Balaam, Jericho, Judges through Samuel

 
by Rick Dack, Founder and Director of Defending the Bible Int’l.
 
 
 
 
(All images and text are owned/purchased by Defending the Bible Int'l. and cannot be used without permission)
 
 
  
Balaam
 
Prophecy of Balaam: This fragment was found in the Jordan Valley in 1967 at Deir Alla. The fragment was translated by Joseph Htizer of the State University of Leiden, Netherlands. It dates to about 700 B.C. and is divided into twelve parts. It says, “Balaam, seer of the Gods” and “Balaam, son of Beor” is mentioned three times. Numbers 22-24 also mentions the precise area where the fragment was found.
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Joshua and Jericho
 
Jericho was first excavated by Charles Warren in 1867. In 1907-1908 an outer wall at Jericho was discovered.
 
The post-Warren Jericho excavators
 
John Garstang: A Jericho excavator from the 1930's who found pottery dated to the time of Joshua (1400 B.C.) as well as evidence of the city (bronze age) destroyed. Dated scarabs found at the city from the 15th Century B.C. containing names of Pharaoh's just prior to the conquest.
 
Kathleen Kenyon: A Jericho excavator from the 1950's who excavated only 1/3 of Garstang's area which was an impoverished location. Discovered fallen red brick on the west trench (the walls did fall) but overlooked bi-chrome ware found by Garstang. Kenyon was notorious for publishing materials that fit only her position concerning Jericho.
 
Bryant Wood: Examined Kenyon's theories and challenged her conclusion's in saying that the Late Bronze age 1 (ca. 1400 B.C.) cemetaries were in use at the time the Bible says Jericho was destroyed. Egyptian scarabs were found dating the 18th - 14th centuries and a radio carbon sample was taken and was independantly tested to 1410 B.C. The sample was taken from the final destruction layer plus or minus 40 yrs. Garstang and Woods research corroborate the biblical account.
 
Rahab's House: On the north end of the Tell or Mound of Jericho there is evidence of the mud brick wall of Jericho still standing 8  9 feet tall. Part of the brick wall is still standing (northern part of the city) which is the general location of Rahab's house.
 
More evidence for Jericho...
           
The entire area has a 3-foot ash layer and the pottery discovered dates to Joshua.

Kenyon and Garstang both state that walls at Jericho are tipped due to earthquake activity.

The Bible states that harvest time was the period in which Jericho was attacked (Flax was present at Rahab's).

Jars of valuable grain were found at the site that were not touched, showing that the conquest was quick and that city was not plundered (Joshua 6:24) except the precious metals for the treasury.

The wall fell before the city was destroyed with fire. Excavations revealed that houses walls and floors were blackened inside the city but the wall that fell and formed the inclined was not because it fell out prior to the blaze.

 
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Joshua and Ai
 
Et Tell: Discovered by Edward Robinson (U.S. Geographer) in 1838 after his discovery of what was considered biblical Beitin (not Beitin). Et-Tell is a mound 3 km southeast of Beitin.
 
Khirbet Nisya: The site was occupied throughout Middle Bronze II - Late Bronze I (2000-1400 B.C.). Ceramics were discovered that date to Middle Bronze II and also local ware and coins.
Khirbet Nisya may not be Ai due to no architectural remains discovered nor walls or gates from the time period of Joshua but pottery pieces were discovered from that time period.
 
Khirbet El-Maqatir: Excavations by Bryant Wood's excavation teams have discovered a curving north wall, a possible southern wall, a gate and an ash layer from the time of Joshua. In order for Maqatir to be Ai, it must be near Beth Aven, east of Bethel (Joshua 7:2), have slopes (Joshua 7:50, must be smaller than Gibeon (Joshua 7:3) and destroyed by fire (Joshua 8).
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Ahiman and Talmai
 
Ras Shamra: The names of the Hebrons leaders Ahiman and Talmai of Judges 1:10 have been found on the Ras Shamra tablets. The excavation which yielded this find started in 1928 on the southern coast of Syria. These excavations have also produced documents that are consistent with the Old Testament concerning Canaanite cultic practices, the concept of slavery for debt as well as moral issues written of in many biblical passages.
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Gideon
 
Baal Berith: Shechem's Temple of Baal Berith Judges 9:46-49 has been found! The temple was excavated between 1956 and 1964. It was destroyed about 1125 B.C.. A sacred stone was also found in the area which may have been the one set up by Joshua.
 
