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The Gate of Heaven    by Gilbert Morris order for
Gate of Heaven
by Gilbert Morris
Order:  USA  Can
Bethany, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Gilbert Morris is known for his in-depth fictional accounts of Biblical characters. The Gate of Heaven is the third book in his Lions of Judah series; the first features Noah, and the second Abraham and Sarah. Morris takes the familiar Bible story of Jacob and gives it heart and depth, helping the reader to better understand the fathers of faith.

Twin boys were born to Isaac and Rebecca: Jacob and Esau. Rebecca immediately favors Jacob, the second born son, whereas Isaac favors Esau, the firstborn (God had spoken to Rebecca and told her that the older son would serve the younger). The story begins with the birth of the twins and continues to the time when Isaac is tricked into granting the blessing to Jacob. These accounts remain true to the Bible and the story form helps expand the reader's imagination of events as they took place. The author intersperses Jacob's tale with that of his daughter Dinah (well known from the novel, The Red Tent) and I found the exploration into her life from another viewpoint fascinating.

It's difficult to expand on the Bible, because it will usually anger someone. But the author obviously did a great deal of research to ensure that the story is believable and easy to read. It interested me in re-reading the Bible and discovering the people who formed the foundations of Judaism and Christianity. Though there are times when The Gate of Heaven becomes dry from too much historical and background detail, I recommend it to readers interested in Biblical history, who will enjoy delving into the fascinating life of Jacob and his family.

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