Dead Sea Rising

A Novel

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By Jerry B. Jenkins

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins comes a heart-stopping adventure of historical proportions.

Nicole Berman is an archaeologist on the brink of a world-changing discovery. Preparing for her first dig in Jordan, she believes she has found concrete evidence of a biblical patriarch that could change history books forever. But someone doesn’t want the truth revealed. While urgently trying to connect pieces of an ancient puzzle, a dangerous enemy is out to stop her.

Excerpt

An intriguing story about God’s working out His will, from Abraham’s idol-worshipping father to a modern day Messianic Jewish family. Tightly written and fast-paced. The ending will leave you wanting Book 2.

Brandilyn Collins, bestselling author of over 30 books, including the Seatbelt Suspense® novels

From a criminal investigation in Manhattan to the birth of Abram in ancient Ur, Jerry Jenkins weaves together a tale of drama and suspense that will draw you into the lives of two families separated by 4,000 years of history yet sharing remarkably similar struggles of faith. Dead Sea Rising combines the thrill of a whodunit with the moral and political intrigue of the ancient, and modern, Middle East. But be prepared. Once you begin, you won’t be able to stop until you reach the final page!

Dr. Charlie Dyer, Professor-at-Large of Bible and Host of The Land and the Book radio program

This inescapable adventure kept me turning pages thru an explosion of unforgettable intrigue and passion as only Jerry B. Jenkins can pen.

DiAnn Mills, Christy Award winning author

I don’t know whose books you might read. At our dinner table, we often discuss whichever Jerry Jenkins book one of us is devouring. His dialogue is equal to the best of Nelson DeMille, his storylines equal to the best of John Grisham. But Jerry Jenkins books are on another level. And now Dead Sea Rising … Wow! This book may be the best of Jerry Jenkins. And that, my friend, is saying a lot!

Andy Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of The Traveler’s Gift and The Noticer

From the first few pages, Dead Sea Rising offers suspense and drama, making you wonder how this fascinating story originating in Manhattan finds its mysterious roots deep in the Middle East. True to Jerry’s style, the reader is quickly carried forward, drawing you into the intrigue of ancient Mesopotamia. If you love history—especially biblical history—this is a fun and fascinating read!”

Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

Dead Sea Rising is a page turner! No one does biblical fiction like Jerry Jenkins!

Karen Kingsbury, bestselling author

Jumping back and forth in time at a breakneck pace, Dead Sea Rising is a thriller as only Jerry B. Jenkins can tell it. Biblical history combines with contemporary mystery in this gripping kickoff to a new series. Just be aware—you’ll be hooked.

James Scott Bell, International Thriller Writers Award winner

What does the story of a god-chiseler in ancient Mesopotamia, an injured, wealthy woman in Manhattan, a war in Vietnam, a proposed archeological dig in Saudi Arabia, and a woman pregnant with the son who would become the father of three religions, have to do with one another? And how can one possibly stitch together such a story as the one Jerry B. Jenkins has so eloquently woven in Dead Sea Rising? Like an archaeologist on a dig, you will have to read to discover the layers of how history lie atop each other. Few stones are left uncovered here … and, like me, I know you will be grateful that this is only Book I. Dead Sea Rising kept my heart pounding and my eyes reading as quickly as they know how. I now patiently wait for more.

Eva Marie Everson, CBA bestselling & award-winning author, President, Word Weavers International

Master storyteller Jerry Jenkins combines two storylines, two eras, and two apparently unsolvable dilemmas into one intriguing story. A brilliant beginning to a new series that’s sure to fascinate and entertain.

Angela Hunt, author of Jerusalem’s Queen

In his newest book one of the best writers of our era takes us on an amazing journey connecting the ancient past with modern times. Dead Sea Rising by Jerry Jenkins is a page-turning thriller that spans the days from Abraham to today. Family secrets and mysteries are revealed in perfect and dramatic fashion as the story unfolds. Someone needs to make this into a movie or miniseries! I cannot wait for the next installment.

Ray Bentley, author, speaker, prophecy expert, and founder of Maranatha Chapel in San Diego, CA

Jerry Jenkins brings a 4,000 year old story to life. As he does, he presents a contemporary one filled with intrigue and high stakes for each character—and the world. I’m excited to see what will happen with this series!

