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The Priest (Sons of Encouragement #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,455 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
THE PRIEST begins Francine Rivers series of the lives of five men who stood behind the great heroes of the faith. Building upon her tremendous success with the LINEAGE OF GRACE SERIES, THE PRIEST finds Rivers at her best as we meet Aaron, brother of Moses, and first High Priest of Israel. Listen as Rivers takes a man seen as part of a supporting cast and elevates him to hi ...more
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Published May 1st 2004 by Oasis Audio (first published 2004)
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Natalie Vellacott
I'm conflicted about this book because I have really enjoyed other books by Francine Rivers. To begin with I couldn't really put my finger on what the problem was. The details I was reading seemed very familiar almost like a deja vu experience, so I was scratching my head and trying to work out whether I was reading something else similar as I usually have several books on the go at one time. Then I realised it was my Bible....doh! My daily readings right now are in Exodus/Leviticus so I have be ...more
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
This was an extremely hard book for me to read. All I could think about was how stupid the Israelites were and how they were squandering the opportunities God had given them. I mean, come on, how could they forgot all of the miracles God worked for them! But, as I read more and more, God started to work in my heart. How many times had I been just like the Israelites, questioning God when things were good and then running to him, begging and pleading, when things were bad. How many times had I re ...more
Mandy J. Hoffman
"The Priest" was the first Francine River's book I have read. I was not dissapointed! Francine did an amazing job of staying true to the Biblical account of Aaron while at the same time capturing his emotions and human perspective as a simple man beyond that of the title of "Bible character".

She probed the depth of what it was like to be a man that many in today's age admire and scorn in the same breath. I walked into this story thinking "how could he have made the golden calf?", and stumbled aw
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rivers does an outstanding job retelling the story of Moses through a person some may see as a supporting cast member, behind the scenes: Aaron. Pulling in vast and accurate Biblical detail, she extrapolates plausible dialog and situations that follow the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, through the 10 plagues, and to the shores of the Jordan River. A main emphasis of the story is on Aaron's learning to support rather than envy the leadership of his younger brother, and how the temptati ...more
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone; historical fiction; Jewish and Christian readers
This first of five books about men who were part of major stories, but we don't hear much about in the Bible is a great fictional account.

This book is about Aaron and Francine Rivers states that she uses the account in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers to frame the story, then used her imagination and logic to bring the story to "life". It is very well written and, to me at least, brought the characters and the biblical story to life.

There are many Psalms used during this book - as snippets, though
I'm only giving this book 3 stars because it reminded me too much of the Bible version. I didn't feel like there was enough story behind it, maybe because the Bible is so detailed.

One part that did make me think was when Aaron compared his life with his brother, Moses. "While Aaron lived the life of a slave, Moses grew up in a palace. While Aaron was tutored by hard labor and abuse at the hands of taskmasters, Moses was taught to read and write and speak and live like an Egyptian. Aaron wore ra
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kcls, fiction
I really liked this as I can so identify with Aaron. Out of all the characters Mrs. Rivers has written, I really can relate the most to Aaron and his feelings of inadequacy. It gave me insight into what could have motivated the golden calf incident and the deaths of Nadab and Abihu. I think Mrs. Rivers is best at writing of Biblical or early Christian historical fiction. I've read a few of her modern or early 20th cent. works and I feel more connected to and more vibrancy in her early historical ...more
May 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rivers takes the Bible and turns it into a living breathing account of what could have happened. While staying true to the account she adds feeling and emotion to the people that you imagine you're there feeling the heat on your face, the whip on your back, the sand on your feet and the presence of God in the pillar of cloud and fire.

I like how she got across the forgetfulness of the chosen people and the struggles of Aaron and Moses in dealing with the people. To see the strengths and weakness
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my favorite out of the series. Aaron, the brother of Moses. Moses got all the credit. Aaron shows resentment - after all, he IS the older brother. I can see myself in him, as I am the older sister. But Aaron also realizes that God is the one ultimately in control. He continues to find himself inadequate for the job of priesthood - and yet God chose him to do that job. We are all inadequate for the job that God entrusts on us. Yet, that's how God chooses to work in this world - through i ...more
Moses' brother Aaron was called on to speak for his brother before Pharoah. Then, he played the role of defending his brother to the Israelites in the wilderness. Finally, God called him to be High Priest of the Jewish people following their exodus from Egypt.

Rivers included vivid details of Ancient Egyptian culture. She did a great job of bringing to life the historical figures from this key period in Jewish history. I enjoyed reading the events of Exodus from a different perspective.
Joy DeKok
Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I suppose I've known the stories of Moses and the Children of Israel for fifty years (I'm 54 as I write this review). I've always focused on Moses because the storytellers did. Now, when I read the biblical account, I am far more aware of Aaron. In this book, The Priest, Rivers leveled the field between the two brothers. For all his mistakes (really Aaron - a gold calf?), I came away from this book liking the brother behind the brother.

Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this tale about Moses from Aaron's point of view. At first I thought that it was going to be the Ten Commandments all over again, but I FELT so much while listening. The process of Aaron's path to humility, repentance, ultimate dependance on God was worth the 6 hours of listening.
Akinlabi Akinbulumo
it was the moses and aaron story told as if i was right in the midst of it all. i couldnt put it it straight through. What's truly amazing about this book is how we get to see moses through aarons eyes,his growth from being weak and aaron's gradual realisation of God's big plan.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story...but a bit too short.
Grace Kelly
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read! Loved the realism of the feelings and heart felt thoughts of the caracters. Truly brought to life the book of exodus!
Ann Millar
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Francine Rivers is an insightful and amazing writer - her story brought the life of Aaron alive for me! Highly recommend and looking forward to reading the rest of her encouragement series.
Goanga Andrei Daniel
a good bock!
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Average. I had a hard time relating; perhaps because I couldn't see the Aaron portrayed here? Imagined jealousy of Moses. Perhaps I would have enjoyed the exploration of his mistakes with the golden calf incident and struggles and triumphs of being the priestly leader, less about Moses and being lead around by the nose of Marion....
Donna Chiang CA(SA)
I loved how Aaron is humanised in her book. It gave me a newfound appreciation of the characters in the Bible. What were they thinking and feeling at every step of the way in their journey and faith.
Dede Massaro Gruenberg
Francine Rivers is one of my favorite authors. I've read almost everything she's written and have yet to be disappointed. She is an amazing woman of God and clearly led by the Holy Spirit as she writes. This is a very short book and can be finished in a day.
May 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book, follows scripture well!
Pelican Rapids
Jun 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cpb
to graphic for my taste--didn't finish
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical fiction retelling of the life and ministry of Aaron from the Bible.
Plot in a nutshell: A retelling of the story of Exodus from Aaron's POV.
Didn't get into it very quickly. Obviously it's a very familiar story, so there's not a lot the author can do to surprise you with plot points. But I've enjoyed other Biblical retellings considerably more - perhaps especially those by Orson Scott Card. (Come to think of it, I think he wrote one about Moses I quite enjoyed, but I can't find it in Goodreads right off the bat.)
Anyway, this one suffered from (IMHO) an excess o
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-history
This is an easy, quick read that is enjoyable and is true to the biblical story even though it is fiction. The story focuses on Aaron, who is Moses’ older brother but does not usually get much credit for his role in delivering his people from slavery. Aaron endures the back breaking work of a slave his entire life in Egypt while Moses lives in a palace and then a fairly comfortable life in Midian. Although they have lived different lives and barely know each other, God uses both men to free the ...more
Dec 21, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fictional rendering of the life of Aaron based on the Biblical record in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.
I think it's easy to read the Bible stories and have the individuals be larger than life. After all, they're in the Bible. I appreciated this story because it made Aaron human, creating dialog to show that it wasn't all glory: he had plenty of struggles and questions along the way. There were a few places where I wondered if the author was taking creative liberties with the telling, but got
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
The first part of the book left me wondering what happened to one of my favorite authors. It seemed like there were transitions missing from the story of the plagues and the crossing of the Red Sea, though I did like seeing Moses grief over what the Egyptians were going through during that section.
It was the second part of the story, the story of the journey to the edge of the Promised Land and then the years of wandering in the desert that reminded me why I enjoy Francine Rivers writing so much
Charity Murigi
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The books of Exodus through to Deuteronomy are so filled with the regulations and laws given to the Israelites lacking an exciting narrative that one may tire or wonder at reading them.

Francine however whets one appetite in this book telling of the story of Aaron, who served in the shadow of Moses. as told through Aaron's eyes we get to see his doubts, his struggles, his being only a man serving as a high priest. More so the Mosaic law comes into perspective against the backdrop of a stubborn p
Linda Hunt
Goodreads provided an easy measuring stick for me with this one - 2 stars means "it was ok", and I'll go with that. For whatever reason, I just couldn't get involved with this book. I was interested in the subject, the Biblical details seemed to be covered well - but altogether it just didn't click with me.
I've read other books by Francine Rivers - actually, I listened to them - and really got caught up in them, so that's why I picked this book up, along with a couple of others in the series. I'
Apr 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick Impression: I should probably be more excited listening to the stories of my faith, but the way this was written was kind of a snooze. And running from Egyptians, pillars of fire, wars, and family sagas should not be a snooze. It had to do with the dialogue — much of it felt very stilted and unrealistic, like a Moses or Aaron robot. But I related to Israel’s push-and-pull sort of faith, as I’m sure many people would.

Read my mini review here:
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New York Times best-selling author Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English and journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market, and her books were highly acclaimed by readers and reviewers. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter ...more
More about Francine Rivers...

Other Books in the Series

Sons of Encouragement (5 books)
  • The Warrior: Caleb (Sons of Encouragement, #2)
  • The Prince: Jonathan (Sons of Encouragement, #3)
  • The Prophet: Amos (Sons of Encouragement, #4)
  • The Scribe: Silas (Sons of Encouragement, #5)

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