Was Ruth of Moab the model for Proverbs 31?

Image result for ruth bible 

 Part One: Ruth’s Ethnicity

 

 by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

“From sun up to sun down, Ruth was in the field, working tirelessly to gather anything she could for her and Naomi to eat. She didn’t waste time because she lovingly took care of her family, just like the ishah hayil (noble woman) in Proverbs 31”.

 

Who was the biblical Ruth? From whence did she come? And when did she live?

 

According to the Book of Ruth, she was a “Moabite” woman, or a “Moabitess”, who lived during the period of “the judges” (Ruth 1:1-5):

 

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

 

But firstly it is necessary to clarify that Ruth could only have been a “Moabite” geographically speaking.

Ethnically, Ruth must have been an Israelite – presumably a Transjordanian one.

I explained why (based on http://www.israelofgod.org/ruth.htm) in my article:

 

Bible Critics Can Overstate Idea of ‘Enlightened Pagan’

https://www.academia.edu/26423097/Bible_Critics_Can_Overstate_Idea_of_Enlightened_Pagan

 

The Story of Ruth the Israelite!?

 

Have you been taught that the Moabitess Ruth, the daughter-in-law of Naomi, was a Moabite? Yes, that is the question, it is neither intended as jocular nor facetious, although it may well be rhetorical.

Ruth 1:4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.

In the first chapter of the book of Ruth it appears to be quite clear that Ruth and her sister Orpah were Moabite by descent or lineage.

Ruth 1:1 ¶ Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

Further, as we can see in the above verse, Naomi, with her husband and sons, went to sojourn “in the country of Moab.” Now, if we stop here, we got about as far into this matter as the traditional scholars, theologians, biblical historians, and the vast masses of people who look to the bible as the word of God. By stopping here we are doing what so many do with the bible and in bible study, we take what appears to be “obvious” and indisputable as fact, then either ignore or find it imperative to “explain away” the contradictions within scripture created by our newly created “fact.”

What contradictions are we referring to? Glad you asked. For just one (there are several):

Deut. 23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:

While “forever” in the Hebrew does not mean for the rest of eternity, it does mean so far into the future as to be impossible to “see” (or foresee from that vantage point). Thus, the expression, “even to their tenth generation” is not literally specific, but an idiom meaning that they can forget it, it won’t happen. So, the difficulty in justifying the two positions- (1) that Ruth was a Moabite by lineage, and (2) Naomi’s sons, as well as Boaz, would marry a Moabite and not only bring her into the “camp,” but in turn bring her into the line of David and Jesus (Yeshua), is in stark contrast with Deut. 23:3 and what a God-fearing Israelite would possibly do, especially when we consider what God had to say about such actions, not just in this time frame, but even in the time of Ezra. It then makes God look incompetent or extremely forgetful in His old age, or maybe God is just double-minded? Not to mention that this all transpires little more than a century after God declared His stand concerning this very matter to Israel in Deut. 23 above.

Or, is it possible, just asking mind you, is it possible that we may not yet have enough information to determine whether our “understanding” of Ruth’s heritage is biblically sound or correct? Should we not presume that in a circumstance wherein we find either, (1) our understanding is contradictory to some or all scripture, or (2) that it “appears” that the bible is contradicting itself, that we are the ones who are missing information necessary to eliminate such apparent contradictions? Let’s see if we can find out what is what- biblically.

You can do your own in-depth study, but just to present the minimum necessary to unravel this apparent contradiction let’s first begin by retracing the trail of Israel on their way out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land. We pick up the travels in Numbers 21.

Numbers 21:13 From thence they (Israel) removed, and pitched on the other side (north of) of Arnon (an east-west river), which is in the wilderness that cometh out of the coasts of the Amorites: for Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites.

OK, note that Israel crossed the Arnon and left the nation of Moab behind them, thus now entering into the land of the Amorites. By the way, the Amorites are not Ammonites. Ammon and Moab are brother tribes or nations and related to Abraham, and thus Israel, through Lot, but Amorites were, at least generally speaking, Canaanite.

What happened next?

Numbers 21:21 ¶ And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, saying,

22 Let me pass through thy land: we will not turn into the fields, or into the vineyards; we will not drink of the waters of the well: but we will go along by the king’s high way, until we be past thy borders.

23 And Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness: and he came to Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

24 And Israel smote him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from Arnon unto Jabbok, even unto the children of Ammon (Ammonites were to the east of Amorites): for the border of the children of Ammon was strong.

25 And Israel took all these cities: and Israel dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all the villages thereof.

26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even unto Arnon.

Now we see that Israel conquered and occupied the Amorite land from the river Jabbok (an east to west tributary of the Jordan and is north of the Dead Sea) and fully eastward to the border of the Ammonites, again, related to Moab.

So, for the land between the river Jordan and the Dead Sea on the west and the border of Ammon on the east, plus the land north of Arnon all the way to the river Jabbok, was now owned and operated by Israel and their to do with as they pleased.

Side note: It is vital to make notice that this describes the borders and nations at the time being discussed. Earlier in history the nation of Moab did “occupy” or possess land north of the Arnon- all the way to Jabbok, but they lost possession of that territory prior to the Israelites appearance and as such, Moab’s northern border was the Arnon when God told Israel to “by-pass” them (Moab). To further clarify what we have just covered we can read from Deut 2 below.

Deut. 2:34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:

35 Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves, and the spoil of the cities which we took.

36 From Aroer, which is by the brink of the river of Arnon, and from the city that is by the river, even unto Gilead, there was not one city too strong for us: the LORD our God delivered all unto us:

37 Only unto the land of the children of Ammon thou camest not, nor unto any place of the river Jabbok, nor unto the cities in the mountains, nor unto whatsoever the LORD our God forbad us.

Just what did some Israelites think of this newly possessed land that was “east” of Jordan?

Numbers 32:1 ¶ Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle;

2 The children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and unto the princes of the congregation, saying,

3 Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon,

4 Even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is a land for cattle, and thy servants have cattle:

5 Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan.

The short story is that Moses and God agreed to let Reuben and Gad and half of Manasseh possess the newly possessed lands east of Jordan so long as they helped the rest of Israel conquer the lands west of Jordan.

Joshua 13 also confirms for us that Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh received for their inheritance this land east of Jordan. The half tribe of Manasseh possessed the land of Bashan, to the north of the land of the formerly Amorite land. This area also included the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee and the east bank of the Jordan river northward to (at that time) the land of the Hittites.

But, where again did Israel cross the Jordan and enter into the land west? We all know the story of Jericho, but who recalls where it was, or what the area was called where Israel camped immediately prior to their siege of Jericho?

Numbers 33:48 And they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

49 And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab.

50 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying,

51 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan;

From this we can note that the “plains of Moab” are not in Moab! They may certainly have once been “in” Moab, but at the time of the entrance into the Promised land, the Moabites all lived well to the south, and their northern national border was the river Arnon, which the Israelites had already passed over to eventually arrive at the embarkation point in the “plains of Moab” for their march forward to Jericho.

We should also note that as a matter of course and history, 1 Chronicles 5 shows that this conquered and possessed land stayed in Reuben’s, Gad’s, and the half tribe of Manasseh’s control until Assyria took them away captive some 700 years later, Manasseh being in Bashan to the north of the Plains of Moab.

One might now ask, “So, what’s the big deal? This still does not prove Ruth was not a Moabite by race.” Well, not in itself, and not yet, but we do have more to consider as previously stated. There is still more to the story. Remember this?

Deut. 23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:

 

The Problems

  1. How could a law abiding Israelite, whether Mahlon or Boaz, legally marry a Moabite?
  2. How can we circumvent Deut 23:3 in order to accept the actions of Mahlon, Elimelech, Naomi, and later Boaz to let Ruth become a part of their family by law and bring her into Israel?
  3. The women of Israel welcomed Ruth into the “family” in Ruth 4:11 … The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:
  4. If Ruth was a Moabite by race, why would there be such attention to detail concerning the law of redemption by Naomi, Boaz, and the “near-kinsman” more near than Boaz? It would all have been performed in complete opposition to the very law being invoked to settle the issue being settled!
  5. Judah’s eldest two sons were slain by God, Er for his wickedness and Onan for his disrespect for the very law Boaz invokes to accomplish his goal to marry Ruth. Now Er and Onan were both from a Canaanite mother, the first wife of Judah. Point being, God slew Onan for not obeying a part of the very law that Mehlon and Boaz would likewise have been guilty of breaking had Ruth really been Moabite.

The Solutions

We should closely take notice that in Numbers 25 we see the direct result of breaking the law. Are we to believe that later on this law is “suspended” for Mahlon and then Boaz, which would also mean it was suspended for Naomi, her husband, and all who welcomed Ruth into Judah? Considering the death of 23,000 Israelites that resulted from their law breaking, might it be somewhat still in the memory and history of Naomi, her husband, her sons, and Boaz and even his near kin?

Therefore, let’s look a little closer at what is really stated in the book of Ruth.

Ruth 1:1 ¶ Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

First of all, the use of the word “country” must be understood both by definition and also by context. The Hebrew word translated to “country” here is one that simply means or refers to “the country” as in a rural area or field, not a “nation.” For one example we can look at:

1Sa 27:5 And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country , that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

Notice that the “town” is “in” the country, as opposed to a major city in a metropolitan area. As a result of this we now have absolutely no reason to assume that “the country of Moab” was “the nation of Moab.” Nor do we have any reason to claim that the “plains of Moab” were “in” the nation of Moab, the location of which we previously addressed.

Next, we can note that the time period is one where-in Israel’s tribes were not yet unified into a Federalist single nation or kingship, but were independently ruled by judges, each with jurisdiction in their own tribe and not beyond or overlapping into other tribes.

Continuing, we see that Naomi’s husband was from Judah, and a town called Bethlehem. You may have heard of this town before? Thus, Naomi, her husband and her sons, were Israelites of the tribe of Judah, and in the land of Judah.

Putting this all together, with what we have so far, leaves us with Naomi and her family escaping the famine by traveling to a place identified as “the fields of Moab,” which then equates better to “the plains of Moab,” which were in Reubenite and Gadite possession and inheritance. Thus, Ruth, in the land of her nativity (Ruth 2:11), was either Reubenite or Gadite. ….

 

Part Two: Ruth’s Noble Character

 

“Ruth gratefully worked to get whatever she could to provide for her and Naomi,

just like the Proverbs 31 woman makes sure there are provisions for everyone in her household”.

 

In Part One, I had concluded (following others) that the biblical Ruth could not have been ethnically a Moabite, but that she was an Israelite who dwelt in “the country of Moab”, in Transjordania.

 

Consequently, I would not be able to accept the view – at least in the case of Ruth – that the sons of Naomi must “have lost their faith” due to the fact that they married Moabite women:

http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-maps-conquest-timeline-chronology-judges-othniel-ehud-ruth-1350-1204bc.htm

 

… in the story Ruth where the family of Naomi and Elimelech have lost their faith, leave their land in Bethlehem, move to the very nation that is oppressing Israel, marry their sons off to Moabite wives. We know that the events in the book of Ruth happened at precisely this same period. Elimelech dies at the hand of God for not joining the war against Benjamin (Jabesh-Gilead were annihilated for this) and their two sons were killed by Ehud’s army as they fought for Eglon, King of Moab.

 

The chronological consideration as expressed here, that the story of Ruth belongs to the time of the judge Ehud, may be worth further consideration.

For some more on this particular period, and its archaeology, see my:

 

Eglon’s Jericho

https://www.academia.edu/31551008/Eglons_Jericho

 

The Book of Ruth simply informs us that (1:1): “In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land …”, without specifying to which phase of the Judges period this belongs.

Various authors have suggested a connection between the Book of Ruth and Proverbs 31.

For instance, there is this academic one:

 

Did Lemuel’s Mother know Ruth?:

Allusions and Literary Borrowing between Ruth and Proverbs 31:10-31

https://www.academia.edu/16293130/Did_Lemuels_Mother_know_Ruth_Allusions_and_Literary_Borrowing_between_Ruth_and_Proverbs_31_10-31

 

A less complex example is this one:

 

Ruth Is Her Name and Proverbs 31 Is Her Game.

 

Posted on December 2, 2011 by Diane Montgomery

 

There’s a tiny little book in your Bible,  only about 4 pages but those 4 pages tell the powerful story of a woman who impacts the genealogy of Christ. Ruth is her name and Proverbs 31 is her game. As a Moabitess, Ruth came from a distant country, filled with false idols and child sacrifice to their god Chemosh. But through God’s mercy, forgiveness, and transformation, Ruth becomes a woman of immense faith, strength, and devotion to her family and the Lord.  She becomes what Proverbs 31 describes as an ishah hayil, a “noble woman.”

Ishah Hayil (woman of noble or virtuous character) is only found in Proverbs 12:4; 31:10, 29 and Ruth 3:11. In Ruth 3:11, the same words, ishah hayil, are used by Boaz to describe Ruth as a “virtuous woman.” Interestingly enough, in the Tanakh (Jewish Bible), Ruth is immediately after Proverbs 31 making her the Bible’s real life example of what a  “woman of noble character” really looks like.

 

Ruth’s Character Was Noticed By All

(Ruth 2:11-12;3:11; Prov.31:11-12,31)

 

Ruth hadn’t been in town long but her reputation already preceded her.  Everyone knew how she had left her own home, was taking care of her mother-in-law, and believed in Yahweh. She had sought refuge under the Lord’s wings and it showed to the whole world! The Proverbs 31 woman seeks after the Lord and walks in His ways all the days of her life, making everyone take notice her character built by the Lord. If a woman is seeking the Lord and living for His glory then everyone who comes in contact with her will notice because the Holy Spirit’s work in a person’s heart cannot be hidden. God’s glory will shine through!

Is He shining through you?

 

Ruth Surpassed Them All

(Ruth 4:15; Prov.31:28-29)

 

In a culture where sons were highly esteemed and desired, Ruth received the greatest of praise! The women who knew Ruth said she was better than seven sons, SEVEN! They knew Naomi and Boaz were the most blessed people for having Ruth in their lives. She was blessing, beyond blessings! Ruth surpassed all other women because of her faith in the Lord and His transformation of her heart and life which completely reflected the character of Christ!

 

 

Ruth Chose a Wise, Godly Man

(Ruth 2:4,11-12;3:11-13; 4:1; Prov.31:23)

 

Ruth didn’t choose Boaz just because he could be her Kinsman Redeemer, there was another man who should have been the first in line for that (Lev. 25;Ruth.3:13). Ruth chose to ask Boaz to be her kinsman redeemer because she and Naomi knew he was a godly man, a man that treated her with respect and kindness. Boaz was even an elder in the city and it was clear he was highly respected by all. The Proverbs 31 woman did the same in marrying a man that treated her respectfully and was respected in the town too. Godly women should be careful about who they choose to marry and choose men who love them and fear God above all.

 

 

Ruth Spoke With Wisdom and Kindness

(Ruth:1:16-17;2:13;3:5,9; Prov. 31:26)

 

    In the first chapter of Ruth, Naomi continually talked about how God’s hand had stricken her, how He dealt bitterly with her. She even changed her name to Mara, meaning “bitterness.” This was a woman who’s soul and personality had changed so much that her old friends didn’t even recognize her. You could even call her a “negative Nelly,” who blamed God for all the bad things in her life. Most people would find it hard to deal kindly with a woman like this, including me, but Ruth always spoke to her with such gentleness, such kindness and respect, as a Proverbs 31 woman does.