Chris Fabry, Award-winning author, radio personality, and host of Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio




DEAD SEA RISING

A NOVEL

JERRY B.
JENKINS

DR. CRAIG EVANS, BIBLICAL CONSULTANT




Copyright © 2018 by Jenkins Entertainment, LLC

Published by Worthy Books, an imprint of Worthy Publishing Group, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., One Franklin Park, 6100 Tower Circle, Suite 210, Franklin, TN 37067.

WORTHY is a registered trademark of Worthy Media, Inc.

HELPING PEOPLE EXPERIENCE THE HEART OF GOD

eBook available wherever digital books are sold.

Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file with the Library of Congress.

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture references are taken from the King James Version of the Bible. Public domain. | Scripture passage in chapter 83 is taken from the New King James Version® (NKJV). Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For foreign and subsidiary rights, contact rights@worthypublishing.com.

Published in association with Alexander Field, The Bindery Agency, Colorado Springs, CO (https://www.thebinderyagency.com).

Opening epigraph excerpt from “Boundless Love” by John Prine, Dan Auerbach, and Pat Mclaughlin © 2018 Timmy Jack Music (BMI)/Corn Country Music (BMI)/Hour Box Music (BMI).

ISBN: 978-1-61795-009-4 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1-68397-310-2 (Signed Edition)

ISBN: 978-1-68397-309-6 (Special Bookmark Edition)

ISBN: 978-1-68397-296-9 (International Tradepaper)

Cover Design: Kent Jensen, Knail

Interior Design and Page Layout: Bart Dawson

Printed in the United States of America

18 19 20 21 22 23 LBM 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1




THE DEAD SEA CHRONICLES

Dead Sea Rising—Book 1




I was drowning in a sea, lost as I could be,

When you found me with your boundless love.”

Lyrics from “Boundless Love” by
John Prine, Dan Auerbach, and Pat Mclaughlin




CHAPTER 1

Manhattan, New York City

“It’s your mother,” Nicole Berman’s father said over the phone.

She rose from her desk at the sound of his voice. “What happened?”

“Broken hip. She’s at Sinai on Madison.”

“Hip? How, Dad?”

“You know what I know. How soon can you get there?”

“On my way,” she said, juggling her phone to pull on her trench coat.

“Use a foundation car, Nic.”

“Quicker to walk. It’s rush hour here. What time is it there?”

“Coming up on eleven,” he said, “and there’s nothing leaving here tonight. I’m on standby out of de Gaulle in the morning, but I’m way down the list. I’ll charter if I have to.”

“Oh, Dad! You sure?”

“Are you moving, hon?”

“At the elevator. Should be there in twenty minutes. Want me to call, tell her I’m on my way?”

“No, they tell me she’s already sedated for surgery. Text me as soon as you know anyth—”

“’Course, but don’t charter till I find out how serious this is. You’re probably looking at—”

“Six figures,” he said. “I know. But even picking up six hours, if I get out of here by eight in the morning, it’s gonna be noon before I get into the city.”

“Mom wouldn’t want you to spend—”

“Don’t bother her with that! We’re flush as we’ve ever been and—”

But the call dropped when the elevator closed.

Nicole’s lengthy strides made up for having to wait to cross Lexington and then Park Avenue. The fall sun had already dipped behind the buildings on the west side of Park, leaving a nip in the air that only quickened her pace.

At Mount Sinai Hospital, Reception summoned from upstairs a petite, black woman of about twenty-five. She introduced herself as Kayla and gave Nicole a visitor badge. “I’ll take you directly to ICU, Dr. Berman.”

“It’s that bad?”

“With top-tier patients we take every precaution,” Kayla said as they walked. “Let me express on behalf of our entire administrative team how grateful we are for The Berman Foundation. We—”

“I appreciate that, but what happened? Did she—”

“Housekeeper says she tripped on a rug. That’s common among—”

“Not for her. She’s still active, works out …”

“The surgeon will bring you up to speed. And a heads-up: he only looks twelve. He’s thirty-five and one of our best ortho guys.”

In ICU, Kayla began to introduce personnel, but Nicole brushed past them and cupped her mother’s face in her palms. “I’m here.” She leaned close and studied a bright red scrape on her mother’s forehead that appeared to have been treated with ointment. Nicole turned to the surgeon. Script sewn above the breast pocket of his lab coat read “L. Thorn, M.D.” It was good Kayla had warned her. If this guy was only a few years younger than she …

“We assume the contusion is a rug burn,” he said.

“Oh, Mama, what happened?” Seeing her like this made everything else in Nicole’s life pale—and her plate was loaded.

