The City of Jericho

By Vern Crisler

Copyright, 2003

Rough Draft

1.  The Curse

2.  The Fallen Walls of Jericho

3.  The Middle Bronze Age City

4.  Jabin 2, Hazor, & Judge Deborah

5.  Back to Jericho and the Curse

6.  Conclusion

1.  The Curse

In Joshua 6:26 we read of a fearful curse related to the city of Jericho:

“Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, ‘Cursed be the man before the LORD who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.’” 

It is often thought that this curse applies to everyone, but a careful reading of the verse above does not necessarily support that.  Joshua charged them with an oath, it says.  The initial range of applicability for this curse would seem to be limited to those who could hear Joshua’s oath.  Presumably, Joshua was speaking to tribal leaders, so we could infer that the range of applicability could also extend to all Israelites.

It’s not necessary, however, to assume that this curse went beyond the Israelites.  Indeed, we read in Judges 3:12-30 that the Israelites were oppressed by the Moabite king, Eglon, who “took possession of the city of palms” (vs. 13).  The city of palms was Jericho, according to Deuteronomy 34:3, where it is called “Jericho, the city of palm trees.”

Michael Sanders believes that the Moabite king Eglon rebuilt the walls of the city of Jericho (“Jericho Part II — the Biblical Account,” http://www.biblemysteries.com, Feb. 11, 1998).  I’m not sure this is right, however, and would argue instead that it’s just as likely that an apostate Benjaminite rebuilt the city.  The verse in Judges 3 does not say that Eglon built the city, but only that he took possession of it, so a careful reading of the verse indicates that the city may have already been rebuilt to some extent.

Eglon may have made his move on Jericho sometime in the years before the time of Deborah, perhaps during the time of Benjaminite weakness — i.e., while they were still recovering from their near annihilation by the other tribes (described in the appendices to the Book of Judges, chapters 18-21.)  Later, when the Benjaminites had fully regained their strength under Ehud ben-Gera, they took back the city of palms.

Nevertheless, I don’t rule out the possibility that the curse may have ranged over non-Israelites as well.  Kathleen Kenyon, in her book Digging Up Jericho notes two distinct burials in the Middle Bronze age city:

“Our excavations…have at this stage not completely reached the base of  these [older buildings].  But the only trace so far found of Middle Bronze I remains is a brick-built tomb, and a separate infant burial.” (p. 212).  [Note that Middle Bronze I for Kenyon is the same as W. F. Albright’s MB2a.]

So here we have an example of burials that could very well have involved the deaths of the oldest and youngest sons of whoever rebuilt the city.  Unfortunately, the Bible does not give us enough information to know whether anyone rebuilt the city prior to the time of Eglon, nor does it tell us with certainty whether Eglon himself rebuilt the city and lost his oldest and youngest sons.  The tomb evidence, however, may indicate that we should leave the matter open as to whether the curse against Jericho applies to Israelites, or to both Israelites and non-Israelites.

Suffice it to say that by the time of Hiel the Bethelite, a contemporary of Ahab (c. 880 BC), the Israelites had extensive control of the Holy Land, and it’s unlikely that something such as the fulfillment of Joshua’s curse would have been lost to memory so easily.  Thus, there is no need to adopt Kathleen Kenyon’s claim that there was a gap in occupation at Jericho between the time of Joshua and the time of Hiel (Ibid., p. 263).  Room must be made for the rebuilding of the city either before or during the time of Eglon.

2.  The Fallen Walls of Jericho

Courville argues that Joshua and the Israelites attacked the city of Jericho at the end of the Early Bronze Age.  He points out that Garstang had correctly identified the fallen walls of Jericho, but had misdated them.  Kathleen Kenyon corrected Garstang’s dates, and the fallen walls of Jericho had to be put back to the end of the Early Bronze Age.  Thus, by conventional dating of the Conquest to the end of the Late Bronze Age, nothing by way of archaeological remains was left for Joshua, or for the momentous events of that time.  Kenyon argued that erosion was the culprit, but others have argued that the biblical account is legendary and cannot be relied upon to give us reliable history.

