Biblical Archaeology Joshua

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. (1 Peter 3:15)

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Passages concerning Joshua


Conquest of Jericho - the walls fall | Battles | Table of Contents




Conquest of Jericho — the walls fall

The excavations of Jericho provide archaeological evidence which perfectly matches the biblical text.

From the Bible From Archaeology

Page numbers from "Pharaohs and Kings" by David Rohl
When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20) Kenyon found a thick deposit of red-brown earth which she interpreted as the remains of the great Middle Bronze city wall which had collapsed outwards and fallen down into the defensive ditch . . .  affording any attacker easy access into the city by filling up the ditch which protected the base of Jericho's elaborate defensive system. (pg 304)
Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. (Joshua 3:15) The assault upon Jericho took place during the harvest season. There were large storage jars filled to the brim with carbonized grain. (pg 304)

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Battles


From the Bible From Archaeology

Page numbers from "Pharaohs and Kings" by David Rohl
[Jericho] — They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. (Joshua 6:21) The king of Jericho one. (Joshua 12:9)

[Bethel] — Joshua had taken about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai. (Joshua 8:12) The king of Bethel one. (Joshua 12:16)

[Lachish] — Meanwhile, Horam king of Gezer had come up to help Lachish, but Joshua defeated him and his army—until no survivors were left. (Joshua 10:33) The king of Lachish one. (Joshua 12:11)

[Hebron] — Josh 10:36 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron and attacked it. They took the city and put it to the sword, together with its king, its villages and everyone in it. They left no survivors. . . . (Joshua 10:36,37) The king of Hebron one. (Joshua 12:10)

[Hazor] — Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed them, not sparing anything that breathed, and he burned up Hazor itself. (Joshua 11:11) The king of Hazor one. (Joshua 12:19)

[Arad] — The king of Arad one. (Joshua 12:14)

[Debir] — Josh 10:38 Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned around and attacked Debir. They took the city, its king and its villages, and put them to the sword. Everyone in it they totally destroyed. They left no survivors. . . . (Joshua 10:38,39) The king of Debir one. (Joshua 12:13)

[Gibeon] — . . . the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and were living near them. (Joshua 10:1)

[Ai] — So Joshua burned Ai and made it a permanent heap of ruins, a desolate place to this day. (Joshua 8:28) The king of Ai (near Bethel) one. (Joshua 12:9)
The cities which the biblical narrative records as being destroyed by Joshua were indeed burnt. Equally, those cities which the Israelites left untouched were not burnt. The Bible and archaeology thus appear to be consistent. (pg 306)

Cities which were destroyed at the time of Joshua — Jericho, Bethel, Lachish, Hebron, Hazor, Arad, Debir. The city of Gibeon was not destroyed but was later abandoned. Only the city of Ai does not fit the pattern of destructions described in the book of Joshua but this site may not be the site of the historical city of Ai. (pg 306)

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 Revised: Nov 11, 2000