Fiction designed to bring to life topics covered in our nonfiction and homeschool curriculum.
Meet the man who met Abraham.
Ephron Son of Zohar
Ephron’s father Zohar chooses him to lead their family. He not only has vital skills to ensure the security and growth of their tribe, but he is still unmarried. Zohar plans to unite the Hittite tribes using Ephron and his sister as peace children in arranged marriages.
Marauding enemies and rising waters threaten the homelands of fellow Hittites but no one wants to sacrifice autonomy just for safety, food, clothing, and shelter. Family patriarch Heth’s arrival might settle the unrest, but when he does not appear, his representatives find rising tensions and a need for desperate action to show strength, unity, and prosperity.
Ephron can’t force Shelometh, his intended bride, to marry him. Will she make his tireless work pay off, or destroy his future and her own?
Ephron followed with the sons of Anah. Anah knelt on one knee before Zohar and looked carefully into the eyes of his brother. Neither man spoke as Nebajoth and several other women slowly gathered around them. Anah waited until the clan chieftains, Yovov, and Ephron arrived before he spoke.
“What has happened to you, my brother?”
“I do not know,” said Zohar. “But every day I grow weaker. I will not be able to go with you on the hunt. Ephron has the hunt well-planned.”
Anah had to lean forward to hear his brother. But Zohar said no more. Zohar’s entire tribe, except for Ephron and Nebajoth, were working efficiently.
“How long has he been like this?” asked Anah.
“The changes began just after the hunt last year,” said his wife. “They came slowly and there was little overall decline until the new moon before last, perhaps seven weeks ago. All of his hair as it now grows out is white and he grew very weak. The inability to walk more than a few bowshots or even stand for very long – that happened maybe two or three weeks ago. He seems to stabilize and then something else happens and he becomes weaker.”
“This is horrible,” said Anah. “This could destroy us all.”
Here be dragons. But don’t worry. Tawannana is a dragon-slayer
Tawananna, Daughter of Zohar
The arranged marriage between Tawananna and Elon seems likely to show strength and unite the clans. It might even tame Shelometh’s rebellious heart and help her brother Ephron find peace.
She is a slayer of dragons and the best archer in the village. But her greatest challenge comes when she has to sit and do nothing while her people face the army of Sargon.
Tawananna’s grandmother pays her a visit. She is known to some as Heth’s whore and to others as Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and Battle. Premarital counseling from a 300+-year-old concubine might make the difference between victory and defeat in the quest to forge the Hittite Empire.
“I promise to never shut you out,” Tawananna said. “But mother, I also want to try to change Shelometh’s mind. You saw how upset she was about her scars. Maybe that’s part of why she was so hostile toward Ephron when she realized what these arrangements meant. She was afraid to have him see her scars. Maybe she thought he might reject her.”
“That may be part of it,” Nebajoth conceded. “But it’s going to take more to change that girl’s heart.”
“You can spare some time on treatments and preparations for her, too, though, can’t you? Even her mother seemed to think that was a good idea.”
“There is going to be so much preparation of clothes and food that I’m not sure I’ll be very involved in the treatments. I love your sweet spirit, though, to want to involve Shelometh and try to help her.”
“I want to help Ephron, too,” Tawananna said. “He must feel so trapped and frustrated.”
Her mother kissed her on top of the head. “Good night. And before you wake, this room will be filled with other women. Any person who helps you also obligates you to help them with wise counsel. In many ways, when I close the door to get your father and help him across the courtyard, this is good-bye as well as good night. Great doors of opportunity are opening to you. But other doors must close behind you. We love you.”
As her mother went through the door Tawananna lay down, more alone than she had ever been in her life.
The patriarch of the Hittites comes to seal the arranged marriages and display his secret weapons.
Heth, Son of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah
Heth worries that the Hittite Empire will be attacked from without. His chariots are more than just new and showy war machines. They might make the difference between life and death as Sargon turns his eye toward Hattus. Zohar is more worried about corruption within. Tawananna and Elon’s new life together puts them in the crosshairs of everyone who wants to destroy the fledgling empire. How many laws do they need? How many houses and walls? Winter puts off the danger of invasion for a time, but what will happen when the greatest warrior begins to feel the effects of Lamech’s Curse?
Athena did not walk like a three hundred year old woman. She looked to be the sister of Shelometh or Tawananna. Her beauty was youthful and athletic, not at all classic.
