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Scholars disagree whether or not the Israelites had flocks in the wilderness; most say they didn’t. We know they brought their flocks with them when they left Egypt. But they were expecting a very short trip, possibly as short as eleven days. They then camped for eleven months at Mt Sinai. My research says this was a well-watered place, but even if it was, their time in the wilderness surely wasn’t.

shepherd on hillIn their thirty-eight years of waiting to enter Canaan, most of their flocks probably died from the rigorousness of the travel, the heat, the lack of sufficient food, or dehydration. A good number may have been slaughtered since we also know the Israelites complained about having no meat to eat.

They may have kept some for milk, or kept a few take with them to the Promised Land. But I believe it is doubtful that there were many true …

We Get By With A Little Help From Our Friends

Arisha photoArisha is our heroine. She arrived at the Israelite camp a refugee, having fled Arad in fear for her safety. Now Miriam, sister to Moses and Aaron, wants Zadok to marry her.

The Law forbade the Israelites from marrying Canaanites, unless they turned to Yahweh and worshipped Him as the One True God.

God always encouraged Israel to accept foreigners. After all, the Israelites themselves were refugees in Egypt for generations, and “many other people” left Egypt with them.
There are many verses that deal with how Israel was supposed to treat the foreigners among them. Here are just a few from the Law given by Moses:

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.

When you reap the harvest of your

What Makes a Shepherd’s Heart?

Zadok photoMeet Zadok. He is the hero of The Walls of Arad, the third book in the “Journey to Canaan” series. Zadok is a shepherd—specifically, he is the shepherd of the Tabernacle flock. He has a gentle heart, one that Miriam decides is perfect for our heroine, Arisha. (You’ll meet her later.)

Ancient shepherds have a complicated history. In Abraham’s day, they were held in high esteem. Abraham and Lot were wealthy men, as were Isaac and Esau. The occupation was by necessity a nomadic one, especially with extremely large flocks. Once a man owned such a flock, however, he himself rarely spent much time with them. Young boys and even girls were hired to keep an eye on the sheep.

In Egypt, shepherds were looked down on. Egypt was an agrarian society, and the people were clean-shaven. They didn’t like and didn’t trust the long-haired, bearded nomads, which is …