Chapter 7

The Collapse

Eventually, the king’s patience was exhausted. If he didn’t intervene, more time would allow the family to multiply the violence and damage they were already inflicting on one another. So with a deep groan, the king took down the fences of protection he had built around them. With great sorrow, he allowed his citizens’ military defenses to be broken down by armies from the east. Sons of the family died in battle. Survivors of the family were stripped of dignity and driven out of their promised land. Many miles away, with the sounds of a foreign language in their ears, and with the weight of another king’s laws and decrees on their shoulders, the family wiped their tears.51


After 70 years of exile, the family’s conquerors were defeated by another ruler. A new day dawned. Exiles of war were allowed to return to their homeland.52 As they returned, the king himself sent messengers to assure his people that he had never stopped caring for them. These messengers promised that the king still had a vision of peace and prosperity—not only for them but for all the families of the earth.

For a while, members of the family were filled with hope. They dreamed of a time when weapons would be recycled into farming tools. They remembered that the great king had talked of a day when even nature would be at peace with itself. In that day of rest, the wolf would no longer stalk the lamb.53

As time went on, the family’s heart once again grew cold.


But as time went on, the family’s heart once again grew cold. Memories faded. And then the voice of the great king went silent for 400 years.54 The hope of a new day seemed lost in a series of endless nights.