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.
Joanna Goodman is the author of three critically acclaimed novels, Belle of the Bayou, You Made Me Love You and Harmony. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two young children, and is co-owner of a retail enterprise specializing in linens, home décor and fashion. Check out Joanna’s website:
She’s Got Baggage
Holly Moore has been a widow for two years. Her husband Scott, whose job on Wall Street provided a comfortable life for the family in Brooklyn, died with a handful of secrets. He neglected to disclose his large debts, the identity of the mysterious woman who was with him the night he died, and a lawsuit that consumed him for decades.
Holly, a devoted mother in her mid-thirties, has made her four children the focus of her life. But at the urging of her glamorous sister Courtney, she manages a spa getaway for two indulgent days.
Swathed in a Moshup Mud Cocoon, she meets Zack, who sweeps her off her feet. There is only one problem. He is determined to travel light and Holly is packing heavy baggage.
While Zack pursues her in New York, Holly neglects to mention small details – like her four kids. To mask her responsibilities, she adopts aspects of Courtney’s life and job and postpones the moment of truth with Zack far too long — until after she’s fallen in love with him. Enraged by her deception, Zack ends their romance.
In the meantime, there are the attentions of her next-door neighbor, who loves her baggage and is patient while she mourns losing Zack and wrestles with the unsettling revelations about her dead husband and the marriage she thought they’d had.
This is a grown-up comic drama, with a satisfyingly rich plot, a cast of appealing women and two attractive men, all making hard choices on how to live and love.