Let’s face it…daughters are a special class of people. I’m one. I birthed two. And I’m a proud GramMesu to four grand ones! Sons and grandsons are wonderful, too, I know—I’m married to an amazing one—but they’re made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails. Right? Little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice? Okay…most of mine are heavy on the spice. 😉
I’ve written about the daughters of Scripture who have displayed their own measure of both sugar and spice. Jacob’s daughter Dinah. Gomer, daughter of Diblaim. Pharaoh’s Daughter, Bithiah. All were women with unique stories that pulled on our heartstrings.
The Lord’s Delight
One woman captured my heart very soon after I became a Christ-follower—simply because I loved her name: Hephzibah. Yep. I love the name Hephzibah because it means, The Lord’s delight is in her. For years I prayed that I would be called Hephzibah in the Lord’s heart, that He would delight in me. Not long after I began praying that prayer, I ran across this tender Scripture:
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (emphasis added)
I received the verse as a promise that my God did indeed delight in me, but by now I’d become fascinated with the character of Hephzibah. The name is mentioned only twice in the Bible:
- 2 Kings 21:1 – “Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.”
- Isaiah 62:1,4 – “…for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn… No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married.”
If Hephzibah was the mother of King Manasseh (2 Kings 21; 2 Chron. 33), that means she was the wife of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 18-20; 2 Chron. 29-32). She was married to THE MOST RIGHTEOUS king of Judah and mother of THE MOST WICKED king of Judah. As a mother of adult kids, how would I handle it if—after their dad died—they set out to tear down everything he had built up, everything he believed in?
Oh…did I forget to mention that Hephzibah—according to Rabbinic tradition—was the prophet Isaiah’s daughter? That puts an interesting spin on things, doesn’t it?
Isaiah, the prophet with a royal pedigree, gave his daughter in marriage to righteous king Hezekiah.
Okay, here’s another little twist: Some scholars say Isaiah believed Hezekiah was the “anointed shoot of Jesse” (Messiah) mentioned in his prophecies.
Now, I love my sons-in-law, but I knew WAAAY before they married my daughters they weren’t the Savior. History shows us that it didn’t take Isaiah long to discover the same thing about Hezekiah.
My Writer’s-Brain-What-If Questions Started…
What if that righteous king and Isaiah’s strained relationship tugged at Hephzibah’s heart? Would it make her question which of her favorite men was really hearing God’s voice? Both Hezekiah and Isaiah love and follow the Lord so faithfully, yet they face incredibly difficult circumstances. What if everyone in this story questioned God? What if they all had to attempt more than was humanly possible—to see what only God could do?
That, my friends, is Isaiah’s Daughter. In two weeks, you’ll receive the first of four Short Story Preludes to Isaiah’s Daughter. Each short story gives a glimpse into the early life of a minor character in the book so you’ll feel like you’re meeting with old friends by the time Isaiah’s Daughter arrives in your mailbox or on your e-reader in January! The short stories will appear in my Bargain Lover’s edition (2nd newsletter) of the October through January emails.
Tell your friends, and make sure they sign up to receive my newsletters by 10/15/17 so they don’t miss a single story!
- Read @MesuAndrews blog to discover, WHO WAS ISAIAHS DAUGHTER?
- Hephzibah was married to THE MOST RIGHTEOUS king of Judah; mother of THE MOST WICKED king of Judah.
- Sign-up for Mesu’s newsletter by 10/15 for #ShortStoryPreludes of #IsaiahsDaughter
- Is there a character, or simply a name, in the Bible that captivates your heart or imagination?