Posted: January 12, 2016 in When the Wolf Howls
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Dagger for When the Wolf Howls
© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 28

It was 3 days after becoming one of the kings counsellors that Absalom remembered the dagger and went to the box in which he had kept his most precious of possessions since childhood. It was still there where he had laid it many years ago. As he withdrew it from its leather sheath, he noticed that the blade had lost some of its lustre, but the workmanship was still superior to anything he had seen and it was deadly sharp.

It was the leather strands bound around the hilt that drew his attention. They were darkened by the years, but he looked for end strands that could be unravelled. He finally found an end by picking at the leather around the base of the hilt and soon the strands were unwinding to reveal the hidden secrets of what lay beneath.

Gradually the ivory hilt of the dagger began to be revealed. It bore a strange inscription which fascinated Absalom but the savage image is what drew Absalom’s attention. Skillfully carved in the shape of a wolf and lion in mortal combat, the animals were portrayed with such powerful imagery, muscles tense and so carefully rendered that Absalom could almost feel the terror of the scene. He could imagine the piercing, savage eyes of each beast as claws, fangs and jaws lunged in to make the kill.

He also realised why Asahel, like the soldier he had seen in the marketplace, had covered the hilt with strands of leather. The dagger was an illegal weapon for an Israelite to carry since it bore the images of animals. No images or likenesses of birds, animals or fish were to be carved or worshipped by anyone in Israel. These animals obviously represented Caananite gods but Absalom was curious about the Canaanite symbols and the why the dagger was made.

Asahel had obtained the dagger as part of the plunder from his first raid into Canaanite territory. Concealing its hilt by binding it with leather, he had carried it with him into the battle against Abners army where he had lost his life.

Concealing the hilt by placing the dagger and its sheath inside his cloak, Absalom determined to find out more about the image and why it was so beautifully made. Joab was in charge of some Philistine iron smiths. Perhaps they would know. From now on he would begin to wear this beautiful weapon hidden from the eyes of those who might question the images on the hilt.


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