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Judah's Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees

(The Silent Years #2)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,087 ratings  ·  199 reviews
Seeking peace and safety after a hard childhood, Leah marries Judah, a strong and gentle man, and for the first time in her life Leah believes she can rest easily. But the land is ruled by Antiochus IV, descended from one of Alexander the Great's generals, and when he issues a decree that all Jews are to conform to Syrian laws upon pain of death, devout Jews risk everythin ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 2nd 2018 by Bethany House Publishers
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  1,087 ratings  ·  199 reviews

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Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I have never read the Apocrypha, though I have heard about it for years; in fact, one time, I mentioned it in my high school Bible class, and nobody else--not even the teacher!--knew what it was.

Still, history can be entertaining regardless of what period it comes from, and this book shines a light on Judah Maccabee; it made for an exciting read.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Judah and his wife, Leah share their story of fighting for the freedom of Israel from heathen rulers and pagan priests. It made me want to refresh my knowledge of the history of the Maccabees.
Molly Jaber (Cover To Cover Cafe)
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
Oh my goodness. This book, y'all. THIS. BOOK. Angela Hunt is an amazing author. Her style is so incredibly unique. I was blessed to have EGYPT'S SISTER and now I've been doubly blessed to get to read another incredibly moving, mind altering novel by the uberly talented Ms. Hunt.

In this incredible novel, we get to see Judah and Leah. I had a deep sadness for all Leah went through. As someone who has dealt with an abusive man before, I felt all her trust issues, I felt all her pain and suffering.
The Lit Bitch
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I happened to see one of this author’s books up for giveaway on Goodreads and I was intrigued by the sound of her ‘signature style’ which seems to be women in the Bible. I didn’t win the giveaway but I did pick up one of her books the next time I was at my library.

This book stood out because of the beautiful cover and I know next to nothing about the Maccabee rebellion so I thought—-why not?

This book was difficult to categorize for me—-was it Christian fiction? Yes, in a way. Was it hi
Fiction Aficionado
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have always found it interesting that the time of Antiochus IV Epiphanes is prophesied in Daniel, and yet the account of the Maccabees’ courageous stand against him is not part of the official Biblical canon (although it is a part of the Apocrypha in I & II Maccabees). The story of the Maccabean Revolt is well known to Jews through the annual celebration of Hannukah, which commemorates the rededication of the Temple following its purification, but it’s less well known to Christians unless they ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book follows Leah, the daughter of a merchant in Jerusalem, in her marriage to Judah Maccabaeus, the son of Mattathias (from 1 Maccabees in the Apocrypha). Leah grew up with an abusive father, so she is grateful to be able to leave with Judah, but at the same time she struggles believing that he truly isn’t going to hurt her, especially when her father-in-law Mattathias begins a war on the Gentiles overtaking and persecuting Jews. Her fears put a pressure on their marriage, and she must lea ...more
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
I didn't know much about the Maccabees before I read Judah's Wife, but I knew that I'd learn more about them through Hunt's writing, as she does great research. I wasn't disappointed in that regard (in fact, I kind of want to read First and Second Maccabees now). As always, Hunt's writing style is clear, precise, and very interesting - something that I've found to be a rarity in most Christian fiction. I'm never bored while reading one of her books and that certainly held true for Judah's Wife.

Nay Denise
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure if this was going to be a solid 4 or 5 star rating, but I'm going with a 4.25 star rating. I was invested in the characters, I enjoyed the romance, loved the use of scripture and how Hunt included history into the story. This was beautiful. There were times when I felt the story dragged in the middle and the miscommunication and lack of communication with Leah and Judah annoyed me.

Overall, this was such a pleasant read. Leah was a quiet woman with a sassy mouth. She was trained to
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm a toe-dabbling biblical fiction reader so I approach this genre with a bit of trepidation. Hence Judah's Wife sat on my TBR pile for a couple of weeks while I gathered the gumption to crack it open. And wouldn't you know it? Once I did, I couldn't stop reading. Seriously, I was instantly mesmerized. Hunt's words seamlessly flow, creating captivating images that helped me feel like I was actually witnessing events as they unfolded.

