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The intentional nature of the desecration of these statues and vessels is clear: “This was a systematic annihilation campaign, against the very physical symbols of the royal ideology and its loci of ritual legitimation.” Moreover, Yadin went as far as to make a connection between this particular destruction and the text of Joshua 11: “This destruction is doubtless to be ascribed to the Israelite tribes, as related in the Book of Joshua.”In Sharon Zuckerman’s wonderful article that whets the appetite of all those awaiting the disclosure of Canaanite Hazor’s cuneiform archive(s), she challenges the notion that the Israelites were the actual culprits behind the destruction of the final Canaanite city of the Late Bronze Age, arguing that an internal revolt instead led to the city’s annihilation.

This long-time senior staff member at the Hazor excavations suggests that Hazorite rulers and elites enforced a dominant ideology, which the populace contested, resisted, and ultimately revolted against due to the political and religious impositions.

As for the destruction under Joshua, Josh clearly states that “he [Joshua] burned the city [of Hazor] with fire.” Most archaeologists who accept the historicity of the biblical account thus link the massive conflagration of the final Late Bronze Age city of Hazor to the fiery destruction accomplished under Joshua.

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Even if all of this evidence fails to be persuasive, the text of Joshua 12 should tip the scales for any objective reader.

In this chapter, the author provides a “king list,” which is an account of all of the monarchs defeated by God under the service of Moses and Joshua.

This includes both the monumental cultic edifices and the administrative palatial buildings, all of which served as the foci of religious and civil power and wealth at the height of Canaanite Hazor in the 13th century BC.

Seemingly, the smaller-scale domestic and cultic buildings in the lower city were not similarly burned or violently destroyed, though the campaign did include the decapitation of basaltic statues of gods and kings, and probably also the smashing of ritual vessels found in the temples.

Undoubtedly, Hoffmeier’s aversion to this reality is due to his need to reconcile the archaeological remains at Hazor with the late-Exodus theory, since a destruction under Deborah and Barak would require the archaeology of Hazor to reveal two later destructions—one at the end of the Late Bronze Age, and a subsequent one before the first Israelite occupation—if this theory were to remain credible.

Yet as the spade has shown, Hazor—after the destruction of the final Bronze Age city in a massive conflagration—remained completely abandoned until the initial Israelite settlement of the 12th century BC.

The destruction of Hazor under Joshua transpired in With this date secured, the account of Hazor’s demise in Judges 4 must be dated, even if only approximately, because unquestionably the dating of the period of the judges is one of the most intriguing challenges related to biblical chronology.

Given that the exact survival-span of these faithful elders cannot be quantified precisely, this period will not be included in the measurement of time between Joshua’s death and the victory over Hazor’s king during the days of Deborah and Barak (Judg ).

Ancient Hazor consisted of a large, rectangular lower city (170 acres) and a bottle-shaped upper city (30 acres), essentially an elongated mound called a tel, which rises about 40 m. Yigael Yadin, the archaeologist who excavated at Hazor from 1955–19–1969, documented the great conflagration that accompanied the total destruction of the final Late Bronze Age city, which he believed to have occurred by Evidence of this destruction consists of layers of ashes, burnt wooden beams, cracked basaltic slabs, mutilated basaltic statues, and fallen walls.

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