Following Courville, we’ve argued that the Conquest took place at the end of the Early Bronze Age, not at the end of the Late Bronze Age as held by conventional chronology.  According to Kenyon, the city of Jericho was overrun at the end of the Early Bronze age:

“[T]he latest of the Early Bronze Age town walls at Jericho was destroyed by fire.  With this destruction, town life there came to an end for a space of several hundred [sic] years.  Newcomers, who were presumably the authors of the destruction, settled in considerable numbers in the area, but they did not build for themselves a walled town.  They spread all  down the slopes of the mound and over a considerable part of the adjoining hillside. . . .”[1]

The city of Ai was also abandoned at the end of the Early Bronze age:

“An important site in the hill country . . . is that of ‘Ai, identified in the imposing remains known as Et Tell covering a hill some 10 miles north of Jerusalem. . . . The site is of peculiar interest, since, according to the biblical account, ‘Ai was captured by Joshua after the fall of Jericho.  The excavations showed, however, that the site was abandoned at the end of the Early Bronze Age, and was not reoccupied until well on in the Iron Age.”[2]

In the essay, “The Smoking Gun at Ai,” it has been shown that a great heap of stones was set up upon the ruins of the EB3 gate complex at Ai, just as the Bible describes it:

Heap of Stones at Ai

Moreover, according to Pritchard, the MB1 people (using Albright’s terminology), pushed into Palestine near Jericho, just as we are told in the biblical account:

“These relics of the Middle Bronze I people seem to indicate a fresh migration into the town of a nomadic people who brought with them an entirely new tradition in pottery forms and new customs in burial practices. They may have come into Palestine from the desert at the crossing of the Jordan near Jericho and may then have pushed on to settle eventually at such places as Gibeon, Tell el-Ajjul, and Lachish, where tombs of this distinctive type have been found.”[3]

The latest of the city walls of Jericho that Kenyon mentions above is probably not the one that fell by means of an earthquake.  Garstang had identified the “double line of wall” and “signs of destruction by earthquake and fire” to the Late Bronze Age, which he considered the time of the Conquest.  It is not always clear in Garstang whether he is describing the earthquake damage of the Early Bronze Age, or the fire damage that marked the end of the MB2c city.  Indeed, Kenyon points out that Garstang confused the stratigraphy, but she agrees that earthquakes may have put an end to some of the Early Bronze Age walls:

“The excavations have revealed several instances of a collapse which strongly suggests an earthquake, for example that shown in the section of Trench I, where the face of the wall has collapsed outward in a tip of intact bricks….There is no evidence in the excavated areas that any of the collapses were due to breaching or undermining by enemies.  But in a number of places the walls have been destroyed by fire, which is almost certainly the work of enemies.  As has already been explained, it is difficult to correlate successive stages of the walls on different sites … [but] … the wall burnt in Trench I is certainly, as will be seen, the last of the Early Bronze age ones. . . .”[4]

From our perspective, the Israelites probably did not invade the city immediately after the walls fell down, but waited for a few minutes, perhaps taking a little while to gear up for the battle, or make last minute preparations, or even to allow the dust to settle.  It was enough, however, to give the thousands of inhabitants of Jericho — who realized their peril — time to begin a hasty rebuilding of a new wall.  Kenyon describes this wall:

“The description of the final wall of Early Bronze Age Jericho has been reserved to this point, for it illustrates vividly the manner in which the newcomers appeared.  The wall is built immediately above the preceding one, on the outer line followed by the later walls. It bears every sign of having been constructed in great haste….Unlike any other wall we have found, this included a large number of broken fragments, obviously re-used from an earlier wall….Not only was the wall built in great haste, with any materials ready to hand, but it was probably destroyed before it was completed.”[5]

The foundations of the new wall were simply set on top of the preceding wall, “flush with the surface formed by the debris of its collapse.”[6]  It appears that the panicked inhabitants just starting piling up a new wall on top of the debris of the former wall, and Kenyon finds it difficult to conceive of why they would do this, “for they are so loose that they would not have supported any weight.”  She continues:

