With a name like “Mesu,” I’ve never had to worry about which Mesu someone was talking about. Abijah, however, is another story. If we had an “Abijah Bible reunion,” eight people would walk off the pages of Scripture—six men and two women. The Abijah we’re talking about today is the wife of King Ahaz, mother of Hezekiah. Scripture says very little about her:
“[Hezekiah] was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.” 2 Kings 18:2
I first read about Abijah in Lynn Austin’s series, Chronicles of the Kings, a 5-book epic that begins early in the life of young Hezekiah and follows the family’s history through the reign of his son, Manasseh. (BTW, these were some of the first biblical fiction books I ever read—and remain among my favorite of all time!) In her stories, Lynn presents Abijah as a faithful, Yahweh-believing daughter of the high priest, Zechariah.
Truth, Fact, Fiction
However, in Isaiah’s Daughter, my upcoming January release, I chose to portray Abijah differently. That’s one of the things I love about biblical FICTION. We can preserve the truth of Scripture and the facts of history but imagine completely different outcomes for a character’s life by asking the simple question, “What if…?”
- What if Abijah wasn’t Ahaz’s only wife?
- What if Abijah went a little crazy after Ahaz sacrificed their son in the fire (2 Kings 16:3)?
- What if Abijah, rather than remaining strong in her father’s faith, grew bitter at Yahweh?
While writing about these biblical characters, of whom we know so little, the most important thing to remember is this: They were people much like us. Granted, their culture was vastly different. Granted, their spiritual context wasn’t the same (they were still under the Law, while we live under Jesus’ gift of grace – John 1:17). But they had the same human needs, desires, and emotions we experience today.
Abijah was once a little girl, who likely played with other little girls. At some point in her life she was betrothed and married to the crown prince, who became King Ahaz—who sacrificed a son on a pagan altar fire. Was the son Abijah’s? Scripture doesn’t say, but it mentions no other wife of Ahaz by name.
I hope you’ll take a few moments to CLICK HERE and download today’s FREE eShort Prelude: Unplanned Encounter: Abijah’s Story. It’s a work of fiction but gives an educated guess at what I think Abijah’s childhood dreams might have been like—a high priest’s daughter, betrothed to Judah’s crown prince.
Maybe we can chat about the other seven “Abijahs” later!
- Biblical FICTION preserves Scripture truth and history facts but allows for “What if?”
- Biblical characters had the same needs, desires, and emotions we experience today.
- Sign up for @MesuAndrews news and read another eShort Prelude to #IsaiahsDaughter!
Question of the Day:
- What’s the most interesting thing you learned about Abijah today?