An Idiot’s Guide to “Chosen”

No, I’m not calling you an idiot, so calm down. But I just wanted to make the point that this generation, regardless of Donald Trump and what the media might think, doesn’t have a monopoly on blockheads. Our giveaway tomorrow (make sure you sign up for the drawing on the sidebar!) is for Chosen, the story of Jonathan, son of Saul, and first prince of Israel. But much of the story is told from the perspective of Ziba, armorbearer of Jonathan, who is infatuated with Jonathan’s sister, Michal, and who in turn is pursued by Mara. Here’s a scene from the book to show how stupid some men can be. It happens when Ziba overhears David speaking to Michal:

“Do you still think I’m too young?” he heard David say, leaning into her.

“You’re younger than I am,” she said, smiling faintly.

“And yet I’m old enough to command my own force of soldiers. And from what I understand, captain them well.”

“Yes you do that. You’re a great captain,” she said, nodding. “It’s just that…”

“Just that what?”

She hesitated and moved away slightly. “Maybe it’s because I’m too old for you.”

David scoffed, then he reached out his hand and placed it on hers.

“Four years ago, I told you that I was in love with you. If that’s changed, it’s that I’m more in love than ever before.”

“But why? You have so many who love you. You could have any woman you desire.”

“I desire you,” David said, his voice rising. “I always have, and I always will.”

Michal paused. “And I desire you, David. I desire you and want to be your wife.”

The words cut through Ziba’s heart like a knife. He turned away from the garden and crept quietly back up the stairs. Mara was standing at the top, and noticed Ziba’s face clouded in pain.

“What’s wrong with you?” Mara said.
“It’s nothing. Now leave me alone.”
“Are you in pain? Is there something I can do for you?”
Ziba scowled. “No, there’s nothing you can do for me. Now leave.”

Mara looked behind him and down the stairs.

“You’ve been listening to the two of them,” she said, turning back to him. “You’re learning something I’ve known for some time. That her heart belongs to someone else.”

“She’s making a mistake.”

“Is she?” Mara said. “Or maybe you’re the one that’s making a mistake. Maybe you’ve been mistaken for years. She’s told you—a lot of people have told you—that she’ll never marry you. But you’re just discovering the truth today. You don’t deserve her. You deserve someone else, someone who loves you for who you are.”

“And who would that be?” Ziba said, looking down, his face still dark.

“You’re close enough to touch her, and yet you’re blind.”

Mara waited for Ziba to respond, the light of embarrassment touching her cheeks. Finally he looked up, his face still clouded.

“You’re talking in riddles, and I don’t have time for them.”
Mara stared back at him. “Then you’re a fool.”
He shouted back at her. “And who do you propose I marry? You? Ha! That will be the day.” He regretted the words as soon as he said them.

Mara’s face grew red. “If you want to be left alone, then you’ll stay alone. Maybe for the rest of your life.” She turned and stomped away. Ziba stared down the stairs at his rival and the woman he loved.

Something had to happen. He couldn’t let Michal go to another.

Well, that’s not the whole story by a long shot. It’s got battles, love stories, palace intrigue, loyalty and betrayal, all that good stuff. And it’s your for free if you win tomorrow. But you won’t win if you’re not in the drawing. Now’s your chance. Tomorrow’s the drawing.