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Tirzah

by Lucille Travis
159 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by MRW

A well-written story which brings ancient Israel to life.

Plot

Tirzah is a young Hebrew girl whose family is part of the great exodus from Egyptian enslavement. In each of her family member's individual struggles, they all come to place their trust unconditionally in Yahweh's plan for their lives.

Morality

Tirzah and her family follow God and are serious in their relationship with Him. Tirzah's older brother does rebel against his father, Moses, and ultimately God for the first half of the book, but he does repent. Any evil carried out by both the minor and main characters is always shown to be wrong and is punished. The characters all learn the importance of serving the Lord unconditionally and placing their trust in Him above everything else.

Spiritual Content

This book is written from a Christian perspective, so God is always portrayed as He is - perfect and holy. There is mention of numerous Egyptian gods, but they are clearly known to be false. Some people in the Hebrew camp worship a golden calf, but it is portrayed as wrong and they are punished.

Violence

The Hebrew slaves are whipped and one character's back after a lashing is described, though not in too great of detail. In the final plague that the Lord sends over Egypt, the first born sons of all the Egyptians die by the Angel of Death. The Amalekite army attacks the Israelites while they are in the desert, but the battle is not gory. One of the characters is about to be sacrificed before the golden calf. The prospect is sickening, but the character is soon rescued.

The Levites, by the Lord's command, need to slay those who practice idolatry, though it is not described graphically. There is also a brief mention of a stoning.

A group of little boys throw rocks mean-spiritedly at one of the female characters.

An outbreak of boils violently sweeps over Israel. Moses' sister Miriam is smitten with leprosy.

Drug and Alcohol Content

In the throng of people worshiping the golden calf, it is evident that many in the crowd are drunk. Mention is made of people keeling over from the effect of wine but the description ends there.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

One character has a withered foot and is called names.

Conclusion

This was an engaging and fast paced read which brought the ancient world to life. I particularly enjoyed how the author was able to make her characters easy to relate to in an era which is difficult to capture in writing. There are definitely some tense scenes throughout the book, but the importance it stresses on having a trusting relationship with God makes it worth the read.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

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