ZOE (The missing Seal)
His heart pumped frantically. He cried out and ran. He had to stop the judgement he set in motion.
If he didn’t reach Mukan in time two lives will be lost and it will be upon his head. Zoe’s life and the unborn child “his own child”
“Oh God forgive me” I beg your mercy please….!
Lord Amos pushed himself harder. He was running faster than he has ever run in his life.
“God let the sin be upon my head….please have mercy, God of my father, Israel. Give me strength…let her life be spared and the child too.
Lord Amos prayed as he kept running.
Mukan and his sons set off to take Zoe to Lord Amos so that he can do the justice of burning her since he wanted Lord Amos himself to set her in flames, then that will be done.
Lord Amos will be glad to do that and watch her die with the bastard she carried.
while pushing and dragging her along the rocky road they sighted Lord Amos running as if something was after him. One of his sons pointed at him running down the hill.
Hadar had already came to inform them that Lord Amos was coming but they did not believe her until they saw him from afar.
Mukan wondered why he was running as if his life depends on it. He could have used one of his camel ride instead of his legs or sent one of his servant instead of coming down himself.
Maybe he probably wanted to witness Zoe’s burning and it will also save them the stress of walking all the way down to Timnah.
They were half dragging Zoe and she was fighting like a mad woman. She fought and did not stop fighting as they hit her on every side.
Her face was covered with the road dust and blood but she never cried out, she remained strong.
One of her brother kicked her and she staggered to fall, Mukan grabbed her by the hair. Yanking her to her feet. As he tries to shovel her forward, Lord Amos who was closer to them now shouted with authority.
“Let her go…Mukan.
Mukan hit Zoe, before tossing her aside.
Lord Amos went all over with rage, he was breathing hard after the marathon race, his blood was on fire as he tightened his fist and came straight at Mukan who ran back with a shock written all over him.
“Mukan, if you dares strike her one more time…I will kill you right here.
Mukan was surprise at Lord Amos and quickly said.
“My Lord, are you not the same person that said we should burn her…you said you wanted her burn. Why are you defending her…I thought you came to watch her executed. She have every right to die because she betrayed you, she played the harlot and got pregnant with an unknown man…
Lord Amos face was filled with heat, when had he ever shown mercy to the young woman. Zoe had suffered under his roof before returning back to her father’s house and now she suffer greatly under her own father’s roof who was supposed to show kindness to her.
He turned and looked at Zoe, she was covered with bruises, and her face was bleeding. Her hair was in a mess. She was covered with road dust, her cloth was torn. One of her hand was on her stomach, as if she was shedding her unborn child from getting hurt. He silently hope that the child was not affected in all of Zoe’s torture which was beyond human.
Lord Amos felt tears and looked away quickly.
Zoe suffered several abuse from kuwe and he did nothing to stop it. She asked for her right from Rolf and he told her to play the harlot. She pleaded for justice and all he did was to abandon her. In all of this Zoe had never gone to the city gate in burlap to cry out before the people and embarrassed him and his household.
Instead she humbled herself and dressed like a harlot in order to beget a child for his household. And rather than expose his sins Zoe secretly returned his identification Seal, his staff and cord privately to him. Protecting his reputation. Zoe did not exposed him to ridicule.
He judged her wrongly, she was indeed the righteous one.
Tears filled his eyes and he tries to blink them back. His throat closed as Zoe gently walked to stand before him.
She was battered, bleeding every part of her body, her head was bowed. She did not utter a word of self-defense or cursed him for everything he did to her. Her word came ringing to his ears again “when will you do the right thing”
Lord Amos turned to Mukan and his sons who were still surprise and wondered what was going on.
“Zoe is the righteous one among all of us. Even more righteous than I am. I never kept my promise to her to marry Shelar…my son….
Mukan quickly interrupted.
“You may be right my Lord but she has no right to play the harlot under my roof…
Lord Amos moved close to Mukan and looked into his dark eyes and said
“You don’t interrupt me when I’m talking Mukan. Do you understand?
Mukan bow, and apologies.
Lord Amos did not look away from him. Mukan’d dark eyes was a clear reflection of his cold heart. Mukan’s pride was hurt and he intended to destroy Zoe.
How could Mukan be so heart harden against his own blood? He showed no slightest mercy to Zoe. Even his son’s joined hands with him to batter their own sister and was even ready to kill her without compassion.
If not for his missing seal and Staff he wouldn’t have known that the lady who tricked him into the bush was Zoe. She did what she had to do because she was left with no choice. If not for the wisdom of Zoe he would have joined hand too in her murder.
“God I’m deeply sorry…thank you for sparing her life.
Lord Amos muttered more to himself.
He walked away from Mukan and came to stand beside Zoe. She lifted her face and looked up at him. Her right eye was blood shot and was swollen.
