BAR 39:04, Jul/Aug 2013
Who Destroyed Canaanite Hazor?
Joshua turned back at that time and took Hazor, and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor was formerly the head of all those kingdoms. And they struck all the people who were in it with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them … Then he burnt Hazor with fire.
Fact or fiction? History or theology? It is commonly recognized that interest in the Biblical account of the Israelite settlement in Canaan was, to a large extent, responsible for the rise of “Biblical archaeology.” It is no wonder, then, that one of the first sites to be investigated archaeologically was Jericho (in 1868 and 1907–1909). The main aim of the excavation was to uncover the walls of the city that “came tumbling down,” which, in due course, were indeed “found.” These controversial walls were later dated to the Middle Bronze Age (c. 1550 B.C.E.), centuries before the Israelites entered the land.