Just three years after the recovery of Elisha's bones, Dr. Jack Hawthorne has given up teaching and resumed the practice of archaeology, although his frequent absences have put a strain on his relationship with Esperanza. Things heat up when Esperanza receives a call from an antiquities dealer with troubling news about Jack, and her fears are confirmed. Jack has gone to Libya in search of another biblical artifact: the Nehushtan, the serpent staff of Moses. After Jack arrives in Libya, he soon discovers he isn't the only one searching for the Nehushtan. Later, in attempting to steal it, he finds himself in the hands of a man who just might be his match. Jack and his friends muststay one step ahead of the Libyan government, an overambitious member ofthe Vatican hierarchy, and an Egyptian assassin--if they stand any chance ofstaying alive long enough to recover the staff.