The Dating Of Hazor’s Destruction In Joshua 11 By Way Of Biblical, Archaeological, And Epigraphical Evidence -- By: Douglas Petrovich
Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 51:3 (Sep 2008)
Article: The Dating Of Hazor’s Destruction In Joshua 11 By Way Of Biblical, Archaeological, And Epigraphical Evidence
Author: Douglas Petrovich
JETS 51:3 (September 2008) p. 489
The Dating Of Hazor’s Destruction In Joshua 11 By Way Of Biblical, Archaeological, And Epigraphical Evidence
* Douglas Petrovich is dean at NBTS in Novosibirsk, Russia. His U.S. address is 23301 Ridge Route Dr. #245, Laguna Hills, CA 92653.
Undoubtedly, one of the hottest topics in the field of OT studies today is the dating of the exodus.1 On one side, biblical archaeologists such as James Hoffmeier contend that a 13th century bc exodus better fits the material evidence, in large part due to alleged connections between sites mentioned in the biblical text—such as the store city of Raamses (Exod 1:11), which he asserts “is likely to be equated with the Delta capital built by and named for Ramesses II, that is, Pi-Ramesses”2 —and excavated or identifiable sites in Egypt.
On the other side, biblical archaeologists such as Bryant Wood argue that the exodus must have occurred in the middle of the 15th century bc, since the ordinal number “480th” in 1 Kgs 6:1 can be understood only literally (rather than allegorically, as late exodus proponents suggest). Wood, who mainly presents archaeological evidence to support his case, even declares that “the 13th-century exodus-conquest model is no longer tenable.”3 Thus the battle over the proper dating of the exodus and conquest continues to rage.
While this debate cannot be settled in the present article, nor can space here be devoted to the issue of the alleged Ramesside connections with the store city of Raamses or the problem of archaeology not being able to “provide any trace of Israelites [in Canaan] before the Iron Age (shortly before 1200 B.C.E.),”4 a reexamination of one aspect of this issue is in order:
JETS 51:3 (September 2008) p. 490
namely, the destruction of Hazor that is recorded in Joshua 11. The importance of Hazor’s contribution to the debate on the timing of the exodus cannot be underestimated, as “Hazor provides the only possible evidence for an Israelite conquest of Canaan in the late 13th century” bc.5
The initial Israelite conquest of Canaan under Joshua included three cities that were destroyed and put to the torch: Hazor (
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