Monday, January 29, 2018

Judah's Wife

Judah's Wife
A Novel of the Maccabees

The Silent Years, Book 2
Angela Hunt
(Bethany House Publishers)
ISBN: 978-0764219337
January 2018/384 pages/$15.99

To Be Silent Would Be to Deny Their God, To Defy Would Bring the Wrath of the King.

Seeking quiet and safety after a hard childhood, Leah marries Judah, a strong and gentle man, and for the first time in her life Leah believes she'll have peace. But the very nation Judah was named for has been conquered by a cruel king, who decrees that all Jews are to conform to Syrian laws or risk death for following the laws of Moses.

Judah's father resists the decree, igniting a war that will cost him his life. But before dying, he commands Judah to pick up his sword and continue the fight--or bear responsibility for the obliteration of Israel. Leah, who wants nothing but peace, struggles with her husband's decision--what kind of God would destroy the peace she has sought for so long?

The miraculous story of the courageous Maccabees is told through the eyes of Judah's wife, who learns that love requires courage . . . and sacrifice.

Read an excerpt.


The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at


Like the first book in this series and Angela Hunt's Dangerous Beauty novels, Judah's Wife creates a compelling story amidst the backdrop of a thoroughly researched, historically accurate setting. Prior to this novel, I was only vaguely familiar with the Maccabees and had minimal knowledge of the events of the Silent Years, the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments when God sent no prophet to speak to His people. Hunt makes it evident that while He may have been silent, He was not absent in this gripping tale of the man and his sons who lead the Jewish people in their revolt against the evil king, Antiochus Epiphanes, who seeks to snuff out their religious practices and force them to worship the pagan gods. While many of the characters are verifiable, Hunt creates others who are not documented in historic references, Leah and other women among them, seamlessly blending fact and fiction into a tale that, in spite of its ancient setting and customs, has relevance for today. The demands made by Antiochus Epiphanes and the pressure to conform to a secular form of religion seem distressingly possible in our increasingly faith-hostile world. Judah's Wife will challenge and encourage you. Don't miss it!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free Bethany House Publishers for a blog tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


1. Why write about the Intertestamental Period? God was silent during that time, right?

God did not speak through his prophets during that time, but He certainly wasn’t napping, so surely He continued to speak to individuals in His still, small voice. For instance, we know He spoke to Simeon, the old man waiting to see the Messiah in the Temple. But God made no proclamations through His prophets. In the preceding years He had already told His people everything they needed to know about the coming Messiah.

2. This is a novel about the Maccabees—who were they, and why are they celebrated?

The Maccabees were followers of Judah/Judas Maccabees, the son of a priestly family who refused to capitulate to the ruling Seleucids who wanted to Hellenize the Jews. When Antiochus Epiphanes made it a capital crime to observe the Sabbath, circumcise baby boys, or refrain from eating pork and other unclean foods, the Maccabees fought back. Literally.

3. In the book, you mention that the celebration of Hanukah has its roots in events that took place during the time of the Maccabees. What is the connection with Hanukah, and why does a menorah symbolize that celebration?

After the Maccabees put the Seleucids to flight, they reclaimed the Temple, which had been desecrated in the most horrible ways imaginable. When they had finished cleansing it, they declared a festival—the word Hanukah means dedication.

Many Jews celebrate Hanukah with a menorah because a legend arose 600 years after the festival’s origination. The legend states that the priests found a vial of holy oil that had somehow escaped contamination by the pagan Seleucids. They poured the oil into a lamp, which miraculously burned for all seven days of the festival.

4. What lessons can a contemporary reader—Jewish or Christian—take from this book about the Maccabees? Is their story relevant to us today?

I believe the story is extremely relevant because our culture is becoming increasingly secular, and Christians are being pressed to conform to the world as never before. Of course, we should never be surprised or offended when people who do not believe in a holy God behave like people who do not believe in a holy God. The problem arises when we who DO believe are asked to accept and/or condone practices the Bible declares unacceptable for God’s people. Judeo-Christian principles once served as a basis for Western civilization, but now we are being asked to accept a fluid form of morality or be labeled “haters.” This is what the Jews faced under the Seleucid
empire, only they faced death, not criticism on social media.

5. The book’s characters frequently talk about “Hellenes,” or Jews who had set aside their Jewish faith in order to follow Greek customs and culture. Why were the religious Jews so opposed to the Hellenes? Aren’t we supposed to be culturally relevant?

If you can relate to the culture without compromising biblical standards of righteous living, great! If you must violate principles the Bible clearly declares, then we should be as steadfast as the righteous Jews who risked their lives to obey the Torah, God’s Word. If the Seleucid king had allowed the Jews to continue worshiping according to their beliefs, he would not have faced them in war. But when he began to put righteous Jews to death (in truly horrifying ways), the Maccabees took action, and God blessed them.

6. What book comes next in The Silent Years series?

The third book in The Silent Years series is Jerusalem’s Queen, a novel based on the life of Salome Alexandra. Who was she? Israel’s greatest queen, and a truly remarkable woman.

Thanks to Angela Hunt and Bethany House Publishers for providing this Q & A!

THE SILENT YEARS Series - click the covers for my reviews!


View blog reactions

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fascinating background. Definitely want to read this book. No surprise as Angie Hunt is a fabulous writer and great researcher. Thanks for the interview, Linda.

Mary Kay