Romancing History

Tag: Daughters of Zelophehad

Claiming Canaan & A Giveaway

I’m thrilled to welcome dear friend and fellow Pelican Book Group author, Barbara Britton, back to Romancing History today. The third book in Barb’s fabulous Daughters of Zelophehad series, Claiming Canaan, just released. Although I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, it is on my TBR pile and I’m anxiously awaiting the conclusion of this amazing series.

And, Barb has graciously offered to giveaway an Ebook copy of one of the books in the series, Winner’s Choice! Details to enter the Giveaway are below.

Saying Good-bye to Historic Girls

Guest post by Barbara Britton

Thank you for having me back on the blog, Kelly. I appreciate you faithfully reading my series on the daughters of Zelophehad.

The daughters of Zelophehad are five orphaned sisters who went to Moses and asked to inherit their deceased father’s land. Moses deferred to God, and God agreed with the girls. God said that if a man died without a son, his daughters could inherit his land (Numbers 27:1-11). The sisters’ “bold ask” was new to me a few years ago. Now, as the last book in the series releases, I am sad to say good-bye to Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah.

In “Claiming Canaan,” the girls receive their land. We know from Joshua 17:3-6 that the sisters approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua, and the leaders of Israel. The girls remind the powerful leaders of Israel about their historic inheritance. These girls had guts! But they also knew that it had been several years since God’s decree about their land, and at this point in time, Moses was long gone.

As an author, I had to decide what type of land the girls would receive. I placed them in the Jezreel Valley near Canaanite cities that were inhabited by idol worshipers. What would faith in action look like for these girls? I bestowed on Milcah, the protagonist in this final book, a (spoiler alert) vineyard. You could probably discern Milcah’s inheritance from the book cover. Would a vineyard be controversial?

I delved into Scripture and discovered that the “Proverbs 31 Woman” planted a vineyard (Proverbs 31:16-17). How had I missed this purchase? She also works vigorously which is something Milcah discovers comes hand in hand with owning a vineyard. Farming is not easy.

I placed the daughters of Zelophehad in the Jezreel Valley. The valley is lush and green. We see later on in Scripture in I Kings 21 that Naboth owns a vineyard in Jezreel. He does not sell his vineyard to King Ahab because it is part of God’s promised land. Tribal lands were important—a gift from God. God places restrictions on the daughters of Zelophehad and who they could marry in Numbers, chapter 36, so their land would not jump to the tribe of their husband. Land bestowed on the tribes needed to stay with that specific tribe. Naboth understands the importance of keeping his God-given land, but unfortunately it costs him his life. The sisters understand the importance of keeping their land within the tribe of Manasseh when they respond to their restrictions with faith.

Numbers 36:10 says, “So Zelophehad’s daughters did as the Lord commanded Moses.”

So, my series ends with girls staining their feet while stomping grapes and going forth with God into a land filled with hardship and unbelievers.

I hope the faith of Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah inspires us all.

Are these brave girls new to you?

About the Book

When the tribal elders make marriage a requirement for claiming her land, Milcah bat Zelophehad must find a betrothed straightaway. The only problem in finding a husband is that all her suitors were slain while conquering the land of Canaan. Men avoid her in order to stay alive.

After praying to God to send her a bold suitor, a man from her father’s clan plummets from a tree right on top of her. Is this God answering prayer, or a foolish antic by Eli, the war-scarred brother from one of her clan’s rival families?

Will settling in Canaan sort out Milcah’s troubles, or have her woes just begun?

Find the finale on Amazon, Barnes&Noble and where books are sold.

Excerpt from Claiming Canaan

Who is stealing grapes from Milcah and Eli?

Traveling toward the road, they carefully counted the lines of grape plants until they had reached the seventh row. Eli tapped his sword and motioned for her to give him a berth to draw his weapon. He unsheathed his blade. Muted light gleamed on the worn iron.

From grape plant to grape plant, they slipped closer to the thieves. The width of the plants and bush-like thickness of the grape leaves and clusters, blocked their bodies from view.

Her palms dampened as they neared the pickers. She wished she had drunk her fill before hurrying into the field, for her tongue could not find a drop of saliva. Was Eli as frightened? Or did year upon year of battles, prepare one for a fight?

Eli stilled.

Branches rustled on the next planting.

With the stealth of a predator, Eli shifted into the middle of the path.

Someone ducked from under the grape leaves, basket in hand. A boy. Not much older than Jonah. Ten years of age at most.

The young man did not flee, or attack, or give a defense. He stared. Dropping his basket, he leapt backward and tripped, felled by the girth of the basket brimming with grape clusters.

“Where did you run off to, Yarrat,” a woman’s voice asked in a harsh whisper.

Suddenly, crawling from underneath the tall stalks of the plant, a babe appeared. A girl with cheeks darkened by Milcah’s grapes. The girl’s face crumpled. She collapsed onto the path and whimpered. Her round-eyed gaze fixated on Eli’s sword.

These bandits were a family. Milcah’s heart hollowed at the sight of the little girl’s torn covering.

“Answer me, son.” The woman ducked from the next row, tossed her grapes at a half-filled basket, and shrieked. A spooked lark catapulted toward the night sky.

The little girl wailed. The boy remained prone on the ground, feigning a corpse.

“Do—do not harm my children.” The woman dropped to her knees. Her words and her clasped hands begged Eli to spare their lives.

Eli remained a sculpture of flesh.

“We mean you no harm.”

Milcah approached and stood by Eli’s side. “This vineyard was given to us by the One True God. It is an inheritance from my father.”

