From ancient Egypt, a local radio station* is getting the word on the street…
“Here we are at the market in downtown K’hai Ro, where this time the word is not about the latest bargains. No, everybody’s talking about the king’s latest move. We all know his name – J’Hosiph – and though the king has told us that he is in charge from now on, nobody actually knows much about him. Apparently he comes from somewhere between here and Babylon.
“As you know folks, our program It’s a Bazaar World usually reports on new products and trends. But today we want to find out what everyday people are thinking, because J’Hosiph has taken everyone’s mind off the huge memorial park that’s being built further downstream at Cheops.
“In the background you can hear everyone milling around the stalls, searching for bargains and trying to catch the traders’ attention. It’s amazing how many ways there are to part with our money, though as my dear old grandpa used to say – “nothing’s cheap if you don’t need it!”
“But this group of shoppers has some very strong views.
“Excuse me folks, but what do you think about J’Hosiph getting the job as the King’s new go-to guy?”
“I respect the king, but this J’Hosiph has never been in politics. What experience has he got?”
“J’Hosiph? That name doesn’t sound like he’s one of us!”
“That’s right, he’s Jewish – from up north around Canaan.”
“Wow, anyone who comes against him could be in trouble. What if he is an expert in Jew Jitsu!”
“I must say he looks too good to have been in jail on a morals charge.”
“But if he is that handsome, he could easily play on his looks. Like this offence, about some move he tried on his boss’ wife. Maybe he took things too far – or Poti-phar - if you get my drift, heh heh.”
“I don’t know. I think jail is a good preparation for politicians, because they are like the bananas on that stall. They start off green, end up yellow, they hang together in bunches and it’s hard to find a straight one!”
“But how did he climb so high; and so fast?”
“Haven’t you heard about the King’s dream? About seven fat cows being eaten by seven skinny cows? Ohh, that one is a bit hard to swallow, especially for the cows. Aren’t they all supposed to be vegetarians? Well nobody could tell him what it meant until J’Hosiph showed up from prison. Then he explained that it was a warning that seven years of prosperity would be followed by seven years of drought.”
“I heard that this J’Hosiph has always been a dreamer, and he was a bit hot for his family to handle!”
“You’re paying too much attention to those papyrazzi; they’re always digging up sensations, or dreaming them up about famous Egyptians. They would starve to death if people were less fascinated with celebrities.”
“So J’Hosiph was a dreamer? And the king had a dream? And now it’s our nightmare of being taxed to up the armpits to pay for all the extra food storages to be built. Why should we store food when we could build our trade surplus by exporting it to other countries?”
“I agree with you. The Nile floods every year to keep our Egypt fertile. This J’Hosiph is crazy. He doesn’t even worship the Sun, when we all know that the Sun gives light and life to all our crops. I wouldn’t be so keen to do what he says. He could make the Sun angry at the whole country because he is insulting our god and leading us away from our true faith.
“I don’t care how famous he is, I think he’s too tricky to trust. I mean, his time in jail has exposed him to all kinds of cheats and thugs, so I think we are all in trouble.”
"Thank you everyone for your time, and now before I hand back to the studio I must inform you that these comments were all pre-recorded so that nothing would go wrong (click) go wrong (click) go wrong (click) go wrong…"
*Author’s note: This imaginary broadcast may not have been imaginary after all. The ancients could well have all had radio, since Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek and Roman ruins were all “wireless.” :-)
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