This seemed to have a great impact on Naomi because soon after Naomi is praising the Lord and thanking Him for His kindness, it’s like she’s a completely different woman! No doubt, Ruth’s kindness and love had something to do with this change! The words that come from a woman’s mouth can have the power of life or death in a person’s life (Prov.18:21). Do the words you speak offer life, joy, and encouragement to those around you? Or, do they speak negativity, death, and discouragement? To be like Ruth and the Proverbs 31 woman, we must be women whose words are healing, gentle, bringing forth life. Our tongues must be a reflection of Christ’s love to everyone around us. (Prov.10:31; 12:18;15:4)

 

Ruth Took Care of Her Family

(Ruth 1:16-17;2:2,11,18,23; Prov.31:13-15,27)

 

As widows without family to take care of them, Ruth and Naomi were both very poor and needed a way to provide for themselves. Not waiting for others to provide for them, Ruth takes the initiative to take care of her and Naomi. She made a vow to Naomi and she intended on keeping it. With utmost humility, Ruth asks if she can glean from Boaz’s field to get what would have been like the crumbs of the field. She didn’t demand it or  act as though she was entitled to these provisions because she was a widow. Ruth gratefully worked to get whatever she could to provide for her and Naomi, just like the Proverbs 31 woman makes sure there are provisions for everyone in her household.

A Proverbs 31 woman works to provide food for her home and she works hard, never leaving an idle moment. She is resourceful, intentional, and productive. She knows the value of time when taking care of a family and she doesn’t waste it, making sure her family doesn’t suffer because of her laziness. Idleness doesn’t produce fruit but physical and spiritual diligence produces the fruits of the Spirit.

 

Ruth Worked Hard 

(Ruth 2:7,17,23; Prov.31:13,27)

 

From sun up to sun down, Ruth was in the field, working tirelessly to gather anything she could for her and Naomi to eat. She didn’t waste time because she lovingly took care of her family, just like the ishah hayil (noble woman) in Proverbs 31. Ruth lived her life serving others which is exactly what a godly woman is supposed to do (Ti.2:3-5). We’re to work hard to serve those around us so they experience the grace and love God shows us every day. Women of godly character make God’s word attractive which means there isn’t much time to waste because too much is at stake. Is being the Proverbs 31 woman tiring sometimes? Yes. Does it make the Gospel more attractive to a lost and dying world? YES! Being tired is worth it if God is glorified through hard work for His glory!

 

Ruth Was a Woman of Strength

(Ruth 1:16-17; 2:3-17;3; Prov.31:17)

 

The basic meaning of the word “noble” (hayil) is “strength” and “power” and can be applied to a variety of people, including warriors (powerful), functionaries (able), and landowners (wealthy). This word embodies all the characteristics listed in Proverbs 31:10-31. Ruth embodies all these things as well. She worked in the fields from dusk until dawn, being the sole provider for her family, and made herself very strong! She “dressed herself with strength and made her arms strong” just like the woman in Prov. 31:17! Girl must have been IN SHAPE!

 

Ruth Feared the Lord and Walked in Faith

(Ruth 1:16-17;2:12; Prov.31:30)

 

But more important than being physically strong, she was spiritually and emotionally strong! Can you imagine the strength, the faith in God, it must have taken to leave her family, her home, giving up the prospect of marrying again and having children, to go to a foreign land, in order to serve your mother-in-law and follow a God who was once your enemy? Ruth did all this without complaint or waiver. When she trusted in Yahweh, she became a woman who was faithful and strong. She sought refuge in the Lord’s arms to give her strength because she knew He was the only way she was going to make it! She trusted Him to provide for her, to give her hope, and to give her joy! She could laugh at the days to come because she feared the Lord God and trusted Him to give her strength! (Prov.31:25)

She  didn’t let her past as former enemy of God, her status as a poor, Moabitess widow, imprison her and keep her from doing the work the Lord had called her to do. The Lord was her greatest Redeemer and she lived her life in worship to Him because He had forgotten her past and instead given her a future, one that would impact the world FOREVER! (Matt.1) Ruth feared the Lord completely, believed in God’s grace and forgiveness and followed Him in all ways. She was a Proverbs 31 woman to be praised! (Prov.31:30)

Ruth is an incredible example and encouragement to all Christian women. Not only is she an example of Christ’s redeeming love and power to transform any heart, she’s an example that, through the Lord’s power, any woman can be a Proverbs 31 woman.God can take any woman, no matter her background or her past sins, and use her to for His glory. If we trust the Lord and walk in all His ways then He is faithful to change us to become more like the godly women He designed us to be!

 

Ruth was, of course, an ancestor of King David, and of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5-6):

….

Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,

Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,

Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of King David.

 

According to the following piece, Ruth’s husband Boaz was a type of Jesus Christ himself:

http://crossexamined.org/christ-in-the-story-of-ruth/

 

Christ in the Story of Ruth

 

The most important symbolic manifestation of Christ in the story of Ruth is in Boaz’s role as guardian redeemer. In Boaz, we see Christ who has purchased the Church to be His bride. In Ruth 4:4-10 alone, the word “redeem” occurs a total of six times. In verse 10, Boaz explains that if one is to redeem the property, one must also wed the widow.

In order to have the right to redeem, our Lord Jesus had to become united with humanity, thereby becoming our fellow man. The name Boaz means ‘ability’. Our kinsman redeemer has the ability to save men to the uttermost. A kinsman redeemer must also be free of debt himself – likewise, Christ our kinsman redeemer was Himself free of sin.

As if that wasn’t enough, Ruth 2:14 refers to Ruth and Boaz at mealtime together, and refers to them dipping their bread in wine vinegar. The meal should remind us of our communion with Christ where the bread is symbolic of Christ’s flesh and the wine symbolic of His blood which is poured out for us (see Luke 22).

It is also of significance that the narrative unfolds in the town of Bethlehem, the city where Christ was to be born many hundreds of years later. Bethlehem, significantly, literally means “house of bread.” Jesus declares Himself to be “the bread of life” (John 6:48). Micah 5:2 famously foretells the birth of Jesus in the town of Bethlehem:

 

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.”

 

What’s more, at the end of the story Ruth and Boaz give birth to a son named Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse. And Jesse became the father of King David. Jesus traces his ancestry directly to David, thus making Ruth and Boaz a part of the lineage of Jesus himself!

In previous blog posts (here, here, here), I have drawn attention to several other foreshadows and prototypes of Christ. The astonishing parallelism in all of these instances — and there are many others — with the gospel of Christ is striking, and assuredly is only explicable by the typical design of the inspiring Spirit. ….

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DEBORAH AND JOAN OF ARC

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Part One: Russian ‘New Chronology’

 

 by

Damien F. Mackey

“The comparison of the Joan of Arc and biblical Deborah stories reveals a vivid parallelism”.

 Fomenko and G. Nosovsky

 

Introduction

 

Two Russian mathematicians (both products of Moscow State University), Anatoly Fomenko and Gleb Nosovky, following in the footsteps of French Jesuit priest, Jean Hardouin (c. 1700 AD), have boldly argued that “the written history of humankind goes only as far back as AD 800, there is almost no information about events between AD 800–1000, and most known historical events took place in AD 1000–1500”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Chronology

 

The pair’s attempted revision of AD time reminds me of the extreme efforts of BC time revisionism as proposed by professor Gunnar Heinsohn of the University of Bremen. Professor Heinsohn, whilst rightly appreciating that a solid archaeology can sometimes be lacking in relation to a conventionally-accepted history – see for instance my”:

 

Persian History has no adequate Archaeology

https://www.academia.edu/31113083/Persian_History_has_no_adequate_Archaeology

 

will then, to compensate, make wild connections to bridge historical gaps: for example, forcing an identification of the Akkadians of old with the Assyrians; or the Hammurabic dynasty of Babylon with the Persians (e.g., Hammurabi becomes Darius the Great). Totally different peoples and eras!

Whilst means of abridging ancient history need to be found, as Heinsohn has well appreciated, this must not be done by overriding genuine archaeological data. Lester Mitcham has shown up the errors of Heinsohn’s reconstruction in his “Support for Heinsohn’s Chronology is Misplaced” (C&C Workshop 1988:1, May).

And I suspect that, similarly with Fomenko and Nosovsky, they, having properly sensed that something is rotten in the state of AD (and BC) history, have gone to sometimes absurd extremes to try to rectify the matter.

 

Here, for instance, is their take on Joan of Arc: http://chronologia.org/en/how_it_was/06_30.html

 

  1. THE LEGENDARY JOAN OF ARC IS DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE UNDER THE NAME OF THE PROPHETESS AND WARRIOR DEBORAH.

 

‘Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc), the ‘The Maid of Orléans’ (circa 1412-31), is a folk heroine of France. She was born into a peasant family. During the Hundred Years’ War 1337-1453, she led the French people against the English invaders and in 1429 she freed Orleans from the siege. In 1430 she was captured by the Burgundians, who in exchange for money handed her over to the English, who in their turn declared Joan of Arc a witch and put her on ecclesiastical court trial. For charges of “insubordination and heterodoxy” she was burnt at the stake in Rouen. In 1920 she was canonized by the Catholic church. [797], p.431. A vast amount of literature is written about Jean of Arc.

The story of the prophetess and warrior Deborah is narrated in chapters 4-5 of the Old Testament Book of Judges. In the synodic translation her name reads as Devra, however in the scholarly literature they usually use Deborah [797], p.365.

The comparison of the Joan of Arc and biblical Deborah stories reveals a vivid parallelism [7v1], ch.9. It was partially known to some of the authors of the XVII-XVIII cc. But today it is thought that the chroniclers ‘were only comparing’ Joan of Arc and Deborah, i.e. identifying them in the literary sense. But this ‘congruence theory’ was formed only in the XVIII-XIX cc., when the historians who were editing the texts, were substituting the direct identification of the ancient characters with tenuous ‘comparisons’.
Even the supporters of the traditional version admit that THE MAID OF ORLEANS BEGAN TO BE CALLED JOAN OF ARC ONLY FROM THE SECOND HALF OF THE XVI century [7v1], ch.9. But this implies that in the duration of MORE THAN A CENTURY the heroine was called something else. The question is, what? According to our results she was called DEBORAH. Under this name she entered the Book of Judges. Then in view of the growing interest towards Joan, her other names and nicknames also fell into common use. And later, in the XVII-XVIII cc. the former name Deborah was gradually extruded from the story of Joan. The fact that Joan and Deborah is the same person was slowly forgotten. The ‘biblical events’ were pushed into the past, two thousand six hundred years back! The following generations of historians began to sincerely perceive Joan of Arc and the biblical Deborah as two different characters.

In our reconstruction Deborah = Joan of Arc lived in the epoch of the Ottoman conquest in the world of the XV-XVI cc. That is why the original geography of the events connected to her campaigns was much wider than the modern version. We are assured that allegedly the armies of Joan = Deborah fought only in France, in the comparatively small area. But the Bible and Josephus Flavius here refer to:

 

– the ASSYRIANS [878], v.1, p.230 and the kingdom HAZOR (Book of Judges 4:2), i.e. the RUSSIANS and RUSSIA [6v1], ch.6;

– the kings of CANAAN (Judges 4:2), i.e. KHAN rulers;

– town of Kedesh (Judges 4:6, 4:10), probably the capital Kadesh, i.e. Czar-Grad [5v] and [6v];

– the waters of MEGIDDI (Judges 5:19), i.e., probably, the waters of MACEDONIA. Etc.

When creating the Scaligerian history all of these large-scale campaigns were artificially ‘squeezed’ into the territory of one county in France, greatly reducing the scale of events. As a result some of the distant geographical names also ‘moved’ here. And the entire story of Joan of Arc turned into an allegedly ‘purely French’ story.

Furthermore, it turns out that the famous French marshal Gilles de Rais, Joan of Arc’s legendary comrade-in-arms, is partially described in the Bible under the name of Samson, the famous hero and warrior. This congruence is a result of the stories of Joan of Arc and the biblical Deborah overlapping each other [7v1]. …”.

 

Gilles de Rais is believed to be the inspiration for the 1697 fairy tale “Bluebeard” (“Barbe bleue”) by Charles Perrault.

 

Part Two: Comparisons

 

“Furthermore, Deborah and Joan of Arc are seen alike in two-told fashion,

as strong leaders and as nurturing mothers to their people.”

Deborah Fraioli

 

St. Joan of Arc is frequently compared with the (Catholic Bible’s) heroine, Judith, even to the extent of Joan’s being called ‘a second Judith’.

I wrote about this in my article:

 

Judith of Bethulia and Joan of Arc

https://www.academia.edu/8815175/Judith_of_Bethulia_and_Joan_of_Arc

 

She is likened also to, for example, Deborah, of the Book of Judges, and to Queen Esther.

Deborah Fraioli will discuss Joan of Arc’s similarities to these biblical women – but especially to Deborah of the Book of Judges – in her article, “The Literary Image of Joan of Arc: Prior Influences”, in which Fraioli will even go so far as to call Joan of Arc “a second Deborah”.

http://faculty.smu.edu/bwheeler/Joan_of_Arc/OLR/crfraioli.pdf

 

Two themes in the literature about Joan of Arc are particularly important. The first of these

is the association of Joan with biblical heroines. The churchmen who first investigated the validity of the Maid’s mission cited Esther, Judith, and Deborah as precedents for what Joan of Arc promised to do. Using biblical models to lend authority to an argument was common practice in secular as in religious writing, and it is not surprising to find fifteenth-century poets like Christine de Pizan also comparing Joan of Arc to these biblical heroines. ….

Jean Girard, president of the parlement of Grenoble and a close associate of the king, cited Deborah, Judith, and the sibyls as precedents for Joan of Arc in his correspondence with Jacques Gelu, the archbishop of Embrun, the purpose of which was to gain Gelu’s approbation of the Maid.8 By May of 1429 three treatises had been written about the case; all three cite the example of biblical women to support the Maid’s claims.

Probably the earliest of these is the treatise beginning De quadam puella,9 once attributed to Henry of Gorckum but now regarded as the work of Jean Gerson.10 Gerson states that “it is congruent with the Scriptures that God should have made blessed salvation manifest to the peoples and kingdoms of the world per fragilem sexum et innocentem aetatem.”11 He refers to the biblical principle according to which God uses the weak to confound the strong.12 As examples of this principle Gerson names Esther, Judith, and Deborah, who “obtained salvation for the people of God.”13

The second treatise, written in May 1429 by Archbishop Jacques Gelu, a trusted advisor to

Charles VII, cites the same biblical principle as Gerson to argue that there is nothing surprising in God’s using a woman as the instrument of his power. God is able to bring about victory even through the intervention of a woman, “as is demonstrated in the case of Deborah.”14 Further on, in discussing how God sometimes uses men rather than angels to destroy the enemy, Gelu names Moses, David, and Judas Maccabaeus as examples. He then adds: “By the divine will, even women have exercised vengeance, as did Judith and Esther.”15

In the third treatise, De mirabili victoria, believed written in May 1429,16 Deborah and Judith are again mentioned, although Esther is omitted. Once ascribed to Gerson, this treatise now appears to be someone else’s confused expansion, perhaps from memory, of De quadam puella, for it contains numerous errors unworthy of Jean Gerson.17 Nonetheless, it supports the position of the other two treatises, comparing Joan with the “no less miraculous” examples of Deborah, Saint Catherine, Judith, and Judas Maccabaeus.18 The association of Joan of Arc with biblical women surely had a powerful legitimizing effect on her mission. To my knowledge, no other prophetess of the many known at the time was likened to a biblical heroine.

