Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Welcome to Isaiah’s Legacy Blog Hop – Stop #23

1 Week ~ 24 Blogs ~ 3 Incredible Prizes! 

Learn a little about Isaiah’s Legacy and enter multiple giveaways while picking up CLUES at each stop. Compile all the clues, submit the final PHRASE at the last stop, and you’ll be entered to win one of 3 Grand Prizes! 

What are the prizes? They’re completely unique to the winners! 

Mesu will contact each winner personally to chat about what they would most like to see in Israel, and then she’ll SHOP for just the right gift while touring Israel, March 6-19! She’ll then purchase a personal and memorable gift specifically chosen for each of those three winners and ship them to each one when she returns. How fun is that?! 

How does the Scavenger Hunt & Blog Tour Work?
· Begin at Stop #1. At the end, you’ll find a CLUE and a link to the next stop. Progress to each stop
· Collect all the clues—in order—and submit the full phrase at the last blog stop in the Rafflecopter
    form. Every stop has a clue, so be sure not to skip any along the way!
· You may enter the final giveaway only once and win only one grand prize.
· The Hunt begins 2/19/20 at noon EDT. Deadline for entries is Tuesday, 02/25 at midnight Eastern.
· For best results, hunt through our list using Chrome or Firefox as your browser (not Explorer).

There is NO RUSH to complete the hunt—you have a whole week! As you visit each blog, it’s our hope that you get to know Mesu’s BFF team and discover the heart behind Isaiah’s Legacy.

Thank you for coming to my stop. I've been a member of Mesu's BFFs for a number of years now and I am glad to take part in this tour. One of the things that struck me most while reading Isaiah's Legacy was how similar worshipers of foreign gods might have treated followers of Yahweh, compared to the way many people look at Christians today. Doing what God asks of us isn't always popular or easy. Often it puts us at conflict with those around us. But that doesn't mean that we can back down.

I hope you enjoy reading Isaiah's Legacy as much as I did, and that it helps give you a new perspective on a story you have likely already heard. And if you want to learn more about the scriptures that inspired this novel, you can download Mesu's free bible study.

    ~   FREE Downloadable Bible study: https://mesuandrews.com/books/isaiahs-legacy/

Then when you are done downloading the study, come back here to read about an Assyrian queen who may just have been Hebrew!

Assyria’s King Sennacherib Married to a Hebrew?

Relief Esarhaddon Louvre AO20185
Can you see her in the picture? She’s there. A short, chubby mama standing behind her strapping young son—an Assyrian king. Yep, this mama, Naqi'a-Zakutu, was important enough to etch into a relief found in the temple of Marduk. The bronze (originally gold-plated) relief commemorates the restoration of Babylon by Esarhaddon, ca. 681-669 BC, and some scholars believe his mama was Hebrew.

Take a moment to contemplate the legendary brutality of the ancient Assyrians. They invented psychological warfare through torture tactics, and no king was more vicious than King Sennacherib, the man thought to have married Naqi'a-Zakutu. Would he have married a Hebrew? A woman brought to or born in his empire as a captive?

A Hebrew Queen of Assyria?

Let’s first look at the name, Naqi'a. It’s thought to be Aramean or Hebrew, and Zakutu is the Akkadian (Assyrian) translation of it. If you’re looking for an interesting and succinct online resource about her, you can find good information HERE.

As with most historical characters, I read all the information I can find and try to pick out a golden thread woven through it that makes sense with the plot formed by Scripture. Naqia is never mentioned in the Bible, but her husband (Sennacherib), son (Esarhaddon), and grandson (Ashurbanipal) are.

As I read the bits and pieces of her life found in ancient records, an incredibly strong and shrewd woman formed in my imagination. And when I wrote the first scene in which she appears, hosting Shulle at a banquet in Nineveh (the capital of Assyria), Naqia absolutely came alive on the page! A woman who I meant to be a momentary “prop” for that scene took over and became a key player in the book.

When Characters Speak for Themselves

If you’re a writer, you may know what I mean when I say Naqia “took over.” It sounds a bit melodramatic, but sometimes—as we write a new character—the thoughts and emotions that flow through our fingers take on a mind of their own. That character truly comes alive as we write more and more about them.

That was Naqia. The more I wrote, the more I liked her. The more I liked her, the sassier and more interesting she became. And the more insight she gave us into the heart and soul of Sennacherib—Assyria’s most ruthless king.

Through Naqia’s eyes, we see Sennacherib as a human being, this man who threatened our dear Hezi in Isaiah’s Daughter. We get a glimpse of the woman who loved him, and we see Zibah struggle with this Hebrew Assyrian queen, thinking: How could anyone love the monster, Sennacherib? When her son Manasseh’s brutality comes to mind, she’s faced with the realization—she, too, adores a monster.

The Impact of Irony

You know, in the last post, Ebos asked what I wanted y’all to know about me. I supposed one important thing for you to know is that I’m not a literary expert. I just write. I don’t have a degree or formal training or know all the correct terminology. But I recognize irony when I see it.

Naqia was God’s irony forged into judgment on both Israel and Judah. I believe she was one of the exiles from the northern tribes of Israel, a beautiful captive taken into the Sennacherib’s harem who eventually ruled her Assyrian captors as queen. She was an incredible woman in the hands of a mighty God.

Truth or Fiction?

As I delve into research, I become immersed in the stories of these people—real people who lived . . . and died. I’m reminded that I’ll spend eternity with some of them, so I’d better be careful about what I write! Did Naqia know the Hebrew God? Or did she reject Him and completely embrace everything Assyrian? I don’t know . . .

I suppose we’ll know the Truth when we see Yahweh face-to-face.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Deuteronomy 6:4

Was Naqia a beautiful captive forged into a weapon of God’s irony to rule her captors as Queen of Assyria?

Thanks for stopping by! Remember to write down your CLUE before clicking to the next stop. 

Here’s the Stop #23 Stuff!

Clue to write down: -Shulle,

Link to STOP #24:   


Bookmark STOP #1 so you can check the tour schedule and get back on track if at any point you get lost or find a broken link.
 Enjoy the hunt!

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