The Book of Voices

Biblical Microfictions by Joseph Zitt


(Context: 1 Kings 16:10)

I am the king of nothing. This castle is mine, this crown, this goblet. But all this, my actions, my risks, my sacrifices are worth nothing. This castle is empty, silent; this crown feels like lead, feels like thorns; this goblet, filled with the strongest liquor, tastes of poison, tastes of rust. And the words of the prophet, the words of our god ring like mockery as they echo in my soul.

The prophet said that the king must die, and I slew him. The prophet said that all the men who surrounded the king must die, and I had them slain: all the men from within his family, all the men who imagined him their friend were slain by the order of the Lord.

And where is my honor, where is my glory? This people who claim that they love the Lord, who claim to follow his words, have turned against the one who did what he desired. While I have taken my rightful place as king, they have crowned another, have followed his commands against me, have stolen this army that should be mine, have taken this city, have surrounded this castle, have set their arrows, their spears, their catapults to destroy the one that they should reward.

I have called out to the Lord from these depths, from this abyss of betrayal. All I hear is wind, is mocking silence. Against the shouts of the mob outside, I have no words, no wisdom, no flashes of insight that tell me how to turn these people back to a path of righteousness.

I have nothing, nothing but this room, these draperies, this fine strong liquor which burns within me as this castle is beginning to burn. I have surrounded myself with its casks and am drinking, drinking, feeling myself gain the lack of feeling that comes with the strength of these draughts.

This castle is burning, and I will burn within it. I who burned with passion for the Lord will burn in this fire, will burn for the Lord. If the Lord will not listen to my prayers, perhaps he will listen to my flames, to my sacrifice. I will die with the taste of this fine drink on my lips, my last sensation before my final stupor, before I relinquish my will, before I challenge this god to prove that he is a true god, to prove that he cares about his people. I challenge this god to take me from these flames, to take me to a realm where those who do his bidding are treated as the heroes that they are.

Yes, let all of Israel know that I was a hero. Let all of Israel say that I was a martyr, that I performed the will of the Lord, that I have reigned to further the glory of the Lord, that I will have sacrificed myself so that this king, this castle, this holy moment will not have been defiled by those who do not honor his name.

Let history show, as it shows for all kings, the truth of what I did, who I was, what I believed. For are not all our acts written forever in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?

(Next: Gideon.)

August 10, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. […] was an administrator in the court of King Ahab, who took power twelve years after the death of Zimri. Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, began to systematically wipe out the prophets of Israel’s God. The Bible […]

    Pingback by Obadiah « The Book of Voices | January 13, 2013 | Reply

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