“Such was the haste of the work, however, that the building of the brickwork began without waiting for this [encasing with soil], and before it was ever done, and probably before the brickwork had been carried very high (for that would inevitably have caused collapse), the wall was violently destroyed by fire.  The layers of ash, in beautiful pastel shades of blues, greys and pinks, suggesting brushwood or thatch as did the other fire, come right down against the stones of the foundations, showing that they were exposed when the fire took place.  The brickwork, normally mud-coloured, is burnt bright red throughout, clear evidence of the strength of the conflagration, and the stones of the foundations are completely calcined.”[7]

The method of construction of the walls contributed to their destruction:

“The looseness of the exposed stone foundations would create the draught necessary to carry a furnace-like heat right into the heart of the wall.  The layers of burning are found both on the inner and outer side of the wall, and no doubt much of the town went up in flames at the same time.”[8]

Kenyon regards this burning as the work of the city’s enemies:

“One cannot doubt that this time the destruction of the walls was the work of enemies. At a time when, through neglect, or some earlier catastrophe, the town wall had been, at least in the area of Trench I, razed to ground level, news of imminent danger caused the inhabitants to rebuild their defences in headlong haste.  Before the task was completed, they were overwhelmed.  The disaster was indeed complete, for this was the end of Early Bronze Age Jericho.”[9]

The New Courville interpretation is this:  The Bible does not mention the hastily built wall that was destroyed before completion, but it is easy enough to see it as the work of the desperate inhabitants of the city once they saw that their massive walls had collapsed from the power of an earthquake.  The walls that fell to Joshua are the ones that Kenyon says were “razed to ground level,” the result of “some earlier catastrophe.”  It is obvious that “news of imminent danger” would mean that an army was at their door, so to speak, or they would have taken more time to prepare the last defensive wall, instead of piling up whatever was at hand.  The fact that they couldn’t complete even this one shows that the danger was not just imminent but was immediate.

The wall underneath the hastily built structure was the “final wall which is visible in Trench I on the original line.”  Kenyon continues:

“[T]he two highest walls on the inner and outer line had been considered [by Garstang] to represent a double wall, and had been ascribed to the Late Bronze Age, and to be probably the wall destroyed by the Israelites under Joshua.  The clearer stratigraphical evidence now obtained makes it quite certain that this is not so.  The two walls are not contemporary, and the material associated with them is entirely of the Early Bronze Age.  Moreover, the latest of the walls on the outer line is securely sealed by levels of the Intermediate Early Bronze-Middle Bronze period, and by the great bank of the Middle Bronze Age.”[10]

This wall was a “thick, massive affair,” and as has been noted, it was “razed to ground level” by a “catastrophe” and served as the foundation for a new, hastily built defensive structure which was destroyed before it could be completed.

Those who settled on the slopes of the ruined city of Jericho at the end of the EBA period were none other than the MB1 people [Kenyon’s Intermediate EB-MB], whom we have identified as the invading Israelites under Joshua, and who vanquished much of the Canaanite population:  “There was, certainly at Jericho, and very probably elsewhere (on the existing evidence), such a wholesale incursion of newcomers that the existing population was completely submerged.”[11]

The invading Israelites — assuming that they were MB1 — did not build any major structures on the city, but lived in tents on the slopes of the city.  This is certainly what we would expect if they took Joshua’s curse seriously, and it appears they did:

“Though they lived on the tell, they were not really interested in it as a town.  Their occupation spread right down the slopes, and they never built themselves a town wall.  Moreover, in various places in the cemetery area to the north of the tell, a considerable amount of pottery has been found, in well-defined locations, but not associated with any buildings or debris derived from buildings.  We may thus imagine their tents scattered over the hill-slopes, just as are those of the semi-nomadic tinkers today.”[12]

The reader should read the essay titled, “Middle Bronze 1 Fact Sheet” in order to find out more about the MB1 people:

https://vernerable.wordpress.com/archaeology/middle-bronze-1-fact-sheet/

With regard to the walls that fell during Joshua’s time, New Courville would identify these with the thick, massive walls that were razed to ground level by what Kenyon calls a “catastrophe.”  The ruins of this wall — its lowest course or foundation stones — served as the basis for a new, hastily built defensive structure which was destroyed by the advancing Israelites before it could be completed.