Chronicle writers do not take up the analogy between Joan of Arc and the biblical heroines

that is found in the treatises.19 Christine de Pizan, however, makes use of the same comparison in her poem, the Ditie de Jehanne d’Arc, in stanza 28 of the Ditie Christine names Esther, Judith, and Deborah, “dames de grant pris, / Par lesqueles Dieu restora / Son pueple.”20 She aligns Joan of Arc firmly with this tradition, declaring in the last line of the stanza that the Maid’s accomplishments surpass even the accomplishments of these illustrious women.21

The presence in the Ditie of the same analogy that is found in the treatises may be fortuitous. On the other hand, it is possible that Christine de Pizan, writing in 1429, was influenced by one of the treatises. She and Gerson had become friends through their common stand in the “Querelle du Roman de Ia Rose,” and she may have known Gerson’s De quadam puella.22 Of the three treatises, only De quadam puella lists Esther, Judith, and Deborah together as a group, as Christine does. This is significant since the differences between Esther, Judith, and Deborah make them a less than obvious group for citation in the same context.23

A new point of view emerges in Christine’s Ditie, however. Unlike Gerson, Christine leaves no doubt that it is precisely the Maid’s triumph in a masculine world that makes her so worthy of praise ,24 It is her belief that Joan of Arc was made more of the stuff of a Deborah than of an Esther or a Judith. Gerson had suggested that some found Joan’s transformation into a secular man-at-war indecent and her methods inferior to the more feminine methods of Esther and Judith.25 Christine de Pizan glorifies the very image that Gerson found potentially indecent: the image of the female warrior,26 Although Deborah did not actually engage in combat, she did ride into war with Barak, and her strategy called for physical action rather than the use of her femininity.

….

The Ditie contains a number of reminiscences of the biblical account of Deborah beyond the obvious parallels in the stories. The tone and, in one important instance, the imagery of the story of Deborah (Judges 4-5), especially Deborah’s hymn of victory, are echoed in Christine’s poem.29

Both the hymn of victory and the Ditie’ are marked by joy, by thankfulness to God for the victory that is to come, and by enthusiastic anticipation of the enemy’s annihilation.30 Furthermore, Deborah and Joan of Arc are seen alike in two-told fashion, as strong leaders and as nurturing mothers to their people. Judges 5.7 states: “The valiant men ceased, and rested in Israel: until Debbora arose, a mother arose in Israel.” Similarly, Christine writes that Joan of Arc is the one “A qui Dieu force et povoir donne / D’estre le champion et celle / Qui donne a France Ia mamelle / De paix et doulce norriture.”31 This parallel seems especially significant since the image of Joan of Arc as nurturer is not found elsewhere, to my knowledge, in the contemporary literature. Also important in both works is the emphasis on the role of women, in stated contrast to men, in bringing about the victory.32 Both works are fervent in their aggression towards the enemy and their expectation of its annihilation.33 Finally, both works conclude by describing a time of peace to follow.34

When the examples of Esther, Judith, and Deborah were first cited in De quadam puella, it

was not to reinforce a particular image of Joan of Arc but merely to provide examples of women whom God had used to serve their people. If anything, Gerson prized Esther and Judith – whose service to their people employed rather than denied their femininity – more highly than Deborah.

Christine de Pizan, on the other hand, by adopting the tone and imagery of Deborah’s hymn of victory, constructs a specific and pointed view of Joan, casting her in the masculine role of the warrior.

….

When one studies the literature written about Joan of Arc in her lifetime, one is struck by

the realization that the literary image of Joan of Arc is only to the girl from Domremy. Unable or unwilling to relate a multitude of facts about Joan’s life as many chroniclers did, these writers turned to previously existing literary models to shape their image of the Maid. To underline her military role, Joan of Arc figures in Christine de Pizan’s Ditie’ as a second Deborah rather than as an Esther or a Judith, but since Deborah was not an active combatant, Christine fleshed out her image of the warrior Joan by borrowing from antiquity the model of the “egregia bellatrix” as exemplified by such notables as Penthesilea, Camilla, and Semiramis.

 

 

Jericho and the Bible

 Image result for jericho and bible

by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

 

“The contemporaneity of the Exodus with the end of Early Bronze III and the end of the Old Kingdom [of Egypt] has chronological ramifications which alter to a considerable degree the historic structure of the ancient world”.

                                                                          

 

Joshua’s Jericho

 

 

Introduction

 

Drs. Donovan Courville and John Osgood, both largely ignored, have nonetheless been able to demonstrate that a true pattern for the Joshuan Conquest, archaeologically, must be one that recognises the nomadic Israelite conquerors, the Middle Bronze I (MBI) people, as those who conquered the Early Bronze III (EBIII) cities of Palestine, such as Jericho and Ai.

The popular model today, as espoused by the likes of Drs. Bryant Wood and David Rohl, arguing instead for a Middle Bronze Jericho at the time of Joshua, ends up throwing right out of kilter the biblico-historical correspondences.

Ronald P. Long (MA) writes as follows when reviewing Dr. Courville’s historical revision set (http://www.asa3.org/ASA/BookReviews1949-1989/12-73.html):

 

Analysis of the archaeology directed Courville … to the fact that Israel entered the Promised Land at the close of Early Bronze III …. Widespread destruction of Canaanite population centers, especially Jericho and Ai, occurred at this time.

 

All acknowledge the parallelism between the end of the Old Kingdom (specifically Dynasty VI) and the end of Early Bronze III. It is at this juncture in Egyptian affairs that Courville rediscovered that the Exodus happened.

 

The contemporaneity of the Exodus with the end of Early Bronze III and the end of the Old Kingdom has chronological ramifications which alter to a considerable degree the historic structure of the ancient world. Locating the Exodus in the fifteenth century B.C. gives chronological orientation to Early Bronze and the Old Kingdom. Courville brings the beginnings of Early Bronze and Dynasty I down to the post-Flood era towards the end of the third millennium B.C. This development confronts us with the realization that the accepted Manethonian dynastic scheme, of placing one dynasty after another while not admitting the existence of contemporary dynasties, is fallacious. Within the framework of Biblical chronology Courville concludes that the Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt were roughly equivalent in time – that this period was brought to climax and swift collapse with the intervention of God in the Exodus. These discoveries also made known the fact that Dynasty VIII and the Second Intermediate periods were contemporary in Egypt and mirrored the ruinous conditions following the Exodus as the Hyksos invaders filled the void left by the departed children of Israel. Velikovsky over two decades ago drew similar conclusions regarding the Second Intermediate. It has been recognized that the Papyrus Ipuwer is the Egyptian version of what happened.

[End of quote]

 

Dr. Osgood’s Confirmation of Courville

 

Osgood, I find, brings a perspective to biblico-historical archaeology that is often quite lacking in other revisionist efforts.

Regarding the MBI people, Dr. Osgood has written, correcting the conventional timetable (“The Times of the Judges -The Archaeology: (a) Exodus to Conquest”) http://creation.com/the-times-of-the-judges-mdash-the-archaeology-exodus-to-conquest

 

Characteristics of MB I

 

Middle Bronze I was primarily a nomadic culture between two settled cultures. This point seemed to bring some weight of unanimity earlier but is being disputed much today for complex reasons, and is now the subject of new theories embracing both nomadic parts and sedentary parts, a theory which itself does little to clear up the historical enigma of this archaeological culture. Kenyon strongly states this nomadic character in a discussion on Jericho: —

 

“In one area seventeen successive stages in the town walls can be identified. The seventeenth was violently destroyed by fire and its destruction marks the end of the Early Bronze Age town, probably ca.2300 B.C. The catastrophe was the work of nomadic invaders who can be identified as the Amorites, and the succeeding period can best be described as Intermediate Early Bronze—Middle Bronze. The newcomers for long only camped on the site, and when they ultimately built houses, they were of flimsy construction. They never built a town wall.”4

 

Kenyon’s identification of the invaders as the Amorites is speculative and is here disputed. Indeed, this claim has fallen into some disrepute of late.

 

However, we wish to put forward a new model based on the evidence to be presented.

 

Ruth Amiram comments:

 

“We have refrained in this discussion from dealing with the most intriguing problem of the MB I culture in Palestine, namely its nomadic character usually connected with the Amorites.”5 (emphasis ours)

 

Albright also comments:

 

“The settlements were clearly seasonal, since the only time of the year in which such arid districts could provide enough water for beasts, men and growing crops is during the months December–May (preferably January–April). Here people lived in round stone huts of “beehive” type, terraced small valleys and suitable hillsides, utilizing flash floods (suyul) to irrigate specially prepared fields. After the harvest, they probably did not remain long since…”6

 

To be sure, the nomadic nature of this has been challenged, (e.g. Cohen and Dever 7) but the belief still stands as Amiram has said:

 

“This theory has long been contested, but much more stratigraphical evidence is required than available at present for any significant advance towards its verification.”5

 

Sadly, the biblical model of Israel’s wandering and conquest has not been consulted, yet it provides the logical answer, viz, a people nomadic for period, yet stationary in Sinai and the Negev I periods of up to a year at least, at any one spot, but, journeying for ultimate conquest, encampment and settlement.

 

This model, which is the logical model fitting the facts, will continue not to be consulted so long as the present stubborn resistance to biblical historicity remains, and so the argument over the MB I culture will continue.

[End of quotes]

 

Dr. Osgood then proceeds to show, including various maps, how the archaeological distribution of the MBI people substantially accords with that of the invading Israelites at the time of Joshua.

Further on, Dr. Osgood will present this argument for the EBIII Jericho as being the level attacked by the forces of Joshua, before concluding that: “The correspondence is exact”.

 

———————————————————————————————-

“Not even the slightest question of the credibility of the accepted chronology is raised.

Its hold on the discipline is too great”.

———————————————————————————————-

 

Region 4—The Conquest of Palestine

 

The MB I people of Palestine were a new people, a new civilization, and a new culture. Some have disputed this, but the evidence remains strong. For example, Kathleen Kenyon says:

 

“The final end of the Early Bronze Age civilization came with catastrophic completeness. The last of the Early Bronze Age walls of Jericho was built in a great hurry using old and broken bricks and was probably not completed when it was destroyed by fire. Little or none of the town inside the walls has survived denudation, but it was probably completely destroyed, for all the finds show that there was an absolute break, and that a new people took the place of the earlier inhabitants. Every town in Palestine that has so far been investigated shows the same break. The newcomers were nomads, not interested in town life and they so completely drove out or absorbed the old population perhaps already weakened and decadent that all traces of the Early Bronze civilization disappeared.”28

 

Ruth Amiram also presses very hard the point that the MB I was a new culture:

 

“The break with the preceding period was indeed a sharp one and allowed only few left–overs of previous traditions to persist. The succeeding period, however, follows a normal course of development. The MB IIA period, epitomised in the strata G–F at Tell Beit Mirsim and Strata X1V–XIIIB at Megiddo, constitutes the link between the culture of the period under discussion and the ‘true Middle Bronze Age’ (Kenyon’s description of the MB IIB loc.cit.). Some of the characteristic types of pottery have been arranged in Table form in Figure 1 to show their development from MB I through its Megiddo family to MB IIA. This line of continuity constitutes our main reason for retaining the old term and rejecting the new.”5

 

The end of the Early Bronze Age and the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age, starting with Middle Bronze I therefore, is the most serious contender for the period of the Conquest, and if that be the case, then Middle Bronze I pottery must be a serious contender for the pottery of the nomadic Israelites in the wilderness and in their first settlement of the land.

 

Likewise, Ruth Amiran rejects a distinct cultural break at the end of Late Bronze as needed by the accepted chronology, and clearly places the new beginning at the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age after the end of Early Bronze III. I quote:

 

“In the discussion pertaining to the transition from the Early Bronze period to the Middle Bronze, we have emphasized the sharp cultural break between these two worlds. From the MB I onwards, the development from the material culture (to judge by its reflection in the pottery) is continuous, gradual and evolutionary to the end of the Iron Age or even later.”3

 

Not that Ruth Amiram was proposing a new chronology. On the contrary, she accepted the belief that the Israelite invasion occurred at the end of Late Bronze, and sadly I believe has missed the significance and poignancy of her own words, as has Kenyon before her.

 

Let us look at the biblical narrative of the Conquest and follow it step by step, looking at what cities have been excavated to see the consistency with the biblical narrative both historically and geographically.

 

JERICHO

 

The first conquest of Joshua in Palestine was Jericho. Garstang originally identified the destruction period of Jericho’s Canaanite city as the end of Late Bronze Age.

However Kathleen Kenyon in her monumental excavation of Jericho has identified the destruction level which Garstang uncovered as the end of the Early Bronze Age III. Of this, she says that it came with “catastrophic completeness”28 This was succeeded by a temporary occupation by the MB I people (Kenyon’s Early Bronze—Middle Bronze). She says:

 

“It is thus probable that there was a phase of occupation of the tell in which there were no solid structures. That there was such a camping phase would fit the evidence from the tombs of the nomadic and tribal organization of the newcomers.”29 (See also Kenyon 30,31)

 

Such a description matches exactly what we would expect of some of the Israelite host camping on the site after its destruction, until they were finally settled elsewhere.

 

Jericho at the end EB III is the logical place to see Joshua’s conquest. The same holds true for Ai, Joshua’s next battle zone (Joshua chapters 7 and 8).

 

AI

 

Ai has been identified with Et Tell, west of Jericho. This site has been excavated by several expeditions which have concluded that occupation of Et Tell occurred as follows:32

 

Early Bronze Ib Early Bronze Ic—destruction Early Bronze II—destruction—? earthquake Early Bronze IIIa Early Bronze IIIb—destruction Iron Age I

 

Et Tell was left a ruin for a long period of time at the end of Early Bronze III.

 

“Violent destruction overtook the city of Ai ca.2400 B.C. during the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt and a ‘dark age’ fell upon the land with the appearance of nomadic invaders from the desert. The site was abandoned and left in ruins.”32

This was the end of EB III.

 

As Calloway, the Biblical Archaeologist author just quoted, has accepted the Israelite conquest placed at the end of the Late Bronze Age due to his reliance on the Egyptian and evolutionary–based chronology currently held, an absence of a Late Bronze period at Et Tell was a problem. This has resulted in many doubting that Et Tell is in fact biblical Ai. To quote Calloway:

 

“It will be seen that the absence of any Canaanite city later than EB greatly complicates interpretation of the biblical Israelite conquest of Ai, for the mound was unoccupied at the time and had not been occupied since before the end of the third millennium BC.”32

 

The time referred to as “the biblical conquest” in that author’s view was the end of Late Bronze. No question is raised by the author as to the correctness of that currently held chronology, but simply a strained interpretation of the biblical narrative and thus a question of its credibility as an historical document is inferred.

 

“Whether the tradition in Joshua claims for Israel a conquest in reality attributable to her predecessors in the land (over 1,000 years before!) or whether Israel’s conquest of a different site has in the tradition been transferred to Ai can only be conjectured.”32

 

Not even the slightest question of the credibility of the accepted chronology is raised. Its hold on the discipline is too great. Had the biblical documents been taken at face value and allowed to be the prime measure, the end of EB III at Ai, as well as at Jericho and other sites, would have confirmed the record of Scripture so vividly that all questions would have dissipated. But the confusion of the accepted chronology is allowed to continue.

