Babylon Rising, Chapter 62, Part 1

As though fearing they gave Isis too much of her own way in the last few chapters, what with her saving Murphy’s ass and doing all the work and all, Arrogant Murphy is back with a vengeance in this chapter, with Isis relegated to Cute Convert Prospect:

She’d caught a little bit of sun since they’d been in the Middle East, and it suited her.  She looked more confident, less like a creature of the dark ready to scurry back into her hole at the foundation at the slightest sign the outside world was getting too close.  But he wasn’t sure he wanted to deal with her new assertiveness just then. 

Okay, a few things:

1.  So, tan=confident and assertive?

2.  Isis is Scottish.  As a fellow pale woman of Scottish descent, I find it highly unlikely that Isis got any sun while in the Middle East (for one thing, she’s spent most of her time either in the sewers or in her hotal room, and for another, if she is as smart as advertised, she would be covered with SPF 476 sunblock and wearing a huge hat whenever she went out).  And even if she did get any sun, it would likely manifest as an unbecoming sunburn, not a sexy (and confident and assertive) tan.  Not that I am bitter.

3.  Silly Isis!  Thinking she can be confident and assertive around a man!  Murphy doesn’t want to deal, dammit!  (And all she did, as far as being “confident and assertive” was ask Murphy what his plan was once he got the third piece of the Serpent, since he can no longer put the whole thing together.)

Murphy does manage to respond to Assertive Isis, though, saying that it will still prove the Bible true.  (“I can’t think of anything more important.”)  He segues into prophecy talk:

“If we can show they were writing at the time they claimed, then that proves they really could see history in advance.”

“And why is that so important?” [Isis asks, apparently playing dumb, because even Heathen I can see how that would be important to Murphy.]

“Because of the predictions that haven’t come true yet.  So people can be sure they will happen.”

This section is so clunkily inserted into the story, as is the part following, in which Isis brings up (for reasons best known to herself) the Book of Daniel.  Honestly, none of this crap exists for any other reason than to remind the reader about the Coming Judgment of God, lest we were distracted by stories of kickass female philologists thwarting ritual murders.

Murphy craps on and on, telling us stuff we already know about the big statue of King Neb.  The only new info we get is that the ten toes of the statue “represent an unstable form of government that will take over from today’s nation-states in the near future.  Probably ten kings or rulers of some kind, paving the way for the Antichrist.”

Hey, wanna hear a wacky coincidence?  In Tim LaHaye’s best-selling Left Behind series, Antichrist Nicolae Carpathia’s Global Community is governed by the ten subpotentates of the ten new kingdoms of the world.

So now we know Murphy’s interpretation is correct!

Blah, blah, blah, as Murphy talks about how the Antichrist is going to take over and things are going to suck and oh yeah…Murphy notices Isis is no longer wearing her amulet.

I don’t think I mentioned Isis’s amulet in the past, so I will now: Isis wears an amulet with the head of Ishtar around her neck.  “It was a gift from her father, and it was a constant comfort in times of stress.” (Chapter 55)

This little aside about her taking it off reads as though Isis is leaving her ancient goddesses behind for the truth of the Bible, but it just feels to me like she is tossing aside a precious gift from her loving father.  Sad.

Here is Ishtar:

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Posted on October 3, 2010, in Babylon Rising, Books. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. At least there’s the decent note of it — her necklace — being an important part of her life, at least until then. And at least Murphy noticed it. But I can’t think of a thing in the past chapters that would cause Isis to have a crisis of faith of some kind and go unto the god of Abraham as Murphy sees him.

    Sigh. I’d hoped Isis would at least last the one book that Dinallo wrote.

    Anyway, know-it-all Murphy is babbling on and on about his pet project of proving the Bible is literal. (What college gave him his doctorate in Archaeology?) Certainly his teaching job isn’t important. You’d think that someone like, for example, a millionaire who has made gobs of money off of books promulgating Biblical inerrancy and literalism* would be willing to pony up the cash to support the globetrotting an RTC archaeologist needs to do to prove these pet theories. I’m not seeing a lot of RTC archaeologists beating a path to LaHaye’s door, so….

    Awesome picture of Ishtar, by the way!

    * – But that’s not even true anymore, either, is it? LaHaye has said that he’s interpreting the Bible in several places, I think. So much for Biblical literalism. And so much for ‘not adding to these words.’

  2. Wait, he thinks the woman who flew to the Middle East to search for an ancient artifact and then promptly saved his butt looks (or ever looked) “like a creature of the dark ready to scurry back into her hole at the foundation at the slightest sign the outside world was getting too close”??? WTF? Can you say “oblivious”, boys and girls? I knew you could.

  3. I can’t get over how crazy the toe symbolism thing is. Yes, the statue has ten toes. This might be for a reason. Like THE FACT THAT HUMANS HAVE TEN RUDDY TOES!

    That… Wow. The best explanation I’ve come up with along with a friend for why you’d ever think ten toes = complicated semi-biblical prophecy is “symbolism fetish”.

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