3.  The Middle Bronze Age City

As we have seen, someone — whether an apostate Benjaminite, or the Moabite king, Eglon — rebuilt the city of Jericho sometime after the Conquest.  According to Kenyon, this rebuilding took place sometime near the end of the MB2a period (though she uses the term MBI):

“It appears that the first Middle Bronze Age occupation at Jericho does not belong to the beginning of the period.  No evidence was found of anything comparable with the Middle Bronze Age I [Albright, MB2a] remains at Aphek, in the Tell el-‘Ajjul courtyard cemetery, or at Megiddo.  Only one tomb in the cemetery area in Jericho is likely to belong to the Middle Bronze Age I [MB2a].  It is probable, therefore, that the site was first occupied at the end of the Middle Bronze Age I (more commonly referred to as Middle Bronze II), perhaps toward the end of the nineteenth [sic] century BCE.”[13]

This would seem to place the city sometime just before the transitional MB2a to MB2b period.

4.  Jabin 2, Hazor, & Judge Deborah

Since we are talking about the MB2a and MB2b periods, we should pause to discuss another major foundation for the New Courville interpretation of ancient chronology, for if Eglon can be dated toward the end of the MB2a period, then that means Judge Deborah cannot be far behind, most likely in the MB2b period.

The first Jabin — Jabin 1 — lived and died during Joshua’s day (Joshua 11).  According to New Courville, Joshua defeated the EB3 city of Hazor (known as the Upper City).  When the Bible talks about Hazor being the head of all those kingdoms, or of not burning any city save Hazor, it’s not talking about all of the cities of Palestine, but only those that had joined up with Hazor in a coalition to fight against Joshua.

Restricting city burning to Hazor would make no sense in light of the burning of Jericho.  What this means instead is that the Bible is pointing out that of this alliance, only Hazor was burned, not the other cities of the alliance.  Moreover, Hazor was only the head of the alliance, not of all the other great Canaanite cities in Palestine — despite the fact that some archaeologists interpret the verse otherwise (erroneously in my judgment).

The second Jabin — Jabin 2 — lived and died during Judge Deborah’s day (Judges 4).  Scholars with a rationalistic bent, such as Yadin, claim these are two different accounts of the conquest of Hazor.  Despite that, Yadin (unintentionally) provides us with an amazing correlation, by showing that the name “Jabin” (or Jabin 2 for us) is derived from the Yabni mentioned in the Mari archives.[14]

The complete name morph is: Ibni-Adad = Yabni-Hadad = Yabin = Jabin.  (Y and J are frequently interchangeable.)

The Mari archives are dated to MB2b.[15]  According to Mazar, Hammurabi destroyed Mari in his 36th year, thus placing Hammurabi in the MB2b period.  If this Jabin is the Jabin 2 who fought against Judge Deborah — and we believe it is — this would place Deborah in the MB2b period, and a contemporary of Hammurabi.

Scholars have connected Hammurabi with Yantin of Byblos, Zimrilim of Mari, and Egyptian 13th dynasty king Neferhotep.[16]  Additionally, Aharon Kempinski points out that Ka-hotep-ra (Sobk-hotep 5 — about 38 years after Neferhotep) can be correlated to the MB2b Jericho tomb phase 3, and that Babylonian cylinder seals from the time of Hammurabi can be correlated to Jericho tomb phase 2, which is early MB2b.  Kempinski provides the following table, synchronizing the main assemblages of the Holy Land with neighboring lands in what he regards as the “Eighteenth Century.”[17] 

            Table 6.2

Date [sic] Assemblage Remarks
1842-1790 (Amenemhet 3 & 4)  Byblos royal tombs  still MB2a
Before c. 1780 Jericho tombs, phase I    Hazor lower city, stratum

    pre-4

Still MB2a
c. 1760 Jericho tombs, phase ii Four Babyloniancylinder seals,

beginning

MB2b

c. 1750(Nefer-hotep 1) end of Megiddo stratum 12 early MB2b
After c. 1730Ka-hotep-ra

(Sobk-hotep 5;

Thirteen Dynasty)

Jericho tombs, phase iii MB2b

                       

After discussing the twelfth dynasty kings Amenemhet 3 & 4, correlated with MB2a, Kempinski says:

