some tidbits I wanted to comment on. Maybe help get some polish going here. See embedded: 872 BC i The patio of the King Jeroboam Inn, Samaria City, Samaria, Israel While I like the conceit here, it’s probably an anachronism.  Unlike the King David Hotel in downtown Jerusalem, there … Read more


With respect to the treaty between Omri and Ethba’al, it seems strange Omri would want a treaty further up the coast.  Not sure what’s going on here.  Most likely “Sidon” could have included Tyre too if this was one of those times one of the city-states was dominant and had control of one or more … Read more

Asherah Pole

Scholars are not completely sure about whether these were simply wooden poles that symbolized trees, perhaps containing the carved image of the fertility goddess, or part of a sacred grove. Pictures on seals excavated in Palestine, for instance, show Asherah as a stylized tree in the Iron Age. The reference in 2 Kings 17:10, which … Read more


1 kings 16.30…33 Keeping in mind that my slant on all this is what Donald seems to consider apostasy, let’s break down and look at just a select part of the Kings passage I quoted earlier. This disconnects into two natural places that make it fairly obvious to me what’s going on. First: 31 He … Read more

Jehu’s Character

The more I think about him being a hi brow member of one of the tribes/clans, the more the idea grows on me.  That would give him the political clout, the existing command networks, the political connections to think he could pull off being king.  And that he deserves the shot.  It makes a lot … Read more

Fort Jezreel

News from the Field: The Jezreel Expedition, Part I This is a useful summary of the Ebling/Franklin 2012 surface survey.  There are some real handy photos that go with it.   OK, you can have your moat.  It was a dry moat but it was a moat nonetheless. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DESCRIPTION FOR … Read more


A short history of Moats There is evidence that the Ancient Egyptians were the first people to use moats to protect castles. The most famous example is in Buhen, which is now submerged in Lake Nubia, Sudan. Around 4,000 years ago it was a thriving copper producing city on The Nile’s West Bank. A fortress … Read more

Jezebel 1.

A thought on Jezebel that just occurred to me arising from this discussion.  She wouldn’t have had to be beautiful.  She was political cement.  She was an alliance.  She was needed, not necessarily wanted.  We don’t really know that much about her. She could have been butt ugly for all we know.  And it would … Read more

Palace intrigue

some of the evidence of the politics at play that are driving the events you’re writing about.  Consider this as indirect evidence in that it doesn’t expressly refer to any of the events you’re covering, but does all happen in the same time window. This is from II Kings 8: Hazael Murders Ben-Hadad 7 Elisha went … Read more

33. Outta – Steve’s comments

Notes embedded below for clarity.  I’ve omitted passages I have no comment on, LMK if that’s too confusing. 33. Outta 33. Outta Here! 842 BC The Headquarters Rooftop, Fort Jezreel, Jezreel Valley, Israel Obadiah snuggled deeper into his couch and closed his eyes against the afternoon sun. He pulled down his headscarf, still the bright blue like … Read more

By the Rivers

By the Rivers of Babylon A couple of notes on what drove Jehu to act. 1. Assyria was knocking on the door.  By the time Jehu comes to power, Assyria has already taken over the Phoenician city-states.  So they’re on Jehu’s door step.  The old treaty with Sidon isn’t useful anymore. 2. Acquiescing to Assyria … Read more


Picking up a little of this and that from this week’s homework: 1. Cavalry in Ahab’s time would not have been used for frontal charges with swords.  It was mostly recon and mounted archers who would have been used to direct the flow of the battle: approach; shoot; retreat; do it again.  The Assyrians were … Read more

Ahab’s age at death

If I reduce his age to 14 in the Race chapter, that makes him only 48 at his death on the battlefield. By my calculations he was 52 when he died. > But could he really have been riding a chariot into battle throwing javelins at 52? No way to know for sure.  It would … Read more

Forging Swords

Forged Iron Sword vs. Cast Bronze Sword If nothing else, this will give you a clear idea of how much more labor goes into an iron weapon than a bronze one.  This makes me think that even in The Iron Age a lot of lower class weaponry (and tools!) was probably still bronze.  Regardless, … Read more