 

It is my claim that the biblical documents must be the rule and these allow the profound destruction of EB III all across Palestine to be identified as the destruction of Joshua’s conquest. It is so at both Ai and Jericho. The correspondence is exact.

[End of quote]

 

 

 

Eglon’s Jericho

 

 

 

 

“The next mention of Jericho following Joshua’s destruction is in Judges 3 where we are told that Eglon, king of Moab, took possession of the “City of Palms” and built a palace there. The City of Palms, of course, is none other than Jericho (Dt 34:3; 2 Chr 28:15)”.

 

 

Introduction

 

A very clear demonstration of what I wrote in my article:

 

Joshua’s Jericho

 

https://www.academia.edu/31535673/Joshuas_Jericho

 

“The popular model today, as espoused by … David Rohl … arguing instead for a Middle Bronze Jericho at the time of Joshua, ends up throwing right out of kilter the biblico-historical correspondences” [,]

 

is apparent from the part of Dr. Bryant Wood’s critique (“David Rohl’s Revised Egyptian Chronology: A View From Palestine”), in which Bryant has well pointed out that Rohl’s revised Jericho stratigraphical sequence “completely misses Eglon’s occupation of Jericho”: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2007/05/23/David-Rohls-Revised-Egyptian-Chronology-A-View-From-Palestine.aspx

 

In his book Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest (1995a; it was first published in England as A Test of Time: The Bible – From Myth to History [1995b]), David Rohl purports to have produced a better correlation between the findings of archaeology and the Bible by revising Egyptian chronology.

….

The Middle Building at Jericho

 

Concerning occupation at Jericho following the Conquest, Rohl makes the following statement:

 

…the next time we hear mention of Jericho after Joshua’s destruction of the town is during the reign of David (313).

 

This is simply incorrect. The next mention of Jericho following Joshua’s destruction is in Judges 3 where we are told that Eglon, king of Moab, took possession of the “City of Palms” and built a palace there. The City of Palms, of course, is none other than Jericho (Dt 34:3; 2 Chr 28:15). Rohl makes a connection between the LB IIA “Middle Building” at Jericho, excavated by John Garstang in 1933, and David’s seclusion of the Israelite delegation at Jericho recorded in 2 Samuel 10:5.

 

The Bible does not tell us what, if anything, was at Jericho in David’s day. Garstang’s Middle Building, on the other hand, exactly fits the description of Eglon’s palace in Judges 3 using conventional chronology (Garstang 1941a; 1941b; 1948: 175-80). It was an isolated palatial structure with no corresponding town. There was evidence of wealth (expensive imported pottery), and administrative activities (an inscribed clay tablet). The Middle Building was constructed toward the end of the 14th century B.C. by conventional chronology, which matches the time period of the Judges 3 account according to Biblical chronology. It was occupied for only a short period of time and then abandoned, paralleling the Biblical description of an 18 year oppression by Eglon and the subsequent rout of the Moabites by Ehud and the Israelites.

….

The “Middle Building” was excavated in 1933 by John Garstang on Jericho’s southeastern slope. A palace like structure (28 x 47 ft.), it was an isolated building with evidence of wealth and administrative activity. It date and finds fit very well with Moabite king Eglon’s palace (Judges 3:12-25). Rohl completely misses Eglon’s occupation of Jericho in his reconstruction and tries to relate the Middle Building to the time of David.

 

[End of quote]

 

Eglon of Moab

 

Once again it will be Dr. John Osgood who first properly sorted out the Jericho sequence. Regarding Eglon of Moab’s occupation, Osgood has written (“The Times of the Judges -The Archaeology: (b) Settlement and Apostasy”) http://creation.com/the-time-of-the-judges-the-archaeology-b-settlement-and-apostasy

 

A new alignment begins

 

The land of Israel rested in peace and freedom from oppression for a period of 40 years—here equated with the MB IIA period, or the last portion of it (Judges 3:11).

 

Again they apostasised into idolatry, and soon a new spectre appeared on the horizon. A strong king of Moab began a conquest of Israel which brought him into control of at least the strategic central portion of the land. Eglon of Moab now rebuilt on the ruins of Jericho, ‘the city of palms’, a fortress capable of stationing 10,000 troops, and a palace (Judges 3:12-30).

 

This apparently was not a rebuilding of the old city which had been cursed by Joshua, later rebuilt by Hiel the Bethelite (1 Kings 16:34), but it was, nonetheless, the same site geographically.

 

Assisting him in this conquest naturally was Moab’s old sister nation Ammon. This is quite easy to accept. However, surprisingly, also in the raiding force was AMALEK (Judges 3:13).

Now geographically Amalek was in the western Negev (see Genesis) 14:17, Numbers 13:29, Numbers 14:25, 1 Samuel 15:7, 27:8). The related Edomites were between Moab and Amalek, so the alliance does seem a little unusual (see Figure 7).

 

Figure 7. Map showing the regions/peoples of the Moabite alliance.

 

However, Amalek has a number of enigmatic statements made about it in the Scriptures (Numbers 24:20). Balaam says of Amalek that it was then ‘the first of the nations’ (first = Hebrew reshith—foremost). This is a truly incredible statement on first glance, but the same concept is supported by Balaam’s other comment about Agag, the Amalekite king. He said that Israel’s kingdom would be higher than Agag, and his kingdom exalted. In other words, the whole idea being conveyed was that Agag occupied a position of immense power (Numbers 24:7).

 

The implication of these statements is that Amalek was a power to be reckoned with, no longer just a fledgling nation, as before. It is with this in mind that the recent assertions of Velikovsky18 and Courville19 need to be perused. They were united in identifying Amalek with the ‘AMU’( = Hyksos) overlords of Egypt during the Second Intermediate period of that nation. Such an assertion would give weight to statements of scripture that imply an Amalekite nation was the foremost of the nations in Moses’ day. It would also bring meaning into Eglon’s call for help to Amalek for the subjugation of Israel. In fact, it would almost be a necessity for Moab to obtain Amalek’s blessing on her conquest of Israel in order to bear rule over what Amalek (the Hyksos rulers of Egypt) would regard as their sphere of rule. Eglon then would be a vassal ruler of the Amalekite/Hyksos over a subjugated Israel.

 

It is of interest to note that from this point in Israel’s history as the scriptures record it, Amalek is on the scene more consistently than any other nation in attack against Israel for the next 300 years, first assisting Eglon, then in association with Midian (Judges 6:3), and then in the days of King Saul and David (1 Samuel 15 and 1 Samuel 30).

Such an interval of time adds to the circumstantial weight of the identification of Amalek with the Amu, and the Hyksos, and this author accepts fully at least this part of the theses of Velikovsky18 and Courville19 (This is not, however, a blanket endorsement of other areas of their work.) Hereafter in this work I will assume the identification of Amalekite/Hyksos to be valid, although further discussion on this point will undoubtedly ensue. Taking the above premises, we would expect to find an MB IIB city at Jericho, of larger proportions than the old city (identified as EB III), evidence of a palace, and evidence of Hyksos rule. Furthermore, if we were able to differentiate Moabite culture from Israelite, we would also expect some evidence of Moabite culture in the MB IIB city.

 

Jericho MB IIB—A new fortress arises

 

Jericho was definitely rebuilt along different lines in the MB II period—larger than it was before. A regional similarity was also apparent as Garstang says:

 

“This is indeed fairly clear, because the site lay more or less derelict thereafter for some time, perhaps a century, and when finally the city revived it is found to have been entirely replanned and reconstructed upon fresh lines, with a new and improved defensive system; while an entirely new culture, that of the Middle Bronze Age, replaced the old. Moreover the change was general, and it affected in similar fashion all the great cities on the highlands above the Jordan valley, Jericho nearest surviving neighbours; while many early settlements in and near the southern end of the Rift never revived at all”20 (emphasis ours)

 

Garstang continues:

 

“It was during this period that Jericho, under the Hyksos regime attained its greatest extension and the height of its prosperity. The protected area was now about nine acres, which was nearly the size of contemporary Jerusalem.”21

 

Jericho gave evidence of being a premium city at this time. It was most important to have a palace in the heart of the city—and that a most prominent one. Here in the revised chronology we suggest that this palace was, in fact, that of the Moabite King Eglon, vice regent to his Hyksos/Amalekite overlords of Egypt and the Negev.

 

“In the heart of the City, on a peak of ground overlooking the spring, rose a royal palace, the most elaborate dwelling uncovered upon the site. The main block, which was square, crowned the highest part of the knoll, and it was surrounded at groundfloor level by a sort of roofed ambulatory, in which would be half-cellar store-rooms, offices, stables, etc., much as in the arcaded basements of many houses of the East to-day.”22

 

Certainly the description of this palace fits the details of Judges 3:13 and 20–26, but Garstang continues:

 

“The very proportions and solidarity of the palace building show that the ruler of Jericho at this period had attained both wealth and power; and the contents of the extensive store-rooms committed to his care seem to explain the source of his increased prestige.”23

 

Moreover, it was during this period that Hyksos power was evident and strong, the many scarabs with the red crown of Lower Egypt pointed out by Kenyon24 testifying to the hegemony of Jericho.

 

Garstang continues with his details of the Ruler of Jericho at this time:

 

He became in fact the chief of an important unit in the Hyksos organization. Associated with him as guardian of the Hyksos stores or ‘treasury’ was a resident official, whose title ‘Scribe of the Vezir’ appears upon scarab-signets and jar-sealings recovered from the store-rooms; the names of two persons who held this office were Senb. ef and Se. Ankh, both characteristic of this period.”25

 

We emphasise our belief that this ruler was, in fact, Eglon of Moab.

 

It appears that although Eglon’s presence was removed from Jericho, some sort of Israelite presence persisted at the site, as witnessed by its occupation in the days of David’s reign (2 Samuel 10:5).

A new influence

 

A new influence now affected Palestine, producing the MB IIB culture (Albright nomenclature). The Khabur influence [Osgood had identified this culture with the incursion of Cushan-rishathaim, Judges 3:8] had come briefly and then gone, not being the sort of influence that one attributes to an ethnic movement of people, but eminently in the style of a conquest introduction. The main item of that influence was, in fact, a storage jar which would be suitable for grain or wine.

 

 

The new culture was a continuation of the main body of cultural tradition, but gone was the Khabur influence, and a new pottery tradition came, known as the Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware.

 

“A close analysis of MB IIA and B–C pottery shows many differences between the two periods, but a definite continuity of form and decoration can undoubtedly be observed.”26

 

The Tell el-Yahudiyeh pottery was not totally new to the MB IIB but was present already to a small extent in the MB I. However, its popularity peaked in MB IIB then continued into MB IIC, finally to leave a remnant in the LB I (Late Bronze I).27

This ware appears to have been produced in Palestine, some exported to Cyprus, Egypt and north into Phoenicia, but its centre was in Palestine (assumed by current thinking to be CANAANITE, but by this revised chronology it would almost certainly be Israelite).28

 

Despite the difference that is generally assumed between MB I and the MB IIA–C pottery, it is not inconceivable that the Tell el-Yahudiyeh decorations on the juglets which form the distinctive feature, were ultimately conceived from the very features already inherent in the MB I; viz, incisions and ‘notches’ in the MB I pottery made by a comb or fork,29 and ‘punctured decoration’ and ‘designs delineated by grooves’ also reminiscent of the use of comb or fork, in MB IIB Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware.30

 

Considering the general features of the MB I to MB IIA–C sequence, there is every reason to believe that what we are seeing was the ongoing development of the early Israelite pottery tradition.

 

Moreover, the pottery of MB I Palestine shows at least some affinity with the late 12th Dynasty of Egypt, which is of course, what we would expect if the MB I to MB IIA to MB IIB–C sequence is postulated as Israelite. As Kenyon says:

 

“As a result, the royal tombs at Byblos can be closely dated by Egyptian objects. In tombs of the period of Amenemhet III and IV (second half 19th–beginning 18th centuries BC) there appears pottery which is very close to this new pottery in Palestine. Moreover, on a number of other sites in coastal Syria we find the same kind of pottery, and it is clear that part at least of the new population of Palestine must have come from this area.”31 (emphasis ours)

 

Mackey’s comment: This corresponds perfectly with my reconstruction according to which the Egyptian Twelfth Dynasty period of Amenemhet III and IV was that of Moses’s confrontation with Pharaoh, and the Exodus:

 

Pharaoh of the Exodus

https://www.academia.edu/22158631/Pharaoh_of_the_Exodus

 

Dr. Osgood continues with his discussion of Eglon of Moab, as a governor on behalf of Amalek (= the Hyksos), ruling a Middle Bronze IIB Jericho:

 

From the point of discussion of the new influence in Palestine in the MB IIB, the most significant features are those which point to a significant Hyksos influence in the land; and this is considerable.

 

As Amiram has said:

 

“The correspondence of MB IIB to the Hyksos Dynasties in Egypt is also established with a fair measure of certainty and is generally accepted.”32

 

With this statement I would make no objection, only with the question of who the Hyksos were would we differ. It follows that if the chronology here espoused is the correct view, then the generally held view on Hyksos origins must fall and be replaced by one which conforms to the scriptural details—the Hyksos would be the biblical Amalekites, found in the area of the Negev, mainly in the west, south of the Wadi Besor, then extending their influence into Egypt. Much that has been called Hyksos in Palestine would in fact be Israelite, but showing evidence of Amalekite hegemony, by scarabs and similar artifacts. Such intricacies of interpretation do not come freely with the sole use of archaeological evidence, but demands a basic framework of hypothesis against which to evaluate the findings. This the biblical record provides.

 

The major change of influence in Palestine in the MB IIB–C period was to the Hyksos influence. This influence was found, to judge by the scarab evidence, mainly in the area of Palestine south of the Carmel Ridge, a geographic fact worthy of note.

 

In my earlier discussion on the details of the servitude under the Midianites and Amalekites and their subsequent deliverance under Gideon,33 particular attention was paid to the evidence that this servitude was confined to Israel south of the Carmel Ridge. As soon as the northern deliverance from Jabin’s yoke had been completed, the Midianites and Amalekites moved over the Carmel range to fill the political vacuum, but were quickly defeated by Gideon.

 

Likewise, it was pointed out that the song of Deborah testified to a presence of Amalek in some sort of controlling influence in the area of Ephraim during the time of Jabin’s rule in the north. The later part of this period, however, was seen to be contemporary with the Midianite/Amalekite rule in the south (see Figure 8).

 

Figure 8. Map showing the expected distribution of Amalekite artifacts in Palestine compared with the actual distribution of Hyksos scarabs.

 

Also, it was reasoned that Eglon’s (Moab) rule was with the influence of Amalek.

 

Thus I am suggesting that the Amalekites of the Bible must be seen to be the same as the Hyksos who ruled over Egypt.

 

When all the above reasoning is brought together, it becomes apparent that the distribution of the Hyksos artifacts (as here defined by the scrabs) occupied exactly this distribution geographically, and no other. And as this period in the biblical record Eglon and onward corresponds most particularly to the MB IIB–C period on my revised Archaeological Table, the possible correctness of the revised chronology is upheld.

 

“Most interesting is the fact that Hyksos royal-name scarabs and sealings have not been discovered at sites in the Galilee, the Huleh Valley, Lebanon, or Syria.”34

 

And again:

 

“Only one Hyksos royal-name scarab and but a handful of contemporary private name-and-title scarabs have been found north of the Carmel Ridge.”35

 

Weinstein then argues that the principal centres of Hyksos power in Palestine were in the southern and inland regions south of the plain of Esdraelon. He concludes that the Hyksos were in fact simply southern and inland Palestinian princes.