Her mother appeared to try to raise a hand but closed her eyes, brow furrowed as if in pain. “Doctor, thish ish my …”

A nurse said, “She’s been talking about you nonstop. You’re up for some sort of a license or permit or—?”

“She shouldn’t have to suffer, should she?” Nicole said.

“She won’t remember any of this,” the anesthesiologist said. “There, she’s out now.”

“Doctor, my father should be here tomorrow. Could you delay op—?”

Dr. Thorn shook his head. “Unwise. Waiting increases the risk of mortality, especially for someone your mother’s age. Fortunately, she has no history of heart disease. But the sooner I get in there, the better chance I’ll have to restore mobility. We’re next in line for surgery.”

Nicole sat alone in the waiting room, trading texts with her father. She left out the doctor’s mention of mortality and asked if he had been informed by the new housekeeper. He wrote no, that he had heard from his assistant, Abigail.

No surprise, Nicole had had to get the word from her father from across the Atlantic, despite that Abigail sat in the adjacent office at The Berman Foundation. But now was not the time to revisit that years-long cold war.

Her father texted that he wouldn’t have been able to understand the housekeeper anyway, “but praise God she was there.” He added that he had finagled a seat on the eight a.m. flight. “Thats 2 a.m. ur time so c u by noon tomorrow”

Nicole prided herself in writing properly even when texting. “And what did that finagling cost?”

“2x what the guy paid”

“Meaning?”

“€15,000. way less than charter”

She definitely would keep that from her mother, the former accountant for the foundation. “Get some sleep and have a safe trip, Dad.”

“Any word on the permit, Nic?”

“Nothing. Can’t think about that now anyway.”

For months it had been all she thought about.

Nicole had never been good at waiting. She wouldn’t be able to concentrate on any of the more than two hundred ebooks on her phone. And she could think of nothing to pray beyond, “Be with Mom and spare her.” She and her mother had never been closer than now. Tripped in her own home? Nicole couldn’t make it compute. Her mother was still youthful, active at sixty-six.

Plaques on the wall honored her parents. This very waiting room had been “generously provided by Benzion and Virginia Berman.” In the reflection off the glass of one framed certificate, Nicole noticed Kayla approaching the door behind her. She steeled herself, silently rehearsing dismissive language she hoped wouldn’t offend.

But Kayla handed her a large coffee. “Two creams, no sugar, right?” she said.

“Exactly,” Nicole said, thanking her. “Have we met before? Sorry if I—”

“No, no, we just do our homework. What I don’t know is whether you prefer to be alone or would like me to—”

“Kind of you, but I confess I—”

“Not at all,” Kayla said. “Here’s my card if you need anything.” She glanced at her watch. “I’m off at six, but call any time. I do just want to say that I almost majored in archaeology myself. You’re such an inspiration. Not many women—”

“I’ve been fortunate. Without my father’s foundation …”

“Still,” Kayla said, heading toward the door, “you’ve earned it. I—well, sorry, I’ll leave you, but maybe I’ll join one of your dig teams some day.”

Two hours later, Nicole had tossed what was left of her coffee and sat with her coat draped over her knees, one foot bouncing.

The news and celebrity magazines didn’t appeal, nor did the TV. She stared at the glacial clock, willing Dr. Thorn to appear. Why hadn’t she asked how long this should take? Nicole almost wished she’d taken Kayla up on her offer of company, but why spoil a young woman’s time off?

Most frustrating was not knowing when or if she should start worrying. Nicole began to Google it, but before she could finish, her mother’s surgeon entered and she leapt to her feet.

“Sorry, Dr. Berman,” Thorn said, “no news yet. Previous surgery went long, and housekeeping just got in there to disinfect. We can get started as soon as everything’s dry.”

“Surely not every operating room is in use,” Nicole said.

“The ortho ones are, and they have the equipment I need. Plus, this is providential. I didn’t expect to have the sales rep in the room, but we had time to track him down.”

“Sorry? Sales rep?”

“Sold us one of the pieces of equipment, and he knows more about it than I do. It’ll be handy to have him there.”

“Actually during surgery?”

The doctor nodded. “He’s just there to advise. This has become common. I assumed you knew.”

Nicole shook her head.

“We had to sell the idea to your father months ago to get the grant. Naturally the equipment costs a lot more when it comes with a live consultant.”

“Does my father know this will be the case tonight?”

“I haven’t spoken with him.”

