Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Carites

Many of you know I write historical romance set in ancient Judah. I love studying the era, but I have to admit there are many challenges, especially when there are differing opinions. Some times a writer just has to go with her gut and allow creative license to take the lead. That's exactly what I did with one of my characters in my first two books.

I'll get into that in a bit, but for now let's look at what is known and believed about one of the most interesting groups of people I've come across in my research-- The Carites.

First off, not much is absolutely known. There seems to be only two scripture references .
In the seventh year of Jehoida sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the Lord.
2 Kings 11:4

Joab was over Israel's entire army; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the the Kerethites and the Pelethites.
2 Samuel 20:23

The International Bible Encyclopedia states the Carites are one ready; a lifeguardsman.
There are many beliefs about where the Carites, part of an elite guard, came from. Some believe they were Philistines from David's time in Ziklag, others believe they were a group of men who fled Crete, while others believe, according to the Haggadah,that the Carites were a group of men decreed to be the Great Sanhedrin. There seems to be some credence to this as there are scripture references stating foreigners should/would never be allowed within the temple. However, one has to wonder, I mean seriously, God has never done things as man expected. 

I chose to write the Carites as a long line of Philistine men who have passed down their ancestor's vow to protect the line of King David. With this, I decided that these dedicated Philistine men are not only well trained in warfare but also well versed in the Hebrew scripture, which gives them, at times, a better understanding of Hebrew culture than the Hebrews themselves have, especially since the Hebrews often turned to idolatry and worshiped foreign gods. Whoa! That's a mouth full, huh?

Now remember, I'm not saying that is actually how it was, but that's how I chose to depict them in my first set of fiction books. In the future, I may write a Carite from Crete, or as one decreed to be part of the Great Sanhedrin.  Who knows, other possibilities may arise as I do more research.

Have you heard of the Carites? If so, what is it you've been taught? If not, do you have any thoughts on this mysterious group of people? 

Born and raised in Kansas, where she currently lives with her husband and children, Christina loves to read stories with happily ever afters, research,  take photos, knit scarves, dig into her ancestry, fish, visit the ocean, write stories with happily ever afters and talk about her family and Jesus. 

The Guardian's Promise and The Warrior's Vow are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Harlequin.


  1. Hallo, Hallo Ms Rich!

    :) Wow. I am seriously *loving!* the ability to come back to the Triple H! :) Yes, I decided to give a new 'endearing' name to this lovely blog as I couldn't quite continue saying "the Society" whilst talking about it to others now could I? lol What drew my eye into this essay topic is the fact the Carites are a bit unknown as much as they are a bit eluding to a secret guard of protectorate status! In my readings of 16th Century Japan in the Shinobi mysteries by Susan Spann this Summer, I fell into the beauty of the secret world behind the 'true' ninjas (the shinobi) and how their knowledge of not only skilled warfare was honed but how they had to have a wider knowledge of life in general across all facets of what could intercede on their lifepath.

    I love digging into 'unknown' portals of history -- and I am not sure if you saw my tweets earlier this year (I believe in the Spring?) but I happily smiled a congratulatory acknowledgement seeing your lovely book in the wild! I cannot remember which one it was (as I think you've published two since I was here last!) but ooh! You should have heard me in the aisle -- I was quite happy finding one of "the Society" girls on the shelf! I wasn't able to purchase it at the time (it is on my list of books I want to acquire) but what struck me the most is how your needling out bits and bobbles of the Biblical past which could use a good airing for the modern era; to not only propose a thread of narrative that is both plausible and drinkable but to give a bit of insight into people who could have hearty legacies which are not readily available for us to know otherwise.

    In that, you automatically draw a reader into your stories -- that suspense element of the historical past is what keeps me dancing through eras and seeking new folds of time to explore! Sweet essay! And, no I hadn't come across the Carites previously,... it makes a bit of sense they could be from Crete as the two names are nearly cognates! :) At least you will have more threads of story to pursue next!

    Were the Carites more akin to the Secret Service or the Shinobi? Were they more elusive to the outward public you think OR were they a known presence whose lives were sacrificed for service and in protection of those in their charge? The Shinobi were camouflaged whilst protecting their charges, as no one realised the true identity of Hiro whilst he was around Father Mateo? Curious to know a bit more and of course, I most likely will have to wait to read the novels, but if I'm not giving away a spoiler in this enquiry,...

  2. Christina, I've never heard of the Carites. How interesting that you should choose them. I've often thought of choosing lesser known people of the Bible to write about but have my hands full with the fictional Old West characters riding around in my head, so I'm very much looking forward to your story regardless of how you depict them. :)