He saw something flashed in her eyes. She could expose him right now. She can tell everyone that she played the harlot with him and he fell without a second thought in the crossroad to Timnah, handed his Seal, staff and cord to her and lay in the bush with her.
She could tell everyone and watch them disgrace him. The news will travel far and near. He will become shameful to walk in the street or to leave his house. Zoe had every right to do such but yet all she did was to stare at him.
He saw her anger, her frustration, her grief and he also understood her pain.
Lord Amos straight out his hand towards Mukan, his finger which has his Seal. Every word he says after now will stand firm and no one will cancel it because he has his seal of authority in his middle finger.
“Zoe, doesn’t belong with you any more Mukan, the child is mine and mine alone. If any harm comes to her, I will hang you in a pole between Enaim and Timnah boundary where everyone will see your dead body.
Mukan’s face went pale, he was afraid on seeing Lord Amos marking his word with his seal. Which means he was serious and will do to him as he said.
Mukan breathed deeply and moved back, his sons were afraid and also moved far from Lord Amos and Zoe.
As Mukan was moving back with fear he said.
“She is all yours my Lord, take her and do whatever you pleases with her. She belongs with you. I will never go against your word my Lord…
Zoe, let out her breath and sank to her knees. And that was only when she allowed the tears to flow.
She began to sob. Remembering every pain, every hit, every curse, every fight and everything she passed through made her cry even more.
Lord Amos came to her and she placed her hands on his dusty feet and said.
“Forgive me my Lord…
Lord Amos eyes was filled with tears and he didn’t bother blinking it back this time, he let it out and it poured down his face, biting his lips while trying to control his emotion from crying out like a child.
The sound of Zoe’s weeping broke his heart, her lips was bleeding. She had been dragged along the rocky road by her own father and brothers who supposed to show her mercy.
Amos went down on one knee and put his hand on her back.
“I’m the one who needs your forgiveness…I’m the one who offend you….I’m the one who abandoned you and never kept to my promises. I asked your father to burn you alive without a second thought….I’m a great sinner and my sins are right before me. I’m sorry…please forgive me Zoe….
He gently lifted Zoe to her feet, she was shaking violently.
Many years ago when he first saw Zoe and wanted her for his household, he sensed something special about her and wanted Kuwe, his first son to have her. She was a Persian who do not know God. Her people are idol worshipers just like his wife, Samar. But Zoe was different, she was honorable, she was royal, she had great courage and strength. It had been God who had lead him to choose her. Zoe had risked everything to have a child who might preserve his household. She nullify every of his late wife word and also the seer she invited to the house, they all said that Zoe do not have a womb and can never conceive. Now Zoe is with a child, his own seed is forming inside of her.
Lord Amos moved closer to her and cupped her face into his hand.
“May the God of my father, the God of heaven forgive all my sins against you…”
He kissed her forehead and stepped back.
Zoe looked up to him and curved and lips into smile before saying.
“And may the God of heaven forgive my sins against you too…. my Lord.
Her body relaxed and her eyes glittered with tears.
Lord Amos felt a deep tenderness towards her.
He led her along the road. Since he did not come with his Camel, he had to walk with her ignoring Mukan and his sons who quietly turned with fear and went back to their place.
Lord Amos walked with Zoe, Hadar was coming behind them. She was filled with excitement. She cried when Zoe cried and now she will rejoice because Zoe will never cry again. Is all going to be another new beginning for her.
Zoe became weak and couldn’t walk again. She felt dizzy and fainted.
Lord Amos swept her into his arm and carried her until he got close to Timnah.
He was not ashamed as his servants met them.
He asked them to go and bring his carmel and they quickly did.
He put Zoe in the carmel, Hadar too entered and they rode back home.
When they got home. He carried her to one of the biggest chamber in his house and Hadar told him not to worry she will attend to Zoe’s injuries.
Lord Amos pace outside the house that evening waiting to know how she was doing. He couldn’t go inside to see her, because he felt it wasn’t right. He has to wait outside her chamber until her nurse comes out with a news and when Hadar came outside his face lit up.
“How is she…?
“She is sleeping my Lord, and the child she carries is well and sound…Yes! she did not lost the child. Everything is well my Lord.
Hadar said with a smile and watch Lord Amos exclaim happily.
“Praise be to God. Thank you and please take proper care of her and whatever you may need will be brought to you…just ask and it will be made available.
Hadar thanked him. Lord Amos left. He went to his flocks and selected the best he could find, a flawless male lamb. He knelt in the opened field, confess his sins before the Lord and spilled the blood of the lamb as an atonement for his sins.
Then he prostrated himself to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and beseeched him for his forgiveness.
He stayed in the mountain praying for days and when he returned he asked about Zoe from Hadar and he was told that Zoe was resting in bed.
Lord Amos went into his own chamber and slept that night without any nightmare. For the first time in many years he slept without any worries or burden.
He felt free and was at peace with himself.
To be continued