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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: June 2014

15 - Athaliah to Elijah the Tishbite

  • Edited by Philip R. Davies, University of Sheffield
  • Publisher: Acumen Publishing
  • pp 85-88


To: Elijah the Tishbite, prophet of Yahweh Tishbe, Gilead?

(if not, try any commune of ‘sons of the prophets’)

Mr Elijah the Tishbite,

I have waited many years to write this letter to you, though I have written it many times over in my head. We shall come to the issue of my mother, but first, I feel it my civic duty to inform you of your politico-prophetic successes. You will be pleased to hear that, as per what you wrote a little over two years ago in your last letter to my husband, Jehoram, King of Judah, all that you said would come to pass has indeed come to pass, including poor Jehoram's bowels.

I can't say that Jehoram and I were close, though he seemed to enjoy the fleshiness of my mind. Our marriage was, after all, a political maneuver on my father's part. My mother was never happy with the arrangement, believing the southerners to be even more ignorant of our beliefs, our culture, and the ways of our women than the northerners. She once told me, in private, that when a boy's penis is circumcised, a small amount of his already limited intellect hits the scrap heap, making him more apt for the sexually-derelict religious, social, and political life his father believes to be crucial for the well-being of all men (and she meant men!).