 

Against the revised chronology here presented it becomes apparent that the Hyksos were in fact the Amalekites of the southern and western portion of Palestine, viz, the Negev, and that during the MB IIB–C period of Palestine they not only controlled Lower Egypt, but extended their influence up to the Carmel Ridge with the help of firstly Moab under Eglon, who ruled from Jericho on their behalf ….

 

As for the names and order of the Hyksos kings of the 15th and 16th Dynasties who were so involved, their details are in great confusion still. The whole question of the Hyksos is a confused question, with hardly any authority agreeing with the next on details of even the place of the individual kings in the scheme of the period. We need, however, to remind ourselves of the fate of the Amalekite nation, Exodus 17:14 records that God said He would “blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”

 

Hiel’s Jericho

 

Part One: Stratigraphical level

 

 

Joshua 6:26: “At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before the LORD is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: At the cost of his firstborn son he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates”.”

 

I Kings 16:34: “In Ahab’s time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua son of Nun”.

 

 

 

Introduction

 

A clear demonstration of what I wrote in my article:

 

Joshua’s Jericho

 

https://www.academia.edu/31535673/Joshuas_Jericho

 

“The popular model today, as espoused by … David Rohl … arguing instead for a Middle Bronze Jericho at the time of Joshua, ends up throwing right out of kilter the biblico-historical correspondences” [,]

 

is apparent from Dr. Bryant Wood’s critique (“David Rohl’s Revised Egyptian Chronology: A View From Palestine”), in which Bryant points out that Rohl’s revised Jericho sequence incorrectly dates Hiel’s building level at Jericho to an apparently ‘unoccupied’ phase there: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2007/05/23/David-Rohls-Revised-Egyptian-Chronology-A-View-From-Palestine.aspx

 

….

LATE BRONZE IIB

Jericho

 

Rohl dates the next phase of occupation at Jericho following the Middle Building to the LB IIB period (314). He then equates this phase to the rebuilding of Jericho by Hiel of Bethel (1 Kgs 16:34). Rohl is once again incorrect in his dating. The next occupational phase at Jericho following the Middle Building dates to the Iron I period, not LB IIB (M. and H. Weippert 1976). There is no evidence for occupation at Jericho in the LB IIB period.

[End of quote]
If Dr. Bryant is correct here, then the city built by the mysterious Hiel of Bethel must belong to the Iron Age “occupational phase” of Jericho (Tell es-Sultan).

 

 

Part Two (a):

Who was this “Hiel of Bethel”?

 

 

 

Hiel of Bethel who rebuilt the city of Jericho (I Kings 16:34)

will be here, in Part Two, identified as King Mesha of Moab.

 

Does Mesha tell us straight out in his inscription that he built Jericho –

and with Israelite labour?

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Chapter 16 of the First Book of Kings will, in the course of its introducing us to King Ahab and his no-good ways as follows (vv. 30-34):

 

Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.

 

suddenly interrupt this description with its surprising and bloody note about Hiel the Bethelite’s building of Jericho at the cost of the lives of his two sons. A surprising thing about this insertion (apart from the horrific sacrifice of the sons) is that an otherwise unknown personage, Hiel (unknown at least under this name), is found to be building a city at a major and ancient site, Jericho (Tell es-Sultan), whilst the country is under the rulership of two most powerful kings – Omride in the north allied to a mighty king of Judah in the south.

 

How might this strange situation concerning Hiel have come about?

 

Before my attempting to answer this question, I should like simply to list a few of the more obvious reasons why I am drawn to the notion that Hiel was a king of Moab, and that he was, specifically, Mesha.

We find that:

 

  • A king of Moab, Eglon, has previously ruled over a newly-built Jericho (MB IIB);
  • Hiel and Mesha were contemporaneous with King Ahab of Israel;
  • Hiel and Mesha were sacrificers of their own sons (cf. I Kings 16:34 & 2 Kings 3:27).

 

But, far more startling than any of this is the following potential bombshell:

Does Mesha King of Moab tell us straight out in his stele inscription that he built Jericho – and with Israelite labour?

I have only just become aware of this bell-ringing piece of information – after I had already come to the conclusion that Hiel may well have been Mesha. It is information that may be, in its specificity, beyond anything that I could have expected or hoped for. Thus we read at: http://christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a019.html

 

Later on in the inscription he [King Mesha of Moab] says,

 

I built Qeriho [Jericho?]: the wall of the parkland and the wall of the acropolis; and I built its gates, and I built its towers; and I built the king’s house; and I made banks for the water reservoir inside the town; and there was no cistern inside the town, in Qeriho, and I said to all the people: “Make yourself each a cistern in his house”; and I dug the ditches for Qeriho with prisoners of Israel (lines 21-26).

 

Since Mesha erected his stela to honor Chemosh in “this high place for Chemosh in Qeriho,” and since the stela was found at Dhiban, identified as ancient Dibon, most scholars believe that Qeriho was the name of the royal citadel at Dibon. Note that Israelite captives were used to cut the timber used to construct Qeriho. ….

 

[End of quote]

 

Part Two (b, i):

Different names, Hiel, Mesha?

 

 

If, as I am claiming, Hiel of Bethel was the same person as the contemporaneous King Mesha of Moab, then it becomes necessary for me to account for why the Bible would attribute to him two completely different names and geographical locations.

 

 

 

Names

 

To account for potentially two different names for the one person in the Old Testament, I simply refer the reader to my article:

 

Toledôt Explains Abram’s Pharaoh

 

https://www.academia.edu/26239534/Toled%C3%B4t_Explains_Abrams_Pharaoh

 

according to which one actual incident involving Abram (Abraham) and Sarai (Sarah), with a powerful king (now “Pharaoh”, now “Abimelech”) – but presented from two totally different perspectives (ethnic and geographical), from two different sources – will convey the impression of being two separate incidents.

This would be my explanation for why the First Book of Kings might refer to Hiel the Bethelite

 

חִיאֵל, בֵּית הָאֱלִי

 

Israelite name (perhaps Jehiel) and location – corresponding with the Hebrew name “Abimelech” in the case of Abraham and Sarah – whilst the Second Book of Kings might render him differently, as Mesha king of Moab

 

מֵישַׁע מֶלֶךְ-מוֹאָב

 

corresponding to the more foreign and remote “Pharaoh” in the case of Abram and Sarai.

According to the Moabite stele: “I am Mesha, son of Kemosh[-yatti] …”.

These names seem to be built around the name of the Moabite god, Chemosh.

 

The biblical information that, now Hiel, now Mesha, was a sacrificer of his own son(s), coupled with the likelihood that, as we read in Part Two (a), Mesha (like Hiel) built the city of Jericho (and with Israelite prisoners): “I built Qeriho [Jericho?] … with prisoners of Israel”, emboldens me to persevere in the pursuit of this previously most unexpected identification.

 

 

Part Two (b, ii):

A Servant of the Syrians?

 

 

If King Mesha of Moab really had ruled the city of Jericho for a time, as Hiel, then he would have been following an ancient tradition, because another king of Moab, Eglon, had ruled over that same city roughly half a millennium earlier.

 

 

 

 

Mesha of Moab and Ben-Hadad I

 

A pattern that was determined (following Dr. John Osgood) according to my recent article:

 

Eglon’s Jericho

 

https://www.academia.edu/31551008/Eglons_Jericho

 

of a King of Moab governing Jericho for a time as a servant of a powerful ruling nation, is the same basic pattern that I would suggest for my Hiel = Mesha.

Eglon had, as a subordinate king of the mighty Amalekite nation, ruled over (MB IIB) Jericho “for eighteen years” (Judges 3:14).

Now, much later, with Syria this time as the main power, Mesha will both build and rule over (presumably Iron Age) Jericho – for an indeterminate period of time.

From a combination of information as provided by the Mesha stele and the Old Testament, we learn that Mesha was already king at the time of Omri of Israel, and that he continued on until Jehoram of Israel.

During that period, Ben-Hadad I of Syria was by far the dominant king. In fact I, in my thesis:

 

A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background

AMAIC_Final_Thesis_2009.pdf

 

(Volume One, p. 66) referred to him as “a true master-king”:

 

… the Velikovskian equation of EA’s Abdi-ashirta as Ben-Hadad I would seriously contradict the view that the latter was a relatively minor, though problematical, king in the EA scheme of things; for Ben-Hadad I was no lesser king: “King Ben-hadad of Aram gathered all his army together; thirty-two kings were with him, along with horses and chariots” (1 Kings 20:1). Thirty-two kings! The great Hammurabi of Babylon, early in his reign, had only ten to fifteen kings following him, as did his peer kings. Even the greatest king of that day in the region, Iarim Lim of Iamkhad, had only twenty kings in train. …. But Ben-Hadad’s coalition, raised for the siege of Ahab’s capital of Samaria, could boast of thirty-two kings. Surely Ben-Hadad I was no secondary king in his day, but a ‘Great King’; the dominant king in fact in the greater Syrian region – a true master-king.

 

[End of quote]

 

With an extraordinary “thirty-two kings” in Ben-Hadad’s following, might it not be going too far to suggest that one of these follower-kings was the contemporaneous Mesha of Moab?

If so, any incursion by king Mesha into Israelite territory (Bethel, Jericho) – and we recall that Mesha boasted of having Israelite captives – would have become possible presumably (and only?) with the assistance of Ben-Hadad I, who caused much trouble for king Ahab of Israel in the earlier part of the latter’s reign.

For example (I Kings 20:1-3):

 

Now Ben-Hadad king of Aram [Syria] mustered his entire army. Accompanied by thirty-two kings with their horses and chariots, he went up and besieged Samaria and attacked it.He sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel, saying, “This is what Ben-Hadad says:‘Your silver and gold are mine, and the best of your wives and children are mine’.”

 

 

 

Part Two (b, iii):

Different geography

 

 

 

King Mesha of Moab, who I consider to have been a follower-king of the mighty Syrian master-king, Ben-Hadad I, appears to have had a chequered career in relation to the Omrides, now being subservient, now in revolt.

If Mesha were Hiel, as I am saying, then it must have been during one of his upward phases – when Ben-Hadad was in the ascendant- that he was able to build at Jericho.

 

 

 

Earlier in this series, and elsewhere, I have discussed geographical perspective. How, for instance, the one person who had ruled over two lands, say Egypt and southern Canaan, could be written of as “Pharaoh” by someone writing from an Egyptian perspective, but by a Semitic (Hebrew) name by one writing from a Palestinian perspective.

And that, too, is the gist of my reasoning as to how one represented by a Hebrew name (Hiel), and a Palestinian location (Bethel), in the First Book of Kings, could be designated by a Moabite name (Mesha) in the Second Book of Kings, and there located in the foreign land of Moab.

The following article (http://christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a019.html), to which I shall add my comments, provides us with a comprehensive account as to:

 

What does the Moabite Stone reveal about the Biblical revolt of Mesha?

 

The Mesha inscription, now in the Louvre in Paris

 

“I am Mesha, son Chemosh[it], king of Moab, the Dibonite.”[1]

So begins one of the most extraordinary ancient documents ever found. (For the unusual circumstances surrounding its discovery, see Archaeology and Biblical Research, Winter 1991: 2-3). Mesha was ruler of the small kingdom of Moab, east of the Dead Sea, in the mid-ninth century BC. He was a contemporary of Jehoshaphat, king of the southern kingdom of Judah (870-848 BC), and Joram, king of the northern kingdom of Israel (852-841 BC). Everything we know about Mesha from the Bible is recorded in 2 Kings 3. But we know a lot more about him from a record he left us, referred to as the Mesha Inscription, or Moabite Stone. It was discovered in Dhiban, Jordan, in 1868 by a French Anglican medical missionary by the name of F.A. Klein.

 

 

Both documents, 2 Kings 3 and the Mesha Inscription, describe the same event, the revolt of Mesha, but from entirely different perspectives.

Mesha made his record of the event on a stone slab, or stela, 3 ft. high and 2 ft. wide. Unfortunately, the stone was broken into pieces by the local Bedouin before it could be acquired by the authorities. About two-thirds of the pieces were recovered and those, along with an impression made before the stela was destroyed, allowed all but the last line to be reconstructed. There are a total of 34 lines, written in Moabite, a language almost identical to Hebrew. It is the longest monumental inscription yet found in Palestine.

The heartland of Moab was the territory east of the southern half of the Dead Sea, from the great Arnon Gorge in the north to the Zered River in the south. North of the Arnon River, to about the northern end of the Dead Sea, was a disputed area called the “land of Medeba” in the Mesha Inscription (line 8). Medeba was a major city in the region some 18 mi. north of the Arnon. The area was sometimes under the control of Moab, sometimes under the control of others.

 

Mackey’s Comment: This last statement reveals the fluctuating fortunes of King Mesha as already mentioned.

The article continues (I do not necessarily accept as exact the dates given in this article):

 

At the time of the Conquest at the end of the 15th century BC, the region was occupied by the Amorites, who had earlier taken it from the Moabites (Num. 21:26). The Israelites then captured the area (Num. 21:24; Dt. 2:24, 36; 3:8, 16), with the tribe of Reuben taking possession (Jos. 13:16). The area seesawed back and forth for the next several centuries, passing to the Moabites (Jgs. 3:12), Israelites (Jgs. 3:30), Ammonites (Jgs. 11:13, 32-33), and back to Israel (Jgs. 11:32-33).

In the mid-ninth century BC, Mesha was successful in throwing off the yoke of Israel and bringing the area once again under the authority of Moab (1 Kgs. 3:5; Mesha Inscription).

2 Kings 3 recounts how Joram, Jehoshaphat, and the king of Edom combined forces to attempt to bring Moab back under Israelite control. They attacked from the south and were successful in routing the Moabite forces and destroying many towns (2 Kgs. 3: 24-25). But when the coalition tried to dislodge Mesha from Kir Hareseth (modern Kerak), they were unsuccessful. After Mesha sacrificed his oldest son on the ramparts of the city, “the fury against Israel was great; they withdrew and returned to their own land” (2 Kgs. 3: 27).

The campaign must have taken place between 848 and 841 BC, the only time when Joram and Jehoshaphat were both on the throne. Although the campaign met with some success, it appears that Moab retained its independence. This is confirmed by the Mesha Inscription.

The Mesha Inscription gives us “the rest of the story.” It reads, in fact, like a chapter from the Old Testament. Its language, terminology and phraseology are exactly the same as what we find in the Bible. Mesha credits his successful revolt and recapture of Moabite territory, as well as other accomplishments, to Chemosh, national god of Moab. He does not, of course, record his defeat in the south at the hands of the coalition armies. Similarly, although the Bible records Mesha’s revolt, it gives no details on his successes. So each record, accurate in its own way, records events from a different perspective.

 

Chronology of the Revolt of Mesha

 

The main problem in correlating the Mesha Inscription with the Bible has to do with synchronizing the chronology of the two sources. 2 Kings 3:5 (cf. 1:1) simply states,

“But after Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.”

Ahab, father of Joram, died in ca. 853 BC, so Mesha’s revolt must have taken place some time after 853 BC. According to the Mesha Inscription,

Omri had taken possession of the land of Medeba. And he dwelt in it in his days and half [2] the days of his son [3]: 40 years; but Chemosh restored it in my days (lines 7-9).

