By Terri Gillespie
These also are proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied . . . Proverbs 25:1, TLV
Why did King Hezekiah’s men transcribe King Solomon’s proverbs over two hundred years after Solomon’s death?
As novelists, we know those seemingly obscure Bible verses can inspire incredible stories. They can also be great writing exercises.
We’re scribblers, aren’t we? I don’t know about you, but no scrap of paper is safe around me when I get an idea. Anything to get that idea down before the moment is erased by other thoughts.
I may stumble across them later when I clean out my purse or the glove box of the car. But, I wonder how many of those scraps are still lost in some dark corner.
What if King Solomon was a scribbler, too? What if . . .
The king awakens in the middle of the night from a fitful sleep. His mind is unsettled. Complex problems with his staff. Disunity. Grumbling. Troublemakers.
Rubbing his temples he tries coaxing the solutions from his brain.
He could rouse the scribes, but it might disturb the wonder of those formless thoughts in his mind taking shape.
Instead, he opens his shutters to look at the beautiful moon as it illuminates the rooftops of his kingdom. He feels the gentle breeze on his face and smiles. Yes, this was a better idea.
He’ll be his own scribe.
After lighting a few lamps, he searches his chamber for a bit of unused parchment. He finds a blank scroll, with a stain and small tear at the top. It may have been unworthy of the scribes, but it will do for him this night.
He spies on his nightstand, the silver tray holding what remains of his bedtime snack. Shoving the scroll under his arm, he leans forward to make his selection. Figs, honey, grapes, a few almonds, and one remaining golden apple.
He dips a fig in the small dish of honey and pops it into his mouth. He grimaces. Too sweet.
“When you find honey, eat just enough . . .”
He snatches the apple from the silver tray and dunks it in honey. Before it drips on his beard, he takes a bite. Savoring the sweetness, he moans in delight.
“Like apples of gold, on a platter of silver . . .”
He runs to his table, the words bubbling like his garden’s fountain and begins, “It is the glory of GOD to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out . . .”
Hours later, when the sun paints colors across the horizon announcing its arrival, he finishes. He yawns and straightens his stiff back. The scroll returns to its former shape.
Satisfied, he climbs back into bed.
As the king closes his eyes, the gentle breeze returns and coaxes the scroll across the table. Another puff and it falls to the polished stone floor. As a stronger wind develops, the parchment moves about touring the king’s chamber until it finds a resting place. A dark place in which to wait until the set time for it to reawaken.
Centuries later, King Hezekiah orders a major purification of the kingdom. No more idols or unclean things. A servant shouts! He finds not another pagan image, but beautiful proverbs by the great king Solomon—in his own hand!
They run with great excitement to find the new king. What a discovery! What a treasure!
King Hezekiah summons his scribes. “The lost proverbs are found! Transcribe them onto a perfect scroll and we shall read them to the kingdom.”
This one little verse in Proverbs contains such a wealth of possibilities, doesn’t it? As writers, we’re grateful when stories rise up from our thoughts. Short or long, they’re a gift.
We need only to be the scribes and write them down.As writers, we’re grateful when stories rise up from our thoughts.@TerriGMavens #ACFWBlogs #BetheScribe #writing #writetip Click To Tweet
Terri Gillespie: author of Making Eye Contact with God—A Women’s Devotional, She Does Good Hair (2013 LYRA Best Women’s Fiction) and CUT IT OUT! A managing editor of the Tree of Life Version of the Holy Scriptures (Baker Publishing). Daily blog: Wisdom’s Journey. Member of ACFW, AWSA, CAN.
I lately roused her from sleep,
my lovely and long-suffering wife,
and told her, “Babe, this will not keep,
I’ve realised the meaning of life!”
She rubbed her eyes and shook her head,
and tried her hardest not to frown.
“Andrew, dear, go back to bed,
but first, please write it down.”
I grabbed a pen, and envelope,
and squinted in the pale dim light,
writing fast in earnest hope
that I had gotten everything right.
Thus I did as I had been bidden,
but come morn, couldn’t read what I had written.
OH! I love that, Andrew! You are a hoot! I guess we never know how profound our midnight scribbles are. Still, we have to scribble!
This is so good, Terri! I love your writing. Keep up the scribbling!
Thanks, Gloria. Love that scribbling.
Oh, Lisa. Thank you so much. I am honored you read my scribbles.
That was very encouraging as I’m finally nearing the end of my two year re-write of my “novel in a month.” Been wondering, “Am I getting my message across?” “Will people judge it worthless because I chose spec-fiction/sci-fi?” “Will people enjoy it or be bored?”
So many questions and concerns… but I keep plugging away. Take a break. Then, nose to the grindstone again.
I loved your story in this blog. It was a fun thought!