16 July 2015

Day of Atonement: A Novel of the Maccabean Revolt by David A. deSilva

In the blank pages between Malachi and Matthew, the course of an entire nation was changed…

His brother, the high priest Honiah, enjoyed the authority of the high priesthood, and all important decisions needed his approval. But it was Jason who was shaping the future of Jerusalem and, with it, all Judea. He breathed in again, imagining that he could feel the wave of destiny impelling him forward toward his vision as he exhaled…

The Greeks have taken over the world, but Jerusalem is still the same backwater city Jason has always known. He wants to help his hometown rise to a new age of prosperity and influence. If that means stretching the terms of the city's divine covenant, so be it. But how far is he willing to go to achieve Greek greatness for this Jewish city?

It will take the willingness of a handful of Jews to die rather than violate the covenant in order to turn the tide back to God. Written by an internationally recognized expert in the period between the Testaments, Day of Atonement invites readers into Judea during the tumultuous years leading up to the Maccabean Revolt. It was this pivotal decade that reminded Jews of the centrality of the covenant to their national security and taught them that the covenant was worth dying for. The story is so foundational, it is still told every year at Hanukkah. The lessons learned during this turbulent time also shed light on just what was at stake in the ministry of Jesus, whose radical message seemed to threaten the covenant once again.

David A. DeSilva’s Day of Atonement kept me fascinated with a time in history previously unfamiliar to me. Rich in historical detail, this well-paced novel delves into the complicated circumstances surrounding Maccabean Revolt. With well-developed characters and authentic feeling, DeSilva brings this period to life so well that I really enjoyed this all-around interesting novel. I recommend it to readers interested in biblical fiction, for it is quite a worthwhile and valuable read.

Thanks to Kregel Publications, I received a copy of Day of Atonement and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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