“The next chronological synchronism, related to the first kings of the Thirteenth Dynasty, is made possible by the discovery of a royal scarab of Ka-hotep-ra (Sobk-hotep V) in a phase iii tomb at Jericho….[T]he pottery of phase iii at Jericho may be considered typical of the Middle Bronze IIb….Even if the Ka-hotep-ra scarab was kept as an heirloom for a generation or two, it was found in a phase iii tomb, belonging to fully developed Middle Bronze IIb….The following sequence may be deduced:

phase i of the Jericho tombs, late Middle Bronze IIa (about 1800 B.C.E. [sic]);

phase ii, early Middle Bronze IIb (about 1760-1750 B.C.E. [sic])

phase iii, Middle Bronze IIb (after 1730 B.C.E. [sic])….

He continues:

“. . . Babylonian cylinder seals, stylistically dated to the reign of Hammurabi or somewhat earlier, appear in Jericho in the phase ii tombs, from the first half of the eighteenth century [sic].  As the scarab of Ka-hotep-ra (c. 1730 [sic]) was found in a phase iii tomb, we have further support from Egyptian chronology for the dating of the reign of Hammurabi to the first part of the century.”[18]

The most important correlations from a chronological perspective are the following:

Tomb Phase Strata Names
Jericho 3 MB2b Sobk-hotep 5
Jericho 2 early MB2b Hammurabi, Yantin, Neferhotep

 

If Judge Deborah is a contemporary of the Jabin of the Mari letters, then the time of Deborah would be correlated to Jericho tomb phase 2, and hence to Hammurabi, Yantin, and Neferhotep.

David Rohl in his book Pharaohs and Kings has commented on the Jabin of the Mari letters.  He points out that one of the later expeditions to Hazor uncovered a palace, and in 1992, a new tablet was found that mentions an Ibni-[Addu].  Rohl says:

“Ben-Tor realised that the name of the addressee, Ibni-Addu, was the ruler of Hazor at the time the letter was written.  The name ‘Ibni’ is the equivalent of Hebrew  ‘Yabin’–the biblical name ‘Jabin’.  So, the name of the ruler of Hazor found on a tablet datable to a palace belonging to the city destroyed by fire during the MBA is the same as that of the king of Hazor killed by Joshua who then burnt the city to the ground.[19]

This appears to be a problem for his chronology.  He has Hammurabi, who is correlated to the Jabin of the Mari letters, dated to 1565 but he also identifies the new Jabin with the Jabin defeated by Joshua, which he places at 1410 BC.[20]  That’s a difference of 155 years.  Rohl anticipated this problem. In footnote 21 of his discussion, he states:

“Tablets from the Mari archive also give the ruler of Hazor’s name as Ibni-Addad. . . . However, this archive dates to a period around 130 years earlier in the New Chronology.  In Judges 4:2 the king of Hazor is also named Jabin.  Thus we now know of at least three kings of Hazor named Jabin/Ibni. It would be reasonable to suggest therefore that Jabin is a dynastic name borne by the rulers of MBA Hazor. . . .”[21]

Rohl is therefore distinguishing this Jabin of Judges 4:2 (Deborah’s time) from the Jabin of the Mari archives (“130 years earlier” than the Conquest), and both from the Jabin of the new tablet, whom he correlates to Joshua’s time.

I think what is confusing about all this is that Rohl is dating the destruction of Hazor by Joshua to the MB2b pottery strata,[22] and that’s the same strata that the Mari archives are dated to in conventional terminology.  Moreover, Yadin dates the “palace” to the MB2c period, not to MB2b:

“The next MBII stratum–a huge rectangular building–was built above the deliberately filled shafts.  This is the latest MB II stratum on the site and must belong to phase C of this period.”[23]  Compare also that Stratum XVI is correlated to MB IIC.[24]  Stratum 16 is where Rohl places the new tablet.

So it would have been the MB2c city that was destroyed, not an MB2b city, as Rohl contends.  He has the Exodus at the end of MB2a and Conquest at the end of MB2b.[25]  Yadin points out that the whole area of the tell where the “palace” or “citadel” was found “revealed continuous well-built dwellings of both Stratum XVII and XVI, indicating dense occupation.”[26] Thus, there was no break between the MB2b Stratum 17 and the MB2c stratum 16.  The destruction came only at the end of MB2c.

