Narrative is how stories are told.  There is a place, there are characters, there is action.  And sometimes less is more.  For example, I am currently reading 2 Chronicles from The Message.  This is the story of Israel in the time of the Kings, when it was a divided kingdom and frequently subjected to external and internal forces.  More precisely, it is the story of those kings and how what they did affected the country.  There are not a lot of descriptive phrases containing adjectives and adverbs, but it isn't difficult to read between the lines.  Good narrative leads you along in the story and gives you time to think about the characters without describing everything in detail.  It leaves room for the imagination.

Anyway, back to 2 Chronicles.  In chapters 22-23, an unusual thing happens (at least unusual in a patriarchal society like that).  The king dies, and instead of being succeeded by a son, his mother, Athaliah, takes the throne and massacres all of the dead king's sons and takes the throne herself.  She rules by terror and supports the evil god Baal.  All would be lost except for one young son of the dead king, who was secreted away by his aunt (aren't aunts wonderful!) and kept hidden along with his nanny for 6 years.  The aunt was also married to one of the priests, Johoida--the priests were the educators of the day.  So, the nanny, the aunt and the priest educated the boy, until he was 7 years old when the priest went to some of the military leaders who spread out over the countryside and gathered other people for a secret meeting in the Temple.  Here the priest presented the young prince and presented his strategy for a coup and a public transfer of power.  His idea was to use 3 battalions to closely guard the Temple, the Palace, and the prince.  And then make the power transfer.  Here's how it happened.

Then the priest armed the officers with spears and the large and small shields originally belonging to King David that were stored in The Temple of God.  Well-armed, the guards took up their assigned positions for protecting the king, from one end of The Temple to the other.  Then the priest brought the prince into view, crowned him, handed him the scroll of God's covenant and made him king.  As Johoida and his sons anointed him they shouted, "Long live the king!"  Athaliah, hearing all the commotion, the people running around and praising the king, came to The Temple to see what was going on.  Astonished, she saw the young king standing at the entrance flanked by the captains and heralds, and everybody beside themselves with joy, trumpets blaring, the choir and orchestra leading the praise.  Athaliah ripped her robes in dismay and shouted, "Treason! Treason!"  Jehoida the priest ordered the military officers, "Drag her outside--and kill anyone who tries to follow her."  (The priest had said, "Don't kill her inside the Temple of God.")  So they dragged her out to the palace's horse corral and there they killed her. . . The people  poured into the temple of Baal and tore it down, smashing altar and images to smithereens.  They killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altar. 

Jehoida turned the care of God's Temple over to the priests and Levites, the way David had directed originally. . . He also assigned security guards at the gates of God's Temple so that no one who was unprepared could enter.  Then he got everyone together--officers, nobles, governors, and the people themselves--and escorted the king down from The Temple of God, through the Upper Gate, and placed him on the royal throne.  Everybody celebrated the event.  And the city was safe and undisturbed--Athaliah had been killed, no more Athaliah terror.

You can read more about King Joash and his reign, here. . .

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