Using alternate points of view, this story comes to life throu
Tina at Mommynificent
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recently, I found myself very interested in understanding the origins of Hanukkah. So I started looking at historical texts like the Books of Maccabees and the writings of Josephus, and I looked for lots of helps from others in understanding these ancient documents. Providentially, right in the middle of this search, I was asked to review an ARC of Angela Hunt’s next book, Judah’s Wife. I agreed, actually thinking it was Biblical fiction about Jacob’s son Judah, but then quickly found out that i ...more
Jeanne Alfveby Crea
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am studying salvation history in my bible study, and during one session, we talked about the brave Maccabees, who lead a courageous and ultimately successful resistance to violent suppression of their religion by their Seleuicid rulers. So I was very interested in reading Judah's wife by Angela Hunt. She always writes thought provoking historical and biblical fiction. I love how she brought to life Judah and his family. Judah was such a loyal self-sacrificing hero who encouraged the army of Is ...more
Sarah Cnossen
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
There's much I could say, and if you love the Biblical, historical side of stories, then you may very well enjoy this one. I encourage you to give it a try! I just could not get into it. Leah was an absolute brat, in my opinion, and annoyed me to no end. I found myself wanting to slap her silly. Grrr. . . I apologize, but I just did not connect with this story. She does come to her senses (by the END of the book), and gives her husband her full support, encouraging him as she ought, and eventual ...more
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book that I read to Diana. We can't do much anymore after her stroke, so I read to her to spend time together. Diana has always loved to have someone to read to her - and I like to do just that.

A fictional story that could have been how the Maccabees books could have been. I and II Maccabees are books between the Old and the new Testament. These books are not included in all versions of the Bibles.

This fictionalization if an interesting read and could have been how things happened - or
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Note: Kristin reads and reviews both Christian and secular fiction on A Simply Enchanted Life. Out of respect for my readers, I am including a content review. This content review will help you decide whether this book is suitable for you.

Christian or Secular: Christian
ASEL Rating: Mild. Semi-detailed violence that may be upsetting to some readers
Full Content Review:
Profanity: None
Sex & Violence: Non-descriptive sexual encounters. Semi-detailed domestic violence.
Trigger Warning: Some people may b
Alicia Ruggieri
Wow! What a tremendously powerful novel this was - This book is proof that fiction can convey deep truths within story. I came to Judah's Wife not really knowing what to expect. I don't think that I've read anything by Angela Hunt - at least nothing novel-sized - and I nearly passed by this novel when it came up for review, despite the prettiness of the cover, because I thought that the book was going to be about Judah-the-son-of-Jacob-the-Patriach's wife. But the description hooked me when I re ...more
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
They say this movement springs from the great Alexander, who wanted to unite the world into one race and one people. But he failed, as all men will fail if they attempt a task only HaShem can perform. How can a man unite the world when Adonai has set people apart. We are the seed of Abraham, a chosen race and a peculiar people. The world will be blessed through us, but we are commanded to remain separate.

Angela Hunt does not disappoint with this one. I am not familiar with the struggle of the M
Ella J.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was so disappointed in this book! After reading "Egypt's Daughter," the first book in The Silent Years series , I was excited to read this one.

There were a several reasons why I did not like this book. The first reason is because is because this book "tells" more than it "shows". Many, many sections of this book are dedicated to describing battles and strategies. I wouldn't have minded this so much if they had been told in present time, with lots of active action. Unfortunately, most of the de
Christian Fiction Addiction
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The second novel in "The Silent Years" series is every bit as fascinating and absorbing as the first, "Egypt's Sister". Angela Hunt's historical detail will transport you back in time until you will feel like you are walking the streets of Jerusalem at Leah's side, or breathing in the dust raised by the horses hooves of the enemy armies advancing upon Judah and the faithful followers of Adonai. Hunt has crafted some engaging characters in Judah and Leah, and Leah's story of witnessing extreme do ...more
Nadine Keels
Feb 21, 2018 marked it as did-a-little-reading
Leah never felt safe in the home she grew up in. So when she marries a kind man named Judah, she believes she can finally experience a life of peace. But when Judah is challenged to fight for his people's sacred way of life, Leah's hopes for peace are threatened in Judah's Wife: A Novel of the Maccabees by author Angela Hunt.