Literacy: It was originally thought that 800 B.C. was the approximate date for the development of writing but that theory has passed into oblivion foiling the critics of the Bible. When Gideon desired to know the names of the chief men of Succoth during the approximate period of the Judges (1389-1050 B.C.) he commanded a man to write down the names (Judges 8:14). If writing didn't develop until at least 200 years after the period of the Judges how could the men of Soccoth have been able to write what Gideon commanded? Answer: Archaeology has proven as of recent that the Hebrew alphabet dates back to the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries B.C. Evidences from Lachish, Bethshemesh and Megiddo and even earlier than that (1800-1500 B.C.) at Gezer, Shechem and Lachish have been discovered. (Archaeology and Bible History -Free).
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Jabin
 
Palace: Evidence for Deborah and Baraks defeat of the Cannanites (Judges 4) was discovered at Hazor's Stratum XIII. The palace that was uncovered is more than likely a residence of King Jabin of the Canaanites (Bible and Spade, Winter 1999)
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Deborah
 
Mt. Tabor: The place where Deborah and General Barak assembled the 10,000 Israeli troops against Sisera's Army. Located in the Jezreel Valley approximately 6 miles SE of Nazareth (Dictionary of Biblical Archaeology - Blaiklock).
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Samson
 
Timna: The place where Samson killed the lion and the place of the riddle has been identified as Tel Batash. The Philistine occupation level reveals ovens, floors, silos and typical Philistine pottery sherds as well as a stamp seal and a clay moulded bull head. Excavators George Kelm and Amahai Mazar are the directors of his project (Bible and Spade, Autumn 1977).
 
Ashkelon: 1991 excavation results at Ashkelon under the direction of Lawrence Stager revealed walls and an outer embankment at Ashkelon that encloses an area of 150 acres. Philistine artifacts were also discovered at the site such as Mycenaen (Greece) pottery and 150 loom weights for weaving like the ones found at Ekron (Tell Mikne). Ashkelon is located 12 miles north of Gaza. (Source: Blaiklock)
 
Tell Quasile: At Tell Quasile, the first Philistine temple was found in 1972. The temple measures 26 feet wide by 47 feet long. The temple was supported by two large wooden pillars on round stone bases placed along the center axis. If these pillars were moved, this could bring down the entire temple. This temple is not from the time of Samson but from period in which King David lived, but it does compliment the architectural likelihood of the Biblical story in which Samson brought down the Philistine temple. Interestingly, the Tell Quasile altar location compliments the biblical passage in Judges 16 in that the altar was placed exactly opposite of the temple doorway allowing the people to see Samson and the altar to their god. "And when the people saw him (Samson), they praised their god" (Judges 16:24). (Source: Bible and Spade).
 
Ekron: Ekron called Tell Mikne is located 35 km southwest from Jerusalem. Ekron (Tell Miqne) has yielded a connection to the Greek world in its Mycanaean pottery which contains Aegean motifs (the first phase of Philistine occupation). Tell Miqne's 1996 excavation led to the discoveries of a golden cobra headdress, which had its origin as part of an Egyptian deity statuette, an inscription that positively identifies the site as Ekron, and the name of one of its kings (Padi), uncovered in the summer of 1997 (Price - 1997, 222-227. Bible and Spade - Winter 1998, 26). The later occupation of Tell Miqne was rebuilt in the 10th century after David possibly destroyed it (2 Samuel 8:1).
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Samuel
 
Dagon: Excavations at Ras Shamra (or Ugarit) have revealed a temple to the Philistine god, Dagon (grain god) based upon inscriptions as well as two stela that were uncovered. (Source: Joseph Free).
 
Shiloh: Shiloh was excavated by Aage Schmidt between 1922 and 1931. This is where the Ark was established in the fourteenth or thirteenth century by the Israelites. Shiloh was not occupied for centuries after the year 1050 B.C. due to its destruction by the Philistines after the battle of Ebenezer in 1 Sam. 7: 11-12 or shortly after.
 
Sources: Joseph Free, University at Northwestern, Bible and Spade Magazine, E.M. Blaiklock.