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"My beloved shall dwell in safety beside you; I shall cover you all the day long, and he shall dwell between your shoulders". The deep, resonating voice, and the words he recognizes as the blessing Moses pronounced upon the tribe of Benjamin over five generations before, echo in Jonathan's head as he herds his father's cattle in from the summer grazing....
"My beloved shall dwell in safety beside you; I shall cover you all the day long, and he shall dwell between your shoulders". The deep, resonating voice, and the words he recognizes as the blessing Moses pronounced upon the tribe of Benjamin over five generations before, echo in Jonathan's head as he herds his father's cattle in from the summer grazing. He has suffered a terrible dream where the voice speaks to him after some unknown evil leads him to stand on the very brink of a precipice. Being the oldest son of Saul, the first king of Israel, and of the war like tribe of Benjamin, Jonathan has been reminded of his eminent future by his domineering father who sees his tender spirit as weakness; taught the laws of his God by an aging grandfather who believes it to be a remarkable attribute; and lovingly nurtured by a beautiful mother whom his father accuses of spoiling him. Coddled by a Moabite slave who not only delivered him, but also believes him to be pre-destined for greatness, he has survived a childhood fraught with the heartbreak, anger, and jealousy resulting from his father's polygamous marriage. The setting is ancient Israel somewhere between 1150-1050 BC. Jonathan's home is a gloomy stone fortress, located in the former Canaanite City of Gibeah. Casemated walls and a grand staircase lead to what the servants fearfully call the Lion's Den, his father's large, second story audience room. It has been twelve years since the Prophet Samuel anointed his father to be the first king of Israel. Twelve years that his mother has been unhappy and his father has been like a lion pacing a cage. With the advent of a young messenger sent to seek the assistance of King Saul because his city is under attack, his life seems catapulted into his nightmare. His father successfully rallies an army, wins a great victory, and is at last officially coroneted King. As Jonathan moves through the delicate web of choices that shape each of our destinies, he finds courage in his undying faith in the impossible and his hope in the promised rebuilding of Shiloh. Strangely, it is a horse that at last gives him the coveted respect of his father. A "devil" horse that his father secretly hopes will kill or maim him so that his more promising brother might become heir. Will Prince Jonathan's stubborn obedience to God, and his longing to experience the true love seemingly lost to his parents, enable him to withstand his father's jealous rages and planned marriage to the daughter of his evil counselor, or will he become the victim of the precipice in his dream?
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