The Mesha Inscription not only mentions Mesha, king of Moab, known in the Bible, but also Omri, one of the most powerful kings of the Northern Kingdom (1 Kgs. 16:21-28), who ruled 885-873 BC.

Omri established a dynasty which lasted until his grandson Joram was assassinated by Jehu in 841 BC. The term “son” in the inscription simply means descendent, as we know from the Bible and other ancient Near Eastern texts. Adding the years of Omri (12, 1 Kgs. 16:23), the years of his son Ahab (22, 1 Kgs. 16:29), the years of Ahab’s son Ahaziah (2, 1 Kgs. 22:52) and half the years of Joram, brother of Ahaziah, (6, 2 Kgs. 3:1), we obtain a span of 42 years. Some of the reigns of these kings could be common years, making the true span 40 years, or, the 40 year figure simply could be a round number. Thiele gives absolute years for the period from the beginning of the reign of Omri to the sixth year of Joram as 885 to 846 BC, or 40 years (1983: 217). Thus, it appears that Mesha revolted in the sixth year of Joram, ca. 846 BC. The Bible indicates that the retaliation by Joram recorded in 2 Kings 3 took place immediately upon Mesha’s revolt (verses 5-7), or 846 BC. This date falls within the time period of 848-841 BC when both Joram and Jehoshaphat were ruling.

 

The Gods of Israel and Moab

 

In describing his victories over Israel, Mesha tells of defeating the town of Nebo. Among the spoils he acquired were the “altarhearths? of Yahweh” (lines 17-18). This is the earliest mention of Yahweh, God of the Israelites, outside the Bible.

The Bible records the names of many deities worshipped by the nations around Israel. One of those gods is Chemosh. He is mentioned eight times in the Old Testament (Num. 21:29; Jgs. 11:24; 1 Kgs. 11:7, 33; 2 Kgs. 23:13; Jer. 48:7, 13, 46), always (with the exception of Jgs. 11:24) as the national god of the Moabites. The Mesha Inscription verifies that this indeed was the case. Chemosh is mentioned some 11 times in the inscription:

 

·         Mesha made a high place for Chemosh, since Chemosh gave Mesha victory over his enemies (line 3)

·         Because Chemosh was angry with Moab, Omri oppressed Moab (line 5)

·         Chemosh gave Moab back her territory (line 9)

·         Mesha slew the people of Ataroth to satisfy Chemosh (lines 11-12)

·         Mesha dragged the altarhearth(?) of Ataroth before Chemosh (lines 12-13)

·         Chemosh directed Mesha to attack the town of Nebo (line 14)

·         Mesha devoted the inhabitants of Nebo to Chemosh (line 17)

·         The altar-hearths(?) of Yahweh from Nebo were dragged before Chemosh (lines 17-18)

·         Chemosh drove the king of Israel out of Jahaz (lines 18-19)

·         Chemosh directed Mesha to fight against Horanaim (line 32)

·         Chemosh gave Mesha victory over Horanaim (line 33)

The Cities of Northern Moab

 

Most of the inscription is taken up with Mesha’s success in regaining the land of Medeba, the disputed territory north of the Arnon Gorge. He claims to have added 100 towns to his territory by means of his faithful army from Dibon:

 

[And] the men of Dibon were fitted out for war because all Dibon was obedient. And I ruled [over a] hundred of towns that I added to the land (lines 28-29).

Some 12 towns in the land of Medeba are mentioned, all of them known from the Old Testament.

“I am Mesha …the Dibonite” (line 1)

 

Mackey’s Comment: The next statement is the one that I believe actually refers to the re-building of Jericho, as foretold by Joshua.

The son-slaying Mesha (contemporary of Ahab) here meshes with the son-slaying Hiel (contemporary of Ahab). Thus we read:

 

Later on in the inscription he says,

 

I built Qeriho: the wall of the parkland and the wall of the acropolis; and I built its gates, and I built its towers; and I built the king’s house; and I made banks for the water reservoir inside the town; and there was no cistern inside the town, in Qeriho, and I said to all the people: “Make yourself each a cistern in his house”; and I dug the ditches for Qeriho with prisoners of Israel (lines 21-26).

 

Since Mesha erected his stela to honor Chemosh in “this high place for Chemosh in Qeriho,” and since the stela was found at Dhiban, identified as ancient Dibon, most scholars believe that Qeriho was the name of the royal citadel at Dibon. Note that Israelite captives were used to cut the timber used to construct Qeriho.

 

Mackey’s Comment: I do not believe that Mesha’s “Qeriho” was in Dibon.

 

Dibon was captured from the Amorites by Israel (Num. 21:21-25, 31) and assigned to the tribe of Reuben (Jos. 13:17). But evidently it was reassigned to the tribe of Gad, since Gad built the city (Num. 32:34) and it was called “Dibon of Gad”; (Num. 33:45, 46).

 

Dhiban Nabatean temple ruins

The site of Dhiban and was excavated 1950-1956 and 1965. A city wall and gateway were found, as well as a large podium which the excavators believe supported the royal quarter constructed by Mesha. In addition, a text from around the time of Mesha was found which refers to the “temple of Che[mosh],” and nearly 100 cisterns were found on the site and in the surrounding area, possibly made in response to Mesha’s directive to “make yourself each a cistern in his house” (lines 24- 25).

 

Mackey’s Comment: Jericho, too, had its own impressive cisterns. For example:

 

 

The article continues:

 

In his prophecy against Moab, Isaiah states, “Dibon goes up to its temple, to its high places to weep” (15:2, NIV). Jeremiah predicted that the fortified cities of Dibon would be ruined (48:18; cf. 48:21-22).

“And I built Baal Meon, and made a reservoir in it” (line 9)

Baal Meon was allotted to the Reubenites (Jos. 13:17, where it is called Beth Baal Meon), and built by them (Num. 32:38). An eighth century BC ostracon [an inscribed potsherd] from Samaria (no. 27) contains a reference to “Baala the Baalmeonite.” Jeremiah predicted that the judgment of God would come upon the city (48:23, where it is called Beth Meon). Ezekiel said God would expose the flank of Moab, beginning with its frontier towns, including Baal Meon (25:9). It is thought to be located at Kh. Ma’in, 5 mi southwest of modern Madaba, which has not been excavated.

Toward the end of the inscription, Baal Meon is mentioned again when Mesha records,

“And I built… the temple of Baal Meon; and I established there […] the sheep of the land” (lines 29-31).

The reference to sheep is significant, as it reflects the main occupation of the people of Moab, in agreement with the Bible. 2 Kings 3:4 tells us,

Now Mesha king of Moab raised sheep, and he had to supply the king of Israel with 100,000 lambs and with the wool of 100,000 rams.

“And I built Kiriathaim” (lines 9-10)

Kiriathaim was another city allotted to the Reubenites and built by them (Jos. 13:19; Num. 32:37). Jeremiah predicted that the city would be disgraced and captured (48:1), and Ezekiel said God would expose the flank of Moab, beginning with its frontier towns, including Kiriathaim (25:9). It is possibly located at al Qureiye, 6 mi. northwest of Madaba.

“And the men of Gad had dwelt in the land of Ataroth from of old” (line 10)

Mesha devoted 3 lines of his memorial to a description of his operation against Ataroth. Although mentioned only twice in the Old Testament, the city seems to have been an important place. The name means “crowns” and was said by the Reubenites and Gadites to be a good place for livestock (Num. 32:3-4). The Gadites built up Ataroth as a fortified city, and built pens there for their flocks (Num. 32:34-36). This agrees with Mesha’s inscription which says that the men of Gad had lived there “from of old.” Ataroth is most likely located at Kh. ‘Attarus, unexcavated, 8 mi. northwest of Dhiban.

The entire section dealing with Ataroth reads as follows:

And the men of Gad had dwelt in the land of Ataroth from of old, and the king of Israel built Ataroth for himself, but I fought against the town and took it, and I slew all the people: the town belonged to Chemosh and to Moab. And I brought thence the altarhearth of his Beloved, and I dragged it before Chemosh in Kerioth/my town. And I settled in it the men of Sharon and the men of Maharath (lines 10-14).

“And I brought thence the altarhearth of his Beloved, and I dragged it before Chemosh in Kerioth/my town” (lines 12-13)

Kerioth was judged by God (Jer. 48:24), with the town being captured and its strongholds taken (Jer. 48:41). Its location is uncertain. If “my town” is the correct reading in line 13, then the text refers to Dibon, Mesha’s capital.

“And Chemosh said to me: ‘Go! Take Nebo against Israel’” (line 14)

Mesha’s assault of Nebo is detailed in 4 lines, the most of any of the cities mentioned in the stela. Nebo is mentioned seven times in the Old Testament, being one of the cities built by the tribe of Reuben (Num. 32:38). In his prophecy against Moab, Isaiah wrote that Moab would wail over Nebo (15:2, NIV). Similarly, Jeremiah said that judgment would come upon her, and she would be laid waste (48:1, 22).

Mesha’s nighttime foray against Nebo is reported as follows:

And Chemosh said to me: “Go! Take Nebo against Israel.” And I went by night and fought against it from break of dawn till noon. And I took it and slew all: 7,000 men, boys, women, girls, and pregnant women, because I had devoted it to Ashtar-Chemosh. And I took thence the altar-hearths of YHWH and I dragged them before Chemosh (lines 14-18).

It appears that there was a worship center for Yahweh at Nebo since among the spoils were “altar hearths(?) of Yahweh.” It is perhaps for this reason that Mesha devoted the inhabitants to his god(s) Ashtar-Chemosh. The word used for “devoted” is the same as the Hebrew word harem used in the Old Testament for offering a city completely to Yahweh, such as Jericho (Jos. 6:17, 21). Nebo is most likely Kh. al Muhaiyat, northwest of Madaba and just south of Mt. Nebo.

“And the king of Israel had built Jahaz (lines 18-19)

Jahaz is the town where the Israelites fought and defeated Sihon and his Amorite army as they first approached the promised land (Num. 21:21-31; Dt. 2:31-36; Jgs. 11:19-22). It was included in the Reubenite allotment (Jos. 13:18), and later transferred to the Levites (Jos. 21:36; 1 Chr. 6:78). Jeremiah predicted doom for the city as part of God’s judgment against Moab (48:21, 34). Mesha goes on to say,

And the king of Israel had built Jahaz, and dwelt therein while he fought against me; but Chemosh drove him out from before me, and I took from Moab 200 men, all the chiefs thereof, and I established them in Jahaz; and I took it to add it to Dibon (lines 18-21).

Here, Mesha refers to a northern campaign by the king of Israel which is not recorded in the Old Testament. In order to achieve victory, Mesha had to marshal the best of his forces, 200 chiefs. Once captured, Jahaz became a daughter city of Dibon. The location of Jahaz is uncertain, although Kh. Medeineyeh 10 mi southeast of Madaba is a likely candidate.

“I built Aroer, and made the highway through the Arnon (line 26)

The name Aroer means “crest of a mountain,” and that certainly describes this site. It was a border fortress located at Kh. ‘Ara’ir on the northern rim of the Arnon river gorge. Three seasons of excavation were carried out there between 1964 and 1966. Remnants of the fortress constructed by the king of Israel were found, as well as a substantial new fortress constructed by Mesha over the earlier one. In addition, a reservoir to store rainwater was built on the northwest side of the fortress.

 

….

 

Aroer marked the southern boundary of the Transjordanian territory originally captured by the Israelites (Dt. 2:36; 3:12; 4:48; Jos. 12:2; 13:9, 16, 25). It was occupied and fortified by the Gadites (Nm. 32:34). Later, the prophet Jeremiah said that the inhabitants of Aroer would witness fleeing refugees as God poured out His wrath on the cities of Moab (48:19-20).

“I built Beth Bamoth, for it was destroyed” (line 27)

The Beth Bamoth of the Mesha Stela is most likely the same as the Bamoth Baal of the Old Testament. It was here that God met with Balaam (Num. 22:41-23:5); the town was later given to the tribe of Reuben (Jos. 13:17). The location of the place is uncertain.

“And I built Bezer, for it was in ruins” (line 27)

Under the Israelites, Bezer was a Levitical city and a city of refuge (Dt. 4:43; Jos 20:8; 21:36; 1 Chr. 6:78). It may be the same as Bozrah in Jer. 48:24, a Moabite city judged by God. Its location is uncertain.

“And I built [the temple of Mede]ba (lines 29-30)

The city of Medeba was conquered and occupied by Israel (Nu. 21:30; Jos. 13:9, 16). It suffered under the hand of God when He poured out His judgment on Moab (Isa. 15:2). The ancient site is located at modern Madaba, and remains unexcavated.

“And I built …the temple of Diblaten” (lines 29-30)

Diblaten is mentioned in Jeremiah’s oracle against Moab as Beth Diblathaim (48:22) and is possibly the same as Almon Diblathaim, a stopping place for the Israelites as they approached the promised land (Num. 33:46-47). It is perhaps located at Deleitat esh-Sherqiyeh 10 mi. north-northeast of Dhiban, but that location is far from certain.

 

The House of David and Southern Moab

 

“And the house [of Da]vid dwelt in Horanaim” (line 31)

Line 31 is perhaps the most significant line in the entire inscription. In 1993, a stela was discovered at Tel Dan in northern Israel mentioning the “House of David” (Bible and Spade, Autumn 1993: 119-121). This mid-ninth century BC inscription provided the first mention of David in a contemporary text outside the Bible. The find is especially significant since in recent years several scholars have questioned the existence of David. At about the same time the Dan stela was found, French scholar Andre Lemaire was working on the Mesha Inscription and determined that the same phrase appeared there in line 31 (Bible and Spade, Summer 1995: 91-92). Lemaire was able to identify a previously indistinguishable letter as a “d” in the phrase “House of David.” This phrase is used a number of times in the Old Testament for the Davidic dynasty.

From this point on in Mesha’s record it appears that he is describing victories south of the Arnon river, an area previously controlled by Judah. Although there are only three lines left in the surviving portion, Lemaire believes we only have about half of the original memorial (1994: 37). The missing half would have told how Mesha regained the southern half of Moab from Judah. The complete text regarding Horanaim reads as follows:

And the house [of Da]vid dwelt in Horanaim […] and Chemosh said to me: “Go down! Fight against Horanaim.” And I went down, and [I fought against the town, and I took it; and] Chemosh [resto]red it in my days (lines 31-33).

Horanaim is mentioned in Isaiah’s prophecy against Moab (15:5). He says that fugitives would lament their destruction as they travelled the road to Horanaim. Jeremiah says much the same in 48:3, 5, and 47. The town is located south of the Arnon, but exactly where is a matter of conjecture.

 

 

Notes

  1. The translation used in this article is that of A. Lemaire (1994: 33).
  2. In his translation, Lemaire renders the word hsy as “sum.” We have adopted the meaning “half,” from classical Hebrew, which is the meaning used by most other translators.
  3. Lemaire translates bnh as “sons.” It is uncertain from the consonantal text whether it should be “son” or “sons.” We have chosen “son,” in agreement with most other translations, since it is more consistent with the historical reconstruction proposed here.

References

  • Dearman, A., ed. 1989 Studies in the Mesha Inscription and Moab. Atlanta: Scholars Press.
  • Lemaire, A. 1994 “House of David Restored in Moabite Inscription”. Biblical Archaeology Review 20/3: 30-37.
  • Thiele, E.R. 1983 The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings. Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan.

 

[End of quote]

 

No clear mention here of “Bethel”, the town with which Hiel is associated.

