Preface

My story covers the trade routes from the crescent in what is now Iraq, to the Promised Land of Abraham's people. My mission is to explore the life and strife of a Semite tradesman, who I'll give the biblical name Job. (Rhymes with robe.) Job lives in a dangerous era, a time when a new empire threatens the Israelites. The people of this empire call themselves Babylonians, and these people are ruled by a very prominent biblical figure, a man who rules from his capitol, Babylon.


The Book Of Merchants

As Told By The Roving Historian Typewriter King

Yesterday ran a very uneventful course in the life of Job, son of Amos, son of Zechariah, son of Boaz, son of Jesse, all the way up to Adam. The names stretch on like the sand outside of civilization. A man could go crazy, finding so many monotonous answers wrapped up in the past, one could rush into Arabia just to find some mystery!

At last, at least, Jerusalem is visible. The caravan inn is just ahead, thank the Maker, this winter1 chills to the bone. At some points of the trade route, the cold can even freeze Water.
Thankfully not here, the thicker Mediterranean air- Job shields his eyes against the Eastern sun.
Job nearly shouts at the rude vision.
He shouts to his family and two servants as he constricts the harness on his beast-of-burden, a four-year-old Nubian Ass.

"All stop!" Every caravan halts, "Accursed invaders! Everyone stop!"
To this Job's wife speaks up.

"Tell me, I beg you, who has taken up camp outside the King's walls?"
And Job turns to his wife, Rachel, and exclaims, "It is the heathen of the East, the gentile Chaldeans!"
So it passed that Rachel felt stricken, and teetered near collapse, and Job witnessed this, and addressed a slave.

"Eli'sha, humbly fetch the misses a pail of water!"
So she fetched the pail, stored with the wheat for baking loafs, and brought a wash basin, and a cup of tin, and a ladle.
She helped Rachel sip from the cup, and begged the other slave, a boy named Joseph, cleanse the lady's feet.
The boy becomes distracted, and harkens toward a majestic chariot.

"Witness the despot, oh witness his crimes, what he has befallen on our Lady!"
It is at this time, with the slaves nursing Rachel and her unborn child, that Chaldean highwaymen ride to the caravan.
Job thus orders a wagon parameter, and unsheathes his blade to commence battle.

"Joseph! Saddle Rachel to my mount, and take my sacks with her to the house of God in Shechem. You'll behold my eldest son there, God willing!"
So the horsemen ride to the caravans.

"Stand down, Hebrews, and pay your tribute to the Ruler of Mesopotamia, and the lands stretching beyond Mesopotamia, including all before you."
Job's response to the challenge is spit at the words and boast, "Your King rules no more than a leper camp parked in the wilderness of Judah!"

It comes to pass that the riders trumpet for the chariots, real war machines charged for the task, but the Hebrews flee on their mounts, and break as a flock, while caravans litter the pass.
But Job, together with his bronze ax-brandishing senior servant Eli'sha, stays to nip at the flank of a passing chariot.
Job's blood mixes with a gentiles, as he ignores a spear gash an smites a Chaldean from the left side.
Thank you, Lord, you gifted me with a left sword-hand, as you did my father, and my father's father, and it is just, amen.


1Or is it winter? The Prophet Jeremiah dates the beginning of Babylon's siege of Jerusalem in the ninth year of Zedekia'ia's reign as the King of Judah, in the tenth month. This could mean "the ninth year and tenth month of the King's reign" but I can't be sure. The point is moot, however, because Daniel contradicts Jeremiah, saying "In the third year of the reign of Jehoi'akim, King of Judah, came Nebuchadnez'zar…")