Jethro had been sitting on the boulder since midday. He had walked since early morning. As a soldier, he knew how to march. As a warrior, he marched with intensity. As a grieving friend, he knew how to sit silently.
The other boulders on the hillside were empty. So were the guard towers of the city in front of him. In other times, sitting still would have been deadly. But this city was in ruins. As sunset approached, the burned gates of the city seemed aflame again.
And Jethro reflected on his two-year mission. He knew his question had been answered. He didn’t understand it all. But Jethro trusted in YHWH.
Jethro had been on this hillside before. The first time, two years ago, the city was surrounded with soldiers. There were piles of rocks a little more than an arrow’s distance from the walls. Squads of soldiers stood near the piles, moving forward to shout at the enemies in the towers, then moving back to the safe distance. There were campfires, tents, the temporary permanence of an army of siege.
Every few days, there was an attack from the outside in, or a sortie from the inside out. Not much happened. This was the time between big battles. But Jethro had come to find out for himself why his friend had died outside this city.
His friend was one of the bravest men he knew, one of the best warriors in the whole country. His death was grieved by his widow, certainly. But even in a time of war, when brave soldiers died, there was something about this death that had made some people curious. There were whispers. There was speculation. And two years before this day Jethro had come to Rabbah to answer one question: Who killed Uriah?