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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 …

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 …

Jericho Was Not the First…

The Walls of Arad coverEveryone knows the story of Joshua and the city of Jericho.

Joshua fought the battle of Jericho … and the walls came tumbling down.

But before Jericho, there was Arad.

When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming along the road to Atharim, he attacked the Israelites and captured some of them.  ~Numbers 21

The long-awaited third book in my trilogy is coming out next month—June 15. The Walls of Arad takes place almost forty years after the first two, as the years of wandering are drawing to an end.

Arisha is a young Canaanite woman who has fled the city for her safety. Miriam has taken her under her wing, but as she is close to death, she wants to be assured this abused and abandoned young woman will have a good life, and she entreats Zadok to marry her.

Zadok …