Shepherd, Potter, Spy, Birth of Israel

“Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer: Survival in Canaan” is a fascinating title for a fascinating book.

The historical fiction novel is told from the point of view of a 12-year-old shepherd boy, Keshub, in the land of Canaan during the period where Joshua leads the Israelites into the Promised Land. Keshub is a Gibeonite, a people who lived in the Promised Land before Israel claimed the territory that God had promised them.

The author is Peggy Miracle Consolver, a Sunday School teacher of 35 years’ experience.


Keshub tended his flocks and dreamt of having adventures beyond his valley. The shepherd, a potter’s apprentice, found adventure as the Hebrews approach his land and he helped hide the Amorite king’s son. He became a spy to keep watch over the Hewbrews.Shepherd Potter Spy Star Namer

The book’s description reads, “True to scripture and authenticated by archeological research, this tale of God’s grace puts flesh and blood on the enigmatic Gibeonites who make a treaty with Joshua. ‘Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer’ looks at Joshua’s story from a new point of view. In the end, Keshub becomes a major player in the life of the leader of the Hebrews.”

I interviewed Consolver at the International Christian Retail Show. She said she came up with the story after Joshua 9 and 10 kept catching her eye. The Gibeonites responded to the Hebrews differently from every other people in Canaan.

“I constructed a family and gave them a faith element,” Consolver said. “All that part is fiction. But they did what they did for some reason. Something they were seeking, the true God.”

She was intrigued by why the Gibeonites approached Joshua in humility and basically said “We are your servants.”

Pegy Consolver with Jason Reynolds at the International Christian Retail Show in 2016.
Pegy Consolver with Jason Reynolds at the International Christian Retail Show in 2016.

“They said that because ‘We see what your God does for you,’” She said. “That tells me there is a heart attitude there for seeking God.”

Consolver said her research included taking a class in Old Testament pottery and going on an archaelogical dig in Israel.

The book will be available Sept. 1 from major retailers and Amazon. Her website is

—Jason Reynolds

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