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
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!