Have you read the book of Judges recently? We tend to spend more time in the New Testament than the Old, but Barbara Britton’s new novel, Building Benjamin, may challenge us to dig into that Old Testament era. Before we visit with Barbara, let’s take a quick look at the story.
Naomi desires to dance well enough to catch the eye of a wealthy landowner. Her father needs a substantial bride price due to the deaths of her brothers at the hands of the tribe of Benjamin. But when Benjamites raid the Ephraimite feast and capture young girls, Naomi is bound and carried from her home by Eliab, a troubled shepherd who needs a wife.
As Naomi awaits rescue, she finds Eliab has a strong faith in God and a just reason for abducting her. A reason that affects all the tribes of Israel. The future of the tribe of Benjamin hangs in the balance, but if Naomi follows her heart and stays with Eliab to rebuild his lineage, she must forfeit her family and become a traitor to her tribe.
Welcome back, Barbara! Tell us a bit about Building Benjamin.
I was reading through the Bible when I came across a story in Judges (Judges 19-21) that I had never heard before. The story was about how the tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out by the other tribes of Israel. The remaining men of Benjamin had to kidnap wives in order for the tribe to survive. I wondered what it would be like to be one of the Israeli girls abducted. Alas, Naomi’s journey began.
The apostle Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin, so I’m glad the tribe survived.
I actually just finished reading Judges. This is an interesting part of the Israelite history to consider. What do you want readers to take away from your novel?
My heroine, Naomi, is thrust into a scary situation. She draws on her relationship with God to give her strength through the chaos of her kidnapping. Her go-to verse is Deuteronomy 6:18a; “Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you.” I hope Naomi’s faith will encourage others who are going through tough times. She never forgets where she came from, and what she was taught about God by her parents.
Tough times certainly weren’t limited to the Old Testament! I love that Naomi has a verse she finds strength in. Do you have a favorite life verse?
One of my favorite set of verses is Philippians 4:4-7. Life can get crazy sometimes and I need to remember not to be anxious, but to pray and talk to God about my fears. It’s not easy to rejoice at all times. When I edited Building Benjamin, I was going through radiation therapy for breast cancer. I had been through two surgeries, and my future was uncertain. God gave me His peace and strength to carry on no matter the outcome. I am blessed to be cancer free at this point in time.
Praise the Lord! What a challenging time, and yet what a testimony you now have, to be able to share what you’ve learned going through it. What are you working on now?
I am waiting on the final edits for my third novel in my Tribes of Israel series—Jerusalem Rising: Adah’s Journey. Adah’s journey is set in the time of Nehemiah. I am also beginning another story set in the Old Testament Scriptures.
I am curious if your readers were familiar with this story in Judges. I had been a Christian a long time before stumbling upon this story.
Your turn, then! 😉 Were you familiar with this story already, or is this a new one for you?
Thanks for taking the time to share with us today, Barbara!
More about Barbara:
Barbara M. Britton was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently lives in Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She writes Christian Fiction for teens and adults. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barb kicked off her Tribes of Israel series in October with the release of “Providence: Hannah’s Journey.” Naomi’s journey, “Building Benjamin” is out now. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America.
‘Building Benjamin’ Giveaway:
Barbara has generously offered to give away a paperback or e-copy (winner’s choice) of Building Benjamin. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.