Armies – Peasant

Just found something this morning worthy of passing along.  This goes directly to the accuracy of the story narrative about the two armies.  To wit, neither of them – yet – are standing professional armies.  But they’re only missing by a decade or so.  Asherbanipal is about to create the first one in Assyria right … Read more

1 Kings 20-notes

1 Kings 20 – Steve’s notes Ben-Hadad Attacks Samaria 20 Now Ben-Hadad king of Aram mustered his entire army. Accompanied by thirty-two kings with their horses and chariots, he went up and besieged Samaria and attacked it. 2 He sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, saying, “This is what Ben-Hadad says: 3 ‘Your silver and gold are mine, … Read more

Two Strategy Questions

Let’s take the last  one first. Yes. If A & O have already planned for A to be the bait, then he goes out with a small contingent of guards on his chariot and them on their ponies and appears to be surprised by BH and company.  This has been predetermined.  And if you like … Read more

Philistines vs. Phoenicians

Philistines down here. Phoenicians up there. The Sea People, OTOH, took to the sea (over a certain window of time we think) about 200 years before the Phoenicians.  And while they also colonized, they did not, so far as I know set up long range trade networks the way the Phoenicians would later do.  There … Read more

Enticing Ben Hadad

Some of this will depend on what motive you assign to BH’s incursion.  Is this an all out attempt to take over the NK?  Or is he just making some kind of point to Ahab?  Does he need some extra income he intends to steal?  Once you know that, you know how long he’s spent … Read more

David’s high view

David’s high view of the position David: Transition from Shepherd Boy to King The biblical account presents numerous episodes in the life of David, some of which have been identified as legendary by critical scholarship. While specific stories would have developed their individual literary structures and later be woven into the larger account preserved in … Read more

Warfare Scriptures

Water works 2 Kings 20:20 2 Chronicles 32:30 Rationing during siege Ezekiel 4:10f 2 Kings 6:25 Cannibalism during siege Deuteronomy 28:53-57 Propaganda 2 Kings 18:17-37 Mill stones from the wall Judges 9:53 The “ban” 1 Samuel 15:9, 32f Joshua 7 Propaganda during siege 2 Kings 18:17-37 Sacrifice 1 Kings 8.44ff Prayer Psalm 20 Timing Prophet … Read more

Philistines – organization

From my early readings about Philistia I remember statements to the effect that what we’re seeing about them in scripture is the opinion of outsiders. So people from the land side of the coast looked at these sea people who kept arriving on their shores and making incursions and setting up cities. And they labelled … Read more

Surrounded – YET

Dan Harvey Hi Dave. Here are my thoughts, as best as I could figure out on short notice. I’m using the ESV translation for these comments. In 1 Kings 20, Samaria is under siege. Verse 1 indicates that Ben Hadad closed in on Samaria. I don’t think it was a full blown siege. Yet all … Read more

BH and the attack

You’ve helped me see there’s no reason to think Ahab was surprised by BH’s arrival. You and I understand this b/c we’ve been looking in depth not only at what Kings tells us, but what the history and the archeology tell us as well.  That puts you as the writer far ahead of your composite … Read more

232 Why in town?

Why were they in town instead of out serving the governors in their districts? This is where Kings is ambiguous, especially when read in the KJV. 1 Kings 20:14 New International Version 14 “But who will do this?” asked Ahab. The prophet replied, “This is what the Lord says: ‘The junior officers under the provincial commanders will do … Read more

232 Scenario +

This is maybe obvious, but in case it isn’t, we’re now in the Iron Age so the arrows are probably tipped by iron points instead of bronze.  And the swords are now either iron or a crude form of steel.  But do note, these folks don’t know they’re in the Iron Age.  They’re just adapting … Read more

Fighting season

One more late thought on all of this.  “Fighting season” would be when the crops were in and the weather favorable. It’s why BH didn’t return till the following spring.  Just as now, but even more so then, seasons, weather and economics controlled how and when armies fought.  The Greek hoplites came from their farms … Read more

