Below you will find

  1. Introduction of Digging Deeper into HIStory.

  2. A free downloadable Blank Map of Canaan to plot the action of SPSSN.

  3. The Answer Map for finding the places named in the story of Joshua and the Gibeonites of Joshua 9 and 10.

  4. Research links suggested in DDIH to learn more about elements of the story, e.g., the brown bear of chapter 1 or the use of a sling stone mentioned in a later chapter.

  5. Free, downloadable Unit 1 of DDIH.

  6. Free downloadable Outline to adapt DDIH for use in a group setting such as a classroom, an informal youth group study, or a family devotional.


1. Introduction:

Digging Deeper into HIStory is designed to be an interactive study that will enrich your understanding of Joshua 9 and 10. By becoming more familiar with the era of the Late Bronze Age and the setting of this historical event of a far-off, long-ago time, you will find this passage more relevant to you.

  • SPSSN is a Bible Study disguised as a novel.

  • Reading through the Bible chronologically for several years motivated the fleshing out of the biblical account of the Gibeonites and their quest to know God.

  • Scripture verses from Genesis 9 to Jeremiah 21:13 grounded the writing of SPSSN. the setting and culture of the era. Together with her plausible characters they make a backdrop for the exciting historical drama of Joshua’s and the Hebrews’ entry into Canaan.

  • Digging Deeper into HIStory shares all those scriptures and delves deeper into at least one passage in each unit.

  • Any version of the Bible will apply. Author used the New International Version.


2. A free downloadable Blank Map of Canaan to plot the action of SPSSN.


3. The Answer Map for finding the places named in the story of Joshua and the Gibeonites of Joshua 9 and 10.

ANSWER MAP_160721.jpg

4. Research links suggested in DDIH.

A few of the addresses/links given in the original Digging Deeper into HIStory are inactive, as noted below. All links given here are active as of 9/22/19. Please contact the author if you find any of these to be inactive.

Unit 1:
DDIH-01-01 The Bible Dictionary: Gezer Calendar

DDIH-01-02 The Syrian Brown Bear: A Brief Overview

Unit 2:
DDIH-02-01 Alpha Centauri: The Closest Star System to Our Sun

DDIH-02-02 Israeli Mammals

Unit 3:
DDIH-03-01 Instructions for Plaiting and Braiding

Unit 4:
DDIH-04-01 Aerial Views of Jerusalem

DDIH-04-02 Sacred Destinations: Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Unit 5:
DDIH-05-01 Honey: Its Medicinal Property and Antibacterial Activity

DDIH-05-02 How to Make a Tripod Lashing

 Unit 6:

DDIH-06-01a "At the edge of" of Balak's territory

DDIH-06-01b Wadi Mujib

DDIH-06-02 Tutankamun’s Senet Board

 Unit 7:
DDIH-07-01 The Jewish Virtual Library: Jericho

DDIH-07-01 Introduction to Bow Making

Unit 8:
DDIH-08-01 Mt. Hermon Pictures

 Unit 9:
DDIH-09-01 Weapons Universe: Bronze Age Weapons

DDIH-09-02 How to Use a Sling

Unit 10:
DDIH-10-01 Smokey Bear: Elements of Fire         

DDIH-10-02 How to Make a Campfire

Unit 11:
DDIH-11-01 Israel’s Nature Site: Mantids of Israel

DDIH-11-02 National Geographic: Praying Mantis Overview

Unit 12:
DDIH-12-01 Wild Fibres: Linen and Flax

Unit 13:
DDIH-10-01 Bible History: Biblical Archaeology News

5. Free, downloadable Unit 1 of DDIH.


6. “ Free downloadable Outline to Adapt DDIH for use in a group setting.

A Family Devotional Guide


A Youth Group Adventure in the Bible

(Adapting Digging Deeper Into HIStory:

A Study Guide for Shepherd, Potter, Spy—and the Star Namer.)


Dear Parents or Youth Group Leader,

Do you want an exciting once-a-week devotional that will engage your tweens and teens?

This 13-week study will provide just that and more!

Participants will

  • become more familiar with their Bibles.

  • begin to understand the people of the Bible stories better by becoming more familiar with the historical era and the geographic setting where the stories take place.

  • grow in their understanding of themselves and others as they discuss the characters in the Bible and in the Biblical historical novel Shepherd, Potter, Spy—and the Star Namer.

  • be encouraged to use their unique skills to contribute to interesting and exciting sessions of learning.

  • be encouraged to think beyond themselves to how they can make a difference in their world.

