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Literature / The Kingdom and the Crown

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A trilogy of novels by Gerald N. Lund published starting in 2000, set in the Holy Land during New Testament times, it comprises of three books:

  • Fishers of Men
  • Come Unto Me
  • Behold the Man

The story centers on the family of David ben Joseph, a wealthy merchant in the city of Capernaum, and frequent business partner of Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and their partners James and John, the sons of Zebedee. In dealing with them, David comes to hear of a new rabbi traveling around who rumors have begun to circle may in fact be the long awaited Messiah.


David's wife Deborah and their son Simeon are more concerned with the cause of the Zealots and driving the hated Romans out of Israel, but as they meet Jesus, they find their lives beginning to change as well, but for a while are unable to tell if the change is for the better.

The books each cover a period of about a year, one for each year of Jesus' public ministry, and culminating in his death and resurrection.


Tropes found therein:

  • Badass Israelite: Simeon, Yehuda, Daniel and the rest of the Zealots. Heck, Galileans in general.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Miriam and Simeon develop this a while in, coming to a head in the climax of the second book.
  • Berserk Button: Simeon when it comes to the Romans.
  • Beta Couple: Yehuda and Livia.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Simeon and Yehuda interrupt Moshe Ya’abin’s raid on Mordechai’s travel party just as he was dragging Miriam toward a tent.
  • Boy Meets Girl: Simeon and Miriam.
  • Children Are Innocent: “Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of God.”
  • Creepy Child: Esther has hints of this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Yehuda
  • Defector from Decadence: Miriam when she escapes from Marcus’ family home with Simeon.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Simeon has one across his chest from his first encounter with Marcus.
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  • Gilded Cage: Miriam comes to see Marcus' family home as one.
  • Happily Married: David and Deborah, Ephraim and Rachel, and later Yehuda and Livia and Simeon and Miriam.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Livia after Yehuda’s death.
  • Honorable Marriage Proposal: While describing the events leading up to the birth of Jesus, Mary offhandedly mentions that Joseph marrying her after she was found with child was him basically admitting he was the one who got her pregnant in the first place.
  • Human Shield: When the Zealots interrupt Ya’abin’s raid on their camp, he holds Miriam in front of himself.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Never said outright, but Livia’s reaction to Yehuda’s attention to her definitely strikes of this, particularly how she is still just Miriam’s servant girl at that point.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Moshe Ya’abin when he raids their camp intends to have his way with Miriam.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: Many of Jesus’ followers chalk their devotion of Him up to this.
  • Instant Waking Skills: Simeon and the other Zealots, unless they’re someplace where they feel completely safe.
  • It's Personal: Deborah’s family were all Zealots and her uncle was killed fighting the Romans while several cousins were crucified as the rest of the family watched.
  • Jews Love to Argue: Noted frequently, David hates going to meetings because of it.
  • Jumped at the Call: Peter, James and John. And Andrew. They hardly put up any fuss and, in James and John’s case all they need is a nod from Zebedee, their father, to head off.
  • La Résistance: The Zealots
  • Last Girl Wins: Simeon was betrothed to Yehuda’s sister Shana briefly, but after the disastrous battle against the Romans, that left Daniel dead and Yehuda in prison, she called it off. Simeon would eventually settle down with Miriam, whom he had known for a much shorter time.
  • Man Behind the Man: Or rather the council behind the council. The Great Sanhedrin is the public governing body in Jerusalem but there is another, inner council that Mordechai belongs to that is the real power. The Romans refer to such things as “the power behind the throne.”
  • No-Harm Requirement: In the second book, Simeon is tasked by the Romans to track down and capture a renegade who's been causing them problems. Since he's started following Jesus, he's having trouble reconciling his old life of fighting with his new life as a Christian, and opts for a campaign of psychological warfare and gaslighting to play on the bandit's superstition and make him paranoid before provoking him into chasing him into a small canyon where the Romans are waiting, delivering the legionaries their outlaw without causing anyone physical harm.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Sanhedrin.
  • Old Retainer: David’s household servant Phineas.
  • Old Soldier: Sextus Rubrius
  • Papa Wolf: Mordechai toward Miriam.
  • Pet the Dog: When Mordechai arranges for Livia to be reunited with her brother.
  • Properly Paranoid: Sextus while leading a maniple into Galilee.
  • Self-Made Man: David is implied to be this.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Esther and Boaz
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Yehuda dies as Livia is pregnant with his child.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Miriam is the daughter of a wealthy Sadducee, but isn’t stuck up about it, at least not too much, helps her father out, and frequently goes and gives alms.
  • Superstitious Sailors: In the second book, Mordechai is to sail to Rome, but the rituals and soothsayer readings the crew insist on performing before setting out, and their propensity for viewing any mishap, unusual occurrence or bad reading as a omen of impending doom nearly drive him insane.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Common in Roman discipline. Jesus, of course, is eventually scourged.
  • We Will Meet Again: After being sent off with his tail between his legs, Moshe Ya’abin yells this to Simeon.
  • Whip It Good: Jesus’ introduction as He clears the temple of the moneychangers.