Ahab, King of Israel stood on a ridge overlooking the plain where his troops, as part of the allied army, advanced against the massive Assyrian army ranged against them.

In the bright noon sun, shining from behind him, he descried as if through a veil, a vision of the giant glistening white walls of Nineveh, a brilliant gem of power and energy pulsing to the north east on the banks of the Tiger.

And as he prayed for strength to Baal and the Eloh of his fathers, he felt a surge of admiration and envy, fear and jealousy of the imperial might he was facing.

And a voice from heaven spoke to him that he would not that day be defeated and that in the future, the prophet Jonah would be sent to condemn the morally corrupt city surrounded by the white shining walls.

His courage mounted and he and his chariot descended to the battle where his 10,000 men and 2,000 chariots fought bravely and held the Assyrians at bay, but at great cost.  Many lost their lives and he himself was wounded in the thigh and had to withdraw.

And when he returned to his city, Samaria, the smaller imitation of Nineveh, he could not tell his queen Jezebel that he was victorious, only that he had not been defeated.

And she was angered that he had not achieved the greatness that he deserved and mocked the Eloh of his fathers for not better serving him.

And that night, Ahab dreamed of images he little understood, of dogs licking blood from the cobblestones and of himself being swallowed by a whale.

And in the end, he heard the voice that told him, “to the sea, to the sea, that is the womb of your creation, the source of might and power.  To the sea, you shall go to seek the white searing power of Nineveh, not to imitate it but to destroy it.”

And Ahab left his throne and wandered to the sea and boarded a ship to flee the white cutting power of the voice that commanded him to go and called himself Jonah.

And far away his wife and child were murdered by the fanatics of Aloh’ called Yahweh and their blood was licked from the cobblestones.

But he found his way to Nineveh after being in the belly of the whale, engulfed not by dark but by brilliant whiteness and there he was at the walls of the great city to curse it.

And the voice from on high told him he could not curse it now that it came to the point and he felt bitter, bitter at his failure to destroy the white walls, bitter at the loss of his wife and child, bitter at the whale that had swallowed him and brought him here, bitter at the being who called him and gave him visions and as he slept in the heat and felt his bones dissolving, he cast his white bitterness into the world itself, where it wandered. 

And the voice of Eloh’  who is called Yahweh, called out, “I have mined this bitterness like a precious white gem and I will set it in the hearts of men to push them to greatness.”

And He cast the white bitterness into the sea where it sleeps and waits for us to waken it.