For this study, each participant:

  1. Will need access to a copy of Shepherd, Potter, Spy—and the Star Namer, whether paperback hardcopy or Kindle, etc.

  2. Will read 3-5 chapters for each meeting.

Leader/s will need at least one copy of the study guide, Digging Deeper Into HIStory.

Note to User: You may order copies of the DDIH study guide and the Biblical historical novel of Joshua and the Israelites (through the eyes of a Canaanite shepherd boy) Shepherd, Potter, Spy—and the Star Namer through Amazon by searching for Peggy Consolver on Amazon.

Let's get started by reading Joshua, chapters 9 & 10. You may want to re-read it periodically throughout the course of this study, but especially at the beginning of Chapter 20 of Shepherd, Potter, Spy—and the Star Namer.

Each unit has one map question. This tactile activity meets the needs of many students who learn best by doing, manipulating, etc. It also helps the reader see this tale of people who lived 3,400 years ago is about real people in a real place they could visit. See suggestions for its use below. Use one or more of the suggestions and/or your own ideas.

  1. Print the blank map of the Holy Land from author's website, one copy for each person,

  2. Assign one or two group members to enlarge the blank map of Israel on a poster board. Here is a link to learn how to do this:

  3. At meetings, members record the places mentioned in the story on individual maps and/or the enlarged map.

  4. Go here to access a satellite map of present day el-Jib (Gibeon) in the Palestinian West Bank.,34.8513348,59226m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x1502d5ba165da79b:0x27d2f47770a1c77a!8m2!3d31.850989!4d35.183103

  5. You may want to use your internet search engine to find news about what is happening in the region around Gibeon today! (Have one of your participants be the roving reporter for the day in 1407 B.C.E. and one in present day.)

Each unit has a question about what is happening in the story.

  1. Ask one or more individuals or pairs in your group to perform a pantomime of an event in the assigned reading.

  2. Before the meeting, the leader or other designated person will write on a small slip of paper a scene description in three to five words. Put all slips into a bowl, etc. Similar to the game of charades, each participant draws a slip and silently communicates the scene to their team in thirty seconds to one minutes.

  3. In some units, the participants might have sling stone target practice with ping pong balls. It would be best to do this outside and at the end of the session.

  4. Participants could manipulate Play-Dough while the discussion about the Ra-eef' potters proceeds.

Each unit has a question that explores how the reader is relating to the characters and the setting. Participants will compare and contrast their own lives with the lives of Keshub and his brothers and Hosiah, his brother Elkanah, and his uncle Joshua. In this discussion there are no right or wrong answers. Leader/s and participants will gain insights about relationships, responsibilities, social expectations, contrasts of culture, etc.

(Note to leader: Occasionally remind your readers the characters Keshub and Hosiah are fictional representatives of unknown participants of the historical event. Joshua is a historical character. It is not known whether he had a brother or nephews.)

Each unit has a research question with one or more internet links provided.

  1. Designate a person in your group to do the research suggested and report their findings.

  2. Assign a team to do the research, decide how to present the information to the group, and give the presentation.

  3. Ideas for presentation: leader plays the YouTube video when provided, team members act as interviewer and scientist or spokesman, an individual or a team makes a PowerPoint presentation, etc.

Each unit has related scriptures listed. Use the related scriptures as a sword drill. Students will find the verse or passage then stand. When all students have found the reference, the first one standing (or other person designated by the leader) will read the passage. Reading the related scriptures together helps young people become familiar with their Bibles.

Each unit has a question designed to widen the scope of the participants' thinking to include his/her community, or nation. With input from the group, provide a way for the group to make a difference during this study. Some suggestions are:

  1. Visit an elderly person and learn where they grew up and how things were different then.

  2. Help a neighbor or the church with a garage sale, with yard work, etc.

  3. Have your own group garage sale and donate the money to a worthy cause.

  4. Collect outgrown clothing and donate to an organization that serves the refugee community.

  5. During this study, compile a list of participants' prayer requests for the needs of your community, nation, and the world. Include a time of prayer for these concerns to close each session.

You will undoubtedly have ideas that meet the specific needs and interests of your participants. Creative games or other reinforcement activities will increase the "fun factor." Please share those with the rest of our users by going to the website at Or at a new FaceBook group (The "Fire Circle" for Sharing Successes) for sharing ideas and successes with leading groups of young people: Your feedback will be most appreciated.

From your ideas, we will provide an addendum to this devotional guide and make them available to others.

Most of all, have fun proving to your young people the Bible IS NOT a dusty old book of theology.


Peggy Miracle Consolver - Author