“Arvad and I had a very happy marriage for two hundred years,” continued Athena. “He was murdered by Gilgamesh … Nimrod … Herakles, or whatever name you use for this evil monster. I hear that he is dead now, praise Adonai. Sargon has helped the world in this one thing.”
“You were the one riding with Heth!” cried Tawananna.
“Very observant,” said PuduHepa. “That was my decision. Did anyone else notice that?”
No one said anything and Athena continued.
“I did what I had to in order to survive until Heth performed the honorable rite of the levirate marriage and I bore Zohar, your father, to Heth. So, Tawananna, I am your grandmother. I am also older than anyone here today. Three hundred years of history in three paragraphs. And please do not blame your mother for being unable to solve the mystery of your blond hair, because she did not know until today.”
Rebel,Wife, Mother, friend of Sarah and Hagar, and advocate for abused women.
Shelometh Daughter of Yovov Wife of Ephron
Shelometh lost the throne of the Hittite Empire, disgraced her husband, and forced the exile of Ephron and herself to Canaan. Yet she worked beside him and helped defeat the army of Sargon. As Queen of Hebron she helped unite the empire and almost died in childbirth. Can the friend of both Hagar and Sarah heal the breach created by running ahead of Adonai’s will? Can Hagar help Shelometh uncover a shameful secret reaching into the soul of the Hittite and Mitanni Empires?
“Quick!” said Shelometh. “Our camels!”
Yavi brought a camel for Shelometh and another for Eleazar and they mounted. They found Sarai under a tree just outside the partly-completed new wall, weeping. Eleazar remained mounted at a discreet distance. Shelometh dismounted and handed Eleazar the reigns of her camel.
“What is wrong?” asked Shelometh. She was unsure if she should embrace Sarai or stand back. She chose the latter, but Sarai shook with sobs without speaking. Finally, Shelometh knelt down and embraced Sarai.
“I didn’t know what to do,” sobbed Sarai. “I have sinned greatly. My wrong be on me.”
Eleazar motioned to Shelometh and she approached him. “Sarai gave Hagar to Abram as a concubine,” said Eleazar. She has begged my master for months to do something. She persuaded my master that it was the only way he would have a son. This morning Hagar announced that she is pregnant with Abram’s child.”
Stunned, Shelometh said nothing, unable to move. Finally, she returned to Sarai and hugged her without saying another word.
Zita, prince of Hebron, has grown up far from Hattusha, the sprawling capital of the Hittite Empire. The heritage of the Hittites of Hebron under his father Ephron is one of friendship with Abraham the Hebrew and Adonai their Elohim. When they take Zita’s sister Basemath to Hattusha to arrange a marriage, Zita shoulders “the Pawley problem” and endures the taunts of women who may hold the key to keeping the peace amid international intrigues. Zita meets another Basemath and learns he can be more than just “a little tagalong.” From overseeing the building of Hebron to defending the city of Hattusha to playing his own part in preserving the Hittites, Zita learns that an engineer, a warrior, a seeker of justice, and a survivor of devastating injury and tragedy can become a peacemaker. He just has to be willing to choose Adonai’s way when he thinks he has no choice.
Arasch stood again. “Tawananna, the city of Troy, the Assyrian and Mitanni nobility wish – and you must understand that this wish will be enforced with chariots and soldiers – wish to purchase Parmuhan, daughter of Eleazar, as handmaiden to Huna. Huna will be wed to Zita at the same ceremony Tennes weds Basemath.”
Arasch collapsed. Parmuhan was stunned, unable to move.
Slowly Zita stood. “I would like to consult with Melchizedek first.”
“No one has seen him for years,” said Abraham. “Melchizedek is gone.”
“You do not understand Tawananna,” said Ephron. “The only one with any choice at all is Abraham. He can name his price for Parmuhan. No one else has any choices.”
“Beor,” said Zita.
“Who is Beor?” asked Eleazar.
“The son of Shem on the Tigris?” asked Abraham.
Parmuhan sat down.
“The prophet of Adonai my father talked to as a child,” Zita said.
“As a son of Shem, though he is over one hundred years old, he would still have the appearance of a young man,” said Abraham.
“The prophet of Adonai who told me to find Abraham,” said Ephron. “What if he is dead? What if we can not find him? What if after we find him, he is unable to help?”
“If Beor is still alive and we are able to find him, he will assist us,” said Abraham.