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

  • 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.