the time, place, physical details, and circumstances in which a situation occurs. Settings include the background, atmosphere or environment in which characters live and move, and usually include physical characteristics of the surroundings. Settings enables the reader to better envision how a story unfolds by relating necessary physical details of a piece of literature. A setting may be simple or elaborate, used to create ambiance, lend credibility or realism, emphasize or accentuate, organize, or even distract the reader. Settings in the Bible are simplistic. In the book of Genesis, we read about the creation of the universe and the lives of the descendants of Adam. Great detail is taken in documenting the lineage, actions, and ages of the characters at milestones in their lives, yet remarkably little detail is given about physical characteristics of the landscape and surroundings in which events occurred. In Genesis 20, we learn that because of her beauty, Sarah’s identity is concealed to prevent the death of her husband, Abraham. Yet, we have no description of Sarah or Abraham’s hair, eye or skin color, height, weight, physical appearance, or surroundings. Detailed settings that were infrequent in some ancient writings like the Bible are common in today’s literature. In recent literature, settings are often described in elaborate detail, enabling the reader to vividly envision even imaginary characters and actions like the travels of Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Settings have a way of drawing the reader into a piece of literature while facilitating understanding of the characters and their actions. Understanding the setting is useful because it enables us to see how an author captures the attention of the reader by painting a mental picture using words.