Rohl’s attempt to find a Conquest at the end of MB2b is thus unfounded, and his attempt to equate the destruction at the end of MB2c with the end of MB2b shows either a confusion regarding how to distinguish these two periods, or a misunderstanding of how some scholars are using the single MB2b terminology.  These same criticisms of Rohl’s use of archaeological terminology have been made in our critique of Rohl in the paper “Alternative Chronologies”:

https://vernerable.wordpress.com/archaeology/alternative-chronologies/

Readers may find a further explanation and defense of differential phasing for the Middle Bronze Age, regardless of what terminology is used, by consulting Dever on the subject.[27]

The “palace” tablet mentioning Jabin was probably part of a royal archive originally, so there’s no way to be sure when it was first written, even if it had been found in the MB2c Stratum 16 phase.  Rohl says that the tablet “would appear” to belong to the stratum 16 palace.  He says in a caption that the “writing indicates that the tablet originated from an archive of the Middle Bronze Age palace.”[28]  He had previously said, “The tablet appeared to come from an archive which subsequent analysis of the cuneiform text showed must have belonged to the Middle Bronze Age administrative complex at Hazor.”[29]

So the text was obviously not found in a safe stratigraphic context.  Rather, it is dated based on its “writing.”  Though Rohl may not be guilty of a contradiction in his chronology, he really has no sound reason to distinguish the Jabin of the “palace” fragment found by Ben-Tor from the Jabin of the Mari archives.  Indeed, the tablet was found in a “secondary” archaeological context, like a similar tablet found in 1991.

This latter tablet was found in debris dated to the Iron Age, but its content was clearly related to the Mari archives.[30]  The 1992 tablet mentioning Jabin is correlated to the Mari archives: “Line 1 [To Ibni-…]: One is tempted to restore the name of the recipient as ib-ni[dIM], i.e., Ibni-Addu, the king of Hazor known from the Mari documents.”[31]

Thus, Rohl’s attempt to separate this Jabin from the Jabin of the Mari archives is not supported by current scholarship.  Our view is that the new Jabin is indeed the Jabin mentioned in the Mari archives and that the best correlation for this Jabin is to the time of Deborah, and hence to Jabin 2.  As we have argued, this placement of Jabin 2 in the early MB2b period would support the view that either Eglon or a predecessor should be regarded as having rebuilt the city of Jericho during the later MB2a phase.

5.  Back to Jericho and the Curse

Kenyon says that there was no evidence of Iron Age occupation until the 7th century, and thus no evidence for the 9th century Hiel the Bethelite.[32]  In recent years, however, archaeologists such as M. & H. Weippert have found pottery at Jericho ranging from Iron 1 to Iron 2c, pretty much the whole range.[33]  Kenyon herself recognized the existence of an Iron 2 palace at Jericho, apparently the bit hilani palace.

This bit hilani palace is dated on the basis of Building 6000 at Megiddo to the tenth century (the time of Solomon).  Several Iron Age houses were built alongside it as well.[34]  If we follow the Low Chronology for the Iron Age as advocated by a number of archaeologists, then we can redate this bit hilani building to the 9th century, and we would thus correlate it to Hiel the Bethelite, who lost his oldest and youngest sons when he tried to rebuild the city of Jericho.  Speaking of the Low Chronology redating of this architectural style, Finkelstein says:

“The Low Chronology that I propose resolves some thorny problems raised by the prevailing dating.  First, it closes the gap of a century or more between the beginning of monumental architecture (at Megiddo) and the appearance of other manifestations of developed administration in Israel, such as monumental inscriptions, administrative ostraca and inscribed seals and seal impressions.  Second, it bridges the one century gap between the appearance of the bit hilani palaces at Megiddo (in the 10th century according to the prevailing chronology) and their appearance in north Syria, the supposed country of origin, in the 9th century BCE.”[35]

It would help to confirm this correlation if there were evidences of this curse having been fulfilled.  While we cannot be certain about it, there are some tombs dated to the 10th century (9th century on Low Chronology) that are consistent with such a curse.  According to Bartlett:

“The evidence for Iron Age tombs is also scanty.  Selling and Watzinger found an Iron Age II tomb dug into the ‘Hilani’ building.  Garstang found two graves, one apparently from the 11th-10th centuries BC, west of the tell.  Kenyon found a 10th century grave north of the tell. . . .”[36]

While this doesn’t prove that the tombs belong to Hiel the Bethelites’ family, it’s at least what one would expect if scholars are right in redating Iron Age strata down a hundred years as per the Low Chronology approach.

