King David To The Rescue









Ezra Azra

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© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra

Image by falco from Pixabay
King David. Image by falco from Pixabay


'Tamar said unto her step-brother Amnon, I pray thee, speak unto King David, our father, for he will not withhold me from marrying thee.' King James Bible.

Ruth and Emilia were sisters. In facial features they were, inexplicably, identical although they were not and could not be identical twins. They had been born on the same date, two years apart.

Again mysteriously inexplicably, they were alike in so many respects.

Each had five adult children. Each was a widow.

They were living comfortably off, especially because their late husbands had bequeathed to them more than adequate resources.

They lived in the same City, and visited each other a few times a month, more out of family tradition than family loyalty.

This story is about the first crisis in their lives since the day they celebrated the last of the ten children leaving home to begin their adult life, away from home.

The sisters were seated at the kitchen table in Emilia's home. The crisis was in Ruth's family.

Ruth's eldest daughter, Enid, had graduated from Teacher-training College. She was unmarried, and had always made it clear that she intended to never get married. Of the six daughters in the two families, Enid was the only one who was not married.

When Enid graduated, her Mom, Ruth, was exceedingly happy and proud. Enid had applied to a Primary School in the City for employment as a Teacher. Her application was accepted. A date had been set for an interview with the School Board. She had received a few pages of conditions which she was required to accept before she attended the interview.

One of the conditions was impossible for her to accept.

All teachers at that school had to be married. Enid began a search for another school. She told her Mom, and as far as Enid was concerned, that was the end of the matter.

Ruth informed her sister, Emilia. Emilia instantly informed Ruth that there was an easy solution to the crisis. And, so, the sisters met for tea.

We are Christians, right?

Most of the time, uh-huh. I go to Church at Easter time and Christmas time. Never missed a year, so far, Emily.

Me, too. You remember the story of Tamar and Amnon in the Bible?

No. You were always more religious than me, Emilia, having read the Bible from cover to cover. Right?

More than once. Are you making fun of me, Ruthie?

No, no, no. Just quoting you. Go on, about that story in the Bible.

Tamar wanted to marry her step-brother, Amnon. She asked Amnon to ask their father, King David, permission to get married. She said King David would not object. In those days, Gods and kings allowed it.

Uh, okay. And what has that story to do with my unmarried Enid getting the job?

In a minute. I need another cup of this delicious tea.

Yes, it is delicious. Me, too, please, another cup. This time with two sugars and no cream, thank you.

Emilia poured her sister and herself a third cup of tea.

Remember our High School teacher, Mrs Fatima Meer?"

Of course, Emilia. The only one we can never forget, for the wrong reason. She was married to her cousin. That Christian school accepted her as a teacher because she proved her marriage was allowed in her religion. Which was not Christianity, even.

There you go, Ruthie.

Emilia sipped her tea while peering enquiringly at Ruth over the rim of her cup. Ruth was clueless.

What, Emilia?

Remember the fun we got out of our children playing being married? Especially my Obed marrying your Enid?

For a second or two, Ruth remained in the dark; and then it dawned. Her eyes opened their widest. Emilia happily observed,

And both of them are yet unmarried. Tamar would not have lied about her father, King David. Enid marrying her cousin Obed has the approval of the Christian Bible.

Emilia, they are adults. Besides, Enid has vowed to never get married. Besides I am almost sure neither Enid nor Obed has seen a Bible for years, let alone having read one, ever.

It will be only pretending, Ruthie. As they were happily doing it as children. Now that pretence will serve a really good purpose. And if Mrs Fatima Meer was allowed, why not our Enid and Obed? And best of all reasons is Biblical King David's permission. And if King Davidís, why not King Davidís almighty Godís, Jehovah? Remember, Jehovah conversed with David as casually as I am conversing with you here over tea.

There was a long silence. Ruth spoke softly.

If Obed recalls how happy he was when pretending to be married, it will certainly help him with his failures nowadays. I have lost count of the times he has said to me he was on track to getting married.

Ruth, is he on one of those tracks at present? If he is, thereís no point in risking a pretend marriage with his cousin, my Enid.

I do not think so. But letís hurry; just in case. I donít see a problem in persuading Obed and Enid to go along with the plan. But what if the Board of Education wants to see a marriage certificate?

Long before that happens, we take our children to the Courthouse downtown, and get them married. And after the Board is satisfied, we rip up the certificate.

What about witnesses? The Court officials will require witnesses.

Tsk, tsk, Ruthie. We have enough of our other children who will love recreating happy childhood memories.

What if the Courthouse people want to see birth certificates?

That won't be a problem. My husband carried on a lot of shady business with those Courthouse officials. Money is the only language they speak. After my husband died, one of them suggested he and I get married. It wasn't me he was interested in. He was after the fortune my husband left me.

He knew about the fortune?

Why not? He probably helped my husband get it, by whatever means. He still works there, slimy fat worm.

You know this for certain?

What? That he still works there, or that he is a slimy fat worm?

Both.

I take care to invite him and his wife over whenever I think up an excuse. And, before you ask, the answer is no; he was not married when he suggested we get married. And that is why I still have a crumb of respect for him, although he is still a slimy fat worm.

The sisters guffawed crudely; and drank more tea.

Emilia, spoke gently, There is a wild card that could sabotage our plans.

Ruth took a long drink of tea. Emilia waited, patiently. Ruth put the cup on the saucer, and pushed the saucer away on the table. She looked at her sister, resignedly.

Emilia spoke quietly, Some of those teachers at that school might know Obed.

Ruth, wide-eyed, broke out into a smile, Emilia, that school is on Epsom Road.

Uh, okay. So?

I'm finding this hard to believe, Emilia. You have forgotten Epsom Road school?

Obviously, Ruthie.

The teachers there behave like they are aristocrats. They never shop where the rest of us shop. They are never seen anywhere where people like us go in this City. The chances that they know your Obed, are less than that of that doomsday meteor smashing into Earth, tomorrow."

Again, the sisters guffawed, uproariously.

Ruth, in uncertainty, We might be able to persuade my Enid to go along, because she wants so passionately to teach at that school. But what about your Obed? He might have outgrown marrying his cousin, even in pretence. And, too, we know how obnoxiously stubborn he can be.

Ruth, my Obed will do anything for the right sum of money. And you and I, fifty-fifty, can manage that sum easily right now because he has been unemployed for over a year, and he is desperate. Anyway, if money alone will not serve, we have an ace to play, right out of the Bible.

She looked sternly at her sister.

Emilia, please, do not expect me to know the answer. I have always been a respectable Christian, and so I do not have to read the Bible. We have ordained paid holy persons to do that for us.

Emilia playfully threw a serviette at her sister, as she answered.

I know my Obed, Ruthie. For all his many egregious faults, he always loves to be reminded that in the Holy Bible story, his namesake, Obed, father of Jesse, is King Davidís Grampa, straight down the line to Jesus himself.  



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