You have heard of Moses. You have heard of Joshua . . . maybe even his friend Caleb. Each one a legendary hero, critical to the shaping of the new nation of Israel. But as Balam’s Curse opens, these three are old men. Enter six obscure but real biblical characters from a little-known slice of Old Testament history whose stories are found scattered through the pages of two Biblical books, Joshua and Judges. These are not the former slaves freed by the Exodus, but the children of those slaves. They were born and nurtured in the simple wilderness life of the forty-year wanderings, coming of age in the era of Joshua’s leadership. Although their names do not appear in such stories as “The Miracle Crossing of the Jordan River” or “The March that Brought Down the Walls of Jericho”, they were there.
Experience the celebration and sorrow, violence and victory of those stories and more through the eyes of six young Israelites plus one Canaanite girl in the Stones of Gilgal novels.
Othniel—Caleb’s reserved nephew, a future hero waiting in the shadows.
- Read his story in Judges 3:7-11
Acsah— Caleb’s headstrong daughter, always competent and conscientious.
- Her story is found in Joshua 15: 13-19 (Repeated word for word in Judges 1:9-15.)
Abihail—A fictional character– the daughter-in-law of the real biblical character, Achor. In the series, Acsah’s dearest friend since childhood.
- You can read about the family she married into in Joshua 7.
Salmon— another of Acsah’s close childhood friends, a normally sunny young man who is devastated when his father’s murder thrusts him into the responsibilities of Prince of Judah.
- His name appears only in geneologies. 1 Chronicles 2:11 lists him as the elder, or prince, of the tribe of Judah during this period.
- Matthew 1:5 includes his name in the ancestry of Jesus and gives us a sneak peak at his love story.
Jonathan— the charismatic and moody grandson of Moses who longs above all to take his grandfather’s place and marry the beautiful Acsah.
- Spoiler Alert: His story from Judges 17 and 18 will not be told until the last book of the series.
Phinehas— the serious, highly-principled grandson of Aaron and future High Priest of Israel. He shows up a number of times in the biblical narrative covered by the Stones of Gilgal novels. Each time in a rather war-like role for a high priest—but it was a time of war.
- We first meet Phinehas in Numbers 25:6-13 as a young man who takes charge rather violently when no one else dared to. This righteous act of valor is commended in Psalm 106:28-31.
- Shortly afterward young Phinehas is rewarded with a military commission as commander of the entire Israelite army in the Midianite War (Numbers 31:6-8.)
- About seven years later, he is sent to investigate a possible breach of the covenant by the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh (Joshua 22:9-34.)
- Around twenty-five years later, when Phinehas is the anointed high priest, his name comes up again as the military and spiritual advisor of Israel (Judges 20:27-28.)
- In the last horrifying story from the book of Judges (chapters 19-21), the people come to Phinehas four times at the tabernacle to inquire of the Lord and weep before him.
Rahab— the courageous and beautiful daughter of an innkeeper in Jericho.
- The well-known story of the clever Harlot of Jericho is found in Joshua 2.