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Home Forums Conquest of Canaan Israelite invasion from without vs emerging from within

  • Israelite invasion from without vs emerging from within

  • Historical Faith Society

    December 18, 2020 at 4:24 am
  • Thomas Donlon

    January 20, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    The Israelites had been slaves, not many craftsman. After that they wandered 40 years in the wilderness. They didn’t have the ability to take up all the arts and crafts that would have markedly distinguished them from the Canaanites. And as the Bible says they would “live in houses you did not build.” So the nature of the Israelite invasion becomes harder to see archaeologically. Additionally the Bible indicates the Israelites quickly turned to idolatry. An archaeologist finding idols won’t immediately think “I just found the house of an Israelite!” but in some cases that is probably what happened. So, yes the Bible shows Joshua had some stunning victories, but probably as the Israelites moved on to their next battle site, the Canaanites could have just moved back in. So Joshua probably did a great job of destroying the organized opposition to the Israelites moving in. Yet, the next generations kept turning from God and God kept turning them over to their enemies. So the archaeological record is going to be mixed, because the successes of the Israelites were mixed and intermittent.

    • Deborah Hurn

      January 20, 2021 at 10:35 pm

      It seems the pharaohs utilised the Hebrews in all their skills: shepherding (Gen 47:6), building (Ex 1:11), every kind of field labour (v. 14), and, it seems likely, in all the fine arts of palace and temple fittings and equipment:

      Then Moses said to the Israelites: See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; he has filled him with divine spirit, with skill, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft. And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every kind of work done by an artisan or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and in fine linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of artisan or skilled designer. (Exo 35:30-35 NRSV)

      But yes, by the time the older generation had died out and the younger generation had spent their entire lives as pastoral nomads, the Israelites would have lost all their urban-living skills. Thus, archaeologists have looked for evidence of an invasion of iconoclast pastoralists into Canaan at the end of the LBA (Late Bronze Age)—the exodus era according to the standard chronologybut there is none. This absence of support for the biblical stories has driven theories such as Israel emerging from within the Canaanite population, whether as a kind of ‘peasant revolt’ or a mass ‘invisible’ de-urbanisation followed by an increase in urbanisation in the IA I (Iron Age I). The latter proposal is hugely over-published for what amounts to speculation, ongoing.

  • Thomas Donlon

    January 31, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    In the Bible, the area
    around Petra is called Edom, the land believed to have been settled by
    descendants of Esau, the elder twin brother of the Israelite patriarch,
    Jacob. It is likely that Petra was among those settlements occupied by
    Semitic tribes, who invaded from the area around the Dead Sea, to the
    northwest, and from the Gulf of Aqaba from the south, in the 13th
    century B.C. Petra, along with a confederation of other cities, was in
    constant conflict with the Hebrew tribes to the west.

    Depending on the timeframe of the conquest, this could be thought of as an Israelite invasion, but for those of us who believe Israel was in existence before the time of Ramses, this better matches some of the trouble during the time of the judges.

    This could be a good archaeologist for Tim Mahoney to interview. Please pass this on to one of Tim’s researchers.

    The author of the article Petra lost and found

    is Cruz Sánchez.

    At the end of the article it states “Sánchez is an archaeologist and author specializing in the Middle East.”

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