You are currently viewing Amazing Discoveries in Jericho and the Promised Land- Review of Patterns of Evidence Exodus Part 2 (2 Minute Read)

Amazing Discoveries in Jericho and the Promised Land- Review of Patterns of Evidence Exodus Part 2 (2 Minute Read)

Filmmaker Tim Mahoney investigated archaeological digs with reference to the early and late dates for the Exodus and his findings could be summarised as follows. When the timeline for the Exodus from 1 Kings 6:1 is compared with the archaeological findings, the evidence presented fits the biblical narrative. A further test is to apply the same timeline with reference to the conquest of Jericho and the other cities under Joshua’s leadership.

The Excavations of Jericho

There is just as much scepticism regarding the biblical conquest of the Promised Land as there is concerning the Exodus among today’s leading archaeological scholars. Norma Franklin from the University of Haifa sees no correlation between the destruction of Jericho and the biblical account and even doubts whether Joshua even existed. However, do we have any reason to believe that Joshua did not exist when 53 characters from the Bible have been proven to exist under archaeological examination?

Also Israel Finkelstein, another famous archaeologist from Tel Aviv University considers many systematic excavations undertaken in Israel and again considers there to be no link with the biblical conquest of Canaan. Mahoney therefore set out to investigate whether the conquest of Canaan took place in the Middle Bronze Age rather than the late Bronze Age.

In the earlier excavations of Jericho, both Ernest Selling in the early 1900’s  and John Garstang in the 1930’s believed they had uncovered a layer of destruction that matched the biblical account. Nonetheless Kathleen Kenyon conducted a dig at Jericho in the 1950’s though she saw no evidence for the destruction of Jericho in accordance with the biblical story since she dated the demise of the city much earlier. Her excavations challenged the Exodus story and scepticism increased.

 Interestingly it is her work that is exhibited in the British Museum although at the same museum you can purchase numerous copies of ‘Through the British Museum with the Bible’   by Brian Edwards and Clive Edwards that demonstrates plentiful discoveries that are consistent with the Bible. For a brief summary of the evidence please see.

The Excavations Fit With the Book of Joshua

Nonetheless just as the Bible describes, excavations of Jericho uncovered a fortified city with stone walls that had been burnt. Even in Kenyon’s report she mentioned that the walls fell before the burning took place. Kenyon attributed the attack to an Egyptian conquest because of the timeframe which she was working from. Both Garstang and Kenyon found jars full of grain which was unusual considering they had hardly been used during the siege, suggesting a short siege and sudden surprise attack. One would expect them to have been filled following the spring harvest which again fits with the biblical account of celebrating the Passover immediately prior to taking Jericho.

The last piece of evidence pertaining to Jericho is possibly the most fascinating of all. Selling’s detailed report showed that there were some houses built right up next to the city wall and furthermore that particular section of the city wall did not fall in that area. The keen Bible student may remember that Rahab’s house was on the city wall (Joshua 2:15) and that the two men Joshua sent out to spy the land agreed to spare her and her relatives.

From the book of Joshua we know that he went on to conquer many cities. In Joshua 11:1 King Hazor enlisted the support of various other kings before Joshua took Hazor and struck him with the sword (Joshua 11:10).  A cuneiform tablet found in the remains in the palace of ancient Hazor contained the name ‘Hazor’. As with most biblical characters identified by biblical archaeology this is exactly what we would expect to find, since only the wealthiest or ruling people had resources or documents concerning them, using valuable and endurable materials that were likely to survive.

Bryant Wood, Archaeologist, Associates for Biblical Research featured on this documentary several times in connection with the excavations of Jericho and the biblical account and his article here provides more detailed information.