But the location and identification of some of the places to which Mesha refers are, as a according to the above, “a matter of conjecture”.

It would make sense, though, that were Hiel/Mesha to re-build at the site of Jericho, then he (his Syrian allies) must of necessity have had control over other towns as well in the region.

 

 

Did King Mesha of Moab Build at Jericho?

Image result for mesha of moab

 

Who was this

“Hiel of Bethel”?

by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

 

Hiel of Bethel who rebuilt the city of Jericho (I Kings 16:34)

will be here, in Part Two, identified as King Mesha of Moab.

 Does Mesha tell us straight out in his inscription that he built Jericho –

and with Israelite labour?

  

 

Introduction

 

Chapter 16 of the First Book of Kings will, in the course of its introducing us to King Ahab and his no-good ways as follows (vv. 30-34):

 

Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him. He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him. He set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal that he built in Samaria. Ahab also made an Asherah pole and did more to arouse the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than did all the kings of Israel before him.

 

suddenly interrupt this description with its surprising and bloody note about Hiel the Bethelite’s building of Jericho at the cost of the lives of his two sons. A surprising thing about this insertion (apart from the horrific sacrifice of the sons) is that an otherwise unknown personage, Hiel (unknown at least under this name), is found to be building a city at a major and ancient site, Jericho (Tell es-Sultan), whilst the country is under the rulership of two most powerful kings – Omride in the north allied to a mighty king of Judah in the south.

 

How might this strange situation concerning Hiel have come about?

 

Before my attempting to answer this question, I should like simply to list a few of the more obvious reasons why I am drawn to the notion that Hiel was a king of Moab, and that he was, specifically, Mesha.

We find that:

 

  • A king of Moab, Eglon, has previously ruled over a newly-built Jericho (MB IIB);
  • Hiel and Mesha were contemporaneous with King Ahab of Israel;
  • Hiel and Mesha were sacrificers of their own sons (cf. I Kings 16:34 & 2 Kings 3:27).

 

But, far more startling than any of this is the following potential bombshell:

Does Mesha King of Moab tell us straight out in his stele inscription that he built Jericho – and with Israelite labour?

I have only just become aware of this bell-ringing piece of information – after I had already come to the conclusion that Hiel may well have been Mesha. It is information that may be, in its specificity, beyond anything that I could have expected or hoped for. Thus we read at: http://christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a019.html

Later on in the inscription he [King Mesha of Moab] says,

 

I built Qeriho [Jericho?]: the wall of the parkland and the wall of the acropolis; and I built its gates, and I built its towers; and I built the king’s house; and I made banks for the water reservoir inside the town; and there was no cistern inside the town, in Qeriho, and I said to all the people: “Make yourself each a cistern in his house”; and I dug the ditches for Qeriho with prisoners of Israel (lines 21-26).

 

Since Mesha erected his stela to honor Chemosh in “this high place for Chemosh in Qeriho,” and since the stela was found at Dhiban, identified as ancient Dibon, most scholars believe that Qeriho was the name of the royal citadel at Dibon. Note that Israelite captives were used to cut the timber used to construct Qeriho. ….

 

[End of quote]

 

Eglon’s Jericho

Image result for eglon m oab 

by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

 

“The next mention of Jericho following Joshua’s destruction is in Judges 3 where we are told that Eglon, king of Moab, took possession of the “City of Palms” and built a palace there. The City of Palms, of course, is none other than Jericho (Dt 34:3; 2 Chr 28:15)”.

 

 

Introduction

 

A very clear demonstration of what I wrote in my article:

 

Joshua’s Jericho

 

https://www.academia.edu/31535673/Joshuas_Jericho

 

“The popular model today, as espoused by … David Rohl … arguing instead for a Middle Bronze Jericho at the time of Joshua, ends up throwing right out of kilter the biblico-historical correspondences” [,]

 

is apparent from the part of Dr. Bryant Wood’s critique (“David Rohl’s Revised Egyptian Chronology: A View From Palestine”), in which Bryant has well pointed out that Rohl’s revised Jericho stratigraphical sequence “completely misses Eglon’s occupation of Jericho”: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2007/05/23/David-Rohls-Revised-Egyptian-Chronology-A-View-From-Palestine.aspx

 

In his book Pharaohs and Kings: A Biblical Quest (1995a; it was first published in England as A Test of Time: The Bible – From Myth to History [1995b]), David Rohl purports to have produced a better correlation between the findings of archaeology and the Bible by revising Egyptian chronology.

….

The Middle Building at Jericho

 

Concerning occupation at Jericho following the Conquest, Rohl makes the following statement:

 

…the next time we hear mention of Jericho after Joshua’s destruction of the town is during the reign of David (313).

 

This is simply incorrect. The next mention of Jericho following Joshua’s destruction is in Judges 3 where we are told that Eglon, king of Moab, took possession of the “City of Palms” and built a palace there. The City of Palms, of course, is none other than Jericho (Dt 34:3; 2 Chr 28:15). Rohl makes a connection between the LB IIA “Middle Building” at Jericho, excavated by John Garstang in 1933, and David’s seclusion of the Israelite delegation at Jericho recorded in 2 Samuel 10:5.

 

The Bible does not tell us what, if anything, was at Jericho in David’s day. Garstang’s Middle Building, on the other hand, exactly fits the description of Eglon’s palace in Judges 3 using conventional chronology (Garstang 1941a; 1941b; 1948: 175-80). It was an isolated palatial structure with no corresponding town. There was evidence of wealth (expensive imported pottery), and administrative activities (an inscribed clay tablet). The Middle Building was constructed toward the end of the 14th century B.C. by conventional chronology, which matches the time period of the Judges 3 account according to Biblical chronology. It was occupied for only a short period of time and then abandoned, paralleling the Biblical description of an 18 year oppression by Eglon and the subsequent rout of the Moabites by Ehud and the Israelites.

….

The “Middle Building” was excavated in 1933 by John Garstang on Jericho’s southeastern slope. A palace like structure (28 x 47 ft.), it was an isolated building with evidence of wealth and administrative activity. It date and finds fit very well with Moabite king Eglon’s palace (Judges 3:12-25). Rohl completely misses Eglon’s occupation of Jericho in his reconstruction and tries to relate the Middle Building to the time of David.

 

[End of quote]

 

Eglon of Moab

 

Once again it will be Dr. John Osgood who first properly sorted out the Jericho sequence. Regarding Eglon of Moab’s occupation, Osgood has written (“The Times of the Judges -The Archaeology: (b) Settlement and Apostasy”) http://creation.com/the-time-of-the-judges-the-archaeology-b-settlement-and-apostasy

 

A new alignment begins

 

The land of Israel rested in peace and freedom from oppression for a period of 40 years—here equated with the MB IIA period, or the last portion of it (Judges 3:11).

 

Again they apostasised into idolatry, and soon a new spectre appeared on the horizon. A strong king of Moab began a conquest of Israel which brought him into control of at least the strategic central portion of the land. Eglon of Moab now rebuilt on the ruins of Jericho, ‘the city of palms’, a fortress capable of stationing 10,000 troops, and a palace (Judges 3:12-30).

 

This apparently was not a rebuilding of the old city which had been cursed by Joshua, later rebuilt by Hiel the Bethelite (1 Kings 16:34), but it was, nonetheless, the same site geographically.

 

Assisting him in this conquest naturally was Moab’s old sister nation Ammon. This is quite easy to accept. However, surprisingly, also in the raiding force was AMALEK (Judges 3:13).

Now geographically Amalek was in the western Negev (see Genesis) 14:17, Numbers 13:29, Numbers 14:25, 1 Samuel 15:7, 27:8). The related Edomites were between Moab and Amalek, so the alliance does seem a little unusual (see Figure 7).

 

Figure 7. Map showing the regions/peoples of the Moabite alliance.

 

However, Amalek has a number of enigmatic statements made about it in the Scriptures (Numbers 24:20). Balaam says of Amalek that it was then ‘the first of the nations’ (first = Hebrew reshith—foremost). This is a truly incredible statement on first glance, but the same concept is supported by Balaam’s other comment about Agag, the Amalekite king. He said that Israel’s kingdom would be higher than Agag, and his kingdom exalted. In other words, the whole idea being conveyed was that Agag occupied a position of immense power (Numbers 24:7).

 

The implication of these statements is that Amalek was a power to be reckoned with, no longer just a fledgling nation, as before. It is with this in mind that the recent assertions of Velikovsky18 and Courville19 need to be perused. They were united in identifying Amalek with the ‘AMU’( = Hyksos) overlords of Egypt during the Second Intermediate period of that nation. Such an assertion would give weight to statements of scripture that imply an Amalekite nation was the foremost of the nations in Moses’ day. It would also bring meaning into Eglon’s call for help to Amalek for the subjugation of Israel. In fact, it would almost be a necessity for Moab to obtain Amalek’s blessing on her conquest of Israel in order to bear rule over what Amalek (the Hyksos rulers of Egypt) would regard as their sphere of rule. Eglon then would be a vassal ruler of the Amalekite/Hyksos over a subjugated Israel.

 

It is of interest to note that from this point in Israel’s history as the scriptures record it, Amalek is on the scene more consistently than any other nation in attack against Israel for the next 300 years, first assisting Eglon, then in association with Midian (Judges 6:3), and then in the days of King Saul and David (1 Samuel 15 and 1 Samuel 30).

Such an interval of time adds to the circumstantial weight of the identification of Amalek with the Amu, and the Hyksos, and this author accepts fully at least this part of the theses of Velikovsky18 and Courville19 (This is not, however, a blanket endorsement of other areas of their work.) Hereafter in this work I will assume the identification of Amalekite/Hyksos to be valid, although further discussion on this point will undoubtedly ensue. Taking the above premises, we would expect to find an MB IIB city at Jericho, of larger proportions than the old city (identified as EB III), evidence of a palace, and evidence of Hyksos rule. Furthermore, if we were able to differentiate Moabite culture from Israelite, we would also expect some evidence of Moabite culture in the MB IIB city.

 

Jericho MB IIB—A new fortress arises

 

Jericho was definitely rebuilt along different lines in the MB II period—larger than it was before. A regional similarity was also apparent as Garstang says:

 

“This is indeed fairly clear, because the site lay more or less derelict thereafter for some time, perhaps a century, and when finally the city revived it is found to have been entirely replanned and reconstructed upon fresh lines, with a new and improved defensive system; while an entirely new culture, that of the Middle Bronze Age, replaced the old. Moreover the change was general, and it affected in similar fashion all the great cities on the highlands above the Jordan valley, Jericho nearest surviving neighbours; while many early settlements in and near the southern end of the Rift never revived at all”20 (emphasis ours)

 

Garstang continues:

 

“It was during this period that Jericho, under the Hyksos regime attained its greatest extension and the height of its prosperity. The protected area was now about nine acres, which was nearly the size of contemporary Jerusalem.”21

 

Jericho gave evidence of being a premium city at this time. It was most important to have a palace in the heart of the city—and that a most prominent one. Here in the revised chronology we suggest that this palace was, in fact, that of the Moabite King Eglon, vice regent to his Hyksos/Amalekite overlords of Egypt and the Negev.

 

“In the heart of the City, on a peak of ground overlooking the spring, rose a royal palace, the most elaborate dwelling uncovered upon the site. The main block, which was square, crowned the highest part of the knoll, and it was surrounded at groundfloor level by a sort of roofed ambulatory, in which would be half-cellar store-rooms, offices, stables, etc., much as in the arcaded basements of many houses of the East to-day.”22

 

Certainly the description of this palace fits the details of Judges 3:13 and 20–26, but Garstang continues:

 

“The very proportions and solidarity of the palace building show that the ruler of Jericho at this period had attained both wealth and power; and the contents of the extensive store-rooms committed to his care seem to explain the source of his increased prestige.”23

 

Moreover, it was during this period that Hyksos power was evident and strong, the many scarabs with the red crown of Lower Egypt pointed out by Kenyon24 testifying to the hegemony of Jericho.

 

Garstang continues with his details of the Ruler of Jericho at this time:

 

He became in fact the chief of an important unit in the Hyksos organization. Associated with him as guardian of the Hyksos stores or ‘treasury’ was a resident official, whose title ‘Scribe of the Vezir’ appears upon scarab-signets and jar-sealings recovered from the store-rooms; the names of two persons who held this office were Senb. ef and Se. Ankh, both characteristic of this period.”25

 

We emphasise our belief that this ruler was, in fact, Eglon of Moab.

 

It appears that although Eglon’s presence was removed from Jericho, some sort of Israelite presence persisted at the site, as witnessed by its occupation in the days of David’s reign (2 Samuel 10:5).

A new influence

 

A new influence now affected Palestine, producing the MB IIB culture (Albright nomenclature). The Khabur influence [Osgood had identified this culture with the incursion of Cushan-rishathaim, Judges 3:8] had come briefly and then gone, not being the sort of influence that one attributes to an ethnic movement of people, but eminently in the style of a conquest introduction. The main item of that influence was, in fact, a storage jar which would be suitable for grain or wine.

 

 

The new culture was a continuation of the main body of cultural tradition, but gone was the Khabur influence, and a new pottery tradition came, known as the Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware.

 

“A close analysis of MB IIA and B–C pottery shows many differences between the two periods, but a definite continuity of form and decoration can undoubtedly be observed.”26

 

The Tell el-Yahudiyeh pottery was not totally new to the MB IIB but was present already to a small extent in the MB I. However, its popularity peaked in MB IIB then continued into MB IIC, finally to leave a remnant in the LB I (Late Bronze I).27

This ware appears to have been produced in Palestine, some exported to Cyprus, Egypt and north into Phoenicia, but its centre was in Palestine (assumed by current thinking to be CANAANITE, but by this revised chronology it would almost certainly be Israelite).28

 

Despite the difference that is generally assumed between MB I and the MB IIA–C pottery, it is not inconceivable that the Tell el-Yahudiyeh decorations on the juglets which form the distinctive feature, were ultimately conceived from the very features already inherent in the MB I; viz, incisions and ‘notches’ in the MB I pottery made by a comb or fork,29 and ‘punctured decoration’ and ‘designs delineated by grooves’ also reminiscent of the use of comb or fork, in MB IIB Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware.30

 

Considering the general features of the MB I to MB IIA–C sequence, there is every reason to believe that what we are seeing was the ongoing development of the early Israelite pottery tradition.

 

Moreover, the pottery of MB I Palestine shows at least some affinity with the late 12th Dynasty of Egypt, which is of course, what we would expect if the MB I to MB IIA to MB IIB–C sequence is postulated as Israelite. As Kenyon says:

 

“As a result, the royal tombs at Byblos can be closely dated by Egyptian objects. In tombs of the period of Amenemhet III and IV (second half 19th–beginning 18th centuries BC) there appears pottery which is very close to this new pottery in Palestine. Moreover, on a number of other sites in coastal Syria we find the same kind of pottery, and it is clear that part at least of the new population of Palestine must have come from this area.”31 (emphasis ours)

 

Mackey’s comment: This corresponds perfectly with my reconstruction according to which the Egyptian Twelfth Dynasty period of Amenemhet III and IV was that of Moses’s confrontation with Pharaoh, and the Exodus:

 

Pharaoh of the Exodus

 

https://www.academia.edu/22158631/Pharaoh_of_the_Exodus

 

Dr. Osgood continues with his discussion of Eglon of Moab, as a governor on behalf of Amalek (= the Hyksos), ruling a Middle Bronze IIB Jericho:

 

From the point of discussion of the new influence in Palestine in the MB IIB, the most significant features are those which point to a significant Hyksos influence in the land; and this is considerable.

