In 701 B.C. the Assyrian empire was in its ascendancy. It had already vanquished the kingdom of Israel to the north including the capital at Samaria. It then prepared an assault on Judah and its capital at Jerusalem.
But in one of those significant events that changes the course of world history, Assyria was repelled. Jerusalem was saved until 586 B.C. when the Babylonians sacked the city, forcing its leadership class into exile.
Henry Aubin, in a major feat of scholarship, determines that Jerusalem was aided by a Kushite army from Africa which had marched northeast from the Nile valley. While the Bible attributes the Assyrian retreat to an angel and secular commentators cite pestilence, Aubin, in a meticulously documented work, demonstrates that an alliance with the African nation of Kush bolstered Jerusalem’s defences.
Kush, also known as Nubia, was located in what is now southern Egypt and northern Sudan. A monarchy that existed for more than 1000 years, from 900 B.C. to A.D. 350, Kushites held sway over Egypt from 712 B.C. to about 660 B.C. Of Egypt’s 31 dynasties, this, the 25th Dynasty, is the only one that all scholars agree, was black.
The commander of the Kushite expeditionary force was Taharqa (or as the Bible calls him Tirhakah). This Kushite prince, who had his own interests in halting Assyrian expansion, likely caught the aggressors by surprise as they prepared their siege of Jerusalem.
Aubin offers a thrilling military history and a stirring political analysis of the ancient world. He also sees the event as influential over the centuries.
The Kushite rescue of the Hebrew kingdom of Judah enabled the fragile, war-ravaged state to endure, to nurse itself back to economic and demographic health, and allowed the Hebrew religion, Yahwism, to evolve within the next several centuries into Judaism. Thus emerged the monotheistic trunk supporting Christianity and Islam.
How Forbidden Love Drove a
12-Year-Old to Murder Her Family
A true story of illicit love, lycanthropy and murder in a quiet prairie town.
This chilling story alerts parents to the toxic stew of teenage rebellion, the internet, pubescent sexuality and the allure of the Goth style leading to a horrifying end of sickening murders. Runaway Devil, as she was known online (the law protecting minors prohibits the use of her real name) is unique in the annals of children who are multiple murderers.
First, her age: she was only 12 years old when she killed her parents and her little brother. Second, she lacked a justifiable motive.
Immediately, people assume she must have been neglected or abused or at the very least under the spell of her older lover.
But she was an honor student and a wholesome member of the swim club. There is no evidence that she was molested, beaten, or subject to mental abuse. Her parents were simply guilty of trying to be parents and she didn’t like it.
They tried all the Dr. Phil strategies to restrain their daughter and interrupt her relationship with a man 10 years older. They grounded her, locked up her computer, and tried to contain and protect her. They ended up dead, and their little boy, Runaway Devil’s little brother, had his throat slashed while he pleaded with his sister. The scene of his death made the police officers weep.
It is tempting to assume that she had come under the spell of her boyfriend Jeremy Steinke who went by the online nickname of Souleater and claimed to be part of a lycan brotherhood. How could a 12-year-old exert any control over him? But a jury found her to be cold, calculating and her actions premeditated. Unlike her accomplice, she showed little remorse.
It happened in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada which makes it all the more frightening. It means it could happen anywhere.
Short-listed for the 2010 Arthur Ellis Best Crime Non-Fiction Award
On the Globe & Mail bestseller list