July 25, 2016 | David F. Coppedge

Joshua Was Right about Hazor

Broken statue pieces from Tell Hazor indicate the Bible was right about the importance of this archaeological site in Israel.

Imagine Science Daily saying the Bible was correct. You don’t have to imagine; here’s the quote:

This is not surprising considering the special status of the king of Hazor who was the most important king in Southern Canaan at the time. The extraordinary importance of Hazor in the 15th-13th centuries B.C.E. is indicated also by the Biblical reference to Hazor as “the head of all those kingdoms” (Joshua 11:10)….

The population of Hazor in the second millennium BCE is estimated to have been about 20,000, making it the largest and most important city in the entire region. Its size and strategic location on the route connecting Egypt and Babylon made it “the head of all those kingdoms” according to the biblical book of Joshua (Joshua 11:10). Hazor’s conquest by the Israelites opened the way to the conquest and settlement of the Israelites in Canaan. The city was rebuilt and fortified by King Solomon and prospered in the days of Ahab and Jeroboam II, until its final destruction by the Assyrians in 732 BCE.

The article concerns a broken portion of an Egyptian god, probably Ptah, that was found in Hazor. Archaeologists think it was a gift to the powerful king, either an antique or an official gift. Previous evidence three years ago consisted of the feet of a sphinx found at the site, which Science Daily called a “surprise appearance” at the time, because it was the only other royal sphinx sculpture found in the Levant. The fragmented appearance of the figures also confirms the Biblical account that the gods of the Canannites were devoted to destruction. “Clear signs of mutilation indicate that most of them were deliberately and violently smashed, most probably in the course of the city’s final conquest and destruction sometime in the 13th century B.C.E.” Joshua 11 records the defeat of Hazor and the northern coalition.

The Bible is a valuable history resource for archaeologists. There is a seamless narrative from Creation through the Flood to the post-diluvian world, the Patriarchs, through the time of Moses to Joshua and beyond. Secular archaeologists sometimes pick and choose the parts they consider reliable, but why? Every other portion amenable to independent corroboration proves trustworthy. Unlike other archaeological accounts, the Biblical narrative does not “show off” the exploits of kings. On the contrary, it is brutally honest about Israel’s sins, always giving glory to the God of Creation, who is the God of History (His story).

The size and population of this archaeological site makes Joshua’s conquest all the more amazing. Joshua’s army, having grown up in the wilderness for 40 years, takes on the leading city of Canaan, defeating not only Jabin its king but the coalition of other kings he organized. Like young people say today, pulling that off was a “God thing.”


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