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The officers scanned the aerial map showing large scale destruction throughout Israel and Egypt. General Kosinski hated everything about Egypt. Its sand, crumbling pyramids, houses and people, were such a contrast to his homeland in southern Russia. His armies had fought well to gain control of Egypt. News from his Russian spies in Israel, told of recent plans made by the powerful leader Alexander Judastus, often called Macro. Kosinski looked at the distant yellow mountains, his thoughts on the new weapon emitting ultrasonic waves to generate sound holograms in mid air. Their powerful, low frequency sound waves temporarily disorientated all nearby, causing vomiting. This invisible warfare was as debilitating as poisonous gases used in previous wars. Terror filled all and people fell like flies, temporarily stunned. Kosinski was determined that Alexander would not control Israel and exalt himself above all other powers. His riches and power will soon be taken from him, thought Kosinski confidenty.

 

Kosinski's troops and their allies moved back into Israel, with sea and air strikes continuing as they advanced. Foot soldiers were spread over the entire ribbon of Israel's mountains. They wore dirty blood stained uniforms and fired at any moving target. The men were hungry and weary, a mysterious plague beginning to seriously affect their fighting ability. Fear and panic swept through all armies attacking Israel. The Russian troops were tired of the sadistic slaughter of women and children. Their return from Egypt was not as a conquering army - rather as one caught up in Kosinski's dream. He always followed his men into battle, rather than lead them, and was hated because of this cowardice. Not long after his army reached Israel, many deserted and hid in the hills. One morning, Kosinski was found dead, dressed in immaculate military regalia. He lay alongside ordinary soldiers killed in battle. His uniform stood out against their tattered garments. War had shown no mercy toward the tender faced youth or the battle hardened veteran. Together their blood was poured out in useless sacrifice. Kosinski's face wore a death mask showing surprise. The neat cut above his shirt collar was the only sign that he had been murdered, his own deserting troops taking credit for his death.
An eerie quiet filled the streets of Jerusalem. Suddenly, the earth began to quake and grumble. Even soldiers on Mt. Gerizim and along the mountain ridges, felt the tremors begin. Huge splits opened in the ground, swallowing soldiers forever. Hailstones bombarded unprotected heads and faces of soldiers trying to escape the widening crevices. The heavens opened with a clap of thunder, sending torrents of rain pouring down, creating huge mud slides, burying all in their path. In the confusion, the Russian soldiers and their allies began to kill or wound soldiers from their own armies, instead of Israel their enemy. This strange confusion continued, almost totally destroying the invading forces.(1)


Those who survived or deserted, eventually came into the cities carrying disease. The soldiers were all rounded up by Macro's forces and shot. However, typhoid and gastric infections had already broken out, killing many and making life intolerable for the survivors.


Macro and Warwick emerged from the their underground tunnel where they had remained throughout the fighting. A rasping chuckle escaped Macro's lips.


"The war is over, and southern Jordan escaped any destruction. Now the armies have been defeated we have full control again. Our headquarters will be in the precincts of the new temple."


Warwick disliked Macro's arrogance, but decided to placate him.
"We will conscript people to bury the dead and collect any discarded weapons. The Jews, by their very own laws, will not want bodies lying around for long. They will do the job for us. Moreover, the so-called Hebrew evangelist's, especially Jihela and Echon must be killed. We will spread lies concerning their supposed involvement in the war. No one will usurp our authority and rule."

 

For many weeks Jews dragged the bodies of men and horses to row upon row of mass burial pits. Flies, dogs, vermin and birds gorged themselves on the stinking flesh. Many fields and furrows were littered with bodies and the debris of war. Fresh food was scarce. Food merchants grew rich by charging exorbitant prices for grains, olives and dried fruits. It seemed there was no mercy or justice in the land. People were surprised when the invading forces were defeated. As a result, many turned to God, believing this victory was indeed a miracle. They were God's people and desired restoration, not only for the land, but themselves. Although Macro had taken credit for the victory, some people were sure he had no part in it.

 

Simon and his band of followers survived the war. Their number grew as others wandered into their camp carrying few possessions. Although parts of Israel lay in ruins, Simon and his men continued their trips to Granright to increase their stockpile of food. The cattle, although distressed during the earthquake, remained secure in the corrals. Simon heard of the spread of disease and prayed their community would be protected. Ari and a group of men formed a burial party, quickly disposing of the bodies found in the surrounding area. Discarded weapons were collected and dismantled. Wood from the gun butts was stored for fuel, to help dried cow dung burn more easily. The metal was used to make more barbeques and implements. Cooking had become a major operation.

 

Helen continued to help care for the children. She made balls with scraps of old material. Simon taught the boys how to make tiny boats to float in puddles of muddy water. Nicholas, resigned to his fate, enjoyed working alongside the men. As he helped each day, his anger and resentment lessened. At night he sat around the camp fire with others, listening to his transistor radio, remembering a much different life in Athens. His life of convenience and comfort had been exchanged for one of challenge and hardship. He wondered why he felt more peaceful, when all around was ruin and destruction.(2) It was as if Nicholas was seeing life and his parents through different eyes.

 

The NovelNotes Feature

These are a helpful feature of this novel. Their use is optional. They may be used if you want to understand more of the underlying Biblical aspects of the story, or the historical and factual material. However, you do not have to use these to follow the story line of the novel.

Chapter 19 NovelNotes

1. Ezekiel in Chapter 38, verses 17 to 23 tell us it was God Himself Who fought against these invading forces. He caused the earthquake, and the confusion among the troops, so that they killed many of their own men. God also promised and delivered the judgement of pestilence, hail, fire and brimstone which came upon them.

2. The peace Nicholas noticed in his parents is not at all surprising. As his parents now belonged to Jesus Christ, they exhibited His peace. It was Jesus Who said in the book of John, Chapter 14, verse 27, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." The peace that comes from Christ can never be shattered.

Continue to Chapter 20