Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Review: Exodus


Cliff Graham

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Two men were brave enough to tell the truth about what awaited the Hebrews in Canaan. This is their story. From the slave pits of Egypt to the efforts of an eighty-five-year-old Caleb as he drives out the last of the giants, Shadow of the Mountain is a vivid portrait of two of God's chosen champions, and a meditation on masculine mentorship and the challenges and blessings of growing older.

For the sake of his new God and his loyalty to his friend Joshua, Caleb will not spend his twilight years resting, but taking the battle to the enemies of God's people until his dying breath. From his early days as a mercenary for Pharaoh in Egypt watching the Hebrews suffer under the yoke of slavery, all the way through a desperate fight with giants in the dark forests of the hill country, this is a story filled with epic battles, gritty intensity, and supernatural events that made Graham's Lion of War series a hit. Shadow of the Mountain is sure to ignite a love for the Old Testament in popular culture.


Years before Moses ever came to rescue the Israelites from Egypt, Caleb was making his way up the ladder of the Egyptian army. He may have been a foreigner, but that did not stop him from earning position, honor, and wealth through his military exploits and his skill with carving. Yet, when Moses brought Yahweh’s plagues to the country, Caleb had to rethink his dedication to Egypt and its gods.

Exodus, by Cliff Graham, was a wonderful Biblical fiction. Little is known about the Biblical Caleb; he was one of the two spies (along with Joshua) sent into Canaan after the Exodus from Egypt who brought back reports filled with faith in God and subsequently the only two who survived the forty years in the desert. He also became a military leader in Israel. Therefore, Graham used his imagination with the Biblical facts and research on the time period to create this wonderful retelling of The Exodus.

Caleb’s story came to life in this book. The story is told from the frame of Caleb’s older self, telling of his past to his nephew so that his nephew and others might grow wise and grow closer to God through Caleb’s testimony. Several times, Caleb’s recollections are broken as the events of the present take precedence. Through this, readers see that Caleb’s good character has only grown since his youth.

The way that Exodus portrays Caleb’s life is as though God put him in a position to learn all he would need in order to make Israel’s military the best that I could be while still softening him to believe in God when the time came. Caleb had just about everything a man could want, yet he eventually saw it as worthless in light of following God.

Readers experience a rich description of what Egypt might have looked like so many thousands of years ago. Gold and statues pervaded the cities, The Pharoah held a god-like position over his subjects. Yet, the character, Caleb, in his retelling to his nephew, also mentioned that he hated to look back and know he had viewed it as so beautiful when he now knew how sinful the country was. The viewpoint certainly puts things into perspective.

I most appreciated Caleb’s description of the plagues. Because it is told from the perspective of an Egyptian, it takes on a different aspect than when it is told from an Israelite’s or a modern-day Christian’s perspective. In either case, God is declared as powerful and merciful. Yet, to the Egyptians, God was vengeful, causing extreme pain or death to many people. Exodus shows this perspective through Caleb while still declaring that God is merciful.

In conclusion, Exodus was a fantastic book, bringing a rather unknown Biblical story to life and illuminating a different perspective than that which The Exodus is usually told. I would highly recommend this book to Christians who do not mind a little action and some imagination brought into a Biblical tale.

I received a free copy of Exodus from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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