“It might not sound like such a good idea to a man whose wife is on the table.”

“Oh, believe me, you’d rather have the rep in there than not. He’s only going to be of help.”

“One more thing. My mother was anesthetized more than two hours ago. What happens now?”

“My anesthesiologist can handle it. Of course, she won’t be charged for the delay or the extra meds—”

“That’s hardly the issue.”

Dr. Thorn shrugged. “I don’t suppose your family will be charged at all.” He seemed to study Nicole. “You must get your height from your father. Your mother’s not that—”

“Is she comfortable?”

The doctor grinned. “We should all be as comfortable.”

“How long do you expect this to take?”

“Assuming no surprises, figure an hour of prep and two hours of surgery, max.”

“You still have to prep her?”

He nodded. “Most of that we can do only once we’re in the operating room.”

“And what kind of surprises are you talking about?”

“Well, the x-ray and scan show a straightforward fracture and no muscle tear, though I suspect soft-tissue trauma. And you never know how complex things are until you get in there.” Dr. Thorn’s phone chirped and he peeked at it. “Room’s ready. Try not to worry. I do a lot of these.”




CHAPTER 2

Shinar, Mesopotamia
2000 BC

“Terah!”

At the shout from the throne, King Nimrod’s chief officer came running—not easy for a man of seventy. He panted and bowed low. “King Amraphel,” he managed, using the name the ruler had bestowed upon himself.

“How wonderful to see that at long last Belessunu is great with child! Send word to me with haste when she brings forth your firstborn so that I may rejoice with you.”

“I will, oh King,” Terah said. “But may I speak forthrightly?”

“Of course!”

“Why did you forbid me concubines when for decades Belessunu was unable to bear me children? Even she fretted over her failure and was willing …”

The king looked away. “It was convenient. For me and for you. It freed you to do so much more for me. You must share my pride in how the realm has grown.”

“I do! But my legacy, my name—”

“Will forever be linked with mine and the glory of Mesopotamia, the Land of Nimrod. Even if Belessunu does not bear a son.”

“I pray the gods will grant me a lad.”

“Naturally,” the king said. “I will also pray that Utu will favor you with a manchild. And may he live a thousand years.”

“I am deeply grateful,” Terah said.

That royal blessing was not beyond reason, for Terah’s first child would be the tenth generation since Noah, still alive and nearly 900 years old. And Noah’s grandfather had been Methuselah, who had perished in the great flood at 969.

The king was himself a grandson of Noah’s son Ham. Noah had cursed Ham’s offspring in the wake of Ham having mocked his father for passing out drunk and naked. So Nimrod bore no royal blood. In fact, because of Noah’s curse of Ham, by rights Terah was the more likely king and Nimrod the servant.

But Nimrod had made himself kingly by growing up mighty and strong, a cunning hunter and leader of men. He built legions of admirers—including Terah, who early on had turned his back on his and his wife’s God-fearing heritage and became Nimrod’s chief assistant. As his kingdom grew, Nimrod soon declared himself a deity, called himself Amraphel, and worshipped and prayed to a plethora of divinities—primarily the sun god Utu.

When Terah left the throne room, Ikuppi, whom he had hired years before as a member of the king’s guard, beckoned him from the shadows. “Tread carefully with the king,” the guard said.

“Did you not hear him, Ikuppi?” Terah said. “He’s praying we’ll have a son and wants me—”

“To bring him word, yes. I long to be mistaken, Terah, but he has been consulting with his stargazers.”

“What are they saying? Will we have a son?”

“The king’s meetings with them leave him sour.”

“You heard them talking about me, about our child?”

Ikuppi looked down.

“Tell me, my friend!” Terah said. “Else I must take him at his word. I have served him faithfully for many years, so he has no reason to—”

“Bring him only news, then, Terah,” Ikuppi said. “Do not bring him the child.”

“If he asks, I must!”

“Terah, please …”

“Ikuppi, your countenance gives you away. If you know more, tell me.”

“I owe you my role in the realm, Terah, and I know whereof I speak only because of access you have given me. But if I speak ill of the king, you hold my life in your hands.”

“Rest assured I will not betray your confidence. But I fear you are suspicious without cause.”

“I am not.”

“Then visit me tonight and pray tell me of any danger to my child.”




