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Thursday, December 08, 2016
Jill Eileen Smith

Jill Eileen Smith

Jill Eileen Smith has more than twenty years of writing experience, and her writing has garnered acclaim in several contests. Her research into the lives of David's wives has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan.
Jill Eileen Smith: Bringing the Word to Life

Jill Eileen Smith: Bringing the Word to Life

(March 2013)
Rel Mollet
Jill Eileen Smith brings life to the people we read about in the Bible.

In fact, her name has become synonymous with biblical fiction, thanks to her Wives of King David trilogy, and now her Wives of the Patriarchs series, set in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt and Canaan.

“Each story is a fictional rendering of the biblical account,” Jill says, “focusing on one or more of Israel’s four matriarchs, all amid a backdrop of deceit, control and a struggle to make a united family.”

The latest volume in the Wives of the Patriarchs series is Rebekah (Revell Books). When Jill first investigated Rebekah and Isaac’s story, she wondered if there was one to tell. “There is so little about them in Scripture as compared to Abraham and Jacob. Many commentators see Isaac as weak. I didn’t want to make him heroic just for the story’s sake, but as I studied all he had been through and realized Isaac is a type of Christ—especially in the binding and sacrifice that defined him—I saw a different man than I expected.”

The lack of biblical material was a challenge. “All we know about them is their betrothal, the birth of the twins, the prophecy about the twins, and a few other seemingly unrelated things. We see a dysfunctional family in the later years, but how did they get to that place? This was a story of relationships, the struggles of marriage, and the love of mother for son that threatened to replace the love of husband and wife. I think Rebekah has a lot to teach us.”

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2013 issue of FamilyFiction digital magazine. Subscribe for free today!



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