6.  Conclusion

As a result of Kathleen Kenyon’s excavations at Jericho, G. E. Wright opined that, “We now have to say that we know practically nothing from an archaeological point of view, regarding Joshua’s conquest of Jericho.”  Nevertheless, as Courville said, the lack of any evidence for Joshua’s Conquest at the end of the Late Bronze Age,

“should provide an immediate suspicion that errors in dating have been made and that the debris on the Jericho mound has been mis-correlated with true Palestinian chronology, having been set too far back on the time scale by many centuries.”[37]

Our reflections on the Early Bronze age remains at Jericho, the heap of stones at Ai, the correlation of Judge Deborah to MB2b and Eglon to late MB2a, and the relevance of the Low Chronology redating of the bit hilani architectural style, have led us to conclude that the evidence has been there all along, and that Courville is right in seeing the problem not as biblical, nor archaeological, but as chronological.

End


[1] Kathleen Kenyon, Archaeology in the Holy Land, 1960, New York: F. A. Praeger, p. 137.

[2] Kenyon, p. 115.

[3] James B. Pritchard, Gibeon: Where the Sun Stood Still, 1962, New Jersey, p. 153; my emphasis.

[4] Kenyon, p. 176.

[5] Kenyon, p. 188.

[6] Kenyon, p. 189.

[7] Kenyon, p. 189.

[8] Kenyon, p. 189.

[9] Kenyon, p. 189.

[10] Kenyon, p. 181.

[11] Kenyon, p. 187.

[12] Kenyon, p. 192.

[13] Kathleen Kenyon, article on Jericho, in E. Stern, ed., The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, [1993], Vol. 2, p. 679.

[14] Yigael Yadin, Hazor, 1972, London: Oxford Univ. Press, p. 5.

[15] A. Mazar, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, 1990, 1992, pp. 193-195.

[16] W. F. Albright, Chronologies in Old World Archaeology [COWA], p. 55.  Albright cites Montet, Byblos et l’Egypte, Texte. Paris, Geuther [1928], p. 196; and Montet, Byblos et l’Egypte, Atlas. Paris, Geuther [1929], Pl CXVII.).

[17] Amnon Ben-Tor, The Archaeology of Ancient Israel, 1992, p. 177.

[18] Amnon Ben-Tor, The Archaeology of Ancient Israel, 1992, p. 178.

[19] David Rohl, Pharaohs & Kings, p. 317.

[20] Rohl, p. 299.

[21] Rohl, p. 419.

[22] Rohl, p. 317.

[23] Yadin, p. 44.

[24] Yadin, p. 118.

[25] Rohl, p. 309.

[26] Yadin, p. 124.

[27] W. G. Dever, “The Chronology of Syria-Palestine in the Second Millennium B.C.E.: A Review of Current Issues,” BASOR [1992], 288, p. 12.

[28] Rohl, p. 317.

[29] Rohl, p. 316.

[30] W. Horowitz & A. Shaffer, “An Administrative Tablet from Hazor: A Preliminary Edition,” Israel Exploration Journal, [1992] 42:1-2, p. 22.

[31] Horowitz & Shaffer, “A Fragment of a Letter from Hazor,” IEJ [1992] 42:3-4, p. 166.

[32] Kathleen Kenyon, article on Jericho, in E. Stern, ed., The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, [1993], Vol. 2, p. 680.

[33] M. & H. Weippert, Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palastina-Vereins, 1976, 92, pp. 105-148; reported by John R. Bartlett, Jericho: Cities of the Biblical World Series, 1982, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, p. 100.

[34] Bartlett, p. 100.

[35] Israel Finkelstein, “State Formation in Israel and Judah,” Near Eastern Archaeology [1999], 62:1, p. 39.

[36] Bartlett, p. 100.

[37] Donovan Courville, Exodus Problem, Vol. 1, p. 70.

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