Bows & Arrows Focus on the recurved bows in this table. As a kid I had a 60 lb ash bow (not recurved). I could not draw it back even half way. But at the length I could draw it, I could send an arrow straight up so high I lost sight of it. The longest shot … Read more


On August 28, 2005, approximately 10,000 residents, along with about 150 National Guardsmen, sheltered in the Superdome anticipating Katrina’s landfall. Security checks were conducted, and people with medical illnesses or disabilities were moved to one side of the dome with supplies and medical personnel.[3] Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau of the Louisiana National Guard, said that the number of … Read more


Did Ben Hadad have catapults? You mention catapults amongst your siege equipment. Not sure they were a thing yet. When the Assyrians over ran Jerusalem a couple of hundred years later, they did have skin- covered rams and they did build siege ramps up to the walls of the city. And I believe they also … Read more


Which Was the Right One in Ancient Israelite Religion? – Biblical Archaeology Society The altars uncovered in this archaeological context reveal religious differences between the northern and southern kingdoms in Israel (and Philistia). They also show us a point of tension between the sources of the Bible and their respective visions for ancient Israelite religious practices.” … Read more

Fight Write

How to Write Believable Fight Scenes

232 Scenario

Here’s a scenario for you about how and why Ahab & O think this plan can work and how they expect to pull it off. You know how the 300 held off Xeres’ army at Thermopylae for over a day?  They fought in a valley that negated those 230,000 troops, so that only a few … Read more

O & A

All this stuff over the last two days has got me thinking about the two men and their relationship again. Got some notes to pass along. Want to start with this.  Ahab is not, either as he’s presented in Chronicles and Kings or from how you drew him up in Elijah, an apostate.  He’s not … Read more

Inns and Innkeeping

The Manger and the Inn I think this will get you most of the way there. It’s a really thorough discussion of “the inn” and its types.  As this piece points out in the paragraph I’ve highlighted, public accommodations in the form of inns as we’re thinking of them probably did not arise until the … Read more


King Solomon: Fabulously Wealthy Monarch or Local Tribal Chief? This is a useful backgrounder.  I think you’ll enjoy it as an explainer.  And in line with the material I sent you yesterday, there is one important little nugget in this one right at the end.  Almost at the conclusion of this article the archeologist who’s … Read more

Samaria Siege – Steve’s notes

Obadiah smacked the balustrade with his palm. “Well, my king, Ben Hadad has brought come for a visit.” In the next moment he stiffened as t   Typo.  Drop “brought”. You mention catapults amongst your siege equipment.  Not sure they were a thing yet.  When the Assyrians over ran Jerusalem a couple of hundred years later, they … Read more

politics and economy of the NK

2 Kings 4:ff 4 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” 2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what … Read more

Chariots – rule over

29 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 30 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle. 31 But the king of Syria commanded his … Read more

Troops – estimating enemy

Somewhere between totally mythical and “pretty close” there has to be a way to figure this. After all, the stele’s speak in terms of pretty specific numbers – Ahab brought 10K soldiers and 2K chariots to Qarqar, eg. How would they have done that? Did they have a certain number for a platoon? And another … Read more

Chariots – away from

Well you can kind of see the transition away from chariots going on here if you read between the lines a little.  First of all, “32 captains” [Dave: Is Steve misreading “32 kings” in 1 Kings 20:1?] may be the equivalent of company commanders; they may even be your “kings” from the earlier question if … Read more

Army not by tribe

Army no longer organized by tribes One thing I’m pretty sure of is that by this time the army would no longer have been organized by tribes.  At least not with tribal heads leading them.  One of the key changes introduced from the time of Saul is the move toward a United Kingdom, which meant … Read more

Warfare – Israel

Warfare – Canaan & Ancient Israel @ University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Yes, it’s helpful.  But don’t get carried away with it.  Most of it describes Bronze Age equipment and organization, which was all superseded by the Iron Age technologies. I’m sending this again b/c of the last paragraph.  It summarizes where … Read more

Jehu – furiously

He driveth furiously. So, let us now consider Jehu.  Although he is on the fringes of your narrative, he is very illustrative of what’s going on in it. And just as importantly, he sees his compatriots very much as you see them as characters.  He’s pretty well aligned with your main characters’ POV. 19 So … Read more