I was intrigued by The Silent Years series from the get-go, as I'd never read Biblical Fiction that addresses the four hundred years of (apparent) "silence" between the bibl
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A safe and sheltered life . . . was a boring life"

I've been interested in learning more about the Maccabees and the origins of the Hanukkah festival, and I feel this book did the job brilliantly.

This is historical fiction telling the story of the Maccabean Revolt, mostly through the eyes of Judah Maccabee (and based on historical record), and also through the eyes of his wife "Leah" (a fictional character, Judah was most probably married but nothing is known of his wife)

I found it well-written
Nay Denise
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure if this was going to be a solid 4 or 5 star rating, but I'm going with a 4.25 star rating. I was invested in the characters, I enjoyed the romance, loved the use of scripture and how Hunt included history into the story. This was beautiful. There were times when I felt the story dragged in the middle and the miscommunication and lack of communication with Leah and Judah annoyed me.

Overall, this was such a pleasant read. Leah was a quiet woman with a sassy mouth. She was trained to
C.E. Hart
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biblical-fiction
I love Biblical fiction. Not only does it inspire and entertain me, but it also gives me a strong sense of the customs and practices of those living during ancient times.

Judah’s Wife, by Angela Hunt, is the second book in The Silent Years series. It has such a spiritual feel, and a powerful message. I like the shifting points of view between Leah and Judah, giving me an inside look at each of their hearts and happenings. I sympathized and empathized with them both, but especially bonded with Le
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
The time between the Old and New Testament is often called the Silent Years because during that time God did not speak through a prophet to His people. This was the time of the Greeks, the rise of the Romans, the fall of the Egyptians. We might not have a biblical account but we do have historical records of the people, places, and events that were shaping the civilizations to come.

It is in this backdrop that Angela Hunt has written her most recent novels. The second of her Silent Years series i
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
I've always wanted to know more about the period of history that speaks of the Maccabees. This story takes place during the last 168 years before the birth of Christ. The Jews were constantly getting harrassed or killed by people in the land and even by Jews who were considered to be non-devout jews who were more impressed with the Greeks than their own worship. The wars the Maccabees fought were to liberate the practicing Jewish people and those who kept trying to blaspheme and destroy the Temp ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i really enjoyed this book. So good! This was my first book by this author but it will not be my last.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
So much history that I was unaware of before reading this novel. As always Angela Elwell Hunt kept me occupied in following her characters where they went. It was worth the read.
laurene jacob
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read

I just stared reading Angela hunt and I really liked this book. It's very well thought out and written beautifully, I especially liked the way she developed Leah's transformation as she grew to love. understand and trust her God. I didn't know much about the Machabees story so I enjoyed reading about the " silent years" through the two perspectives of the commanders view and his wife. Thank you Angela Hunt.
J. Else
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
For Leah, her father is outwardly a very godly man. In the home, he is abusive, and Leah has learned how to survive. When Leah marries Judah, she believes her life will no longer be overshadowed by violence. But when the king decrees that any who do not confirm to Syrian law will be put to death, Judah’s family finds themselves at the forefront of a war for religious freedom. Despairing that the once-gentle man she married is now a warrior, Leah questions why God allows such disappointment in he ...more
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was looking forward to this book as I have read other books by Angela Hunt and I enjoy Biblical Fiction. The book caught my attention right away and I wanted to keep reading it to find out what happened next. The book was action packed. The story was focused more around Judah and the Maccabees than the relationship between Leah and Judah. My only complaint is that towards the end all the battles started to blur together and there was a point where I was a bit bored. Overall though it was a gre ...more
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Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over five million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 150 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children have reached their thirties, Angie and her husband live in Florida

Other books in the series

The Silent Years (4 books)
  • Egypt's Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra (The Silent Years, #1)
  • Jerusalem's Queen: A Novel of Salome Alexandra (The Silent Years, #3)
  • King's Shadow: A Novel of King Herod's Court

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111 likes · 11 comments
“Then Judah his son, who was called Maccabaeus, took command in [Mattathias’s] place. All his brothers and all who had joined his father helped” 0 likes
“him; they gladly fought for Israel. He extended the glory of his people. Like a giant he put on his breastplate; he girded on his armor of war and waged battles, protecting the host by his sword. He was like a lion in his deeds, like a lion’s cub roaring for prey. He searched out and pursued the lawless; he burned those who troubled his people.” 0 likes
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