The Harbinger

By: Jonathan Cahn

Without a doubt, this is one of the more unusual books I've read. Maybe ever.

When I first started it, I actually put it down because I wasn't sure I was interested. One evening I gave it another try, and while I will admit to reading only one chapter or so a day - tell you why in a moment - I have not been able to stop.

The book is about ancient Israel before the Assyrian invasion, and about the United States following 9/11. It draws on a prophesy from Isaiah 9:10, warning the Israelites to repent or face the destruction of their nation.

In this book, a man - seemingly at random - is chosen to receive the new version of this prophesy as delivered by a mysterious modern day prophet.

Now, do you want to know why I thought I couldn't read this book?

Maybe you don't.

Well, that's not an answer. Would you like to find out?

Perhaps you would like to know. Here, keep reading, and perhaps I'll tell you at the end.

Well, there you go - the writer has adopted a sort of semi-Socratic question and answer method of writing, involving one hyper-interview in which the main character's (Nouriel) series of encounters with the prophet are embedded. As Nouriel relates his adventure with the prophet to his friend, she asks him questions and he answers. In each encounter with the prophet (over a lengthy period of time), Nouriel asks the prophet questions which the prophet answers enigmatically.

So after a while it gets a little annoying. Then it becomes unbearable. Finally, you adjust your rhythm to it and it becomes kind of enjoyable. Finally, I was just interested in finding out how it all comes out.

There really isn't a mystery to be solved, or any particular action, just the slow unraveling of a Biblical quotation that supposedly was all played out in the 9/11 events and the actions - and most importantly, words - of several of our leaders following those dark days. I have to admit that I was skeptical, but I looked up each portion of the prophesy's alleged counterpart with modern times, and without stretching too far, it does hold.

I can't go too far without revealing the whole point of the book, so I'll leave it there, and leave it to you to check it out. What I will say without it being too much of a surprise is that the writer wants to warn us that what happened to Israel could happen to us if we don't heed the warning. When I read the reviews on Amazon, it also came as no surprise that people who see the Bible as "scripture" also see this book as astonishing and revelatory, and the people who see the book as a collection of myths and legends written on sheepskin by semi-literate people don't hesitate to say so.

Take your pick, either way, in spite of my first impression, it's been a fascinating read!


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