Captains of Fifty

13 So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! 14 See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all … Read more

Omride Dynasty

Ch. 20 Thrill Omrides – Birth of the Dynasty Well, you’ve done it to me again.  I’ve spent nearly the whole day reading and listening in on the birth of the Omiride dynasty.  It seems like the more I know, the more I want to know about what happened during that period.  At this point … Read more

Pottery firing This is a great site for illustrations of the specific pottery you were asking for.  Apparently somewhere during this period a second material and a higher firing technique were developed that produced a harder, less porous surface.  I didn’t get into this, just saw it mentioned and think you can see it in some … Read more

Pottery Provenience at Tell es-Safi/Gath

Quite a while back you asked me something about pottery during your period.  There is apparently quite a bit of data on it, mainly coming from Tel es-Safi (Gath).  Most of the detail on it is membership or paywall protected, but here’s a general overview that will give you some general insight into what’s been … Read more


from Steve 1. A good general run-down on the rise and fall of chariots. Of note for your purposes: * they were mostly two-man arrangements * they were in decline during your period due to the rise of iron weaponry and improved infantry tactics although this would not have been obvious to most people of … Read more

Hiel-Steve’s break

OK, so let’s break this down a little further. Verse 1 Kings 16:34. “In his days did Hiel the Beth-elite build Jericho; he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his first-born, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub; according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Joshua the son … Read more

Hiel – Steve

How long between first and last child? Let’s assume his first wife lives a healthy life and bears him 2 or 3 children spaced over 8 years, give or take.  Maybe he has a second wife who bears a couple more.  Don’t know, up to you, but a way to spice up the story if … Read more


Elijah Series – The Lord Says Dew nor Rain Zerephath Return Listen You’re Replaced Die Come Chariot Tales – Coffee Table Book ? The World of Elijah the Prophet In the Footsteps of Elijah the Prophet The World of Elijah: Scenes from the Footsteps of the Prophet Chariot Tales Book 3 Waking Obadiah The Waking … Read more

Hiel – Steve

Hiel – 1 Kings 16:34 – Steve This one has puzzled me from the first time I read it.  I wasn’t sure how to take it.  It has never been clear to me Hiel even knew about the curse.  I thought maybe he was like Oedipus, condemned to fulfill a curse without knowing how to … Read more


1 Kings 16:34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun. Did Hiel the Beth-elite build Jericho – I wish … Read more


Joshua 6:26 And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before the LORD, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it. And Joshua adjured them at that time – It appears that he had received … Read more

More to Learn

Describe Smells chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?   6-Stage Plot Structure Mailerlite Convertkit Amazon SES whats-your-platform-identity Coming Soon Page, Maintenance Mode & Landing Pages by SeedProd Home Bunny Trails to landing pages. 1. Picture 2. Words 3. Me author 4. Link to landing page 5. Tinyurl to landing page also. I downloaded WPFORMS. Creating Consistent Characters Plotting Errors … Read more

Obadiah, a sketch

By Stephen Abbott As boyhood friend of Ahab, he was there first.  His most important credentials were mostly that Ahab trusted him.  Others would come along later – generals, tribal leaders, foreign ambassadors etc., but ‘Biah was there from the beginning.  He was the only one Ahab could be sure had his best interests at … Read more

BH is NOT Assyrian.

Bunny Trail for Obadiah Chapter – A Thrill of Hope. Steve- “There’s a serious geopolitical mistake going on in this whole chapter. Ben-Hadad is NOT Assyrian. He is Syrian (as we would know him nowadays). His capital is Damascus. The Assyrian capital is Nineveh. The two sound alike but are different and differently identified in … Read more

Obadiah skip Mt?

I asked on Facebook, why would Obadiah skip the Mt. Carmel show? Vicki Sandiford Floyd- Scouting out where to hide the prophets while looking for pastures for Ahab’s livestock. Or maybe Ahab threw a fit and restrained him after Obadiah told him Elijah was back to make sure that Obadiah wasn’t secretly in cahoots with … Read more