Egyptian dating rituals

20 Feb

Continue reading On the side of the former view, biblical archaeologists such as Bryant Wood argue that the Exodus must have occurred in the middle of the 15th century BC, since the ordinal number “480th” in 1 Kgs 6:1 only can be understood literally (contra allegorically, as late-Exodus proponents suggest).

Wood, who mainly presents archaeological evidence to support his case, even declares that “the 13th-century Exodus-Conquest model is no longer tenable.”[While this debate cannot be settled in the present article, nor can space be devoted here to the issue of the alleged Ramesside connections with the store-city of Raamses or the problem of archaeology not being able to “provide any trace of Israelites [in Canaan] before the Iron Age (shortly before 1200 B. E.),”[ an examination of one aspect of this issue is in order: namely, the destruction of Hazor that is recorded in Joshua 11.

Certainly the Israelites’ fight was not a personal vendetta against the king himself, as a man, but rather against the city of Hazor and its influence in northern Canaan.

In truth, exterminating Hazor’s king alone would be a hollow and meaningless victory for the agents of God’s wrath (Deut 7:1–2).

Undoubtedly, one of the hottest topics in the field of OT biblical studies in recent years is the dating of the Exodus.[1] Essentially, there are two prevailing positions: the early Exodus view, which contends that the Israelite Exodus transpired during the middle of the 15th century BC, and the late Exodus view, which purports that the Israelites actually left Egypt nearly 200 years later, during the 13th century BC.

On the side of the latter view, biblical archaeologists such as James Hoffmeier contend that a 13th century BC Exodus better fits the material evidence, in large part due to alleged connections between sites mentioned in the biblical text—such as the store-city of Raamses (Exod ), which he asserts “is likely to be equated with the Delta capital built by and named for Ramesses II, that is, Pi-Ramesses”[2]—and excavated or identifiable sites in Egypt.

Yet could the mere killing of the king who controlled this entire region be seen as a victory that would earn its way onto the pages of Judges?

This includes both the monumental cultic edifices and the administrative palatial buildings, all of which served as the foci of religious and civil power and wealth at the height of Canaanite Hazor in the 13th century BC.

Seemingly, the smaller-scale domestic and cultic buildings in the lower city were not similarly burned or violently destroyed, though the campaign did include the decapitation of basaltic statues of gods and kings, and probably also the smashing of ritual vessels found in the temples.

In the introduction to the king list, a common type of record kept by Ancient Near Eastern (hereafter ANE) conquerors, the text notes that “these are the kings of the land, whom the sons of Israel killed, and whose land they possessed” (Josh 12:1).

For the biblical writer of Joshua, the smiting of a king is inextricably bound to the acquisition and possession of his land.