Wednesday, 6 March 2013
In 2012, a report was released on the latest excavation of Tell Hazor, the ancient capital city along the northeastern border of Israel. In it we read that amongst the latest findings were 3400 year old jars of scorched wheat. What this means, in archeological terms, is that the city was conquered and, rather than being sacked, burnt to the ground. Finds of this nature tend to be in Israel, and correlate to the Late Bronze Age.
Why would an invading army go to all the work of conquering a city, only to burn it down, loot and all? The answer is pretty obvious, if you believe the Bible: God told them to.
The two cities so far in which jars full of grain have been found by excavators are Jericho and Hazor; two cities, as it turned out, recorded in the Book of Joshua as having been first conquered, then burned. In fact, Joshua 11:11-13 tells us that Hazor was the only conquered city in the region around Chinneroth that Joshua burned.
Now, inasmuch as these scorched grains can easily be Carbon-dated, we should be able to establish, within just a few years, the date that Hazor was burned: it turns out to be--still waiting on a more precise date--1400 BC.
Now, 1400 BC is a bit late for the conquest of Hazor by Ussher's chronology, but it's certainly within a quarter century--well within the margin of error for Carbon dating. But it's well over a century too early for the skeptic's date of the Exodus, in the mid 13th century.
What this scorched wheat is telling us is that it's more likely that Ussher was right, and today's scholars are wrong.
Incredibly, scholars are still holding out for a 1250 BC date for the fall of Hazor--with 150-year-old jars of wheat stored in Jabin's royal palace.
Now, these scholars could actually have their cake and eat it too, were they interested in the truth. Remember that there are two separate conquerings of Jabin king of Hazor: one in Joshua 11, and one in Judges 4. Ussher would date this latter one to--get this--about 1250 BC.