CHAPTER 3

Manhattan

Nicole hadn’t thought she could eat, but knowing her mother wouldn’t even be moved to the Recovery room for three hours—let alone a regular room until midnight or later—made her suddenly ravenous. She left her cell number at Reception, said she’d be back within two hours, called for delivery from the Chinese place near her building for an hour later, and grabbed a cab.

Thirty minutes later her doorman said, “Was worried about ya, Doc. Didn’t think you were out of town.”

She told him why she’d be spending the night at the hospital.

“Sorry to hear that, ma’am. Let me know when you’re coming back down and I’ll have a ride waiting for ya. And give Ginny my best, hear?”

“Didn’t know you knew her that well, Freddie.”

He cocked his head. “Always nice to me when she visits. Classy.”

Nicole grabbed her mail from her slot in the lobby and riffled through it on the elevator.

And there it was.

A regular business-sized envelope from Saudi Arabia. Could this be it—what she’d dreamed of for so long? No. It couldn’t. Had it been, they would have informed her via email it was coming. And it would be bigger, thicker.

Nicole was not even tempted to open it. Not now. Business letters carried bad news, not good—rejections, not licenses to dig. She shook her head. A less-than-an-ounce response to her two-hundred-page application! Had she tried too hard to counter all the reasons they wouldn’t find her qualified to finally become lead archaeologist on a dig?

This was the worst possible time for news—good or bad. She didn’t need one more thing on her mind. Good news would be spoiled by her mother’s ordeal, and bad news … well, she had expected that. But Nicole couldn’t endure another blow, not right now. She tossed the mail and her keys onto the table just inside her door.

She rushed to shower and change and pack a bag before the Chinese food arrived. She loved that the restaurant owners were as precise as she was. They delivered when she asked, not a minute before or after. That’s the way things ought to work. If only the hospital were run by the Chinese. Nicole was setting her bag near the door when the bell rang.

She sat to ladle the steaming, pungent selections onto her plate, and fatigue washed over her. Shoulders sagging, emotion welled in her throat. She bowed her head. “Blessed are You, El Shaddai, Lord God Almighty, King of the universe, Who gave us the way of salvation through the Messiah Yeshua. Blessed be He Who provides vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth. In the name of the Anointed One, amen.”

How comforting the prayers her parents taught her as a child. She hadn’t learned until she was old enough to understand that her Gentile mother had led her father to faith in the Messiah. And as she ate, Nicole still glowed from what Freddie had said about Mom. It was just like her to insist that strangers call her Ginny. It spoke volumes that others obviously felt connected enough to be so familiar.

Genre:

  • "From a criminal investigation in Manhattan to the birth of Abram in ancient Ur, Jerry Jenkins weaves together a tale of drama and suspense that will draw you into the lives of two families separated by 4,000 years of history yet sharing remarkably similar struggles of faith. Dead Sea Rising combines the thrill of a whodunit with the moral and political intrigue of the ancient, and modern, Middle East. But be prepared. Once you begin, you won't be able to stop until you reach the final page!"—-DR. CHARLIE DYER, PROFESSOR-AT-LARGE OF BIBLE, AND HOST OF THE LAND AND THE BOOK RADIO PROGRAM
  • "If you love history-especially biblical history-this is a fun and fascinating read!"—-JONI EARECKSON TADA, JONI AND FRIENDS INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY CENTER
  • "Jerry Jenkins' dialogue is equal to the best of Nelson DeMille, his storylines equal to the best of John Grisham. And now Dead Sea Rising . . . this book may be Jerry's best."—-ANDY ANDREWS, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE TRAVELER'S GIFT AND THE NOTICER
  • "Jumping back and forth in time at a breakneck pace, Dead Sea Rising is a thriller as only Jerry B. Jenkins can tell it. Biblical history combines with gripping contemporary mystery. Just be aware-you'll be hooked."—-JAMES SCOTT BELL, INTERNATIONAL THRILLER WRITERS AWARD WINNER

On Sale
Sep 1, 2020
Page Count
320 pages
Publisher
Worthy Books
ISBN-13
9781546014720

Jerry B. Jenkins

About the Author

Jerry B. Jenkins' books have sold more than 72 million copies. Twenty-one of his titles have reached the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. The phenomenally best-selling Left Behind series inspired a movie starring Nicolas Cage. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek and his writing has appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Guideposts, and dozens of other periodicals. Jenkins owns the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild coaching thousands of aspiring writers in both fiction and nonfiction. He and his wife, Dianna, have three grown sons and live in Colorado. (www.JerryJenkins.com).

Learn more about this author