The boy scrambled to his feet. Hands fisted, he yelled, “You killed my father.”

Finally, the little thief had spoken.

About Barbara

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Look for Barb to venture into Christian Historical fiction in June with “Until June.” Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Find out more about Barb’s books on her website:

Barb is also on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.


Barb is graciously giving away an Ecopy of one book in her Daughters of Zelophehad series (Lioness, Heavenly Lights, or Claiming Canaan) to one lucky Romancing History reader–winner’s choice. To enter, tell us which Biblical heroine inspires you the most!


**Giveaway ends at midnight on April 6, 2020.

Historic Triumphs & Trials, Guest Post & Giveaway by Barbara Britton

Please welcome my friend and fellow Pelican Book Group author, Barbara Britton, back to Romancing History. Barb’s latest novel, Heavenly Lights, releases today and she’s here to share the challenges she faced creating a main character who is hearing impaired.

I’m currently reading Lioness, the first book in the “Daughters of Zelophehad” series. If you haven’t had a chance to read this one yet, or any of Barb’s books, I encourage you to check out her Amazon page here and start reading. Her stories are filled with action, Biblical history, and characters that grab your heart.

Barb has generously offered an E-copy of Heavenly Lights to one Romancing History reader. So, be sure to see the details at the bottom of the post.

Historic Triumphs and Trials

Guest Post by Barbara Britton


I am happy to be spending my release day for Heavenly Lights: Noah’s Journey with my friend and fellow Pelican author, Kelly, and with all her blog readers. When I started writing about the daughters of Zelophehad, I only thought I would write one book. After I finished my manuscript, I realized these brave sisters did not have their inheritance of land. The girls had the promise of land, and they were told who they could marry, but they didn’t own anything yet. The Israelites took more than seven years to conquer Canaan, and if I included all of the stories in the book of Joshua in my manuscript, I would have a 100,000-word story. Publishers do not buy books of that length anymore. I decided to follow the sisters through the book of Joshua with two more books—Heavenly Lights and Claiming Canaan. Easy, right?

Heavenly Lights would have been easier to write if I hadn’t made my hero in the story a shepherd who couldn’t hear and who couldn’t speak (This is why my advice to authors is to plan a series before you write it). What was I going to do with Jeremiah, a shepherd, and Noah’s love interest (Noah is a woman for those who haven’t read my novels)? Before I panicked too much, I realized that I could write a deaf character since my mother had lost her hearing. I knew firsthand the issues involved in communicating with someone who can’t hear.

American Sign Language did not exist in the period of Joshua and the daughters of Zelophehad. I had to create hand signals that Noah and Jeremiah could share. Personally, I do not know ASL, but I have specific hand movements that I use with my mom.

Noah would have to incorporate certain communication skills into her life. What would those be?

She would have to face Jeremiah when she spoke to him, so he could read her lips. She might have to touch him to get his attention if he was focused on his flocks. Yelling across a field is useless. I learned calling from another room to my mother wasn’t going to get a response. I laugh when she calls to me from another room. I have pretty good hearing, but sometimes I can’t figure out what she is saying.

At times, you may have to repeat what you say to someone who has a hearing deficiency. I find after three attempts that a talk-to-text app on a smart phone works well, or a small white board with Expo markers gets my point across. Of course, Jeremiah doesn’t have an i-phone and he certainly doesn’t have a caption phone. I gave Noah a healthy helping of patience and understanding to befriend Jeremiah.

If someone has a small amount of hearing left, a pocket talker can magnify words into a good ear. Technology was nil in the days of the daughters of Zelophehad, and unfortunately deaf people were seen as being cursed. When I crafted Jeremiah, I gave him an awareness of his surroundings that was unique. Jeremiah’s faith in God did not waver even though he faced challenges being deaf.

Would I change Jeremiah’s character if I had it to do it over again? Nope. Jeremiah is perfect the way I created him. He is one of my favorite characters and so far, he is a favorite of readers, too. Noah isn’t too bad herself.

I hope you enjoy my story about the daughters of Zelophehad and how they go forth with God into the challenging times of the conquest of Canaan. A rugged shepherd is by their side and so is the Good Shepherd.

About the Book


Book blurb for “Heavenly Lights: Noah’s Journey”—Fiction from Joshua 5-8:

Noah bat Zelophehad might have broken tradition by being able to inherit her father’s land, but her heart’s desire is to have the finest herds in all of Israel, something an orphaned and unmarried woman has never achieved.

Jeremiah ben Abishua cannot speak, nor hear. God has made his thoughts captive to his mind. But he can communicate with one shepherdess, a woman who sees his skill with animals and treats him like a man worthy of respect.

When their people disobey God and incur his wrath, Noah and Jeremiah must overcome tragedy in order to change perceptions in the tribes of Israel. Will their kinship desire to care for one another and the four-legged creatures God has placed in their care, be able to flourish in a land filled with enemies of the One True God?

God gave Noah bat Zelophehad four sisters, a way with four-legged creatures, and a strong spirit. She will need all three gifts to thrive in the Promised Land of God and find love with a special shepherd.

Heavenly Lights on Amazon, B&N, or Apple Books.

About Barb

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Find out more about Barb’s books on her website, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Goodreads.


This Giveaway is now closed!

Congrats to Nicole, the winner of a copy of Heavenly Lights!

The Daughters of Zelophehad series is about a group of women who change history by seeking and securing a land inheritance that was unheard of in their day. To enter the drawing for the E-copy of Heavenly Lights, tell us what aspect of being a woman in Biblical times would be the most challenging for you.

*Giveaway ends, midnight Wednesday, February 26, 2020.


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