Thank you for hosting me on my print release day for “Jerusalem Rising: Adah’s Journey.” I am excited to bring the story of the daughters of Shallum to life. Little did I know that women helped Nehemiah restore the wall around Jerusalem. We don’t know the names of Shallum’s daughters, or how many there were, but I created two, Adah and Judith. Adah’s journey comes from the book of Nehemiah, chapters 1-8. This is the third book in my Tribes of Israel series where I bring little known Bible stories to light.
Adah slumped against the worn lumber, huffing like a slave girl. Sweat pooled beneath her head covering.
“My mother is not home. She has gone to the well,” said a familiar male voice.
Praise God. She scrambled to her feet. “Othniel, you are a vision. Hurry and help me. I have coins today.”
Othniel slung his satchel near the door. The little storm of unsettled dust rising from the ground almost matched the amount clinging to his dark, curly hair. “What kind of greeting is this?”
“A hasty one.” Adah shook the folds of her skirt to loosen any dirt. “Our governor is coming to Jerusalem and my father is not prepared for his arrival.”
“Doesn’t Nehemiah send letters?” Othniel scratched his stubbled chin. He seemed in as much of a hurry as a bloated mule.
“None that my father saw,” she said.
His eyebrows raised as understanding brightened his eyes. “But someone received them?”
And she knew who. A nobleman never traveled unannounced. Her father ruled a half-district of Jerusalem, but Rephaiah also ruled a half-district, and no one caught him or his brood of sons off guard.
“Come now.” Her pulse sped as if in a race. “Open the room where your mother keeps her wares and help me find a polished pearl jar. I’ve seen it in the marketplace.” She urged him down the alley next to his home, wishing she could give him a powerful push. “My family has need of it.”
“I should warn you. I have labored in the grove.” His steps still lumbered. “I smell like a dung heap.”
“My nose has been in oils all afternoon. To me, you have the aroma of a blossom.”
When Adah bat Shallum finds the governor of Judah weeping over the crumbling wall of Jerusalem, she learns the reason for Nehemiah’s unexpected visit—God has called him to rebuild the wall around the City of David.
Nehemiah challenges the men of Jerusalem to labor on the wall and in return, the names of their fathers will be written in the annals for future generations to cherish. But Adah has one sister and no brothers. Should her father who rules a half-district of Jerusalem be forgotten forever?
Adah bravely vows to rebuild her city’s wall, though she soon discovers that Jerusalem not only has enemies outside of the city, but also within. Can Adah, her sister, and the men they love, honor God’s call? Or will their mission be crushed by the same rocks they hope to raise.
Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. Barb writes romantic adventures for teens and adults in the Christian fiction and Mainstream markets. She is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little known Bible characters to light in her stories. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.