Synopsis: Tirzah’s people, the Israelites, have been in slavery to the Egyptians for many years. Tirzah and her lame brother, Oren, help gather straw to make bricks. She observes the suffering of her people and the injustices that are done to them by the Egyptian police. Moses begs Pharaoh to let them go, but Pharaoh makes them work harder.
One night, when the plague of death strikes down Pharaoh’s own son, he allows the Israelites to flee on foot, only to pursue them with horses and chariots. He believes he will have them trapped between the mountains and the sea, but God miraculously delivers them. The Israelites celebrate with a song of hope and victory. Tirzah befriends a young Egyptian girl who has fled with them, even though others treat her badly. In spite of hardship and disappointment, Tirzah and her family keep trusting Yahweh to carry them through.
One or two mentions of slaves whipped and beaten. Talk of someone stoned, and many Hebrews die of plague. The Egyptian army is drowned; mentions of bodies washed ashore. There’s a battle and Tirzah aids the wounded. The Levites must kill everyone who stood against Yahweh. A girl is kidnapped and tied up.
General mentions of weddings and betrothal (the girls had picked out candidates). Two characters fall in love and become betrothed. Tirzah’s friend shows affection to one character, only to change her mind and become betrothed to his brother.
Set in the time of Exodus, the Hebrews were slaves; many poorly treated. Factions of Hebrews rebel against the leadership of Yahweh, and Moses- often to consequence.
The Hebrews worship Yahweh. The Egyptian mythology is brought up a few times, but always in contrast to the true power of God Plagues mentioned and miracles done by God through Moses- Yahweh leads them in a cloud by day and fire by night. The golden calf is mentioned and a girl is almost sacrificed to a god.
Overall feel: “Forgiveness washes away the old, let’s the new breathe and grow.” The story is one of freedom and forgiveness, of contentment and trust. Tirzah learns many lessons on the hard road towards liberty, and how to overcome the prejudice and bitterness towards those who had held her in slavery. Subtle, yet powerful, the story contrasts the harshness of the time and the security found in God.