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Simon Gieke: The Heretic of the Swamps (Mehavor)

SKU 9781772980844


Simon Gieke was a man in the prime of his life. His father and mother had died when he was very young: he had never known them. An uncle had taken him in when Simon was just a boy. He had not enjoyed any kind of upbringing. He received food, drink, and clothing. Nothing else. There was no education of any kind. What good would that do? Even his uncle had been unable to read or write. The uncle had been a rough, fearsome fellow who wandered about in the huge commons, trying to make his living by hunting, fishing, and poaching. He would steal whatever he could lay hands on. Whoever could, avoided him. When he had money, he spent it in the tavern with other rowdy characters. There he was a dangerous man who picked fights and pulled out his knife for the smallest provocation. In reality, he terrorized the whole village and its surroundings. Whenever something seemed to be missing and people were certain he had taken it, no one dared report him.


What a relief it was for Scherpenisse when they heard the uncle had died. No one really knew how he had come to his end. Most assumed he had suffocated in the water and mud. One January morning, he had gone into the commons. It had been freezing for several days and during the night there had been a heavy snowfall. He must have gone through the ice. No one had heard any more about him until a haymaker had found him in a deep slough the following summer. They had recognized him because of his vaulting pole and musket.


Simon had been eighteen years old at the time and had not shed many tears for the uncle whom he succeeded. And what kind of successor? In churlishness and godlessness, he exceeded even his uncle. He wanted nothing to do with religion but ranted and raved at the parish priest and never performed a single religious duty. He was a total heathen, who cursed and drank even more than his uncle had done. Everyone avoided him as much as they could. Many crossed themselves when they had to pass his house. However, in one thing he differed favourably from his uncle: he never stole. No one had ever complained that he had stolen from them.


  • Author: Mehavor
  • Pages: 250
  • Paperback
  • Published in 2019


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Providence Books & press Reviews

Simon Gieke was a man whom everyone avoided. A hunter by trade, he spent his money and animal catches at the local tavern. Much like his dreaded uncle, Simon was uncouth and unfeeling. Yet, one thing they couldn’t say about Simon was that he was a thief.


Can God’s word penetrate a man’s heart such as this? Simon’s life changed one evening when he heard a man crying for help. Even in his unfeeling ways, Simon rescues the man. It turns out the man is a minister. After some time, Simon is convicted of the minister's words and becomes a believer.


All is not well in Tholen and surrounding areas, as the Spaniards bring about bloody persecutions. Before narrowly escaping himself, Simon helps many of the "new faith" escape.


Simon soon finds himself in the Dutch city of Veere, at the home of a ship captain and his wife. In the city of Veere, a tug of war has begun between allegiances to the Duke of Alva and the Prince of Orange. A bloody battle rages; will Veere fight for liberty or remain oppressed?


This book does well to document that although the Spaniards committed countless atrocities, men on the side of liberty, embittered by suffering, also committed some heinous acts. Near the conclusion of the book, one such act is depicted as a vengeful and bloodthirsty man cuts out a man’s heart and takes a bite out of it. It must be noted that this action is condemned by other Christians, and the author uses it as a teaching moment.


While some people will find this graphic description a deterrent and perhaps find some of the language difficult, on the whole, this is an interesting look into the lives of suffering Dutch Christians.

Product Details:

  • Paperback:  250 pages
  • Published:  2019
  • ISBN:  9781772980844


  • Mehavor
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