 

As Amiram has said:

 

“The correspondence of MB IIB to the Hyksos Dynasties in Egypt is also established with a fair measure of certainty and is generally accepted.”32

 

With this statement I would make no objection, only with the question of who the Hyksos were would we differ. It follows that if the chronology here espoused is the correct view, then the generally held view on Hyksos origins must fall and be replaced by one which conforms to the scriptural details—the Hyksos would be the biblical Amalekites, found in the area of the Negev, mainly in the west, south of the Wadi Besor, then extending their influence into Egypt. Much that has been called Hyksos in Palestine would in fact be Israelite, but showing evidence of Amalekite hegemony, by scarabs and similar artifacts. Such intricacies of interpretation do not come freely with the sole use of archaeological evidence, but demands a basic framework of hypothesis against which to evaluate the findings. This the biblical record provides.

 

The major change of influence in Palestine in the MB IIB–C period was to the Hyksos influence. This influence was found, to judge by the scarab evidence, mainly in the area of Palestine south of the Carmel Ridge, a geographic fact worthy of note.

 

In my earlier discussion on the details of the servitude under the Midianites and Amalekites and their subsequent deliverance under Gideon,33 particular attention was paid to the evidence that this servitude was confined to Israel south of the Carmel Ridge. As soon as the northern deliverance from Jabin’s yoke had been completed, the Midianites and Amalekites moved over the Carmel range to fill the political vacuum, but were quickly defeated by Gideon.

 

Likewise, it was pointed out that the song of Deborah testified to a presence of Amalek in some sort of controlling influence in the area of Ephraim during the time of Jabin’s rule in the north. The later part of this period, however, was seen to be contemporary with the Midianite/Amalekite rule in the south (see Figure 8).

 

Figure 8. Map showing the expected distribution of Amalekite artifacts in Palestine compared with the actual distribution of Hyksos scarabs.

 

Also, it was reasoned that Eglon’s (Moab) rule was with the influence of Amalek.

 

Thus I am suggesting that the Amalekites of the Bible must be seen to be the same as the Hyksos who ruled over Egypt.

 

When all the above reasoning is brought together, it becomes apparent that the distribution of the Hyksos artifacts (as here defined by the scrabs) occupied exactly this distribution geographically, and no other. And as this period in the biblical record Eglon and onward corresponds most particularly to the MB IIB–C period on my revised Archaeological Table, the possible correctness of the revised chronology is upheld.

 

“Most interesting is the fact that Hyksos royal-name scarabs and sealings have not been discovered at sites in the Galilee, the Huleh Valley, Lebanon, or Syria.”34

 

And again:

 

“Only one Hyksos royal-name scarab and but a handful of contemporary private name-and-title scarabs have been found north of the Carmel Ridge.”35

 

Weinstein then argues that the principal centres of Hyksos power in Palestine were in the southern and inland regions south of the plain of Esdraelon. He concludes that the Hyksos were in fact simply southern and inland Palestinian princes.

 

Against the revised chronology here presented it becomes apparent that the Hyksos were in fact the Amalekites of the southern and western portion of Palestine, viz, the Negev, and that during the MB IIB–C period of Palestine they not only controlled Lower Egypt, but extended their influence up to the Carmel Ridge with the help of firstly Moab under Eglon, who ruled from Jericho on their behalf ….

 

As for the names and order of the Hyksos kings of the 15th and 16th Dynasties who were so involved, their details are in great confusion still. The whole question of the Hyksos is a confused question, with hardly any authority agreeing with the next on details of even the place of the individual kings in the scheme of the period. We need, however, to remind ourselves of the fate of the Amalekite nation, Exodus 17:14 records that God said He would “blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”

 

Joshua’s Jericho

 Joshua at the Walls of Jericho.

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

“The contemporaneity of the Exodus with the end of Early Bronze III and the end of the Old Kingdom [of Egypt] has chronological ramifications which alter to a considerable degree the historic structure of the ancient world”.

 

Introduction

 

Drs. Donovan Courville and John Osgood, both largely ignored, have nonetheless been able to demonstrate that a true pattern for the Joshuan Conquest, archaeologically, must be one that recognises the nomadic Israelite conquerors, the Middle Bronze I (MBI) people, as those who conquered the Early Bronze III (EBIII) cities of Palestine, such as Jericho and Ai.

The popular model today, as espoused by the likes of Drs. Bryant Wood and David Rohl, arguing instead for a Middle Bronze Jericho at the time of Joshua, ends up throwing right out of kilter the biblico-historical correspondences.

Ronald P. Long (MA) writes as follows when reviewing Dr. Courville’s historical revision set (http://www.asa3.org/ASA/BookReviews1949-1989/12-73.html):

 

Analysis of the archaeology directed Courville … to the fact that Israel entered the Promised Land at the close of Early Bronze III …. Widespread destruction of Canaanite population centers, especially Jericho and Ai, occurred at this time.

 

All acknowledge the parallelism between the end of the Old Kingdom (specifically Dynasty VI) and the end of Early Bronze III. It is at this juncture in Egyptian affairs that Courville rediscovered that the Exodus happened.

 

The contemporaneity of the Exodus with the end of Early Bronze III and the end of the Old Kingdom has chronological ramifications which alter to a considerable degree the historic structure of the ancient world. Locating the Exodus in the fifteenth century B.C. gives chronological orientation to Early Bronze and the Old Kingdom. Courville brings the beginnings of Early Bronze and Dynasty I down to the post-Flood era towards the end of the third millennium B.C. This development confronts us with the realization that the accepted Manethonian dynastic scheme, of placing one dynasty after another while not admitting the existence of contemporary dynasties, is fallacious. Within the framework of Biblical chronology Courville concludes that the Old and Middle Kingdoms of Egypt were roughly equivalent in time – that this period was brought to climax and swift collapse with the intervention of God in the Exodus. These discoveries also made known the fact that Dynasty VIII and the Second Intermediate periods were contemporary in Egypt and mirrored the ruinous conditions following the Exodus as the Hyksos invaders filled the void left by the departed children of Israel. Velikovsky over two decades ago drew similar conclusions regarding the Second Intermediate. It has been recognized that the Papyrus Ipuwer is the Egyptian version of what happened.

[End of quote]

 

Dr. Osgood’s Confirmation of Courville

 

Osgood, I find, brings a perspective to biblico-historical archaeology that is often quite lacking in other revisionist efforts.

Regarding the MBI people, Dr. Osgood has written, correcting the conventional timetable (“The Times of the Judges -The Archaeology: (a) Exodus to Conquest”) http://creation.com/the-times-of-the-judges-mdash-the-archaeology-exodus-to-conquest

 

Characteristics of MB I

 

Middle Bronze I was primarily a nomadic culture between two settled cultures. This point seemed to bring some weight of unanimity earlier but is being disputed much today for complex reasons, and is now the subject of new theories embracing both nomadic parts and sedentary parts, a theory which itself does little to clear up the historical enigma of this archaeological culture. Kenyon strongly states this nomadic character in a discussion on Jericho: —

 

“In one area seventeen successive stages in the town walls can be identified. The seventeenth was violently destroyed by fire and its destruction marks the end of the Early Bronze Age town, probably ca.2300 B.C. The catastrophe was the work of nomadic invaders who can be identified as the Amorites, and the succeeding period can best be described as Intermediate Early Bronze—Middle Bronze. The newcomers for long only camped on the site, and when they ultimately built houses, they were of flimsy construction. They never built a town wall.”4

 

Kenyon’s identification of the invaders as the Amorites is speculative and is here disputed. Indeed, this claim has fallen into some disrepute of late.

 

However, we wish to put forward a new model based on the evidence to be presented.

 

Ruth Amiram comments:

 

“We have refrained in this discussion from dealing with the most intriguing problem of the MB I culture in Palestine, namely its nomadic character usually connected with the Amorites.”5 (emphasis ours)

 

Albright also comments:

 

“The settlements were clearly seasonal, since the only time of the year in which such arid districts could provide enough water for beasts, men and growing crops is during the months December–May (preferably January–April). Here people lived in round stone huts of “beehive” type, terraced small valleys and suitable hillsides, utilizing flash floods (suyul) to irrigate specially prepared fields. After the harvest, they probably did not remain long since…”6

 

To be sure, the nomadic nature of this has been challenged, (e.g. Cohen and Dever 7) but the belief still stands as Amiram has said:

 

“This theory has long been contested, but much more stratigraphical evidence is required than available at present for any significant advance towards its verification.”5

 

Sadly, the biblical model of Israel’s wandering and conquest has not been consulted, yet it provides the logical answer, viz, a people nomadic for period, yet stationary in Sinai and the Negev I periods of up to a year at least, at any one spot, but, journeying for ultimate conquest, encampment and settlement.

 

This model, which is the logical model fitting the facts, will continue not to be consulted so long as the present stubborn resistance to biblical historicity remains, and so the argument over the MB I culture will continue.

[End of quotes]

 

Dr. Osgood then procceeds to show, including various maps, how the archaeological distribution of the MBI people substantially accords with that of the invading Israelites at the time of Joshua.

Further on, Dr. Osgood will present this argument for the EBIII Jericho as being the level attacked by the forces of Joshua, before concluding that: “The correspondence is exact”.

 

———————————————————————————————-

“Not even the slightest question of the credibility of the accepted chronology is raised.

Its hold on the discipline is too great”.

———————————————————————————————-

 

Region 4—The Conquest of Palestine

 

The MB I people of Palestine were a new people, a new civilization, and a new culture. Some have disputed this, but the evidence remains strong. For example, Kathleen Kenyon says:

 

“The final end of the Early Bronze Age civilization came with catastrophic completeness. The last of the Early Bronze Age walls of Jericho was built in a great hurry using old and broken bricks and was probably not completed when it was destroyed by fire. Little or none of the town inside the walls has survived denudation, but it was probably completely destroyed, for all the finds show that there was an absolute break, and that a new people took the place of the earlier inhabitants. Every town in Palestine that has so far been investigated shows the same break. The newcomers were nomads, not interested in town life and they so completely drove out or absorbed the old population perhaps already weakened and decadent that all traces of the Early Bronze civilization disappeared.”28

 

Ruth Amiram also presses very hard the point that the MB I was a new culture:

 

“The break with the preceding period was indeed a sharp one and allowed only few left–overs of previous traditions to persist. The succeeding period, however, follows a normal course of development. The MB IIA period, epitomised in the strata G–F at Tell Beit Mirsim and Strata X1V–XIIIB at Megiddo, constitutes the link between the culture of the period under discussion and the ‘true Middle Bronze Age’ (Kenyon’s description of the MB IIB loc.cit.). Some of the characteristic types of pottery have been arranged in Table form in Figure 1 to show their development from MB I through its Megiddo family to MB IIA. This line of continuity constitutes our main reason for retaining the old term and rejecting the new.”5

 

The end of the Early Bronze Age and the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age, starting with Middle Bronze I therefore, is the most serious contender for the period of the Conquest, and if that be the case, then Middle Bronze I pottery must be a serious contender for the pottery of the nomadic Israelites in the wilderness and in their first settlement of the land.

 

Likewise, Ruth Amiran rejects a distinct cultural break at the end of Late Bronze as needed by the accepted chronology, and clearly places the new beginning at the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age after the end of Early Bronze III. I quote:

 

“In the discussion pertaining to the transition from the Early Bronze period to the Middle Bronze, we have emphasized the sharp cultural break between these two worlds. From the MB I onwards, the development from the material culture (to judge by its reflection in the pottery) is continuous, gradual and evolutionary to the end of the Iron Age or even later.”3

 

Not that Ruth Amiram was proposing a new chronology. On the contrary, she accepted the belief that the Israelite invasion occurred at the end of Late Bronze, and sadly I believe has missed the significance and poignancy of her own words, as has Kenyon before her.

 

Let us look at the biblical narrative of the Conquest and follow it step by step, looking at what cities have been excavated to see the consistency with the biblical narrative both historically and geographically.

 

JERICHO

 

The first conquest of Joshua in Palestine was Jericho. Garstang originally identified the destruction period of Jericho’s Canaanite city as the end of Late Bronze Age.

However Kathleen Kenyon in her monumental excavation of Jericho has identified the destruction level which Garstang uncovered as the end of the Early Bronze Age III. Of this, she says that it came with “catastrophic completeness”28 This was succeeded by a temporary occupation by the MB I people (Kenyon’s Early Bronze—Middle Bronze). She says:

 

“It is thus probable that there was a phase of occupation of the tell in which there were no solid structures. That there was such a camping phase would fit the evidence from the tombs of the nomadic and tribal organization of the newcomers.”29 (See also Kenyon 30,31)

 

Such a description matches exactly what we would expect of some of the Israelite host camping on the site after its destruction, until they were finally settled elsewhere.

 

Jericho at the end EB III is the logical place to see Joshua’s conquest. The same holds true for Ai, Joshua’s next battle zone (Joshua chapters 7 and 8).

 

AI

 

Ai has been identified with Et Tell, west of Jericho. This site has been excavated by several expeditions which have concluded that occupation of Et Tell occurred as follows:32

 

Early Bronze Ib Early Bronze Ic—destruction Early Bronze II—destruction—? earthquake Early Bronze IIIa Early Bronze IIIb—destruction Iron Age I

 

Et Tell was left a ruin for a long period of time at the end of Early Bronze III.

 

“Violent destruction overtook the city of Ai ca.2400 B.C. during the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt and a ‘dark age’ fell upon the land with the appearance of nomadic invaders from the desert. The site was abandoned and left in ruins.”32

This was the end of EB III.

 

As Calloway, the Biblical Archaeologist author just quoted, has accepted the Israelite conquest placed at the end of the Late Bronze Age due to his reliance on the Egyptian and evolutionary–based chronology currently held, an absence of a Late Bronze period at Et Tell was a problem. This has resulted in many doubting that Et Tell is in fact biblical Ai. To quote Calloway:

 

“It will be seen that the absence of any Canaanite city later than EB greatly complicates interpretation of the biblical Israelite conquest of Ai, for the mound was unoccupied at the time and had not been occupied since before the end of the third millennium BC.”32

 

The time referred to as “the biblical conquest” in that author’s view was the end of Late Bronze. No question is raised by the author as to the correctness of that currently held chronology, but simply a strained interpretation of the biblical narrative and thus a question of its credibility as an historical document is inferred.

 

“Whether the tradition in Joshua claims for Israel a conquest in reality attributable to her predecessors in the land (over 1,000 years before!) or whether Israel’s conquest of a different site has in the tradition been transferred to Ai can only be conjectured.”32

 

Not even the slightest question of the credibility of the accepted chronology is raised. Its hold on the discipline is too great. Had the biblical documents been taken at face value and allowed to be the prime measure, the end of EB III at Ai, as well as at Jericho and other sites, would have confirmed the record of Scripture so vividly that all questions would have dissipated. But the confusion of the accepted chronology is allowed to continue.

 

It is my claim that the biblical documents must be the rule and these allow the profound destruction of EB III all across Palestine to be identified as the destruction of Joshua’s conquest. It is so at both Ai and Jericho. The correspondence is exact.

 

 

 

 

Joshua 8:29: “Joshua impaled the king of Ai on a sharpened pole and left him there until evening. At sunset the Israelites took down the body, as Joshua commanded, and threw it in front of the town gate. They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today”.