Michel, much like his Jewish ancestor, Daniel, is an advisor to King Phraattes of the Parthian Empire. He decides to buy the Garden of Eden where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers meet. It is now completely under water and the home of marsh people. He becomes the laughing stock of his friends.
He sacrifices everything to get it—his warrior father, his wife, and his estate. His dream is to replant the Garden of Eden and draw pagans on pilgrimage to it so they will learn about the one true God. Then perhaps God will walk the earth with them in the Garden as he had with Adam and Eve.
He is interrupted by a star that appears for a while, then disappears. The other magi believe it is a sign a god was born. King Phraattes demands to know the meaning of the star, fearing it is an omen his kingdom will be taken from him.
After a year of searching, they give in to Michel’s appeals and find their answer in the Jewish scriptures. They go to Bethlehem where Michel realizes God has already come and is walking on earth through the boy, Jesus. Though ecstatic, on their way back to Parthia, he goes into a meltdown. He has lost everything to buy Eden. What can he do now? (Read reviews below.)
Read first chapter here.
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IN PRAISE OF MICHEL: THE FOURTH WISE MAN
**** – Good one. – MYRNA
I am somewhat surprised that Katheryn got me interested. I was afraid I couldn’t accept the premise of a fourth Wiseman so I was sure I wouldn’t like this book. Wrong. I enjoyed it as much as the others
This riveting Biblical historical novel is a fascinating account of what the wise men could have been like and how they may have studied to find Jesus when the glorious star announcing His birth rose. Scripture doesn’t confirm how many wise men there were, or even if they were kings or men who worked for kings. We do learn more about what the wise men, or astrologers, did and what their journey may have been like to see the King of Kings. The author has a keen insight into the minds and hearts of the people of that time, and extensive knowledge of scripture and Middle Eastern history. The characters are well-defined through realistic conversations and actions.
Michel has always been a dreamer and adventurer who could trace his Jewish lineage to Daniel. At 35, he is an advisor to the king along with Yasib, Dushatra, and Kumar. He has a lovely wife, Meira, and a father who had been his childhood hero but time and years of feeling abandoned has brought a distance that is much more than physical from him. The dream Michel currently nurtures and believes the Lord put on his heart is to purchase the Garden of Eden. He wants to restore it and draw all men to it, especially those who worship idols. It will be the place where God will walk on the earth again and talk with His children.
Michel is desperate to purchase the Garden of Eden from the current owner. Unable to get anyone to invest in it, such as his closest co-workers or his father, Michel sells huge estate, losing his wife in the process. On his return trip from purchasing the land and hiring people to drain the water from it, he sees an explosion of light in the western sky, a new star, larger than he has ever seen. It is a brilliant white, with a tail that points to – something. Centered on his dream and desires, Michel wonders if it is Jehovah nodding his approval of Michel’s purchase.
Upon return to the palace, he learns that the king and other wise men have seen the star before it disappeared. The king wants to know what the star indicates. It is generally believed that it announces the birth of a new king, and his king wants to know what happened to the newly-born ruler. Their king banishes them until and unless they find the truth. Kumar suggests they travel the great libraries of the world until they find who this recently-born king is. They search through ancient writings of many religions but ignore Michel’s suggestion to pore over the holy writings of Judaism. Starting out as four magi traveling the world, five more join to their number, other astrologers from the palace. Michel in the meantime is very unhappy with the interruption the star has put in his plans for Eden. Is it so wrong to want a place for the Lord Himself to walk among men?
This is an enlightening novel with characters worth cheering for, bringing life to the first century A.D. We find spiritual lessons, concern for others to know the one true God, and learning more about the world our Savior was born into. This isn’t a non-fiction read, nor is it meant to add to or change what is in scripture. Rather, it is a Christian novel that captures the imagination and shows us a bit of how the Lord works in our lives. I highly recommend it.